Despite large assets of diamonds, forests,
gold and uranium, the Central African Republic is one of
the world's poorest countries. The country's closed
position, without its own coast, also impedes economic
development, as well as poor infrastructure and
recurring drought. In addition, corruption is widespread
in both business and government.
However, the most serious obstacle to economic
development has been political instability since
independence in 1960 with coups, civil war and periods
Major imports by Central African Republic, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.
On the World Bank's ranking list of business
opportunities in the countries of the world, the Central
African Republic in 2015 ended up in place 187 of 189.
The basis of the economy consists of agriculture,
forestry, fishing and livestock management on a small
scale. Under normal circumstances, more than half the
population feed on these industries, and more than half
the gross domestic product (GDP) comes from the
agricultural sector. Cotton, coffee. Cocoa and rubber
are the most important export crops, but the profits are
small. Agricultural exports are sensitive to price
fluctuations in the world's commodity markets.
The industrial sector is small and undeveloped. The
existing factories are mainly engaged in the manufacture
of textiles and the processing of agricultural products.
Abbreviationfinder.org: Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including CAF which represents the country of Central African Republic.
The burden of debt eases
The Central African Republic has long had a deficit
in the state budget as a result of low tax revenues,
large payroll debt to government employees and other
debts. At the end of the first decade of the 2000s, it
began to look brighter and in 2010 marked marked
improvements in government finances. This was partly due
to improved government control and an increased
collection of income taxes and VAT. Another important
reason was that the country had received increased aid a
few years ago and that several aid donors began to write
down the value of the country's debts or to neglect them
completely. As a result, foreign debt decreased
dramatically. A few years into the 2000s, the total
foreign debt was one billion dollars - in 2009 it was
down to $ 222 million.
However, the civil war that erupted in 2012 destroyed
the small progress achieved. Agricultural production
dropped drastically when farmers were forced to flee
their lands and lose their livelihood. Livestock was
seized by gangsters. Companies were looted and
infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) destroyed.
There are no sure fresh figures for the country's
GDP. But it is estimated that growth fell by up to 40
percent in 2014. Prior to the fighting, it had been at
about 4 percent annually.
The conflict also hit hard on the legitimate diamond
trade. Under normal conditions, diamonds are the
country's most important export product, and diamond
export tax is one of the state's most important sources
of income, but during the conflict, militia groups took
control of much of the diamond extraction, leading to an
international export ban on diamonds from the Central
African Republic (see Natural Resources and Energy).
Thus, the state loses important income. Instead,
quantities of diamonds are smuggled out of the country.
The drastically reduced economic activity has reduced
the tax base to almost zero. Even under more normal
conditions, it is difficult to collect taxes as most of
the country is beyond the government's control. The
state is hanging out with aid and loans from abroad.
This does not mean that Central Africans avoid tax.
Instead, it is militia groups that, with violence or
threats of violence, tax business movements, farmers,
livestock keepers and even local authorities. In
particular, the diamond and gold extraction gives the
militias significant income.
FACTS - FINANCE
GDP per person
US $ 510 (2018)
US $ 2,380 million (2018)
4.3 percent (2018)
Agriculture's share of GDP
33.9 percent (2017)
Manufacturing industry's share of GDP
15.7 percent (2017)
The service sector's share of GDP
28.2 percent (2017)
3.0 percent (2019)
Government debt's share of GDP
49.9 percent (2018)
US $ 731 million (2017)
Central African Franc
US $ 146 million (1994)
US $ 131 million (1994)
- US $ 25 million (1994)
Commodity trade's share of GDP
25 percent (2018)
Main export goods
diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee
Largest trading partner
China, Belgium, Congo-Brazzaville, South Korea,
UN effort is extended
The UN Security Council extends the mandate of Binuca, the United Nations
Office for Peace Creation in the Central African Republic, to December 31, 2011.
The Peace Office (formerly called Bonuca) has been in the country since 2000.
New violence in the north
The CPJP rebel group attacks and occupies the city of Birao in the
northeastern part of the country.
UN force is withdrawn
The UN withdraws Minurcat from Chad and the Central African Republic.
New election date
A new date for the presidential and parliamentary elections is set for
The choices are postponed
Parliament extends Bozizé's mandate until elections can be held.
Bozizé announces elections
President Bozizé announces that elections will be held on April 25. The
opposition protests and claims that the elections will be manipulated.