The World Factbook (1982)/Central African Republic

The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency
Central African Republic


World Factbook (1982) Central African Republic.jpg
(See reference map VII)


626,780 km2; 10%-15% cultivated, 5% dense forests, 80%-85% grazing, fallow, vacant arable land, urban, waste

Land boundaries: 4,981 km


Population: 2,471,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.6%

Nationality: noun—Central African(s); adjective—Central African

Ethnic divisions: approximately 80 ethnic groups, the majority of which have related ethnic and linguistic characteristics; Banda (32%) and Baya-Mandjia (29%) are largest single groups; 6,500 Europeans, of whom 6,000 are French and majority of the rest Portuguese

Religion: 40% Protestant, 28% Catholic, 24% animist, 8% Muslim; animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority

Language: French official; Sangho, lingua franca and national language

Literacy: estimated at 20%

Labor force: about half the population economically active, 80% of whom are in agriculture; approximately 64,000 salaried workers

Organized labor: 1% of labor force


Official name: Central African Republic

Type: republic, under military rule since September 1981

Capital: Bangui

Political subdivisions: 14 prefectures, 47 subprefectures Legal system: based on French law; Constitution, which was approved in February 1981 referendum, was suspended after September 1981 military takeover; judiciary, Supreme Court, court of appeals, criminal court, and numerous lower courts

National holiday: 4 December

Branches: Gen. André-Dieudonné Kolingba is Chief of State and President of the Military Committee for National Recovery, which replaced the Council of Ministers; no legislature; separate judiciary

Government leader: Gen. André-Dieudonné KOLINGBA, Chief of State, President of the Military Committee for National Recovery, Minister of National Defense, and Armed Forces Chief of Staff

Suffrage: universal over age 21

Elections: no scheduled presidential, legislative, or municipal elections

Political parties and leaders: political parties were banned in September 1981

Communists: no Communist party; small number of Communist sympathizers

Member of: AFDB, Conference of East and Central African States, EAMA, ECA, FAO, G-77, GATT, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IFAD, ILO, IMF, ITU, NAM, OAU, OCAM, UDEAC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO


GDP: $535,5 million (1980 est.), $200 per capita, 1% real growth

Agriculture: commercial—cotton, coffee, peanuts, sesame, wood; main food crops—manioc, corn, peanuts, rice, potatoes, beef; requires wheat, flour, rice, beef, and sugar imports

Major industries: sawmills, cotton textile mills, brewery, diamond mining and splitting

Electric power: 44,000 kW capacity (1980); 66 million kWh produced (1980), 28 kWh per capita

Exports: $129.7 million (f.o.b., 1979 est.); cotton, coffee, diamonds, timber

Imports: $101.6 million (f.o.b., 1979 est.); textiles, petroleum products, machinery and electrical equipment, motor vehicles and equipment, chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Major trade partners: France, Yugoslavia, Japan, US

Budget: (1980) revenues $95.1 million (est.), current expenditures $131.1 million (est.), development expenditures $4.4 million (est.)

Monetary conversion rate: 225.8 Communaute Financiere Africaine (CFA) francs=US$1 (1980)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: none

Highways: 21,950 km total; 454 km bituminous, 10,196 km improved earth, 11,300 unimproved earth

Inland waterways: 7,080 km; traditional trade carried on by means of shallow-draft dugouts on the extensive system of rivers and streams

Ports: Bangui (river port)

Civil air: 3 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 55 total, 47 usable; 3 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 18 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: facilities are meager; network is composed of low-capacity, low-powered radio-communication stations and radio-relay links; 6,000 telephones (0.2 per 100 popl.); 3 AM stations, 1 FM station, and 1 TV station


Military manpower: males 15-49, 541,000; 281,000 fit for military service

Supply: mainly dependent on France, but has received equipment from Israel, Italy, USSR, FRG, South Korea, and PRC

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 31 December 1980; $13.5 million; about 10.8% of central government budget