Portal:Central African Republic/Featured biography
Lieutenant Colonel Alexandre Banza (1932 – 12 April 1969) was a Central African military officer and politician. Born in Carnot, Central African Republic, Banza served with the French Army during the First Indochina War before joining the Central African Republic armed forces. As commander of the Camp Kassaï military base in 1965, Banza helped Jean-Bédel Bokassa overthrow the government of President David Dacko. Bokassa rewarded Banza by appointing him as minister of state and minister of finance in the new government. Banza quickly established the new regime's reputation abroad and forged diplomatic relations with other countries. In 1967, Bokassa and his protégé had a major argument over the president's excessive extravagances. In April 1968, Bokassa removed Banza as minister of finance. Recognizing Bokassa's attempts to undermine him, Banza made a number of remarks highly critical of the president's handling of the government. Bokassa responded by abolishing the minister of state position.
Barthélemy Boganda (4 April 1910 – 29 March 1959) was the leading nationalist politician of what is now the Central African Republic. Boganda was active prior to his country's independence, during the period when the area, part of French Equatorial Africa, was administered by France under the name of Oubangui-Chari. He served as the first Prime Minister of the Central African Republic autonomous territory.
Boganda was born into a family of subsistence farmers, and was adopted and educated by Roman Catholic Church missionaries. In 1938, he was ordained as the first Roman Catholic priest from Oubangui-Chari. During World War II, Boganda served in a number of missions and after was persuaded by the Bishop of Bangui to enter politics. In 1946, he became the first Oubanguian elected to the French National Assembly, where he maintained a political platform against racism and the colonial regime. He then returned to Oubangui-Chari to form a grassroots movement in opposition of French colonialism. The movement led to the foundation of the Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa (MESAN), and became popular among villagers and the working class. Boganda's reputation was damaged when he was laicized from the priesthood after marrying a parliamentary secretary.
François Bozizé Yangouvonda (born October 14, 1946) was the President of the Central African Republic from 2003 to 2013. He came to power in March 2003 after leading a rebellion against President Ange-Félix Patassé and ushered in a transitional period of government. He won the country's 2005 presidential election; he received the most votes in the first round in March 2005, but less than a majority, requiring a runoff election, which he won in May 2005.
Bozizé was born in Gabon, a member of the Gbaya people, and attended a military officers' training college in the Central African province of Bouar. He became a second lieutenant in 1969 and a captain in 1975. He was appointed Brigadier General by Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa in 1978, after he beat a French noncommissioned officer who had disrespected the president. With General Josyhat Mayomokala, Bozizé ordered military personnel to attack young demonstrators who were asking for their parents' arrears. After Bokassa was ousted by David Dacko in 1979, Bozizé was appointed Minister of Defense.