Mbaka People


Mbaka / Bwaka / Ngbaka

The Mbaka are a minority ethnic group in the Central African Republic and northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo. The M'Baka speak the Mbaka language and have a population of roughly 300,000.

The Mbaka are also known as the Bwaka and Ngbaka

In Democratic Republic of the Congo, they are concentrated in the northwest córner of the country along the Ubangi River near the town of Zongo.

Most Mbakas still residing along the river make their living as fishermen.

They have played a key role in the history of the Central African Republic. In 1890, the Mbakas entered into a long-term political relationship with the French that placed them in powerful positions in the colonial administrative structure. Many key leaders in the recent history of the Central African Republic—Barthelemy Boganda, David Dacko, and Jean-Bedel Bokassa—are members of the Mbaka group.



The Mbakas speak Mbaka language, a Ubangian language. The Gilima variety is assigned to a separate ISO 639-3 code.