Customs and traditions
Prior to the conflict that broke out in 2012,
the interaction between the country's people groups was
usually relaxed, although there was a historical
contradiction between the river peoples in the south and
the savanna peoples further north. Equality is a
widespread ideal, but like other peoples, Central
Africans can be divided into different walks of life.
Social classes are based on where you live and what you
work with. The upper class consists of people in the
cities who possess power, are well-off or have a high
education. The middle class is largely made up of people
with formal employment as well as traders, among them
many Muslims. The largest group is all others, ie
farmers and those who support themselves in the informal
economy as well as the unemployed.
Know and label
Central Africans greet each other by shaking hands,
usually every time they meet. When they hang out, the
Central Africans usually sit closer to each other than
we are used to in Sweden. It is also common to touch
each other. Having eye contact is important, but it is
good to be aware of whether it is troublesome for some.
Overview of the capital city of Central African Republic, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
You can talk about most things, but choosing the
right opportunity is important. When you, as a visitor,
meet someone for the first time, it is good to start by
asking about that person's family. Later you can talk
about the country, about business and politics and more.
Although most speak French, which is the official
language, it is appreciated if a visitor can say a few
words in the Central African language sango.
To openly show their feelings is common and accepted,
except when it comes to anger. Showing anger in public
is seen as a weakness.
Although Central Africans are not so formal, as a
foreigner you should address a person you first meet
with you (vous in French) and use the person's last
name. Central Africans usually dress simply but
correctly in well-ironed cotton clothing. At meetings
and workplaces, a foreign visitor should also dress well
and avoid t-shirts, shorts and sandals.
In workplaces, it is common for employees to be
absent for one or more days, mainly due to family
matters such as sick parents, a funeral home or the
renewal of a document. Traveling in the country can take
a long time, as do cases on authorities.
Punctuality is not so important, but for a foreigner
it is still good to arrive in time for meetings. Many
Central Africans wait patiently for delayed transport or
for important people to show up at the meeting. Often
you can wait for at least an hour for these people, but
when they arrive they usually stay committed and give of
their time. Meetings often begin when enough of those
considered important for the gathering have arrived.
In the Central African Republic, business is usually
not done by strangers. In order to create trust, you
should get to know each other personally before you can
enter into business relationships. In general, it is
preferable to communicate eye to eye instead of emailing
or talking on the phone.
Bringing small gifts is an African custom that a
foreigner should also follow. This applies to business
acquaintances as well as the host or hostess as well as
the children in the family at private invitations.
In the Central African Republic, people often eat
with their hands, but those who are not used to it are
usually offered cutlery. You usually sit on a mat, and
everyone eats from the same food bowls. You make sure to
wash your hands before a meal and only use your right
hand to eat. (Left used for toilet visits).
The main ingredients in Central African cuisine are
cooking bananas, cassava, sorghum and peanuts. From the
cassava root or cereal sorghum, you make a kind of
porridge, which is eaten together with vegetables,
chicken, meat or fish, depending on the occasion and
what you can afford. Liquor is also produced from
cassava or sorghum. Chickens and goats are used as home
gifts, gifts and are sometimes sold. You also eat some
The country's restaurants are mostly visited by
foreigners and by more affluent central Africans. More
people buy food at the small stands that are along roads
and streets and where women sell the fried bread makara,
sandwiches, grilled meat and more. In cities, coffee or
tea is often consumed with sugar and condensed milk.
Holidays and parties
Central Africans celebrate Christmas, New Year and
even various African religious holidays depending on
which religion they belong to. Many ethnic groups
organize so-called initiation parties to celebrate that
young people are becoming adults. Ceremonial dances and
songs are often performed at such a party. They also
serve special food that is not prepared on other
Communications in the Central African
Republic are flawed, hindering economic development.
The rivers are important transport routes.
Particularly important is the river Ubangi on which a
large part of freight and passenger traffic goes,
especially to neighboring countries Congo-Brazzaville
and Congo-Kinshasa. During the dry season, Ubangi cannot
be used for commercial traffic.
There are about 2,500 km of country road, but only
about 75 km are paved. Many roads are only navigable
during the dry season. The EU, Japan and the African
Development Bank have financed the renovation of the
road between the capital Bangui and the port of Doula in
Cameroon. The EU has also funded a road construction
between Bouar in the west to Garoua Boulai in Cameroon.
Railway is missing.
The country has an international airport in Mpoko,
just outside Bangui. About thirty smaller airfields are
available for domestic traffic.
Bozizé promises to set up unity government
In the peace talks between the government and the rebel groups, President
Bozizé promises to set up a unity government.
Soldiers and rebels are granted amnesty
Parliament adopts a law that gives amnesty to both government soldiers and
New peace agreement between the government and rebel groups
The government concludes new peace agreements with APRD and UFDR.
Ugandan LRA acquires bases in the country
The Ugandan rebel movement The Lord's Liberation Army (LRA) is reported to
have acquired bases in the Central African Republic.
The EU sends peacekeeping
The EU sends Eufor Tcah / RCA peacekeepers to the Central African Republic
and Chad to help protect internal refugees.