Translation and Localization for Africa: Republic of Congo

February 18, 2016 Rabab Malek

The political stability and development of hydrocarbon production made the Republic of the Congo the fourth largest oil producer in the Gulf of Guinea and provided the country with prosperity despite the poor state of its infrastructure and public services and an unequal distribution of oil revenues.

In this blog, we will continue our Africa series to cover some brief, but important facts for the Republic of the Congo for anyone looking to expand into this market.

GPI-CONGO-MAP

Congolese Demographics

  • Population of 4.69 million (2016 estimate).
  • Brazzaville is the largest city in Congo with a population of about 1.8 million people.
  • Congo is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa.

Congolese Languages

  • French is the official language and the language of educational instruction, as well as the language of the upper classes.
  • Native tongues such as Lingala and Munukutuba rank just behind French as national languages.
  • According to the 2005 UNDP report, 66.8% of Congolese are literate.

Congolese Culture

GPI-CONGO-AUDIENCE

  • Half of Congolese people follow traditional beliefs, there are 15 principle Bantu groups (a name that refers to the people living in Central, Eastern and Southern Africa) and more than 70 subgroups.
  • Congo's flag consists of a yellow diagonal band divided diagonally from the lower hoist-side corner, with a green upper triangle and red lower triangle. The colors of the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. Nationally, the green symbolizes the agriculture and forests of the Congo, while the yellow represents the friendship and nobility of the Congolese people. However, the symbolism behind the red was left unexplained.

Congolese Consumers

  • The official currency is Central African CFA franc.
  • Roughly 7.1% of the people in Congo use the internet.
  • A growing proportion of the public, especially youth, are accessing the internet more frequently and utilizing online social media. However, only the most affluent have internet access in their own homes; others use cybercafés.
  • Agriculture, industry, and services dominate the economy. The most important products are lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds, and oil.

Congolese Future

  • The country has developed a new investment code to attract foreign investment. However, investment in the wider economy continues to be affected by numerous factors apart from political turmoil, including a poorly developed financial sector, an inadequate and war-damaged infrastructure, high labor, transportation and raw material costs, low productivity, and militant labor unions.
  • According to the most recent edition of the World Bank's monitoring report on the economic and financial situation in the Republic of the Congo, growth trended upwards in 2014 after stagnating for a three-year period. This upturn was not, however, enough to achieve the country's development objectives. Compounding this concern is the fact that certain problems that surfaced in 2014 could dampen growth in the years ahead. Growth slowed in 2015.

Summary

The Republic of the Congo (ROC) is a challenging business environment. Weak infrastructure and public institutions, corruption, and rule of law concerns continue to dominate the business climate in the ROC.  However, the ROC also offers tremendous opportunities to those companies and investors capable of taking advantage of them. The economic landscape is still dominated by the petroleum industry, but other energy sectorS, timber, mining, agriculture, and tourism opportunities exist.

Translation and Localization Resources

You may gain further insight into global e-business, global SEO and website translation and country specific cultural facts and related topics by reviewing some previous blogs written by GPI:

 

Please feel free to contact GPI at info@globalizationpartners.com with any questions about our translation services.  Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in future blogs. You may also request a complimentary Translation Quote for your projects as well.

Sources:

http://www.britannica.com/place/Republic-of-the-Congo

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/congo-population/

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Africa/Congo-Republic-of-The.html

http://www.heritage.org/index/country/republiccongo

http://www.internetworldstats.com/africa.htm#cg

http://www.everyculture.com/Bo-Co/Republic-of-Congo.html

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Republic_of_the_Congo.aspx

http://brazzaville.usembassy.gov/doing-business-local.html

http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/congo/publication/mitigating-the-impact-of-oil-market-fluctuations-on-fiscal-revenue

About the Author

Rabab Malek

Senior Global Application Developer. Rabab is a native Arabic speaker from Cairo, Egypt. She has over 12 years’ experience in software and websites architecture and implementation using open source programming tools including PHP, MySQL as well as jQuery, JSON and Ajax. She has served with various companies including Pyramid Technologies, Link-Dot-Net and InTouch Communications as a Programmer, Systems Engineer – Developer and Lead Web Developer. She earned her B.Sc. Degree in Economics with a minor in Computer Science from Cairo University. She completed a SSDP Diploma from the Information Technology Institute (IDSC), The Cabinet and is a certified Cloud Business Associate and a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP, MCAD and MCSD.NET).

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