African Country Profiles

Sunday, 19 July 2015 07:59


At a glance

Politics: President Robert Mugabe, in office since 1980, gained a new term in controversial elections in 2013
Economy: Economy appears to be stabilising after years of crisis with rampant inflation, "de-industrialisation" and shortages of food and fuel. Agricultural production has shrunk
International: Several countries shun Zimbabwe in the hope of promoting democratic reform

Sunday, 19 July 2015 07:46


The Indian Ocean islands of Zanzibar and Pemba lie off the east African coast.
The semi-autonomous territory maintains a political union with Tanzania, but has its own parliament and president.
A former centre of the spice and slave trades, present-day Zanzibar is infused with African, Arab, European and Indian influences.
Zanzibar's original settlers were Bantu-speaking Africans. From the 10th century Persians arrived. But it was Arab incomers, particularly Omanis, whose influence was paramount.

Sunday, 19 July 2015 07:44


At a glance

Politics: Zambia has experiences several peaceful transfers of power, the latest being in 2015 when Edgar Lungu won the presidency
Economy: Improved copper prices and investment in mining have improved prospects for export earnings
International: Thousands of refugees from the Angolan civil war have yet to return home

Sunday, 19 July 2015 07:42


At a glance

Politics: Multi-party politics restored in 2005. The opposition accuses President Museveni of authoritarian tendencies
Security: Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) forced out of northern Uganda in 2005/06 and has been under military pressure in border regions in recent years
Economy: Uganda is vulnerable to changes in the world price of coffee, its main export earner. Oil discoveries have boosted prospects
International: Uganda has been actively involved in the DR Congo conflict. LRA leaders are wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes

Sunday, 19 July 2015 07:36


At a glance
Politics: Tunisia has been in transition since President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in January 2011. The Islamist Ennahda party had to hand over power to an interim government ahead of elections in late 2014, at which secular parties triumphed
Economy: The diverse economy has grown steadily and the slum population has halved, but the world recession has pushed unemployment up in recent years
International: Tunisians are estimated to make up the biggest number of foreign fighters in Syria. Tunisia has strong ties with the European Union; its peacekeepers have served in several conflict areas

Sunday, 19 July 2015 07:34


At a glance

Politics: President Faure Gnassingbe succeeded his father in a manner condemned internationally
Economy: Togo is among the world's poorest countries, but it has seen dramatic economic growth since 2010
International: Togo faces international pressure to hold credible parliamentary elections and improve its human rights record. Togo has become a transit point for the illegal export of ivory

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 17:57


Tanzania has been spared the internal strife that has blighted many African states.
Though it remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with many of its people living below the World Bank poverty line, it has had some success in wooing donors and investors.

Sunday, 31 May 2015 20:14


Humanitarian crisis: Civil war in Darfur region is seen as "one of the worst nightmares in recent history"
Politics: South Sudan seceded in July 2011 after opting for independence in a referendum
International: President Omar Bashir faces war crimes charges over Darfur
Economy: Oil production and revenues have been rising

Sunday, 31 May 2015 20:09


Politics: King Mswati III - on the throne since 1986 - rules by decree and says the country is not yet ready for multi-party politics
Economy: Thousands have lost their jobs as garment and sugar export industries have lost trading concessions
International: Swaziland has diplomatic ties with Taiwan rather than China

Sunday, 31 May 2015 20:02


Politics: Split from Sudan in 2011 after people voted for independence. Country slid into civil war amid a power struggle in December 2013
Economy: One of Africa's least developed economies. Oil accounts for almost all of government revenues, but relationship with Sudan complicates the industry
International: UN has a peacekeeping mission is place. Friction between Sudan and South Sudan has been ongoing

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