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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Central African Republic  
Flag of Central African Republic
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Central African Republic

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Central African Republic
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 - a civilian government was installed in 1993.
   Geography    Central African Republic
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
total: 622,984 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 622,984 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%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 97% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
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 its 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, Nuclear Test Ban, 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
Population:
Definition Field Listing
3,642,739
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 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 43% (male 788,417; female 776,721)
15-64 years: 53.2% (male 951,908; female 986,947)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 60,395; female 78,351) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.8% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
36.6 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
18.62 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
103.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 43.58 years
female: 45.13 years (2002 est.)
male: 42.08 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.77 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
13.84% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
240,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
23,000 (1999 est.)
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: 60%
male: 68.5%
female: 52.4% (1995 est.)
   Government    Central African Republic
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Central African Republic
conventional short form: none
local short form: none
former: Ubangi-Shari, Central African Empire
local long form: Republique Centrafricaine
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, Gribingui*, Haute-Kotto, Haute-Sangha, Haut-Mbomou, Kemo-Gribingui, Lobaye, Mbomou, Nana-Mambere, Ombella-Mpoko, Ouaka, Ouham, Ouham-Pende, Sangha*, Vakaga
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
13 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Republic Day, 1 December (1958)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
passed by referendum 29 December 1994; adopted 7 January 1995
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 Ange-Felix PATASSE (since 22 October 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister Martin ZIGUELE (since 1 April 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 19 September 1999 (next to be held NA September 2005); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Ange-Felix PATASSE reelected president; percent of vote - Ange-Felix PATASSE 51.63%, Andre KOLINGBA 19.38%, David DACKO 11.15%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (109 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; note - there were 85 seats in the National Assembly before the 1998 election)
elections: last held 22-23 November and 13 December 1998 (next to be held NA 2003)
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 the president, Ange-Felix PATASSE]; 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, BDEAC, CCC, CEEAC, CEMAC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC (observer), OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Emmanuel TOUABOY
FAX: [1] (202) 332-9893
telephone: [1] (202) 483-7800
chancery: 1618 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Mattie R. SHARPLESS
embassy: Avenue David Dacko, Bangui
mailing address: B. P. 924, Bangui
telephone: [236] 61 02 00
FAX: [236] 61 44 94
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
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 54%. 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. The 50% devaluation of the currencies of 14 Francophone African nations on 12 January 1994 had mixed effects on the CAR's economy. Diamond, timber, coffee, and cotton exports increased, leading an estimated rise of GDP of 7% in 1994 and nearly 5% in 1995. Military rebellions and social unrest in 1996 were accompanied by widespread destruction of property and a drop in GDP of 2%. The IMF approved an Extended Structure Adjustment Facility in 1998 and the World Bank extended further credits in 1999 and approved a $10 million loan in early 2001. As of January 2002, many civil servants were owed as much as 16 months pay during the PATASSE administration, as well as 14 months pay from the KOLINGBA administration.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $4.6 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.8% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $1,300 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 55%
industry: 20%
services: 25% (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
3.6% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
8% (23% for Bangui) (2001 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
diamond mining, sawmills, breweries, textiles, footwear, assembly of bicycles and motorcycles
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.9% (2001)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
104 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 20.19%
hydro: 79.81%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
96.72 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
cotton, coffee, tobacco, manioc (tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$166 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee, tobacco
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Benelux 64%, Cote d'Ivoire, Spain, China, Egypt, France (1999)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$154 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, industrial products
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 35%, Cameroon 13%, Benelux, Cote d'Ivoire, Germany, Japan (1999)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$881.4 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$172.2 million (1995); note - traditional budget subsidies from France
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
XAF
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 742.79 (January 2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997); note - from 1 January 1999, the XAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XAF per euro
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Central African Republic
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
10,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
570 (1997)
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: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 0, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
283,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2001)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
18,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.cf
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
1 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
1,500 (2001)
   Transportation    Central African Republic
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 23,810 km
paved: 429 km
unpaved: 23,381 km (2000)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
900 km
note: traditional trade carried on by means of shallow-draft dugouts; Oubangui is the most important river, navigable all year to craft drawing 0.6 m or less; 282 km navigable to craft drawing as much as 1.8 m
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Bangui, Nola, Salo, Nzinga
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
51 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 48
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 15 (2001)
   Military    Central African Republic
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Central African Armed Forces (FACA) (including Republican Guard, Ground Forces, Naval Forces, and Air Force), Presidential Security Guard, Gendarmerie, National Police
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 845,182 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 442,220 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$29 million (FY96)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
2.2% (FY96)
   Transnational Issues    Central African Republic
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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