Are there any African countries that are on par with Europe or the USA in terms of living standards?
Libya. (Oddly, that was decided upon BEFORE the Arab Spring!)
Close behind are Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and South Africa. Quite well off are Egypt, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea (a dictatorship), though East Africa is coming along very well thanks to aid from India, though it'd be a stretch to call them 1st World. Much of the continent is, unfortunately, still rather underdeveloped - with some areas actually regressing thanks to war and the '70s economic crises.
So, exactly how developed is the Congo thanks to Nsungu's leadership?
I drew up a map to show!
So, in just 30 years, the DRC has gone from an HDI of about ~.425 to ~.650 or .700, almost all of that development between 2060 and 2080. There are still large swaths of the country still developing or underdeveloped, but some areas (the west in particular) have already reached the “Developed” stage.
As an aside, Congo-Brazzaville has not appreciably improved its HDI score in the last 30 years.
Where do Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa (the current three most power countries) stand in 2080? What is Nigeria and Egypt's alignment and stance on Congolese expansion and alliances?
Nigeria has grown wealthy, and is amongst the current rising powers (along with Mexico, Indonesia, East Africa and United Congo). They utilized their oil wealth to gain an early lead, then their leadership in ECOWAS to keep growing despite the collapse in the oil economy. Nigeria more or less treats ECOWAS as an extension of itself, and it's not too much of a stretch to consider ECOWAS in 2080 Nigeria's personal neocolonial empire. Nigerian/ECOWAS policy toward United Congo/ACF has been “cautiously neutral”. They're trading partners and two of the continent's most powerful militaries, so they're natural rivals at the very least. Lagos, along with everyone else, has grown more concerned with time as United Congo has become more aggressive - they see themselves as a likely target, and are arming themselves appropriately without actually joining the Eastern or Western forces aligning against Nsungu.
Egypt, like its Mideast neighbors, is finding itself in trouble. Their economy is in a tailspin and unemployment has spiked, but being amongst the most developed countries in Africa is helping lessen the impact. Their closeness to Europe (they've applied for EU membership twice) has helped, and they're receiving financial aid. Amongst Africa's most stable democracies, plus being a European ally, placed Cairo in United Congo's ideological opposition pretty much from the beginning. Egypt, along with the other North African states, have worked closely with the African ISTO states to isolate United Congo and its allies.
Much like Egypt, South Africa is among the most developed African countries and vocally opposed to United Congo's expansionism. South Africa, through ISTO, is closely allied with East Africa against United Congo.
How has ECOWAS and any other regional organisations developed? Has anyone tried to emulate the successful integration of East Africa?
I've already gone over ECOWAS - the other major organizations in Africa in 2080 are the South African Union and African Union.
The South African Union (a descendant of the South African Development Community) is more concerned with humanitarian needs, infrastructure development, and job creation, although economic integration amongst the members (South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Botswana) is planned. There is a regional parliamentary council (indirectly elected), a number of intergovernmental agencies, a single market, and a common defense policy (minus Angola, Zambia, and Malawi) since the 2050s. There is a separate organization, the South and East African Inter-Regional Cooperative Association (SEAIRCA), that includes the East African Federation. Leaders in the SAU and EAF hope to eventually fold the SEAIRCA into the South African Union, bringing East Africa in as a full member, but so far East Africa has been reluctant to go through with it. They're afraid joining the SAU would lead to a flood of job-seeking immigrants from the SAU's less developed members. Congo-Kinshasa had been a member of the SAU, but was suspended in 2073 when Nsungu attacked Angola.
The African Union isn't remarkably changed from today, although it ended up evolving more into a United Nations type of organization rather than a supranational union as some had hoped for it. With the continent divided into three to five opposing blocs (ECOWAS, EU/European-aligned, ACF/Congo-aligned, ISTO, and SAU), however, the AU is effectively dead-in-the-water as of 2080 unable to do much of anything beyond humanitarian work. The African Union has, thus far, been the main battleground for ACF and anti-ACF (EU/ISTO) diplomatic rhetoric.
As for the other modern-day regional organizations:
The Arab League is defunct since 2058.
The Arab-Mahgreb Union is also defunct. The organization's member states are all either EU-members or EU-aligned except for Mauritania, which instead joined ECOWAS.
The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) fell apart very early in the century, and was already defunct by the time the East African Federation formed in 2030.
The Economic Community of Central African States is still active, but is now completely dominated by United Congo, it's largest and wealthiest member. Congo-Kinshasa had adopted the CFA Franc well before the Congolese Reunification War broke out and the ECCAS has both a single market and a monetary union. Since Nsungu came to power in 2060, Congo has been pushing for both fiscal union and political federation. By 2080, most of the bloc is now dominated by Nsungu supporters and backs the plan. The exceptions are Cameroon (which leans more in Nigeria's direction), the Central African Republic, and Sao Tome. Angola, I should point out, left the ECCAS when the South African Union formed.
How much influence does China have in Africa?
By the 2030s, you can split Africa into three broad spheres of influence: European (Northern Africa), Indian (Southern/East Africa), and Chinese (West and Central Africa/the Sahel/Horn of Africa). In other words: ECOWAS, the ECCAS, and what was left of IGAD all fell into China's pocket. China was very neocolonial in how it exerted its influence, though, preferring to let their state-owned corporations do all the heavy lifting. Chinese corporations are the largest investors and the largest employers in Africa, but China continued its policy of non-intervention in domestic politics. This is why stuff like the war in the Congo was allowed to go on, even though it was in China's sphere: so long as the businesses could operate and exports continued shipping, Beijing was happy. China has a similar hold over Central Asia, parts of Southeast Asia (where they're competing with India), and most of Asiatic Russia.
In effect, if Beijing doesn't like what the leader of, say, Mali is doing, they direct “X State Corporation of China” to threaten to cut 100,000 jobs or to renegotiate their contract unless Mali falls in line with with Beijing wants (whatever that may be). Beijing itself never says a word or lifts a finger. It's why you get the impression that China is doing nothing on the world stage throughout the timeline, they prefer to act through corporate proxies rather than their political figures.
So the democracy-exporting Ethiopia sides with the Congo on many issues? Why is this? What is the status of Ethiopia (which is set to have a major population explosion) by 2080?
Ethiopia is one of the beneficiaries of climate change, becoming wetter as time progressed. However, they are probably best described as an African middle power - not weak, but not nearly as powerful as Nigeria, East Africa, South Africa, United Congo, or the European Union. They've received a lot of investment from Chinese corporations, who are very interested in extracting Ethiopian mineral wealth (gold, tantalum, and oil), so Ethiopia has had some infrastructure built up and although there's still poverty there's been no repeat of the infamous famine of the late 20th century.
As for Ethiopian support for United Congo, blame China. Many Ethiopians grew to resent China over time, seeing all their hard work going not to benefit themselves or their country, but instead to line the pockets of Chinese corporate bigwigs. Atop of that, the Ethiopian government basically operated at the mercy of these corporations - there was no political independence outside the Chinese interest.
Then, in steps Issac Nsungu.
Remember, when he's elected President in 2060, he's hailed as the great African champion: he's ended the war in the Congo, he'd turned down a chance to seize power and instead waited to be fairly elected, and then went on to launch the largest modernization campaign in African history. At first, everyone backs Nsungu and in the 2060s many Africans tired of Chinese neocolonialism look to Congo-Kinshasa as the new alternative. All the other alternatives were seen as puppets themselves: Nigeria of China, East Africa and South Africa of India, and the North African states of Europe. Nsungu, however, seemed to be a commanding and independent figure in his own right, negotiating with China from a position of authority rather than subservience. Although Nsungu loses that widespread support when he turns bad in the late '60s/early '70s, those countries which were most dissatisfied with the previous arrange stick with him.
Ethiopia is one of those countries. Nigeria and South africa have two 50,00 ton carriers each
I'm not sure how credible it is that the United Congo would commit itself to a suicidal war like that, though I'll reserve judgement until I've seen the timeline for the war. Even assuming the economic growth over the last few decades I don't see UC winning against the main African powers, let alone all the world powers backing them.
There's a few things that go into why the war happens when it does. For one, Nsungu has kinda drunk some of his own punch and bought into the personality cult he's built around himself - his supporters have uplifted him to a fusion of Napoleon and George Washington, and think of him as “Africa's Liberator” from Western and Eastern neocolonialism. As a result, the idea that he could LOSE doesn't really register. Second, the ACF's strategy in the war relies on a fatally flawed assumption about the Developed World: kill enough soldiers abroad AND civilians at home, and the Powers would crumble. He hoped that by making the war bloody enough, and by killing enough civilians in India, South Africa, Australia, and Indonesia he could force ISTO to sue for peace - even if he got no territory out of it, he'd have bloodied the East and made them think twice about interfering in United Congo's sphere. Nsungu is paranoid (as all the anti-opposition crackdowns demonstrated) and assumed ISTO was plotting against him, so he saw the war as a preemptive strike before the East could attack first, and thought if he hit hard enough he could convince them to back off.
Nsungu also counted on the West getting involved too, but planned for them to first be paralyzed by politics (he knew they would be reluctant to act without UN approval, and he knew Beijing would veto that) and then be too skittish to actually get involved. His contingency plan if they DID get involved was his ASAT program, the operatives he'd planted in the Americas and Europe, and his large Atlantic fleet. Again, he made the same assumption about the West as the East: that they were, ultimately, weak at heart and would sue for peace if he bloodied them enough.
He was wrong.
The terror campaign against ISTO members isn't as effective as he expected (it works, just not as quickly as he thought). The West also gets active much more quickly than he expected, mainly thanks to the French (who start sending operatives into United Congo from Cameroon to sabotage) and the British (who decide to aggressively pursue the Congolese Navy). In response, Nsungu invades Cameroon (thinking he could eliminate the French interference that way) and hits the British hard (he bombs Trafalgar Square, gasses Ascension, and tries to take out the British satellite network). It's against the British he goes a step too far, pisses off Beijing and Moscow, and the UN gives the greenlight to US/UNASUR/EU intervention. It's all downhill from there.
I hope that helps! For more detail, please check the Equatorial War, Phase One (January 1, 2085 - June 10, 2086) for more information.
How many people were killed in the Congolese War/Genocide?
The pre-war mass killings left somewhere between 150,000 and 300,000 people dead. By 2090, the war itself has left between 3.5 and 7 million (official UN estimate by 2090 is 4.8 Million) worldwide, with the death toll continuing to rise while the war continues into the '90s as a guerrilla conflict. By 2100, the death toll is between 4.2 and 7.7 million.
Are the governments in Kinshasa and Brazzaville are prohibited to merge peacefully into an only single-state?
They aren't prohibited from unifying, however the formation of United Congo was not willing on the part of Brazzaville - Kinshasa instigated the coup that gave them pretext to annex them. Once the war was over, the occupying powers forced United Congo to relinquish control over Brazzaville and Central Africa, and independence was restored.
If the United Congo is fully dissolved, there is any chance of a Bakongo state?
Yes. The State of Kinshasa, a Bakongo-majority country, declares its independence from the Congo Federal State on 23 August 2100.
I checked wikipedia and the DR Congo is currently divided into 10 provinves plus a city-province (Kinshasa). Are these the basis for the 10 countries made out of the DR Congo original territory? And if so, who gets Kinshasa? Bas-Congo or Bandundu? Also, more maps covering this would be welcome!
No, the Occupying forces draw up their own arbitrary lines to divide the Police Zones, which end up becoming the bases for the Congo Federal State's successor states. Those four states are Kinshasa State, Katanga State, Kivu State, and Equateur State.
If the Congo is partitioned you're going to see a number of violent unstable states rather than one big one.
True. While its suggested, nobody really wants Congo to break up for that reason. Dividing the way they do, though, the more developed parts of the country decide they don't want to be associated with the poorer parts and, thus, the split. Kinshasa in particular is adamant about leaving - on its own, it's a 1st World country.
Now that there has been a massive war throughout Africa has all the progress done to modernize Congo all regressed because of the war? Will world powers work to rebuild the nation so that it will one day be a thriving democracy?
Like Germany and Japan after World War II, the world powers spent the 14 to 15 years after the war rebuilding the Congo to more or less the same level it was at pre-war and have installed a democratic government. The Federal government is gone, but each of the successor states is (as of 2101, anyway) a democracy.
What sort of opposition is there to foreign intervention in the Congo?
Legitimate criticism came from several difference places.
First, from those who became fans of Nsungu in the 2060s when he seemed to be a legitimate leader worth praising and looking up to. Many of these people refused to accept that he was not what he had seemed and have instead insisted that it has all been anti-Nsungu propaganda created by the West/the East/ISTO/Neocolonialists/Corporations/etc. meant to discredit Africa's “greatest leader.” Thus, they oppose the war because they feel its all a conspiracy against Nsungu.
Second, from pacifists who believe everything can be resolved if everyone would just stop shooting, sit down, and talk. President Frederick and many European leaders fall into this camp pre-Ascension.
Third, from people who don't believe the war is their problem. This group doesn't want their country to be involved because there hasn't been a war on this magnitude in a VERY long time and, thus, are afraid of the potential loss of life for a cause they don't necessarily believe in, or that the war will cost too much money. This is the position the opposition governments in most of the countries involved take - the US Republican Party and India's Leftist Social Democratic Union take this position, for instance.
Fourth, there are those who agree with the war effort, but oppose the war because of how it's being handled.
Finally, there are the people who oppose the war because they agree with Nsungu and the ACF. This is different than the first group, though. The first group sides with Nsungu but doesn't believe he is committing attrocities, this group however both sdies with him and believes he's done (mostly) everything claimed. They're the ones who've bought into the ACF's propaganda.
What happened in Inongo? Did French agents basically blow the nuclear power plant up?
Yep. Ended up cutting power to much of eastern United Congo. It was timed to coincide with US/Brazilian landfall in Cameroon, so the power failure would disrupt United Congo's satellite surveillance and provide an extra edge to the Pan-Americans.
Why does the Lisaka nuclear power plant appear twice on the list of 21st Century nuclear accidents?
It was Congo-Kinshasa's first nuclear power plant, commissioned when Nsungu was first elected (placed in Katanga, his home province). As you guessed, they rushed it, cut corners, and as a result it was a shoddy mess. The accident in 2067 was a near-miss, with iodine and radioactive particles vented into the atmosphere (the accident killed three people). 2076, however, was more serious: there was a power failure, which caused a steam explosion and a partial (Three Mile Island-scale) nuclear meltdown. That incident killed 11 people, seriously injured another two dozen, and exposed a ridiculous number of people to unsafe levels of radiation by the time they got it under control.