Infrastructure

The state of infrastructure is extremely poor in the CAR. Basic services including electricity, telecommunication and banking are frequently lacking if not absent completely beyond the capital city, Bangui. For example, only 8 per cent of the population living in urban areas have access to electricity. The low rate of penetration is mainly due to the lack of infrastructure and competition. Important reforms in the energy sectors banks have been implemented including liberalizing policies, however, as of today the electricity sector is still monopolised by a single operator, which produces, distributes, and markets electricity throughout the country. Moreover, the telecommunication sector is operated by the state owned service provider of fixed telephone and internet, the Société centrafricaine des telecommunications (SOCATEL), and several service providers of mobile telephone. Teledensity is very low and despite exponential growth in mobile telephone subscribers, the system for mobile communications only covers the capital. The banking sector also has oligopolistic market structure where only four commercial banks from the most important urban centers (Bangui, Bambari). The market is poorly differentiated and offers scant opportunities for domestic investors.

Source: African Development Bank, 2011, Promoting Private Investment in Countries of the Economic Community of Central African States - ECCAS