Central African Republic Environment and Economy

Central African Republic Economy

ENVIRONMENT

The territory of the Central African Republic is dominated by the savannah: in the southern part, by the herbaceous Guinean-type savannah, more or less sparse and sometimes shrubby, in the northern part, by the Sudanese-type savannah, where strips of forest extendtunnel along the rivers. In the northwestern part of the country a steppe zone extends, while in the southwestern territories the evergreen forest appears. Rich in natural resources, it has a rich and varied fauna so much that, in its territory, almost all African species are represented: hippos, gorillas, chimpanzees, crocodiles, elephants, gazelles, antelopes, lions, rhinos, giraffes, etc. The importance, variety and richness of fauna have allowed the creation of numerous reserves, parks and protected areas, which make up 18.2% of the territory. There are four national parks: the best known is that of Manovo-Gounda Saint Floris declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, and able to host, during the dry season, one of the largest concentrations of hippos in the world. Unfortunately, the same park since 1997 has been inscribed on the list of endangered heritage, in fact the country is subject to deforestation, increased soil erosion and poaching, which are the most serious environmental problems to be faced.

ECONOMY

Among the poorest of the African continent characterized by a dualistic economic development inherited from colonization, the country has a modest and not very diversified economy; on the other hand, over 55% of the territory is unproductive or uncultivated, while the arable land is just over 3%. GDP was US $ 1,997 million and per capita of just 459 US dollars in 2008. The economic situation of the Central African Republic was negatively characterized by a series of elements that made their appearance already during the 1980s, such as constant population growth, low development of productive structures, dependence from the primary sector and poor industrialization. According to allcountrylist, the economic situation worsened further in the last decade of the twentieth century. following the political and social instability and the austerity measures imposed by the International Monetary Fund as part of an attempt at structural readjustment. The outbreak of the civil war in 1998 brought heavy repercussions on trade, interrupting the already precarious trade and communication routes represented by the Congo and Oubangui rivers and the railway line between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. § More than half of the active population is dedicated to subsistence agriculture, which mainly produces cassava, cereals, potatoes and citrus fruits. Agricultural crops are mostly destined for internal consumption. Only coffee and cotton are export crops; however, they are strongly affected by the trend in prices on international markets and by negative climatic events. The Central African Republic, starting from the 1970s, was one of the African countries most affected by drought with particularly disastrous consequences on agricultural production. § Breeding is not widespread: goats and cattle prevail, the latter expanding thanks to the progressive spread of animals of the breed immune to the tsetse fly. § Despite having an area covered with forests and woods for 36, 8% the exploitation of the production of precious wood (mahogany and ebony) is still quite modest, even if it contributes in large part to the income of the trade balance, which is in any case in deficit (2006). § The scarcity of communication routes and even more the general unpreparedness of the ruling political class do not allow the creation of adequate productive structures: industrial activity is very modest. There are textile (Bangui), chemical, mechanical, food and beer plants. Equally negligible is the production of electricity.

The production of diamonds, located in the western and southwestern part, constitutes the greatest wealth of the country, but a large part of the annual production is extracted and exported clandestinely, evading customs. Gold (Roandji and Pouloubou), uranium (Bakouma) and iron (Bogoin) are also mined. § The country mainly exports coffee, cotton, diamonds and timber; the main partners are Belgium, Spain, Indonesia, France and China. It imports machinery, means of transport, metals, chemicals and textiles. Commercial exchanges take place mainly with France, followed by the Netherlands and the United States. The poverty itself of the country and the reduced manufacturing sector make the trade movement with foreign countries very modest. § The railways are missing, although the construction of a connection line with metals, chemicals and textiles. Commercial exchanges take place mainly with France, followed by the Netherlands and the United States. The poverty itself of the country and the reduced manufacturing sector make the trade movement with foreign countries very modest. § The railways are missing, although the construction of a connection line with metals, chemicals and textiles. Commercial exchanges take place mainly with France, followed by the Netherlands and the United States. The poverty itself of the country and the reduced manufacturing sector make the trade movement with foreign countries very modest. § The railways are missing, although the construction of a connection line with Yaoundé, capital of Cameroon; there are also few roads; the main communication route remains the Oubangui River. Bangui concentrates, through its river port, most of the import and export movement, which also makes use of the roads leading to Douala (Cameroon); the capital is also served by an international airport. Cooperation plans have been launched in the transport sector with neighboring countries.

Central African Republic Economy