Congo’s fixed-line infrastructure is inadequate, providing less than 1 connection per 100 persons. In the absence of an efficient fixed-line infrastructure, mobile-cellular subscribership has surged to 110 per 100 persons. A growing proportion of the public, especially youth, are accessing the Internet more frequently and using online social media. However, only the most affluent have Internet access in their own homes. The telecom regulator in Congo is the Agence de Régulation des Postes et des Communications Electroniques (ARPCE).
The economy in the Republic of Congo is a mixture of subsistence farming and hunting, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Natural gas is increasingly being converted to electricity rather than being flared, greatly improving energy prospects. New mining projects, particularly iron ore, which entered production in late 2013, may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue. Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF.
The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The recent drop in oil prices has constrained government spending; lower oil prices forced the government to cut more than $1 billion in planned spending. However, the government increased infrastructure spending for the September 2015 All-Africa Games and the March 2016 presidential election, which put further pressure on the budget. The fiscal deficit exceeded 18% of GDP in 2015. Substantial macroeconomic imbalances continued in 2016 following sustained low oil prices.