Is peace and economic stability possible in the Central African Republic?

Is peace and economic stability possible in the Central African Republic?

Faustin-Archange Touadéra, the newly elected president of the Central African Republic, is facing serious challenges in ensuring peace and economic stability of his country.

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Faustin-Archange Touadéra, the newly elected president of the Central African Republic, is facing serious challenges in ensuring peace and economic stability of his country.

Faustin-Archange Touadéra was born in Bangui on the 21st April 1957. He was education in Africa as well as France, attending the University of Bangui, the University of Abidjan, Lille University of Science and Technology and the University of Cameroon.

Prior to being made President in February 2016 he was Prime Minister for 5 years, from 2008 to 2013.

Before beginning his political career, he had a number of professions in the educational sector, including being a mathematics lecturer and Director of teaching. Whilst rector at the University of Bangui he launched an entrepreneurship training program and a “distance learning” initiative. The “distance learning program” arranges online degrees in both French and English, including; diplomacy, religious studies and sustainable development.

The Central African Republic

The Central African Republic (CAP) is a former French colony gaining its independence in 1960 having been under French rule since the late 19th century. Prior to becoming a republic in 1979, the Central African Empire was established in 1976.

CAP is a landlocked country with a population of 5.2m. It largely consists of savannas in the north and equatorial forests in the south and has vast mineral deposits.

CAP first became a democracy in 1993 however since 2003 when there was a military coup the country has witnessed a lot of unrest and fighting. Whilst the Central African Republic Bush War officially ended with a peace treaty in 2007, since 2011 there have been a number of serious instances of unrest, including ethnic and religious cleansing of the minority Muslim population in 2013 and 2014, this resulted in the displacement of a large percentage of the population.

Mineral deposits

Although CAP is amongst one of the 10th poorest countries in the world and has the second worst level of human development, is has substantial mineral deposits including; Uranium, crude oil, gold, diamonds and cobalt. It also has large reserves of lumber and productive arable land as well as a significant hydropower industry.

Challenges

The Central African Republic continues to be hugely dependent on foreign aid with NGO’s supplying a number of vital services that the government does not provide. As with so many other African countries, political corruption and inexperience continues to plague them.

CAP suffers from a number of economic, health and security issues as well as a number of natural hazards. These include; extreme hunger and poverty and high levels of illiteracy particularly amongst the female population. Malaria, dengue fever, rabies and typhoid fever continue to be a significant problem in CAP and recent statistics indicate that 4.7% of the population are currently infected with AIDS/HIV, making it one of the ‘kill zones’ in Africa.

CAP used to have a great reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges however overgrazing and increased levels of deforestation and poaching are now adding a number of major environmental issues to the list of problems facing the country.

Civil unrest is also still a major concern, with a number of different rebel groups existing in the country. Clashes amongst Christian and Muslim populations continue to be one

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