Country Profiles:
Central African Republic

Central African Republic bordered by Chad to the north, Sudan and South Sudan to the north and east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) and the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) to the south, and Cameroon to the west. Although, the country is located in Central Africa as the name suggest, however it is not the center of the continent. The center of the continent is identified to lie in a town in the Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville called Dongou. The capital, Bangui, is the largest is located on the southern boundary, formed by the Ubangi River, a tributary of the Congo River.

Since gaining independence from France on August 13th 1960 the country has been unstable and a recent turmoil was a coup by the Seleka rebel coalition. The Seleka rebel coalition group mainly Muslims from the country’s northeast as well as from Chad and Sudan, seized power in the majority Christian country. A band of mostly Christian militias, called the anti-balaka, rose up to counter the Seleka. Seleka handed power to a transitional government in 2014 under international pressure but months of violence followed and the country was effectively partitioned, in spite of the presence of a UN peacekeeping force and a French mission according to the BBC. The country is still undergoing supervision and transition team. Catherine Samba-Panza was elected as interim president by the National Transitional Council, making her the first ever female Central African president. On July 23rd. 2014, following Congolese mediation efforts, Séléka and anti-balaka representatives signed a ceasefire agreement in Brazzaville. Faustin Archange Touadera, was elected President according to the national electoral authority made on February 19, 2016.

UNESCO Heritage sites in Central African Republic:

1. Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park

The park features vast savannas with a wealth of flora and fauna, such as black rhinoceroselephantscheetahsleopardswild dogsred-fronted gazelles and buffalo. The site was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1997 due to grazing and poaching that is thought to have claimed 80% of the wildlife in the park. Also cited was the shooting of four park staff and “a general state of deteriorating security.”

2. Sangha Trinational

Sangha Trinational is a forest divided between the nations of Central African RepublicCameroon and Congo-Brazzaville. It was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012.

The country has a wealth of mineral resources, including diamonds, gold, oil and uranium.

Diamonds account for nearly half of the country’s total export earnings. Gold, uranium, iron ore, copper, and manganese are mined in smaller quantities. The country’s waterfalls are sources of hydroelectric power, and dams located on the Mbali Lim River northwest of Bangui produce about four-fifths of the country’s electricity. With a wealth of resources that is still untapped, the country has one of the world’s poorest populations according to BBC. The country’s resources also includes rivers, plants, rainforest and wildlife. A total of about main 30 rivers that feed into the forests and grasslands. Few of the beautiful ones includes: Sangha rivers, Les Chutes de Boali, the Mbali Lim River on the north of Bangui, Oubangui River, are few. There are several national parks and wildlife reserves for site seeing.

CAR is also a prime spot for astronomers and star gazers for observing the milky way galaxy. This is partly due to the fact that the country is the least polluted country in the world despite few manufacturing plants and busy metropolitan area. It is also the only country in the continent where compasses go haywire, called the Bangui Magnetic Anomaly. Some experts see an ancient meteor strike. Geophysicists who map the earth’s magnetic fields have identified a disturbance in the earth’s natural magnetic fields within the Republic. They still have few clues about what causes it, but at least some think it could be key to understanding one of the most dramatic events in the history of the planet. It is one of the largest and most intense of such anomalies on earth. Some experts suggest that it may be the reason for some of the minerals found in the country.

The country has over eighty different tribes that are categorized into three parent groups who speak different dialects. the three dominant  groups are the Gbaya, M”baka and Banda. French and Sangho are two of the official languages.

Indigenous agriculture in the country includes millet, sorghum, banana, yam, okra etc. Meats can be scarce in the Central African Republic, although fish is used in a variety of dishes. Staple foods include starches, such as millet, rice, sesame and sorghum. Popular dishes include: Gozo (a cassava paste that is fried), Ngunza (a cassava leaf salad),  Bouiller (porridge made of rice, peanut butter, and sugar). A variety of vegetables and sauces are also consumed including Fufu.

Music from Central African Republic Central African Republic’ includes many different forms. Western rock and pop music, as well as Afro beat, soukous and other genres have become popular nationwide. The sanza is a popular instrument. The Pygmies have a complex folk music tradition. Polyphony and counterpoint are common components, as is a varied rhythmic structure. The trumpet-based music of the Bandas has also gained some popularity outside the area due to its jazzy structure.

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