Central African Republic

Sekondi Accra

After several delays, on January 23, 2011 voters re-elected President Francois Bozize who leads the Kwa Na Kwa (KNK) party whose largest opposition is Mouvement de la Liberation du Peuple Centrafricain led by ex- Prime Minister Martin Ziguele. President Bozize came to power after a 2003 coup. The president has portrayed himself as a strongman who is determined to maintain national security. He has been challenged consistently. During his first seven years in office, he was preoccupied with maintaining the country's sovereignty. Insurgencies in the northeast and northwest provinces threatened to destroy the republic's social fabric. The situation was so bad that United Nations (UN) forces had to be summoned to support an over extended national army. This strategy has achieved some success in bringing rebel leaders to the negotiating table. It has resulted in getting Jean-Jacques Demafouth, a former defense minister and leader of the northwest rebel movement Armee' Populaire pour la Restauration de la Democratie (APRD), to sign a comprehensive peace agreement with the government.

However, President Bozize's and the military along with the UN Mission have not solved the problem of eliminating the threat in the southeast where the Ugandan Lord's Resistence Army under the leadership of Joseph Krony stands poised to attack. The departure of troops from the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad may result in an escalation of further hostilities.

Despite CAR's inland geography, poor infrastructure and financial mismanagement, the republic's economic prospects are promising. Oil has been recently discovered and in September 2010, the government began negotiations with Chinese oil companies about exploration on blocks B and C near the Chad/CAR border. Exploration on Block A has been awarded to American oilman Jack J. Grynberg, however protracted legal disputes have stymied the project.

Even though some foreign business entities have left the country, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts moderate growth for 2010 and 2011, at 3.3% and 4% repectively. Its' estimates are based on large infusions of foreign aid and a positive rebound in exports.The economy is heavily dependent on minerals and timber. However due to bureaucratic redtape, many projects are in nascent stages of development. Such delays have tested the patience of foreign investors and most recently Pangea Resources, a diamond mining company, closed its office in CAR. In August 2010, Canadian based AXMIN's legal case against the government over the Passendro mine, estimated to contain 3 million ounces of gold, was resolved and gold extraction has begun. In January 2010 the government began coaxing France's AREVA corporation, another mining company, to ensure that it honors its' contract to begin work on the 40,000 ton uranium mine at Bakouma before 2011.


Official Data


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The Central African Republic maintains an embassy in the United States at 1618-22nd Street, NW, Washington, DC (tel: 202-483-7800/01, fax: 202-332-9893).
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