Emperor of Central Africa
|Emperor of Central Africa|
|Style||His Imperial Majesty|
|First monarch||Bokassa I|
|Last monarch||Bokassa I|
|Formation||4 December 1976|
|Abolition||21 September 1979|
The Emperor of Central Africa (French: Empereur de Centrafrique) was the ruler of the Central African Empire from 1976 to 1979. President Jean-Bédel Bokassa proclaimed himself Emperor Bokassa I on 4 December 1976, and was crowned emperor on 4 December 1977 in a lavish coronation ceremony that was estimated to cost his country roughly $20 million USD. 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 since Bokassa took power in 1966.
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 that of Africa's other well-known eccentric dictator, Idi Amin.
Emperor of Central Africa (1976–1979)
|Bokassa I||22 February 1921 – 3 November 1996 (aged 75)||4 December 1976||21 September 1979
Pretenders to the Throne of Central Africa (1979–Present)
|Bokassa I||22 February 1921 – 3 November 1996 (aged 75)||21 September 1979||3 November 1996||Bokassa|
|Jean-Bédel Bokassa II||2 November 1973||3 November 1996||Incumbent||Son of Bokassa I||Bokassa|