The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of a handful of African nations that do not have any coastline along their external borders. The CAR's main population bands dwell mainly in grasslands along two major rivers. As with most African nations, it has a colonial history and in this case, the CAR was a French colony. The CAR also follows the pattern of several other African nations in that it gained its independence in the post-World War II period, 1960 specifically.
The CAR's independence was marred by a period of dictatorial governments, which only abated in the 1990's. Though there have been democratically elected leaders in more recent years, fundamental economic problems have not allowed for there to be a period of sustained political stability. The French government has had to intervene in its former colony at times as a result. The CAR has remained mired near the bottom of global poverty indices despite the potential to exploit precious metal reserves to boost the economy.