Factual figures & information on Central African Republic



General Overview of information on Central African Republic:

Originally called Ubangi-Shari, this former French colony became called the Central African Republic after its independence in 1960.

Thirty years of mainly military rule followed, with an interlude of civilian rule from 1993 through to 2003.

In early 2003 a military coup deposed the civilian government of President Patisse and military rule has since re-established itself.

Geographical information on Central African Republic:

Geographical Position: Centrally positioned in Central Africa, to the north of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Map Ref Latitude & Longitude 7 degrees 00 North, 21 degrees 00 East

Total Land & Sea Area Total: 623,000 square kilometres Sea Area0 square kilometres land area: 623,000 square kilometres

Land boundaries: Total: 5,200 kilometres Border countries: Cameroon 800 kilometres , Chad 1,200 kilometres , Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,580 kilometres , Republic of the Congo 470 kilometres , Sudan 1,170 kilometres Coastal Length: none

Climatological Conditions:

tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers Country terrain: vast, flat to rolling, monotonous plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest.

Highest & Lowest Elevations: Lowest elevation: Oubangui River 340 meters highest point: Mont Northgaoui 1,450 meters

Natural resources: diamonds mining, uranium, timber& lumber, gold deposits, oil, hydropower

Land use: arable land area: 3 percent permanent crops: 0.15 percent other: 97 percent (1998 estimate.)

Natural hazards: hot, dry, harmattan winds, which are often dusty, affect northern areas; flooding

Geographical information on Central African Republic:

Population: 3,683,500 Age structure: Under 15: 43 percent From 15 to 65: 53 percent Over 65: 4 percent Median age: Total: 18 years Male: 17.5 years Female: 18.5 years (2002) Population growth rate: 1.6 percent (2003 estimate.) Birth rate: 36 births/1,000 population (2003 estimate.) Death rate: 19.8 deaths/1,000 population (2003 estimate.) Net migration rate: 0 migrant /1,000 population (2003 estimate.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 42 years male: 40 years female: 44 years (2003 estimate.) Total fertility rate: 5 children born/woman (2003 estimate.)

Nationality: Central African

Religions: indigenous beliefs 40 percent, Protestant 20 percent, Roman Catholic 20 percent, Islam/Muslim faith 20 percent

Languages: French is the official language, Sangho and other tribal languages Literacy: definition: age 15 and over that can read and write total population: 51 percent male: 62 percent female: 40 percent (2003 estimate.)

Government information on Central African Republic:

Government type: Republic
Capital city: Bangui

Independence: August 13th, 1960 ex France National holiday: Republic Day, 1 December (1958) Constitution: 1995 Legal system: Based on French civl law

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch: Head of State: President Head of government: Prime Minister cabinet: Council of Ministers

Economy information on Central African Republic:

Economy - overview: Subsistence agriculture, as well as forestry, are the basis of Central African Republic’s (CAR) economy.

Over 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas.

Agricultural sector accounts for over half of GDP - Gross Domestic Product. Timber accounts 16 percent of export earnings, and the diamond industry accounts for 54 percent of export revenues.

CAR's landlocked location, a poor transportation infrastructure and fairly unskilled labour-force has hampered development.

GDP - Gross Domestic Product: - $USD4 billion (2002 estimate.) GDP - Gross Domestic Product - growth rate: 1 percent (2002 estimate.) GDP - Gross Domestic Product - per capita: - $USD1,000 (2002 estimate.) Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.5 percent (2001 estimate.) rate of unemployment: 8 percent (23 percent for Bangui) (2001 estimate.)

Industries: diamond mining, logging, brewing, textiles, footwear, assembly of bicycles and motorcycles Industrial production growth rate: 3 percent (2002)

Agriculture - products:

Cotton growing, coffee growing, tobacco growing, root tuber crops, millet, corn, bananas; timber and timber products, lumber Exports: $USD135 million (2002 estimate.)

Exports - commodities: diamonds, timber & timber products, cotton, tobacco, coffee, Exports - partners: Belgium 67 percent, Spain 6 percent, Kazakhstan 4 percent (2002) Imports: $USD105 million (2002 estimate.)

Imports - commodities: Food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals Imports - partners: France 30 percent, US 5 percent, Cameroon 5 percent, Germany 4 percent (2002) Debt - external: $USD880 million (2000 estimate.)

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF). Currency code: XAF

Communications in Central African Republic :

Telephones: 9,500 (2000)

Travel to the Central African Republic:

Roading System: Total: 23,800 kilometres Airports: 50 (2002)

Military information on Central African Republic:

Military branches: Central African Armed Forces (FACA) (including Republican Guard, Ground Forces, Northaval Forces, and Air Force), Presidential Security Guard, Gendarmerie, National Police Disputes - international: Border disputes and skirmishes with Chad and Sudan.

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Information sourced and adapted from the CIA Factbook


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