Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.
— Seneca, 4 B.C. - 65 A.D.

Central African Republic


Central African Republic

The former French colony of Ubangi-Shari became the Central African Republic upon independence in 1960. After three tumultuous decades of misrule - mostly by military governments - civilian rule was established in 1993 and lasted for one decade. President Ange-Felix PATASSE's civilian government was plagued by unrest, and in March 2003 he was deposed in a military coup led by General Francois BOZIZE, who established a transitional government. Though the government has the tacit support of civil society groups and the main parties, a wide field of candidates contested the municipal, legislative, and presidential elections held in March and May of 2005 in which General BOZIZE was affirmed as president. The government still does not fully control the countryside, where pockets of lawlessness persist. Unrest in the neighboring nations of Chad, Sudan, and the DRC continues to affect stability in the Central African Republic as well.


The Central African Republic is at the geographic center of Africa, bordered by Cameroon to the west, Chad to the north, Sudan to the east, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of the Congo to the south.

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Central African Republic


Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geographic coordinates

7 00 N, 21 00 E

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Texas

Border countries

Cameroon 797 km, Chad 1,197 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,577 km, Republic of the Congo 467 km, Sudan 1,165 km


0 km (landlocked)


tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers


vast, flat to rolling, monotonous plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest

Lowest point

Oubangui River 335 m

Highest point

Mont Ngaoui 1,420 m

Natural resources

diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower



Ethnic groups

Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%


indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%


French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages

Government type



13 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday

Republic Day, 1 December (1958)

Chief of state

President Francois BOZIZE (since 15 March 2003 coup)

Head of government

Prime Minister Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (since 22 January 2008)

Internet country code


Internet users

22,600 (2009)


37 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Bangui, Nola, Salo, Nzinga

Other countries in the region