Definition of Youth

There is no documented definition of youth. On 27 January 2012, the Minister of Youth and Civic Education referred to youth as ages “0 to 35 years” in a speech to his department. However, Congo-Brazzaville is also a signatory to the African Youth Charter, which defines youth as 15-25 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 21
  • 0
  • --
  • Female
  • 18
  • 0
  • --

  • A State Procurator may grant an exemption to the minimum age. No specific legislation for same-sex marriages. Homosexual acts are legal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Judges may decide on a case-by-case basis as to whether a child, of any age, is liable for criminal responsibility. Source:  UN Child Rights Periodic Report

Majority Age


Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • -- Male (15-24) %
  • -- Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • --Male %
  • -- Female %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 27.60% Male (13-15) %
  • 20.40% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
The Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) has no national youth policy.

At an event on 25 September 2013, the Minister of Youth and Civic Education made a plea for the development of a youth policy. He called on the Ministry’s officials to set measures to evaluate their responsibilities, in order to develop concrete actions that will work towards the social development of youth. The Ministry of Youth and Civic Education, along with UNFPA Congo, developed a Code of Conduct for New Congolese Youth (NJECO). While no copy online could be found, Fortunée Linge reported on 19 November 2011 that the code will focus on ethics and will promote civic values such as peace, patriotism and respect. Once approved, it will be taught in schools, universities, in the workplace and places of worship. Congo-Brazzaville is a signatory to the African Youth Charter, however has not ratified it.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
As reported by Brazzaville Dispatches on 26 August 2011, the Ministry of Youth and Civic Education is primarily responsible for promoting the ratification of the African Youth Charter by parliament, to which Congo-Brazzaville is a signatory. In addition, the Ministry chairs the General Youth Conference (as reported in the News Agency for Central Africa on 16 January 2014), which involves the selection of the National Youth Council of Congo (CNJ-C) executive. The Ministry also develops education plans in the areas of morals, ethics and citizenship.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
As reported by Esperancia Mbossa-Okandze on 24 January 2014, the National Youth Council of Congo (CNJ-C) was created in 2010 on the basis of the African Youth Charter, which recommends that State Parties create and strengthen platforms for youth participation in decision-making. CNJ-C is closely linked to the Ministry of Youth and Civic Education, as the Minister chairs its General Youth Conferences (such as the one held in January 2014) and is also involved in the selection of the executive, as reported in the News Agency for Central Africa on 16 January 2014.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
According to the World Bank, Congo-Brazzaville spent 6.22% of its GDP on education in 2010, but does not calculate what this translates to in terms of percentage of government expenditure.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

From In-depth: Youth in crisis: Coming of age in the 21st century – Congo: Despite end of civil war, youth still suffer (23 February 2007):
Young people in the Republic of Congo formed the shock troops in the country's wars of the 1990s and they still bear the psychological scars of that experience.

"Violence is a recurring phenomenon which, with regard to the young people, has became more pronounced since the end of the civil wars," said Vianney Ngoulou, information officer at ACOLVF, the Congolese association against sexual violence towards women and girls (l'Association congolaise de lutte contre les violences à l'égard des femmes et des filles), said.

Children aged between three and 17 suffered the most, he said, as they experienced sexual violence ranging from incest to rape. This is just one of the social disorders caused by war, Congolese psychologist Buambo-Bamanga said.

During and after the wars, rape was and still is an expression of domination of the strong over the weak, NGOs say. In the RoC, this assumed staggering proportions as illustrated in a survey by the Ministry for the Advancement of Women conducted between July 1999 and June 2001. At least 3,917 females had been raped, of whom 1,507 were younger than 18. ACOLVF said this only provided a partial picture of the scale of the problem, because many girls probably kept quiet about their ordeals.

Another dimension of rape seems to be the class character of the victims. A study of 102 victims of violence at the University of Brazzaville Teaching Hospital by Buambo-Bamanga, head of the obstetric department, found that between 1998 and 2003, most cases of sexual violence were low income earners.

Even after the war sexual violence is rampant. ACOLVF has set up an information bureau in the capital and discovered that from December 2005 to June 2006, 284 acts of violence were perpetrated on female victims, from primary school to university students. Most of the attackers were unknown to their victims and aged between 21 and 35.