Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Barthélemy Boganda (1910-1959) was the leading pre-independence nationalist in the Central African Republic. He served as Prime Minister from 8 December 1958 to 29 March 1959, when he died in a plane crash. In 1949, he founded the Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa (MESAN). He is noted for his work towards uniting central Africa, similar to the Pan-African ideas of Kwame Nkrumah.
The MESAN was founded as a genuinely democratic and nationalist party; however, it was later hijacked by Boganda's nephew, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, and converted into an instrument of repression during the existence of the "Central African Empire."
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