France and the Central African Republic

France and Central African Republic

Political relations

France is the only European country with an embassy in Bangui (where the EU also has a delegation). On the strength of its long-standing, strong relationship with the Central African Republic, France continues to support its elected authorities in their efforts to stabilize and sustainably develop the country. At multilateral level, France has provided its full support to ECCAS and African Union action and is working in the United Nations Security Council. Within the EU, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the European Commission instigated the creation of the first European development multi-donor fund for emergencies and development, the Bêkou Trust Fund, in July 2014, making it possible to swiftly adopt and implement projects in the sectors of health, food security, urban infrastructure and economic and social recovery. It currently represents €120 million.

Lastly, France supports the Central African Republic vis-à-vis international financial institutions (obtaining the completion point of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative in 2009, and an IMF Extended Credit Facility, Peacebuilding Commission, etc.).


The frequency of bilateral visits reflects the intensity of relations between France and the Central African Republic: French President François Hollande visited Bangui on 10 December 2013, on 28 February 2014 and on13 May 2016. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, visited on 13 October 2013 and 23 January 2014. His successor, Jean-Marc Ayrault, represented France at the inauguration ceremony of Faustin Archange Touadéra, on 30 March 2016. He was accompanied by the Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who made five trips to the Central African Republic in 2014 and another on 31 October 2016. President Touadéra visited our France on 19 and 20 April 2016 for a working visit, then again on 20 March and 25 September 2017.

Economic relations

Commercial relations between France and the Central African Republic suffered from the crisis. Trade remains limited and there are few French companies, but France, which has a long-standing presence in many sectors, remains the leading investor in the country. Despite a series of crises and sometimes heavy financial losses, there are now more than 20 French companies present in the Central African Republic in key sectors, such as Air France, Bolloré (logistics and river transport), Castel (drinks and sugar), and Total (storage and distribution of petroleum products). They make a considerable contribution to the national economy.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

France granted more than €76 million in civilian assistance to the Central African Republic in 2014-16, in addition to military spending (Sangaris and bilateral support to EU, EUFOR, EUMAM and EUTM operations, as well as the African Union – MISCA – and UN – MINUSCA). In addition to humanitarian assistance and support for the electoral process, particular emphasis has been placed upon aspects of democratic governance via State capacity building in key sectors such as security, the economy, finance, justice, and territorial administration. During the donor conference in Brussels on 17 November 2016, France announced a contribution of €85 million over three years, including €15 million for the “Bêkou” fund, reinforcing its ranking as number-one bilateral donor. France directs its assistance towards support for governance, the fight against economic vulnerabilities, the production of services for populations, including education and health, as well as aid coordination and implementation capacities. More than €38 million has already been committed in 2017.

Other cooperation

In order to protect civilians from the cycle of very serious violence, France deployed Operation Sangaris from 5 December 2013, supporting the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA). In response to a request from the Central African Republic’s authorities, the French operation (which involved up to 2,000 troops) was carried out under a mandate conferred by UN Security Council resolution 2127. Four French soldiers were killed in action. Sangaris ended on 31 October 2016, but French soldiers are participating in the EU Training Mission (EUTM) and are present within the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

Updated: 27 December 2017