Central African Republic Profile

Central African Republic Profile




The Central African Republic with its population of 4.83 million (2020) 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.) 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.

Central African Republic Profile

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 188th place out of 189 countries and territories in 2019 (beaten only by Niger) 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 and fares equally badly in the HDI index positioned at 188 out of 189 countries and territories in 2019 in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country. 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 below.

CAR Profile: Volunteer in Central African Republic

African Volunteer Work: Central African Republic

Check out all the latest fee paying and free African volunteer work placements and charity work job opportunities abroad with local projects and volunteering organisations in the Central African Republic.

More >

CAR Profile: CAR Conflict

Central African Republic Conflict

Facts, information and a video documentary about the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic.

More >

CAR Profile: Life in CAR

Information and video about daily life for the people of the Central African Republic many of whom have known nothing but ongoing conflict as a backdrop to their lives.

More >

CAR Profile: Children's Lives


About life for children in the the Central African Republic in facts, information and video together with details of projects and programs to support children in CAR.

More >

CAR Profile: Street Children

Children in CAR: Central African Republic Street Children

About street children in the Central African Republic in facts, figures and video together with details of projects and programs supporting street children in CAR.

More >

CAR Profile: CAR Witchcraft

Information, facts and video about the cultural belief in witchcraft in the Central African Republic.

More >

CAR Profile: CAR Images

A rare opportunity to check out images of life inside the Central African Republic presented in pictures and video.

More >

CAR Profile: Bangui Profile

Bangui Profile

A profile, information and video showing pictures and images of the Central Africa Republic's capital city of Bangui.

More >

CAR Profile: Child Sponsor CAR

Child Sponsor Central Africa Republic

Details of how to sponsor children in the Central Africa Republic with CAR child sponsor organisations, charities, programs and projects.

More >

CAR Profile: CAR Map


Use this Google Earth satellite map of the Central African Republic to explore and take a virtual tour of CAR in Africa and zoom in on places of interest.

More >

CAR Profile: CAR News

Central African Republic News

Read all the latest and breaking news from the Central African Republic here at our CAR profile portal.

More >


Main sections of this site:

Volunteer by Country

Details of current volunteer work
opportunities in each of the
countries of Africa.

More >

Sponsor a Child
Sponsor a Child in Africa

Find how to sponsor a child in Africa
with our list of organisations,
charities, programs and projects.

More >

All About Africa

Discover all about Africa, its tourist
attractions, history, people, culture
and daily life there.

More >

African Resources

A treasure trove of African
resources from webcams to
free downloads and news.

More >