Central African Republic

country in Central Africa

The Central African Republic (CAR) (French: République centrafricaine, pronounced [ʁepyblik sɑ̃tʁafʁikɛn], or Centrafrique [sɑ̃tʀafʀik]; Sango Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka), is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is mostly a plateau or high, flat piece of land about 941 metres above the sea. The CAR covers a land area of about 620,000 square kilometres (240,000 sq mi), and has an estimated population of about 4.4 million as of 2008. Bangui is the capital city.

Central African Republic
République centrafricaine
Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka
Motto: "Unité, Dignité, Travail"  (French)
"Unity, Dignity, Work"
Anthem: La Renaissance  (French)
E Zingo  (Sango)
The Renaissance
Location of the Central African Republic
and largest city
4°22′N 18°35′E / 4.367°N 18.583°E / 4.367; 18.583
Official languagesFrench
Ethnic groups
33% Baya
27% Banda
13% Mandjia
10% Sara
7% Mboum
4% M'Baka
4% Yakoma
2% other
Demonym(s)Central African
• President
Faustin-Archange Touadéra[1]
Félix Moloua
LegislatureNational Assembly
• from France
13 August 1960
• Total
622,984 km2 (240,535 sq mi) (44th)
• Water (%)
• 2021 estimate
5,457,154[2][3] (119th)
• 2003 census
• Density
7.1/km2 (18.4/sq mi) (221st)
GDP (PPP)2019 estimate
• Total
$4.262 billion[5] (162nd)
• Per capita
$823[5] (184th)
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
• Total
$2.321 billion[5] (163th)
• Per capita
$448[5] (181st)
Gini (2008)56.3[6]
high · 28th
HDI (2019)Increase 0.397[7]
low · 188th
CurrencyCentral African CFA franc (XAF)
Time zoneUTC+1 (WAT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+1 (not observed)
Driving sideright[8]
Calling code236
ISO 3166 codeCF
Internet TLD.cf



There are thick forests in the south, and these are home to rare gorillas. This part of Africa also has Pygmies.

Other important towns are Bouar, Zinga, and Ouadda. Its southern border is the Ubangi River. There are 3.8 million people in the C.A.R. Most of them belong to the Banda and Baya tribes. The main language is French but some people speak the national language of Sango.

The people mostly grow their own food, but sometimes droughts (long spells without any rain) make this difficult. The C.A.R. also has diamond and uranium mines. It sells these, as well as cotton, coffee, and timber to other countries to make money.

The currency used is the CFA Franc - 1 US Dollar is worth 590.3 CFA Francs.[9]

The country was ruled by France until 1960 when it became independent.

The country has not been very stable since then, with multiple wars with itself, and corruption.

In April 2022, the country made bitcoin a legal tender, becoming the second country in the world to adopt the cryptocurrency.[10]


Ubangi River on the outskirts of Bangui.

The Central African Republic is a landlocked nation. It is bordered by the countries of Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo.

Much of the Central African Republic is flat, or rolling plateau savanna. It is typically about 500 metres (1,640 ft) above sea level. Most of the northern half is in the World Wildlife Fund's East Sudanian savanna ecoregion. In the northeast are the Fertit Hills. There are scattered hills in the southwest part of the country. To the northwest is the Yade Massif, a granite plateau with an altitude of 1,143 feet (348 m).

At 622,941 square kilometres (240,519 sq mi), the Central African Republic is the world's 42nd-largest country. It is about the size of Ukraine, and is somewhat smaller than the US state of Texas.

Much of the southern border is formed by tributaries of the Congo River. The Mbomou River in the east merges with the Uele River to form the Ubangi River. In the west, the Sangha River flows through part of the country. The eastern border is along the edge of the Nile River watershed.

Forest covers up to 8% of the land. The densest parts are in the south. The forest is highly diverse. It includes commercially important species of Ayous, Sapelli and Sipo.[11] The deforestation rate is 0.4% per year, and lumber poaching is commonplace.[12]



The Central African Republic is divided into 14 administrative prefectures. There are also 2 economic prefectures and one autonomous commune. The prefectures are further divided into 71 sub-prefectures.

The prefectures of the Central African Republic are:

The two economic prefectures are Nana-Grébizi and Sangha-Mbaéré. The commune is Bangui.


Bangui City Centre

The largest cities in the Central African Republic are:

  1. Bangui - 622,771 (census 2006)
  2. Bimbo - 124,176
  3. Berbérati - 76,918
  4. Carnot - 45,421
  5. Bambari - 41,356
  6. Bouar - 40,303
  7. Bossangoa - 36,478
  8. Bria - 35,204
  9. Bangassou - 31,553
  10. Nola - 29,181


  1. Benn, Margaux (21 February 2016). "Newly Elected Central African Republic Leader Faces Hard Realities". New York Times. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  2. "World Population Prospects 2022". population.un.org. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  3. "World Population Prospects 2022: Demographic indicators by region, subregion and country, annually for 1950-2100" (XSLX). population.un.org ("Total Population, as of 1 July (thousands)"). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  4. countrymeters.info. "Live Central African Republic population (2017). Current population of Central African Republic — Countrymeters". countrymeters.info. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Central African Republic". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  6. "Gini Index". World Bank. Archived from the original on 9 February 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  7. Human Development Report 2020 The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 15 December 2020. pp. 343–346. ISBN 978-92-1-126442-5. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  8. Which side of the road do they drive on?Brian Lucas. August 2005. Retrieved 2009-01-28. Archived 2007-07-23 at the Wayback Machine
  9. "XE: Convert XOF/USD. Communauté Financière Africaine (BCEAO) Franc to United States Dollar". www.xe.com. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  10. "Bitcoin becomes official currency in Central African Republic". BBC News. 27 April 2022. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  11. Sold Down the River (English) March 2001 Archived 2010-04-13 at the Wayback Machine, Forests Monitor
  12. The Forests of the Congo Basin: State of the Forest 2006 Archived 2011-02-20 at the Wayback Machine. CARPE 13-July-07

Other websites