Central African

 

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.

 

Geography:
Location: Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates: 7 00 N, 21 00 E
People:
Population: 5,057,208 (July 2012 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 (July 2008 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 41% (male 1,021,144/female 1,007,819)

15-64 years: 55.3% (male 1,353,600/female 1,382,291)

65 years and over: 3.7% (male 73,977/female 111,196) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: 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: republic
Capital: name: Bangui

geographic coordinates: 4 22 N, 18 35 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 2,300 (2011)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 1.124 million (2011)
Transportation:
Airports: 40 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Central African Armed Forces (Forces Armees Centrafricaines, FACA): Ground Forces, General Directorate of Gendarmerie Inspection (DGIG), Military Air Service, National Police (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2010)

Economy: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 more than 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.
Transnational Issues:

Disputes – international: periodic skirmishes over water and grazing rights among related pastoral populations along the border with southern Sudan persist
Refugees and internally displaced persons: 15,300 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2010)

IDPs: 192,000 (clashes between army and rebel groups since 2005) (2011)