The Central African Republic (CAR) is a landlocked country bordered by Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, and Cameroon. The Central African Republic reports an estimated population of nearly 5 million people, with the most populated city being Bangui, the capital of the country. The Central African Republic is a former French colony, which gained its independence in 1960. It is a presidential republic and is divided into 14 prefectures. In addition to French being an official language, CAR has Sango, a Creole that also holds the status of an official language.
The Central African Republic has been battling devastating humanitarian crises for the past years. Following the fall of the civilian rule in 2003 after a successful military coup led by the general Bozize, the country quickly fell into a societal and economic struggle for stability. Food scarcity rapidly increased, which led to the threat of thousands of people dying of starvation, which in turn led to a humanitarian crisis. Nowadays, CAR is the country most affected by hunger and malnutrition worldwide, according to the Global Hunger Index in 2016. In addition to that, it is also among the countries with the highest prevalence of HIV and malaria, which resulted in the state being one of the countries with the highest death rates worldwide. Due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis, the Central African Republic is also among the countries with the lowest life expectancy, and projections show that this will not have improved by 2050.
As a consequence of a coup that took place in March 2013, which resulted in the then-president fleeing the country, the resulting dissolution of the government, and the rebels taking over the capital, the country’s economy took a severe financial hit. That year, the GDP growth rate of the state decreased by 36.7 percent. It is estimated to have recovered now, though, staying at about 4 to 5 percent for the foreseeable future. The lowest GDP value of the Central African Republic was also registered in 2013, when it amounted to 1.52 billion U.S. dollars - more than a quarter less than the previous year. Since then, gross domestic product has been increasing again slowly, and it is expected to continue on a positive trend for at least the next couple of years. The agriculture sector is the most developed sector and accounts for almost half of GDP generated; Norway is the country’s most important export and import partner.
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