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  Central African Republic  
Flag of Central African Republic
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Coordinates:
07.00 N  21.00 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Central African Republic

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Central African Republic Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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. President Ange-Felix PATASSE's civilian government was plagued by unrest, and in March 2003 he was deposed in a military coup led by General Francois BOZIZE, who established a transitional government. Though the government has the tacit support of civil society groups and the main parties, a wide field of candidates contested the municipal, legislative, and presidential elections held in March and May of 2005 in which General BOZIZE was affirmed as president. The government still does not fully control the countryside, where pockets of lawlessness persist.
   Geography    Central African Republic Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
7 00 N, 21 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 622,984 sq km
land: 622,984 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 5,203 km
border countries: Cameroon 797 km, Chad 1,197 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,577 km, Republic of the Congo 467 km, Sudan 1,165 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
none (landlocked)
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
vast, flat to rolling, monotonous plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Oubangui River 335 m
highest point: Mont Ngaoui 1,420 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 3.1%
permanent crops: 0.15%
other: 96.75% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
20 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
tap water is not potable; poaching has diminished the country's reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges; desertification; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
landlocked; almost the precise center of Africa
   People    Central African Republic Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4,303,356
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 41.9% (male 907,629/female 897,153)
15-64 years: 53.9% (male 1,146,346/female 1,173,268)
65 years and over: 4.2% (male 71,312/female 107,648) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 18.4 years
male: 18 years
female: 18.8 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.53% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
33.91 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.65 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 85.63 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 92.44 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 78.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 43.54 years
male: 43.46 years
female: 43.62 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.41 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13.5% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
260,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
23,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2005)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Central African(s)
adjective: Central African
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%
note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 51%
male: 63.3%
female: 39.9% (2003 est.)
   Government    Central African Republic Top of Page
Country name:
Definition 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
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Bangui
Administrative divisions:
Definition 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:
Definition Field Listing
13 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Republic Day, 1 December (1958)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
5 December 2004; ratified by popular referendum
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on French law
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Francois BOZIZE (since 15 March 2003 coup)
head of government: Prime Minister Elie DOTE (since 13 June 2005); note - Celestin GAOMBALET resigned 11 June 2005
cabinet: Council of Ministers
elections: under the new constitution, the president elected to a five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held 13 March and 8 May 2005 (next to be held in 2010); prime minister appointed by the political party with a parliamentary majority
election results: Francois BOZIZE elected president; percent of second round balloting - Francois BOZIZE (KNK) 64.6%, Martin ZIGUELE (MLPC) 35.4%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (109 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 13 March 2005 and 8 May 2005 (next to be held NA 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - MLPC 43%, RDC 18%, MDD 9%, FPP 6%, PSD 5%, ADP 4%, PUN 3%, FODEM 2%, PLD 2%, UPR 1%, FC 1%, independents 6%; seats by party - MLPC 47, RDC 20, MDD 8, FPP 7, PSD 6, ADP 5, PUN 3, FODEM 2, PLD 2, UPR 1, FC 1, independents 7
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; Constitutional Court (3 judges appointed by the president, 3 by the president of the National Assembly, and 3 by fellow judges); Court of Appeal; Criminal Courts; Inferior Courts
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Jacques MBOLIEDAS]; Central African Democratic Assembly or RDC [Andre KOLINGBA]; Civic Forum or FC [Gen. Timothee MALENDOMA]; Democratic Forum for Modernity or FODEM [Charles MASSI]; Liberal Democratic Party or PLD [Nestor KOMBO-NAGUEMON]; Movement for Democracy and Development or MDD [David DACKO]; Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People or MLPC [the party of deposed president, Ange-Felix PATASSE]; National Convergence or KNK; Patriotic Front for Progress or FPP [Abel GOUMBA]; People's Union for the Republic or UPR [Pierre Sammy MAKFOY]; National Unity Party or PUN [Jean-Paul NGOUPANDE]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Enoch LAKOUE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC (observer), OIF, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Emmanuel TOUABOY
chancery: 1618 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-7800
FAX: [1] (202) 332-9893
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires James PANOS
embassy: Avenue David Dacko, Bangui
mailing address: B. P. 924, Bangui
telephone: [236] 61 02 00
FAX: [236] 61 44 94
note: the embassy is currently operating with a minimal staff
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
four equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, green, and yellow with a vertical red band in center; there is a yellow five-pointed star on the hoist side of the blue band
   Economy    Central African Republic Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with more than 70% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates half of GDP. Timber has accounted for about 16% of export earnings and the diamond industry, for 40%. 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, with GDP growth at only 0.5% in 2004 and 2.5% in 2005. Distribution of income is extraordinarily unequal. Grants from France and the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4.784 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$1.462 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.2% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1,100 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 55%
industry: 20%
services: 25% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8% (23% for Bangui) (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 0.7%
highest 10%: 47.7% (1993)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
61.3 (1993)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.6% (2001 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
cotton, coffee, tobacco, manioc (tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
gold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, textiles, footwear, assembly of bicycles and motorcycles
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3% (2002)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
106 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
98.58 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,400 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$131 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee, tobacco
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Belgium 34.3%, France 9.1%, Italy 8.2%, Spain 8.1%, Indonesia 7.5%, China 6.7%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 4.6%, US 4.2% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$203 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 16.2%, Netherlands 11%, Cameroon 9.9%, US 7.2% (2005)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.06 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $59.8 million; note - traditional budget subsidies from France (2002 est.)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002), 733.04 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Central African Republic Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10,000 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
60,000 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: fair system
domestic: network consists principally of microwave radio relay and low-capacity, low-powered radiotelephone communication
international: country code - 236; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 1 (2002)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2001)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.cf
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Central African Republic Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
50 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 47
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 13 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 23,810 km (1999)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,800 km (primarily on the Oubangui and Sangha rivers) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Bangui, Nola, Salo, Nzinga
   Military    Central African Republic Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Central African Armed Forces (FACA): Ground Forces, Air Force; General Directorate of Gendarmerie Inspection (DGIG), Republican Guard (2004)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age for voluntary and compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is two years (2005)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 853,760
females age 18-49: 835,426 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 416,091
females age 18-49: 383,056 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$16.37 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Central African Republic Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
about 30,000 refugees fleeing the 2002 civil conflict in the CAR still reside in southern Chad; periodic skirmishes over water and grazing rights among related pastoral populations along the border with southern Sudan persist
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing
refugees (country of origin): 19,470 (Sudan) 1,864 (Chad) 6,484 (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
IDPs: 200,000 (unrest following coup in 2003) (2005)

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook