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The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans. To the north of the country lie the neighbouring territories of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland; while Lesotho is an enclave surrounded by South African territory.
South Africa is multi-ethnic and has diverse cultures and languages. Eleven official languages are recognised in the constitution. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans, a language which originated mainly from Dutch that is spoken by the majority of white and Coloured South Africans, and South African English. Though English is commonly used in public and commercial life, it is only the fifth most-spoken home language. All ethnic and language groups have political representation in the country's constitutional democracy comprising a parliamentary republic; unlike most parliamentary republics, the positions of head of state and head of government are merged in a parliament-dependent President.
About 79.5% of the South African population is of black African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status. South Africa also contains the largest communities of European, Asian, and racially mixed ancestry in Africa.
South Africa is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank, one of only four countries in Africa in this category (the others being Botswana, Gabon and Mauritius). It has the largest economy in Africa, and the 28th-largest in the world.
Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Covering an area of about 1,010,000 square kilometers (390,000 sq mi), Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.
Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. The great majority of its over 81 million people live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
Monuments in Egypt such as the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx were constructed by its ancient civilization. Its ancient ruins, such as those of Memphis, Thebes, and Karnak and the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor, are a significant focus of archaeological study. The tourism industry and the Red Sea Riviera employ about 12% of Egypt's workforce.
The economy of Egypt is one of the most diversified in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and service at almost equal production levels.
In early 2011, Egypt underwent a revolution, which resulted in the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years in power.
Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. The three largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. In terms of religion Nigeria is roughly split half and half between Muslims and Christians with a very small minority who practice traditional religion.
The people of Nigeria have an extensive history. Archaeological evidence shows that human habitation of the area dates back to at least 9000 BCE. The area around the Benue and Cross River is thought to be the original homeland of the Bantu migrants who spread across most of central and southern Africa in waves between the 1st millennium BCE and the 2nd millennium.
The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined by Flora Shaw, the future wife of Baron Lugard, a British colonial administrator, in the late 19th century.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, the seventh most populous country in the world, and the most populous country in the world in which the majority of the population is black. It is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies, and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara. It is part of the Maghreb region, in addition to Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, and Libya, with which it shares cultural, historical and linguistic ties.
Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive powers, including the possibility of dissolving the parliament. Executive power is exercised by the government but more importantly by the king himself. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors. The king can also issue decrees called dahirs which have the force of law. Parliamentary elections were held in Morocco on 7 September 2007, and were considered by some neutral observers to be mostly free and fair; although voter turnout was estimated to be 37%, the lowest in decades. The political capital is Rabat, and the largest city is Casablanca; other large cities include Marrakesh, Tetouan, Tangier, Salé, Fes, Agadir, Meknes and Oujda.
Most Moroccans speak at least one of the two languages Berber and Moroccan Arabic as a mother tongue. Both languages have regional dialects and accents.
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola, is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city. The exclave province of Cabinda has borders with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Portuguese were present in some—mostly coastal—points of the territory of what is now Angola, from the 16th to the 19th century, interacting in diverse ways with the peoples that lived there. In the 19th century they slowly and hesitantly began to establish themselves in the interior. Angola as a Portuguese colony encompassing the present teritory was not established before the end of the 19th century, and "effective occupation", as required by the Berlin Conference (1884) was achieved only by the 1920s. Independence was achieved in 1975, after a protracted liberation war. After independence,
Angola was the scene of an intense civil war from 1975 to 2002. The country has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, and its economy has grown on average at a two-digit pace since the 1990s, and especially since the end of the civil war. However, its level of human development is rather low, and its life expectancy and infant mortality rates are both among the worst-ranked in the world.
Tunisia, is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area is almost 165,000 square kilometres (64,000 sq mi), with an estimated population of just over 10.4 million. Its name is derived from the capital Tunis located in the north-east.
Tunisia is the smallest of the nations situated along the Atlas mountain range. The south of the country is composed of the Sahara desert, with much of the remainder consisting of particularly fertile soil and 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) of coastline. Both played a prominent role in ancient times, first with the famous Punic city of Carthage, then as the Roman province of Africa, which was known as the "bread basket" of Rome. Later, Tunisia was occupied by Vandals during the 5th century AD, Byzantines in the 6th century, and Arabs in the 8th century. Under the Ottoman Empire, Tunisia was known as "Regency of Tunis". It passed under French protectorate in 1881. After obtaining independence in 1956 the country took the official name of the "Kingdom of Tunisia" at the end of the reign of Lamine Bey and the Husainid Dynasty. With the proclamation of the Tunisian Republic on July 25, 1957, the nationalist leader Habib Bourguiba became its first president.
The country was led by the authoritarian government of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from 1987 to 2011 before he fled during the Tunisian revolution. Tunisia now finds itself as an export-oriented country in the process of liberalizing and privatizing an economy that, while averaging 5% GDP growth since the early 1990s, has suffered from corruption benefiting the former president's family.
Kenya, officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east. It is bordered by Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east.
Kenya has a land area of 580,000 km2 and a population of nearly 41 million, representing 42 different peoples and cultures. The country is named after Mount Kenya, a significant landmark and second among Africa's highest mountain peaks.
Following a referendum and adoption of a new constitution in August 2010, Kenya is now divided into 47 counties that are semi-autonomous units of governance. These units are expected to be fully implemented by August 2012 – in time for the first general election under the new constitution. The counties will be governed by elected governors and will operate independent of the central government in Nairobi.
The capital, Nairobi, is a regional commercial hub. The economy of Kenya is the largest by GDP in East and Central Africa. Agriculture is a major employer and the country traditionally exports tea and coffee, and more recently fresh flowers to Europe. The service industry is a major economic driver, mostly the telecommunications sector, and contributes 62 percent of GDP.
Kenya is a member of the East African Community and produces world-class athletes such as world champions Paul Tergat and David Rudisha.
Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. The word Ghana means "Warrior King" and is derived from the ancient Ghana Empire.
Ghana was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient predominantly Akan kingdoms, including the inland Ashanti Empire, the Akwamu, the Akyem, the Bonoman, the Denkyira, and the Fante among others. Non-Akan states created by the Ga and Ewe also existed as did states by the Gonja, Dagomba and others. Prior to contact with Europeans trade between the Akan and various African states flourished due to Akan's gold wealth. Trade with European states began after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century, and the British established the Gold Coast Crown colony in 1874 over parts but not all of the country.
The Gold Coast achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, becoming the first sub-Saharan African nation to do so, and the name Ghana was chosen for the new nation to reflect the ancient Empire of Ghana, which once extended throughout much of west Africa. Ghana is a member of the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, and an associate member of La Francophonie. Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world and is home to Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world by surface area. The economy of Ghana has been listed as The World's Fastest Growing Economy in 2011 with an economic growth of about 20.146 % for the year 2011 in economic research led by Economy Watch with data coming from the IMF's tracker of GDP Growth in constant prices in the national currency.
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.
Tanzania is a state composed of 26 regions (mikoa), including those of the autonomous region of Zanzibar. The head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where Parliament and some government offices are located. Between independence and 1996, the main coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country's political capital. Today, Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania and the de facto seat of most government institutions.It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.
The name Tanzania derives from the names of the two states Tanganyika and Zanzibar that united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.
Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which is also bordered by Kenya and Tanzania.
Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompassed a portion of the south of the country including the capital Kampala.
The people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country. Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962.
The official languages are English and Swahili, although multiple other languages are spoken in the country.
06 | 09 | 2013
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