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Republic of the Congo vs. Central African Republic

Introduction

Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
BackgroundUpon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government took office in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, and ushered in a period of ethnic and political unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003. The Republic of Congo is one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term.
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 but lasted only a decade. In March 2003, President Ange-Felix PATASSE was deposed in a military coup led by General Francois BOZIZE, who established a transitional government. Elections held in 2005 affirmed General BOZIZE as president; he was reelected in 2011 in voting widely viewed as flawed. The government still lacks full control of the countryside, where lawlessness persists. Several rebel groups joined together in early December 2012 to launch a series of attacks that left them in control of numerous towns in the northern and central parts of the country. The rebels - unhappy with BOZIZE's government - participated in peace talks in early January 2013 which resulted in a coalition government including the rebellion's leadership. In March 2013, the coalition government dissolved, rebels seized the capital, and President BOZIZE fled the country. Rebel leader Michel DJOTODIA assumed the presidency and the following month established a National Transitional Council (CNT). In January 2014, the CNT elected Catherine SAMBA-PANZA as interim president. Elections completed in March 2016 installed independent candidate Faustin-Archange TOUADERA as president; he continues to work towards peace between the government and armed groups, and is developing a disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and repatriation (DDRR) program to reintegrate the armed groups into society.

Geography

Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
LocationCentral Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates1 00 S, 15 00 E
7 00 N, 21 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 342,000 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
water: 500 sq km
total: 622,984 sq km
land: 622,984 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Montana
slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundariestotal: 5,008 km
border countries (5): Angola 231 km, Cameroon 494 km, Central African Republic 487 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,229 km, Gabon 2,567 km
total: 5,920 km
border countries (6): Cameroon 901 km, Chad 1,556 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,747 km, Republic of the Congo 487 km, South Sudan 1,055 km, Sudan 174 km
Coastline169 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
none (landlocked)
Climatetropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers
Terraincoastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
vast, flat to rolling plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 430 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m
mean elevation: 635 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Oubangui River 335 m
highest point: Mont Ngaoui 1,410 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower
diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 31.1%
arable land 1.6%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 29.3%
forest: 65.6%
other: 3.3% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 8.1%
arable land 2.9%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 5.1%
forest: 36.2%
other: 55.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land20 sq km (2012)
10 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsseasonal flooding
hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common
Environment - current issuesair pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation
tap water is not potable; poaching has diminished the country's reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges; desertification; deforestation
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - noteabout 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
landlocked; almost the precise center of Africa
Population distributionthe population is primarily located in the south, in and around the capital of Brazzaville
majority of residents live in the western and central areas of the country, especially in and around the capital of Bangui

Demographics

Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Population4,954,674
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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2017 est.)
5,625,118
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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 41.67% (male 1,041,761/female 1,022,763)
15-24 years: 17.1% (male 424,521/female 422,755)
25-54 years: 33.89% (male 843,856/female 835,041)
55-64 years: 4.29% (male 106,776/female 105,573)
65 years and over: 3.06% (male 66,962/female 84,666) (2017 est.)
0-14 years: 40.09% (male 1,133,361/female 1,121,640)
15-24 years: 19.94% (male 563,730/female 557,676)
25-54 years: 32.45% (male 913,363/female 912,096)
55-64 years: 4.1% (male 106,651/female 123,839)
65 years and over: 3.43% (male 74,834/female 117,928) (2017 est.)
Median agetotal: 19.7 years
male: 19.5 years
female: 19.8 years (2017 est.)
total: 19.7 years
male: 19.4 years
female: 20 years (2017 est.)
Population growth rate2.11% (2017 est.)
2.12% (2017 est.)
Birth rate34.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
34.3 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate9.5 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
13.2 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Net migration rate-3.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 54.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 59.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
total: 86.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 93.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 78.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 59.8 years
male: 58.6 years
female: 61.1 years (2017 est.)
total population: 52.8 years
male: 51.4 years
female: 54.2 years (2017 est.)
Total fertility rate4.59 children born/woman (2017 est.)
4.3 children born/woman (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate3.1% (2016 est.)
4% (2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
noun: Central African(s)
adjective: Central African
Ethnic groupsKongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%
Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS91,000 (2016 est.)
130,000 (2016 est.)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 33.1%, Awakening Churches/Christian Revival 22.3%, Protestant 19.9%, Salutiste 2.2%, Muslim 1.6%, Kimbanguiste 1.5%, other 8.1%, none 11.3% (2010 est.)
indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%
note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
HIV/AIDS - deaths3,800 (2016 est.)
7,300 (2016 est.)
LanguagesFrench (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.3%
male: 86.4%
female: 72.9% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 36.8%
male: 50.7%
female: 24.4% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria and dengue fever
animal contact disease: rabies
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2016)
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2012)
total: 7 years
male: 8 years
female: 6 years (2012)
Education expenditures6.2% of GDP (2010)
1.2% of GDP (2011)
Urbanizationurban population: 66.2% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 3.02% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 40.6% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 2.73% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 95.8% of population
rural: 40% of population
total: 76.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4.2% of population
rural: 60% of population
total: 23.5% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 89.6% of population
rural: 54.4% of population
total: 68.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 10.4% of population
rural: 45.6% of population
total: 31.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 20% of population
rural: 5.6% of population
total: 15% of population
unimproved:
urban: 80% of population
rural: 94.4% of population
total: 85% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 43.6% of population
rural: 7.2% of population
total: 21.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 56.4% of population
rural: 92.8% of population
total: 78.2% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationBRAZZAVILLE (capital) 1.888 million; Pointe-Noire 969,000 (2015)
BANGUI (capital) 794,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate442 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
882 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight12.3% (2015)
23.5% (2010)
Health expenditures5.2% of GDP (2014)
4.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.11 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate9.6% (2016)
7.5% (2016)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 252,171
percentage: 25% (2005 est.)
total number: 532,518
percentage: 47% (2006 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate30.1% (2014/15)
15.2% (2010/11)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 84.5
youth dependency ratio: 78.3
elderly dependency ratio: 6.2
potential support ratio: 16.1 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 90
youth dependency ratio: 83.1
elderly dependency ratio: 7
potential support ratio: 14.4 (2015 est.)

Government

Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Country name"conventional long form: Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)
local long form: Republique du Congo
local short form: Congo
former: French Congo, Middle Congo, People's Republic of the Congo, Congo/Brazzaville
etymology: named for the Congo River, which makes up much of the country's eastern border; the river name derives from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom that occupied its mouth at the time of Portuguese discovery in the late 15th century and whose name stems from its people the Bakongo, meaning ""hunters""
"
"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
etymology: self-descriptive name specifying the country's location on the continent; ""Africa"" is derived from the Roman designation of the area corresponding to present-day Tunisia ""Africa terra,"" which meant ""Land of the Afri"" (the tribe resident in that area), but which eventually came to mean the entire continent
"
Government typepresidential republic
presidential republic
Capitalname: Brazzaville
geographic coordinates: 4 15 S, 15 17 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Bangui
geographic coordinates: 4 22 N, 18 35 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions12 departments (departments, singular - department); Bouenza, Brazzaville, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pointe-Noire, Pool, Sangha
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
Independence15 August 1960 (from France)
13 August 1960 (from France)
National holidayIndependence Day, 15 August (1960)
Republic Day, 1 December (1958)
Constitutionhistory: several previous; latest approved by referendum 25 October 2015
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by Parliament; passage of presidential proposals requires Supreme Court review followed by approval in a referendum; such proposals may also be submitted directly to Parliament, in which case passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote of both houses in joint session; proposals by Parliament require three-fourths majority vote of both houses in joint session; constitutional articles including those affecting the country’s territory, republican form of government, and secularity of the state are not amendable (2017)
history: several previous; latest (interim constitution) approved by the Transitional Council 30 August 2015, adopted by referendum 13-14 December 2015, ratified 27 March 2016
amendments: proposals require support of the government, two-thirds of the National Council of Transition, and assent by the “Mediator of the Central African” crisis; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote by the National Council membership; non-amendable constitutional provisions include those on the secular and republican form of government, fundamental rights and freedoms, amendment procedures, or changes to the authorities of various high-level executive, parliamentary, and judicial officials (2017)
Legal systemmixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
civil law system based on the French model
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister (vacant); Prime Minister Clement MOUAMBA (since 23 April 2016) resigned on 18 August 2017; note - a constitutional referendum held in 2015 approved the change of the head of government from the president to the prime minister
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for 2 additional terms); election last held on 20 March 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: Denis SASSOU-Nguesso reelected president; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (PCT) 60.4%, Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS (MCDDI) 15.1%, Jean-Marie MOKOKO (independent) 13.9%, Pascal Tsaty MABIALA (UPADS) 4.4%, other 6.2%
chief of state: President Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (since 30 March 2016)
head of government: Prime Minister Simplice SARANDJI (since 2 April 2016)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: under the new constitution, the president is elected by universal direct suffrage for a period of 5 years (eligible for a second term); election last held 30 December 2015 with a runoff 20 February 2016 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: Faustin-Archange TOUADERA elected president in the second round; percent of vote in first round - Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE (URCA) 23.7%, Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (independent) 19.1%, Desire KOLINGBA (RDC) 12.0%, Martin ZIGUELE (MLPC) 11.4%, other 33.8%; percent of vote in second round - Faustin-Archange TOUADERA 62.7%, Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE 37.3%
note: rebel forces seized the capital in March 2013, forcing former President BOZIZE to flee the country; Interim President Michel DJOTODIA assumed the presidency, reinstated the prime minister, and established a National Transitional Council (CNT) in April 2013; the NTC elected Catherine SAMBA-PANZA interim president in January 2014 to serve until February 2015 when new elections were to be held; her term was extended because instability delayed new elections and the transition did not take place until the end of March 2016
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate (72 seats; members indirectly elected by regional councils by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms with one-half of membership renewed every 3 years) and the National Assembly (151 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 12 October 2014 for expiry of half the seats (next to be held in 2020); National Assembly - last held on 16 and 30 July 2017 (next to be held in July 2022)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RMP 33, FDU 23, UPADS 2, other 7, independent 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT 89, MCDDI 7, UPADS 7, RDPS 5, MAR 4, RC 3, MUST 2, UPDP 2, CPR 1, PRL 1, PUR 1, UFD 1, UR 1, independent 12, vacant 3
description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (131 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held 30 December 2015 (results annulled), 14 February 2016 - first round and 31 March 2016 - second round (next election to be held in 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UNDP 16, URCA 11, RDC 8, MLPC 10, KNK 7, other 19, independent 60
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members); note - a High Court of Justice, outside the judicial authority, tries cases involving treason by the president of the republic
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges elected by Parliament and serve until age 65; Constitutional Court members appointed by the president of the republic - 3 directly by the president and 6 nominated by Parliament; members appointed for renewable 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: Court of Audit and Budgetary Discipline; courts of appeal; regional and district courts; employment tribunals; juvenile courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges, at least 3 of whom are women)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president; Constitutional Court judge appointments - 2 by the president, 1 by the speaker of the National Assembly, 2 elected by their peers, 2 are advocates elected by their peers, and 2 are law professors elected by their peers; judges serve 7-year non-renewable terms
subordinate courts: high courts; magistrates' courts
Political parties and leadersAction Movement for Renewal or MAR [Roland BOUITI-VIAUDO]
Citizen's Rally or RC [Claude Alphonse NSILOU]
Congolese Labour Party or PCT [Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO]
Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS]
Movement for Unity, Solidarity, and Work or MUST [Claudine MUNARI]
Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Pascal Tsaty MABIALA]
Party for the Unity of the Republic or PUR
Patriotic Union for Democracy and Progress or UPDP [Auguste-Celestin GONGARD NKOUA]
Prospects and Realities Club or CPR
Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Bernard BATCHI]
Rally of the Presidential Majority or RMP
Republican and Liberal Party or PRL [Bonaventure MIZIDY]
Union for the Republic or UR
Union of Democratic Forces or UDF
Union for Democracy and Republic or UDR
many smaller parties
Action Party for Development or PAD
Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Clement BELIBANGA]
Central African Democratic Rally or RDC [Desire Nzanga KOLINGBA]
Movement for Democracy and Development or MDD [Louis PAPENIAH]
Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People or MLPC [Martin ZIGUELE]
National Convergence (also known as Kwa Na Kwa) or KNK [Francois BOZIZE]
National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Amine MICHEL]
New Alliance for Progress or NAP [Jean-Jacques DEMAFOUTH]
Social Democratic Party or PSD [Enoch LAKOUE]
Union for Central African Renewal or URCA [Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE]
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country) (suspended), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI (since 31 July 2001)
chancery: 1720 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860
chief of mission: Ambassador Stanislas MOUSSA-KEMBE (since 24 August 2009)
chancery: 2704 Ontario Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 483-7800
FAX: [1] (202) 332-9893
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mary DASCHBACH (since January 2015)
embassy: 70-83 Section D, Maya-Maya Boulevard, Brazzaville
mailing address: B.P. 1015, Brazzaville
telephone: [242] 06 612-2000
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires David P. BROWNSTEIN (since September 2017)
embassy: Avenue David Dacko, Bangui
mailing address: P.O. Box 924, Bangui
telephone: [236] 21 61 0200
FAX: [236] 21 61 4494
Flag descriptiondivided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a yellow band; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is red; green symbolizes agriculture and forests, yellow the friendship and nobility of the people, red is unexplained but has been associated with the struggle for independence
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia
four equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, green, and yellow with a vertical red band in center; a yellow five-pointed star to the hoist side of the blue band; banner combines the Pan-African and French flag colors; red symbolizes the blood spilled in the struggle for independence, blue represents the sky and freedom, white peace and dignity, green hope and faith, and yellow tolerance; the star represents aspiration towards a vibrant future
National anthem"name: ""La Congolaise"" (The Congolese)
lyrics/music: Jacques TONDRA and Georges KIBANGHI/Jean ROYER and Joseph SPADILIERE
note: originally adopted 1959, restored 1991
"
"name: ""Le Renaissance"" (The Renaissance)
lyrics/music: Barthelemy BOGANDA/Herbert PEPPER
note: adopted 1960; Barthelemy BOGANDA wrote the anthem's lyrics and was the first prime minister of the autonomous French territory
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)lion, elephant; national colors: green, yellow, red
elephant; national colors: blue, white, green, yellow, red
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Republic of the Congo
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: least one parent must be a citizen of the Central African Republic
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 35 years

Economy

Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Economy - overviewThe economy is a mixture of subsistence farming and hunting, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Natural gas is increasingly being converted to electricity rather than being flared, greatly improving energy prospects. New mining projects, particularly iron ore, which entered production in late 2013, may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue.

Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF, including the recently concluded Article IV consultations. The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The recent drop in oil prices has constrained government spending; lower oil prices forced the government to cut more than $1 billion in planned spending. However, the government increased infrastructure spending for the September 2015 All-Africa Games and the March 2016 presidential election, which put further pressure on the budget. The fiscal deficit exceeded 18% of GDP in 2015, but had subsided to about 11% of GDP by 2017. Substantial macroeconomic imbalances continued in 2016 following sustained low oil prices.
Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry and mining, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with about 60% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates more than half of estimated GDP, although reliable statistics are difficult to determine in the conflict-prone country. Timber and diamonds account for most export earnings, followed by cotton. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked geography, poor transportation system, largely unskilled work force, and legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. Factional fighting between the government and its opponents remains a drag on economic revitalization. Distribution of income is extraordinarily unequal and grants from the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs. CAR shares a common currency with the Central African Monetary Union, which is pegged to the Euro.

Since 2009, the IMF has worked closely with the government to institute reforms that have resulted in some improvement in budget transparency, but other problems remain. The government's additional spending in the run-up to the 2011 election worsened CAR's fiscal situation. In 2012, the World Bank approved $125 million in funding for transport infrastructure and regional trade, focused on the route between CAR's capital and the port of Douala in Cameroon. In July 2016, the IMF approved a three-year extended credit facility valued at $116 million; in mid-2017, the IMF completed a review of CAR’s fiscal performance and broadly approved of the government’s management, although issues with revenue collection, weak government capacity, and transparency remain. The World Bank in late 2016 approved a $20 million grant to restore basic fiscal management, improve transparency, and assist with economic recovery.

Participation in the Kimberley Process, a commitment to remove conflict diamonds from the global supply chain, led to a partially lifted the ban on diamond exports from CAR in 2015, but persistent insecurity is likely to constrain real GDP growth.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$29.16 billion (2017 est.)
$30.26 billion (2016 est.)
$31.13 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$3.395 billion (2017 est.)
$3.241 billion (2016 est.)
$3.101 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate-3.6% (2017 est.)
-2.8% (2016 est.)
2.6% (2015 est.)
4.7% (2017 est.)
4.5% (2016 est.)
4.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$6,700 (2017 est.)
$7,100 (2016 est.)
$7,500 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$700 (2017 est.)
$700 (2016 est.)
$600 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 8.9%
industry: 50.8%
services: 40.3% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 42.9%
industry: 15.9%
services: 41.2% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line46.5% (2011 est.)
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 37.1% (2005)
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 33% (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)-0.4% (2017 est.)
3.6% (2016 est.)
3.8% (2017 est.)
4.6% (2016 est.)
Labor force2.055 million (2016 est.)
2.242 million (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate36% (2014 est.)
8% (2001 est.)
note: 23% unemployment in the capital, Bangui
Budgetrevenues: $2.516 billion
expenditures: $3.336 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: $230.6 million
expenditures: $271.1 million (2017 est.)
Industriespetroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
gold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, sugar refining
Industrial production growth rate2% (2017 est.)
3.9% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productscassava (manioc, tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
cotton, coffee, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
Exports$5.238 billion (2017 est.)
$4.116 billion (2016 est.)
$118.5 million (2017 est.)
$101.5 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee
Exports - partnersChina 39.8%, Italy 10.2%, Australia 7%, Gabon 6.6%, Angola 6%, Singapore 4.2% (2016)
Belarus 33.5%, Germany 15.3%, France 14.2%, Chad 12.6%, Cameroon 9.7%, China 8.1% (2016)
Imports$3.519 billion (2017 est.)
$3.498 billion (2016 est.)
$380.5 million (2017 est.)
$340.8 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiescapital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partnersSouth Korea 18.2%, France 12.8%, China 12.2%, Norway 11.2%, Belgium 6.9% (2016)
Egypt 29.8%, France 18.6%, China 6.8%, Belgium 5.7%, Cameroon 5.4% (2016)
Debt - external$5.197 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.721 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$767.1 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$691.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesCooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
579.8 (2017 est.)
593.01 (2016 est.)
593.01 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
605.3 (2017 est.)
593.01 (2016 est.)
593.01 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt92.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
83.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
42.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
48.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.243 billion (2017 est.)
-$5.514 billion (2016 est.)
-$194 million (2017 est.)
-$161 million (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$7.799 billion (2016 est.)
$1.992 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$NA
Central bank discount rate4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate14% (31 December 2017 est.)
14% (31 December 2016 est.)
15.5% (31 December 2017 est.)
15.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.703 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.901 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$566.2 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$458.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$2.955 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.456 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$415.5 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$342.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$3.581 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.037 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$534.1 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$432.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues32.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
11.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-10.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
-2% of GDP (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 54.8%
government consumption: 12.8%
investment in fixed capital: 46.5%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 58.2%
imports of goods and services: -72.4% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 96.3%
government consumption: 7.8%
investment in fixed capital: 13.6%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 11.8%
imports of goods and services: -29.5% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving13.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
-26.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
-2.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
5.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
4.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
4.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Electricity - production1.676 billion kWh (2015 est.)
174 million kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption900.5 million kWh (2015 est.)
161.8 million kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports22 million kWh (2015 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports18 million kWh (2015 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production308,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - exports254,400 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - proved reserves1.6 billion bbl (1 January 2017 es)
0 bbl (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - proved reserves90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Natural gas - production1.5 billion cu m (2015 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption2.6 billion cu m (2015 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports39 million cu m (2012 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity545,000 kW (2015 est.)
44,000 kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels61.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
43.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants38.3% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
56.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production16,530 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption18,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
3,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports6,058 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports6,821 bbl/day (2014 est.)
2,828 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy6.5 million Mt (2013 est.)
400,000 Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 2,600,000
electrification - total population: 42%
electrification - urban areas: 62%
electrification - rural areas: 5% (2013)
population without electricity: 4,500,000
electrification - total population: 3%
electrification - urban areas: 5%
electrification - rural areas: 1% (2013)

Telecommunications

Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 17,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2016 est.)
total subscriptions: 1,964
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 5.216 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 110 (July 2016 est.)
total: 982,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: primary network consists of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable with services barely adequate for government use; key exchanges are in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, and Loubomo; intercity lines frequently out of order
domestic: fixed-line infrastructure inadequate, providing less than 1 connection per 100 persons; in the absence of an adequate fixed-line infrastructure, mobile-cellular subscribership has surged to 110 per 100 persons
international: country code - 242; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: network consists principally of microwave radio relay and low-capacity, low-powered radiotelephone communication
domestic: very limited telephone service with less than 1 fixed-line connection per 100 persons; spurred by the presence of multiple mobile-cellular service providers, cellular usage is increasing from a low base; most fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone services are concentrated in Bangui
international: country code - 236; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Internet country code.cg
.cf
Internet userstotal: 362,000
percent of population: 7.6% (July 2016 est.)
total: 246,000
percent of population: 4.6% (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast media1 state-owned TV and 3 state-owned radio stations; several privately owned TV and radio stations; satellite TV service is available; rebroadcasts of several international broadcasters are available (2007)
government-owned network, Radiodiffusion Television Centrafricaine, provides limited domestic TV broadcasting; state-owned radio network is supplemented by a small number of privately owned broadcast stations as well as a few community radio stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available (2017)

Transportation

Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Roadwaystotal: 17,000 km
paved: 1,212 km
unpaved: 15,788 km (2006)
total: 20,278 km
paved: 1,385 km
unpaved: 18,893 km (2010)
Waterways1,120 km (commercially navigable on Congo and Oubanqui Rivers above Brazzaville; there are many ferries across the river to Kinshasa; the Congo south of Brazzaville-Kinshasa to the coast is not navigable because of rapids, necessitating a rail connection to Pointe Noire; other rivers are used for local traffic only) (2011)
2,800 km (the primary navigable river is the Ubangi, which joins the River Congo; it was the traditional route for the export of products because it connected with the Congo-Ocean railway at Brazzaville; because of the warfare on both sides of the River Congo from 1997, importers and exporters preferred routes through Cameroon) (2011)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Pointe-Noire
river port(s): Brazzaville (Congo); Impfondo (Oubangi); Ouesso (Sangha); Oyo (Alima)
oil terminal(s): Djeno
river port(s): Bangui (Oubangui); Nola (Sangha)
Merchant marinetotal: 33
by type: general cargo 18, oil tanker 1, other 14 (2017)
total: 57
by type: bulk carrier 1, general cargo 49, other 7 (2017)
Airports27 (2013)
39 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 8
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2017)
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
total: 37
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 19
under 914 m: 6 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 3
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 12
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 657,926
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,987,493 mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 2
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 2
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 46,364
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixTN (2016)
TL (2016)

Military

Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Military branchesCongolese Armed Forces (Forces Armees Congolaises, FAC): Army (Armee de Terre), Navy, Congolese Air Force (Armee de l'Air Congolaise); Gendarmerie; Special Presidential Security Guard (GSSP) (2013)
Central African Armed Forces (Forces Armees Centrafricaines, FACA): Ground Forces (includes Military Air Service), General Directorate of Gendarmerie Inspection (DGIG), National Police (2017)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in the Armed Forces (2012)
18 years of age for military service; no conscription (2017)

Transnational Issues

Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Disputes - internationalthe location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is undefined except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area
periodic skirmishes persist over water and grazing rights among related pastoral populations along the border with southern Sudan
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 9,202 (Rwanda) (2016); 49,974 (Central African Republic); 12,280 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2017)
IDPs: 33,000 (multiple civil wars since 1992) (2016)
IDPs: 601,642 (clashes between army and rebel groups since 2005; tensions between ethnic groups) (2017)
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: the Republic of the Congo is a source and destination country for children, men, and women, subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; most trafficking victims are from Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and, to a lesser extent, other neighboring countries and are subjected to domestic servitude and market vending by West African and Congolese nationals; adults and children, the majority from the DRC, are also sex trafficked in Congo, mainly Brazzaville; internal trafficking victims, often from rural areas, are exploited as domestic servants or forced to work in quarries, bakeries, fishing, and agriculture
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the Republic of the Congo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the country drafted an action plan based on anti-trafficking legislation, which remains pending in the Supreme Court; the government made minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2014, failing to prosecute or convict suspected traffickers from cases dating back to 2010; serious allegations of official complicity continue to be reported; the government lacks a systematic means of identifying victims and relies on NGOs and international organizations to identify victims and NGOs and foster families to provide care to victims; the quality of care varied widely because the foster care system was allegedly undermined by inadequate security and official complicity (2015)
current situation: Central African Republic (CAR) is a source, transit, and destination country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking, women subjected to forced prostitution, and adults subjected to forced labor; most victims appear to be CAR citizens exploited within the country, with a smaller number transported back and forth between the CAR and nearby countries; armed groups operating in the CAR, including those aligned with the former SELEKA Government and the Lord’s Resistance Army, continue to recruit and re-recruit children for military activities and labor; children are also subject to domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, and forced labor in agriculture, mines, shops, and street vending; women and girls are subject to domestic servitude, sexual slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, and forced marriage
tier rating: Tier 3 – the Central African Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government conducted a limited number of investigations and prosecutions of cases of suspected human trafficking in 2014 but did not identify, provide protection to, or refer to care providers any trafficking victims; the government did not directly provide reintegration programs for demobilized child soldiers, leaving victims vulnerable to further exploitation or retrafficking by armed groups, including those affiliated with the government; in 2014, an NGO and the government began drafting a national action plan against trafficking but no efforts were reported to establish a policy against child soldiering or to raise awareness about existing laws prohibiting the use of children in the armed forces (2015)

Source: CIA Factbook