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Africa :: Central African Republic
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  • 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 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 lawlessness persists. 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; legislative and presidential elections are scheduled to begin on 27 December 2015 and the transitional mandate is scheduled to expire in March 2016.
  • Geography :: CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

  • Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo
    7 00 N, 21 00 E
    Africa
    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
    mean elevation:
    elevation extremes:
    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.)
    10 sq km (2012)
    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
    5,391,539
    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.)
    882 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    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)
    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.)
    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.)
    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.)
  • 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
    republic
    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 adopted by transitional council on 30 August 2015; referendum scheduled for October 2015; held in mid-December 2015
    civil law system based on the French model
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    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
    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 (first round of election is scheduled for 27 December 2015)
    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 and the transition is scheduled to end in March 2016
    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 (first round of elections is scheduled for 27 December 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - KNK 61, Presidential Majority 11, independent 26, other 2; note - information on 5 seats is unavailable
    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
    Action Party for Development or PAD
    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]
    New Alliance for Progress or NAP [Jean-Jacques DEMAFOUTH]
    Social Democratic Party or PSD [Enoch LAKOUE]
    ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country) (suspended), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    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
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jeffrey HAWKINS (October 2015)
    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
  • 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 geography, 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. Distribution of income is extraordinarily unequal. Grants from France and the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs.
    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. 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.
    Kimberley Process participants partially lifted the ban on diamond exports from the country in 2015, but persistent insecurity will prevent GDP from recovering to its pre-2013 level.
    $3.052 billion (2015 est.)
    $2.893 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.864 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 188
    $1.624 billion (2015 est.)
    5.5% (2015 est.)
    1% (2014 est.)
    -36% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    $600 (2015 est.)
    $600 (2014 est.)
    $600 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 227
    2.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    4.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    5.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    household consumption: 107.3%
    government consumption: 8.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 13.7%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 11.3%
    imports of goods and services: -40.5%
    (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 58.3%
    industry: 11.9%
    services: 29.9% (2015 est.)
    cotton, coffee, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
    gold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, sugar refining
    4% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    2.306 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    8% (2001 est.)
    note: 23% unemployment in the capital, Bangui
    country comparison to the world: 91
    NA%
    lowest 10%: 2.1%
    highest 10%: 33% (2003)
    61.3 (1993)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    revenues: $212 million
    expenditures: $253.4 million (2015 est.)
    13.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    -2.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    calendar year
    8% (2015 est.)
    15% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    4.25% (31 December 2009)
    4.75% (31 December 2008)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    15.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
    15% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    $322.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $376.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    $410.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $454.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    $428.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $457.8 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    $NA
    -$192 million (2015 est.)
    -$105 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    $172.8 million (2015 est.)
    $150.3 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    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)
    $264.9 million (2015 est.)
    $279.1 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
    Norway 14%, France 7.7%, US 7.6% (2014)
    $630.1 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $574.4 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
    580.5 (2015 est.)
    494.42 (2014 est.)
    494.42 (2013 est.)
    510.53 (2012 est.)
    471.87 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

  • 181 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    168.3 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    44,000 kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    43.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    56.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    2,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    2,318 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    435,000 Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
  • 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)
    .cf
    20 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    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)
  • Military and Security :: CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

  • 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)
  • 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: 452,000 (clashes between army and rebel groups since 2005; tensions between ethnic groups) (2016)
    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 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)
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