Central African Republic

President: Catherine Samba-Panza (interim; 2014)
Prime Minister: Mahamat Kamoun (2014)
Total area: 240,533 sq mi (622,980 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 5,277,959 (growth rate: 2.13%); birth rate: 35.45/1000; infant mortality rate: 92.86/1000; life expectancy: 51.35

Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Bangui, 740,000
Monetary unit: CFA Franc
National name: République Centrafricaine
Languages: French (official), Sangho (lingua franca, national), tribal languages
Ethnicity/race: Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M’Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%
National Holiday: Republic Day, December 1
Religions: indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant and Roman Catholic (both with animist influence) 25% each, Islam 15%
Literacy rate: 56.6% (2011 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP $3.336 billion (2013 est.); per capita $700. Real growth rate: -14.5%. Inflation: 7% (2013 est.). Unemployment: 8% (2001 est.). Arable land: 2.89%. Agriculture: cotton, coffee, tobacco, manioc (tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber. Labor force: 2.082 million (2012) Industries: gold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, textiles, footwear, assembly of bicycles and motorcycles. Natural resources: diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower. Exports: $138.9 million (2013 est.): diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee, tobacco. Imports: $218.6 million (2013 est.): food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals. Major trading partners: Belgium, Democratic Republic of the Congo, France, Indonesia, China, Cameroon, South Korea (2012).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 5,600 (2012); mobile cellular: 1.07 million (2012). Broadcast media: government-owned network, Radiodiffusion Television Centrafricaine, provides domestic TV broadcasting; licenses for 2 private TV stations are pending; state-owned radio network is supplemented by a small number of privately owned broadcast stations as well as a few community radio stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available (2007). Internet hosts: 20 (2012). Internet users: 22,600 (2009).
Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Roadways: total: 20,278 km (2010 est.). Waterways: 2,800 km (primarily on the Oubangui and Sangha rivers) (2011). Ports and harbors: Bangui, Nola. Airports: 39 (2013 est.).

Fun Facts

  • A high percentage of the country lives in rural areas
  • Contains over 80 ethnic groups
  • Boali Falls is a massive waterfall worth seeing
  • French and Sango are the two official languages
  • Home to a diverse mixture of plants and animal species