Daniel Halliday
Mar 7 · Last update 3 mo. ago.
What’s holding back development in the Central African Republic?
The Central African Republic continually ranks amongst the lowest countries in the world in regard to their Human Development Index ranking (a combined indicator of average life expectancy, income and education for a country). It has also been named the world’s unhealthiest country based upon the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the worst country to be a young person according to the Commonwealth Secretariat Youth Development Index. But with a large territory, covered in rich savanna, and an abundant mineral wealth, why is the Central African Republic ranking so low in regards to development? tribune.com.pk/story/1188069/worlds-unhealthiest-countries news.trust.org/item/20161020230325-xtrrw hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi
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Two devastating civil wars
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Series of dictatorships following the Death of Boganda
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Bitter French colonialism built a foundation of political mismanagement
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Ethnic and religious divisions
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Economic obscurity issues
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Two devastating civil wars

Although the history of coups, counter-coups and dictatorships in the Central African Republic has directly caused the outbreak of violence in 2004 following François Bozizé power grab the previous year, the state of war in this country is now descended to a point of sectarian violence that is not simply political. A peace treaty was signed to officially end the Central African Republic Bush War in 2007, however fighting continued and massively resurged in 2012 when the government was accused of breaking the treaty. By 2013 the mostly Muslim ‘Seleka’ militia group pulled this civil conflict down an ever more denominational divide, the groups brutal tactics giving rise to the Christian counter movement, the ‘anti-balaka’ militia. The reason for these civil wars are multifaceted but ongoing warfare is the main thing standing in the way of this countries development.

thenation.com/article/central-african-republics-forgotten-crisis

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Series of dictatorships following the Death of Boganda

Barthelemy Boganda declared the establishment of the Central African republic in 1958, but died a year later in a plane crash. Following his death his cousin David Dacko became the countries first president after achieving independence from France, however Dacko fell from power in two coup d'etat's that gave rise to the military juntas of Generals Bokassa in the 70s and Kolingba in the 80s. Through the leadership of Ange-Felix Patasse and Francois Bozize years of incompetence and corruption followed, eventually causing the Seleka paramilitary group to formed in response. In 2013 the Seleka overthrew Bozize’s government and put Michel Djotodia in power that has been unwilling to reign in this violent militia. This conflict continues presently, this string of corrupt and inept leaders keeping the Central African Republic from rebuilding, developing and keeping the country in a state of perpetual warfare.

youtube.com/watch?v=VoQAxQgevEA

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Bitter French colonialism built a foundation of political mismanagement

When one generation is decimated by a corrupting force it is possible for the next to recover, but when generation after generation are subject to Sociocultural turmoil due to political mismanagement the struggle backwards to a more stable footing is a much tougher and longer process. This is unfortunately the case with so much of colonial Africa but arguably came to its worst low point in King Leopold of Belgium’s Congo Free State, something the French used as somewhat of a model in their exploitation of Central African Republic. The French built a foundation of political misconduct, instability and economic mismanagement in an effort to profit by stripping the nations assets, using hostage taking and slave labour the French caused the population to half in the early years of colonialism due to famine, disease and exploitation. The country, like the Congo, is still recovering from such brutal colonialism, and France has subsequently continues to meddle in this countries affairs presently.

peoplesworld.org/article/central-african-republic-more-bloody-fruits-of-colonialism

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Ethnic and religious divisions

The Central African Republic is sadly another ethnically and religiously divided sub-Saharan African country, with the ongoing Muslim Seleka and Christian anti-Balaka movements often descending into civilian focused violence. Although a ceasefire was signed in 2014, the Seleka declared autonomy and independence in 2015 with the so called Republic of Logone in the north of the country, so there is still a long way to go in the reach towards stability. As the conflict has become ingrained in the Republic’s communities, militias and groups such as the Seleka/anti-Balaka have become less organised with growing levels of criminality. But is is the fact that tensions such as this have been used politically, to solidify power in certain regions, and in the run up to elections, that have made the situation all the more complex, holding back both peace and development in the country.

allafrica.com/stories/201512160334.html stopgenocidenow.org/2016/06/29/seleka-anti-balaka

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Economic obscurity issues

Some of those indexes are only based on regulated exports, with the Central African Republic also having a large unregulated economy based on locally produced alcohol, diamonds, ivory, bushmeat and traditional medicine. More tellingly the country has ranked low also on the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ list, a composite index ranking system measuring business regulations in an effort to indicate how easy it is to do business in a region. It is economic factors that hinder the opportunities of people in the country, and a lack of education feeds into this, reinforcing economic problems and ethnic/religious violence in the country. doingbusiness.org/en/rankings

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