Economy overview: Subsistence agriculture, together with the forestry industry, remains the backbone of the CAR economy, with more than 70% of the population living in remote areas; the agricultural sector produces half of GDP; timber provides about 16% of export earnings, and diamond mining – about 54%. Factors limiting the economic development of the CAR: landlocked, weak transport system, predominantly unskilled labor force, consequences of incorrect macroeconomic policies. The 50% devaluation of the CFA franc on January 12, 1994 had an ambiguous impact on the CAR economy. Exports of diamonds, wood, coffee, and cotton rose, driving GDP growth by 7% in 1994 and almost 5% in 1995. The military mutiny and civil unrest in 1996 caused significant damage to the private sector and caused a 2% decline in GDP. IMF in 1998 approved a program of expanded lending for economic restructuring, and the World Bank in early 2001 approved a loan of $10 million. The government expects GDP growth of 3.5% in 2001 and 2002. As of January 2001, many civil servants have been unpaid for more than 30 months, prompting strikes that further damage the economy. See businesscarriers.com to know more about Central African Republic Economics and Business.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $6.1 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 3.5% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $1,700 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 53%; industry: 20%; services: 27% (1999 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: per 10% of the poorest families: 0.7%; by the top 10% of families: 47.7% (1993).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 3% (2000 est.).
Labor force: no data.
Unemployment rate: 6% (1993).
Budget: revenues: $638 million; expenditures: $1.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $888 million (1994 est.).
Economic sectors: diamond mining, sawmilling, brewing, textiles, footwear, bicycle and motorcycle assembly.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 102 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 20.59%; hydropower: 79.41%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 94.9 million kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: cotton, coffee, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; wood.
Export: $166 million (free on board, 1999)
Exports: diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee, tobacco.
Export partners: Benelux 64%, Côte d’Ivoire, Spain, China, Egypt, France (1998).
Imports: $154 million (free on board, 2000)
Imports: food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, vehicles, chemicals, medicines, consumer goods, industrial products.
Import partners: France 35%, Cameroon 13%, Benelux, Côte d’Ivoire, Germany, Japan (1999).
External debt: $790 million (1999 est.). Economic aid recipient: $172.2 million (1995); note – usually subsidies from France.
Economic aid donor:
Currency: African Financial Community Franc (CFA franc, Communaute Finan-ciere Africaine franc); note – the circulation of the CFA franc is regulated by the Central Bank of West African countries.
Currency code: XOF.
Exchange rate: XOF/USD – 699.21 (January 2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996); note: since January 1, 1999, the CFA franc has been exchanged for the euro at a ratio of 655.957 CFA francs to 1 euro.
Fiscal year: calendar year.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 10,000 (1997).
Mobile Cell Phones: 570 (1997). d1
Telephone system: mediocre; domestic: the network consists mainly of microwave radio relay transmitters and low power and low bandwidth radiotelephone lines; international: satellite earth stations – 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM – 1, FM -3, shortwave – 1 (1998).
Radio receivers: 283,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: no data.
TVs: 18,000 (1997).
Internet country code: cf
Internet providers: 1 (2000).
Number of users: 1000 (2000).
Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total: 23,810 km; coated: 429 km; unpaved: 23,381 km (2000)
Waterways: 900 km; trade is traditionally carried out with the help of small craft and boats; Ubangi is the most important river, navigable all year round for boats with a draft of up to 0.6 m; 282 km navigable for vessels with a draft of up to 1.8 m.
Ports and harbors: Bangui, Nola.
Airports: 52 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 3; from 2438 to 3047 m:1; from 1524 to 2437 m: 2 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 49; from 2438 to 3047 m:1; from 1524 to 2437 m: 10; from 914 to 1523 m:23; less than 914 m: 15 (2000 est.).
Branches of the armed forces: armed forces of the CAR (army, air force, presidential guard, national gendarmerie, police).
Total military manpower: male 15 to 49: 824,139 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 430,922 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year:
Military spending in dollar terms: $29 million (1996).
Military spending as part of GDP: 2.2% (1996).