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Central African Republic (2003)

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Central African Republic 2003 year

 Central African Republic
Administrative divisions 14 prefectures (prefectures, singular - prefecture), 2 economic prefectures* (prefectures economiques, singular - prefecture economique), and 1 commune**; Bamingui-Bangoran, Bangui**, Basse-Kotto, Haute-Kotto, Haut-Mbomou, Kemo, Lobaye, Mambere-Kadei, Mbomou, Nana-Grebizi*, Nana-Mambere, Ombella-Mpoko, Ouaka, Ouham, Ouham-Pende, Sangha-Mbaere*, Vakaga
Age structure 0-14 years: 43.1% (male 799,241; female 788,370)

15-64 years: 53.5% (male 969,581; female 1,000,740)

65 years and over: 3.4% (male 53,322; female 72,284) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products cotton, coffee, tobacco, manioc (tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
Airports 50 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways total: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 47

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 10

914 to 1,523 m: 23

under 914 m: 13 (2002)
Area total: 622,984 sq km

land: 622,984 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Texas
Background 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. In March 2003 a military coup deposed the civilian government of President Ange-Felix PATASSE and has since established a new government.
Birth rate 35.93 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $NA

expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Capital Bangui
Climate tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers
Coastline 0 km (landlocked)
Constitution passed by referendum 29 December 1994; adopted 7 January 1995
Country name conventional long form: Central African Republic

conventional short form: none

local long form: Republique Centrafricaine

local short form: none

former: Ubangi-Shari, Central African Empire

abbreviation: CAR
Currency Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Death rate 19.73 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $881.4 million (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Mattie R. SHARPLESS

embassy: Avenue David Dacko, Bangui

mailing address: B. P. 924, Bangui

telephone: [236] 61 02 00

FAX: [236] 61 44 94
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Emmanuel TOUABOY

chancery: 1618 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 483-7800

FAX: [1] (202) 332-9893
Disputes - international internal political instabilities with fighting and violence overlap into Chad and CAR, leaving refugees and rebel groups in both countries; violent ethnic skirmishes persist along the border with Sudan
Economic aid - recipient ODA $73 million; note - traditional budget subsidies from France (2000 est.)
Economy - overview Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with more than 70% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates half of GDP. Timber has accounted for about 16% of export earnings and the diamond industry for 54%. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked position, a poor transportation system, a largely unskilled work force, and a legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. Factional fighting between the government and its opponents remains a drag on economic revitalization, with GDP growth likely to be no more than 1.3% in 2003. Distribution of income is extraordinarily unequal. Grants from France and the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs.
Electricity - consumption 98.63 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 106 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 19.8%

hydro: 80.2%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Oubangui River 335 m

highest point: Mont Ngaoui 1,420 m
Environment - current issues tap water is not potable; poaching has diminished its reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges; desertification; deforestation
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 94

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Ethnic groups Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%
Exchange rates Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 696.99 (2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.7 (1999), 589.95 (1998)
Executive branch chief of state: President Francois BOZIZE (since 15 March 2003 coup)

head of government: Prime Minister Abel GOUMBA (since NA March 2003)

cabinet: Council of Ministers

elections: NA; current president assumed power following a coup on 15 March 2003 in which former President Ange-Felix PATASSE was overthrown (President BOZIZE has stated that elections will be held by NA 2004); prime minister appointed by the president
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $134 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee, tobacco
Exports - partners Belgium 66.8%, Spain 6.4%, Kazakhstan 4% (2002)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description four equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, green, and yellow with a vertical red band in center; there is a yellow five-pointed star on the hoist side of the blue band
GDP purchasing power parity - $4.296 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 55%

industry: 20%

services: 25% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,200 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 1.5% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 7 00 N, 21 00 E
Geography - note landlocked; almost the precise center of Africa
Highways total: 23,810 km

paved: 643 km

unpaved: 23,167 km (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 0.7%

highest 10%: 47.7% (1993)
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $102 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners France 30%, US 5.2%, Cameroon 4.5%, Germany 4.3% (2002)
Independence 13 August 1960 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate 3% (2002)
Industries diamond mining, logging, brewing, textiles, footwear, assembly of bicycles and motorcycles
Infant mortality rate total: 93.3 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 100.35 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 86.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.6% (2001 est.)
International organization participation ACCT, ACP, AfDB, BDEAC, CEEAC, CEMAC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC (observer), OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2002)
Irrigated land NA sq km
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; Constitutional Court (3 judges appointed by the president, 3 by the president of the National Assembly, and 3 by fellow judges); Court of Appeal; Criminal Courts; Inferior Courts
Labor force NA
Land boundaries total: 5,203 km

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
Land use arable land: 3.1%

permanent crops: 0.14%

other: 96.76% (1998 est.)
Languages French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
Legal system based on French law
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (109 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; note - there were 85 seats in the National Assembly before the 1998 election)

elections: last held 22-23 November and 13 December 1998 (next to be held NA 2003)

election results: percent of vote by party - MLPC 43%, RDC 18%, MDD 9%, FPP 6%, PSD 5%, ADP 4%, PUN 3%, FODEM 2%, PLD 2%, UPR 1%, FC 1%, independents 6%; seats by party - MLPC 47, RDC 20, MDD 8, FPP 7, PSD 6, ADP 5, PUN 3, FODEM 2, PLD 2, UPR 1, FC 1, independents 7
Life expectancy at birth total population: 41.71 years

male: 40.18 years

female: 43.29 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 51%

male: 63.3%

female: 39.9% (2003 est.)
Location Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Map references Africa
Maritime claims none (landlocked)
Military branches Central African Armed Forces (FACA) (including Republican Guard, Ground Forces, Naval Forces, and Air Force), Presidential Security Guard, Gendarmerie, National Police
Military expenditures - dollar figure $13.43 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.1% (FY02)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 858,671 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 449,466 (2003 est.)
National holiday Republic Day, 1 December (1958)
Nationality noun: Central African(s)

adjective: Central African
Natural hazards hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common
Natural resources diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Political parties and leaders Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Jacques MBOLIEDAS]; Central African Democratic Assembly or RDC [Andre KOLINGBA]; Civic Forum or FC [Gen. Timothee MALENDOMA]; Democratic Forum for Modernity or FODEM [Charles MASSI]; Liberal Democratic Party or PLD [Nestor KOMBO-NAGUEMON]; Movement for Democracy and Development or MDD [David DACKO]; Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People or MLPC [the party of deposed president, Ange-Felix PATASSE]; Patriotic Front for Progress or FPP [Abel GOUMBA]; People's Union for the Republic or UPR [Pierre Sammy MAKFOY]; National Unity Party or PUN [Jean-Paul NGOUPANDE]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Enoch LAKOUE]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 3,683,538

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 1.62% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors Bangui, Nola, Salo, Nzinga
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 1 (2002)
Railways 0 km
Religions indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%

note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
Sex ratio at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Suffrage 21 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: fair system

domestic: network consists principally of microwave radio relay and low-capacity, low-powered radiotelephone communication

international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 9,500 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular 710 (1998)
Television broadcast stations 1 (2001)
Terrain vast, flat to rolling, monotonous plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest
Total fertility rate 4.68 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate 8% (23% for Bangui) (2001 est.)
Waterways 900 km

note: traditional trade carried on by means of shallow-draft dugouts; Oubangui is the most important river, navigable all year to craft drawing 0.6 m or less; 282 km navigable to craft drawing as much as 1.8 m
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