The European Business Council for Africa


  • Reforms have not produced sustained growth over the past decades due to political instability, weak governance that creates opportunities for elite capture, and mismanagement of natural resource wealth, says the latest Country Economic Memorandum published by the World Bank.
  • Consequently, CAR remains one of the world’s poorest and most fragile countries.
  • The report examines how CAR has managed at this point and provides recommendations to accelerate growth over the next decades.

The Central African Republic (CAR) is at a critical crossroads. Despite its significant natural resources’ wealth, it remains one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world. Cycles of political instability and a heavy reliance on natural resources have left the economy poorly diversified and with a small private sector.

Almost a decade after the 2013 civil war, the country remains caught in a fragility trap, facing episodes of renewed insecurity and a substantial state-citizen divide.

Supported by the 2015 peaceful transition of power, the authorities implemented several reform programs that helped restore macroeconomic stability and steered the economy on to a relatively sustainable path to recovery over 2015–2019.

However, the pace of growth has been below that of other countries in the region that have had civil wars and been threatened by overlapping crises since 2020

This Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) aims to support policymakers and stakeholders in their efforts to pave the way out of fragility through accelerated and inclusive economic growth through four chapters providing:

  • An understanding of how CAR has managed at this point
  • An analysis of what CAR should do to accelerate growth over the next decades
  • An assessment of how trade can be a vehicle for growth and a way out of fragility
  • Ways to build up market-based competition and reduce opportunities for capture.


Please read the full report here