Central African Republic Travel

April 22, 2009

Economy of the Central African Republic

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2005-02_milward-wet_route_central_africaThe Central African Republic is classified as one of the world’s least developed countries, with an estimated annual per capita income of $310 (2000).

Sparsely populated and landlocked, the nation is overwhelmingly agrarian, with the vast bulk of the population engaged in subsistence farming and 55% of the country’s GDP arising from agriculture. 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. Principal foodcrops include cassava, peanuts, sorghum, millet, maize, sesame, and plantains. Principal cash crops for export include cotton, coffee, and tobacco. Timber has accounted for about 16% of export earnings and the diamond industry for nearly 54%.

January 26, 2009

Lobaye

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Lobaye is one of the 14 prefectures of the Central African Republic. Its capital is Mbaïki. The prefecture is located in the southern part of the country, bordering the Congo Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It shares borders with the prefectures of Mambéré-Kadéï to the northwest, Sangha-Mbaéré to the west, and Ombella-M’Poko to the northeast. Besides Mbaïki, other important cities include Boda, in the north, and Mongoumba, by the Ubangi River. Most of the inhabitants are coffea farmers. Most of the farmers are extremely poor; most children do not go to college, and many die due to lack of medical care. David Dacko, the first and third president of the Central African Republic from 1960-1965, and 1979-1981 is from Lobaye.

December 5, 2008

Exposure to the outside world

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Until the early 1800s, the peoples of the CAR lived beyond the expanding Islamic frontier in the Sudanic zone of Africa and thus had relatively little contact with Abrahamic religions or northern economies. During the first decades of the nineteenth century, however, Muslim traders began increasingly to penetrate the region of the CAR and to cultivate special relations with local leaders in order to facilitate their trade and settlement in the region. The initial arrival of Muslim traders in the early 1800s was relatively peaceful and depended upon the support of local peoples, but after about 1850, slave traders with well-armed soldiers began to penetrate the region. Between c. 1860 and 1910, slave traders from Sudan, Chad, Cameroon, Dar al-Kuti in Northern CAR and Nzakara and Zande states in Southeastern CAR exported much of the population of Eastern CAR, a region with very few inhabitants today.

October 7, 2008

Background

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The entry of German nationals only with an appropriate visa possible. Germany responsible for the Central African embassy is located in Paris.

August 22, 2008

Pre-history

Between about 1000 BC and 1000 AD, Adamawa-Eastern-speaking peoples spread eastward from Cameroon to Sudan and settled in most of the territory of the CAR. During the same period, a much smaller number of Bantu-speaking immigrants settled in Southwestern CAR and some Central Sudanic-speaking populations settled along the Oubangi. The majority of the CAR’s inhabitants thus speak Adamawa-Eastern languages or Bantu languages belonging to the Niger-Congo family.

A minority speak Central Sudanic languages of the Nilo-Saharan family. More recent immigrants include many Muslim merchants who most often speak Arabic or Hausa.

June 17, 2008

Dzanga-Sangha National Park

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This national park, wedged into the triangle of southwestern CAR Cameroon from Congo, is probably the one corner of the country still attracting visitors. Gorillas, elephants and the Baka people are all found in this remote corner of Africa.

Bayanga is the main village near the park, on the banks of the Sangha River. Although a handful of intrepid visitors may come to Bayanga by road, most visitors probably arrive in chartered aircraft. Bayanga has a number of small guesthouses offering simple accommodation, but the fly-in groups will probably stay at the riverside Dolicom Lodge, which has rooms with luxuries like attached bathrooms and running water. The lodge is only open when a group turns up, usually bringing their own supplies with them.

May 12, 2008

When to Go

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Rain is the most important point to consider when planning a trip to the CAR, because a wet season downpour can strand you for days. In most of the CAR the best time to travel is from November to April, but the rains come by late February in the south and around Bangui. Most of the national parks are open year-round, but St Floris in the northeast is open only from 1 December to 15 May.

May 1, 2008

Bangui

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Bangui is the capital of and the largest city in the Central African Republic. The majority of the population of the Central African Republic lives in the western parts of the country, near Bangui. Though located within Ombella-M’Poko prefecture, it is an independent commune, and thus politically independent of the surrounding prefecture.

The Central African Republic

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The Central African Republic (CAR), French: République Centrafricaine pronounced [ʀepyblik sɑ̃tʀafʀikɛn] or Centrafrique [sɑ̃tʀafʀik]) is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It borders Chad in the north, Sudan in the east, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the south, and Cameroon in the west.

Most of the CAR consists of Sudano-Guinean savannas but it also includes a Sahelo-Sudanese zone in the north and an equatorial forest zone in the south. Two thirds of the country lie in the basins of the Ubangi River, which flows south into the Congo River, while the remaining third lies in the basin of the Chari River, which flows north into Lake Chad.

Since most of the territory is located in the Ubangi and Shari river basins, the French called the colony it carved out in this region Ubangi-Shari, or Oubangui-Chari in French. This French colony of Ubangi-Shari became a semi-autonomous territory of the French Community in 1958 and then an independent nation on 13 August 1960. For over three decades after independence, the CAR was ruled by presidents who were not chosen in truly democratic elections or who took power by force. Local discontent with this system was eventually reinforced by international pressure, following the end of the Cold War.

The first fair democratic elections were held in 1993 with resources provided by the country’s donors and help from the UN Office for Electoral Affairs. They brought Ange-Félix Patassé to power, but President Patassé lost popular support and was overthrown by French-backed General François Bozizé in 2003. General Bozizé won a democratic election in May 2005.

Inability to pay workers in the public sector led to strikes in 2007, forcing the resignation of the government in early 2008. A new Prime Minister, Faustin-Archange Touadéra was named on January 22nd, 2008.

The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world and among the ten poorest countries in Africa.

In 2001 The Ecologist magazine estimated that Central African Republic is the world’s leading country in sustainable development.

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