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Basic Facts
Country name conventional long form: Central African Republic
conventional short form: none
local long form: Republique Centrafricaine
local short form: none
former: Ubangi-Shari, Central African Empire
abbreviation: CAR
Gevernment typerepublic
Capital name: Bangui
geographic coordinates: 4 22 N, 18 35 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Flag descriptionfour equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, green, and yellow with a vertical red band in center; there is a yellow five-pointed star on the hoist side of the blue band
CurrencyCommunaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Internet country
Ports and terminalsBangui, Nola, Salo, Nzinga
Agriculture productscotton, coffee, tobacco, manioc (tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
Industriesgold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, textiles, footwear, assembly of bicycles and motorcycles
LocationCentral Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coordinates7 00 N, 21 00 E
Area total: 622,984 sq km
land: 622,984 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Boundaries total: 5,203 km
border countries: Cameroon 797 km, Chad 1,197 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,577 km, Republic of the Congo 467 km, Sudan 1,165 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
Climatetropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers
Terrainvast, flat to rolling, monotonous plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest
Natural resourcesdiamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower
Natural hazardshot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupsBaya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%
Religionsindigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%
note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
LanguagesFrench (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages

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