After more than three years of civil conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR), President Faustin-Archange Touadéra was elected in February 2016 in the country’s first democratic polls since the crisis unfolded. The peaceful elections marked a major milestone in the CAR’s peacebuilding process and have raised expectations for positive changes ahead. Yet the CAR continues to face many serious challenges in its efforts to establish security, promote social cohesion, expand basic public services, and restart economic activity throughout the country. The security situation remains fragile as parts of the country continue to be terrorized by armed groups, and the process of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of former combatants remains slow. Furthermore, the low level of economic development that the CAR faced prior to the conflict has only been exacerbated throughout the crisis. Moving forward, the country will require strong leadership and strategic planning to consolidate peace, reconcile societal divisions, and transform the nation economically to provide broad-based opportunities for its people in the transition out of crisis.
On Tuesday, September 27, the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) at Brookings, along with Mercy Corps and Search for Common Ground, co-hosted a conversation with President Touadéra. Before being elected to the presidency, H.E Mr. Touadéra served as prime minister from 2008 to 2013 and also had a distinguished career at the University of Bangui. Steven J. Bennett, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Brookings, provided introductory remarks. AGI Senior Fellow Amadou Sy moderated the discussion.