Africa :: Central African Republic

Introduction ::Central African 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 and lasted for one 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 does not fully control the countryside, where pockets of lawlessness persist. The militant group the 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 - who are 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, reappointed Nicolas TIANGAYE as Prime Minister, and established a transitional government on 31 March. On 13 April 2013, the National Transitional Council affirmed DJOTODIA as President.

Geography ::Central African Republic

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
    5,166,510 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    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
    0-14 years: 40.7% (male 1,058,523/female 1,045,664)
    15-24 years: 20.2% (male 525,581/female 520,274)
    25-54 years: 31.5% (male 814,003/female 815,169)
    55-64 years: 3.9% (male 86,860/female 113,190)
    65 years and over: 3.6% (male 73,942/female 113,304) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 77.5 %
    youth dependency ratio: 70.7 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.8 %
    potential support ratio: 14.7 (2013)
    total: 19.3 years
    male: 19 years
    female: 19.7 years (2013 est.)
    2.14% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    35.8 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    14.42 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    urban population: 39.1% of total population (2011)
    rate of urbanization: 2.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    BANGUI (capital) 740,000 (2011)
    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: 0.75 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    890 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    total: 95.04 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 4
    male: 102.83 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 87.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 50.9 years
    country comparison to the world: 218
    male: 49.64 years
    female: 52.2 years (2013 est.)
    4.52 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    19% (2006)
    4% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2004)
    1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    urban: 92% of population
    rural: 51% of population
    total: 67% of population
    urban: 8% of population
    rural: 49% of population
    total: 33% of population (2010 est.)
    urban: 43% of population
    rural: 28% of population
    total: 34% of population
    urban: 57% of population
    rural: 72% of population
    total: 66% of population (2010 est.)
    4.7% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    130,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    11,000 (2009 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)
    3.5% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    28% (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    1.2% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 56.6%
    male: 69.6%
    female: 44.2% (2011 est.)
    total: 7 years
    male: 8 years
    female: 5 years (2011)
    total number: 532,518
    percentage: 47 % (2006 est.)

Government ::Central African Republic

    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)
    ratified by popular referendum 5 December 2004; effective 27 December 2004
    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: President Michel DJOTODIA (since 24 March 2013 coup) note - a rebel force seized the capital in March 2013, forcing former president BOZIZE to flee the country; President DJOTODIA assumed the presidency, reinstated the Prime Minister, established a transitional government, and was subsequently affirmed as President by the National Transitional Council on 13 April 2013; an 18-month transition period officially began on 18 August 2013
    head of government: Prime Minister Nicolas TIANGAYE (since 17 January 2013)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 23 January 2011 (next to be held in 2014 - as specified in the January 2013 Libreville agreement); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: Francois BOZIZE elected to a second term as president; percent of vote - Francois BOZIZE (KNK) 64.4%, Ange-Felix PATASSE 21.4%, Martin ZIGUELE (MLPC) 6.8%, Emile Gros Raymond NAKOMBO (RDC) 4.6%, Jean-Jacques DEMAFOUTH (NAP) 2.8%
    unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (105 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held on 23 January 2011 and 27 March 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - KNK 62, independents 26, MLPC 2, other 15
    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 [Jacques MBOLIEDAS]
    Central African Democratic Rally or RDC [Louis-Pierre GAMBA]
    Civic Forum or FC [Gen. Timothee MALENDOMA]
    Democratic Forum for Modernity or FODEM [Saturnin NDOMBY]
    Liberal Democratic Party or PLD [Nestor KOMBO-NAGUEMON]
    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
    National Unity Party or PUN [Jean-Paul NGOUPANDE]
    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
    chancery: 1618 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 483-7800
    FAX: [1] (202) 332-9893
    chief of mission: Ambassador Laurence D. WOHLERS
    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 temporarily 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
    name: "Le Renaissance" (The Renaissance)

    lyrics/music: Barthelemy BOGANDA/Herbert PEPPER
    note: adopted 1960; Barthelemy BOGANDA, who wrote the anthem's lyrics, was the first prime minister of the autonomous French territory

Economy ::Central African Republic

    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.
    $3.955 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    $3.799 billion (2011 est.)
    $3.677 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $2.172 billion (2012 est.)
    4.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    3.3% (2011 est.)
    3% (2010 est.)
    $800 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 223
    $800 (2011 est.)
    $800 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    4.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    3.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
    4% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 89.5%
    government consumption: 8.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 12.5%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 12.5%
    imports of goods and services: -22.7%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 55.8%
    industry: 14.8%
    services: 29.5% (2012 est.)
    cotton, coffee, tobacco, manioc (tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
    gold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, sugar refining
    3% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    1.926 million (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    8% (2001 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    note: 23% unemployment in Bangui
    lowest 10%: 2.1%
    highest 10%: 33% (2003)
    61.3 (1993)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    revenues: $340.8 million
    expenditures: $356.9 million (2012 est.)
    15.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    -0.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    calendar year
    5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    1.3% (2011 est.)
    4.25% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    4.75% (31 December 2008)
    15% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    15% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $349 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    $329.7 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $459.7 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    $406.6 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $488.6 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    $444.7 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    -$179.5 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    -$191.4 million (2011 est.)
    $208 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    $186.3 million (2011 est.)
    diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee
    Belgium 31.5%, China 27.7%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 8.6%, Indonesia 5.2%, France 4.5% (2012)
    $332.4 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    $319.8 million (2011 est.)
    food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
    Netherlands 19.5%, Cameroon 9.7%, France 9.3%, South Korea 8.7% (2012)
    $623.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    $573 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
    510.53 (2012 est.)
    471.87 (2011 est.)
    495.28 (2010)
    472.19 (2009)
    447.81 (2008)

Energy ::Central African Republic

Communications ::Central African Republic

    5,400 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    1.824 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    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)
    20 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    22,600 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 192

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 (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    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, however, routes through Cameroon became preferred by importers and exporters) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    river port(s): Bangui (Oubangui); Nola (Sangha)

Military ::Central African Republic

Transnational Issues ::Central African Republic

    periodic skirmishes over water and grazing rights among related pastoral populations along the border with southern Sudan persist
    refugees (country of origin): 10,662 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2012)
    IDPs: 206,000 (clashes between army and rebel groups since 2005; tensions between ethnic groups) (2013)
    current situation: Central African Republic (CAR) is a source and destination country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking and possibly women subjected to forced prostitution; most victims appear to be CAR citizens exploited within the country, and that a smaller number are transported back and forth between the CAR and Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and South Sudan; children are forced into domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, agricultural labor, mining, and street vending; armed groups operating in the CAR, including the Lord's Resistance Army, continue to recruit and use children for military activities, while village self-defense units use children as combatants, lookouts, and porters
    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 does not investigate or prosecute any suspected cases of human trafficking, including the use of child soldiers; the government also fails to identify, provide protection to, or refer to service providers any trafficking victims; in collaboration with an NGO, the government has convened a working group to develop a national action plan to combat human trafficking (2013)