U.S. Relations With Central African Republic

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
May 22, 2018


More information about Central African Republic is available on the Central African Republic Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC RELATIONS

The United States established diplomatic relations with the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) in 1960, following its independence from France. C.A.R. is one of the world’s least developed nations, and has experienced several periods of political instability since independence. It is landlocked and located in a volatile and impoverished region with a long history of development, governance, and human rights problems.

As a result of insecurity and violence, the United States has suspended embassy operations three times in the past twenty years, most recently in December 2012 due to insecurity and the eventual overthrow of the C.A.R. government by the Seleka armed group. The embassy resumed normal operations in September 2014 and remains open today. Consular services are handled from the embassy in the Cameroon capital, Yaounde. U.S. Agency for International Development programs in C.A.R. are managed from the U.S. embassy in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Following a nearly three-year transitional period, the country approved a new constitution in December 2015 and successfully held national elections for the President in February 2016 and for the National Assembly in April 2016. President Faustin Archange Touadera assumed office on March 30, 2016. With support from the United States, the United Nations installed a multi-dimensional peacekeeping operation including over 12,000 peacekeepers, in September 2014 to assist the transition process, to support the return of security and stability, and to provide needed humanitarian and development assistance. The mission is currently authorized through November 2018.

Historically, the United States and C.A.R. have enjoyed generally good relations. The United States and C.A.R. share a vision of a more stable country that enjoys greater stability and security, experiences improved economic growth and development, contributes to regional stability, and is a reliable partner on issues of mutual importance. The United States also supports C.A.R.'s efforts to develop strong institutions that will improve transparency through capacity-building, strengthen the rule of law, and promote unity among Central Africans.

U.S. Assistance to Central African Republic

C.A.R. ranks 188 out of 188 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index. Over the past two years, the United States has provided over $300 million of humanitarian, development, and security assistance in support of the C.A.R. people’s efforts to find long-term stability and peace. Significant portions of the country's territory remain outside state control and are ungoverned, with the presence of multiple armed actors creating insecurity in much of the country. The United States has provided assistance to strengthen the UN mission and humanitarian aid to address the continuing humanitarian crisis in C.A.R.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States and C.A.R. have a small amount of bilateral trade. In 2004, the United States removed C.A.R. from the list of countries eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). C.A.R. regained eligibility for benefits under AGOA in 2017.

Membership in International Organizations

The Central African Republic is an active member in several regional organizations. The Central African Republic and the United States belong to a number of the same multilateral organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. C.A.R. generally joins other African and developing countries in consensus positions on major policy issues.

Bilateral Representation

Embassy Bangui resumed normal operations in September 2014. David Brownstein is the United States Charges d’Affaires to the Central African Republic.

Central African Republic maintains an embassy in the United States at 2704 Ontario Road, NW, Washington, DC, 20009 (tel: 202-483-7800/01).

More information about Central African Republic is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Central African Republic Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Central African Republic Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Central African Republic Page
History of U.S. Relations With Central African Republic
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Country Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel Information