Central African Republic Overview
|Form of government
||CFA Franc BEAC
||UTC + 1h
|Telephone area code
The Central African Republic is a landlocked country
in northern Equatorial Africa and, with an area of
622,884 km², is almost two and a half times the size
of Germany. The country borders Chad in the north, Sudan
in the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and
the Republic of the Congo in the south and Cameroon in
the west .
The north of the Central African Republic shares in
the Chad basin, the southern part of the country, a
tropical lowland strip, belongs to the Congo basin.
These two basin landscapes are separated by the Asand
threshold (also: Northern Equatorial Threshold), a hilly
area around 500 to 1,000 m high. The Asanda threshold
runs through the Central African Republic in an
east-west direction and takes up most of the country's
area. Numerous rivers originate here, the longest is the
Ubangi, a tributary of the Congo, which flows through
the country for a length of around 1,300 km. The Asanda
threshold forms the watershed between the Chad and Congo
The highest elevation in the country, the Kayagangiri
(1,420 m), is located in the northwest of the country in
the border area with Cameroon (foothills of the Adamapua
highlands). The capital Bangui is in the south on the
banks of the Ubangi, which also forms the border with
the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Most of the Central African Republic is in the area
of alternatingly humid tropics with consistently high
temperatures all year round. There is a rainy season
that lasts from May to November. The northern part of
the country has higher temperatures (between 22 and 30 °„
C all year round) and there is a pronounced dry season.
The rainfall here averages 760 mm. In the southern part
of the country, which already belongs to the climatic
zone of the always humid tropics, the temperatures are
somewhat lower (between 24 °„ C and 28 °„ C) and the
amounts of precipitation are higher (up to 1,800 mm
annually). The humidity is high.
Flora and fauna
The hilly country of the Asand threshold shows
predominantly wet savannah with dry deciduous forests,
whose stocks are decimated by deforestation. In the
low-precipitation northern part, dry savannah with
isolated trees predominates (baobab tree, fan palm).
Evergreen tropical rainforest grows in the southwest of
the Central African Republic.
Due to the extremely thin population of the country,
a large part of the animals' habitats is largely
untouched. Monkeys, antelopes, elephants, rhinos,
hyenas, crocodiles and hippos live in the country. The
mountain gorillas, which are threatened with extinction,
live in the rainforests in the south of the country.
Three protected areas for flora and fauna have been
Only around 3.79 million people live in the Central
African Republic. With an average of six residents per
square kilometer, the country is extremely sparsely
populated. Almost 42% of the population live in cities,
the largest city is Bangui with around 733,000
residents. According to COUNTRYAAH,
the next largest cities are Carnot with
66,500 and Berb®¶rati with 63,000 residents. The west of
the Central African Republic is very densely populated,
while large areas in the east are deserted.
The majority of the people belong to the Ubangi
groups, including Baja (33% of the total population),
Banda (26%), Mandija (12%), Mboum (7%) and Mbaka (4%).
Bantu-speaking peoples, Europeans (mostly French) and
pygmies form minorities.
The official language in the Central African Republic
is French, the national language Sangho, and Banda and
Fulfulde are also spoken. Over half of the population is
committed to Christianity, about a quarter practices
natural religions, and followers of Islam make up around
15% of the population.
The population growth rate in the Central African
Republic is 1.7%. Medical care for the population is
poor, tropical diseases are widespread, and at least 13%
of the population are infected with the immunodeficiency
disease HIV / AIDS. Infant mortality is 9.1%. Central
Africans live on average only 43 years. Despite the
existing compulsory schooling for children between the
ages of six and 14, only around half of all children are
enrolled in school, so the literacy rate is 51%.
A government of national unity has ruled since the
coup in March 2013. The interim head of state has been
Catherine Samba-Panza since January 2014. The Prime
Minister has been Faustin-Mahamat Kamoun since August
A National Transitional Council has acted as a
parliament since 2013.
The legal system is based on French law.
The country is divided into 16 prefectures and the
capital with special status.
The inland is one of the poorest African countries
and highly dependent on foreign funding. The income
distribution is extremely uneven, many people live in
extreme poverty. Since the beginning of the
democratization process in the first half of the 1990s,
the country has had stable growth rates, but has
repeatedly experienced stagnation and, in part,
depression due to the flaring up of conflicts.
The backbone of the Central African Republic's
economy is agriculture and forestry. A little more than
half of the gross domestic product (GDP) is generated
here, around 70% of the workforce is employed in this
sector. Coffee, cotton and tobacco are mainly grown for
export. To cover their own needs, manioc, yam, millet,
corn and bananas are cultivated. Tropical woods are
The industry is only moderately developed and
generates 14% of GDP. Wood and food processing companies
dominate, textiles, shoes, bicycles and motorcycles are
also produced. The Central African Republic has deposits
of gold, diamonds, uranium, copper and zinc. The diamond
deposits in particular are exploited.
The main trading partners for exports (diamonds,
wood, coffee, cotton, tobacco) are Belgium, France and
Spain. Goods are imported mainly from France, the
Netherlands and Spain (including food, textiles,
petroleum products, machines, electrical appliances,
vehicles, chemicals and pharmaceutical products).
The infrastructure in the Central African Republic is
only moderately developed. A total of around 24,000 km
of roads are available, of which approximately 640 km
are paved. Around 2,800 km of the waterways are
navigable, here the Ubangi plays an important role,
connecting the ports of the neighboring country of the
Republic of the Congo. There is no rail network. There
is an international airport near the capital Bangui.
The currency is the CFA franc.