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CAR Information - Page 2
The French annexed the region known as Oubangui-Chari in the 1880s.

In 1910 Oubangui-Chari (present-day Central African Republic) became one of four territories of the Federation of French Equatorial Africa - Afrique Equatoriale Francaise (AEF).

Former Oubangui-Chari achieved independence in 1960 as the Central African Republic (CAR). Other AEF members - Chad, Republic of the Congo and Gabon - also gained independence.

A number of military governments ruled the CAR in the decades following independence.

Democratic elections were held in 1993 and Ange Felix Patasse became the President of the Central African Republic. Patasse was deposed by a military coup in March 2003.

A multi-national African military force was deployed in the CAR in 2003.

Agriculture and forestry provide a livelihood for the majority of the working population. The agricultural sector earns a significant percentage of the CAR's Gross Domestic Product.

Food crops are cassava, millet, sorghum, yams, bananas and coffee. Cotton is also grown.

Timber and diamonds are the main exports. Other resources are uranium, gold, oil and hydropower. Industries include assembly of bicycles and motorcycles, soap, textiles, footwear and brewing. (2008)

There are over eighty ethnics groups living in the Central African Republic. Groups include the Banda, Baya, Mandja, and Sara, each with their own culture and histories.

Music and dance are integral to the Central African way of life. Traditional dancing is recognised as an important art form.

Local crafts and a variety of musical instruments can be seen in the Boganda Museum in Bangui.

Football is a popular sport in the Central African Republic. Other sports played include basketball and volleyball.

All religious holidays are celebrated. Independence Day is on 13 August (1960 - from France)

News from the Central African Republic is available in Newslink.

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