Central African Republic at a glance        0  988 reads


Area; 622,984 sq. km. (242,000 sq. mi.); slightly smaller than Texas. Cities; Capital--Bangui (pop. 690,000). Other cities--Berberati (56,867), Bouar (39,676), Bambari (32,603), Bangassou (24,450), Bossangoa (31,723), Mbaiki (16,901), and Carnot (31,324). Terrain; Rolling plain 600 meters-700 meters (1,980 ft.-2,310 ft.) above sea level; scattered hills in northeast and southwest. Climate; Tropical, ranging from humid equatorial in the south to Sahelo-Sudanese in the north; hot, dry winters with mild to hot, wet summers.


Nationality; Noun and adjective--Central African(s). Population (July 2009 est.); 4,511,488. Annual growth rate (2009 est.); 1.491%. Ethnic groups; More than 80; Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Sara 10%, Mandja 13%, Mboum 7%, M'baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%. Religions; Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%, indigenous beliefs 35%. Languages; French (official), Sangho (national). Education; Years compulsory--6. Enrollment--primary school 55% (2007 est.). Literacy--48.6% (2006 est.). Health; Infant mortality rate--80.62 deaths/1,000 (2009 est.). Life expectancy--44.47 yrs. (2009 est.). Work force (approx. 53% of pop.); Agriculture--75%; industry--6%; commerce and services--4%; government--15%.


Type; Republic. Independence; August 13, 1960. Constitution; Passed by referendum December 29, 1994; adopted January 1995. Suspended by decree in March 2003. New constitution passed by referendum December 5, 2004. Branches; Executive--president, prime minister, and Council of Ministers. Legislative--unicameral National Assembly. Judicial--Constitutional Court, inferior courts, criminal courts, Court of Appeals. Administrative subdivisions; 16 prefectures, commune of Bangui. Political parties; Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP), Central African Democratic Assembly (RDC), Civic Forum (FC), Democratic Forum (FODEM), Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), Movement for Democracy and Development (MDD), Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People (MLPC), Patriotic Front for Progress (FPP), People's Union for the Republic (UPR), National Unity Party (PUN), and Social Democratic Party (PSD). Suffrage; Universal over 21.


GDP (2009, nominal); $3.239 billion. Annual real GDP growth rate (2008 est.); -3.5%. Per capita income (2008, PPP); $700. Avg. inflation rate; (2007); 0.9%. Natural resources; Diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil. Agriculture (2006, 56% of GDP); Products--Timber, cotton, coffee, tobacco, food crops, livestock. Arable land--3.1%. Industry (2006, 15% of GDP); Types--Diamond mining, sawmills, breweries, textiles, footwear, assembly of bicycles and motorcycles, and soap. Services (2006); 29% of GDP. Trade (2007); Exports--$146.7 million f.o.b.; diamonds, coffee, cotton, timber, tobacco. Major markets--Belgium, Italy, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Egypt, Spain, and Cote d'Ivoire. Imports--$237.3 million f.o.b.; food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, industrial products. Major suppliers--France, United States, Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Germany, Japan. Central government budget (2007); $250 million. Defense (2006); 1.1% of GDP. Fiscal year; Calendar year.


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Central African Republic at a glance