Central African Republic (CAR) is a land locked country surrounded by Sudan in the east, Democratic Republic of The Congo in the south, Cameroon in the west, and Chad in the north. CAR is a less developed economy with over 70% of its populace living in desolate areas. Marginal farming and forestry are the main economic activities of Central African Republic. More than 50% of CAR gross domestic product (GDP) is contributed by agriculture. Of the total exports, diamond accounts for 40% and timber contributes 16%.
Economic activities of Central African Republic
Agriculture with its contribution of nearly 55% to GDP forms the backbone of CAR’s economy. Timber, coffee, cotton, tobacco, corn, millet, yams, banana, and tapioca are the main agricultural products. Of these agricultural products timber, coffee, cotton and tobacco are exported.
Industries in CAR account for approximately 20% of GDP. Among the industries, diamond mining, gold mining, brewery, lumbering, motor cycle and bi-cycle assembling, textile manufacturing, and footwear manufacturing are prominent. Diamond is an important export of Central African Republic. Food items, machineries, petroleum, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electrical equipment and motor vehicles constitute the main imports.
Tertiary economic activities or services sector contributes 25% towards GDP.
According to figures of 2005 electricity production and consumption in CAR was 109 million kWh and 101.4 million kWh respectively. Oil consumption for the same year was approximately 2300 billion barrels per day, which was imported fully.
Economic parameters of CAR
Following are the important economic parameters of Central African Republic:
- GDP based on purchasing power parity (ppp) - US $3.007 billion
- GDP according to official exchange rate - US $1.714 billion
- Per capita GDP (ppp) - US $700
- Real growth rate of GDP - 4%
- Total revenue – US $250 million
- Total expenditure – US $273 million
- Total exports – US $146.7 million free on board
- Total imports –US $273.3 million free on board
- External debt – US $1.153 billion
- Currency – CFA franc
All the above figures are as per estimates of 2007.