Central African Republic Profile

The Central African Republic with its population of 5.579 million (2022) stands today not so much as a failed state but a landmass that it referred to as a state, defined primarily by its boundaries with other African nations. Cut off from outside influences for hundreds of years, armed slaved traders penetrated the region in the mid-nineteenth century and exported much of the population, particularly in the east of the country. The Central African Republic was the former French colony of Ubangi-Chari and established self government in 1958 with Barthelemy Boganda as its prime minister.

A year later Boganda was dead, however the country gained its independence in 1960 with his nephew, David Dacko, as its first president.

Dacko quickly established one party rule, or perhaps mis-rule and there followed three decades of political turmoil with a succession of governments, mainly military, until democracy was allowed to emerge in 1993. Democracy, however, did not bring about the changes required in a poor country that had suffered from years of internal divisions and the next ten years continued to see civil unrest, coup attempts, and revolts from soldiers and civil servants over unpaid wages. In 2003 Rebel leader Francois Bozize marched into the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, and declared himself President (whilst the then president Ange-Felix Patasse was out of the country. Patasse was later to be found guilty in his absence of fraud and sentenced to twenty years hard labour.) Cont/...

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CAR Conflict

Central African Republic Conflict

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Witchcraft in the Central African Republic

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African Volunteer Work: Central African Republic

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Central African Republic Profile
Central African Republic Profile




Bozize was confirmed as President in 2005 and again in disputed elections held in 2011. However his government fell to the Seleka rebel group in March 2013 with its leader, Michel Djotodia, proclaiming himself President. Fighting continued between the rebel groups with hundreds of thousands being displaced and on 11th January 2014, Djotodia and his prime minister both resigned in favour of an interim government headed by the National Transitional Council with interim President, Catherine Samba-Panza, assuming office on 23 January of that year.

On assuming office, she stated "I call on my children, especially the anti-balaka, to put down their arms and stop all the fighting. The same goes for the ex-Seleka - they should not have fear. I don't want to hear any more talk of murders and killings. Starting today, I am the president of all Central Africans, without exclusion." Her supposedly healing words had little impact on a country effectively without law, functioning police or courts and she subsequently lost the 2015-16 Central African general election to Faustin-Archange Touadera, however stood again in the 2020 presidential election but received only 0.9% of the vote with Touadera being elected for a second term.

The Central African Republic is in 191st place out of 191 countries and territories in 2021 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country and is one of the poorest countries in Africa, with poor infrastructure including schools and municipal buildings and life outcomes. 71% of the Central African Republic's population lives below the international poverty line and the country has the lowest inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), ranking in 150th place out of 150 countries. Life expectancy there is just 53.90 years (2021). The Central African Republic is also estimated to be the unhealthiest country in the world as well as the worst country in which to be young according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information about the Central African Republic check out our profile pages above.


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