Facts about Africa – the 55 states from A to Z

The mainland and islands of Africa are home to 55 countries, an ancient and complex history, modern cities, some three thousand 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 fast facts about the 55 countries

Researched, written, designed and compiled by Mary Alexander

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AFRICA
ALGERIAANGOLABENINBOTSWANABURKINA FASOBURUNDICABO VERDECAMEROONCENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLICCHADCOMOROSDEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGOREPUBLIC OF CONGOCÔTE D’IVOIREDJIBOUTIEGYPTEQUATORIAL GUINEAERITREAETHIOPIAGABONTHE GAMBIAGHANAGUINEAGUINEA-BISSAUKENYALESOTHOLIBERIALIBYAMADAGASCARMALAWIMALIMAURITANIAMAURITIUSMOROCCOMOZAMBIQUENAMIBIANIGERNIGERIARWANDASÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPESENEGALSEYCHELLESSIERRA LEONESOMALIASOUTH AFRICASOUTH SUDANSUDANSWAZILANDTANZANIATOGOTUNISIAUGANDAWESTERN SAHARAZAMBIAZIMBABWE
SOURCES & NOTES

AFRICA

Africa is the largest continent on earth, taking up over 20% - one-fifth - of the world's dry land. (Image: Nasa)
Africa is the second-largest continent on earth, taking up over 20% – one-fifth – of the world’s dry land. (Image: Nasa)

Africa

► Surface area: 30,260,117 square kilometres
► Population: 1.22-billion people
► Population density: 40 people per square kilometre
► Total gross domestic product: US$2.5-trillion
► GDP per person: US$2,036 (estimate)
► Total CO2 emissions a year: 357.3-million tons | 3.6% of world total
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ALGERIA

Algeria
Sunset over an area of Constantine, an ancient city on the northern Mediterranean coast of Algeria. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Mariusz Kluzniak)

Algeria map

Algeria

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 km2 | 0.4 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: Arabic and Berber
► Other languages: English and French
► Colonised by: France 1830-1962
► Independence: 1962 – from France
► Born in Algeria: Screen actor Sofia Boutella was born on 6 April 1982 in Bab el Oued, Algeria. She is known for Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), Monsters: Dark Continent (2014) and Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest (2006).
► 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.
► 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.

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ANGOLA

Angola
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: JB Dodane)

Angola map

Angola

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 km2 | 0.5 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official language: Portuguese
► Other languages: Kikongo, Chokwe, Umbundu, Kimbundu, Nganguela and Kwanyama
► Colonised by: Portugal 1575-1975
► Independence: 1975 – from Portugal
► Born in Angola: Cabo Snoop, MTV-nominated kuduro dancer and musician
► 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.
► 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

In Possotomè, an arrondissement in the Mono department of Benin, a man takes part in a giant dance competition held every year by the people from villages along Lake Aheme. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Adam Cohn)
In Possotomè, an arrondissement in the Mono department of Benin, a man takes part in a giant dance competition held every year by the people from villages along Lake Aheme. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Adam Cohn)

Benin map

Benin

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 km2 | 2.4 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official language: French
► Other languages: Fon and Yoruba
► Colonised by: Portugal 1472-1892 | France 1892-1960
► Independence: 1960 – from France
► Born in Benin: Hollywood actor Djimon Hounsou, who starred in Blood Diamond, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Gladiator.
► 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.
► Did you know? The Guardian 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

Okavango Delta, Botswana
Botswana’s Okavango Delta, a 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. Click image for a larger view. (Image: Pavel Špindler)

Botswana map

Botswana

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 km2 | 0.1 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official language: English
► Other languages: Setswana
► Colonised by: Britain 1885-1966
► Independence: 1966 – from Britain
► Born in Botswana: DJ Fresh, real name Thato Sikwane, a 5FM radio DJ and one of the most sought-after mix-masters in South Africa.
► 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.
► 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

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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: QIV)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: QIV)

Burkina Faso map

Burkina 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 km2 | 1.7 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official language: French
► Other languages: Mòoré, Fulani, Dioula
► Colonised by: France 1896-1960
► Independence: 1960 – from France
► Born in Burkina Faso: Actor Jacky Ido, who played French projectionist Marcel in the Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds.
► 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.
► 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

The shores of Lake Tanganyika with Burundi's capital of Bujumbura in the distance. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Michael Foley)
The shores of Lake Tanganyika with Burundi’s capital of Bujumbura in the distance. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Michael Foley)

Burundi map

Burundi

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 km2 | 10 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: French and Kurundi
► Colonised by: Germany 1899-1916 | Belgium 1916-1962
► Independence: 1962 – from Belgium
► 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.
► 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.
► 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)

The São Miguel region in northeastern part of Santiago, the largest island in the Cape Verde archipelago. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Rey Perezoso)
The São Miguel region in northeastern part of Santiago, the largest island in the Cape Verde archipelago. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Rey Perezoso)

Cape Verde map, Cabo Verde map

Cape 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 km2 | 3.3 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: Portuguese
► Other languages: Cape Verdean Creole
► Colonised by: Portugal 1462-1975
► Independence: 1975 – from Portugal
► Born in Cape Verde: Luís Nani, a professional footballer who plays for Portugal’s national team.
► 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.
► Did you know? The Cape 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

French writer André Gide described the Mandara Mountains region near Rhumsiki in the Far North Province of Cameroon as "one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world". (Photo: Krishna Naudin)
French writer André Gide described the Mandara Mountains region near Rhumsiki in the Far North Province of Cameroon as “one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world”. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Krishna Naudin)

Cameroon map

Cameroon

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 km2 | 1.3 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► 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.
► 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.
► Did you know? Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o is Africa’s most decorated footballer, named African Footballer of the Year four times. He has played for winning UEFA Champions League teams three times, and twice helped Cameroon win the Africa Cup of Nations. He garnered gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics when Cameroon beat out Spain in the final.

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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. (Image: Alllexxxis)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Image: Alllexxxis)

Central African Republic map

Central 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 km2 | 0.2 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: French and Sango
► Colonised by: France 1894-1960
► Independence: 1960 – from France
► Born in Central African Republic: Olympic track athlete Ferdinand Amadi.
► World Heritage Site: Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park, whose importance of derives from its wealth of flora and fauna.
► 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

In northeeastern Chad, nomads water their camels in the Guelta Archei on the Ennedi Plateau, a sandstone bulwark in the middle of the Sahara. A
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: © Hannes Rada)

Chad map

Chad

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 km2 | 0.3 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: French and Arabic
► Colonised by: France 1900-1960
► Independence: 1960 – from France
► Born in Chad: Acclaimed film actor Youssouf Djaoro.
► World Heritage Site: The Lakes of Ounianga, a series of lakes in the Sahara Desert.
► Did you know? During the Second World War, the Free French Forces fighting the German occupation included 15,000 soldiers from Chad.

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COMOROS

A stone wall originally built to keep out Malagasy pirates now protects the town of Ntsaoueni on the northwest coast of the island of Grande Comore from Indian Ocean storms. A cousin of the Prophet Mohammed is buried here. Photo: David Stanley
A stone wall originally built to keep out Malagasy pirates now protects the town of Ntsaoueni on the northwest coast of the island of Grande Comore from Indian Ocean storms. A cousin of the Prophet Mohammed is buried here. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: David Stanley)

Comoros map

Comoros

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 km2 | 9 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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

A satellite view of the twin Congo capitals, facing each other across the Congo River. The smaller city of Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo, is to the north. The much larger grey area at bottom 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 notoriously brutal 19th century British-American explorer Henry Morton Stanley. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: International Space Station ISS007-E-6305 via Nasa Earth Observatory)
A satellite view of the twin Congo capitals, facing each other across the Congo River. 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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Nasa Earth Observatory)

Democratic Republic of the Congo map

Democratic 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 km2 | 0.8 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in the DRC: Humanitarian and basketball player Dikembe Mutombo, who played 18 seasons for the American NBA.
► World Heritage Site: The 490,000 hectare Garamba National Park covers vast grass savannahs and woodlands interspersed with gallery forests and marshland.
► 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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo © Karin Lakeman)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo © Karin Lakeman)

Republic of the Congo map

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 km2 | 0.3 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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

An aerial view of the district of Plateau in the Côte d'Ivoire capital of Abidjan. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Basile Zoma, UN Photo)
An aerial view of the district of Plateau in the Côte d’Ivoire capital of Abidjan. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Basile Zoma, UN Photo)

Cote d'Ivoire map

Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

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 km2 | 1.8 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in Cote d’Ivoire: Professional footballer Didier Drogba, who currently plays for US club Phoenix Rising FC.
► 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.
► 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

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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Djibouti map

Djibouti

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 km2 | 1 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: French, Arabic
► Other languages: Somali, Afar
► Colonised by: France 1894-1977
► Independence: 1977 – from France
► Born in Djibouti: Singer Awaleh Aden.
► 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.
► 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

A view of the Nile River and Egypt's capital city of Cairo from the Cairo Tower at sunset. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Ville Miettinen)
A view of the Nile River and Egypt’s capital city of Cairo from the Cairo Tower at sunset. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Ville Miettinen)

Egypt map

Egypt

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 km2 | 2.3 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: Arabic
► Other languages: Egyptian Arabic
► Colonised by: Britain 1882-1952
► Independence: 1952 – from Britain
► 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.
► 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.
► 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

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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Embassy of 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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Embassy of Equatorial Guinea)

Equatorial Guinea map

Equatorial 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 km2 | 0.8 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in Equatorial Guinea: Álvaro Cervera Díaz, a retired professional footballer who played 12 seasons for the Spanish La Liga.
► 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.
► 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

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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Andrea Moroni)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Andrea Moroni)

Eritrea map

Eritrea

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 km2 | 1.1x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in Eritrea: American TV actor, model and producer Ella A Thomas.
► 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.
► 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

Biblical frescoes inside the Abuna Yemata Guh church in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, one of a number of inaccessible rock churches in this mountainous region. The church was hand-carved into a cliff-face 760 metres up in the fifth century and remains a place of worship today. The frescoes have been dated to the fifteenth century. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: © Denis Martin)
Biblical frescoes inside the Abuna Yemata Guh church in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, one of a number of inaccessible rock churches in this mountainous region. The church was hand-carved into a cliff-face 760 metres up in the fifth century and remains a place of worship today. The frescoes have been dated to the fifteenth century. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: © Denis Martin)

Ethiopia map

Ethiopia

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 km2 | 2.3 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Languages: Amharic, Afar, Harari, Oromo, Somali, Tigrinya
► Born in Ethiopia: Ruth Negga, a film and theatre actor known for the movies World War Z, The Samaritan and Breakfast on Pluto.
► World Heritage Site: Ruins of the ancient city of Aksum, once the most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia.
► Did you know? Ethiopia was the only African country never colonised by a European power, defeating Italy in that country’s successive attempts at invasion in the late 19th century.

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GABON

The Kongou Falls on the Ivindo River in eastern Gabon are a massive cataract some 3.2 kilometres wide and up to 56 high. They are one of the fastest-flowing waterfalls in the world, averaging 900 cubic metres of water per second. (Image: Ivindo National Park)
The Kongou Falls on the Ivindo River in eastern Gabon are a massive cataract some 3.2 kilometres wide and up to 56 high. They are one of the fastest-flowing waterfalls in the world, averaging 900 cubic metres of water per second. Click image for a larger view. (Image: Ivindo National Park)

Gabon map

Gabon

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 km2 | 0.2 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: French
► Other languages: Fang, Myene, Punu, Nzebi
► Colonised by: France 1885-1960
► Independence: 1960 – from France
► Born in Gabon: Anthony Obame was the first Gabonese to win an Olympic medal – silver for men’s Taekwondo at the 2012 London games.
► 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.
► 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

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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Kevin Sharp)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Kevin Sharp)

Gambia map

The 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 km2 | 4.5 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official language: English
► Other languages: Mandinka, Fula, Wolof, Serer, Jola
► Colonised by: Britain 1821-1965
► Independence: 1965 – from Britain
► Born in the Gambia: UK-based writer and film, TV and theatre actor Louis Mahoney, who has appeared in Captain Phillips and Doctor Who.
► 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.
► 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

An International Space Station image of Lake Volta, a massive reservoir entirely contained within the borders of Ghana. Covering an area of 8,500 square kilometres – 3.6% of Ghana's territory – Volta is world's largest artificial lake by surface area, and the fourth-largest by volume. Click image for a larger view. (Image: Nasa)
An International Space Station image of Lake Volta, a massive reservoir entirely contained within the borders of Ghana. Covering 8,500 square kilometres – 3.6% of Ghana’s territory – Volta is world’s largest artificial lake by surface area, and the fourth-largest by volume. Click image for a larger view. (Image: Nasa)

Ghana map

Ghana

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 km2 | 3 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► 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.
► 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.
► Did you know? In 1957 Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African nation to declare independence from European colonisation.

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GUINEA

Fisherwomen on the banks of the Niger River in the Kankan region of northeastern Guinea, on the Mali border. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Julien Harnels)
Fisherwomen on the banks of the Niger River in the Kankan region of northeastern Guinea, on the Mali border. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Julien Harnels)

Guinea map

Guinea

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 km2 | 1.3 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official language: French
► Other languages: Maninka, Fula, Susu
► Colonised by: France 1898-1958
► Independence: 1958 – from France
► Born in Guinea: Guitarist and kora player “Grand” Papa Diabaté.
► 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.
► 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

The 16th-century Portuguese fortress in Cacheu, on the Guinea-Bissau coast. Cacheu was one of the earliest European colonial settlements in sub-saharan Africa, and a centre of the transatlantic slave trade. Over the centuries some one million Africans were exported as slaves from here to the Americas. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Ernst Schade)
The 16th-century Portuguese fortress in Cacheu, on the Guinea-Bissau coast. Cacheu was one of the earliest European colonial settlements in sub-saharan Africa, and a centre of the transatlantic slave trade. Over the centuries some one million Africans were exported as slaves from here to the Americas. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Ernst Schade)

Guinea-Bissau map

Guinea-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 km2 | 1.3 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in Guinea-Bissau: Amílcar Cabral, an agricultural engineer, writer, nationalist thinker, and one of Africa’s foremost anti-colonial leaders.
► Heritage Site: The Archipelago of Bijagos, consisting of 88 islands and islets, is the most biodiverse region of Guinea-Bissau.
► 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

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 phrase Enkare Nairobi, which translates to "cool water", a reference to the Nairobi River which flows through the city. (Image: Babak Fakhamzadeh)
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. (Image: Babak Fakhamzadeh)

Kenya map

Kenya

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 km2 | 2 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: English, Kiswahili
► Colonised by: Britain 1888-1962
► Independence: 1963 – from Britain
► 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.
► 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.
► 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 sunsine in the Lesotho lowlands, close to the Fouriesburg border post in South Africa. Lesotho is the only country in the world which lies, in its entirety, over a kilometre above sea level. Over 80% of the country lies at an elevation of 1,800 metres. (Image: Andrew Ashton)
Dark clouds and sunshine in the Lesotho lowlands, close to the Fouriesburg border post in South Africa. Lesotho is the only country in the world which lies, in its entirety, over a kilometre above sea level. Over 80% of the country lies at an elevation of 1,800 metres. Click image for a larger view. (Image: Andrew Ashton)

Lesotho map

Lesotho

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 km2 | 1.8 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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

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 settlement of freed slaves. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: JB Dodane)
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 settlement of freed slaves. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: JB Dodane)

Liberia map

Liberia

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 km2 | 1 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official language: English
► 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.
► 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.
► 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 indigenous Africans, who were excluded from citizenship until 1904.
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LIBYA

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In the ancient desert oasis town of Ghadames in northwestern Libya, buildings are designed to withstand the Sahara's extremes of heat and cold. Houses are made from mud, lime, and palm tree trunks, and have covered alleyways between them as shelter from the summer heat. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Luca Galuzzi)
In the ancient desert oasis town of Ghadames in northwestern Libya, buildings are designed to withstand the Sahara’s extremes of heat and cold. Houses are made from mud, lime, and palm tree trunks, and have covered alleyways between them as shelter from the summer heat. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Luca Galuzzi)

Libya map

Libya

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 km2 | 0.1 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: Arabic
► Other languages: Libyan Arabic, Tamazight, Italian
► Colonised by: Italy 1911-1943
► Independence: 1947 – from Italy
► Born in Libya: American filmmaker Don Coscarelli.
► World Heritage Site: Cyrene was one of the principal cities in the ancient Hellenic world.
► Did you know? The Barbary Coast War was fought from 1901 to 1805 between the USA and today’s Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. It was the USA’s first military action in foreign lands authorised by the US Congress.

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MADAGASCAR

A village near Toliara in southwestern Madagascar. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Mariusz Kluzniak)
A village near Toliara in southwestern Madagascar. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Mariusz Kluzniak)

Madagascar map

Madagascar

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 km2 | 1 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: Malagasy, French
► Colonised by: France 1896-1958
► Independence: 1960 – from France
► Born in Madagascar: French-language novelist Claude Simon, winner of the 1985 Nobel Prize for Literature.
► 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.
► 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

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 which are endemic, only found in Lake Malawi. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Jack Zalium)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Jack Zalium)

Malawi map

Malawi

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 km2 | 3.7 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official language: English
► Other languages: Chichewa
► Colonised by: Britain 1891-1964
► Independence: 1964 – from Britain
► Born in Malawi: Internationally recognised fashion designer Lily Alfonso.
► 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.
► 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

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 was built in the 1200s, but the current structure dates from 1907. After the rainy season, when the mud has been washed thin, the local community gathers to replaster the mosque. The protruding wooden struts are not structural: they provide footholds so people can reach every part of the massive building to reseal its surface with mud. (Photo: Marco Dormino, UN Photo)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Marco Dormino, UN Photo)

Mali map

Mali

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 0.4 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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

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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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Evgeni Zotov)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Evgeni Zotov)

Mauritania map

Mauritania

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 0.1 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official language: Arabic
► Other languages: Hassaniya Arabic, Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof, Zenaga Berber, French
► Colonised by: France 1903-1960
► Independence: 1960 – from France
► Born in Mauritania: Film director and voice actor Med Hondo.
► 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.
► Did you know? Because 90% of Mauritania’s land lies in the Sahara Desert, the population is concentrated in the wetter south: a third of the country’s 3.5-million people live in the coastal city of Nouakchott.

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MAURITIUS

Le Morne Brabant Peninsula in Mauritius. The island's natural beauty has allowed it to develop a successful tourism economy. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Sofitel So Mauritius)
Le Morne Brabant Peninsula in Mauritius. The island’s natural beauty has allowed it to develop a successful tourism economy. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Sofitel So Mauritius)

Mauritius map

Mauritius

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 16.2 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Languages: Mauritian Creole, French, English, Bhojpuri
► Colonised by: Netherlands 1638-1710 | France 1715-1810 | Britain 1810-1968
► Independence: 1968 – from Britain
► Born in Mauritius: 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.
► 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.
► Did you know? Life expectancy in Mauritius is 73, the highest in Africa.

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MOROCCO

Street life in Essaouira, an ancient city in western Morocco on the Atlantic coast. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Andrea Moroni)
Street life in Essaouira, an ancient city in western Morocco on the Atlantic coast. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Andrea Moroni)

Morocco map

Morocco

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 km2 | 1.9 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: Arabic, Berber
► Colonised by: Spain 1912-1956 | France 1912-1956
► Independence: 1956 – from Spain and France
► Born in Morocco: Marouane Chamakh, footballer who has played for Arsenal, West Ham and Crystal Palace
► World Heritage Site: The Medina of Marrakesh, a massive old Islamic capital from the 11th century enclosed by 16 kilometres of ramparts and gates.
► Did you know? Morocco’s Atlas Studios are the largest film studios in the world, by area. Portions of the Game of Thrones series were filmed there, as were the movies Gladiator (2000) and Kingdom of Heaven (2005).

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MOZAMBIQUE

An aerial view of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, on the Indian Ocean coast. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: LBH Africa)
An aerial view of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, on the Indian Ocean coast. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: LBH Africa)

Mozambique map

Mozambique

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 0.9 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in Mozambique: Legendary footballer Eusebio.
► 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.
► 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

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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Damien du Toit)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Damien du Toit)

Namibia map

Namibia

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 0.08 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in Namibia: Record-breaking Olympic track and field athlete Frank “Frankie” Fredericks.
► 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.
► 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

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 Terra Awards for earthen architecture. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Gustave Deghilage)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Gustave Deghilage)

Niger map

Niger

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 0.4 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in Niger: World-famous Senegalese musician Ismaël Lo was born in Dogondoutchi, Niger, to a Senegalese father and a Nigerien mother.
► 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.
► 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

The National Mosque of Nigeria in Abuja, the country's capital. Thebuilding was constructed in 1984. Click image for a larger view. (Image: Jeff Attaway)
The National Mosque of Nigeria in Abuja, the country’s capital. The building was constructed in 1984. Click image for a larger view. (Image: Jeff Attaway)

Nigeria map

Nigeria

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 5 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in Nigeria: International stage and 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.
► 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.
► Did you know? The Nigerian Space Agency, founded in 2001, has so far launched five satellites and plans to send the first Nigerian astronaut to space in the next few years.

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RWANDA

Kigali City Tower on Avenue du Commerce in the central business district of Kigali, the capital and largest city of Rwanda. The 20-storey building is the tallest in Rwanda. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Adam Jones)
Kigali City Tower on Avenue du Commerce in the central business district of Kigali, the capital and largest city of Rwanda. The 20-storey building is the tallest in Rwanda. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Adam Jones)

Rwanda map

Rwanda

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 11.2 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: Kinyarwanda, English, French, Swahili
► Colonised by: Germany 1884-1916 | Belgium 1916-1962
► Independence: 1962 – from Belgium
► Born in Rwanda: French actor Sonia Rolland, who appeared in the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris.
► World Heritage Sites: Nyamata, Murambi, Bisesero and Gisozi, memorial sites of the 1994 Genocide.
► Did you know? On the last Saturday of each month, normal services close from 7am to noon as some 80% of Rwandan people come together for umuganda – community work building schools, clinics, infrastructure and more.

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SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE

Unnamed craftsmen in their workshop on the island of São Tomé. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Kris Haamer)
Unnamed craftsmen in their workshop on São Tomé. São Tomé is the larger, southern island in the country of São Tomé and Príncipe. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Kris Haamer)

Sao Tome and Principe map

São Tomé and Príncipe

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 5 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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

This small piece of beach is the most western point of the African continent. It is private land owned by a hotel in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Jeff Attaway)
This small piece of beach is the most western point of the African continent. It is private land owned by a hotel in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Jeff Attaway)

Senegal map

Senegal

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 2 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in Senegal: Singer Youssou N’Dour.
► World Heritage Site: The island of Gorée was the largest slave-trading centre on the African coast between the 15th and 19th centuries.
► Did you know? In the 1960s and ’70s, Senegal was a prime global filmmaking location, especially for French movies.

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SEYCHELLES

View from an airplane of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Olivier Roux)
View from an airplane of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Olivier Roux)

Seychelles map

Seychelles

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 5.3 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: English, French, Seychellois Creole
► Colonised by: France 1756-1794 | Britain 1794-1976
► Independence: 1976 – from Britain
► Born in Seychelles: Eddy Maillet, a Fifa international football referee.
► 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.
► 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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: bobthemagicdragon)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: bobthemagicdragon)

Sierra Leone map

Sierra 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 km2 | 2.3 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: English
► Other languages: Temne, Mende, Krio (Sierra Leonean Creole)
► Colonised by: Britain 1792-1961
► Independence: 1961 – from Britain
► 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.
► 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.
► 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

Women selling tea in Buur-Hakba, a city in southwestern Somalia some 180 kilometres inland from the coastal capital of Mogadishu. Click image for a larger view. Photo: Stuart Price, UN Photo)
Women selling tea in Buur-Hakba, a city in southwestern Somalia some 180 kilometres inland from the coastal capital of Mogadishu. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Stuart Price, UN Photo)

Somalia map

Somalia

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 km2 | 0.4 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: Somali, Arabic
► Colonised by: Britain 1884-1960 | Italy 1889-1941 | UN trust territory 1946-1960
► Independence: 1960 – from Britain and UN
► 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 developed much earlier than previously thought.

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SOUTH AFRICA

The 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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Damien du Toit)
Canola fields and the 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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Damien du Toit)

South Africa map

South 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 km2 | 1.1 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► 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.
► 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.
► 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

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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Amanda Voisard, UN Photo)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Amanda Voisard, UN Photo)

South Sudan map

South 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 km2 | 0.5 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► 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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Valerian Guillot)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Valerian Guillot)

Sudan map

Sudan

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 0.6 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: Arabic, English
► Colonised by: Egypt 1820-1885 | Britain 1899-1956
► Independence: 1956 – from Britain
► Born in Sudan: Telecoms billionaire Mo Ibrahim, founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the associated prize for good governance in Africa.
► 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.
► 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

Hillscape in the Malolotja Nature Reserve, Swaziland. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Julien Lagarde)
Hillscape in the Malolotja Nature Reserve, Swaziland. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Julien Lagarde)

Swaziland map

Swaziland

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 1.9 x African average

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

INDICATORS
► Urbanisation: 5 out of 25 people live in cities (21.3%)
► Seats held by women in national parliament: 6.2%
► Mobile phones: 72.3 phone subscriptions for every 100 people
► Internet (2014 estimate): 27.1% of the population use the internet

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: siSwati, English
► Colonised by: Britain 1906-1968
► Independence: 1968 – from Britain
► Born in Swaziland: British actor Richard E Grant, who starred in Withnail and I, Corpse Bride and Downton Abbey.
► 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.
► 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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: David Stanley)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: David Stanley)

Tanzania map

Tanzania

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 km2 | 1.4 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in Tanzania: Freddie Mercury, legendary lead singer of the rock band Queen.
► World Heritage Site: Kilimanjaro National Park
► 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 between Togo and Gabon at the Stade de Kégué in Lomé, the Togolese capital, on 14 October 2012. Togo won the football match 2-1. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Panoramas)
An African Cup of Nations qualifier between Togo and Gabon at the Stade de Kégué in Lomé, the Togolese capital, on 14 October 2012. Togo won the football match 2-1. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Panoramas)

Togo map

Togo

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 3.3 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official language: French
► Other languages: Ewe, Kabiyé, Gbe languages, Kotocoli
► Colonised by: Germany 1884-1916 | France 1916-1960
► Independence: 1960 – from France
► Born in Togo: Professional footballer Emmanuel Adebayor, a forward who has played for Arsenal, Monaco, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Crystal Palace and İstanbul Başakşehir.
► World Heritage Site: Koutammakou, the land of the Batammariba people, whose remarkable mud tower-houses (takienta) have become a symbol of Togo.
► 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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Dennis Jarvis)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Dennis Jarvis)

Tunisia map

Tunisia

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 1.7 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: Arabic
► Other languages: Berber, French
► Colonised by: France 1881-1956
► Independence: 1956 – from France
► Born in Tunisia: French-Italian actor Claudia Cardinale, whose film credits of over 100 films include Federico Fellini’s (1963), and Sergio Leone’s epic Once Upon a Time in the West (1968).
► World Heritage Site: The Amphitheatre of El Jem, built during the third century.
► Did you know? Women in Tunisia enjoy some of the greatest rights and freedoms in the Arab world.

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UGANDA

The fields of small-scale farmers blanket hillsides in Kikungiri near the town of Kabale in southeastern Uganda. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Rod Waddington)
The fields of small-scale farmers blanket hillsides in Kikungiri near the town of Kabale in southeastern Uganda. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Rod Waddington)

Uganda map

Uganda

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 4.2 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

HERITAGE
► Official languages: English and Swahili
► Other languages: Around 40 other languages
► Colonised by: Britain 1894-1962
► Independence: 1962 – from Britain
► 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.
► 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.
► 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 entrance to Boujdour, also known as Cape Bojador, a city in the desert on the Atlantic coast of Western Sahara. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: JB Dodane)
The road into Boujdour, also known as Cape Bojador, a city in the desert on the Atlantic coast of Western Sahara. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: JB Dodane)

Western Sahara map

Western 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 km2 | 5.5 x African average
► Urbanisation: 20 out of 25 people live in cities (81%)

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

HERITAGE
► Languages: Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, Berber, Spanish
► Colonised by: Spain 1884-1975 | Morocco 1975-present
► 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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Dsopfe)
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. Click image for a larger view. (Photo: Dsopfe)

Zambia map

Zambia

OVERVIEW
► Capital 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 km2 | 0.6 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in Zambia: Globally bestselling writer Wilbur Smith, the author of over 30 blockbuster adventure novels.
► 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.
► 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 to flow into the Indian Ocean.

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ZIMBABWE

The entrance to the Great Enclosure at 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 from the years 1220 to 1450. Click image to enlarge. (Photo: Amanda Anderson)
The entrance to the Great Enclosure at 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. Click image to enlarge. (Photo: Amanda Anderson)

Zimbabwe map

Zimbabwe

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 km2 | 1 x African average

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

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

CARBON FOOTPRINT
► Total 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

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
► Born in Zimbabwe: Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira, a rugby player for the South African national team and the Sharks in the Super Rugby competition.
► 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.
► 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
UN World Statistics Pocketbook, 2016 edition (Series V, No. 40), United Nations Statistics Division
Observatory of Economic Complexity
International Trade Centre – Trade Map
United Nations Development ProgrammeHuman Development Report 2016
Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center
Unesco World Heritage Centre
CIA World Fact Book
Wikipedia
Wikimedia Commons
Flickr Creative Commons
ReliefWeb, a service provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

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: Flickr Creative Commons, Wikimedia Commons and other sources. See individual credit 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 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.

HERITAGE
► Official languages: CIA World Fact Book
► Other languages: CIA World Fact Book
► Colonised by: Wikipedia
► Independence: Wikipedia
► Born in: Various sources
► World Heritage Site: Unesco World Heritage Centre
► Did you know? Wikipedia
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