Country of the World Central African Republic

About the country Central African Republic, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: In the geographic center of Africa, the Central African Empire (C.A.E.) is situated on a plateau, 2,000 ft. in elevation, draining north into the Shari Basin and Lake Chad and south into the Ubangi River, a tributary of the Congo. There are a large rain forest in the southwest of the C.A.E. and a semidesert in the northeast, but most of the country is savanna. The climate is damp but pleasant.

Size: 241,306 sq. mi. (624,984 sq. km.).

Population: 1.9 million.

Who Rules: The chief of state and head of government is Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa. At times he exercises the full authority of his office himself, and at other times he delegates administration to his council of ministers.

Who REALLY Rules: Bokassa, a product of the French army, was allegedly elevated to power with the aid of French intelligence. He rules at the pleasure of the French government, which props up his government with continuing financial assistance. In 1966 Bokassa seized power and established dictatorial rule, declaring himself president for life in 1972, marshal of the republic in 1974, and emperor in December, 1976.

His December, 1977, coronation cost an estimated $20 million to $30 million, in a land considered to be one of the world's poorest--with a per capita income of about $155 per year. His $5 million crown, which Bokassa ceremoniously placed on his own head, contains emeralds, rubies, and thousands of C.A.E. diamonds.

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