SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Economy of the Republic of the Congo

The economy of the Republic of the Congo is a mixture of subsistence hunting and agriculture, an industrial sector based on petroleum extraction and support services, a government spending, characterized by budget problems and overstaffing. Petroleum has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Nowadays the Republic of the Congo is converting natural gas to electricity rather than burning it improving energy prospects. Earlier in the 1990s, Congo's major employer was the state bureaucracy, which had a payroll of 80,000, enormous for a country of Congo's size; the World Bank and other international financial institutions pressured Congo to institute sweeping civil service reforms in order to reduce the size of the state bureaucracy and pare back a civil service payroll that amounted to more than 20% of GDP in 1993. The effort to cut back began in 1994 with a 50% devaluation that cut the payroll in half in dollar terms and by a mid-year reduction of nearly 8,000 in civil service employment and resulted in inflation of 61%.

Inflation has since subsided. Between 1994-96, the Congolese economy underwent a difficult transition; the prospects for building the foundation of a healthy economy, were better than at any time in the previous 15 years. Congo took a number of measures to liberalize its economy, including reforming the tax, investment and hydrocarbon codes. Planned privatizations of key parastatals telecommunications and transportation monopolies, were launched to help improve a dilapidated and unreliable infrastructure. To build on the momentum achieved during the two-year period, the International Monetary Fund approved a three-year ESAF economic program in June 1996. By the end of 1996, Congo had made substantial progress in various areas targeted for reform, it made significant strides toward macroeconomic stabilization through improving public finances and restructuring external debt. This change was accompanied by improvements in the structure of expenditures, with a reduction in personnel expenditures.

Further, Congo benefited from debt restructuring from a Paris Club agreement in July 1996. This reform program came to a halt, however, in early June 1997. Denis Sassou-Nguesso, who returned to power when the war ended in October 1997, publicly expressed interest in moving forward on economic reforms and privatization and in renewing cooperation with international financial institutions. However, economic progress was badly hurt by slumping oil prices in 1998, which worsened the Republic of the Congo's budget deficit. A second blow was the resumption of armed conflict in December 1998. Congo's economic prospects remain dependent on the country's ability to establish political stability and democratic rule; the World Bank is considering Congo for post-conflict assistance. Priorities will be in reconstruction, basic services and utilities. President Sassou has publicly expressed interest in moving forward on economic reforms and privatization, as well as in renewing cooperation with international financial institutions.

However, the return of armed conflict in 1998 hindered economic recovery. Congo and the United States ratified a bilateral investment treaty designed to facilitate and protect foreign investment; the country adopted a new investment code intended to attract foreign capital. Despite this, Congo's investment climate is not considered favorable, offering few meaningful incentives. High costs for labor, raw materials, transportation; the recent political instability, war damage, looting undermined investor confidence. As a result, Congo has little American investment outside of the oil sector. In recent years, the Republic's economic growth has slowed because of the 2014-2016 fall in oil prices; the Congo's growing petroleum sector is by far the country's major revenue earner. In the early 1980s 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. However, the government has mortgaged a substantial portion of its oil earnings, contributing to the government's shortage of revenues.

The Congolese oil sector is dominated by the French parastatal oil company Total, which accounts for 70% of the country's annual oil production. In second position is the Italian oil firm eni. Chevron, independent CMS Nomeco, Exxon Mobil are among the American companies active in petroleum exploration or production. Following recent discoveries and oil fields under development, Congo's oil production is expected to continue to rise in the next few years; the following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2017. GDP: purchasing power parity - $18.48 billion GDP - real growth rate: 4.5% GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,600 GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 4.2% industry: 70.7% services: 25.1% Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.1% highest 10%: 37.1% Inflation rate: 6% Labor force: 1.514 million Ease of Doing Business Rank: 181stBudget: revenues: $6.938 billion expenditures: $3.535 billion Industries: petroleum extraction, lumber, sugar, palm oil, flour, cigarettes Industrial production growth rate: 12% Electricity - production: 452 million kWh Electricity - consumption: 534 million kWh (2008

Mademoiselle chante le blues

"Mademoiselle chante le blues" is the name of a 1987 song recorded by the French singer Patricia Kaas. It was her first single from her debut studio album, Mademoiselle chante... on which it features as ninth track, her second single overall. Released in November 1987, it was Kaas' first hit, it remains one of the most emblematic songs of the singer. After the failure of her first single, "Jalouse", written by Élisabeth Depardieu and released in 1985, Kaas decided to collaborate with the famous songwriter Didier Barbelivien who composed for her ten of the eleven tracks on her debut album, Mademoiselle chante... including "Mademoiselle chante le blues", co-written with Bob Mehdi. According to a specialist of French charts, "Mademoiselle chante le blues" is a song, so representative of its performer that "we can't manage to separate them, nor to imagine anyone else for singing it"; the song was performed during Kaas' concert tours in 1991, 1994, 1998 and 2005, was thus included on the live albums Carnets de scène, Tour de charme in an extended edit version, Rendez-vous and Toute la musique... and on the singer's best of Rien ne s'arrête in a live version and Ma Liberté contre la tienne.

The song was a part of compilations Nostalgie Classiques 100 Franse klassiekers. With "Mademoiselle chante le blues", Kaas appeared for the first time on the French charts, it debuted at number 29 on 28 November 1987 climbed and entered the top ten in its eighth week, peaking at number seven on 30 January and 13 February 1988. It remained in the top ten for five consecutive weeks almost did not stop to drop on the chart and fell off after 18 weeks, it was certified Silver disc by the SNEP. With about 192,000 sales, this song is Kaas' second best-selling single, just behind "Quand Jimmy dit", according to Infodisc website. Source Joël Cartigny - producer for Bernard Schwartz Dominique Dubois - photography Bernard Estardy - arranger Huart/Cholley - design "Mademoiselle chante le blues", music video "Mademoiselle chante le blues" at Discogs

Arnold Thackray

Arnold Thackray is a science historian, the founding president of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the Life Sciences Foundation, Science History Consultants. He is an emeritus professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Thackray was born in northwest England on July 30, 1939. At age 10 he became a Foundation Scholar at the Manchester Grammar School, the first locus of the meritocracy under the leadership of Eric James, Baron James of Rusholme. In 1960, he completed a B. Sc degree in chemistry at Bristol University, he worked as a chemical engineer before enrolling in graduate school to pursue his interest in the history of science. Thackray entered the doctoral program at Cambridge University in 1963, studied under Mary Hesse, a leader in the field of Philosophy of Science, he earned a Ph. D. degree in 1966. Following completion of his PhD, Thackray served on faculties at universities in the field of science history, he was a research fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge University. In 1967 he accepted a one-year visiting lectureship at Harvard University.

He joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, in 1968. When Harvard invited him to its regular faculty, professor Thackray chose instead to establish a novel Department of the History and Sociology of Science at Penn Thackray has additionally held visiting professorships at Bryn Mawr College, the London School of Economics, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in addition to the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA. Thackray's research has focused on the rise of modern science, the interactions between the scientific community and society as a whole, he has mentored authored numerous books and many scholarly articles. Additionally, he served as editor of the academic journals Isis and Osiris, which cover the history of science. Thackray was president of the Society for Social Studies of Science from 1982 to 1983. In 1970 Thackray. as first chairman of the HSS Department, combined faculty from several areas of the university including the disciplines of history, anthropology, chemistry, biology, engineering and American civilization.

During his 28 years at Penn, Thackray additionally served as curator of The Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection in the History of Chemistry. A 1979-1980 task force led by historian John H. Wotiz resulted in a recommendation to the American Chemical Society that it create a center for the history of chemistry. In 1981, the American Chemical Society solicited proposals to develop such a center. Thackray was leading efforts to document the history of chemistry, he proposed that ACS establish a center for the history of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. To that end, Thackray enlisted the help of chemist Charles C. Price, who introduced Thackray to chemical industry executive and philanthropist John C. Haas. Haas helped elicit the interest of other influential figures in the chemical industry DuPont Co. CEO Edward G. Jefferson and Dow Chemical Company CEO Paul Oreffice; the result was ACS's positive response to Thackray's proposal. In January 1982, the American Chemical Society established the Center for the History of Chemistry housed at the University of Pennsylvania.

ACS pledged $150,000 in funding for the center, the University of Pennsylvania pledged a matching $150,000. Thackray stated the objective of the Center for History of Chemistry to be "to discover and disseminate information about historical resources, to encourage research and popular writing in the history of the chemical sciences and industries."Under Thackray's leadership, the center expanded its sponsorship and holdings and developed exhibits for the public. The American Institute of Chemical Engineers became a sponsor of the center with an agreement signed in 1983. In 1987, the Center for History of Chemistry received a US $2 million endowment from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. In 1987 CHOC became incorporated as the National Foundation for the History of Chemistry. In 1992, it was renamed the Chemical Heritage Foundation. During his tenure as president of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Thackray initiated a plan for the building that housed the Chemical Heritage Foundation including a museum for the general public.

The project plan included a US $20million renovation of a United States Civil War era bank building, the First National Bank, in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The renovated building included a two-story museum for which the first floor was a permanent gallery, with the second floor being dedicated to temporary or traveling exhibits; the museum was designed by Ralph Appelbaurm of Ralph Appelbaum Associates. It was created for people who are interested in learning about science in a social and historical context; the building re-design included offices and archives. The project was complete in 2008. Under Thackray's guidance, CHF expanded its holding and sponsorship of scholarship and developed exhibits for the public. In 1997 Thackray led the launch of the Othmer Gold Medal at CHF, to honor individuals who have contributed to the advance of science through innovation, research, education and philanthropy. Thackray assembled a group of four sponsors for the award, including the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical En