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Central African Republic

The Central African Republic is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It measures 623,000 km² and is bordered in the north by Chad, in the east by Sudan, in the south by the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in the West by Cameroon. It is located between 2° and 11° latitude north and 13° and 27° longitude east. The population of the Central African Republic is ethnically diverse and the unifying factor is Sangö, the national language, which is spoken throughout the country. The population, which was estimated at 4,250,000 inhabitants in 2007, is unevenly distributed, with an average density of 7 inhabitants per km2. The dependent population is in the majority, to the extent as those under 18 years of age and over the age of 60 represent 50 percent and 4 percent, respectively, of the total population.

Because of its geographic location, the Central African Republic benefits from favorable climatic conditions and is endowed with rich agricultural lands and enormous natural resources, such as wood, gold, and diamonds, the exploitation of which remains rudimentary and artisanal. The landlocked country of the Central Africa Republic (CAR) has rich agricultural lands, a favorable climate and significant natural resources. Yet it is currently among the least developed countries in the world, with a per capita GDP of US$458 (in 2008; UNDP, 2010c). The majority of CAR’s population of 4.5 million people (est. in 2010) earns their livelihood through agriculture (75 per cent of the workforce). Agriculture is also the main economic sector of the country; CAR earns 55 per cent of its annual GDP primarily though the production and sale of timber, cotton and livestock. Other main economic sectors are industry (15 per cent of GDP, primarily from diamond mining and sawmills) and services (30 per cent of GDP). CAR is home to a significant part of the Congo Basin rainforest, where little logging and exploitation has taken place to date due to poor infrastructure. The present climate of CAR is tropical, with a humid equatorial climate in the south and a Sahelo-Sudanian climate in the north. The country experiences hot, dry winters and mild to hot, wet summers.