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Ambassador Insider Series - Republic of Congo

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Embassy of the Republic of Congo

1720 16th Street NW

Washington, DC 20009

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Ambassador Insider Series — Republic of Congo

The Republic of Congo is often confused with its larger neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the two are very different countries with distinct histories and modern-day challenges.

The Republic of the Congo (also referred to as Congo-Brazzaville), a former French colony, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (or Congo-Kinshasa), a former Belgian colony, both gained independence in 1960 but from there their paths diverged.

After gaining independence, the Republic of Congo adopted a one-party Marxist-Leninist state until 1991. Multiparty elections were held in 1992 but a brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis Sassou-Nguesso to power. A period of ethnic and civil unrest followed until a peace accord was reached with southern secessionists in 2003. Today, Sassou-Nguesso, who introduced a variety of market reforms such as privatizing state entities, continues to preside over this nation of 5 million.

Congo is one of Africa’s largest oil producers, which has brought a measure of economic and political stability. But with the economy heavily dependent on a volatile oil sector, Sassou-Nguesso’s government will have to diversify to return the country to economic growth.

Ambassador Serge Mombouli, the dean of the African diplomatic corps in the U.S., will discuss these and other issues at The Washington Diplomat’s Ambassador Insider Series on Thu., Feb. 28 at the Congolese Embassy.

Mombouli was appointed Congo’s ambassador to the U.S. in July 2001. An expert in corporate law and business negotiations, Mombouli previously served as Congo’s chargé d’ affaires in the U.S. from 1997 to 2001. For nearly over decades, he has worked extensively with the private sector and the U.S government to strengthen U.S.-Congo relations in areas of governance, international development and foreign investment.

The interview will be conducted by Anna Gawel, managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, who has had more than 100 articles published on world affairs, U.S. politics, foreign policy, national security, travel, arts and culture.


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Embassy of the Republic of Congo

1720 16th Street NW

Washington, DC 20009

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