Central African Republic

The Central African Republic is an African country, which is landlocked on all sides with countries like Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo on its borders. It was under French rule until 1960, after which it was ruled by a series of presidents who often came to power by force and did little to benefit the country. Finally, in 1993, democratic elections were held with the help of the UN.

Rich Resources, Poor Country

The Central African Republic is listed as one of the least developed countries in the world, yet it holds a vast resource of natural resources like oil and diamonds. Today, the country is mainly an agricultural nation with over 50% of the gross domestic product coming from farming. Its main crops are cotton, coffee, tobacco, cassava, bananas yams and maize. The country itself is sparsely populated with only 650 kilometres of paved road and limited international air service. There are no domestic flights and railroads.

The Central African Republic has had very little if any economic development since it gained independence. This is due to a number of factors including political mismanagement and corruption. The country has a very poor infrastructure and a limited tax base and a number of adverse conditions have led to diminished private investment. In terms of facilities, the Central African Republic has an operational telephone system, four radio stations, one television station and one Internet service provider. Numerous newspapers are published regularly.

Despite its backward economic status and huge debt, the Central African Republic is also home to rich natural resources. A vast store of valuable minerals such as diamonds and gold not to mention fuel deposits like uranium and oil have been found in the country and are still largely unexploited. These resources are currently being developed, with diamonds making up 50% of the county's exports in 2002.

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