Africa

Africa from A to Z: Fast facts on the 55 states

The mainland and islands of Africa are home to 55 countries, an ancient and complex history, modern cities, some 3,000 languages and over a billion people. From Algeria to Zimbabwe, here’s a snapshot of each country in a region the world needs to know more about.

Africa from A to Z - Super Blue Omo by Njideka Akunyili Crosby

There’s no single image that could represent all of Africa, so we’ve simply chosen a good one. “Super Blue Omo” is a massive nine-foot-wide painting by Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby, a 2017 MacArthur Fellow. The work was snapped up for a five-figure dollar sum by an international art buyer at the 2016 Basel Art Fair.
Photo credit Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Researched and written by Mary Alexander

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Africa

Africa in Nasa's Blue Marble photo of the earth, taken by astronauts on board Apollo 17 in 1972

The iconic Blue Marble image of the earth was taken with a hand-held Hasselblad camera by a Nasa astronaut on the Apollo 17 mission to the moon in December 1972. In this, the most famous and most often reproduced photo of our planet, the continent of Africa dominates. Africa is our second-largest continent, taking up over 20% – one-fifth – of the world’s land area.
Photo credit Nasa Earth Observatory

Africa’s total surface area: 30,260,117 square kilometres
Africa’s total population: 1.22-billion people
Africa’s population density: 40 people per square kilometre
Africa’s total gross domestic product (GDP): US$2.5-trillion
Africa’s GDP per person: US$2,036 (estimate)
Africa’s total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 357.3-million tons | 3.6% of world total

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Algeria

Africa: Algeria's city of Constantine

Dusk falls over Constantine, an ancient city on the Mediterranean coast of northern Algeria.
Photo credit Mariusz Kluzniak

Map of Algeria and AfricaALGERIA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Algiers
Surface area: 2.4-million square kilometres | 7.9% of Africa
Population: 40.4-million people | 3.3% of Africa’s population
Population density: 17 people per square kilometre | 0.4 x African average

ALGERIA: ECONOMY

Currency: Algerian dinar (DZD)
Major exports (2015): Petroleum gas 42% | Crude petroleum 33% | Refined petroleum 19%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $213.5-billion | 8.6% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $5,484 | 2.7 x African average
Human Development Index: High | Rank 83 | Score 0.745

ALGERIA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 18 out of 25 people live in cities (71%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 31.6%
Mobile phones: 93.3 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 18.1% of the population use the internet

ALGERIA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 39.7-million tons | 11.1% of African total | 0.402% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 3.74 tons | 0.7 x global average

ALGERIA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Arabic and Berber
Other languages: English and French
Colonised by: France 1830-1962
Independence: 1962 – from France
World Heritage Site: The Casbah of Algiers, a citadel founded on the ruins of old Icosium, a Phoenician and later Roman city. Mosques dating back to the 17th century can be found there.

ALGERIA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Algeria: Screen actor Sofia Boutella was born on 6 April 1982 in Bab el Oued, Algeria. She most recently starred the Hollywood movies The Mummy (2017), Atomic Blonde (2017), Star Trek: Beyond (2017) and Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014).
Did you know? Afro-Caribbean philosopher Frantz Fanon joined the National Liberation Front fighting French colonialism during the Algerian Revolution of 1958 to 1962. Fanon’s writing helped inspire liberation struggles across the world, including South Africa’s.

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Angola

Africa: Angola's Serra da Leba high mountain pass

Angola’s Serra da Leba high mountain pass lies at 1,845 metres (6,053 feet) above sea level in the province of Huíla, in the southeast of the country.
Photo credit JB Dodane

Map of Angola and AfricaANGOLA: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Luanda
Surface area: 1.2-million square kilometres | 4.1% of Africa
Population: 25.8-million people | 2.1% of Africa’s population
Population density: 20.7 people per square kilometre | 0.5 x African average

ANGOLA: ECONOMY

Currency: kwanza (AOA)
Major exports: Crude petroleum 91% | Diamonds 4.9% | Seafood 0.3%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $146.7-billion | 5.9% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $6,054 | 3 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 150 | Score 0.533

ANGOLA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 11 out of 25 people live in cities (44%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 36.8%
Mobile phones: 63.5 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 21.3% of the population use the internet

ANGOLA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 9.5-million tons | 2.7% of African total | 0.096% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 1.43 tons | 0.3 x global average

ANGOLA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: Portuguese
Other languages: Kikongo, Chokwe, Umbundu, Kimbundu, Nganguela and Kwanyama
Colonised by: Portugal 1575-1975
Independence: 1975 – from Portugal
World Heritage site: M’banza Kongo, capital of the Kingdom of Kongo, which flourished as one of the largest states in southern Africa from the 14th to the 19th century.

ANGOLA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Angola: Cabo Snoop, an MTV-nominated kuduro dancer and musician.
Did you know? From 2001 to 2010, Angola had the fastest-growing economy in the world, with an average GDP growth rate of 11% a year.

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Benin

Africa: Vodun dance in Benin

In Possotomè, an arrondissement in the Mono department of Benin, a man takes part in the massive Vodun dance competition held every year by people from villages scattered along the shores of Lake Aheme.
Photo credit Adam Cohn

Map of Benin and AfricaBENIN: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Porto-Novo
Largest city: Cotonou
Surface area: 114,763 square kilometres | 0.4% of Africa
Population: 11.2-million people | 0.9% of Africa’s population
Population density: 97.3 people per square kilometre | 2.4 x African average

BENIN: ECONOMY

Currency: West African CFA franc (XOF)
Major exports (2015): Raw cotton 26% | Cashew nuts 21% | Refined petroleum 7.5%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $9.6-billion | 0.39% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $904 | 0.4 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 168 | Score 0.485

BENIN: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 11 out of 25 people live in cities (44%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 7.2%
Mobile phones: 101.7 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 5.3% of the population use the internet

BENIN: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 1.7-million tons | 0.5% of African total | 0.017% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.59 tons | 0.1 x global average

BENIN: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: French
Other languages: Fon and Yoruba
Colonised by: Portugal 1472-1892 | France 1892-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France
World Heritage Site: The Royal Palaces of Abomey, the seat of 12 successive kings who ruled the powerful Kingdom of Abomey from 1625 to 1900.

BENIN: QUICK FACTS

Born in Benin: Hollywood actor Djimon Hounsou, who starred in Gladiator (2000), Blood Diamond (2006) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
Did you know? The Guardian has ranked Beninese musician Angélique Kidjo as one of its 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World, while Forbes listed her as the first woman among the 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa.

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Botswana

Africa - the Okavango Delta in Botswana

Botswana’s Okavango Delta, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is one of the three largest inland deltas in the world, all found in Africa. It was once part of the ancient Lake Makgadikgadi, an inland sea that emptied out and dried up between 20,000 and 10,000 years ago.
Photo credit Pavel Špindler

Map of Botswana and AfricaBOTSWANA: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Gaborone
Surface area: 582,000 square kilometres | 1.9% of Africa
Population: 2.3-million people | 0.2% of Africa’s population
Population density: 4.0 people per square kilometre | 0.1 x African average

BOTSWANA: ECONOMY

Currency: pula (BWP)
Major exports (2016): Unworked diamonds 82% | Worked diamonds 5.5% | Nickel mattes 3.2%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $15.8-billion | 0.64% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $7,123 | 3.5 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 106 | Score 0.698

BOTSWANA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 14 out of 25 people live in cities (57.4%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 9.5%
Mobile phones: 167.3 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 18.5% of the population use the internet

BOTSWANA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 1.9-million tons | 0.5% of African total | 0.019% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 3.15 tons | 0.6 x global average

BOTSWANA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: English
Other languages: Setswana
Colonised by: Britain 1885-1966
Independence: 1966 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: Known as the ”Louvre of the Desert”, Tsodilo in the Kalahari Desert contains over 4,500 well-preserved rock paintings produced over the past 100,000 years.

BOTSWANA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Botswana: DJ Fresh, real name Thato Sikwane, a well-known South African DJ, music, radio and TV producer and host on Metro FM.
Did you know? Botswana is consistently ranked as the least corrupt country in Africa by Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, coming in at 35th out of 176 countries on the 2016 list.

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Burkina Faso

Grand Mosque in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso

The Grand Mosque in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso, in the southeast of Burkina Faso. Possibly the largest example of Sudano-Sahelian architecture in the country, the mosque was built in the 1880s as a part of political agreement between the king of Sya and Islamic religious leader Almamy Sidiki Sanou.
Photo credit QIV

Map of Burkina Faso and AfricaBURKINA FASO: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Ouagadougou
Surface area: 272,967 square kilometres | 0.9% of Africa
Population: 18.6-million people | 1.5% of Africa’s population
Population density: 68.3 people per square kilometre | 1.7 x African average

BURKINA FASO: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XOF)
Gross domestic product (GDP): $12.8-billion | 0.52% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $725 | 0.4 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 195 | Score 0.402

BURKINA FASO: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 7 out of 25 people live in cities (29.9%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 9.4%
Mobile phones: 71.7 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 9.4% of the population use the internet

BURKINA FASO: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 777 thousand tons | 0.22% of African total | 0.008% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.15 tons | 0.03 x global average

BURKINA FASO: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: French
Other languages: Mòoré, Fulani, Dioula
Colonised by: France 1896-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France
World Heritage Site: The 1,000-year-old Ruins of Loropéni, an imposing stone fortress that was the centre of the trans-Saharan gold trade from the 14th to 17th century.

BURKINA FASO: QUICK FACTS

Born in Burkina Faso: Actor Jacky Ido, who played French projectionist Marcel in the Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds (2009), and New York cab driver Leo Romba in the TV series Taxi Brooklyn (2014).
Did you know? Every two years Burkina Faso hosts Fespaco, the Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou, the largest film festival in Africa.

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Burundi

Africa - Lake Tanganyika with Burundi’s capital of Bujumbura in the distance

The shores of Lake Tanganyika with Burundi’s capital of Bujumbura in the distance.
Photo credit Michael Foley

Map of Burundi and AfricaBURUNDI: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Bujumbura
Surface area: 27,834 square kilometres | 0.1% of Africa
Population: 11.6-million people | 1% of Africa’s population
Population density: 415.1 people per square kilometre | 10 x African average

BURUNDI: ECONOMY

Currency: Burundi franc (BIF)
Major exports (2015): Coffee 27% | Tea 21% | Gold 8.3%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $2.9-billion | 0.12% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $265 | 0.1 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 184 | Score 0.404

BURUNDI: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 3 out of 25 people live in cities (12.1%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 36.4%
Mobile phones: 30.5 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 1.4% of the population use the internet

BURUNDI: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 120 thousand tons | 0.03% of African total | 0.001% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.04 tons | 0.008 x global average

BURUNDI: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: French and Kurundi
Colonised by: Germany 1899-1916 | Belgium 1916-1962
Independence: 1962 – from Belgium
Heritage Site:: The royal domain of Gishora was founded by the Mwami Ntare Rugamba in the first half of the 19th century after its victory over the rebel leader Ntibirangwa.

BURUNDI: QUICK FACTS

Born in Burundi: Shabani Nonda, a retired professional footballer who played for the DRC national team as well as for FC Zürich, Rennes, Monaco, Roma and Blackburn Rovers.
Did you know? Burundi’s strong spoken storytelling tradition spreads oral history and life lessons through stories, poetry, and song. Its literary genres include imigani, indirimbo, amazina and ivyivugo.

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Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)

Africa - The São Miguel region in northeastern Santiago, the largest island in the Cabo Verde archipelago

The São Miguel region in northeastern part of Santiago, the largest island in the Cabo Verde archipelago.
Photo credit Rey Perezoso

Map of Cabo Verde - Cape Verde - and AfricaCABO VERDE: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Praia
Surface area: 4,033 square kilometres | 0.01% of Africa
Population: 527,000 people | 0.04% of Africa’s population
Population density: 130.7 people per square kilometre | 3.3 x African average

CABO VERDE: ECONOMY

Currency: Cabo Verde escudo (CVE)
Major exports (2015): Frozen fish 28% | Processed fish 21% | Refined petroleum 13%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $1.9-billion | 0.07% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $3,609 | 1.8 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 122 | Score 0.648

CABO VERDE: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 17 out of 25 people live in cities (66%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 20.8%
Mobile phones: 121.8 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 40.3% of the population use the internet

CABO VERDE: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 134 thousand tons | 0.04% of African total | 0.001% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.95 tons | 0.2 x global average

CABO VERDE: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Portuguese
Other languages: Cape Verdean Creole
Colonised by: Portugal 1462-1975
Independence: 1975 – from Portugal
World Heritage Site: Cidade Velha, built in the 1460s as the first European town in the tropics. The founding of the town marked a decisive step in Europe’s colonisation of Africa.

CABO VERDE: QUICK FACTS

Born in Cabo Verde: Luís Nani, a professional footballer who plays for Portugal’s national team.
Did you know? The Cabo Verde emigrant diaspora in Europe, the Americas and on the African continent numbers some 500,000 – equal to the total population remaining on the islands.

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Cameroon

Africa - the Mandara Mountains region near Rhumsiki in the Far North Province of Cameroon

The Mandara Mountains near Rhumsiki in the Far North Province of Cameroon. Sixteen 15th-century archaeological sites have been identified in Mandara region. Known as Diy-gid-biy (or “place of chiefly residence”), these granite strongholds have been described as the most remarkable indigenous stone-built structures in sub-Saharan Africa outside the Horn and the southern African Zimbabwe complex.
Photo credit Krishna Naudin

Map of Cameroon and AfricaCAMEROON: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Yaoundé
Largest city: Douala
Surface area: 475,650 square kilometres | 1.6% of Africa
Population: 23.9-million people | 2% of Africa’s population
Population density: 50.3 people per square kilometre | 1.3 x African average

CAMEROON: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XAF)
Major exports (2015): Crude petroleum 35% | Sawn wood 9.3% | Rough wood 7.4%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $32.1-billion | 1.3% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $1,407 | 0.7 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 153 | Score 0.518

CAMEROON: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 14 out of 25 people live in cities (54%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 31.1%
Mobile phones: 75.7 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 11% of the population use the internet

CAMEROON: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 1.9-million tons | 0.5% of African total | 0.019% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.29 tons | 0.06 x global average

CAMEROON: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: French and English
Other languages: 55 Afro-Asiatic languages, two Nilo-Saharan languages, 173 Niger-Congo languages, Camfranglais
Colonised by: Germany 1884-1916 | Britain 1916-1961 | France 1919-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France | 1961 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: The Dja Faunal Reserve is one of Africa’s largest and best-protected rain forests, almost completely surrounded by the Dja River and sheltering 107 mammal species, five of them threatened.

CAMEROON: QUICK FACTS

Born in Cameroon: Legendary footballer Roger Milla, one of the first African players to be a major star on the international stage. He played in three World Cups for the Cameroon national team.
Did you know? The city states of the Sao civilisation flourished around Lake Chad and the Chari River in today’s Cameroon from as early as the sixth century BCE, reaching their apex between the ninth and fifteenth centuries CE.

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Central African Republic

Africa - Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic

The centre of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is on the other side of the Oubangui river, at left.
Photo credit Alllexxxis

Map of Central African Republic and AfricaCENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Bangui
Surface area: 622,984 square kilometres | 2.1% of Africa
Population: 5-million people | 0.4% of Africa’s population
Population density: 8.0 people per square kilometre | 0.2 x African average

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XAF)
Major exports (2015): Delivery trucks 26% | Rough wood 23% | Vehicle parts 22%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $1.8-billion | 0.07% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $383 | 0.2 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 188 | Score 0.352

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 1 out of 25 people live in cities (4%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: N/A
Mobile phones: 31.4 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 4% of the population use the internet

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 82 thousand tons | 0.02% of African total | 0.001% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.07 tons | 0.01 x global average

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: French and Sango
Colonised by: France 1894-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France
World Heritage Site: Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park, whose importance of derives from its wealth of flora and fauna.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: QUICK FACTS

Born in Central African Republic: Olympic track athlete Ferdinand Amadi.
Did you know? The Central African Republic is the focal point of the Bangui Magnetic Anomaly, one of the largest magnetic anomalies on Earth.

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Chad

Africa - Chad - Guelta Archei on the Ennedi Plateau, a sandstone bulwark in the middle of the Sahara

In northeastern Chad, nomads water their camels in the Guelta Archei on the Ennedi Plateau, a sandstone bulwark in the middle of the Sahara. A “guelta”, from Arabic, refers to a water source running at the bottom of the valley or canyon. (Image: © Hannes Rada

Map of Chad and AfricaCHAD: OVERVIEW

Capital city: N’Djamena
Surface area: 1.3-million square kilometres | 4.2% of Africa
Population: 14.5-million people | 1.2% of Africa’s population
Population density: 11.3 people per square kilometre | 0.3 x African average

CHAD: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XAF)
Major export: Crude petroleum 93% | Raw cotton 1.6% | Gum Arabic 1.4%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $12.8-billion | 0.52% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $941 | 0.5 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 186 | Score 0.396

CHAD: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 6 out of 25 people live in cities (22.5%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 14.9%
Mobile phones: 39.8 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 2.5% of the population use the internet

CHAD: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 199 thousand tons | 0.06% of African total | 0.002% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.04 tons | 0.008 x global average

CHAD: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: French and Arabic
Colonised by: France 1900-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France
World Heritage Site: The Lakes of Ounianga, a series of lakes in the Sahara Desert.

CHAD: QUICK FACTS

Born in Chad: Screen actor Youssouf Djaoro, whose films include Dry Season (2006), DP75: Tartina City (2007), A Screaming Man (2010), GriGris (2013) and Ariane’s Thread (2014).
Did you know? During the Second World War, the Free French Forces fighting the German occupation of France and French colonial territories included 15,000 soldiers from Chad.

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Comoros

Africa - Comoros

The fishing harbour of Moroni on Grande Comore. Moroni is the capital of the island and of the Comoros archipelago. In the background is the Ancienne Mosquée de Vendredi (Old Friday Mosque), built in 1427.
Photo credit IWRM AIO SIDS

Map of the Comoros and AfricaCOMOROS: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Moroni
Surface area: 2,235 square kilometres | 0.01% of Africa
Population: 807,000 people | 0.1% of Africa’s population
Population density: 361.1 people per square kilometre | 9 x African average

COMOROS: ECONOMY

Currency: Comorian franc (KMF)
Major exports (2015): Cloves 57% | Essential oils 17% | Vanilla 16%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $648-million | 0.03% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $841 | 0.4 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 162 | Score 0.497

COMOROS: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 7 out of 25 people live in cities (28.3%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 3%
Mobile phones: 50.9 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 7% of the population use the internet

COMOROS: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 42 thousand tons | 0.01% of African total | 0.0004% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.18 tons | 0.04 x global average

COMOROS: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Comorian, Arabic and French
Colonised by: France 1841-1975
Independence: 1975 – from France

COMOROS: QUICK FACTS

Born in Comoros: Musician Nawal, known as the Voice of the Comoros, has mesmerised lovers of world music with her fusion of Arab, Indian and African sounds.
Did you know? Notorious French mercenary Bob Denard was complicit in attempts to overthrow the government of Comoros four times, in 1975, 1978, 1989 and 1995. It has been suggested that these actions were variously backed by the governments of France, apartheid South Africa and white-ruled Rhodesia (today’s Zimbabwe).

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Congo, Democratic Republic (DRC)

A view of the twin Congo capitals, facing each other across the Congo River. In this 2003 photo taken from the International Space Station, the smaller city of Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo, is at upper left. The much larger grey area at lower left is Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The cities lie at the point where the Congo River becomes navigable upstream, widening to the east into Pool Malebo – previously named Stanley Pool by the brutal 19th century British-American explorer Henry Morton Stanley, who prospected the region on behalf of King Leopold II of Belgium.

A view of the twin Congo capitals, facing each other across the Congo River. In this 2003 photo taken from the International Space Station, the smaller city of Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo, is at upper left. The much larger grey area at lower left is Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The cities lie at the point where the Congo River becomes navigable upstream, widening to the east into Pool Malebo – previously named Stanley Pool, in honour of himself, by the brutal 19th century British-American explorer Henry Morton Stanley, who prospected the region on behalf of King Leopold II of Belgium.
Photo credit Nasa Earth Observatory

Map of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and AfricaDEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Kinshasa
Surface area: 2.3-million square kilometres | 7.7% of Africa
Population: 79.7-million people | 6.6% of Africa’s population
Population density: 34.0 people per square kilometre | 0.8 x African average

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: ECONOMY

Currency: Congolese franc (CDF)
Major exports (2015): Refined copper 47% | Cobalt 13% | Cobalt ore 12%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $35.9-billion | 1.5% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $480 | 0.2 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 176 | Score 0.435

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 11 out of 25 people live in cities (42.5%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 8.9%
Mobile phones: 53.5 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 3% of the population use the internet

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 1.3-million tons | 0.4% of African total | 0.013% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.07 tons | 0.01 x global average

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: French
Other languages: Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili, Tshiluba
Colonised by: King Leopold II of Belgium (as his private property) 1877-1908 | Belgium 1908-1960
Independence: 1960 – from Belgium
World Heritage Site: The 490,000 hectare Garamba National Park covers vast grass savannahs and woodlands interspersed with gallery forests and marshland.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: QUICK FACTS

Born in the DRC: Humanitarian and legendary basketball player Dikembe Mutombo. At 2.18 metres tall (7 ft 2 in), Mutombo played a full 18 seasons in the American NBA.
Did you know? Atrocities and forced labour during the exploitation of the Congo by King Leopold II of Belgium from 1885 to 1908 led to the death of 10-million people – half the country’s population at the time.

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Congo, Republic

The Basilica of Saint Anne in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, is a Catholic church built in the 1940s using a mix of European and African design styles. The vast green-tiled building is 85 metres long, with a transept 45 metres wide and a 22-metre-high arch. (Photo © Tom Robertson)

The Basilica of Saint Anne in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, is a Catholic church built in the 1940s using a mix of European and African design styles. The massive green-tiled building is 85 metres long, with a transept 45 metres wide and a 22-metre-high arch.
Photo © Tom Robertson

Map of the Republic of the Congo and Africa
REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Brazzaville
Surface area: 342,000 square kilometres | 1.1% of Africa
Population: 4.7-million people | 0.4% of Africa’s population
Population density: 13.9 people per square kilometre | 0.3 x African average

REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XAF)
Major exports (2015): Crude petroleum 69% | Refined copper 15% | Rough wood 4.5%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $14.1-billion | 0.57% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $3,125 | 1.5 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 136 | Score 0.592

REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 16 out of 25 people live in cities (65.4%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 7.4%
Mobile phones: 108.2 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 7.1% of the population use the internet

REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 844 thousand tons | 0.24% of African total | 0.009% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.7 tons | 0.1 x global average

REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: French
Other languages: Kituba, Lingala
Colonised by: France 1880-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France

REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: QUICK FACTS

Born in the Republic of the Congo: Basketball centre Serge Ibaka who plays for Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA.
Did you know? Brazzaville is named after the Italo-French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, whose treaty of protection with local leader Makoko of the Téké led to the land being surrendered to the French Empire.

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Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Africa - An aerial view of the district of Plateau in the Côte d’Ivoire capital of Abidjan

An aerial view of the district of Plateau in the Côte d’Ivoire capital of Abidjan.
Photo credit Basile Zoma, UN Photo

Map of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and AfricaCÔTE D’IVOIRE: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Yamoussoukro
Largest city: Abidjan
Surface area: 322,463 square kilometres | 1.1% of Africa
Population: 23.3-million people | 1.9% of Africa’s population
Population density: 72.1 people per square kilometre | 1.8 x African average

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XOF)
Major exports (2015): Cocoa beans 29% | Refined petroleum 8.8% | Cocoa paste 6.9%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $34.3-billion | 1.4% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $1,546 | 0.8 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 170 | Score 0.474

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 14 out of 25 people live in cities (54.2%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 9.2%
Mobile phones: 106.3 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 14.6% of the population use the internet

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 3-million tons | 0.8% of African total | 0.031% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.51 tons | 0.1 x global average

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: French
Other languages: Baoulé, Sénoufo, Yacouba, Agni, Attié, Guéré, Bété, Dioula, Abé, Mahou, Wobé, Lobi and others
Colonised by: France 1893-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France
World Heritage Site: The historic town of Grand-Bassam, the first capital of Côte d’Ivoire, is an example of a late 19th-century colonial town planned with quarters specialising in commerce, administration, and different housing for Europeans and Africans.

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: QUICK FACTS

Born in Cote d’Ivoire: Professional footballer Didier Drogba, who currently plays for US club Phoenix Rising FC.
Did you know? Cote d’Ivoire is the largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans in the world, at 30% of the global total.

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Djibouti

Africa - Lake Assal in Djibouti

Lake Assal, a crater lake in the Afar Triangle, lies on the northern tip of the Great Rift Valley. At 155 metres (509 feet) below sea level, the lake is the lowest point on land in Africa and the third-lowest on Earth after the Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee. With no water outflow, the lake is 10 times more saline than the sea, the second most saline body of water on the planet, and holds the world’s largest salt reserve.
Photo credit Fishercd, Wikimedia Commons

Map of Country and AfricaDJIBOUTI: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Djibouti City
Surface area: 23,200 square kilometres | 0.1% of Africa
Population: 900,000 people | 0.1% of Africa’s population
Population density: 38.8 people per square kilometre | 1 x African average

DJIBOUTI: ECONOMY

Currency: Djibouti franc (DJF)
Major exports (2015): Sheep and goats 22% | Wood charcoal 18% | Coffee 16%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $1.6-billion | 0.06% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $1,814 | 0.9 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 172 | Score 0.473

DJIBOUTI: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 19 out of 25 people live in cities (77.3%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 12.7%
Mobile phones: 32.4 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 10.7% of the population use the internet

DJIBOUTI: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 197 thousand tons | 0.06% of African total | 0.002% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.81 tons | 0.2 x global average

DJIBOUTI: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: French, Arabic
Other languages: Somali, Afar
Colonised by: France 1894-1977
Independence: 1977 – from France
National heritage site: The Abourma petroglyphs, several thousand Neolithic images carved in cave walls depicting humans, wildlife, hunting and warfare, dating back to 3,000 BCE.

DJIBOUTI: QUICK FACTS

Born in Djibouti: Singer Awaleh Aden.
Did you know? Djibouti is strategically located near the world’s busiest shipping lanes, controlling access to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean and serving as a key refuelling and transshipment centre.

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Egypt

Africa - The city of Cairo in Egypt

A view of the Nile River and Egypt’s capital city of Cairo from the Cairo Tower at sunset.
Photo credit Ville Miettinen

Map of Country and AfricaEGYPT: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Cairo
Surface area: 1-million square kilometres | 3.3% of Africa
Population: 93.4-million people | 7.7% of Africa’s population
Population density: 93.2 people per square kilometre | 2.3 x African average

EGYPT: ECONOMY

Currency: Egyptian pound (EGP)
Major exports (2015): Crude petroleum 16% | Refined petroleum 3.7% | Insulated wire 3.6%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $282.2-billion | 11.4% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $3,151 | 1.5 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 110 | Score 0.691

EGYPT: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 11 out of 25 people live in cities (43.1%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 14.9%
Mobile phones: 114.3 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 31.7% of the population use the internet

EGYPT: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 55-million tons | 15.4% of African total | 0.559% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 2.24 tons | 0.4 x global average

EGYPT: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Arabic
Other languages: Egyptian Arabic
Colonised by: Britain 1882-1952
Independence: 1952 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: Ancient Thebes, with its temples and palaces at Karnak and Luxor, and the necropolises of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, is a striking testimony to Egyptian civilization at its height.

EGYPT: QUICK FACTS

Born in Egypt: Actor Omar Sharif made it big in Hollywood in the 1960s starring in hit movies such as Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago.
Did you know? Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern country, emerging as one of the world’s first nation states some 12,000 years ago.

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Equatorial Guinea

Africa - Fishing boats, beach and rock formation on Annobón Island, Equatorial Guinea

Fishing boats, beach and rock formation on Annobón Island. Equatorial Guinea is made up of three geographic parts: the mainland on the African continent, the island of Bioko in the Gulf of Guinea, and Annobón, a small volcanic island south of the equator.
Photo credit Embassy of Equatorial Guinea

Map of Country and AfricaEQUATORIAL GUINEA: OVERVIEW

Capital cities: Malabo, Oyala
Largest city: Bata
Surface area: 28,051 square kilometres | 0.1% of Africa
Population: 870,000 people | 0.1% of Africa’s population
Population density: 31.0 people per square kilometre | 0.8 x African average

EQUATORIAL GUINEA: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XAF)
Major exports (2015): Crude petroleum 69% | Petroleum gas 23% | Methanol 3.9%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $16.7-billion | 0.68% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $20,382 | 10 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 135 | Score 0.592

EQUATORIAL GUINEA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 11 out of 25 people live in cities (39.9%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 24%
Mobile phones: 66.4 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 18.9% of the population use the internet

EQUATORIAL GUINEA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 1.5-million tons | 0.4% of African total | 0.015% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 6.53 tons | 1.3 x global average

EQUATORIAL GUINEA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Spanish, French, Portuguese
Other languages: Fang, Bube, Combe, West African Pidgin English, Annobonese, Igbo
Colonised by: Portugal 1472-1778 | Spain 1778-1968
Independence: 1968 – from Spain
National heritage site: Iron Age burial sites on the Island of Corisco, also known as Mandji, with intact 1,500-year-old tombs containing artefacts such as axes, spears, anklets, bracelets and unbroken pots.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Equatorial Guinea: Álvaro Cervera Díaz, a retired professional footballer who played 12 seasons for the Spanish La Liga.
Did you know? The people of the Equatorial Guinea island of Annobón are originally Angolan, brought there by Portuguese slavers in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Eritrea

Africa - A man looks out from a carriage on the Eritrean railway line between the capital of Asmara and the coastal city of Massawa

A man looks out from a carriage on the Eritrean railway line between the capital of Asmara and the coastal city of Massawa. Built between between 1887 and 1932, Eritrea’s rail system still uses vintage rolling stock.
Photo credit Andrea Moroni

Map of Country and AfricaERITREA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Asmara
Surface area: 117,600 square kilometres | 0.4% of Africa
Population: 5.4-million people | 0.4% of Africa’s population
Population density: 45.5 people per square kilometre | 1.1x African average

ERITREA: ECONOMY

Currency: nakfa (ERN)
Major exports (2015): Copper ore 90% | Precious metal ore 4.5% | Precious stones 1.3%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $3.9-billion | 0.16% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $755 | 0.4 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 179 | Score 0.420

ERITREA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 6 out of 25 people live in cities (22.6%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 22%
Mobile phones: 6.4 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 1% of the population use the internet

ERITREA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 190 thousand tons | 0.05% of African total | 0.002% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.15 tons | 0.03 x global average

ERITREA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Languages: Tigrinya, Arabic, Tigre, Kunama, Saho, Bilen, Nara, Afar, English
Colonised by: Italy 1880-1941 | Britain 1941-1952 | Ethiopia 1952-1991
Independence: 1952 – from Britain | 1991 – from Ethiopia
World Heritage Site: The historic perimeter of Asmara represents perhaps the most concentrated and intact assemblage of Modernist architecture in the world. Its urban design has remained untouched since the 1930s.

ERITREA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Eritrea: American TV actor, model and producer Ella A Thomas.
Did you know? The name Eritrea is based on the Greek for the Red Sea – Erythra Thalassa – and was first adopted for Italian Eritrea in 1890.

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Ethiopia

Africa - Fasil Ghebbi is the remains of a fortress-city within Gondar, Ethiopia

Fasilides Castle in the walled Fasil Ghebbi fortress of Gondar, a city in northern Ethiopia. The fortress was built at the behest of Fasilides, emperor of Ethiopia from 1632 to 18 October 1667.
Photo credit Eric Fortin

Map of Ethiopia and AfricaETHIOPIA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Addis Ababa
Surface area: 1.1-million square kilometres | 3.6% of Africa
Population: 101.9-million people | 8.4% of Africa’s population
Population density: 92.2 people per square kilometre | 2.3 x African average

ETHIOPIA: ECONOMY

Currency: Ethiopian birr (ETB)
Major exports (2015): Coffee 17% | Refined petroleum 13% | Cut flowers 11% | Gold 11%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $53.6-billion | 2.17% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $553 | 0.3 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 174 | Score 0.448

ETHIOPIA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 5 out of 25 people live in cities (19.5%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 38.8%
Mobile phones: 31.6 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 2.9% of the population use the internet

ETHIOPIA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 3.2-million tons | 0.9% of African total | 0.032% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.11 tons | 0.02 x global average

ETHIOPIA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Languages: Amharic, Afar, Harari, Oromo, Somali, Tigrinya
World Heritage Site: Ruins of the ancient city of Aksum, once the most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia.

ETHIOPIA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Ethiopia: Ruth Negga, Oscar-nominated film and theatre actor who starred in the films Loving (2016), Warcraft (2016), World War Z (2013) and Breakfast on Pluto, and in the TV series Preacher (since 2016) and Misfits (2010).
Did you know? Ethiopia was the only African country never colonised by a European power, repeatedly defeating Italy in that country’s successive attempts at invasion in the late 19th century.

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Gabon

An aerial view of the coastal city of Libreville, the capital of Gabon. Libreville was established by French colonialists in 1849 and settled with freed slaves.

An aerial view of the coastal city of Libreville, the capital of Gabon. Libreville was established by French colonialists in 1849 and settled with freed slaves.
Photo credit Kennedy8kp, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Map of Gabon and AfricaGABON: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Libreville
Surface area: 267,668 square kilometres | 0.9% of Africa
Population: 1.8-million people | 0.1% of Africa’s population
Population density: 6.6 people per square kilometre | 0.2 x African average

GABON: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XAF)
Major exports (2015): Crude petroleum 70% | Manganese ore 13% | Sawn wood 7.7%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $17.4-billion | 0.7% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $10,318 | 5 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 108 | Score 0.697

GABON: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 22 out of 25 people live in cities (87%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 14.2%
Mobile phones: 210.4 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 9.8% of the population use the internet

GABON: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 1.4-million tons | 0.4% of African total | 0.014% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 3.08 tons | 0.6 x global average

GABON: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: French
Other languages: Fang, Myene, Punu, Nzebi
Colonised by: France 1885-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France
World Heritage Site: The Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda demonstrates an unusual interface between dense and well-conserved tropical rainforest and relict savannah environments with a great diversity of species, including endangered large mammals.

GABON: QUICK FACTS

Born in Gabon: Anthony Obame was the first Gabonese to win an Olympic medal – silver for men’s Taekwondo at the 2012 London games.
Did you know? World-famous physician and Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer administered a hospital he established in the Gabonese town of Lambaréné in 1913.

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The Gambia

Africa - A dance festival in Dankunku, Central River, the Gambia

A dance festival in Dankunku, Central River, the Gambia. The tiny country’s rich music and dance traditions are the product of very diverse influences.
Photo credit Kevin Sharp

Map of The Gambia and AfricaTHE GAMBIA: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Banjul
Largest city: Serekunda
Surface area: 11,295 square kilometres | 0.04% of Africa
Population: 2.1-million people | 0.2% of Africa’s population
Population density: 181.9 people per square kilometre | 4.5 x African average

THE GAMBIA: ECONOMY

Currency: dalasi (GMD)
Major exports (2015): Rough wood 43% | Coconuts, Brazil nuts and cashews 34% | Ground nut oil 5.3%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $851-million | 0.03% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $441 | 0.2 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 173 | Score 0.452

THE GAMBIA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 15 out of 25 people live in cities (59.6%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 9.4%
Mobile phones: 119.6 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 15.6% of the population use the internet

THE GAMBIA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 140 thousand tons | 0.04% of African total | 0.001% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.26 tons | 0.05 x global average

THE GAMBIA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: English
Other languages: Mandinka, Fula, Wolof, Serer, Jola
Colonised by: Britain 1821-1965
Independence: 1965 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: Kunta Kinteh Island and related sites present a testimony to the main periods and facets of the encounter between Africa and Europe along the River Gambia, a continuum stretching from pre-colonial and pre-slavery times to independence.

THE GAMBIA: QUICK FACTS

Born in the Gambia: UK-based writer and film, TV and theatre actor Louis Mahoney, who has appeared in Captain Phillips and Doctor Who.
Did you know? Inland, the Gambia is entirely surrounded by the country of Senegal, with a strip to the west touching the Atlantic Ocean. It is the smallest country on mainland Africa.

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Ghana

Africa - Hair braiding at Makola Market in Accra, the capital of Ghana

Hair braiding at Makola Market in Accra, the capital of Ghana.
Photo credit Fiona Graham, WorldRemit, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Map of Ghana and AfricaGHANA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Accra
Surface area: 238,537 square kilometres | 0.8% of Africa
Population: 28-million people | 2.3% of Africa’s population
Population density: 117.5 people per square kilometre | 3 x African average

GHANA: ECONOMY

Currency: Ghana cedi (GHS)
Major exports (2015): Gold 41% | Cocoa beans 19% | Crude petroleum 19%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $37.2-billion | 1.50% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $1,388 | 0.7 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 139 | Score 0.579

GHANA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 14 out of 25 people live in cities (54%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 10.9%
Mobile phones: 114.8 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 18.9% of the population use the internet

GHANA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 3.9-million tons | 1.1% of African total | 0.040% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.55 tons | 0.1 x global average

GHANA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: English
Other languages: Asante Twi, Dagaare, Dagbani, Dangme, Ewe, Ga, Gonja, Kasem, Fante, Akuapem Twi, Nzema, Wasa, Talensi, Frafra, Hausa
Colonised by: Portugal 1482–1642 | Britain 1821-1957
Independence: 1957 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: The Asante Traditional Buildings, found to the north-east of Kumasi, are the last material remains of the great Asante civilization that reached its high point in the 18th century.

GHANA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Ghana: Kofi Annan served as UN secretary-general from 1997 to 2006, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, and chairs The Elders, a group of veteran global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela.
Did you know? In 1957 Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African nation to declare independence from European colonisation.

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Guinea

Afrca - Fisherwomen on the banks of the Niger River in the Kankan region of northeastern Guinea, on the Mali border

Fisherwomen on the banks of the Niger River in the Kankan region of northeastern Guinea, on the Mali border.
Photo credit Julien Harnels

Map of Guinea and AfricaGUINEA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Conakry
Surface area: 245,857 square kilometres | 0.8% of Africa
Population: 12.9-million people | 1.1% of Africa’s population
Population density: 52.7 people per square kilometre | 1.3 x African average

GUINEA: ECONOMY

Currency: Guinean franc (GNF)
Major exports (2015): Gold 38% | Aluminium ore 30% | Crude petroleum 7.7%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $6.6-billion | 0.27% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $536 | 0.3 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 183 | Score 0.414

GUINEA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 37.2 out of 25 people live in cities (37.2%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 21.9%
Mobile phones: 72.1 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 1.7% of the population use the internet

GUINEA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 668 thousand tons | 0.19% of African total | 0.007% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.18 tons | 0.04 x global average

GUINEA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: French
Other languages: Maninka, Fula, Susu
Colonised by: France 1898-1958
Independence: 1958 – from France
World Heritage Site: Mount Nimba, rising above the surrounding savannah, its slopes covered by dense forest at the foot of grassy mountain pastures, harbours rich flora and fauna that includes endemic species such as the viviparous toad.

GUINEA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Guinea: Guitarist and kora player “Grand” Papa Diabaté.
Did you know? It is estimated that Guinea contains a full half of the world’s reserves of bauxite, the main source of aluminium.

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Guinea-Bissau

A false-colour composite satellite image of the rivers, coast and islands of Guinea-Bissau. Infrared, red and blue light wavelengths bring out details of the complex patterns of the country's shallow coastal waters, where silt carried by the Geba and other rivers washes out into the Atlantic Ocean.

A false-colour composite satellite image of the rivers, coast and islands of Guinea-Bissau. Infrared, red and blue light wavelengths bring out details of the complex patterns of the country’s shallow coastal waters, where silt carried by the Geba and other rivers washes out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Photo credit Nasa/USGS EROS Data Center, CC BY 2.0

Map of Guinea-Bissau and AfricaGUINEA-BISSAU: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Bissau
Surface area: 36,125 square kilometres | 0.1% of Africa
Population: 1.9-million people | 0.2% of Africa’s population
Population density: 52.3 people per square kilometre | 1.3 x African average

GUINEA-BISSAU: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XOF)
Major exports (2015): Coconuts, Brazil nuts and cashews 84% | Frozen fish 7.8% | Rough wood 5.6%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $1.2-billion | 0.05% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $672 | 0.3 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 178 | Score 0.424

GUINEA-BISSAU: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 12 out of 25 people live in cities (49.3%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 13.7%
Mobile phones: 63.5 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 3.3% of the population use the internet

GUINEA-BISSAU: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 74 thousand tons | 0.02% of African total | 0.001% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.15 tons | 0.03 x global average

GUINEA-BISSAU: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: Portuguese
Other languages: Guinea-Bissau Creole (Kriol), Balanta, Fula, Mandjak, Mandinka, Papel, French
Colonised by: Portugal 1474-1973
Independence: 1973 – from Portugal
National heritage site: The Archipelago of Bijagos, consisting of 88 islands and islets, is the most biodiverse region of Guinea-Bissau.

GUINEA-BISSAU: QUICK FACTS

Born in Guinea-Bissau: Amílcar Cabral, an agricultural engineer, writer, nationalist thinker, and one of Africa’s foremost anti-colonial leaders.
Did you know? The calabash is the primary musical instrument of Guinea-Bissau, used in extremely swift and rhythmically complex dance music such as gumbe.

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Kenya

Africa - A panoramic view of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and commercial centre

A panoramic view of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and commercial centre. The city proper has a population of 3.1-million people, and its wider metropolitan area 6.5-million. Nairobi’s name comes from the Maasai “enkare nairobi”, or “cool water”, a reference to the Nairobi River which flows through the city.
Photo credit Babak Fakhamzadeh

Map of Kenya and AfricaKENYA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Nairobi
Surface area: 591,958 square kilometres | 2% of Africa
Population: 47.2-million people | 3.9% of Africa’s population
Population density: 79.8 people per square kilometre | 2 x African average

KENYA: ECONOMY

Currency: Kenyan shilling (KES)
Major exports (2015): Tea 22% | Cut flowers 12% | Refined petroleum 7.4%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $60.9-billion | 2.5% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $1,358 | 0.7 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 146 | Score 0.555

KENYA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 6 out of 25 people live in cities (25.6%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 19.7%
Mobile phones: 73.8 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 43.4% of the population use the internet

KENYA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 3.9-million tons | 1.1% of African total | 0.040% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.33 tons | 0.07 x global average

KENYA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: English, Kiswahili
Colonised by: Britain 1888-1962
Independence: 1963 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: The Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests, 11 fortified villages set in forested land running over 200 kilometres along the coast. Known as kayas, the sites were first settled by the Mijikenda people in about 1560.

KENYA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Kenya: Actor Edi Gathegi, who played the vampire Laurent in the Twilight movies, and Dr Jeffery Cole in the TV series House MD.
Did you know? Flowers given to a loved one in New York may have grown in a field in Kenya. The country has become a major player in the global cut-flower market, shipping blooms to the US, Europe, Russia, Japan, Dubai, Australia and South Africa.

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Lesotho

Dark clouds and sunshine in the Lesotho lowlands, close to the Fouriesburg border post into South Africa

Dark clouds and sunshine in the Lesotho lowlands, close to the Fouriesburg border post into South Africa. These are just foothills in comparison to the rest of the mountainous country. Lesotho is the only country in the world which lies, in its entirety, over a kilometre above sea level. In fact, over 80% of its land is at an elevation of 1,800 metres or higher.
Photo credit Andrew Ashton

Map of Lesotho and AfricaLESOTHO: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Maseru
Surface area: 30,355 square kilometres | 0.1% of Africa
Population: 2.2-million people | 0.2% of Africa’s population
Population density: 71.2 people per square kilometre | 1.8 x African average

LESOTHO: ECONOMY

Currency: loti (LSL)
Major exports (2016): Clothing 48% | Unworked diamonds 28.2% | Wool 5.2%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $2.1-billion | 0.08% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $986 | 0.5 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 161 | Score 0.497

LESOTHO: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 7 out of 25 people live in cities (27.3%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 25%
Mobile phones: 101.9 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 11% of the population use the internet

LESOTHO: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 673 thousand tons | 0.19% of African total | 0.007% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 1.17 tons | 0.2 x global average

LESOTHO: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: English, Sesotho
Colonised by: Britain 1868-1966
Independence: 1966 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: The Maloti Drakensberg Transboundary World Heritage Site is known for its rock art and mountain landscape.

LESOTHO: QUICK FACTS

Born in Lesotho: Dutch TV actor Maureen Eerdmans was born in Lesotho in 1974 and adopted by a Dutch family when she was one year old.
Did you know? Basotho author Thomas Mofolo was one of Africa’s greatest early 20th century writers. His 1925 novel Chaka, a fictionalised account of the life of Zulu king Shaka kaSenzangakhona, is considered a classic of world literature.

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Liberia

Africa - The coastal city of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital

The coastal city of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital and largest city. Monrovia is named after American president James Monroe (1758 – 1831), a prominent supporter of the colonisation of Liberia by the resettlement of freed slaves.
Photo credit JB Dodane

Map of Liberia and AfricaLIBERIA: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Monrovia
Surface area: 111,369 square kilometres | 0.4% of Africa
Population: 4.6-million people | 0.4% of Africa’s population
Population density: 41.4 people per square kilometre | 1 x African average

LIBERIA: ECONOMY

Currency: Liberian dollar (LRD)
Major exports (2015): Passenger and cargo ships | Iron ore 24% | Rubber 12%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $2.1-billion | 0.09% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $483 | 0.2 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 177 | Score 0.427

LIBERIA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 12 out of 25 people live in cities (49.7%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 11%
Mobile phones: 73.4 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 5.4% of the population use the internet

LIBERIA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 255 thousand tons | 0.07% of African total | 0.003% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.22 tons | 0.04 x global average

LIBERIA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: English
National heritage site: Providence Island is a former trade post and was the first point of arrival for freed American Slaves. The guitar-shaped island has a cement pillar and concrete floor believed to be the first concrete work in the history of the country, as well as an ancient water well and an old docking platform for incoming canoes and ships. On the site is also a 250-year-old cotton tree, the oldest in Liberia.

LIBERIA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Liberia: Footballer George Weah, one of the greatest African players of all time, and one of Fifa’s top 100 greatest living footballers in the world.
Did you know? In the late 19th century Liberia was settled by some 13,000 freed American slaves, who gave the country its name, and named its capital, Monrovia, after US President James Monroe. The Americo-Liberian settlers initially encountered stiff and sometimes violent opposition from the people already living there. These original Liberians were denied citizenship of Liberia, and the right to vote, until 1904.

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Libya

Africa - House in the ancient desert oasis town of Ghadames in northwestern Libya

In the ancient desert oasis town of Ghadames in northwestern Libya, buildings are designed with thick walls of mud, lime, and palm tree trunks to withstand the Sahara’s extremes of heat and cold. Covered alleyways between dwellings help cut the summer heat.
Photo credit Luca Galuzzi

Map of Libya and AfricaLIBYA: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Tripoli
Surface area: 1.7-million square kilometres | 5.5% of Africa
Population: 6.3-million people | 0.5% of Africa’s population
Population density: 3.8 people per square kilometre | 0.1 x African average

LIBYA: ECONOMY

Currency: Libyan dinar (LYD)
Major exports (2015): Crude petroleum 69% | Petroleum gas 21% | Refined petroleum 3.7%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $41.3-billion | 1.7% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $6,602 | 3.2 x African average
Human Development Index: High | Rank 96 | Score 0.716

LIBYA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 20 out of 25 people live in cities (78.6%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 16%
Mobile phones: 161.1 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 17.8% of the population use the internet

LIBYA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 15.5-million tons | 4.4% of African total | 0.158% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 9.09 tons | 1.8 x global average

LIBYA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Arabic
Other languages: Libyan Arabic, Tamazight, Italian
Colonised by: Italy 1911-1943
Independence: 1947 – from Italy
World Heritage Site: Cyrene was one of the principal cities in the ancient Hellenic world.

LIBYA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Libya: American filmmaker Don Coscarelli.
Did you know?The Barbary Coast War was fought from 1801 to 1805 between the USA and today’s Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. This was the very first USA military action in foreign lands to be authorised by the US Congress.

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Madagascar

Africa - A village near Toliara in southwestern Madagascar

A village near Toliara in southwestern Madagascar.
Photo credit Mariusz Kluzniak

Map of Madagascar and AfricaMADAGASCAR: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Antananarivo
Surface area: 587,295 square kilometres | 1.9% of Africa
Population: 24.9-million people | 2.1% of Africa’s population
Population density: 42.4 people per square kilometre | 1 x African average

MADAGASCAR: ECONOMY

Currency: Malagasy ariary (MGA)
Major exports (2015): Raw nickel 23% | Vanilla 11% | Knit sweaters 7.3%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $10.7-billion | 0.43% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $453 | 0.2 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 156 | Score 0.512

MADAGASCAR: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 9 out of 25 people live in cities (35.1%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 20.5%
Mobile phones: 38.2 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 3.7% of the population use the internet

MADAGASCAR: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 839 thousand tons | 0.23% of African total | 0.009% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.15 tons | 0.03 x global average

MADAGASCAR: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Malagasy, French
Colonised by: France 1896-1958
Independence: 1960 – from France
World Heritage Site: The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga, the cradle of a 500-year-old kingdom and dynasty that retains enormous spiritual importance to this day.

MADAGASCAR: QUICK FACTS

Born in Madagascar: French-language novelist Claude Simon, winner of the 1985 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Did you know? Because Madagascar has been an island for 88-million years, 90% its wildlife is endemic – found nowhere else on Earth.

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Malawi

Africa - A sense of the size of Lake Malawi, in a view from the road to the town of Livingstonia in the north of Malawi

A sense of the size of Lake Malawi, in a view from the road to the town of Livingstonia in the north of the country. Lake Malawi also borders Tanzania, where it is known as Lake Nyasa, and Mozambique, where it is known as Lago Niassa. It is the ninth largest lake in the world and home to more species of fish than any other. Some 90% of these species are endemic, only found in Lake Malawi.
Photo credit Jack Zalium

Map of Malawi and AfricaMALAWI: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Lilongwe
Surface area: 118,484 square kilometres | 0.4% of Africa
Population: 17.8-million people | 1.5% of Africa’s population
Population density: 149.8 people per square kilometre | 3.7 x African average

MALAWI: ECONOMY

Currency: Malawi kwacha (MWK)
Major exports (2015): Raw tobacco 55% | Dried legumes 8.8% | Raw sugar 6.7%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $5.7-billion | 0.23% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $343 | 0.2 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 169 | Score 0.476

MALAWI: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 4 out of 25 people live in cities (16.3%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 16.7%
Mobile phones: 30.5 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 5.8% of the population use the internet

MALAWI: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 348 thousand tons | 0.10% of African total | 0.004% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.07 tons | 0.01 x global average

MALAWI: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: English
Other languages: Chichewa
Colonised by: Britain 1891-1964
Independence: 1964 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: The Chongoni Rock Art Area, lying in a cluster of forested granite hills high on the plateau of central Malawi, holds the richest concentration of rock art in Central Africa.

MALAWI: QUICK FACTS

Born in Malawi: Internationally recognised fashion designer Lily Alfonso.
Did you know? Lake Malawi, the country’s other World Heritage Site, takes up a full third of the country’s land area. Over geological time the lake periodically dries out. Between the years 1390 and 1860 its water level was 150 metres lower than it is today.

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Mali

Africa - The Grand Mosque of Djenné in the Niger Delta region of central Mali

The Grand Mosque of Djenné in the Niger Delta region of central Mali is the largest adobe – mud-built – structure in the world. The first mosque on the site is thought to have been built in the 1200s. The current structure is a century old, built in 1907. After the rainy season the mosque’s surface has been washed thin, so the local community gathers to replaster it. The protruding wooden struts are not structural: they provide footholds so people can reach every part of the building to reseal its surface with mud.
Photo credit Marco Dormino, UN Photo

Map of Mali and AfricaMALI: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Bamako
Surface area: 1.2-million square kilometres | 4.1% of Africa
Population: 18.1-million people | 1.5% of Africa’s population
Population density: 14.6 people per square kilometre | 0.4 x African average

MALI: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XOF)
Major exports (2015): Gold 59% | Raw cotton 20% | Other oily seeds 7.2%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $12-billion | 0.48% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $701 | 0.3 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 175 | Score 0.442

MALI: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 10 out of 25 people live in cities (39.9%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 8.8%
Mobile phones: 149 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 7% of the population use the internet

MALI: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 385 thousand tons | 0.11% of African total | 0.004% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.07 tons | 0.01 x global average

MALI: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: French
Other languages: Bambara, Bomu, Tieyaxo Bozo, Toro So Dogon, Maasina Fulfulde, Hassaniya Arabic, Mamara Senoufo, Kita Maninkakan, Soninke, Koyraboro Senni, Syenara Senoufo, Tamasheq, Xaasongaxango
Colonised by: France 1892-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France
World Heritage Site: The city of Timbuktu was an intellectual and spiritual capital and the centre of Islamic thought in Africa from the 15th to the 16th centuries.

MALI: QUICK FACTS

Born in Mali: Award-winning Afro-pop singer and songwriter Salif Keïta, known as the “Golden Voice of Africa”.
Did you know? Malian musical traditions are derived from the griots, who are known as “Keepers of Memories”.

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Mauritania

Africa - Men playing the traditional Mauritanian board game of Kharbaga – similar to zamma and draughts – in Ouadane (or Wādān), a small town in the desert region of central Mauritania.

Men playing the traditional Mauritanian board game of Kharbaga – similar to zamma and draughts – in Ouadane (or Wādān), a small town in the desert region of central Mauritania.
Photo credit Evgeni Zotov

Map of Mauritania and AfricaMAURITANIA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Nouakchott
Surface area: 1-million square kilometres | 3.4% of Africa
Population: 4.2-million people | 0.3% of Africa’s population
Population density: 4.0 people per square kilometre | 0.1 x African average

MAURITANIA: ECONOMY

Currency: ouguiya (MRO)
Major exports (2015): Iron ore 26% | Copper ore 16% | Molluscs 15%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $5.1-billion | 0.21% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $1,283 | 0.6 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 155 | Score 0.513

MAURITANIA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 15 out of 25 people live in cities (59.9%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 25.2%
Mobile phones: 94.2 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 10.7% of the population use the internet

MAURITANIA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 739 thousand tons | 0.21% of African total | 0.007% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.7 tons | 0.1 x global average

MAURITANIA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: Arabic
Other languages: Hassaniya Arabic, Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof, Zenaga Berber, French
Colonised by: France 1903-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France
World Heritage Site: The Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata were trading and religious centres founded in the 11th and 12th centuries to serve caravans crossing the Sahara.

MAURITANIA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Mauritania: Film director and voice actor Med Hondo.
Did you know?Ninety percent of Mauritania’s land is part of the Sahara Desert, so the country’s population concentrates in the more watered south. A full third of the 3.5-million Mauritanians live in the coastal city of Nouakchott.

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Mauritius

Africa - Le Morne Brabant Peninsula in Mauritius

Le Morne Brabant Peninsula in Mauritius. The island’s natural beauty has allowed it to develop a successful tourism industry, which contributes some 8.4% to the country’s GDP.
Photo credit Sofitel So Mauritius

Map of Mauritius and AfricaMAURITIUS: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Port Louis
Surface area: 1,969 square kilometres | 0.01% of Africa
Population: 1.3-million people | 0.1% of Africa’s population
Population density: 649.1 people per square kilometre | 16.2 x African average

MAURITIUS: ECONOMY

Currency: Mauritius rupee (MUR)
Major exports (2015): Refined petroleum 11% | Processed fish 8.9% | Broadcasting equipment 8.2%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $12.6-billion | 0.51% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $9,945 | 4.9 x African average
Human Development Index: High | Rank 64 | Score 0.781

MAURITIUS: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 10 out of 25 people live in cities (39.7%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 11.6%
Mobile phones: 132.3 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 41.4% of the population use the internet

MAURITIUS: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 1.2-million tons | 0.3% of African total | 0.012% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 3.34 tons | 0.7 x global average

MAURITIUS: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Languages: Mauritian Creole, French, English, Bhojpuri
Colonised by: Netherlands 1638-1710 | France 1715-1810 | Britain 1810-1968
Independence: 1968 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: Aapravasi Ghat, a fortlike stone complex established by the UK in 1834, a year after slavery was abolished, as a global transit point for a new kind of slavery: indentured labour. About half a million mainly Indian labourers were processed through the site from 1849 to 1923.

MAURITIUS: QUICK FACTS

Born in Mauritius: Screen actor Françoise Pascal, who played Paola in the 1970 Peter Sellers movie There’s a Girl in My Soup and starred in British TV series such as Coronation Street and Mind Your Language.
Did you know? Life expectancy in Mauritius is 73, the highest in Africa.

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Morocco

Africa - Street life in Essaouira, an ancient city in western Morocco on the Atlantic coast.

Street life in Essaouira, an ancient city in western Morocco on the Atlantic coast.
Photo credit Andrea Moroni

Map of Morocco and AfricaMOROCCO: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Rabat
Largest city: Casablanca
Surface area: 446,550 square kilometres | 1.5% of Africa
Population: 34.8-million people | 2.9% of Africa’s population
Population density: 78.0 people per square kilometre | 1.9 x African average

MOROCCO: ECONOMY

Currency: Moroccan dirham (MAD)
Major exports (2015): Cars 10% | Insulated wire 9.6% | Phosphoric acid 6.7%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $110-billion | 4.4% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $3,243 | 1.6 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 123 | Score 0.647

MOROCCO: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 15 out of 25 people live in cities (60.2%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 17%
Mobile phones: 131.7 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 56.8% of the population use the internet

MOROCCO: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 16.3-million tons | 4.6% of African total | 0.166% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 1.72 tons | 0.3 x global average

MOROCCO: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Arabic, Berber
Colonised by: Spain 1912-1956 | France 1912-1956
Independence: 1956 – from Spain and France
World Heritage Site: The Medina of Marrakesh, a massive old Islamic capital from the 11th century enclosed by 16 kilometres of ramparts and gates.

MOROCCO: QUICK FACTS

Born in Morocco: Marouane Chamakh, footballer who has played for Arsenal, West Ham and Crystal Palace
Did you know? Morocco’s Atlas Studios are the largest film studios in the world, by area. Portions of the Game of Thrones series have been filmed there, as were the movies Gladiator (2000) and Kingdom of Heaven (2005).

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Mozambique

The Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte (Our Lady of the Bulwark) lies next to Fort São Sebastião on the easternmost tip of the Island of Mozambique (Ilha de Moçambique), off the coast of northern Mozambique. Portuguese colonial forces established a port and naval base on the island in 1507. The chapel, built in 1522, is considered the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere.

The Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte (Our Lady of the Bulwark) lies next to Fort São Sebastião on the easternmost tip of the Island of Mozambique (Ilha de Moçambique), off the coast of northern Mozambique. Portuguese colonial forces established a port and naval base on the island in 1507. The chapel, built in 1522, is thought to be the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere.
Photo credit Raul Soler, CC BY-NC 2.0

Map of Mozambique and AfricaMOZAMBIQUE: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Maputo
Surface area: 799,380 square kilometres | 2.6% of Africa
Population: 28.8-million people | 2.4% of Africa’s population
Population density: 36.0 people per square kilometre | 0.9 x African average

MOZAMBIQUE: ECONOMY

Currency: Mozambique metical (MZN)
Major exports (2015): Raw aluminium 19% | Aluminium bars 15% | Electricity 7.4%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $17.1-billion | 0.69% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $628 | 0.3 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 181 | Score 0.418

MOZAMBIQUE: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 8 out of 25 people live in cities (32.2%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 39.6%
Mobile phones: 69.7 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 5.9% of the population use the internet

MOZAMBIQUE: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 2.3-million tons | 0.6% of African total | 0.023% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.29 tons | 0.06 x global average

MOZAMBIQUE: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: Portuguese
Other languages: Emakhuwa, Cisena, Xichangana, Elomwe, Cishona, Xitswa, Xironga, Chichewa, Cinyungwe, Cicopi, Ciyao, Shimakonde
Colonised by: Portugal 1498-1975
Independence: 1975 – from Portugal
World Heritage Site: The Island of Mozambique and its fortified city was a former Portuguese trading post on the route to India, used since the 16th century.

MOZAMBIQUE: QUICK FACTS

Born in Mozambique: Legendary footballer Eusebio.
Did you know? Mozambican cuisine is strongly infused with the 500-year presence of Portuguese culture, with dishes such as prego steak rolls, battered shrimp, espetada kebabs and chicken in piri-piri sauce, and the use of onions, bay leaves, garlic, fresh coriander, paprika, chili peppers, red sweet peppers and wine as seasonings.

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Namibia

Africa - The pretty harbour town of Lüderitz on the forbidding west coast of Namibia

The pretty harbour town of Lüderitz on the forbidding west coast of Namibia, on the Atlantic seaboard, was one of the country’s earliest colonial settlements. Today it is a niche tourist destination.
Photo credit Damien du Toit

Map of Namibia and AfricaNAMIBIA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Windhoek
Surface area: 824,268 square kilometres | 2.7% of Africa
Population: 2.5-million people | 0.2% of Africa’s population
Population density: 3.0 people per square kilometre | 0.08 x African average

NAMIBIA: ECONOMY

Currency: Namibia dollar (NAD)
Major exports (2016): Uncut diamonds 26% | Copper ores and concentrates 11.3% | Gold 6.2%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $13.4-billion | 0.54% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $5,589 | 2.7 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 125 | Score 0.640

NAMIBIA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 12 out of 25 people live in cities (46.7%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 41.3%
Mobile phones: 113.8 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 14.8% of the population use the internet

NAMIBIA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 1-million tons | 0.3% of African total | 0.010% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 1.58 tons | 0.3 x global average

NAMIBIA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: English
Other languages: Afrikaans, German, Ju’hoansi, Khoekhoegowab, Oshiwambo, Otjiherero, Rukwangali, Rumanyo, Setswana, Silozi, Thimbukushu
Colonised by: Germany 1884-1915 | South Africa 1915-1990
Independence: 1990 – from South Africa
World Heritage Site: The Namib Sand Sea, covering an area of over 3-million hectares, is the only coastal desert in the world that includes extensive dune fields influenced by fog.

NAMIBIA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Namibia: Record-breaking Olympic track and field athlete Frank “Frankie” Fredericks.
Did you know? Namibia’s name is derived from the Namib Desert, considered to be the oldest desert in the world.

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Niger

Africa - A classroom at Carrefour Jeunesse Niger, a vocational dressmaking school in Niamey.

A classroom at Carrefour Jeunesse Niger, a vocational dressmaking school in Niamey. The school designed by architect Odile Vandermeeren and constructed by local artisans using traditional adobe building techniques, with the murals painted by local female artists. The project was a finalist in the international Terra Award for earthen architecture.
Photo credit Gustave Deghilage

Map of Niger and AfricaNIGER: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Niamey
Surface area: 1.3-million square kilometres | 4.2% of Africa
Population: 20.7-million people | 1.7% of Africa’s population
Population density: 16.3 people per square kilometre | 0.4 x African average

NIGER: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XOF)
Major exports (2015): Radioactive chemicals 47% | Refined petroleum 12% | Uranium and thorium ore 9%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $8.2-billion | 0.33% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $427 | 0.2 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 187 | Score 0.353

NIGER: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 5 out of 25 people live in cities (18.7%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 13.3%
Mobile phones: 44.4 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 2% of the population use the internet

NIGER: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 580 thousand tons | 0.2% of African total | 0.006% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.11 tons | 0.02 x global average

NIGER: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: French
Other languages: Arabic, Buduma, Fulfulde, Gourmanchéma, Hausa, Kanuri, Zarma & Songhai, Tamasheq, Tassawaq, Tebu
Colonised by: France 1900-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France
World Heritage Site: Agadez, known as the gateway to the Sahara desert, developed in the 15th and 16th centuries when the Sultanate of Aïr was established and Touareg groups settled in the city in the boundaries of nomadic encampments, creating street patterns still in place today.

NIGER: QUICK FACTS

Born in Niger: World-famous Senegalese musician Ismaël Lo was born in Dogondoutchi, Niger, to a Senegalese father and a Nigerien mother.
Did you know? From the mid-15th to the late 16th century, the Songhai Empire in what is today Niger was one of the largest Islamic empires ever to exist.

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Nigeria

Africa - The National Mosque of Nigeria in Abuja, the country’s capital

The National Mosque of Nigeria in Abuja, the country’s capital. The building was constructed in 1984.
Photo credit Jeff Attaway

Map of Nigeria and AfricaNIGERIA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Abuja
Largest city: Lagos
Surface area: 923,768 square kilometres | 3.1% of Africa
Population: 187-million people | 15.4% of Africa’s population
Population density: 202.4 people per square kilometre | 5 x African average

NIGERIA: ECONOMY

Currency: naira (NGN)
Major exports (2015): Crude petroleum 77% | Petroleum gas 15% | Refined petroleum 1.3%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $568.5-billion | 23% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $3,203 | 1.6 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 152 | Score 0.527

NIGERIA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 12 out of 25 people live in cities (47.8%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 5.6%
Mobile phones: 77.8 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 42.7% of the population use the internet

NIGERIA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 26.3-million tons | 7.4% of African total | 0.266% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.55 tons | 0.1 x global average

NIGERIA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: English
Other languages: Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Birom, Edo, Efik, Fulfulde, Gbagyi, Hyam, Ibibio, Idoma, Igala, Igbira, Ijaw, Ikwerre, Itsekiri, Jju, Jukun, Kanuri, Atyap, Margi, Nupe, Tiv, Urhobo-Isoko
Colonised by: Britain 1800-1960
Independence: 1960 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: The dense forest of the Osun Sacred Grove, on the outskirts of the city of Osogbo, is one of the last remnants of primary high forest in southern Nigeria. It is regarded as the abode of the goddess of fertility Osun, one of the pantheon of Yoruba gods.

NIGERIA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Nigeria: Screen actor Hakeem Kae-Kazim, whose film and TV credits include Hotel Rwanda, Wolverine, Law and Order SVU, CSI Los Angeles, 24 and Black Sails.
Did you know? Amnesty International is seeking a criminal inquiry into Shell over the international oil company’s alleged complicity in murder and torture in Nigeria. The rights group’s full evidence review includes statements alleging Shell, an Anglo-Dutch organisation, managed an undercover police unit in the 1990s after its operations ended in Ogoniland. Author and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed in Nigeria in 1995.

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Rwanda

Africa - Kigali City Tower on Avenue du Commerce in the central business district of Kigali, the capital and largest city of Rwanda.

Clouds in the sky above Kigali City Tower on Avenue du Commerce in the central business district of Kigali, the capital and largest city of Rwanda.
Photo credit Adam Jones

Map of Rwanda and AfricaRWANDA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Kigali
Surface area: 26,338 square kilometres | 0.1% of Africa
Population: 11.9-million people | 1% of Africa’s population
Population density: 451.2 people per square kilometre | 11.2 x African average

RWANDA: ECONOMY

Currency: Rwanda franc (RWF)
Major exports (2015): Niobium, tantalum, vanadium and zirconium ore 16% | Tea 15% | Refined petroleum 11%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $7.9-billion | 0.32% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $697 | 0.3 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 159 | Score 0.498

RWANDA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 7 out of 25 people live in cities (28.8%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 63.8%
Mobile phones: 64.0 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 10.6% of the population use the internet

RWANDA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 229 thousand tons | 0.06% of African total | 0.002% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.07 tons | 0.01 x global average

RWANDA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Kinyarwanda, English, French, Swahili
Colonised by: Germany 1884-1916 | Belgium 1916-1962
Independence: 1962 – from Belgium
World Heritage Sites: Nyamata, Murambi, Bisesero and Gisozi, memorial sites of the 1994 Genocide.

RWANDA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Rwanda: French model, screen actor, producer and philanthropist Sonia Rolland. Named Miss France in 2000, she was the first African-born winner of the pageant. Her screen credits include the films Madame (2017) and The French Minister (2013) and the TV series Toussaint Louverture (2012) and Les invincibles (2011).
Did you know? Rwanda and Bolivia are the only two countries in the world to have a female majority in parliament.

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São Tomé and Príncipe

Africa - Unnamed craftsmen in their workshop on São Tomé. São Tomé is the larger, southern island in the country of São Tomé and Príncipe.

Unnamed craftsmen in their workshop on São Tomé. São Tomé is the larger, southern island in the country of São Tomé and Príncipe.
Photo credit Kris Haamer

Map of São Tomé et Príncipe and AfricaSÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: São Tomé
Surface area: 964 square kilometres | 0.003% of Africa
Population: 194,000 people | 0.02% of Africa’s population
Population density: 201.2 people per square kilometre | 5 x African average

SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE: ECONOMY

Currency: dobra (STD)
Major exports (2015): Cocoa beans 62% | Coffee and tea extracts 7% | Chocolate 3.3%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $337-million | 0.01% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $1,811 | 0.9 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 142 | Score 0.574

SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 16 out of 25 people live in cities (65.1%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 18.2%
Mobile phones: 64.9 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 24.4% of the population use the internet

SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 31 thousand tons | 0.01% of African total | 0.000% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.62 tons | 0.1 x global average

SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Portuguese
Other languages: Forro, Angolar, Principense
Colonised by: Portugal 1522-1975
Independence: 1975 – from Portugal

SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE: QUICK FACTS

Born in São Tomé and Príncipe: Pianist, teacher and composer José Vianna da Motta, one of the last pupils of Franz Liszt.
Did you know? São Tomé and Príncipe is the smallest of the world’s 10 official Portuguese-speaking countries. Brazil is by far the largest.

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Senegal

A satellite view of Senegal's Dakar peninsula, the westernmost point of mainland Africa.

Western Dakar, the capital of Senegal, in an image captured by the Sentinel 2A satellite on 10 October 2016 and processed by @anttilip. This arrow-shaped peninsula is the westernmost point of the African continent.
Photo credit Antti Lipponen

Map of Senegal and AfricaSENEGAL: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Dakar
Surface area: 196,712 square kilometres | 0.7% of Africa
Population: 15.6-million people | 1.3% of Africa’s population
Population density: 79.3 people per square kilometre | 2 x African average

SENEGAL: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XOF)
Major exports (2015): Gold 9.6% | Refined petroleum 9.4% | Frozen fish 8.9%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $15.7-billion | 0.63% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $1,067 | 0.5 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 163 | Score 0.494

SENEGAL: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 11 out of 25 people live in cities (43.7%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 42.7%
Mobile phones: 98.8 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 17.7% of the population use the internet

SENEGAL: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 2.4-million tons | 0.7% of African total | 0.025% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.59 tons | 0.1 x global average

SENEGAL: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: French
Other languages: Balanta-Ganja, Hassaniya Arabic, Jola-Fonyi, Mandinka, Mandjak, Mankanya, Noon, Pulaar, Serer Soninke, Wolof
Colonised by: France 1783-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France
World Heritage Site: The island of Gorée was the largest slave-trading centre on the African coast between the 15th and 19th centuries.

SENEGAL: QUICK FACTS

Born in Senegal: Singer Youssou N’Dour.
Did you know? In the 1960s and ’70s, Senegal was a prime global filmmaking location, especially for French movies.

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Seychelles

Africa - View from an airplane of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

View from an airplane of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
Photo credit Olivier Roux

Map of Seychelles and AfricaSEYCHELLES: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Victoria
Surface area: 457 square kilometres | 0.002% of Africa
Population: 97,000 people | 0.01% of Africa’s population
Population density: 212.3 people per square kilometre | 5.3 x African average

SEYCHELLES: ECONOMY

Currency: Seychelles rupee (SCR)
Major exports (2015): Processed fish 38% | Refined petroleum 23% | Frozen fish 21%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $1.5-billion | 0.06% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $15,759 | 7.7 x African average
Human Development Index: High | Rank 63 | Score 0.782

SEYCHELLES: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 13 out of 25 people live in cities (53.9%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 43.8%
Mobile phones: 162.2 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 54.3% of the population use the internet

SEYCHELLES: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 135 thousand tons | 0.04% of African total | 0.001% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 5.17 tons | 1 x global average

SEYCHELLES: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: English, French, Seychellois Creole
Colonised by: France 1756-1794 | Britain 1794-1976
Independence: 1976 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: Aldabra Atoll, four coral islands enclosing a lagoon and surrounded by a coral reef. Protected from human intrusion, the atoll is a safe haven for some 152,000 giant tortoises, the world’s largest population of the reptile.

SEYCHELLES: QUICK FACTS

Born in Seychelles: Eddy Maillet, a Fifa international football referee.
Did you know? Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal. Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most expenditure and looking after the interests of the children.

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Sierra Leone

The Old Cotton Tree in the oldest part of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, with the country’s Supreme Court building to the left. The massive tree, thought to be about 500 years old, is a historic symbol of the city. On 11 March 1792 some 400 African slaves, liberated for fighting for the British in the American War of Independence, landed on the shore of modern Freetown. They walked up to the great tree above the bay and there held a service of thanksgiving for their freedom.

The Old Cotton Tree in the oldest part of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, with the country’s Supreme Court building to the left. The massive tree, thought to be about 500 years old, is a historic symbol of the city. On 11 March 1792 some 400 African slaves, liberated for fighting for the British in the American War of Independence, landed on the shore of modern Freetown. They walked up to the great tree above the bay and there held a service of thanksgiving for their freedom.
Photo credit bobthemagicdragon

Map of Sierra Leone and AfricaSIERRA LEONE: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Freetown
Surface area: 72,300 square kilometres | 0.2% of Africa
Population: 6.6-million people | 0.5% of Africa’s population
Population density: 91.2 people per square kilometre | 2.3 x African average

SIERRA LEONE: ECONOMY

Currency: leone (SLL)
Major exports (2015): Diamonds 22% | Iron ore 21% | Titanium ore 18%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $4.9-billion | 0.20% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $775 | 0.4 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 180 | Score 0.420

SIERRA LEONE: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 10 out of 25 people live in cities (39.9%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 12.4%
Mobile phones: 76.7 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 2.1% of the population use the internet

SIERRA LEONE: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 357 thousand tons | 0.1% of African total | 0.004% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.22 tons | 0.04 x global average

SIERRA LEONE: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: English
Other languages: Temne, Mende, Krio (Sierra Leonean Creole)
Colonised by: Britain 1792-1961
Independence: 1961 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: Bunce Island on the Sierra Leone River was established as a slave trading station in 1670. From here British traders shipped tens of thousands of African slaves to the Americas.

SIERRA LEONE: QUICK FACTS

Born in Sierra Leone: Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier and the author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. His first novel, Radiance of Tomorrow, was published in 2014.
Did you know? The paternal grandfather of Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs, the most decorated player in English and Welsh football history, was Sierra Leonean. Actor Idris Elba was born to a Sierra Leonean father and Ghanaian mother.

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Somalia

Africa - Women selling tea in Buur-Hakba, a city in southwestern Somalia some 180 kilometres inland from the coastal capital of Mogadishu.

Women selling tea in Buur-Hakba, a city in southwestern Somalia some 180 kilometres inland from the coastal capital of Mogadishu.
Photo credit Stuart Price, UN Photo

Map of Somalia and AfricaSOMALIA: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Mogadishu
Surface area: 637,657 square kilometres | 2.1% of Africa
Population: 11.1-million people | 0.9% of Africa’s population
Population density: 17.4 people per square kilometre | 0.4 x African average

SOMALIA: ECONOMY

Currency: Somali shilling (SOS)
Major exports (2015): Live sheep and goats 68% | Live cattle 8.8% | Other livestock 7.1%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $1.4-billion | 0.06% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $131 | 0.06 x African average
Human Development Index: No data

SOMALIA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 10 out of 25 people live in cities (39.6%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 13.8%
Mobile phones: 50.9 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 1.6% of the population use the internet

SOMALIA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 166 thousand tons | 0.05% of African total | 0.002% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.07 tons | 0.01 x global average

SOMALIA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Somali, Arabic
Colonised by: Britain 1884-1960 | Italy 1889-1941 | UN trust territory 1946-1960
Independence: 1960 – from Britain and UN

SOMALIA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Somalia: International supermodel Iman Abdulmajid, the wife of late British musician David Bowie.
Did you know? An Islamic ruin in the Horn of Africa has yielded pottery from the 13th century Chinese Yuan dynasty, suggesting that trade routes across the Indian Ocean were established long before European colonists took to the seas.

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South Africa

Africa - Canola fields and the South African town of Clanwilliam in the Olifants River valley region of the Cederberg. Cape Town’s Table Mountain can be seen in the distance, 200 kilometres to the south.

Canola fields and the South African town of Clanwilliam in the Olifants River valley region of the Cederberg. Cape Town’s Table Mountain can be seen in the distance, 200 kilometres to the south.
Photo credit Damien du Toit

Map of South Africa and AfricaSOUTH AFRICA: OVERVIEW

Capital cities: Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Cape Town
Largest city: Johannesburg
Surface area: 1.2-million square kilometres | 4% of Africa
Population: 55-million people | 4.5% of Africa’s population
Population density: 45 people per square kilometre | 1.1 x African average

SOUTH AFRICA: ECONOMY

Currency: rand (ZAR)
Major exports (2015): Gold 11% | Diamonds 10% | Platinum 10%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $349.8-billion | 14.1% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $6,482 | 3.2 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 116 | Score 0.666

SOUTH AFRICA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 16 out of 25 people live in cities (64.8%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 42%
Mobile phones: 149.7 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 49% of the population use the internet

SOUTH AFRICA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 133.6-million tons | 37.4% of African total | 1.355% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 9.06 tons | 1.8 x global average

SOUTH AFRICA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho sa Leboa, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga
Colonised by: Netherlands 1562-1795 | Britain 1795-1961 | internal white minority 1961-1994
Independence: 1961 – from Britain | 1994 – first democratic elections
World Heritage Sites: South Africa has nine Unesco World Heritage Sites. Five are cultural, three natural, and one of mixed cultural and natural heritage. The five cultural sites are the ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape, the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, Robben Island, and the country’s rich fossil hominid sites. The three natural sites are the Cape Floral Region, iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the ancient Vredefort Dome meteor impact site. Finally, the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Mountains are valued for both their natural beauty and the rich cultural heritage of San Bushman paintings found in their caves and rock shelters.

SOUTH AFRICA: QUICK FACTS

Born in South Africa: Businessman, investor, engineer and inventor Elon Musk. Musk is the founder and CEO of SpaceX, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, co-chair of OpenAI, and founder and CEO of Neuralink. He is ranked 21st on the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people.
Did you know? South Africa has the largest HIV antiretroviral treatment programme in the world, bigger than the programmes in India, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Mozambique combined. Some 3.5-million HIV-positive South Africans receive government-funded antiretroviral therapy.

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South Sudan

Africa - The Kush Dance Group performs at the Comedy for Peace event at the Nyakuron Cultural Centre in Juba on 23 April 2017. The event featured the best of South Sudanese comedians and musicians, including Emmanuel Kembe, Woklii, Feel Free, Lotole Captain Eddy and Kon Kuol Kon.

The Kush Dance Group performs at the Comedy for Peace event at the Nyakuron Cultural Centre in Juba on 23 April 2017. The event featured the best of South Sudanese comedians and musicians, including Emmanuel Kembe, Woklii, Feel Free, Lotole Captain Eddy and Kon Kuol Kon.
Photo credit Amanda Voisard, UN Photo

Map of Country and AfricaSOUTH SUDAN: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Juba
Surface area: 658,841 square kilometres | 2.2% of Africa
Population: 12.7-million people | 1% of Africa’s population
Population density: 19.3 people per square kilometre | 0.5 x African average

SOUTH SUDAN: ECONOMY

Currency: South Sudanese pound (SSP) )
Major exports (2016): Crude petroleum 99% | Sesame seeds and flour 0.5% | Dried peas and chickpeas 0.2%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $11-billion | 0.44% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $924 | 0.5 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 182 | Score 0.418

SOUTH SUDAN: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 5 out of 25 people live in cities (18.8%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 26.5%
Mobile phones: 24.5 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 15.9% of the population use the internet

SOUTH SUDAN: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 408 thousand tons | 0.1% of African total | 0.004% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.11 tons | 0.02 x global average

SOUTH SUDAN: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: English
Other languages: Bari, Dinka, Luo, Murle, Nuer, Zande and some 60 others
Colonised by: Britain 1889-1956 | Sudan 1956-2011
Independence: 1956 – from Britain | 2011 – from Sudan

SOUTH SUDAN: QUICK FACTS

Born in South Sudan: Luol Deng, player for the US Miami Heat professional basketball team.
Did you know? South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011, after a referendum in which 98.83% of voters agreed to secession from Sudan.

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Sudan

The pyramids of Kushite rulers at Meroë, an ancient city on the banks of the Nile River in eastern Sudan. Meroë was the capital of the Kingdom of Kush, one of the earliest and largest states in precolonial sub-Saharan Africa, which flourished from around 1,000 BCE to 350 CE.

The pyramids of Kushite rulers at Meroë, an ancient city on the banks of the Nile River in eastern Sudan. Meroë was the capital of the Kingdom of Kush, one of the earliest and largest states in precolonial sub-Saharan Africa, which flourished from around 1,000 BCE to 350 CE.
Photo credit Valerian Guillot

Map of Sudan and AfricaSUDAN: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Khartoum
Surface area: 1.9-million square kilometres | 6.2% of Africa
Population: 41.2-million people | 3.4% of Africa’s population
Population density: 22.1 people per square kilometre | 0.6 x African average

SUDAN: ECONOMY

Currency: Sudanese pound (SDG)
Major exports (2015): Crude petroleum 54% | Gold 12% | Live sheep 9.1%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $81.9-billion | 3.3% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $2,081 | 1 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 166 | Score 0.490

SUDAN: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 8 out of 25 people live in cities (33.8%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 30.5%
Mobile phones: 72.2 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 24.6% of the population use the internet

SUDAN: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 4.2-million tons | 1.2% of African total | 0.043% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.4 tons | 0.08 x global average

SUDAN: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Arabic, English
Colonised by: Egypt 1820-1885 | Britain 1899-1956
Independence: 1956 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: The archaeological sites of Gebel Barkal and the Napatan region in the Nile valley, testimony to the Napatan (900 to 270 BC) and Meroitic (270 BC to 350 AD) cultures of the second kingdom of Kush.

SUDAN: QUICK FACTS

Born in Sudan: Telecoms billionaire Mo Ibrahim, founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the associated prize for good governance in Africa.
Did you know? Sudanese culture is an amalgam of 578 ethnic groups communicating in 145 different languages, living in a region with extremes varying from sandy desert to tropical forest.

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Swaziland

Africa - Hillscape in the Malolotja Nature Reserve, Swaziland.

Hillscape in the Malolotja Nature Reserve, Swaziland.
Photo credit Julien Lagarde

Map of Swaziland and AfricaSWAZILAND: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Mbabane
Surface area: 17,363 square kilometres | 0.06% of Africa
Population: 1.3-million people | 0.1% of Africa’s population
Population density: 75.1 people per square kilometre | 1.9 x African average

SWAZILAND: ECONOMY

Currency: lilangeni (SZL)
Major exports (2016): Odoriferous substances for the food or drink industries 32% | Sugar 19% | Miscellaneous chemical products 10%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $4.5-billion | 0.18% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $3,532 | 1.7 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 149 | Score 0.541

SWAZILAND: INDICATORS

Urbanisation rate: 21.3%
1 in 5 people live in cities
Seats held by women in national parliament: 6.2%
1 in 16 parliamentarians is a woman
Mobile phones: 72.3 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 27.1% of the population use the internet
1 in 4 people have internet access

SWAZILAND: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 328 thousand tons | 0.09% of African total | 0.003% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.95 tons | 0.2 x global average

SWAZILAND: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: siSwati, English
Colonised by: Britain 1906-1968
Independence: 1968 – from Britain
National heritage site: Ngwenya Mine is the site of the world’s earliest mining activity, and its iron ore deposits one of the oldest geological formations in the world.

SWAZILAND: QUICK FACTS

Born in Swaziland: Screen actor Richard E Grant, whose films include Withnail and I, Corpse Bride and Downton Abbey.
Did you know? Swaziland lies across a geological fault that runs from the Drakensberg in the south, northwards through Zimbabwe to form the Great Rift Valley of Kenya.

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Tanzania

The waterfront skyline of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city. With 4.4-million people, Dar is the biggest city in East Africa and home to the largest Swahili-speaking population in the world. It was founded in 1865 by Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar, who gave the city its name. Dar es Salaam means “place of peace” in Arabic.

The waterfront skyline of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city. With 4.4-million people, Dar is the biggest city in East Africa and home to the largest Swahili-speaking population in the world. It was founded in 1865 by Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar, who gave the city its name. Dar es Salaam means “place of peace” in Arabic.
Photo credit David Stanley

Map of Tanzania and AfricaTANZANIA: OVERVIEW

Capital city: Dodoma
Largest city: Dar es Salaam
Surface area: 947,303 square kilometres | 3.1% of Africa
Population: 55.2-million people | 4.5% of Africa’s population
Population density: 58.2 people per square kilometre | 1.4 x African average

TANZANIA: ECONOMY

Currency: Tanzanian shilling (TZS)
Major exports (2016): Gold 34% | Raw tobacco 7.6% | Cashew nuts 7.5%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $48-billion | 1.9% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $952 | 0.5 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 151 | Score 0.531

TANZANIA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 8 out of 25 people live in cities (31.6%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 36.6%
Mobile phones: 62.8 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 4.9% of the population use the internet

TANZANIA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 3.2-million tons | 0.9% of African total | 0.032% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.22 tons | 0.04 x global average

TANZANIA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Languages: Swahili, English
Colonised by: Germany 1885-1919 | Britain 1920-1963
Independence: Tanganyika 1961 – from Britain | Zanzibar and Pemba 1963 – from Britain | Union 1964
World Heritage Site: Kilimanjaro National Park

TANZANIA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Tanzania: Freddie Mercury, legendary lead singer of the rock band Queen.
Did you know? Two millennia of rock carvings, many of high artistic value, have been found at 150 stone shelters at the Kondoa Rock Art Sites.

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Togo

An African Cup of Nations qualifier football match between Togo and Gabon at the Stade de Kégué in Lomé, the Togolese capital, on 14 October 2012. Togo won by two goals to one.

An African Cup of Nations qualifier football match between Togo and Gabon at the Stade de Kégué in Lomé, the Togolese capital, on 14 October 2012. Togo won by two goals to one.
Photo credit Panoramas

Map of Togo and AfricaTOGO: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Lomé
Surface area: 56,785 square kilometres | 0.2% of Africa
Population: 7.5-million people | 0.6% of Africa’s population
Population density: 132.0 people per square kilometre | 3.3 x African average

TOGO: ECONOMY

Currency: CFA franc (XOF)
Major exports (2015): Refined petroleum 17% | Calcium phosphates 10% | Sesame seeds 8.7%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $4.6-billion | 0.18% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $643 | 0.3 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 167 | Score 0.487

TOGO: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 1 out of 25 people live in cities (4%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 17.6%
Mobile phones: 69.0 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 5.7% of the population use the internet

TOGO: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 715 thousand tons | 0.2% of African total | 0.007% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.37 tons | 0.07 x global average

TOGO: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: French
Other languages: Ewe, Kabiyé, Gbe languages, Kotocoli
Colonised by: Germany 1884-1916 | France 1916-1960
Independence: 1960 – from France
World Heritage Site: Koutammakou, the land of the Batammariba people, whose remarkable mud tower-houses (takienta) have become a symbol of Togo.

TOGO: QUICK FACTS

Born in Togo: Professional footballer Emmanuel Adebayor, a forward who has played for Arsenal, Monaco, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Crystal Palace and İstanbul Başakşehir.
Did you know? The largest religious group in Togo are those with “indigenous” beliefs, although there are significant Christian and Muslim minorities.

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Tunisia

The Demna Baptistry, from the sixth century CE. This large Christian baptismal font was designed to allow the whole body of the baptised person to be submerged in water. Discovered in Demna, Jbal Lahmar, near Tunis in Tunisia, it is one of the finest early Christian mosaics found in Africa and in the whole of the ancient Roman world.

The Demna Baptistry, from the sixth century CE. This large Christian baptismal font was designed to allow the whole body of the baptised person to be submerged in water. Discovered in Demna, Jbal Lahmar, near Tunis in Tunisia, it is one of the finest early Christian mosaics found in Africa and in the whole of the ancient Roman world.
Photo credit Dennis Jarvis

Map of Tunisia and AfricaTUNISIA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Tunis
Surface area: 163,610 square kilometres | 0.5% of Africa
Population: 11.4-million people | 0.9% of Africa’s population
Population density: 69.5 people per square kilometre | 1.7 x African average

TUNISIA: ECONOMY

Currency: Tunisian dinar (TND)
Major exports (2015): Textiles 22% | Insulated wire 11% | Pure olive oil 6%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $47.4-billion | 1.9% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $4,261 | 2.1 x African average
Human Development Index: High | Rank 94 | Score 0.725

TUNISIA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 17 out of 25 people live in cities (66.8%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 31.3%
Mobile phones: 128.5 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 46.2% of the population use the internet

TUNISIA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 7.9-million tons | 2.2% of African total | 0.080% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 2.6 tons | 0.5 x global average

TUNISIA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Arabic
Other languages: Berber, French
Colonised by: France 1881-1956
Independence: 1956 – from France
World Heritage Site: The Amphitheatre of El Jem, built during the third century.

TUNISIA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Tunisia: French-Italian actor Claudia Cardinale, whose film credits of over 100 films include Federico Fellini’s 8½ (1963), and Sergio Leone’s epic Once Upon a Time in the West (1968).
Did you know? Women in Tunisia enjoy some of the greatest rights and freedoms in the Arab world.

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Uganda

Africa - The fields of small-scale farmers blanket hillsides in Kikungiri near the town of Kabale in southeastern Uganda.

The fields of small-scale farmers blanket hillsides in Kikungiri near the town of Kabale in southeastern Uganda.
Photo credit Rod Waddington

Map of Uganda and AfricaUGANDA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Kampala
Surface area: 241,550 square kilometres | 0.8% of Africa
Population: 40.3-million people | 3.3% of Africa’s population
Population density: 166.9 people per square kilometre | 4.2 x African average

UGANDA: ECONOMY

Currency: Uganda shilling (UGX)
Major exports (2016): Coffee 16% | Gold 15% | Cereals 6%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $27.5-billion | 1.1% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $727 | 0.4 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 163 | Score 0.493

UGANDA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 4 out of 25 people live in cities (16.1%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 35%
Mobile phones: 52.4 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 17.7% of the population use the internet

UGANDA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 1.4-million tons | 0.4% of African total | 0.014% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.15 tons | 0.03 x global average

UGANDA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: English and Swahili
Other languages: Around 40 other languages
Colonised by: Britain 1894-1962
Independence: 1962 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: The Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi, the former palace of the Kabakas of Buganda, built in 1882 and converted into a royal burial ground in 1884.

UGANDA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Uganda: Veteran stage and screen actor Danny Keogh, a founder of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa, whose film credits include Invictus and Starship Troopers.
Did you know? Uganda is a landlocked country, but contains many large lakes – the massive Lake Victoria, as well as Lake Kyoga, Lake Albert, Lake Edward and the smaller Lake George.

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Western Sahara

The road into Boujdour, also known as Cape Bojador, a city in the desert on the Atlantic coast of Western Sahara.

The road into Boujdour, also known as Cape Bojador, a city in the desert on the Atlantic coast of Western Sahara.
Photo credit JB Dodane

Map of Western Sahara and AfricaWESTERN SAHARA: OVERVIEW

Capital city: El Aaiún
Surface area: 266,000 square kilometres | 0.9% of Africa
Population: 584,000 people | 0.05% of Africa’s population
Population density: 2.2 people per square kilometre | 5.5 x African average
Urbanisation: 20 out of 25 people live in cities (81%)

WESTERN SAHARA: ECONOMY

Currency: Moroccan dirham (MAD)
Major exports (2015): Raw cotton 80% | Fresh melons 8% | Polystyrene 6%

WESTERN SAHARA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Languages: Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, Berber, Spanish
Colonised by: Spain 1884-1975 | Morocco 1975-present

WESTERN SAHARA: QUICK FACTS

Did you know? Western Sahara has been on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories since 1963. It is the most populous and by far the largest territory on that list. Along its eastern border it is controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; the west of the country is occupied by Morocco.

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Zambia

An aerial view of the massive Zambezi River – which gives Zambia its name – and the Victoria Falls. The waterfall, named Mosi-oa-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders” in Tokaleya Tonga, is said to be the biggest in the world. Its combined width of 1,708 metres and height of 108 metres result in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Here Zambia’s border with Zimbabwe runs along the middle of the river, with Zimbabwe on the left and Zambia on the right. The steel Victoria Falls bridge at lower left is a border post between the countries.

An aerial view of the massive Zambezi River – which gives Zambia its name – and the Victoria Falls. The waterfall, named Mosi-oa-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders” in Tokaleya Tonga, is said to be the biggest in the world. Its combined width of 1,708 metres and height of 108 metres result in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Here Zambia’s border with Zimbabwe runs along the middle of the river, with Zimbabwe on the left and Zambia on the right. The steel Victoria Falls bridge at lower left is a border post between the countries.
Photo credit Dsopfe

Map of Zambia and AfricaZAMBIA: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Lusaka
Surface area: 752,612 square kilometres | 2.5% of Africa
Population: 16.7-million people | 1.4% of Africa’s population
Population density: 22.2 people per square kilometre | 0.6 x African average

ZAMBIA: ECONOMY

Currency: Zambian kwacha (ZMW)
Major exports (2015): Refined copper 57% | Raw copper 18% | Raw tobacco 2.6%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $27-billion | 1.1% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $715 | 0.4 x African average
Human Development Index: Medium | Rank 139 | Score 0.579

ZAMBIA: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 10 out of 25 people live in cities (40.9%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 12.7%
Mobile phones: 67.3 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 17.3% of the population use the internet

ZAMBIA: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 1.2-million tons | 0.3% of African total | 0.012% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.29 tons | 0.06 x global average

ZAMBIA: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official language: English
Other languages: Nyanja, Bemba, Chewa, Lozi, Kaonde, Lunda, Tonga, Luvale and around 60 others
Colonised by: Britain
Independence: 1964 – from Britain
World Heritage Site: The Victoria Falls – Mosi-oa-Tunya, “the smoke that thunders” – is the world’s largest sheet of falling water, significant for the beauty of its spray, mist and permanent rainbows.

ZAMBIA: QUICK FACTS

Born in Zambia: Globally bestselling writer Wilbur Smith, the author of over 30 blockbuster adventure novels.
Did you know? Zambia gets its name from the great Zambezi River, the fourth-longest river in Africa, the continent’s longest east-flowing river and the largest river to flow into the Indian Ocean.

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Zimbabwe

Africa - Inside the citadel of Great Zimbabwe, the ancient Shona city in the southeastern province of Masvingo. The 722-hectare city was the capital of the medieval Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which flourished for over two centuries, from 1220 to 1450.

Inside the citadel of Great Zimbabwe, the ancient Shona city in the southeastern province of Masvingo. The 722-hectare city was the capital of the medieval Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which flourished for over two centuries from 1220 to 1450.
Photo credit Amanda Anderson

Map of Zimbabwe and AfricaZIMBABWE: OVERVIEW

Capital and largest city: Harare
Surface area: 390,757 square kilometres | 1.3% of Africa
Population: 16-million people | 1.3% of Africa’s population
Population density: 40.9 people per square kilometre | 1 x African average

ZIMBABWE: ECONOMY

Currency: Zimbabwe dollar (ZWL)
Major exports (2015): Gold 23% | Raw tobacco 13% | Ferrochrome 13%
Gross domestic product (GDP): $14.7-billion | 0.6% of Africa’s GDP
GDP per person: $966 | 0.5 x African average
Human Development Index: Low | Rank 154 | Score 0.516

ZIMBABWE: INDICATORS

Urbanisation: 8 out of 25 people live in cities (32.4%)
Seats held by women in national parliament: 31.5%
Mobile phones: 80.8 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
Internet (2014 estimate): 19.9% of the population use the internet

ZIMBABWE: CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: 3.3-million tons | 0.9% of African total | 0.033% of world total
CO2 emissions per person: 0.81 tons | 0.2 x global average

ZIMBABWE: HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: Chishona, isiNdebele, English and 13 others
Colonised by: Britain 1888-1964 | internal (white minority) 1964-1980
Independence: 1964 – from Britain (declared) | 1980 – first democratic elections
World Heritage Site: The ruins of Great Zimbabwe are a unique testimony to the Bantu civilization of the Shona between the 11th and 15th centuries.

ZIMBABWE: QUICK FACTS

Born in Zimbabwe: Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira, a rugby player for the South African national team and the Sharks in the Super Rugby competition.
Did you know? Zimbabwe has 16 official languages and, under the constitution, the country’s parliament may prescribe other languages as officially recognised.

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Sources & Notes

ALL SOURCES

MAPS & PHOTOS

Africa maps: Adapted from maps by Alvaro1984 18, Wikimedia Commons
Country maps: Adapted from maps by ReliefWeb, a service provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Photos: See individual credit and link in the caption of each photo.

OVERVIEW

Capital city: UN World Statistics Pocketbook 2016
Largest city: Wikipedia
Surface area: UN World Statistics Pocketbook 2016
Population: UN World Statistics Pocketbook 2016
Population density: UN World Statistics Pocketbook 2016

ECONOMY

Currency: UN World Statistics Pocketbook 2016
Major exports (2015): Observatory of Economic Complexity
Major exports (2016): International Trade Centre – Trade Map
Gross domestic product (GDP): UN World Statistics Pocketbook 2016. Current (nominal) GDP for 2014, in US dollars.
GDP per person: UN World Statistics Pocketbook 2016. Current (nominal) GDP for 2014, in US dollars.
Human Development Index: United Nations Development ProgrammeHuman Development Report 2016. Figures for 2015.

INDICATORS

Urbanisation: UN World Statistics Pocketbook 2016
Seats held by women in national parliament: UN World Statistics Pocketbook 2016
Mobile phones: UN World Statistics Pocketbook 2016 and International Telecommunication Union
Internet use: UN World Statistics Pocketbook 2016 and International Telecommunication Union

CARBON FOOTPRINT

Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year: Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. Figures are for 2014.
CO2 emissions per person: Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. Figures are for 2014. The global average is 5 tons per person.

HISTORY & HERITAGE

Official languages: CIA World Fact Book
Other languages: CIA World Fact Book
Colonised by: Wikipedia
Independence: Wikipedia
World Heritage Site: Unesco World Heritage Centre

QUICK FACTS

Born in: See references and links in each listing.
Did you know? See references and links in each listing.

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Researched, written and designed by Mary Alexander
Updated 18 January 2018
Comments? Email southafrica.gateway@gmail.com