The Central African Republic (République centrafricaine) is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Chad to the north, Sudan to the northeast, South Sudan to the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo to the south and Cameroon to the west. The CAR covers a land area of about 620,000 square kilometers (240,000 sq. mi) and had an estimated population of around 4.7 million as of 2014.
Most of the CAR consists of Sudano-Guinean savannas, but the country also includes a Sahelo-Sudanian zone in the north and an equatorial forest zone in the south. Two-thirds of the country is within the Ubangi River basin (which flows into the Congo), while the remaining third lies in the basin of the Chari, which flows into Lake Chad.
The financial sector of the CAR, the smallest in the CEMAC, is undeveloped and dominated by commercial banks. In addition to the National Office of the BEAC, the system consists of three commercial banks, two microfinance institutions (MFIs), two post office banks, two insurance companies, and a social security fund. Because of the economic and security problems facing the CAR, the financial institutions, especially the MFIs, have consolidated their business in Bangui over the past few years. There is no money market, no securities market, and no foreign exchange market in the CAR.
The Central African Banking Commission (COBAC) is responsible for the supervision of commercial banks and MFIs in the CEMAC. Given COBAC’s limited
resources, supervision operations focus on commercial banks, with plans to increase further its staff capacity toward end-2008 (following the first increase in staffing levels in 2007) to ensure better application of the regulatory framework established in 2002.
The range of financial services supplied in the CAR is limited, compared to countries with a similar level of development. The availability of loan accounts is low and highly concentrated and there is little diversification concerning financial products offered by banks.
Financial services such as operations in securities and foreign exchange, leasing, and remittances are marginal. Savings products include demand deposits on which interest is set freely; time deposits; and passbook savings accounts with mandatory interest of 4.25 percent.
|Agriculture||Cassava, peanuts, maize, sorghum, millet, sesame, plantain|
|Manufacture||Gold, Diamond mining, brewing, textiles, footwear, logging|
|Services (Including financial)||28.8% (2012 estimate)|
The CAR economy is based mainly on the agriculture, diamond, gold and logging sectors. Diamonds and timber are the country's principal exports. A uranium exploration project just started in the east of the country but was recently suspended in October 2011 for two years as result of Japan’s Fukushima accident and the resulting drop in world uranium prices. The world financial crisis beginning in 2008 strongly affected principal Central African export products such as diamonds and timber, which accounted for 40% to 32% of the country’s exports in 2009. Other exports include gold, cotton, coffee, and tobacco. Foreign direct investments are primarily in diamonds, gold, uranium, telecommunications and more recently in the hotel industry. Among new foreign investments recorded from 2007 through 2009, the telecommunication sector ranks as the largest new investment field by volume.
According to the National Investment Committee, operating under the Ministry of Commerce, major investments recorded during 2007, 2008 and 2009 in the telecommunications sector represented respectively 53.2%, 67.9% and 26.7% of total foreign direct investments. Gold and uranium benefited from substantial foreign direct investments as well over the same period. In terms of origin, most foreign direct investments come from France, Canada, and South Africa and India. India’s investments in CAR are primarily in cement production project and urban transportation services. China’s share of investments in the country increased significantly over the last four years.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Economy and Planning, the foreign direct investment percentages of GDP represented 10, 12.6 and 14.8 respectively in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
What is today the Central African Republic has been inhabited for millennia; however, the country's current borders were established by France, which ruled the country as a colony starting in the late 19th century. After gaining independence from France in 1960, the Central African Republic was ruled by a series of autocratic leaders; by the 1990s, calls for democracy led to the first multi-party democratic elections in 1993. Ange-Félix Patassé became president, but was later removed by General François Bozizé in the 2003 coup. The Central African Republic Bush War began in 2004 and, despite a peace treaty in 2007 and another in 2011, fighting broke out between various factions in December 2012, leading to ethnic and religious cleansing of the Muslim minority and massive population displacement in 2013 and 2014.
Despite its significant mineral deposits and other resources, such as uranium reserves, crude oil, gold, diamonds, cobalt, lumber, and hydropower, as well as significant quantities of arable land, the Central African Republic is among the ten poorest countries in the world. As of 2014, according to the Human Development Index (HDI), the country had the second lowest level of human development, ranking 187th out of 188 countries.
(Minister of State of Mines, Energy)
(Minister of National Defense)
The Central African CFA franc (French: franc CFA or simply franc, ISO 4217 code: XAF) is the currency of six independent states in central Africa: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. These six countries have a combined population of 48.0 million people (as of 2014), and a combined GDP of US$88.2 billion (as of 2012).
CFA stands for Coopération financière en Afrique centrale ("Financial Cooperation in Central Africa"). It is issued by the BEAC (Banque des États de l'Afrique Centrale, "Bank of the Central African States"), located in Yaoundé, Cameroon, for the members of the CEMAC (Communauté Économique et Monétaire de l'Afrique Centrale, "Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa"). The franc is nominally subdivided into 100 centimes but no centime denominations have been issued.
In several West African states, the West African CFA franc, which is of equal value to the Central African CFA franc, is in circulation.
The CFA franc was introduced to the French colonies in Equatorial Africa in 1945, replacing the French Equatorial African franc. The Equatorial African colonies and territories using the CFA franc were Chad, French Cameroun, French Congo, Gabon and Ubangi-Shari.
The currency continued in use when these colonies gained their independence. Equatorial Guinea, the only former Spanish colony in the zone, adopted the CFA franc in 1984, replacing the Equatorial Guinean ekwele at a rate of 1 franc = 4 bipkwele.
|National Song||"La Renaissance"|
|Currency||Central African CFA franc (XAF)|
|GDP / GDP Rank||3.186 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||4.3 Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$651.921 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
President – Faustin-Archange Touadéra[α]
Prime Minister – Simplice Sarandji
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||42.518 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||6.867 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|