Congo is located in the central-western part of sub-Saharan Africa, along the Equator. To the south and east lies the Democratic Republic of Congo. The country also borders with Gabon in the west, Cameroon and the Central African Republic in the north, and Angola in the southwest. The short coastline borders the Atlantic. The capital, Brazzaville is located in the south of the country on the Congo River; on the opposite side of the river is Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the southwest of the country there is a coastal plain through which the Kouilou-Niari River runs; the interior of the country consists of a central plateau between two basins to the south and north. The north of the country holds large rain forests which are in danger of becoming depleted.
During the time of the slave trade, Loango was the main embarkation port for slaves and it is estimated that more than 2 million people were transported from here. In more recent times, the country gained independence from France in 1960, and what was previously known as Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. Marxism prevailed until 1990 when a democratically elected government took office. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO, and ushered in a period of ethnic and political unrest. Civil war and political instability caused large-scale violence. The rebels were mostly from the south, and nationalist forces came from the north and from neighboring countries. Both national and rebel forces committed executions and rapes. Civilians were convicted of being rebels and executed without a trial. Many soldiers on both sides were undisciplined, and mob violence was common. March 2003 saw a peace accord but the situation is not stable and many refugees are still displaced.
Congo’s population is concentrated in the southwestern portion of the country, 70% of inhabitants live in Brazzaville, the second major city, Pointe-Noire or along the 332-mile railway that connects them. Before the 1997 war, an estimated 9,000 Europeans and other non-Africans lived in Congo, only a few hundred now remain.
Once one of Africa’s largest petroleum producers, The Congo’s economy is still based primarily on its petroleum sector. Foreign investment in this sector includes companies from France, Italy and America. The return of stability to Congo is also leading to increased foreign investment in other areas such as mining and agriculture. The country’s abundant northern rain forests are a major source of timber; forestry however now generates less than 7% of export earnings.
In rural areas industrial and commercial activity suffered as a consequence of the civil wars in the late 1990s. A slow recovery began in 2000 and continued through 2009.
The country has a consistent climate year-round, with the average day temperature being a humid 24 °C (75 °F) and nights generally between 16 °C (61 °F) and 21 °C (70 °F). The average yearly rainfall ranges from 1,100 mm (43 in) in south in the Niari valley to over 2,000 mm (79 in) in central parts of the country. The dry season is from June to August while in the majority of the country the wet season is between March and May with another high rainfall period between September and November.
The capital city of Brazzaville is situated on the west side of the River Congo, directly opposite Kinshasa, the capital of The Democratic Republic of Congo. The city offers a relaxed atmosphere, colorful local markets and a selection of bars , sights to see include the beautiful Basilique St Anne, the Temple Mosque, the markets at Oltreruendze and Moungali, the National Museum, the Municipal Gardens and the house constructed for De Gaulle.
Brazzaville the capital and Pointe-Noire, the second main town which is located on the coast are the focus of expatriate assignments, although the expatriate population is small.
Main foreign investors:
Foreign investment centers on two sectors; the Oil and Petroleum industry and Diamond and Gold Mining. France has the major interest in the oil sector, producing around two-thirds of all the country’s oil output. Italy and America also have a share in this area. Diamond Mining has attracted investment from South Africa and Canada whereas the Gold mining sector has Italian and Canadian investment.
French is the official language of the country and whilst local languages are spoken outside of the main cities, French is the language of government, industry, commerce and education. Expatriate suitable housing is available in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire, although the selection is limited, and both cities have International Schools.
As a destination the country presents certain challenges, basic infrastructure is poor and a lack of investment has rendered electricity, water supply, and telecommunications unreliable.
In 1996, life expectancy was just forty-nine years for men and fifty-three years for women. AIDS affected 100,000 residents in 1997. The civil war and the financial crisis have hindered anti-AIDS programs and worsened public health. Sixty percent of the population now has access to safe water and immunization, but only 9 percent have access to sanitary services. Whilst French is the official language off the country, over sixty local languages and dialects are spoken, the most widely used of which are Kikongo, Sangha, and Bateke. A talking drum language developed in the villages as a form of long-distance communication. Specific beats are still broadcast for marriages, deaths, births, and other information.
Leisure activities and opportunities:
If you enjoy outdoor sports it’s advisable to bring equipment that you may need with you as locally prices are about double what they are in the US. The larger hotels in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noir have tennis courts and pools that can be used on a subscription basis by non guests. Brazzaville Golf club has a well kept, nine-hole course. Outside of the cities there are good beaches in the region known as the Côte Sauvage. Around 20km (12 miles) from the city are the villages of Loango and Diosso. The Gorges of Diosso are spectacular cliffs formed by the erosion of the sea and the wind and are worth visiting.
Prepare and Plan Visit
In this initial contact the Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee, introducing destination services commissioned, and provide access codes to HTLC Network on-line City-Specific Resource Guides. In addition, the Relocation Coordinator will help the Transferee assess personal and family’s housing needs, as well as their hopes and plans for the sojourn in your new destination. The Transferee will be asked to fill out a Personal Needs Analysis Form, which will enable customized service delivery. After gaining a sense of the Transferee’s needs, the Relocation Coordinator will arrange appointments with schools and real estate agents, an appointment will be set up with one of the Local Counsellors for a city briefing and a programme will be finalised for accompanied property and school viewings.
Airport Pickup and Greeting The Transferee and family will be met at the airport by a Local Counsellor and accompanied to designated hotel.
Destination Country and City Information
The Transferee will be given a briefing on the local city and life in your new destination in general, and will be encouraged to ask any questions. An Information Pack on the destination city will be provided. This Pack includes an information sheet with the HTLC Network office and Local Counsellor contact information and emergency telephone numbers. Further, it includes a city and transport map as well as a hard copy of HTLC Network own City-Specific Resource Guide, which contains a wealth of information such as telephone access codes, English-speaking doctors and expatriate clubs. When available, a copy of the English Yellow Pages, local English language periodicals and other relevant information will also be included in the Information Pack.
City by Zone Tour
The purpose of this tour is to familiarise the Transferee with selected areas of the city and type of housing and amenities available, in order to be better prepared to select the neighbourhood most suitable for personal and family needs. The City By Zone Tour is often delivered in conjunction with a house hunting programme.
International Schooling The Transferee will be briefed on educational opportunities in the area. The Relocation Coordinator will schedule appointments at the selected schools, and the Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged appointments although the appointments will be privately held between the Transferee and school administrators. Where possible, the Relocation Coordinator will organise enrolment procedure and arrange for company invoicing.
Full-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to eight properties.
Two-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to fifteen properties.
Lease Negotiation After the Transferee has selected a property, the Relocation Coordinator will negotiate lease conditions with the real estate agency or landlord according to The national destination law. HTLC Network coordinator will prepare a contract that ensures legal protection for the client. Particular attention is given to include a break clause, as international assignments often change in duration and the aim is to give maximum flexibility within the limits of the national destination law.
Property Inspection and Inventory Once the lease has been signed, a thorough property inspection is taken in the presence of the Transferee. This includes an inventory of any furnishings, general condition of the property, and meter readings for utility contracts.
Utility Connections, Phone Line and Bank Account The Relocation Coordinator will arrange all utility and telephone connections, and a Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to open a bank account in the selected area.
Settling-In Assistance The Local Counsellor will spend time with the Transferee and family, assisting with requested elements of the relocation process, such as arranging language training, obtaining a satellite decoder or internet service provider, shopping for furniture or securing house contents insurance. Duration of this service depends on various company authorizations.
Car Purchase or Lease The Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee on the logistics of making an automobile purchase and will research reputable dealers in the area. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to dealers and act as a translator. Once the Transferee has made the selection, HTLC Network will take care of necessary documentation including insurance cover. For long-term rental HTLC Network will advise local availability of this service.
If the Transferee requests, and is eligible, the Local Counsellor will assist with National Health Registration. City hall registration is a separate service and if authorizied, HTLC Network will assist with the whole bureaucratic procedure at the relative cityhall.
Ongoing Phone Support The HTLC Network support Helpline is available to all Transferees for 90 days from date of property contract signing. Extensions to this Helpline can be added in periods of three months.
Car Importation Importation of car to your new destination, including full document assistance and re-registration with Vehicle registry.
Full Assignment Tracking Full tracking of all deadlines throughout duration of the Transferees international assignment, notification given of all scheduled renewal dates, such as housing contracts, Permit of Stay and Work Permits. Ad Hoc Services Service rendered both from back and front office is available on an hourly and daily basis.
Immigration procedures and requirements vary greatly from country to country. Documents requested from applicants depend on the citizenship of the individual applying and the status he wishes to obtain in the destination country, be it authorisation to work, authorisation for accompanying family members, tourist or study visas, temporary or permanent residency status.
• HTLC Network has been selected by many International Law and Immigration Firms as well as Global Relocation Companies to represent them exclusively for immigration
• We work closely with the relevant governmental and police authorities in each country
• Our Immigration Team are experts in immigration laws and keep abreast of changing requirements and procedures
• We prepare all documentation for HR, all you have to do is print out and sign
• We inform the Transferee which specific documents are required , which translations must be obtained and if these must be legalised
• We provide HR and Transferees with information on the process flow, timing and specific legal requirements of each destination
• We update all parties involved regularly as to the status of the application
• Whenever possible, we act with a Power of Attorney on behalf of the company and the Transferee; when the Transferee’s presence is required, he will be accompanied to the relevant office in the destination city
• Our Local Counsellors, residents and locals of the destination city, are able to present the all prepared documentation to the relevant offices in person; thus speeding up the process and ensuring an efficient service
For more info about our immigration services in Rep.of Congo please contact our marketing department at: email@example.com
Pointe-Noire is the second largest city in the Republic of the Congo, following the capital of Brazzaville, and an autonomous department since 2004. Before this date it was the capital of the Kouilou region (now a separate department).
It is situated on a headland between Pointe-Noire Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Pointe-Noire is the main commercial centre of the country and has a population of 715,000, expanding to well over 1 million when the entire metropolitan area is taken into account.
Pointe Noire’s (Black Point) name originated from Portuguese navigators who saw a block of black rocks on the headland in 1484. From then on, Pointe Noire, called Ponta Negra, became a maritime reference, and then a small fishing village from 1883, after the French signed a treaty with local people, Loangos.
An unfurnished property will contain nothing or just kitchen fittings and bathroom
A semi furnished property would have some furniture but this option is not very common
A fully furnished property will have everything required to live in the place
It is always worth trying to offer a slightly lower figure than the asking price or request to have other furniture installed or work done on the property. Generally, if the requests of a prospective tenant are high and costly, the landlord will agree to do the works requested with an increase in the rent. It is not likely that a landlord will agree to undertake work on the property, install extra furniture and lower the price.
This depends on the Relocation Package you have; Our Basic Package includes 8 properties and our Standard Package includes 15 properties. You will be told at the outset how many properties you will be shown or how much time you have available to do the house hunting. The properties provided will be as close to your ‘Needs Analysis’ description as possible according to what is available on the market at the time.
When you choose a property you can ensure that it will not be rented to someone else by making a ‘preliminary contract’. A holding deposit is frequently requested in these cases. This sum is usually decided in the preliminary arrangements, especially if the lessee requests certain adjustments, renovations, furnishings etc. to be carried out on the property.
A holding deposit is required if the property is in high demand or if there will be a period of time before the lease can commence. It is advisable to pay this fee only in the event of being certain that you will sign the contract.
– Real Estate agency fee: usually 1-month rental value. This is paid both by landlord and tenant.
– Security deposit: usually 1-2 month rental value
– Rent is usually paid monthly
– Registration of the lease: registration taxes and fee that vary according to the value of the property and amount of rent.
A service fee or condominium fee is to be paid when renting a property in a building with other dwellings this charge is to cover use, lighting and maintenance of any common areas. This fee is paid monthly on top of the monthly rental payment.
Once a suitable property is identified, the contract is negotiated and is signed by both parties. Payment is made.
Provided the property is left in the state in which it was when consigned, and the required notice is given, (this is usually 2 to 3 months and will be specified in the contract) there should be no issue in obtaining full deposit paid back.
HTLC Network insist on preparing a detailed check-in sheet upon move in which is signed by both tenant and landlord, this is referred to at check out to establish property state at time of consignment.
Tenant is responsible for general maintenance as specified in rental contract.
Only with written consent of the landlord.
It is usually possible to include a break clause in the lease contract, this is agreed between both parties at the time of contract negotiation. A notice period must be served.
Rent paid in advance will be forfeited.
Electricity, Water, Gas is available bottled only. A garbage tax is payable on every property.
Usually the accounts remain in the name of the landlord although they can be transferred to the tenant – the bills are sent to the property bi monthly and are to be paid to the utility company.
Yes, this is available.
Passport or ID card.
It can take several months for a line to be activated.
Bills arrive to the property address every 2 months.
No, an international license can be used for up to 3 months and thereafter a local license is required.
For just one month whilst the importation process is ongoing ( plates are to be changed to local ones).
As throughout many countries in Africa, safety is an issue. 24 hour surveillance of property is recommended and can be sourced locally if not provided by landlord.
Certain areas of the city are best avoided and it is important to be aware of petty theft and crime at all times, not overtly displaying wealth or expensive items.
Yes. It is recommended that you check with your own Embassy before embarking on travel to The Republic of Congo.
Yellow Fever, Hepititus A B and C as well as Polio.
– Extensive rapidly growing client list.
– Exclusive partner/representative of many Global Relocation Service Providers.
– Exclusive representative of many International Law and Immigration Firms.
– Quality control guarantee: Head Office directs all relocations and immigrations in every destination.
– All staff required to attend on-going training sessions and workshops to keep updated as to global mobility needs.
– No language barriers – Assistance provided in all major European languages and many others.
– Corporate consultation with HTLC Network’s’ Representatives at location of choice.
– HTLC Network own ‘Resource Guides’ providing a wealth of everyday information for expatlife in destination city.
– Comprehensive FAQs for each country serviced.
– Red Alert List to prepare for the specific challenges of each destination.
– Extra ‘Safety’ section in Resource Guides for countries posing specific security threats.
– 24-hour Emergency Helpline for Transferees throughout the duration of the relocation.
– Complimentary 3-month Helpline.
During HTLC Network’ initial teleconference with the client we go through an in-depth ‘Needs Analysis’ which can include Housing Budget variables for the Destination City. HTLC Network will work with the Company to ensure the workforce locate properties of a suitable standard within the parameters set by corporate policy.
Legally, yes, as long as it can be proved that the individual who signs the contract has the legal right to sign as a representative of the Company. Many landlords however, will not accept this as it is harder to take a foreign Company to court should there be any missing rent payments or problems. As landlord’s rarely accept a foreign Company signing the lease, it is usually signed by the local company that is VAT registered locally.
HTLCNetwork will prepare the contract in the name of a legal representative of the Company. We require full data of the individual, a photocopy of his/her passport ID pages and a photocopy of the Company’ s document demonstrating position within the Company.
The prepared contract will be emailed to the appropriate Company contact and instructions will be given on how it is to be printed out and signed. Once signed, one of HTLC Network’ Local Counsellors will collect the contract and deliver it to the real estate agent for the signature of the landlord. A signed copy will be returned to the Company whilst the three copies of the contract are being registered, thereafter a registered copy will be delivered.
Arrangements will be made to take a thorough inventory in the presence of the tenant and landlord.
For the presentation of document application, it varies from city to city. Wherever possible HTLC Network will prepare power of attorney in order for a Local Counsellor to act on behalf of the Transferee and family.
To release the obtained documents, the Transferee and other members of the family must be present as an original signature is required.
All Local Counsellors are really ‘local’ to the area where they assist Transferees. They are selected for their good knowledge of their city area.
All Local Counsellors are trained by EMC Network to follow our set pattern of delivering services using an in-house ‘Training and Operations Manual’.
All Local Counsellors are closely directed by Office Coordinators, ensuring a consistent standard of service is delivered.
All relocations are handled by the same system of centralisation. When required, we arrange for a member of our office team to go to the location of a group move to be an in-house Coordinator, working from the Client Company’s premises as a point of reference for HR, Transferees and their families.
In main centres we have several Local Counsellors.
HTLC Network aims to equip your workforce to settle into their new environment as soon as possible. Upon arrival they are presented with a local Information Pack. They are given access to our on-line City Specific Resource Guides that provide general local information as well as specific local information once a suitable property has been located.
We have a 24hour emergency helpline throughout the duration of the relocation. We provide a 90 day complimentary phone line that can be extended throughout the duration of the assignment.
Our aim is to teach the Transferee how to live in his new city and to equip him to be as independent as possible.
Area: 2,344,858 sq km
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +1 hour
Capital city: Brazzaville
Bordering countries: Angola 201 km, Cameroon 523 km, Central African Republic 467 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,410 km, Gabon 1,903 km
Climate: tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
Stateform: Republic of the Congo
Legislative Branch: Bicameral Parliament
National Holiday: 15 August
Currency: Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF)
Population: Approximately 58 mil.inhabitants
Ethnic groups: Kongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M’Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%
Religion: Christian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2% Languages: French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)