Emperor of Central Africa

Emperor of Central Africa (French: Empereur de Centrafrique) was the title used by Jean-Bédel Bokassa from 4 December 1976, who was crowned on 4 December 1977 in a lavish ceremony that was estimated to cost the Central African Empire US$20 million (equivalent to $89 million in 2021). Although nominally a constitutional monarch, in practice Bokassa ruled with absolute power. For all intents and purposes, the country was still a military dictatorship, as had been the case with the Central African Republic since Bokassa took power in the 1966 coup d'état.

Emperor of Central Africa
Empereur de Centrafrique
Imperial coat of arms
StyleHis Imperial Majesty
First monarchBokassa I
Last monarchBokassa I
Formation4 December 1976
Abolition21 September 1979
ResidenceRenaissance Palace, Bangui

Bokassa I attempted to justify his actions by claiming that creating a monarchy would help Central Africa "stand out" from the rest of the continent, and earn the world's respect. The coronation consumed one third of the nation's annual budget and all of the French aid that year, but despite generous invitations, no foreign leaders attended the event. Many thought Bokassa was insane, and compared his egotistical extravagance with his contemporary – Africa's other well-known eccentric dictator, President of Uganda Idi Amin.

List of rulers

No. Portrait Name
Reign start Reign end Duration Prime Minister Note
Emperor of Central Africa (1976–1979)
1 Bokassa I
4 December 1976 21 September 1979
2 years, 291 days Patassé
He is the first emperor of central Africa from December 4, 1976, and deposed on September 21, 1979.
Head of the House of Bokassa (1979–present)
1 Bokassa I
21 September 1979 3 November 1996
17 years, 43 days Vacant since the Monarchy of Central Africa was abolished in 1979. Deposed on September 21, 1979, he became the Head of the House of Bokassa until his death on November 3, 1996.
2 Bokassa II
(born 1973)
3 November 1996 Present 26 years, 85 days After his father died on November 3, 1996, he became the Head of the House of Bokassa from November 3, 1996.

See also


  • Lentz, Harris M. (1994), Heads of States and Governments: A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Over 2,300 Leaders, 1945 through 1992, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, ISBN 0-89950-926-6, OCLC 30075961.
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