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Central African Republic

Central African Republic
General information
Common namethe Central African Republic
Local nameRépublique centrafricaine
Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka
NameRépublique centrafricaine
Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka
Motto"Unité, Dignité, Travail" (French)
"Unity, Dignity, Work"
AnthemLa Renaissance (French)
E Zingo (Sango)
The Renaissance
Largest cityBangui
Official languagesFrench, Sango
DemonymCentral African
PresidentFrançois Bozizé
Prime MinisterFaustin-Archange Touadéra
LegislatureNational Assembly
from France13 August 1960
Total Area240534 sq mi (622983.1 km2) (43rd)
Water %0
Population Est.4422000 (124th)
Population census3895150 (2003)
Density (pop.)7.1/km2 (223rd) (18.4/sq mi)
GDP PPP$3.446 billion (2010)
GDP (PPP) per capita$744
GDP (nominal)$2.018 billion (2010)
GDP (nominal) per capita$436
Other information
Gini61.3 (1993) (high)
HDI(+) 0.369 (2007) (low) (179th)
CurrencyCentral African CFA franc (XAF)
Time zoneWAT (UTC+1)
- Summer (DST)not observed (UTC+1)
Drives on theright
Calling code236

     Home | Country | Central African Republic

The Central African Republic (CAR) ( , -frʁepyblik sɑ̃tʁafʁikɛnpron, or Centrafrique [sɑ̃tʀafʀik]; Sango Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka), is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It borders Chad in the north, Sudan in the north east, South 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 CAR covers a land area of about , and has an estimated population of about 4.4 million as of 2008. Bangui is the capital city.

Most of the CAR consists of Sudano-Guinean savannas but it also includes a Sahelo-Sudanian zone in the north and an equatorial forest zone in the south. Two thirds of the country lies in the basins of the Ubangi River, which flows south into the Congo River, while the remaining third lies in the basin of the Chari River, which flows north into Lake Chad.

Since most of the territory is located in the Ubangi and Shari river basins, France called the colony it carved out in this region Ubangi-Chari, or Oubangui-Chari in French. It became a semi-autonomous territory of the French Community in 1958 and then an independent nation on 13 August 1960. For over three decades after independence, the CAR was ruled by presidents who either were not freely elected or took power by force. Local discontent with this system was eventually reinforced by international pressure, following the end of the Cold War.

The first multi-party democratic elections were held in 1993 with resources provided by the country's donors and help from the UN Office for Electoral Affairs, and brought Ange-Félix Patassé to power. He lost popular support during his presidency and was overthrown in 2003 by French-backed General François Bozizé, who went on to win a democratic election in May 2005. Inability to pay workers in the public sector led to strikes in 2007, forcing the resignation of the government in early 2008. A new Prime Minister, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, was named on 22 January 2008.

The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world and among the ten poorest countries in Africa. The Human Development Index for the Central African Republic is 0.369, which gives the country a rank of 179 out of 182 countries with data.

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