Emperor of Central Africa
Empereur de Centrafrique
Imperial
Imperial Coat of arms of Central Africa (1976–1979).svg
Bokassa colored.png
Bokassa I
Details
First monarchBokassa I
Last monarchBokassa I
Formation4 December 1976
Abolition21 September 1979
ResidenceRenaissance Palace, Bangui
AppointerHereditary
Pretender(s)Jean-Bédel Bokassa II

The Emperor of Central Africa (French: Empereur de Centrafrique) was the monarch 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 on 4 December 1977 in a lavish coronation ceremony that was estimated to cost his country US$20 million ($80 million today). 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 the 1966 coup d'état.

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.

Emperor of Central Africa (1976–1979)

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Bokassa I(1921-02-22)22 February 1921 – 3 November 1996(1996-11-03) (aged 75)4 December 197621 September 1979
(deposed)
BokassaBokassa I of Central Africa

Pretenders to the throne of Central Africa (1979–present)

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Bokassa I(1921-02-22)22 February 1921 – 3 November 1996(1996-11-03) (aged 75)21 September 19793 November 1996BokassaBokassa I of Central Africa
Jean-Bédel Bokassa II (1973-11-02) 2 November 1973 (age 45)3 November 1996IncumbentSon of Bokassa IBokassaBokassa II of Central Africa

Gallery

See also

References

  • 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.