Bangui (French pronunciation: [bɑ̃ɡi]) (or Bangî in Sango, formerly written Bangi in English) is the capital and largest city of the Central African Republic. As of 2012 it had an estimated population of 734,350. It was recognized as a French outpost in 1889 and named after its location on the northern bank of the Ubangi River (French: Oubangui); the Ubangi itself was appointed from the Bobangi word for the"rapids" situated beside the settlement, which marked the end of navigable water north from Brazzaville. The majority of the population of the Central African Republic lives in the western parts of the country, in Bangui and the surrounding region.
The city creates an autonomous commune (commune autonome) of the Central African Republic that's surrounded by the Ombella-M'Poko prefecture. Having an area of 67 square kilometres (26 sq mi), the commune is the smallest high-level administrative division in the nation, but the highest in terms of population. The city consists of eight urban districts (arrondissements), 16 groups (groupements) and 205 neighbourhoods (quartiers). As the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui acts as an administrative, trade, and industrial centre. It is served with the Bangui M'Poko International Airport. The National Assembly, government buildings, banks, foreign enterprises and embassies, hospitals, hotels, main markets and the Ngaragba Central Prison are located here. Bangui manufactures textiles, food products, beer, shoes and soap. Its Notre-Dame Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bangui. The city is also home to the University of Bangui, inaugurated in 1970.
Bangui has been the scene of intense rebel activity and destruction during decades of political upheaval, including the recent rebellion. As a result of political unrest, the city was named in 1996 as one of the most dangerous on earth.