Housing Finance in Central African Republic


This profile is also available in French here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2021 Central African Republic country profile, click here.

Despite its impressive agricultural potential, and vast mineral and forest resources, the Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked 188th out of 189 countries in the UN Human Development Index 2020. Its total population is 5.4 million, with the most populated areas being the North-West and the Central-East. The urban population in 2020 was recorded at 42.2%, slightly up on the 2019 estimate of 41.8%. The population growth rate is below 2%, with an annual average growth rate below 1%,4 suggesting a moderate increase each year.

Moreover, the country’s political, economic, and military uncertainty constitutes a severe barrier to the development of housing activities. A few years ago, Bangui was afflicted by violence and displacement, with the capital hosting over 50 000 internally displaced people. In addition, the low rate of financial inclusion among the population considerably hinders the prospect of affordable housing finance, especially among the unbanked. No policy initiative facilitates the supply of social housing by the government, as stressed by the Directorate General of Housing in 2015. Lacking the resources and capacity to meet the evolving needs of residents, municipal authorities have come under pressure. In 2018, the World Bank estimated that 95.8% of the urban population lived in slums.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country’s economy has suffered greatly. The most affected economic sectors are agriculture, mining, trade, and hotels. However, the economy proved its resilience in 2020 and grew by 0.4%, although this remains below 4.5% in 2019. Inflation dropped by 0.6% in 2020 because of improved security on the corridor from the port of Douala to Bangui and the drop in the demand for foodstuffs following lockdown measures. The African Development Bank forecasts real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 3.3% in 2021 and 5.1% in 2022. Completion of energy projects and resumption of agricultural and mining activities among many other elements explain this rebound. However, political and institutional instability, permanent insecurity in the country’s northern regions, the uncontained expansion of the pandemic beyond the second semester of 2021, together with troubled elections might hamper such an encouraging economic outlook.

Find out more about information on the housing finance sector of the Central African Republic (CAR), including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:

Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2021 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.

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