The majority of the population of the Central African Republic lives in the western parts of the country, in Bangui and the surrounding area.The city forms an autonomous commune (commune autonome) of the Central African Republic which is surrounded by the Ombella-M'Poko prefecture.
In 1970, President Jean-Bédel Bokassa inaugurated the University of Bangui.
He established the national airline Air Centrafrique the following year and ordered the construction of two new luxury hotels in Bangui.
Although he attempted to combat corruption and control the national economy, he was unable to achieve his reforms.
By the middle of the 1980s the country’s economic situation had deteriorated as 80% of the revenue went towards meeting the salaries of the staff.
Bangui has been the scene of intense rebel activity and destruction during decades of political upheaval, including the current rebellion.
As a result of political unrest, the city was named in 1996 as one of the most dangerous in the world.
Its territory was organized first into the territory of the Upper Ubangi ( The initial capitals of these areas were at les Abiras and Fort de Possel further upstream, but the rapids at Bangui blocked them from direct communication along the river and caused the settlement there to grow in importance until, in 1906, it was chosen as the new headquarters for the French administration.
Bangui retained its importance as a military and administrative centre when the colony was folded into French Equatorial Africa and under both Vichy and Free French control during World War II.
It is a paleo-metallurgical site where several thousand shards of ceramics, iron tools, pottery, and an iron spatula weighing 9 kilograms (20 lb) have been unearthed.