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Africa :: Central African Republic Print
Page last updated on October 06, 2020
  • Introduction :: Central African Republic
  • Background field listing
    The region was the site of much slave trading activity in the centuries before becoming a French protectorate in the late 19th century, and then was heavily economically exploited in the early part of the 20th century. Upon independence in 1960, the French colony of Ubangi-Shari became the Central African Republic. 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. 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. Elections completed in March 2016 installed independent candidate Faustin-Archange TOUADERA as president; he continues to work towards peace between the government and armed groups, and is developing a disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and repatriation program to reintegrate the armed groups into society. Nonetheless, as of early 2020 widespread violence continued, and the government in Bangui remains unable to extend control outside the capital. Peace agreements signed in 2017 and 2019 between the government and the main armed factions have had little effect and armed groups operate openly and control large swaths - as much 80% by some estimates - of the country's territory.
  • Geography :: Central African Republic
  • Location field listing
    Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    7 00 N, 21 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 622,984 sq km
    land: 622,984 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly smaller than Texas; about four times the size of Georgia
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 5,920 km
    border countries (6): Cameroon 901 km, Chad 1556 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1747 km, Republic of the Congo 487 km, South Sudan 1055 km, Sudan 174 km
    Coastline field listing
    0 km (landlocked)
    Maritime claims field listing
    none (landlocked)
    Climate field listing
    tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers
    Terrain field listing
    vast, flat to rolling plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 635 m
    lowest point: Oubangui River 335 m
    highest point: Mont Ngaoui 1,410 m
    Natural resources field listing
    diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 8.1% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 2.9% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 5.1% (2011 est.)
    forest: 36.2% (2011 est.)
    other: 55.7% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    10 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    majority of residents live in the western and central areas of the country, especially in and around the capital of Bangui as shown in this population distribution map
    Natural hazards field listing
    hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common
    Environment - current issues field listing
    water pollution; tap water is not potable; poaching and mismanagement have diminished the country's reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges; desertification; deforestation; soil erosion
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    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
    Geography - note field listing
    landlocked; almost the precise center of Africa
  • People and Society :: Central African Republic
  • Population field listing
    5,990,855 (July 2020 est.)

    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

    country comparison to the world: 113
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Central African(s)
    adjective: Central African
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Baya 28.8%, Banda 22.9%, Mandjia 9.9%, Sara 7.9%, M'Baka-Bantu 7.9%, Arab-Fulani (Peul) 6%, Mbum 6%, Ngbanki 5.5%, Zande-Nzakara 3%, other Central African Republic ethnic groups 2%, non-Central African Republic ethnic groups .1%
    Languages field listing
    French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
    Religions field listing
    Christian 89.5%, Muslim 8.5%, folk 1%, unaffiliated 1% (2010 est.)

    note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority

    Demographic profile field listing

    The Central African Republic’s (CAR) humanitarian crisis has worsened since a coup in March 2013. CAR’s high mortality rate and low life expectancy are attributed to elevated rates of preventable and treatable diseases (including malaria and malnutrition), an inadequate health care system, precarious food security, and armed conflict. Some of the worst mortality rates are in western CAR’s diamond mining region, which is impoverished because of government attempts to control the diamond trade and the fall in industrial diamond prices. To make matters worse, the government and international donors have reduced health funding in recent years. The CAR’s weak educational system and low literacy rate have also suffered as a result of the country’s ongoing conflict. Schools are closed, qualified teachers are scarce, infrastructure, funding, and supplies are lacking and subject to looting, and many students and teachers are displaced by violence.

    Rampant poverty, human rights violations, unemployment, poor infrastructure, and a lack of security and stability have led to forced displacement internally and externally. Since the political crisis that resulted in CAR’s March 2013 coup began in December 2012, approximately 600,000 people have fled to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and other neighboring countries, while another estimated 600,000 are displaced internally as of October 2019. The UN has urged countries to refrain from repatriating CAR refugees amid the heightened lawlessness.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 39.49% (male 1,188,682/female 1,176,958)
    15-24 years: 19.89% (male 598,567/female 593,075)
    25-54 years: 32.95% (male 988,077/female 986,019)
    55-64 years: 4.32% (male 123,895/female 134,829)
    65 years and over: 3.35% (male 78,017/female 122,736) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 86.4
    youth dependency ratio: 81.1
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.2
    potential support ratio: 19.2 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 20 years
    male: 19.7 years
    female: 20.3 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    Population growth rate field listing
    2.09% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Birth rate field listing
    33.2 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Death rate field listing
    12.3 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Net migration rate field listing
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Population distribution field listing
    majority of residents live in the western and central areas of the country, especially in and around the capital of Bangui as shown in this population distribution map
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 42.2% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 2.52% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    889,000 BANGUI (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    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: 0.92 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    829 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 80.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 87.7 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 73.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 54.2 years
    male: 52.7 years
    female: 55.7 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 224
    Total fertility rate field listing
    4.14 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    15.2% (2010/11)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 89.6% of population
    rural: 54.4% of population
    total: 68.5% of population
    unimproved: urban: 10.4% of population
    rural: 45.6% of population
    total: 31.5% of population (2015 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    5.8% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    0.07 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 43.6% of population
    rural: 7.2% of population
    total: 21.8% of population
    unimproved: urban: 56.4% of population
    rural: 92.8% of population
    total: 78.2% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    3.6% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    110,000 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    4,800 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: very high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
    animal contact diseases: rabies
    respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    7.5% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    24.6% (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Education expenditures field listing
    1.2% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 37.4%
    male: 49.5%
    female: 25.8% (2018)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 7 years
    male: 8 years
    female: 6 years (2012)
  • Government :: Central African Republic
  • Country name field listing
    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
    etymology: self-descriptive name specifying the country's location on the continent; "Africa" is derived from the Roman designation of the area corresponding to present-day Tunisia "Africa terra," which meant "Land of the Afri" (the tribe resident in that area), but which eventually came to mean the entire continent
    Government type field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Bangui
    geographic coordinates: 4 22 N, 18 35 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: established as a French settlement in 1889 and named after its location on the northern bank of the Ubangi River; the Ubangi itself was named from the native word for the "rapids" located beside the outpost, which marked the end of navigable water north from from Brazzaville
    Administrative divisions field listing
    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
    Independence field listing
    13 August 1960 (from France)
    National holiday field listing
    Republic Day, 1 December (1958)
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest (interim constitution) approved by the Transitional Council 30 August 2015, adopted by referendum 13-14 December 2015, ratified 27 March 2016
    amendments: proposals require support of the government, two thirds of the National Council of Transition, and assent by the "Mediator of the Central African" crisis; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote by the National Council membership; non-amendable constitutional provisions include those on the secular and republican form of government, fundamental rights and freedoms, amendment procedures, or changes to the authorities of various high-level executive, parliamentary, and judicial officials
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: least one parent must be a citizen of the Central African Republic
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 35 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (since 30 March 2016)
    head of government: Prime Minister Firmin NGREBADA (since 25 February 2019)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: under the 2015 constitution, the president is elected by universal direct suffrage for a period of 5 years (eligible for a second term); election last held 30 December 2015 with a runoff 20 February 2016 (next election scheduled to be held in December 2020)
    election results: Faustin-Archange TOUADERA elected president in the second round; percent of vote in first round - Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE (URCA) 23.7%, Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (independent) 19.1%, Desire KOLINGBA (RDC) 12.%, Martin ZIGUELE (MLPC) 11.4%, other 33.8%; percent of vote in second round - Faustin-Archange TOUADERA 62.7%, Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE 37.3%

    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 was extended because instability delayed new elections and the transition did not take place until the end of March 2016

    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (140 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 30 December 2015 (results annulled), 14 February 2016 - first round and 31 March 2016 - second round (next to be held on 27 December 2020)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UNDP 16, URCA 11, RDC 8, MLPC 10, KNK 7, other 28, independent 60; composition - men 129, women 11, percent of women 7.9%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges, at least 3 of whom 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
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Action Party for Development or PAD [El Hadj Laurent NGON-BABA]
    Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Clement BELIBANGA]
    Central African Democratic Rally or RDC [Desire Nzanga KOLINGBA]
    Movement for Democracy and Development or MDD [Louis PAPENIAH]
    Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People or MLPC [Martin ZIGUELE]
    National Convergence (also known as Kwa Na Kwa) or KNK [Francois BOZIZE]
    National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Amine MICHEL]
    New Alliance for Progress or NAP [Jean-Jacques DEMAFOUTH]
    Social Democratic Party or PSD [Enoch LAKOUE]
    Union for Central African Renewal or URCA [Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE]
    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    Ambassador Martial NDOUBOU (since 17 September 2018)
    chancery: 2704 Ontario Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 483-7800
    FAX: [1] (202) 332-9893
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Lucy TAMLYN (since 6 February 2019)
    telephone: [236] 21 61 0200
    embassy: Avenue David Dacko, Bangui
    mailing address: P.O. Box 924, Bangui
    FAX: [236] 21 61 4494
    Flag description field listing
    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
    National symbol(s) field listing
    elephant; national colors: blue, white, green, yellow, red
    National anthem field listing
    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

  • Economy :: Central African Republic
  • Economy - overview field listing

    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 estimated GDP, although statistics are unreliable in the conflict-prone country. Timber and diamonds account for most export earnings, followed by cotton. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked geography, poor transportation system, largely unskilled work force, and legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. Factional fighting between the government and its opponents remains a drag on economic revitalization. Distribution of income is highly unequal and grants from the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs. CAR shares a common currency with the Central African Monetary Union. The currency is pegged to the Euro.

    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 2011 election worsened CAR's fiscal situation. 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. In July 2016, the IMF approved a three-year extended credit facility valued at $116 million; in mid-2017, the IMF completed a review of CAR’s fiscal performance and broadly approved of the government’s management, although issues with revenue collection, weak government capacity, and transparency remain. The World Bank in late 2016 approved a $20 million grant to restore basic fiscal management, improve transparency, and assist with economic recovery.

    Participation in the Kimberley Process, a commitment to remove conflict diamonds from the global supply chain, led to a partially lifted the ban on diamond exports from CAR in 2015, but persistent insecurity is likely to constrain real GDP growth.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $3.39 billion (2017 est.)
    $3.249 billion (2016 est.)
    $3.108 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 185
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $1.937 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    4.3% (2017 est.)
    4.5% (2016 est.)
    4.8% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $700 (2017 est.)
    $700 (2016 est.)
    $600 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 228
    Gross national saving field listing
    5.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    8.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    4.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 95.3% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 8.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 13.7% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 12% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -29.5% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 43.2% (2017 est.)
    industry: 16% (2017 est.)
    services: 40.8% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    cotton, coffee, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
    Industries field listing
    gold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, sugar refining
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    3.9% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    Labor force field listing
    2.242 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    Unemployment rate field listing
    6.9% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Population below poverty line field listing
    62% NA (2008 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2.1%
    highest 10%: 33% (2003)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 282.9 million (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 300.1 million (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    14.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -0.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Public debt field listing
    52.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    56% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    4.1% (2017 est.)
    4.6% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Current account balance field listing
    -$163 million (2017 est.)
    -$97 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Exports field listing
    $113.7 million (2017 est.)
    $101.5 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Exports - partners field listing
    France 31.2%, Burundi 16.2%, China 12.5%, Cameroon 9.6%, Austria 7.8% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee
    Imports field listing
    $393.1 million (2017 est.)
    $342.2 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Imports - commodities field listing
    food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
    Imports - partners field listing
    France 17.1%, US 12.3%, India 11.5%, China 8.2%, South Africa 7.4%, Japan 5.8%, Italy 5.1%, Cameroon 4.9%, Netherlands 4.6% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $304.3 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $252.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Debt - external field listing
    $779.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $691.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Exchange rates field listing
    Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
    605.3 (2017 est.)
    593.01 (2016 est.)
    593.01 (2015 est.)
    591.45 (2014 est.)
    494.42 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Central African Republic
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 5 million (2017)
    electrification - total population: 14% (2016)
    electrification - urban areas: 34.1% (2016)
    electrification - rural areas: 0.4% (2016)
    Electricity - production field listing
    171.4 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    159.4 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    38,300 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    50% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    50% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    2,800 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    2,799 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    413,800 Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
  • Communications :: Central African Republic
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 2,193
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 1,279,261
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 22 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: network consists principally of microwave radio relay and at low-capacity; ongoing conflict has obstructed telecommunication and media development, although there are ISP (Internet service providers) and mobile phone carriers, radio is the most-popular communications medium (2018)
    domestic: very limited telephone service with less than 1 fixed-line connection per 100 persons; with the presence of multiple providers mobile-cellular service has reached 22 per 100 mobile-cellular subscribers; cellular usage is increasing from a low base; most fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone services are concentrated in Bangui (2018)
    international: country code - 236; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    government-owned network, Radiodiffusion Television Centrafricaine, provides limited domestic TV broadcasting; 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 (2017)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 249,336
    percent of population: 4.34% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 608
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
  • Military and Security :: Central African Republic
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Central African Armed Forces (Forces Armees Centrafricaines, FACA): Ground Forces (includes Military Air Service), General Directorate of Gendarmerie Inspection (DGIG); National Police (2019)
    Military expenditures field listing
    1.5% of GDP (2019)
    1.41% of GDP (2018)
    1.44% of GDP (2017)
    1.53% of GDP (2016)
    1.69% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing

    the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) have an estimated 8,000 Army troops (including an Air Service component of about 150) and 1,500 Gendarmerie

    (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the FACA is armed mostly with second-hand equipment donated by Russia; since 2010, it has received limited quantities of second-hand equipment from China and Ukraine as aid (2019 est.)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18 years of age for military service; no conscription (2019)
    Military - note field listing
    the FACA is currently assessed as unable to provide adequate internal security for the country; the military was dissolved following the 2013 rebel seizure of the government and has struggled to rebuild in the years of instability since; France, Russia, the UN, and the European Union are providing various levels of security assistance

    the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has operated in the country since 2014; its peacekeeping mission includes providing security, protecting civilians, facilitating humanitarian assistance, disarming and demobilizing armed groups, and supporting the country’s fragile transitional government; in November 2019, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the MINUSCA peacekeeping mission another year; as of March 2020, MINUSCA had approximately 13,200 total personnel, including about 10,700 troops and 2,000 police

    the European Union Training Mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM-RCA) has operated in the country since 2016; the EUTM-RCA contributes to the restructuring of the country's military and defense sector through advice, training, and educational programs (2020)
  • Transportation :: Central African Republic
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 2
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 46,364 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    TL (2016)
    Airports field listing
    39 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 1 (2019)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 37 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 11 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 19 (2013)
    under 914 m: 6 (2013)
    Roadways field listing
    total: 24,000 km (2018)
    paved: 700 km (2018)
    unpaved: 23,300 km (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Waterways field listing
    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
    Ports and terminals field listing
    river port(s): Bangui (Oubangui)
    Nola (Sangha)
  • Transnational Issues :: Central African Republic
  • Disputes - international field listing

    periodic skirmishes persist over water and grazing rights among related pastoral populations along the border with southern Sudan

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    IDPs: 684,004 (clashes between army and rebel groups since 2005; tensions between ethnic groups) (2020)
    Trafficking in persons field listing
    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; most victims appear to be CAR citizens exploited within the country, with a smaller number transported back and forth between the CAR and nearby countries; armed groups operating in the CAR, including those aligned with the former SELEKA Government and the Lord’s Resistance Army, continue to recruit and re-recruit children for military activities and labor; children are also subject to domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, and forced labor in agriculture, mines, shops, and street vending; women and girls are subject to domestic servitude, sexual slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, and forced marriage
    tier rating: Tier 3 – the 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 conducted a limited number of investigations and prosecutions of cases of suspected human trafficking in 2014 but did not identify, provide protection to, or refer to care providers any trafficking victims; the government did not directly provide reintegration programs for demobilized child soldiers, leaving victims vulnerable to further exploitation or retrafficking by armed groups, including those affiliated with the government; in 2014, an NGO and the government began drafting a national action plan against trafficking but no efforts were reported to establish a policy against child soldiering or to raise awareness about existing laws prohibiting the use of children in the armed forces (2015)