Facts About : Central Africa Republic

  • The former French colony of Ubangi-Shari became the Central African Republic upon independence in 1960. After three tumultuous decades of misrule - mostly by military governments - civilian rule was established in 1993 but lasted only a decade. In March, 2003 President Ange-Felix PATASSE was deposed in a military coup led by General Francois BOZIZE, who established a transitional government. Elections held in 2005 affirmed General BOZIZE as president; he was reelected in 2011 in voting widely viewed as flawed. The government still lacks full control of the countryside, where pockets of lawlessness persist. The militant group, Lord's Resistance Army, continues to destabilize southeastern Central African Republic, and several rebel groups joined together in early December 2012 to launch a series of attacks that left them in control of numerous towns in the northern and central parts of the country. The rebels - unhappy with BOZIZE's government - participated in peace talks in early January 2013 which resulted in a coalition government including the rebellion's leadership. In March 2013, the coalition government dissolved, rebels seized the capital, and President BOZIZE fled the country. Rebel leader Michel DJOTODIA assumed the presidency and the following month established a National Transitional Council (CNT). In January 2014, the CNT elected Catherine SAMBA-PANZA as interim president; new general elections, originally scheduled for October 2015, have now been postponed to at least 2016.

  • Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo
    7 00 N, 21 00 E
    total: 622,984 sq km
    land: 622,984 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 45
    slightly smaller than Texas
    total: 5,920 km
    border countries (6): Cameroon 901 km, Chad 1,556 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,747 km, Republic of the Congo 487 km, South Sudan 1,055 km, Sudan 174 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers
    vast, flat to rolling plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest
    lowest point: Oubangui River 335 m
    highest point: Mont Ngaoui 1,420 m
    diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower
    agricultural land: 8.1%
    arable land 2.9%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 5.1%
    forest: 36.2%
    other: 55.7% (2011 est.)
    1.35 sq km (2003)
    144.4 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.07 cu km/yr (83%/17%/1%)
    per capita: 17.42 cu m/yr (2005)
    hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common
    tap water is not potable; poaching has diminished the country's reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges; desertification; deforestation
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
    landlocked; almost the precise center of Africa
  • People and Society :: CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

  • noun: Central African(s)
    adjective: Central African
    Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%
    French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
    indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%
    note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
    note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    0-14 years: 40.43% (male 1,095,968/female 1,083,705)
    15-24 years: 20.06% (male 543,491/female 537,804)
    25-54 years: 32.02% (male 863,314/female 862,916)
    55-64 years: 3.98% (male 96,377/female 118,278)
    65 years and over: 3.52% (male 74,192/female 115,494) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid: 
    total dependency ratio: 75.2%
    youth dependency ratio: 68.4%
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.8%
    potential support ratio: 14.8% (2015 est.)
    total: 19.5 years
    male: 19.2 years
    female: 19.9 years (2015 est.)
    2.13% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    35.08 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    13.8 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    urban population: 40% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 2.59% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    BANGUI (capital) 794,000 (2015)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.82 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    total: 90.63 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 98.24 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 82.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    total population: 51.81 years
    male: 50.5 years
    female: 53.16 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 219
    4.41 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    15.2% (2010/11)
    3.9% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    urban: 89.6% of population
    rural: 54.4% of population
    total: 68.5% of population
    urban: 10.4% of population
    rural: 45.6% of population
    total: 31.5% of population (2015 est.)
    urban: 43.6% of population
    rural: 7.2% of population
    total: 21.8% of population
    urban: 56.4% of population
    rural: 92.8% of population
    total: 78.2% of population (2015 est.)
    4.25% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    135,400 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    9,900 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
    respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis
    animal contact disease: rabies (2013)
    4.4% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    23.5% (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    1.2% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 36.8%
    male: 50.7%
    female: 24.4% (2015 est.)
    total: 7 years
    male: 9 years
    female: 6 years (2012)
    total number: 532,518
    percentage: 47% (2006 est.)

  • conventional long form: Central African Republic
    conventional short form: none
    local long form: Republique Centrafricaine
    local short form: none
    former: Ubangi-Shari, Central African Empire
    abbreviation: CAR
    name: Bangui
    geographic coordinates: 4 22 N, 18 35 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    14 prefectures (prefectures, singular - prefecture), 2 economic prefectures* (prefectures economiques, singular - prefecture economique), and 1 commune**; Bamingui-Bangoran, Bangui**, Basse-Kotto, Haute-Kotto, Haut-Mbomou, Kemo, Lobaye, Mambere-Kadei, Mbomou, Nana-Grebizi*, Nana-Mambere, Ombella-Mpoko, Ouaka, Ouham, Ouham-Pende, Sangha-Mbaere*, Vakaga
    13 August 1960 (from France)
    Republic Day, 1 December (1958)
    several previous; latest ratified by referendum 5 December 2004, effective 27 December 2004; amended 2010; note - the transitional parliament has begun work on a new constitution which should be ready for citizens feedback in early 2015 (2010)
    civil law system based on the French model
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Interim President Catherine SAMBA-PANZA (since 23 January 2014)
    head of government: Prime Minister Mahamat KAMOUN (since 10 August 2014); note - Prime Minister Andre NZAPAYEKE replaced Prime Minister Nicolas TIANGAYE on 25 January 2014 and was fired on 5 August 2014; Nicolas TIANGAYE resigned 10 January 2014
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: interim president elected by the National Transitional Council on 20 January 2014 and sworn in three days later (planned 18 October 2015 has been postponed)
    election results: Catherine SAMBA-PANZA elected in second round; SAMBA-PANZA 75 votes from the National Transitional Council, Desire KOLINGBA 53 votes (128 MPs out of 135 voted)
    note: rebel forces seized the capital in March 2013, forcing former President BOZIZE to flee the country; Interim President Michel DJOTODIA assumed the presidency, reinstated the prime minister, and established a National Transitional Council (CNT) in April 2013; the NTC elected Catherine SAMBA-PANZA interim president in January 2014 to serve until February 2015 when new elections were to be held; her term has been extended because instability has delayed new elections
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (105 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 23 January 2011 and 27 March 2011 (planned 18 October 2015 election postponed)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - KNK 61, MLPC 1, RDC 1, independent 16, other 11
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges, at least 3 of which are women)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president; Constitutional Court judge appointments - 2 by the president, 1 by the speaker of the National Assembly, 2 elected by their peers, 2 are advocates elected by their peers, and 2 are law professors elected by their peers; judges serve 7-year non-renewable terms
    subordinate courts: high courts; magistrates' courts
    Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Clement BELIBANGA]
    Central African Democratic Rally or RDC [Louis-Pierre GAMBA]
    Civic Forum or FC
    Democratic Forum for Modernity or FODEM [Saturnin NDOMBY]
    Liberal Democratic Party or PLD
    Londo Association or LONDO
    Movement for Democracy and Development or MDD
    Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People or MLPC [Martin ZIGUELE]
    National Convergence or KNK [Francois BOZIZE]
    National Unity Party or PUN
    New Alliance for Progress or NAP [Jean-Jacques DEMAFOUTH]
    Patriotic Front for Progress or FPP [Alexandre Philippe GOUMBA]
    People's Union for the Republic or UPR [Pierre Sammy MAKFOY]
    Social Democratic Party or PSD [Enoch LAKOUE]
    chief of mission: Ambassador Stanislas MOUSSA-KEMBE (since 24 August 2009)
    chancery: 2704 Ontario Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 483-7800
    FAX: [1] (202) 332-9893
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
    consulate(s): New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires David BROWN (since 14 September 2014)
    embassy: Avenue David Dacko, Bangui
    mailing address: B. P. 924, Bangui
    telephone: [236] 21 61 02 00
    FAX: [236] 21 61 44 94
    note: the embassy suspended operations in December, 2012
    four equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, green, and yellow with a vertical red band in center; a yellow five-pointed star to the hoist side of the blue band; banner combines the Pan-African and French flag colors; red symbolizes the blood spilled in the struggle for independence, blue represents the sky and freedom, white peace and dignity, green hope and faith, and yellow tolerance; the star represents aspiration towards a vibrant future
    elephant; national colors: blue, white, green, yellow, red
    name: "Le Renaissance" (The Renaissance)
    lyrics/music: Barthelemy BOGANDA/Herbert PEPPER
    note: adopted 1960; Barthelemy BOGANDA wrote the anthem's lyrics and was the first prime minister of the autonomous French territory

  • Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry and mining, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with about 60% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates more than half of GDP. Timber and diamonds account for most export earnings, followed by cotton. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked position, a poor transportation system, a largely unskilled work force, and a legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. Factional fighting between the government and its opponents remains a drag on economic revitalization. Since 2009 the IMF has worked closely with the government to institute reforms that have resulted in some improvement in budget transparency, but other problems remain. The government's additional spending in the run-up to the election in 2011 worsened CAR's fiscal situation. Distribution of income is extraordinarily unequal. Grants from France and the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs. In 2012, the World Bank approved $125 million in funding for transport infrastructure and regional trade, focused on the route between CAR's capital and the port of Douala in Cameroon. After a two-year lag in donor support, the IMF's first review of CAR's extended credit facility for 2012-15 praised improvements in revenue collection but warned of weak management of spending.
    $2.855 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.826 billion (2013 est.)
    $4.42 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 186
    $1.786 billion (2014 est.)
    1% (2014 est.)
    -36% (2013 est.)
    4.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    $600 (2014 est.)
    $600 (2013 est.)
    $900 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 230
    7.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    5.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    10.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    household consumption: 95.4%
    government consumption: 5.6%
    investment in fixed capital: 8%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 10.2%
    imports of goods and services: -19.1%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 55.1%
    industry: 12.5%
    services: 32.3% (2014 est.)
    cotton, coffee, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
    gold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, sugar refining
    -3% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    2.217 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    8% (2001 est.)
    note: 23% unemployment in the capital, Bangui
    country comparison to the world: 92
    lowest 10%: 2.1%
    highest 10%: 33% (2003)
    61.3 (1993)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    revenues: $157.7 million
    expenditures: $205.4 million (2014 est.)
    9.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    -2.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    calendar year
    15% (2014 est.)
    1.5% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 217
    4.25% (31 December 2009)
    4.75% (31 December 2008)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    15% (31 December 2014 est.)
    15% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    $196.6 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $250.8 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    $292.5 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $358.5 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    $349 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $425.3 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    -$110 million (2014 est.)
    -$142.9 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    $102.4 million (2014 est.)
    $102.9 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee
    China 29.2%, Indonesia 15.1%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 15%, Norway 7%, Morocco 5.9%, Saudi Arabia 4.4%, France 4% (2014)
    $216.7 million (2014 est.)
    $212.4 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
    Norway 14%, France 7.7%, US 7.6% (2014)
    $560.6 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $543.3 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
    491.2 (2014 est.)
    494.04 (2013 est.)
    510.53 (2012 est.)
    471.87 (2011 est.)
    495.28 (2010)

  • 181 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    168.3 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    44,000 kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    43.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    56.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    2,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    2,318 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    435,000 Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
  • Communications :: CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

  • total subscriptions: 800
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 216
    total: 1.5 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 28 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    general assessment: network consists principally of microwave radio relay and low-capacity, low-powered radiotelephone communication
    domestic: limited telephone service with less than 1 fixed-line connection per 100 persons; spurred by the presence of multiple mobile-cellular service providers, cellular usage is increasing from a low base; most fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone services are concentrated in Bangui
    international: country code - 236; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
    government-owned network, Radiodiffusion Television Centrafricaine, provides domestic TV broadcasting; licenses for 2 private TV stations are pending; state-owned radio network is supplemented by a small number of privately owned broadcast stations as well as a few community radio stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available (2007)
    AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 1 (2001)
    1 (2001)
    total: 181,000
    percent of population: 3.4% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
  • Transportation :: CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

  • 39 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    total: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 37
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
    914 to 1,523 m: 19
    under 914 m:
    6 (2013)
    total: 20,278 km
    paved: 1,385 km
    unpaved: 18,893 km (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    2,800 km (the primary navigable river is the Ubangi, which joins the River Congo; it was the traditional route for the export of products because it connected with the Congo-Ocean railway at Brazzaville; because of the warfare on both sides of the River Congo from 1997, importers and exporters preferred routes through Cameroon) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    river port(s): Bangui (Oubangui); Nola (Sangha)

  • Central African Armed Forces (Forces Armees Centrafricaines, FACA): Ground Forces (includes Military Air Service), General Directorate of Gendarmerie Inspection (DGIG), National Police (2011)
    18 years of age for selective military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2012)
    males age 16-49: 1,149,856
    females age 16-49: 1,145,897 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 655,875
    females age 16-49: 661,308 (2010 est.)
    male: 54,843
    female: 53,999 (2010 est.)
  • Transnational Issues :: CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

  • periodic skirmishes persist over water and grazing rights among related pastoral populations along the border with southern Sudan
    refugees (country of origin): 5,342 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2015)
    IDPs: 417,000 (clashes between army and rebel groups since 2005; tensions between ethnic groups) (2015)
    current situation: Central African Republic (CAR) is a source, transit, and destination country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking, women subjected to forced prostitution, and adults subjected to forced labor; increased violence and displacement rendered Central Africans more vulnerable to exploitation; the recruitment of child soldiers, at times through force, increased dramatically during the year; most victims appear to be CAR citizens exploited within the country, with a smaller number transported back forth between the CAR and nearby countries; armed groups operating in the CAR, including the Lord’s Resistance Army, continue to recruit and re-recruit children for military activities and labor; children are also forced into domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, agricultural labor, mining, and street vending
    tier rating: Tier 3 - Central African Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government did not investigate or prosecute any suspected cases of human trafficking in 2013, including the use of child soldiers; the government also failed to identify, provide protection to, or refer to service providers any trafficking victims (2014)