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Bangui
Ubangi (Oubangui) River at the outskirts of Bangui
Bangui is located in Central African Republic
Bangui
Map of the Central African Republic showing Bangui
Coordinates: 4°22′N 18°35′E / 4.367°N 18.583°E / 4.367; 18.583Coordinates: 4°22′N 18°35′E / 4.367°N 18.583°E / 4.367; 18.583
Country Flag of the Central African Republic.svg Central African Republic
Prefecture Ombella-M'Poko
Government
 - Mayor Jean-Barkes Gombe-Kette
Area
 - Total 67 km2 (26 sq mi)
Elevation 369 m (1,211 ft)
Population (2006)
 - Total 622,771
 - Density 9,295.1/km2 (24,074.2/sq mi)

Bangui is the capital of and the largest city in the Central African Republic. The majority of the population of the Central African Republic lives in the western parts of the country, near Bangui. Though located within Ombella-M'Poko prefecture, it is an independent commune, and thus politically independent of the surrounding prefecture.

Contents

History

The city was founded in 1889 in what was then the French colony Haut-Oubangui ('Upper Ubangi'), later renamed Oubangui-Chari and made part of French Equatorial Africa. Named for local rapids, the city grew around the French military post on the Ubangi river.[1] Bangui served as an administration center in the colonial era and continues to be the administrative center of the CAR.

Widespread violence in Bangui followed the March 1981 elections, which took place following a French operation to depose Jean-Bedel Bokassa in 1979 and replace him with David Dacko. Opponents of unpopular Dacko laid siege to Bangui and compelled his flight to exile. Andre Kolingba then formed the Comité Militaire pour le Redressement National (See History of the Central African Republic).

In October 1985, a conference of public health officials including representatives of the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organisation met in Bangui and defined AIDS in Africa as, "prolonged fevers for a month or more, weight loss of over 10% and prolonged diarrhoea". About half the AIDS cases in Africa based on the Bangui definition are HIV positive.

A French Jaguar aircraft crashed in Bangui in March 1986, killing 35 and leading to a resurgence in anti-French sentiment. Andre Kolingba, however, continued to allow the French to maintain military bases in the Central African Republic.

Some 200 Central African Republic soldiers mutinied in Bangui in May 1996, demanding back pay and the resignation of President Ange-Félix Patassé. French troops stationed in the country quelled the mutiny. The renegades, however, heavily looted Bangui and killed more than 50 people.

After President Patassé announced a national unity government in early 1997, mutinous troops refused to relinquish a military base in Bangui. New fighting erupted in June.

Rebel leader Francois Bozize took power by seizing Bangui in March 2003, ousting Patasse. The situation in the town is now improving, but regular instability is being noticed.

Late 2006, Sudanese rebel forces, supposedly following up the Chadian armed ones, entered the North-eastern part of the country. The French army is still present in CAR, officially to protect and assist to the local army. Better armed and organized, French military planes (Mirage type) had to respond by bombing the places were rebels were stationing. The situation is said to be mastered.

Mercer Human Resources Consulting named Bangui as the 214th worst city out of 215 in their 2009 quality of living survey. Baghdad was the only city to be ranked lower than Bangui.[2]

Geography and climate

Trucks in Bangui

Bangui lies on the northern banks of the Ubangi River just below a series of rapids that limit major commercial shipping farther upriver, on the southern border. The navigable Ubangi River turns sharply south below Bangui and connects to the Congo River just south of the equator near Brazzaville as its chief northern tributary. The river marks the border between the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Congolese town of Zongo sits opposite the river from Bangui.

The city centre lies near the river and features a large triumphal arch dedicated to Bokassa, the Presidential Palace and the central market. Lying 5 km further north, the heart of the residential area has the largest market and most nightlife. North of the city lie rolling hills.

The Central African Republic is situated just north of the Equator and consequently throughout the year daily high temperatures rarely fall below the high 80s Fahrenheit.[3] The rainy season lasts from May until October. Bangui, being in the south of the country and thus closest to the equator, is slightly hotter and wetter than the northern parts of the country.[4]

Several of the neighborhoods of Bangui are in low-lying areas and are prone to recurrent urban flooding. For instance, severe rains in June and July 2009 left 11,000 people homeless.[5]

Weather data for Bangui
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37
(99)
38
(100)
38
(100)
37
(99)
36
(97)
35
(95)
34
(93)
34
(93)
34
(93)
34
(93)
34
(93)
36
(97)
38
(100)
Average high °C (°F) 32
(90)
34
(93)
33
(91)
33
(91)
32
(90)
31
(88)
29
(84)
29
(84)
31
(88)
31
(88)
31
(88)
32
(90)
32
(90)
Average low °C (°F) 20
(68)
21
(70)
22
(72)
22
(72)
21
(70)
21
(70)
21
(70)
21
(70)
21
(70)
21
(70)
20
(68)
19
(66)
21
(70)
Record low °C (°F) 14
(57)
14
(57)
18
(64)
18
(64)
18
(64)
18
(64)
18
(64)
17
(63)
18
(64)
18
(64)
17
(63)
14
(57)
14
(57)
Precipitation mm (inches) 25
(0.98)
43
(1.69)
127
(5)
135
(5.31)
188
(7.4)
114
(4.49)
226
(8.9)
206
(8.11)
150
(5.91)
201
(7.91)
125
(4.92)
5
(0.2)
1,545
(60.83)
Source: BBC Weather [6] 2009-08-15

Law and government

Bangui is an autonomous commune (commune autonome) of the Central African Republic. With an area of 67 km², it is by far the smallest high-level administrative division of the CAR in area but the highest in population as of 2003.[7] The city of Bangui consists of 8 urban districts (‘arrondissements’), 16 groups (‘groupements’) and 205 neighborhoods (‘quartiers’).[8]

Economy

Bangui serves as an administrative, trade, and commercial center. It received its first bank branch in 1946 when the Bank of West Africa (BAO) established a branch there. Bangui manufactures include textiles, food products, beer, shoes, and soap. The main exports are cotton, timber, coffee, and sisal. Because of the ongoing strife, unemployment hovered near 23% in the city as of 2001.

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Transport

Bangui hosts a river port and is served by Bangui M'Poko International Airport (IATA airport code BGF); the former handles the overwhelming majority of the country's international trade. River ferries sail to Brazzaville and Zongo. Roads connect the city to Cameroon, Chad, and Sudan.

Telecommunications

Two GSM-900 mobile telecommunications companies, Telecel CAR and Nationlink Telecom RCA, operate out of Bangui. State-owned Socatel is the principal telecom in CAR and Bangui, and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the communications infrastructure.

Restaurants

There are three types of restaurants in Bangui.

First, those with French orientation, although they may have African ambiance and/or some African food. These include "Relais des Chasses", "L'Equateur", "Tropicana", and "L'Escale".

Second, there are restaurants focusing on foreign cuisine, such as the Lebanese "Ali Baba" and "Beyrouth", and a Chinese restaurant simply known as "Chinese Restaurant".

Third, there are numerous African restaurants very popular especially among locals, which include the celebrated "Madame M'boka".

A number of bars and street food stalls also complement Bangui's culinary scene.

Culture

Several periodicals and three daily newspapers publish in Bangui. Other attractions in Bangui include Boganda Museum and Bokassa Palace. The Cathédrale Notre-Dame in Bangui is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bangui.

Archaeology

Archaeological studies in and around the city have yielded at least 26 ancient Iron Age sites that contain many metallurgical tools and objects, illuminating the pre-European history of the city and surrounding area.[9]

These archaeological sites were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on 11 April 2006 in the Cultural category.[9]

Education

Bangui is home to the University of Bangui, founded in 1970.[10] A public institution, the University of Bangui monopolizes non-agricultural college education in the Central African Republic.

External links

Notes and references


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Bangui is the capital of the Central African Republic. Bangui lies on the northern banks of the Ubangi River just below a series of rapids that limit major commercial shipping farther upriver, on the southern border. The navigable Ubangi River turns sharply south below Bangui and connects to the Congo River just south of the Equator near Brazzaville as its chief northern tributary. The river marks the border between the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Congolese town of Zongo sits opposite the river from Bangui.

The Central African Republic is situated just north of the Equator and consequently throughout the year daily high temperatures rarely fall below the high 80s Fahrenheit. The rainy season lasts from May until October. Bangui, being in the south of the country and thus closest to the Equator, is slightly hotter and wetter than the northern parts of the country.

Bangui
Bangui

Get in

Bangui M'Poko International Airport (BGF) is the airport serving Bangui. It is located 7km (4 miles) northwest of Bangui. In 2004, the airport served 53,862 passengers. There are flights to Douala, Tripoli, Paris (once a week), Brazzaville, Yaounde, Cotonou and N'Djamena.

Visa is required for all European (and probably other) travellers, should be obtained before arrival.

The arrival procedure is a bit long, have to queue at least two times to get all the stamps, but there was no problem gaining entry to the country. After the Air France flight arrival from Paris the baggage claim area was full of people, making it difficult to pick up the luggage. There's only one way out from the hall, this is the "things to declare" way and officers picking out passengers randomly for baggage check. Even if there's nothing to declare they asked us for some money or food, but we ignored this and had no problems.

Guards are checking the luggage tags on the way out.

Outside the terminal building be careful with the helpers and watch your pockets.

See

The city centre lies near the river and features a large triumphal arch dedicated to Bokassa, the Presidential Palace and the central market. Lying 5 km further north, the heart of the residential area has the largest market and most nightlife. North of the city lie rolling hills.

Buy

Buy beautiful wood carvings, but do not be tempted to buy rare African Grey parrots that are being traded illegaly in the town. You will be arrested if you do.

Eat

The city has a community of French expats, which translates into one of the best ice cream parlours in Africa, a supermarket that sells international (mainly french) delicacies eg foie gras, and a really good Italian restaurant.

  • Mocaf. One of the local beers. Tend to be the cheapest and very good in quality. Comes in a 65cl big bottle, perfect for beer lovers.  edit
  • JM Residences 3, Avenue Nasser, +236 70 16 09 25, [1]. It's been told the best accommodation in town. Clean and air conditioned rooms, hot water was available at all times. WiFi internet available with OK speeds. Electricity was more or less constant. There's a restaurant with fair prices, ~CFA 6000 for a meal and a drink, 5000 for a full breakfast. CFA 65000/night. (4.369916,18.580230) edit
  • JM Residences 2, Avenue Barthelemy BOGANDA, +236 70 16 09 24, [2]. Basic accommodation with clean and air conditioned rooms. The environment is quiet rural, not so much to do outside the rooms. A very basic restaurant is serving food all day. Electricity went out sometimes. CFA 65000/night.  edit

Telecommunications

Four GSM-900 mobile telecommunications companies, Telecel CAR, Nationlink Telecom RCA, Orange CAR and MOOV CAR operate out of Bangui. State-owned Socatel is the principal telecom in CAR and Bangui, and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the communications infrastructure.

Internet cafes in town allow users to access the internet, also using own laptop computers. Download speeds are acceptable and prices reasonable. MOOV provides GPRS/EDGE internet access with USB sticks for reasonable prices in whole Bangui and in major cities of CAR as well.

Stay Safe

The city center is generally safe at the time of writing this entry (Nov 2009). It is not a problem to walk around, locals are not so pushy to sell stuff or beg for money however sometimes it happens. Always carry your passport with you, but not too much money if you're on foot.

Traveling with your own transportation is not a problem, even at night time, there are street lights almost everywhere in the downtown.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

English

Proper noun

Bangui

  1. The capital of the Central African Republic.

Anagrams


Simple English

Bangui
Satellite image of Bangui
Coordinates: 4°22′N 18°35′E / 4.367°N 18.583°E / 4.367; 18.583
Country Central African Republic
Prefecture Ombella-M'Poko
Founded 1889
Government
 - Mayor Jean-Barkes Gombe-Kette
Population (2003)
 - Total 531,763

Bangui is the capital city of Central African Republic. It is the largest city in the country. The city has a population of 531,763 people. Most of the population of the Central African Republic lives in the western parts of the country, near Bangui.

Contents

History

The city was founded in 1889 in what was then the French colony Haut-Oubangui ('Upper Ubangi'). The colony was later renamed Oubangui-Chari and made part of French Equatorial Africa. The city grew around the French military post on the Ubangi river.[1] Bangui served as an administration center for the colony and is now the administrative center of the CAR.

Much violence in Bangui came after the March 1981 elections. These elections took place after the French removed Jean-Bedel Bokassa from office and replaced him with David Dacko. People who did not like Dacko attacked Bangui and made Dacko leave the country. Andre Kolingba then formed the Comité Militaire pour le Redressement National.

About 200 Central African Republic soldiers mutinied in Bangui in May 1996. They wanted back pay and for dictator Patassé to be removed from control of the country. French soldiers in the country stopped them and returned Patassé to power. More than 50 people were killed during this time.

Geography and Climate

Bangui is located on the northern banks of the Ubangi River. It is just below a series of rapids. The Congolese town of Zongo is on the opposite side of the river from Bangui. The city centre lies near the river. It has a large triumphal arch, the Presidential Palace and the central market. North of the city lie rolling hills.

The Central African Republic is located just north of the Equator. Because of this, the daily high temperatures rarely fall below the high 80s Fahrenheit.[2] The rainy season lasts from May until October. Bangui, being in the south of the country and closest to the Equator, is slightly hotter and wetter than the northern parts of the country.[3]

Economy

Bangui is an administrative, trade, and commercial center. Bangui makes textiles, food products, beer, shoes, and soap. The main exports are cotton, timber, coffee, and sisal. Unemployment in the city was near 23% as of 2001.

Transportation

Bangui is a river port. It is served by Bangui M'Poko International Airport. The port handles the most of the country's trade with other countries. River ferries sail to Brazzaville and Zongo. Roads connect the city to Cameroon, Chad, and Sudan.

Culture

Several periodicals and three daily newspapers publish in Bangui. Other things to see in Bangui include Boganda Museum and Bokassa Palace.

Education

Bangui is home to the University of Bangui. It was founded in 1970[4]. The University of Bangui is the only non-agricultural college in the Central African Republic.

Notes and references


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