The Central African Republic (CAR), a landlocked country with a population of 4.7 million is embarking on a long path to recovery. Its long history is marred by political instability and, in 2013, another major security and humanitarian crisis erupted, unraveling the country’s social fabric and displacing over 25% of its population. Recent presidential and legislative elections have, however, brought three years of political transition and turmoil to an end.
For the first time in its history, the CAR has a democratically-elected president and parliament. On 2 March 2016, its Constitutional Court declared Faustin Archange Touadera the new president-elect. The
President François Bozizé, who came to power through a coup in 2003, was overthrown in March 2013 by the Séléka rebel movement, which
The French Sangaris force and the UN played a major role in seeking to restore peace in the CAR.
The sectarian violence uprooted nearly 1.2 million people. After four years, 384,000 people are still displaced and more than 467,000 people are still refugees in Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of Congo. More than half of the country's population, the equivalent of about 2.3 million people, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, while more than 76%of the population continues to live in extreme poverty. At the national level, only 55%of health facilities are functional; only 25%of health facilities have an energy source, while only 2% have a potable water source.
Economic recovery in the CAR is proceeding slower than expected. Real GDP growth in 2016 was estimated at 4.55, down half a percentage point from the previous estimate. This is mainly the result of recent security incidents and related disruptions of economic activity, notably in the transport sector, with delayed public investment compounding downward pressure. On the expenditure side, private consumption continues to be the main contributor to GDP, while gross fixed capital formation remains hampered by a weak investment climate and limited public investment.
Medium Term Outlook
The successful presidential election is an important step toward national reconstruction. Refugees and the internally displaced are expected to return to their land as security improves. Real GDP growth is projected to gradually accelerate to 4.75% in 2017 and 5% in 2018, conditional on security, the implementation of the government development plan, and further strengthening in primary sectors and their related export performance. Economic growth will also be driven by a rise in import and export activities, assuming continued UN peace-keeping efforts for security and escort of merchandise along the corridor.
Last Updated: Apr 20, 2017