Central African Republic Culture

Central African Republic Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Central African Republic

According to PROGRAMINGPLEASE.COM, Central African Republic is a country located in Africa. The spread of newspapers in the Central African Republic is very small (2 newspaper excl. Per 1000 residents, 2000). There are two newspapers with small editions and some journals with irregular publishing.

State- controlled Radio Diffusion-Télévision Centrafrique (founded in 1958) broadcasts radio in French and Sango. TV has been broadcasting in a channel since 1983, which covers only about 15% of the country. There are 80 radio and 6 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, the storytelling tradition is an important part of the Central African culture, as is the vocal singing of the pygmy people. The oral stories are passed on through music and song, although work is underway to write down the stories.

The stories are presented at parties or religious ceremonies, usually in combination with dance. Aka’s oral traditions have been added to the UN agency UNESCO’s list of world cultural heritage and work is ongoing to preserve the oral narrative.

A special instrument is the balafone, which is a kind of xylophone of horns, skins and wood. The Pygmies’ music is known for its special vocal singing and for a kind of whistling.

A more modern style of music is zokela, which comes from Congo-Kinshasa and is mostly played in the cities. In Zokela, traditional Central African music is mixed with rumba, cha-cha and other South American rhythms.

The most well-known contemporary author is Pierre Makombo Bamboté, who among other things wrote the books Princesse Mandupa (1972) and Coup d’état nègre (1987).

The country’s foremost film director is Joseph Akouissonne who has made the films Zo kwe zo (A Man is a Person, 1982) and Les dieux noirs du stade (Stadium’s Black Gods, 1982). The visual artist Jerome Ramedane (1936–1991) depicts hunting, wildlife and life in the central African countryside.

Mass Media

Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are guaranteed in the constitution but are not fully respected by the state power. Journalists can be prosecuted for various crimes, such as rioting and disobedience to security forces. Self-censorship is therefore common.

There are many indications that in recent years the authorities and holders of power have become increasingly sensitive to criticism.

In 2005, the law was amended so that journalists could no longer be prosecuted, but nevertheless, in the spring of 2015, charges were brought against three journalists for insulting the then President Catherine Samba-Panza.

However, the most serious limitation of press freedom is not state laws and regulations. The arbitrary violence from both security forces and militia threatens journalists’ opportunities to work. Newspaper offices were looted and radio stations destroyed.

Another obstacle to independent journalism is that journalists have low wages and are therefore easy to bribe.

In 2014, a French freelance journalist was killed when she followed the Christian anti-Balaka militia in the Bouar region in the western part of the country to document the violence that was going on there. In the summer of 2018, three Russian journalists were murdered in the country. They were there to investigate whether the private Russian security company Wagner PMC, which has relations with the Russian government, has mercenaries in the Central African Republic.

In June 2019, two French journalists who worked for the AFP news agency were arrested and beaten by police and seized their equipment when they watched a protest organized by a banned opposition organization. They were released after the Central African Justice Minister intervened. He also defended that they had been arrested.

In 2019, the Central African Republic ranked 145 out of 180 on the Reporters Without Borders ranking list of press freedom in the countries of the world. The country has slipped further and further down the list since 2013, when it was found at position 65.

For the majority of residents, radio is the most important medium. State-owned Radio Centrafrique is controlled by the government, but there are a few private and relatively independent radio stations, including UN-supported Radio Ndele Luka, where government criticism occurs. The country’s only broadcaster, Télévision Centrafricaine, is state and usually supports the incumbent government.

Printed media have little spread. They are printed and read almost exclusively in the capital Bangui, due to the widespread illiteracy. Also, there is no functioning postal system that can distribute newspapers outside the capital.

The biggest daily newspapers are the politically unrelated Le Confident and Le Citoyen who often criticize the governing. A dozen weekly and monthly newspapers are also published.


Percentage of the population using the internet

4 percent (2017)

Number of mobile subscriptions per 100 residents

28 (2018)



Séléka is approaching Bangui

At the turn of the year, the rebels are less than 10 miles from the capital and are said to control about two-thirds of the country. After a meeting with the African Union (AU), Bozizé says he is ready to take Séléka into a unity government. The rebels respond that they should consider the offer and wait with inta Bangui.

New rebel movement trains south

A new rebel movement Séléka quickly moves south towards the capital Bangui and in a short time takes control of four provincial capitals. Séléka, which is based in the Muslim-dominated northeastern part of the country, was founded in the fall by defectors from the CPJP and UFDR who joined forces with the rebel movement Patriotic Collection for the Rescue of Society (CPSK).


Several are arrested on suspicion of planned coup

Security forces say they have revealed plans to overthrow President Bozizé and three men are reported to have been arrested. One of the arrested must be a former Chadian army officer.


Rebel groups dissolve

The former rebel groups APRD and UFDR are disbanded and a disarmament of their forces begins.

Central African Republic Culture

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