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The 1997 CIA World Factbook

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Administrative divisions: 32 departments (departamentos, singular -
departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas,
Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caqueta,
Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Cundinamarca, Guainia,
Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Narino, Norte de
Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, San Andres y Providencia,
Santa Fe de Bogota*, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca,
Vaupes, Vichada

Independence: 20 July 1810 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 20 July (1810)

Constitution: 5 July 1991

Legal system: based on Spanish law; a new criminal code modeled after
US procedures was enacted in 1992-93; judicial review of executive and
legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with
reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state : President Ernesto SAMPER Pizano (since 7 August
1994); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of
government
head of government: President Ernesto SAMPER Pizano (since 7 August
1994); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of
government
cabinet: Cabinet
elections : president elected by popular vote for a four-year term;
election last held 29 May 1994 (next to be held May 1998); vice
president elected by popular vote for a four-year term in a new
procedure that replaces the traditional designation of vice presidents
by newly elected presidents
election results : Ernesto SAMPER Pizano elected president; percent of
vote - no candidate received more than 50% of the total vote,
therefore, a run-off election to select a president from the two
leading candidates was held 19 June 1994; percent of vote - Ernesto
SAMPER Pizano (Liberal Party) 50.4%, Andres PASTRANA Arango
(Conservative Party) 48.6%, blank votes 1%; Humberto de la CALLE
Lombana elected vice president; percent of vote - NA

Legislative branch: bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the
Senate or Senado (102 seats; members are elected by popular vote to
serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de
Representantes (161 seats; members are elected by popular vote to
serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 13 March 1994 (next to be held March
1998); House of Representatives - last held 13 March 1994 (next to be
held March 1998)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by
party - Liberal Party 59, conservatives (includes PC, MSN, and NDF)
31, other 12; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party -
NA; seats by party - Liberal Party 89, conservatives (includes PC,
MSN, and NDF) 53, AD/M-19 2, other 17

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Corte Suprema de Justical),
highest court of criminal law, judges are selected from the nominees
of the Higher Council of Justice for eight-year terms; Council of
State, highest court of administrative law, judges are selected from
the nominees of the Higher Council of Justice for eight-year terms;
Constitutional Court, guards integrity and supremacy of the
constitution, rules on constitutionality of laws, amendments to the
constitution, and international treaties

Political parties and leaders: Liberal Party or PL [Emilio LEBOLO
Castellanos]; Conservative Party or PC [Fabio VALENCIA Cossio]; New
Democratic Force or NDF [Andres PASTRANA Arango]; Democratic Alliance
M-19 or AD/M-19 is a coalition of small leftist parties and dissident
liberals and conservatives; Patriotic Union (UP) is a legal political
party formed by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and
Colombian Communist Party (PCC); National Salvation Movement or MSN
[Dr. Alvaro GOMEZ Hurtado]

Political pressure groups and leaders: two largest insurgent groups
active in Colombia - Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC;
and National Liberation Army or ELN

International organization participation: AG, CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-
3, G-11, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat,
Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL,
PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO,
WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Juan Carlos ESGUERRA Portocarrero
chancery: 2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-8338
FAX: [1] (202) 232-8643
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami,
New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and
Washington, DC
consulate(s): Atlanta and Tampa

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Myles R. R. FRECHETTE
embassy: Calle 22D-BIS, No. 47-51, Apartado Aereo 3831
mailing address : APO AA 34038
telephone: [57] (1) 315-0811
FAX: [57] (1) 315-2197

Flag description: three horizontal bands of yellow (top,
double-width), blue, and red; similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is
longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the
center

Economy

Economy - overview: Boasting a diversified and stable economy,
Colombia has enjoyed Latin America's most consistent record of growth
over the last several decades. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has
expanded every year for more than 25 years, and unlike many other
Latin American countries, Colombia did not default on any of its
official debts during the "lost decade" of the 1980s. Since 1990, when
Bogota introduced a comprehensive reform program that opened the
economy to foreign trade and investment, GDP growth has averaged more
than 4% annually. Growth has been fueled in recent years by the rapid
expansion of the oil sector, progress in the construction and
financial service industries, and an influx of foreign capital. Direct
foreign investment, especially in the oil industry, is rising at a
rapid rate. In 1996, oil overtook coffee as Colombia's main export.
Non-petroleum economic growth slowed, however, due mostly to high
interest rates - the result of high government spending and a tight
monetary policy - and a real appreciation of the exchange rate.
Business confidence was also damaged by a political crisis stemming
from allegations President SAMPER solicited contributions from drug
traffickers during the 1994 campaign. The slowdown in the growth of
labor-intensive industries such as manufacturing has caused
unemployment to rise to 11.5% by the end of 1996 and interfered with
President SAMPER'S plans to lower the country's poverty rate, which
has remained at about 40% despite the expanding economy.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $201.4 billion (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.1% (1996 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,400 (1996 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture : 20%
industry: 27%
services: 53% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 21.6% (1996)

Labor force:
total: 12 million (1990)
by occupation: services 46%, agriculture 30%, industry 24% (1990)

Unemployment rate: 11.5% (yearend 1996)

Budget:
revenues: $27 billion
expenditures: $30 billion including capital expenditures of $NA (1997
est.)

Industries: textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear,
beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds

Industrial production growth rate: 4.5% (1995 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 10,583,700 kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 45.361 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 963 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco,
corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; forest products;
shrimp farming

Exports:
total value: $10.3 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: petroleum, coffee, coal, bananas, fresh cut flowers
partners : US 39%, EC 25.7%, Japan 2.9%, Venezuela 8.5% (1992)

Imports:
total value: $12.4 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer
goods, chemicals, paper products
partners : US 36%, EC 18%, Brazil 4%, Venezuela 6.5%, Japan 8.7%
(1992)

Debt - external: $16.5 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $30 million (1993)

Currency: 1 Colombian peso (Col$) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: Colombian pesos (Col$) per US$1 - 1,027.87 (January
1997), 1,036.69 (1996), 912.83 (1995), 844.84 (1994), 863.06 (1993),
759.28 (1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Colombia:Communications

Telephones: 1.89 million (1986 est.)

Telephone system: modern system in many respects
domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system; domestic satellite
system with 11 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 413 (licensed), FM 217 (licensed),
shortwave 28

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 33

Televisions: 5.5 million (1993 est.)

@Colombia:Transportation

Railways:
total: 3,386 km
standard gauge: 150 km 1.435-m gauge (connects Cerrejon coal mines to
maritime port at Bahia Portete)
narrow gauge: 3,236 km 0.914-m gauge (1830 km in use) (1995)

Highways:
total: 106,600 km
paved: 12,685 km
unpaved : 93,915 km (1995 est.)

Waterways: 14,300 km, navigable by river boats

Pipelines: crude oil 3,585 km; petroleum products 1,350 km; natural
gas 830 km; natural gas liquids 125 km

Ports and harbors: Barranquilla, Buenaventura, Cartagena, Leticia,
Puerto Bolivar, San Andres, Santa Marta, Tumaco, Turbo

Merchant marine:
total: 17 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 72,388 GRT/97,576 DWT
ships by type: bulk 5, cargo 6, container 1, multi-function large load
carrier 2, oil tanker 3 (1996 est.)

Airports: 913 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 606
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m : 32
914 to 1,523 m: 36
under 914 m: 527 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 307
2,438 to 3,047 m : 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 34
914 to 1,523 m: 272 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: Army (Ejercito Nacional), Navy (Armada Nacional,
includes Marines and Coast Guard), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea
Colombiana), National Police (Policia Nacional)

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 10,285,806 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males : 6,909,846 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 348,802 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $2 billion (1995)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.8% (1995)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: maritime boundary dispute with Venezuela in
the Gulf of Venezuela; territorial dispute with Nicaragua over
Archipelago de San Andres y Providencia and Quita Sueno Bank

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of coca, opium poppies, and cannabis;
about 50,900 hectares of coca under cultivation in 1995; the world's
largest processor of coca derivatives into cocaine; supplier of
cocaine to the US and other international drug markets; active aerial
eradication program seeks to virtually eliminate coca and opium crops
______________________________________________________________________

COMOROS

Introduction

Historical perspective: Comoros has had difficulty in achieving
political stability, having endured 18 coups or attempted coups since
receiving independence from France in 1975.

@Comoros:Geography

Location: Southern Africa, group of islands in the Mozambique Channel,
about two-thirds of the way between northern Madagascar and northern
Mozambique

Geographic coordinates: 12 10 S, 44 15 E

Map references: Africa

Area:
total : 2,170 sq km
land: 2,170 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly more than 12 times the size of
Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 340 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)

Terrain: volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low
hills

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Kartala 2,360 m

Natural resources: negligible

Land use:
arable land: 35%
permanent crops: 10%
permanent pastures: 7%
forests and woodland : 18%
other: 30% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: cyclones and tsunamis possible during rainy season
(December to April); Mount Kartala on Grand Comore is an active
volcano

Environment - current issues: soil degradation and erosion results
from crop cultivation on slopes without proper terracing;
deforestation

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous
Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Desertification

Geography - note: important location at northern end of Mozambique
Channel

@Comoros:People

Population: 528,893 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 42% (male 112,404; female 111,936)
15-64 years: 55% (male 142,604; female 146,382)
65 years and over : 3% (male 7,432; female 8,135) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.09% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 40.75 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 9.82 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth : 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 87.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 59.88 years
male : 57.52 years
female: 62.32 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.54 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Comoran(s)
adjective: Comoran

Ethnic groups: Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava

Religions: Sunni Muslim 86%, Roman Catholic 14%

Languages: Arabic (official), French (official), Comoran (a blend of
Swahili and Arabic)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.3%
male: 64.2%
female: 50.4% (1995 est.)

@Comoros:Government

Country name:
conventional long form : Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros
conventional short form: Comoros
local long form: Republique Federale Islamique des Comores
local short form: Comores

Data code: CN

Government type: independent republic

National capital: Moroni

Administrative divisions: three islands; Grand Comore (Njazidja),
Anjouan (Nzwani), and Moheli (Mwali)
note: there are also four municipalities named Domoni, Fomboni,
Moroni, and Mutsamudu

Independence: 6 July 1975 (from France)

National holiday: Independence Day, 6 July (1975)

Constitution: 7 June 1992

Legal system: French and Muslim law in a new consolidated code

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Mohamed TAKI Abdulkarim (since 16 March
1996)
head of government: Prime Minister Ahmed ABDOU (since 27 December
1996)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote to a five-year term;
election last held 16 March 1996 (next to be held NA March 2001);
prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Mohamed TAKI Abdulkarim elected president; share of
vote - 64%

Legislative branch: bicameral legislature consists of the Senate (15
seats; members selected by regional councils for six-year terms) and a
Federal Assembly or Assemblee Federale (43 seats; members elected by
popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections : last held 1 and 8 December 1996 (next to be held NA
December 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RND
39, RND candidate running as independent 1, FNJ 3

Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme), two members are
appointed by the president, two members are elected by the Federal
Assembly, one by the Council of each island, and former presidents of
the republic

Political parties and leaders: Rassemblement National pour le
Development or RND [Mohamed TAKI Abdulkarim], party of the government;
Front National pour la Justice or FNJ, Islamic party in opposition
note: under a new constitution ratified in October 1996, a two party
system was established; President Mohamed TAKI Abdulkarim called for
all parties to dissolve and join him in creating the RND; the
Constitution stipulates that only parties that win six seats in the
Federal Assembly (two from each island) are permitted to be in
opposition, but if no party accomplishes that the second most
successful party will be in opposition; in the elections of December
1996 the FNJ appeared to qualify as opposition

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AL, CCC,
ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF,
Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant) Charge d'Affaires ad interim
Mahmoud M. ABOUD (ambassador to the US and Canada)
chancery: (temporary) care of the Permanent Mission of the Federal and
Islamic Republic of the Comoros to the United Nations, 336 East 45th
Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 972-8010
FAX : [1] (212) 983-4712

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy
in Comoros; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Comoros

Flag description: green with a white crescent in the center of the
field, its points facing downward; there are four white five-pointed
stars placed in a line between the points of the crescent; the
crescent, stars, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam; the
four stars represent the four main islands of the archipelago - Mwali,
Njazidja, Nzwani, and Mayotte (a territorial collectivity of France,
but claimed by Comoros); the design, the most recent of several, is
described in the constitution approved by referendum on 7 June 1992

Economy

Economy - overview: One of the world's poorest countries, Comoros is
made up of three islands that have inadequate transportation links, a
young and rapidly increasing population, and few natural resources.
The low educational level of the labor force contributes to a
subsistence level of economic activity, high unemployment, and a heavy
dependence on foreign grants and technical assistance. Agriculture,
including fishing, hunting, and forestry, is the leading sector of the
economy. It contributes nearly 40% to GDP, employs 80% of the labor
force, and provides most of the exports. The country is not
self-sufficient in food production; rice, the main staple, accounts
for the bulk of imports. The government is struggling to upgrade
education and technical training, to privatize commercial and
industrial enterprises, to improve health services, to diversify
exports, to promote tourism, and to reduce the high population growth
rate. Continued foreign support is essential if the goal of 4% annual
GDP growth is to be reached in the late 1990s.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $370 million (1995 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: -2.3% (1995 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $650 (1995 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 39%
industry: 13%
services : 48% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 7.1% (1995 est.)

Labor force:
total : 140,000 (1982)
by occupation: agriculture 80%, government 3%

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:
revenues : $83 million
expenditures: $92 million, including capital expenditures of $32
million (1992)

Industries: tourism, perfume distillation, textiles, furniture,
jewelry, construction materials, soft drinks

Industrial production growth rate: -6.5% (1989 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 16,000 kW (1991)

Electricity - production: 25 million kWh (1991)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 52 kWh (1991 est.)

Agriculture - products: vanilla, cloves, perfume essences, copra,
coconuts, bananas, cassava (tapioca)

Exports:
total value: $11.2 million (f.o.b., 1995 est.)
commodities: vanilla, ylang-ylang, cloves, perfume oil, copra
partners: France 54%, Germany 18%, US 18%

Imports:
total value: $40.9 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: rice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods; petroleum
products, cement, transport equipment
partners: France 60%, South Africa 10%, Kenya 5%, Singapore 4%

Debt - external: $189 million (1995 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Comoran franc (CF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Comoran francs (CF) per US$1 - 406.27 (January 1997),
383.66 (1996), 374.36 (1995), 416.40 (1994), 283.16 (1993), 264.69
(1992)
note: beginning 12 January 1994, the Comoran franc was devalued to 75
per French franc from 50 per French franc at which it had been fixed
since 1948

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Comoros:Communications

Telephones: 3,770 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: sparse system of microwave radio relay and HF
radiotelephone communication stations
domestic: HF radiotelephone communications and microwave radio relay
international: HF radiotelephone communications to Madagascar and
Reunion

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 1, shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 0

Televisions: 200 (1991 est.)

@Comoros:Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 875 km
paved: 669 km
unpaved : 206 km (1995 est.)

Ports and harbors: Fomboni, Moroni, Mutsamudu

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 4 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: Comoran Security Force

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 125,378 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 74,836 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: claims French-administered Mayotte
______________________________________________________________________

CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE
Republic of the]

@Congo, Democratic Republic of the:Geography

Location: Central Africa, northeast of Angola

Geographic coordinates: 0 00 N, 25 00 E

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 2,345,410 sq km
land: 2,267,600 sq km
water : 77,810 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly less than one-fourth the size of US

Land boundaries:
total : 10,271 km
border countries: Angola 2,511 km, Burundi 233 km, Central African
Republic 1,577 km, Republic of the Congo 2,410 km, Rwanda 217 km,
Sudan 628 km, Uganda 765 km, Zambia 1,930 km

Coastline: 37 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone : boundaries with neighbors
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and
drier in southern highlands; cooler and wetter in eastern highlands;
north of Equator - wet season April to October, dry season December to
February; south of Equator - wet season November to March, dry season
April to October

Terrain: vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Margherita Peak (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m

Natural resources: cobalt, copper, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and
gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium,
radium, bauxite, iron ore, coal, hydropower potential

Land use:
arable land : 3%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 7%
forests and woodland: 77%
other: 13% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 100 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: periodic droughts in south; volcanic activity

Environment - current issues: poaching threatens wildlife populations;
water pollution; deforestation; refugees who arrived in mid-1994 were
responsible for significant deforestation, soil erosion, and wildlife
poaching in the eastern part of the country (most of those refugees
were repatriated in November and December 1996)

Environment - international agreements:
party to : Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous
Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer
Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Desertification, Environmental Modification,
Tropical Timber 94

Geography - note: straddles Equator; very narrow strip of land that
controls the lower Congo river and is only outlet to South Atlantic
Ocean; dense tropical rain forest in central river basin and eastern
highlands

@Congo, Democratic Republic of the:People

Population: 47,440,362 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years : 48% (male 11,418,713; female 11,378,403)
15-64 years: 49% (male 11,412,269; female 11,980,993)
65 years and over: 3% (male 541,435; female 708,549) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.34% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 47.66 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 16.61 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: -7.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)
note: in 1994, about a million refugees fled into Democratic Republic
of the Congo, formerly Zaire, to escape the fighting between the Hutus
and the Tutsis in Rwanda and Burundi; the outbreak of widespread
fighting between rebels and government forces in October 1996 spurred
about 720,000 refugees to return to Rwanda in late 1996 and early
1997; additionally, Democratic Republic of the Congo is host to about
100,000 Angolan, and about 100,000 Sudanese refugees

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 105.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 47.03 years
male: 45.16 years
female: 48.95 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.58 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun : Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo

Ethnic groups: over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority
are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu),
and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population

Religions: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslim
10%, other syncretic sects and traditional beliefs 10%

Languages: French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade
language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo,
Tshiluba

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write in French, Lingala,
Kingwana, or Tshiluba
total population: 77.3%
male: 86.6%
female: 67.7% (1995 est.)

@Congo, Democratic Republic of the:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Democratic Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: none
local long form: Republique Democratique du Congo
local short form: none
former : Belgian Congo, Congo/Leopoldville, Congo/Kinshasa, Zaire

Data code: CG

Government type: republic with a strong presidential system

National capital: Kinshasa

Administrative divisions: 10 regions (regions, singular - region) and
1 town* (ville); Bandundu, Bas-Zaire, Equateur, Haut-Zaire,
Kasai-Occidental, Kasai-Oriental, Kinshasa*, Maniema, Nord-Kivu,
Shaba, Sud-Kivu

Independence: 30 June 1960 (from Belgium)

National holiday: Anniversary of the Regime (Second Republic), 24
November (1965)

Constitution: 24 June 1967, amended August 1974, revised 15 February
1978, amended April 1990; transitional constitution promulgated in
April 1994; new draft constitution approved by Transitional Parliament
in October 1996, subject to ratification by popular referendum
scheduled for February 1997; draft constitution provides for
multiparty elections by July 1997

Legal system: based on Belgian civil law system and tribal law; has
not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state: Gen. Laurent-DESIRE KABILA (since 17 May 1997); note -
the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: Gen. Laurent-DESIRE KABILA (since 17 May 1997);
note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
cabinet : National Executive Council normally appointed by mutual
agreement of the president and the prime minister; note - Gen.
KABILA's cabinet was appointed by him and has no prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term;
election last held 29 July 1984 (next was to be held in May 1997);
prime minister elected by the High Council of the Republic; note - the
term of the former government expired in 1991, elections were not
held, and MOBUTU continued in office until his government was
militarily defeated by Gen. Laurent-DESIRE KABILA on 17 May 1997
election results: MOBUTU Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga reelected
president in 1984 without opposition
note: Marshal MOBUTU Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga was president
from 24 November 1965 until forced into exile on 17 May 1997 when his
government was overturned in a coup by Gen. Laurent-DESIRE KABILA, who
immediately assumed sole governing authority

Legislative branch: unicameral parliament consisting of the combined
High Council of the Republic and the Parliament of the Transition (739
seats)
elections: the country's first multi-party presidential and
legislative elections had been scheduled for May 1997 but were not
held; instead the MOBUTO government was overthrown and control of the
governing apparatus was seized by Gen. Laurent-DESIRE KABILA

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

Political parties and leaders: sole legal party until January 1991 -
Popular Movement of the Revolution or MPR; other parties include Union
for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Etienne TSHISEKEDI wa
Mulumba]; Democratic Social Christian Party or PDSC; Union of
Federalists and Independent Republicans or UFER; Unified Lumumbast
Party or PALU [Antoine GIZENGA]; Union of Independent Democrats or UDI
[Leon KENGO wa Dondo]

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, CEEAC,
CEPGL, ECA, FAO, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU,
NAM, OAU, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO,
WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission : Charge d'Affaires ad interim Etienne B. J. K.
MUKENDI
chancery: 1800 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-7690, 7691
FAX: [1] (202) 686-3631

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Daniel H. SIMPSON
embassy: 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa
mailing address: Unit 31550, APO AE 09828
telephone: [243] (12) 21533 through 21535
FAX: [243] (88) 43805, ext. 2308 or 43467

Flag description: light blue with a large yellow five-pointed star in
the center and a columnar arrangement of six small yellow five-pointed
stars along the hoist side

Economy

Economy - overview: The economy of Democratic Republic of the Congo
has continued to disintegrate, although former Prime Minister KENGO
had had some success in slowing the rate of economic decline. While
meaningful economic figures are difficult to come by, the high rate of
inflation, chronic large government deficits, and plunging mineral
production have made it one of the world's poorest countries. Most
formal transactions are conducted in hard currency as indigenous bank
notes have lost almost all value, and a barter economy now flourishes
in all but the largest cities. During the bitter civil strive of
1996-97 most individuals and families have hung on grimly through
subsistence farming and petty trade. The new KABILA government will be
hard pressed to meet its financial obligations to the IMF or to put in
place the financial measures advocated by it. Improved political
stability would boost the country's long-term potential to effectively
exploit its vast mineral and agricultural resources.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $16.5 billion (1995 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: -0.7% (1995 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $400 (1995 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 59%
industry: 15%
services: 26% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 542% (1995)

Labor force:
total: 14.51 million (1993 est.)
by occupation : agriculture 65%, industry 16%, services 19% (1991
est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $479 million
expenditures : $479 million, including capital expenditures of $99
million (1996 est.)

Industries: mining, mineral processing, consumer products (including
textiles, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods and beverages),
cement, diamonds

Industrial production growth rate: NA

Electricity - capacity: 2.83 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 5.48 billion kWh (1994)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 87 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, quinine,
cassava (tapioca), palm oil, bananas, root crops, corn, fruits; wood
products

Exports:
total value : $1.47 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.)
commodities: diamonds, copper, coffee, cobalt, crude oil
partners: Belgium, US, France, Germany, Italy, UK, Japan, South Africa

Imports:
total value: $1.25 billion (c.i.f., 1995 est.)
commodities : consumer goods, foodstuffs, mining and other machinery,
transport equipment, fuels
partners: Belgium, South Africa, US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK

Debt - external: $13.8 billion (1995 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 zaire (Z) = 100 makuta

Exchange rates: new zaires (Z) per US$1 - 83,764 (October 1996), 7,024
(1995), 1,194 (1994), 3 (1993); zaire (Z) per US$1 - 645,549 (1992)
note: on 22 October 1993 the new zaire, equal to 3,000,000 old zaires,
was introduced

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Congo, Democratic Republic of the:Communications

Telephones: 34,000 (1991 est.)

Telephone system:
domestic : barely adequate wire and microwave radio relay service in
and between urban areas; domestic satellite system with 14 earth
stations
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 10, FM 4, shortwave 0

Radios: 3.87 million (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 18

Televisions: 55,000 (1992 est.)

@Congo, Democratic Republic of the:Transportation

Railways:
total: 5,138 km (1995); note - severely reduced trackage in use
because of civil strife
narrow gauge: 3,987 km 1.067-m gauge (858 km electrified); 125 km
1.000-m gauge; 1,026 km 0.600-m gauge

Highways:
total : 145,000 km
paved: 2,500 km
unpaved: 142,500 km (1993 est.)

Waterways: 15,000 km including the Congo, its tributaries, and
unconnected lakes

Pipelines: petroleum products 390 km

Ports and harbors: Banana, Boma, Bukavu, Bumba, Goma, Kalemie, Kindu,
Kinshasa, Kisangani, Matadi, Mbandaka

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 216 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total : 104
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m : 80 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 112
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
914 to 1,523 m: 94 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Gendarmerie,
paramilitary Civil Guard, Special Presidential Division

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49 : 10,232,612 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 5,213,941 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $46 million (1990)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.5% (1990)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: Democratic Republic of the
Congo-Tanzania-Zambia tripoint in Lake Tanganyika may no longer be
indefinite since it has been informally reported that the indefinite
section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo-Zambia boundary has
been settled; long section with Republic of the Congo along the Congo
river is indefinite (no division of the river or its islands has been
made)

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for domestic
consumption
______________________________________________________________________

CONGO, REPUBLIC OF THE

@Congo, Republic of the:Geography

Location: Western Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between
Angola and Gabon

Geographic coordinates: 1 00 S, 15 00 E

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 342,000 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
water: 500 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Montana

Land boundaries:
total: 5,504 km
border countries: Angola 201 km, Cameroon 523 km, Central African
Republic 467 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,410 km, Gabon
1,903 km

Coastline: 169 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm

Climate: tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to
October); constantly high temperatures and humidity; particularly
enervating climate astride the Equator

Terrain: coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern
basin

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m

Natural resources: petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium,
copper, phosphates, natural gas

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures : 29%
forests and woodland: 62%
other: 9% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: seasonal flooding

Environment - current issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions;
water pollution from the dumping of raw sewage; tap water is not
potable; deforestation

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Ozone
Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: Desertification, Law of the Sea

Geography - note: about 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville,
Pointe Noire, or along the railroad between them

@Congo, Republic of the:People

Population: 2,583,198 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43% (male 557,996; female 552,022)
15-64 years: 54% (male 677,313; female 707,569)
65 years and over: 3% (male 35,573; female 52,725) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.15% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 38.79 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 17.3 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over : 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 106.1 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population : 45.73 years
male: 44.24 years
female: 47.27 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.06 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo

Ethnic groups: Kongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans
8,500 (mostly French)

Religions: Christian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2%

Languages: French (official), African languages (Lingala and Kikongo
are the most widely used)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.9%
male: 83.1%
female : 67.2% (1995 est.)

@Congo, Republic of the:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: none
local long form : Republique du Congo
local short form: none
former: Congo/Brazzaville, Congo

Data code: CF

Government type: republic

National capital: Brazzaville

Administrative divisions: 9 regions (regions, singular - region) and 1
commune*; Bouenza, Brazzaville*, Cuvette, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala,
Niari, Plateaux, Pool, Sangha

Independence: 15 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday: Congolese National Day, 15 August (1960)

Constitution: new constitution approved by referendum March 1992

Legal system: based on French civil law system and customary law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Pascal LISSOUBA (since August 1992)
head of government: Prime Minister David Charles GANAO (since 2
September 1996)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections : president elected by popular vote for a five-year term;
election last held 16 August 1992 (next was to be held 27 July 1997
but armed clashes between political parties in early July seemed
likely to delay it); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Pascal LISSOUBA elected president; percent of vote -
Pascal LISSOUBA 61%

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the National
Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (125 seats; members are elected by
direct popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Senate (60
seats; members are elected by local and regional councils to serve
six-year terms)
elections: National Assembly - last held 3 October 1993 (next to be
held NA 1998); Senate - last held November 1996 (next to be held NA
2002)
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA;
seats by party - UPADS 64, URD/PCT 58, others 3; Senate - percent of
vote by party - NA; seats by party - UPADS 23, MCDDI 14, RDD 8, RDPS
5, PCT 2, others 8

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

Political parties and leaders: the most important of the many
political parties are Congolese Labor Party or PCT [Denis
SASSOU-NGUESSO, president]; Association for Democracy and Development
or RDD [Joachim Yhombi OPANGO, president]; Association for Democracy
and Social Progress or RDPS [Jean-Pierre Thystere TCHICAYA,
president]; Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development
or MCDDI [Bernard KOLELAS, leader]; Pan-African Union for Social
Development or UPADS [Pascal LISSOUBA, leader]; Union of Democratic
Forces or UFD [David Charles GANAO, leader]; Union for Democratic
Renewal or URD; Union for Development and Social Progress or UDPS
[Jean-Michael BOKAMBA-YANGOUMA, leader]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Union of Congolese Socialist
Youth or UJSC; Congolese Trade Union Congress or CSC; Revolutionary
Union of Congolese Women or URFC; General Union of Congolese Pupils
and Students or UGEEC

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, BDEAC, CCC,
CEEAC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC,
IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, UDEAC,
UN, UNAVEM III, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dieudonne Antoine GANGA
chancery: 4891 Colorado Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
FAX : [1] (202) 726-1860

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador J. Aubrey HOOKS (10 June 1996)
embassy: Avenue Amilcar Cabral, Brazzaville
mailing address: B. P. 1015, Brazzaville
telephone: [242] 83 20 70
FAX: [242] 83 63 38

Flag description: divided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a
yellow band; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower
triangle is red; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia

Economy

Economy - overview: The economy is a mixture of village agriculture
and handicrafts, an industrial sector based largely on oil, support
services, and a government characterized by budget problems and
overstaffing. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the
economy, providing about 90% of government revenues and exports. In
the early 1980s, rapidly rising oil revenues enabled the government to
finance large-scale development projects with GDP growth averaging 5%
annually, one of the highest rates in Africa. Subsequently, falling
oil prices cut GDP growth by half. Moreover, the government has
mortgaged a substantial portion of its oil earnings, contributing to
the government's shortage of revenues. The 12 January 1994 devaluation
of Franc Zone currencies by 50% resulted in inflation of 61% in 1994
but inflation has subsided since. Recent efforts to implement economic
reforms have begun to show progress; the government and the IMF signed
an aid agreement in mid-1996.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $4.9 billion (1995 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 0.9% (1995 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,960 (1995 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 11.4%
industry: 35.2%
services: 53.4% (1993)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 3% (1996 est.)

Labor force: NA

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:
revenues : $870 million
expenditures: $970 million, including capital expenditures of $NA
(1997 est.)

Industries: petroleum extraction, cement kilning, lumbering, brewing,
sugar milling, palm oil, soap, cigarette making

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - capacity: 165,000 kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 440 million kWh (1994)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 223 kWh (1994 est.)

Agriculture - products: cassava (tapioca) accounts for 90% of food
output, sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest
products

Exports:
total value: $952 million (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities: crude oil 90%, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee,
diamonds
partners: Belgium-Luxembourg 24.3%, Taiwan 20.2%, US 14.9%, Italy
14.8% (1995 est.)

Imports:
total value: $559 million (f.o.b. 1994)
commodities : intermediate manufactures, capital equipment,
construction materials, foodstuffs, petroleum products
partners: France 31.2%, Netherlands 24.6%, Italy 11.4%, US 6.9% (1995
est.)

Debt - external: $5.3 billion (1996)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100
centimes

Exchange rates: CFA francs (CFAF) per US$1 - 541.69 (January 1997),
511.55 (1996), 499.15 (1995), 555.20 (1994), 283.16 (1993), 264.69
(1992)
note: beginning 12 January 1994, the CFA franc was devalued to CFAF
100 per French franc from CFAF 50 at which it had been fixed since
1948

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Congo, Republic of the:Communications

Telephones: 18,000 (1983 est.)

Telephone system: services barely adequate for government use; key
exchanges are in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, and Loubomo; inter-city
lines frequently out of order
domestic: primary network consists of microwave radio relay and
coaxial cable
international : satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 1, shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 4 (1987 est.)

Televisions: 8,500 (1993 est.)

@Congo, Republic of the:Transportation

Railways:
total: 795 km (includes 285 km private track)
narrow gauge: 795 km 1.067-m gauge (1995 est.)

Highways:
total: 12,760 km
paved: 1,238 km
unpaved : 11,522 km (1995 est.)

Waterways: the Congo and Ubangi (Oubangui) Rivers provide 1,120 km of
commercially navigable water transport; other rivers are used for
local traffic only

Pipelines: crude oil 25 km

Ports and harbors: Brazzaville, Impfondo, Ouesso, Oyo, Pointe-Noire

Merchant marine:
total : 1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,218 GRT/4,100 DWT
(1996 est.)

Airports: 34 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 13
over 3,047 m : 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
under 914 m: 9 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 21
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m : 14 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: Army, Navy (includes Marines), Air Force, National
Police

Military manpower - military age: 20 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49 : 601,771 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males : 306,757 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 26,081 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $110 million (1993)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 3.8% (1993)

Military - note: under the terms of a 1994 peace agreement, which
ended two years of civil strife, members of militias who supported the
three main political parties are being integrated into the military
forces

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: long segment of boundary with Democratic
Republic of the Congo along the Congo River is indefinite (no division
of the river or its islands has been made)
______________________________________________________________________

COOK ISLANDS

(free association with New Zealand)

@Cook Islands:Geography

Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about
one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates: 21 14 S, 159 46 W

Map references: Oceania

Area:
total: 240 sq km
land: 240 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: 1.3 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 120 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea : 12 nm

Climate: tropical; moderated by trade winds

Terrain: low coral atolls in north; volcanic, hilly islands in south

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Te Manga 652 m

Natural resources: NEGL

Land use:
arable land : 9%
permanent crops: 13%
permanent pastures: NA%
forests and woodland: NA%
other : 78% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: typhoons (November to March)

Environment - current issues: NA

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea
signed, but not ratified: NA

@Cook Islands:People

Population: 19,776 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Population growth rate: 1.08% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 22.7 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 5.2 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: -6.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: NA male(s)/female
under 15 years: NA male(s)/female
15-64 years: NA male(s)/female
65 years and over: NA male(s)/female
total population: NA male(s)/female

Infant mortality rate: 24.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.14 years
male: 69.2 years
female: 73.1 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.22 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Cook Islander(s)
adjective: Cook Islander

Ethnic groups: Polynesian (full blood) 81.3%, Polynesian and European
7.7%, Polynesian and non-European 7.7%, European 2.4%, other 0.9%

Religions: Christian (majority of populace are members of the Cook
Islands Christian Church)

Languages: English (official), Maori

Literacy: NA

@Cook Islands:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form : Cook Islands

Data code: CW

Dependency status: free association with New Zealand; Cook Islands is
fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains
responsibility for external affairs, in consultation with the Cook
Islands

Government type: self-governing parliamentary democracy

National capital: Avarua

Administrative divisions: none

Independence: none (became self-governing in free association with New
Zealand on 4 August 1965 and has the right at any time to move to full
independence by unilateral action)

National holiday: Constitution Day, 4 August

Constitution: 4 August 1965

Legal system: based on New Zealand law and English common law

Suffrage: NA years of age; universal adult

Executive branch:
chief of state : Queen ELIZABETH II of the UK (since 6 February 1952),
represented by Apenera SHORT (since NA); New Zealand High Commissioner
Darryl DUNN (since NA 1994), representative of New Zealand
head of government: Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey A. HENRY (since 1
February 1989); Deputy Prime Minister Inatio AKARURU (since 1 February
1989)
cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister; collectively
responsible to Parliament
elections : none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; the queen's
representative is appointed by the queen; the New Zealand high
commissioner is appointed by the New Zealand Government; following
legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most
seats usually becomes prime minister

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (25 seats; members elected
by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 6 March 1994 (next to be held by NA 1999)
election results : percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
Cook Islands Party 20, Democratic Party 3, Democratic Alliance Party 2
note: the House of Arikis (chiefs) advises on traditional matters, but
has no legislative powers

Judicial branch: High Court

Political parties and leaders: Cook Islands Party, Geoffrey HENRY;
Democratic Party, Sir Thomas DAVIS; Democratic Alliance Party, Norman
GEORGE

International organization participation: AsDB, ESCAP (associate),
FAO, ICAO, ICFTU, IFAD, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, Sparteca,
SPC, SPF, UNESCO, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (self-governing in free
association with New Zealand)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none (self-governing in free
association with New Zealand)

Flag description: blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper
hoist-side quadrant and a large circle of 15 white five-pointed stars
(one for every island) centered in the outer half of the flag

Economy

Economy - overview: Like other South Pacific island nations, the Cook
Islands' economic development is hindered by the isolation of the
country from foreign markets, lack of natural resources, periodic
devastation from natural disasters, and inadequate infrastructure.
Agriculture provides the economic base with major exports made up of
copra and citrus fruit. Manufacturing activities are limited to a
fruit-processing plant and several clothing factories. Trade deficits
are made up for by remittances from emigrants and by foreign aid,
largely from New Zealand. In 1996, the government declared bankruptcy,
citing a $120 million public debt. Efforts to exploit tourism
potential and expanding the mining and fishing industries have not
been enough to adequately deal with the financial crisis. In an effort
to stem further erosion of the tenuous economic situation, the
government slashed public service salaries by 50%, condensed the
number of government ministries from 52 to 22, reduced the number of
civil servants by more than half, began selling government assets, and
closed all overseas diplomatic posts except for the one in New
Zealand.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $57 million (1993 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: NA%

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,000 (1993 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 17%
industry: 6%
services: 77% (FY90/91)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 5.8% (1994)

Labor force:
total: 6,601 (1993)
by occupation: agriculture 29%, government 27%, services 25%, industry
15%, other 4% (1981)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: fruit processing, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - capacity: 7,500 kW (1990)

Electricity - production: 20 million kWh (1994)

Electricity - consumption per capita: NA kWh

Agriculture - products: copra, citrus, pineapples, tomatoes, bananas,
yams, taro, coffee

Exports:
total value: $3.9 million (f.o.b., 1993)
commodities: copra, fresh and canned citrus fruit, clothing, coffee,
fish
partners: NZ 80%, Japan, Hong Kong

Imports:
total value : $67 million (c.i.f., 1993)
commodities: foodstuffs, textiles, fuels, timber
partners: NZ 49%, Italy, Australia

Debt - external: $160 million (1994)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $1.275 million from Australia (FY96/97 est.); $5.4
million in budget support and $3.2 million in project and training aid
from New Zealand, the country's largest source of aid (FY95/96)

Currency: 1 New Zealand dollar (NZ$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars (NZ$) per US$1 - 1.4247 (January
1997), 1.4543 (1996), 1.5235 (1995), 1.6844 (1994), 1.8495 (1993),
1.8584 (1992)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

@Cook Islands:Communications

Telephones: 4,180 (1994)

Telephone system:
domestic: the individual islands are connected by a combination of
satellite earth stations, microwave systems, and VHF and HF
radiotelephone; within the islands, service is provided by small
exchanges connected to subscribers by open wire, cable, and
fiber-optic cable
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 1

Radios: 13,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 1 studio and 8 low-powered repeaters
achieve good coverage on the island of Rarotonga

Televisions: 3,500 (1995 est.)

@Cook Islands:Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 187 km
paved: 35 km
unpaved: 152 km (1980 est.)

Ports and harbors: Avarua, Avatiu

Merchant marine:
total : 1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,464 GRT/2,181 DWT
(1996 est.)

Airports: 7 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total : 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (1996 est.)

Military

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of New Zealand

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none
______________________________________________________________________

CORAL SEA ISLANDS

(territory of Australia)

@Coral Sea Islands:Geography

Location: Oceania, islands in the Coral Sea, northeast of Australia

Geographic coordinates: 18 00 S, 152 00 E

Map references: Oceania

Area:
total: less than 3 sq km
land: less than 3 sq km
water : 0 sq km
note: includes numerous small islands and reefs scattered over a sea
area of about 1 million sq km, with the Willis Islets the most
important

Area - comparative: NA

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 3,095 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: tropical

Terrain: sand and coral reefs and islands (or cays)

Elevation extremes:
lowest point : Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Cato Island 6 m

Natural resources: NEGL

Land use:
arable land : 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 100% (mostly grass or scrub cover)

Irrigated land: 0 sq km (1993)

Natural hazards: occasional, tropical cyclones

Environment - current issues: no permanent fresh water resources

Environment - international agreements:
party to : NA
signed, but not ratified: NA

Geography - note: important nesting area for birds and turtles

@Coral Sea Islands:People

Population: no indigenous inhabitants
note: there is a staff of four at the meteorological station

@Coral Sea Islands:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Coral Sea Islands Territory
conventional short form: Coral Sea Islands

Data code: CR

Dependency status: territory of Australia; administered by the
Ministry for Sport, Territories, and Local Government

National capital: none; administered from Canberra, Australia

Independence: none (territory of Australia)

Legal system: the laws of Australia, where applicable, apply

Executive branch: administered by the Minister for the Arts, Sport,
the Environments and Territories of Australia

Flag description: the flag of Australia is used

Economy

Economy - overview: no economic activity

@Coral Sea Islands:Communications

Communications - note: there are automatic weather relay stations on
many of the isles and reefs relaying data to the mainland

@Coral Sea Islands:Transportation

Ports and harbors: none; offshore anchorage only

Military

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of Australia; visited
regularly by the Royal Australian Navy; Australia has control over the
activities of visitors

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none
______________________________________________________________________

COSTA RICA

@Costa Rica:Geography

Location: Middle America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the
North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama

Geographic coordinates: 10 00 N, 84 00 W

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

Area:
total: 51,100 sq km
land: 50,660 sq km
water : 440 sq km
note: includes Isla del Coco

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than West Virginia

Land boundaries:
total: 639 km
border countries: Nicaragua 309 km, Panama 330 km

Coastline: 1,290 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May
to November)

Terrain: coastal plains separated by rugged mountains

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point : Cerro Chirripo 3,810 m

Natural resources: hydropower potential

Land use:
arable land: 6%
permanent crops : 5%
permanent pastures: 46%
forests and woodland: 31%
other: 12% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,200 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic
coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season; active
volcanoes

Environment - current issues: deforestation, largely a result of the
clearing of land for cattle ranching; soil erosion

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Desertification, Marine Life Conservation

@Costa Rica:People

Population: 3,534,174 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 34% (male 617,256; female 587,566)
15-64 years: 61% (male 1,090,414; female 1,065,273)
65 years and over : 5% (male 80,304; female 93,361) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 2% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 23.35 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 4.15 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth : 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 13.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.82 years
male : 73.41 years
female: 78.36 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.85 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Costa Rican(s)
adjective: Costa Rican

Ethnic groups: white (including mestizo) 96%, black 2%, Amerindian 1%,
Chinese 1%

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%

Languages: Spanish (official), English spoken around Puerto Limon

Literacy:
definition : age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.8%
male: 94.7%
female: 95% (1995 est.)

@Costa Rica:Government

Country name:
conventional long form : Republic of Costa Rica
conventional short form: Costa Rica
local long form: Republica de Costa Rica
local short form: Costa Rica

Data code: CS

Government type: democratic republic

National capital: San Jose

Administrative divisions: 7 provinces (provincias, singular -
provincia); Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas,
San Jose

Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

Constitution: 9 November 1949

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