African Country Profiles

Sunday, 31 May 2015 19:40

SOUTH AFRICA

Politics: The ANC scored its fifth election victory in April 2014
Economy: One of continent's largest economies also has widespread poverty, high crime rates and persistent unemployment. It moved into recession in May 2009
International: Plays a leading role in diplomatic and anti-poverty initiatives in Africa after emerging from international isolation in 1994 at the end of apartheid era

Sunday, 31 May 2015 19:36

SOMALIA

No effective government for more than two decades after 1991
New internationally-backed government installed in 2012
The self-proclaimed state of Somaliland and the region of Puntland run their own affairs

Sunday, 31 May 2015 19:28

SIERRA LEONE

Politics: Sierra Leone is recovering from a 10-year civil war which ended in 2002; democracy consolidated at 2012 elections, the first held without UN supervision
Economics: Substantial growth in recent years, but Sierra Leone remains bottom of UN's league for human development
Health: One of the countries badly affected by the deadly Ebola epidemic which hit west Africa in 2014

Sunday, 31 May 2015 19:24

SEYCHELLS

Full name: The Republic of Seychelles
Population: 87,400 (UN, 2011)
Capital: Victoria
Area: 455 sq km (176 sq miles)
Major languages: English, French, Creole
Major religion: Christianity
Life expectancy: 68 years (men), 78 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 Seychelles rupee = 100 cents
Main exports: Fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (re-exports)
GNI per capita: US $11,270 (World Bank, 2011)
Internet domain: .sc
International dialling code: +248

Sunday, 31 May 2015 19:23

SENEGAL

Politics: Macky Sall won presidential elections in 2012, replacing Abdoulaye Wade who controversially ran for a third term in office
Economy: Agriculture drives the economy; tourism is a source of foreign exchange
International: Senegal has mediated between Sudan and Chad over Darfur tensions; many African illegal migrants use Senegal as a departure point for Europe
Security: Despite a peace deal, a low-level separatist rebellion simmers in Casamance, in the south

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 23:54

SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE

 

Politics: Power is constitutionally split between president and prime minister, which has led to several cohabitation governments
Economy: Sao Tome hopes to reduce dependence on donors and cocoa exports by exploiting offshore oil. The award of exploration contracts has been controversial
International: Sao Tome and Nigeria share offshore oil fields which have yet to be exploited. Nigeria intervened to prevent a coup in 2003

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 23:47

RWANDA

Politics: Rwanda is trying to shake off its image associated with the 1994 state-sponsored genocide; the government argues the country is now stable
Economy: Growth averaged 8% a year between 2001 and 2012, driven by coffee and tea exports and expanding tourism; poverty is widespread and Rwanda is highly dependent on aid
Justice: The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has convicted 27 people for their involvement the 1994 genocide

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 23:40

NIGERIA

Politics: 2015 presidential election was first in Nigeria's history to be won by an opposition candidate. The al-Qaeda-aligned Boko Haram armed movement is conducting an insurrection in the mainly Muslim north
Economy: Though Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer, more than half its people live in poverty
International: Nigeria has formed a military coalition with its neighbours Chad, Cameroon and Niger in response to the Boko Haram threat

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 23:29

NAMIBIA

The Himba people of northern Namibia have held on to their traditional way of life
Politics: Former liberation movement SWAPO has been in power since independence. The opposition has only minor representation in parliament
Economy: Main trading partner is South Africa. Government keen to step up land acquisitions from white farmers

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 23:23

MOZAMBIQUE

Politics: Frelimo party has been in power since independence from Portugal in 1975. Tension with former Renamo guerrillas has persisted
Economy: Mozambique was one of world's poorest countries in 1975, but has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies. It is expected to become one of the world's largest exporters of coking and thermal coal, as well as liquefied natural gas
International: Mozambican UN peacekeepers have served in Burundi

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