Congo (Republic of Congo) is a country in Central Africa. Congo is sometimes called Congo-Brazzaville to distinguish it from the Democratic Republic of Congo located south of the Congo River. The French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, who gave his name to the capital, paved the way for French colonization. Brazzaville becomes the capital of French Equatorial Africa. The country is handed over to concessionary companies which exploit the natural resources of the Congo under very harsh conditions and explains the early development of African nationalism. In 1958, the Congo became an autonomous republic and gained independence in 1960..