Category: africa countries histroy

Côte d’Ivoire

Current President: Alassane Dramane Ouattara

Ivory Coast, also known as Côte d’Ivoire, officially the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, is a country located on the south coast of West Africa. Ivory Coast’s political capital is Yamoussoukro in the centre of the country, while its economic capital and largest city is the port city of Abidjan. It borders Guinea to the northwestLiberia to the westMali to the northwestBurkina Faso to the northeastGhana to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) to the south. The official language of the republic is French, with local indigenous languages also being widely used that include BaouléDioulaDanAnyin, and Cebaara Senufo. In total, there are around 78 different languages spoken in Ivory Coast. The country has large populations of the adherents of ChristianityIslam and various indigenous religions.

Before its colonization by Europeans, Ivory Coast was home to several states, including Gyaaman, the Kong Empire and Baoulé. The area became a protectorate of France in 1843 and was consolidated as a French colony in 1893 amid the European scramble for Africa. It achieved independence in 1960, led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who ruled the country until 1993. Relatively stable by regional standards, Ivory Coast established close political and economic ties with its West African neighbours while at the same time maintaining close relations to the Westespecially France. Its stability took a hit by a coup d’état in 1999 and two civil wars, first between 2002 and 2007 and again during 2010–2011. In 2000, the country adopted a new constitution.

Ivory Coast is a republic with strong executive power vested in its president. Through the production of coffee and cocoa, the country was an economic powerhouse in West Africa during the 1960s and 1970s, though it went through an economic crisis in the 1980s, contributing to a period of political and social turmoil. It was not until around 2014 that the gross domestic product again reached the level of its peak in the 1970s. In 2020, Ivory Coast is the world’s largest exporter of cocoa beans and high levels of income for its region. In the 21st century, the Ivorian economy has been largely market-based, and it still relies heavily on agriculture, with smallholder cash-crop production being predominant.



Chad

Current President: Idriss Déby Itno

Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad (Arabic: جمهورية تْشَاد‎ Jumhūriyyat Tšād; French: République du Tchad), is a landlocked country in northcentral Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the northSudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the southCameroon to the south-westNigeria to the southwest (at Lake Chad), and Niger to the west.

Chad has several regions: a desert zone in the north, an arid Sahelian belt in the centre and a more fertile Sudanian Savanna zone in the south. Lake Chad, after which the country is named, is the second-largest wetland in Africa. The capital N’Djamena is the largest city. Chad’s official languages are Arabic and French. It is home to over 200 different ethnic and linguistic groupsIslam (51.8%) and Christianity (44.1%) are the main religions practiced in Chad.

Beginning in the 7th millennium BC, human populations moved into the Chadian basin in great numbers. By the end of the 1st millennium AD, a series of states and empires had risen and fallen in Chad’s Sahelian strip, each focused on controlling the trans-Saharan trade routes that passed through the region. France conquered the territory by 1920 and incorporated it as part of French Equatorial Africa. In 1960, Chad obtained independence under the leadership of François Tombalbaye. Resentment towards his policies in the Muslim north culminated in the eruption of a long-lasting civil war in 1965. In 1979 the rebels conquered the capital and put an end to the South’s hegemony. But, the rebel commanders fought amongst themselves until Hissène Habré defeated his rivals. The Chadian–Libyan conflict erupted in 1978 by the Libyan invasion which stopped in 1987 with a French military intervention (Operation Épervier). Hissène Habré was overthrown in turn in 1990 by his general Idriss Déby. With French support, a modernization of the Chad National Army was initiated in 1991. Since 2003 the Darfur crisis in Sudan has spilt over the border and destabilised the nation. Poor already, the nation and people struggled to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees who live in and around camps in eastern Chad.

While many political parties participated in Chad’s legislature, the National Assembly, power lied firmly in the hands of the Patriotic Salvation Movement during the presidency of Idriss Déby, whose rule was described as authoritarian.[13][14][15] After President Déby was killed by FACT rebels in April 2021, the Transitional Military Council led by his son Mahamat Déby assumed control of the government and dissolved the Assembly.[16] Chad remains plagued by political violence and recurrent attempted coups d’état. It is a least developed country, ranking among the lowest in the Human Development Index. Chad is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world; most of its inhabitants live in poverty as subsistence herders and farmers. Since 2003 crude oil has become the country’s primary source of export earnings, superseding the traditional cotton industry. Chad has a poor human rights record, with frequent abuses such as arbitrary imprisonment, extrajudicial killings, and limits on civil liberties by both security forces and armed militias.



Cape Verd

Current President: Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca

Cape Verde, officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an archipelago and island country in the central Atlantic Ocean, consisting of ten volcanic islands with a combined land area of about 4,033 square kilometres (1,557 sq mi).[11] These islands lie between 600 to 850 kilometres (320 to 460 nautical miles) west of Cap-Vert situated at the westernmost point of continental Africa. The Cape Verde islands form part of the Macaronesia ecoregion, along with the Azores, the Canary IslandsMadeira, and the Savage Isles.

The Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited until the 15th century, when Portuguese explorers discovered and colonized the islands, thus establishing the first European settlement in the tropics. Because the Cape Verde islands were ideally located to play a role in the Atlantic slave-trade, Cape Verde became economically prosperous during the 16th and 17th centuries, attracting merchants, privateers, and pirates. It declined economically in the 19th century due to the suppression of the Atlantic slave-trade, and many of its inhabitants emigrated during that period. However, Cape Verde gradually recovered economically by becoming an important commercial center and useful stopover point along major shipping routes. In 1951, Cape Verde was incorporated as an overseas department of Portugal, but its inhabitants continued to campaign for independence, which they achieved in 1975.

Since the early 1990s, Cape Verde has been a stable representative democracy, and has remained one of the most developed and democratic countries in Africa. Lacking natural resources, its developing economy is mostly service-oriented, with a growing focus on tourism and foreign investment. Its population of around 550,000 (as of mid 2019) is mostly of mixed African and European heritage, and predominantly Roman Catholic, reflecting the legacy of Portuguese rule. A sizable Cape Verdean diaspora community exists across the world, especially in the United States and Portugal, and considerably outnumbering inhabitants on the islands. Cape Verde is a member state of the African Union.



Cameroon

Current President: Paul Biya

Cameroon , officially the Republic of Cameroon (French: République du Cameroun), is a country in westcentral Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west and north; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial GuineaGabon and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Its coastline lies on the Bight of Biafra, part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. The country is sometimes identified as West African and other times as Central African, due to its strategic position at the crossroads between West and Central Africa. Its nearly 25 million people speak 250 native languages.[8][9][10]

Early inhabitants of the territory included the Sao civilisation around Lake Chad, and the Baka hunter-gatherers in the southeastern rainforest. Portuguese explorers reached the coast in the 15th century and named the area Rio dos Camarões (Shrimp River), which became Cameroon in English. Fulani soldiers founded the Adamawa Emirate in the north in the 19th century, and various ethnic groups of the west and northwest established powerful chiefdoms and fondoms. Cameroon became a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun. After World War I, it was divided between France and the United Kingdom as League of Nations mandates. The Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC) political party advocated independence, but was outlawed by France in the 1950s, leading to the Bamileke War fought between French and UPC militant forces until early 1971. In 1960, the French-administered part of Cameroon became independent, as the Republic of Cameroun, under President Ahmadou Ahidjo. The southern part of British Cameroons federated with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The federation was abandoned in 1972. The country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984. Paul Biya, the incumbent president, has led the country since 1982; he previously held office as prime minister from 1975 on. Cameroon is governed as a Unitary presidential republic.

The official languages of Cameroon are French and English, the official languages of former French Cameroons and British Cameroons. Its religious population is predominantly Christian, with a significant minority practicing Islam, and others following traditional faiths. It has experienced tensions from the English-speaking territories, where politicians have advocated for greater decentralisation and even complete separation or independence (as in the Southern Cameroons National Council). In 2017, tensions over the creation of an Ambazonian state in the English-speaking territories escalated into open warfare.

Large numbers of Cameroonians live as subsistence farmers. The country is often referred to as “Africa in miniature” for its geological, linguistic and cultural diversity.[11][8] Its natural features include beachesdesertsmountainsrainforests, and savannas. Its highest point, at almost 4,100 metres (13,500 ft), is Mount Cameroon in the Southwest Region. Its cities with largest populations are Douala on the Wouri River, its economic capital and main seaport; Yaoundé, its political capital; and Garoua. Cameroon is well known for its native music styles, particularly Makossa and Bikutsi, and for its successful national football team. It is a member state of the African Union, the United Nations, the Commonwealth of NationsNon-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.



Burundi

Current President: Pierre Nkurunziza

Burundi , officially the Republic of Burundi (KirundiRepubulika y’u Burundi,[10] [u.βu.ɾǔː.ndi]; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; French: République du Burundi[buʁundi] or [byʁyndi]), is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley where the African Great Lakes region and East Africa converge. It is bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and southeast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Lake Tanganyika lies along its southwestern border. The capital cities are Gitega and Bujumbura.

The TwaHutu and Tutsi peoples have lived in Burundi for at least 500 years. For more than 200 of those years, Burundi was an independent kingdom, until the beginning of the 20th century, when Germany colonised the region.[12] After the First World War and Germany’s defeat, it ceded the territory to Belgium. Both Germans and Belgians ruled Burundi and Rwanda as a European colony known as Ruanda-Urundi. Burundi and Rwanda had never been under common rule until the time of European colonisation.

Burundi gained independence in 1962 and initially had a monarchy, but a series of assassinations, coups and a general climate of regional instability culminated in the establishment of a republic and one-party state in 1966. Bouts of ethnic cleansing and ultimately two civil wars and genocides during the 1970s and again in the 1990s resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and left the economy undeveloped and the population as one of the world’s poorest. The presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, both Hutus, died together when their aeroplane was shot down in April 1994. 2015 witnessed large-scale political strife as President Pierre Nkurunziza opted to run for a third term in office, a coup attempt failed and the country’s parliamentary and presidential elections were broadly criticised by members of the international community.

The sovereign state of Burundi’s political system is that of a presidential representative democratic republic based upon a multi-party state. The President of Burundi is the head of state and head of government. There are currently 21 registered parties in Burundi. On 13 March 1992, Tutsi coup leader Pierre Buyoya established a constitution, which provided for a multi-party political process and reflected multi-party competition. Six years later, on 6 June 1998, the constitution was changed, broadening National Assembly‘s seats and making provisions for two vice-presidents. Because of the Arusha Accord, Burundi enacted a transitional government in 2000. In October 2016, Burundi informed the UN of its intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court.

Burundi remains primarily a rural society, with just 13.4% of the population living in urban areas in 2019. The population density of around 315 people per square kilometre (753 per sq mi) is the second highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Roughly 85% of the population are of Hutu ethnic origin, 15% are Tutsi, and fewer than 1% are indigenous Twa. The official languages of Burundi are Kirundi and French, Kirundi being recognised officially as the sole national language.

One of the smallest countries in Africa, Burundi’s land is used mostly for subsistence agricultural and grazing, which has led to deforestationsoil erosion and habitat loss. As of 2005 the country was almost completely deforested, with less than 6% of its land covered by trees and over half of that being commercial plantations. In addition to poverty, Burundi often suffers from corruption, weak infrastructure, poor access to health and education services, and hunger. Burundi is densely populated and many young people emigrate in search of opportunities elsewhere. The World Happiness Report 2018 ranked the nation as the world’s least happy with a rank of 156. Burundi is a member of the African UnionCommon Market for Eastern and Southern AfricaUnited Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.



Burkina Faso

Current President: Roch Marc Christian Kaboré

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa that covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres (105,900 sq mi) and is bordered by Mali to the northwest, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and the Ivory Coast to the southwest. The July 2019 population estimate by the United Nations was 20,321,378.[10] Previously called Republic of Upper Volta (1958–1984), it was renamed “Burkina Faso” on 4 August 1984 by President Thomas Sankara. Its citizens are known as Burkinabé or Burkinabè (/bɜːrˈknəb/ bur-KEE-nə-bay), and its capital is Ouagadougou. Due to French colonialism, the country’s official language of government and business is French. However, only 15% of the population actually speaks French on a regular basis. [11] There are 59 native languages spoken in Burkina, with the most common language, Moore, spoken by roughly 50% of Burkinabé.[12][13]

The Republic of Upper Volta was established on 11 December 1958 as a self-governing colony within the French Community and on 5 August 1960 it gained full independence with Maurice Yaméogo as President. After protests by students and labour union members, Yaméogo was deposed in the 1966 coup d’état, led by Sangoulé Lamizana, who became president. His rule coincided with the Sahel drought and famine, and facing problems from the country’s trade unions he was deposed in the 1980 coup d’état, led by Saye Zerbo. Encountering resistance from trade unions again, Zerbo’s government was overthrown in the 1982 coup d’état, led by Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo.

The leader of the leftist faction of Ouédraogo’s government, Thomas Sankara, was made Prime Minister but was later imprisoned. Efforts to free him led to the 1983 coup d’état, in which he became president.[14][15] Sankara renamed the country Burkina Faso and launched an ambitious socioeconomic programme which included a nationwide literacy campaign, land redistribution to peasants, railway and road construction and the outlawing of female genital mutilationforced marriages and polygamy.[15][16] Sankara was overthrown and killed in the 1987 coup d’état led by Blaise Compaoré – deteriorating relations with former coloniser France and its ally the Ivory Coast were the reason given for the coup.

In 1987, Blaise Compaoré became president and, after an alleged 1989 coup attempt, was later elected in 1991 and 1998, elections which were boycotted by the opposition and received a considerably low turnout, as well as in 2005. He remained head of state until he was ousted from power by the popular youth upheaval of 31 October 2014,[17][18] after which he was exiled to the Ivory Coast. Michel Kafando subsequently became the transitional president of the country. On 16 September 2015, a military coup d’état against the Kafando government was carried out by the Regiment of Presidential Security, the former presidential guard of Compaoré.[19] On 24 September 2015, after pressure from the African UnionECOWAS and the armed forces, the military junta agreed to step down and Michel Kafando was reinstated as acting president.[20] In the general election held on 29 November 2015Roch Marc Christian Kaboré won in the first round with 53.5% of the vote[21] and was sworn in as president on 29 December 2015.



Botswana

Current President: Mokgweetsi Masisi

Botswana , officially the Republic of Botswana (SetswanaLefatshe la BotswanaKalangaHango yeBotswana), is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 70 percent of its territory being the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with Zambia to the north near Kazungula is poorly defined due to being in the midst of the Zambezi River. This border with Zambia is, at most, a few hundred metres long.[16]

A mid-sized country of just over 2.3 million people, it is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. About 10 percent of the population lives in the capital and largest city, Gaborone. Formerly one of the world’s poorest countries—with a GDP per capita of about US$70 per year in the late 1960s—Botswana has since transformed itself into an upper middle income country, with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.[17]

Homo sapiens had first inhabited the country over 200,000 years ago. The Tswana ethnic group were descended mainly from Bantu-speaking tribes who migrated southward of Africa to modern Botswana around 600 AD, living in tribal enclaves as farmers and herders. In 1885, the British colonized the area and declared a protectorate under the name of Bechuanaland. As decolonization occurred, Bechuanaland became an independent Commonwealth republic under its current name on 30 September 1966.[18] Since then, it has been a representative republic, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the lowest perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998.[19]

The economy is dominated by mining, cattle, and tourism. Botswana has a GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita of about $18,825 per year as of 2015, one of the highest in Africa.[1] Its high gross national income (by some estimates the fourth-largest in Africa) gives the country a relatively high standard of living and the highest Human Development Index of continental Sub-Saharan Africa.[20]

Botswana is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations. The country has been adversely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Despite the success in programmes to make treatments available, and to educate the populace about how to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, the number of people with AIDS rose from 290,000 in 2005 to 320,000 in 2013.[21]:A20 As of 2014, Botswana has the third-highest prevalence rate for HIV/AIDS, with roughly 20% of the population infected.



Benin

Current President: Talon 

Benin , officially the Republic of Benin (FrenchRépublique du Bénin) (formerly known as Dahomey), is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Burkina Faso to the north-west, and Niger to the north-east. The majority of its population lives on the small southern coastline of the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northernmost tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean.[10] The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is in Cotonou, the country’s largest city and economic capital. Benin covers an area of 114,763 square kilometres (44,310 sq mi)[4] and its population in 2018 was estimated to be approximately 11.49 million.[11][12] Benin is a tropical nation, highly dependent on agriculture, and is a large exporter of cotton and palm oil. Substantial employment and income arise from subsistence farming.[13]

The official language of Benin is French, with several indigenous languages such as FonBaribaYoruba and Dendi also being commonly spoken. The largest religious group in Benin is Roman Catholicism, followed closely by IslamVodun (commonly referred to as Voodoo outside the country) and Protestantism. Benin is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation ZoneLa Francophonie, the Community of Sahel–Saharan States, the African Petroleum Producers Association and the Niger Basin Authority.[14]

Little is known of Benin’s early history. From the 17th to the 19th century, the main political entities in the area were the Kingdom of Dahomey, along with the city-state of Porto-Novo, and a large area with many different nations to the north. This region was referred to as the Slave Coast from as early as the 17th century due to the large number of enslaved people who were shipped to the New World during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. After enslavement was abolished, France took over the country and renamed it French Dahomey. In 1960, Dahomey gained full independence from France. The sovereign state has had a tumultuous history since then, with many different democratic governments, military coups, and military governments. A Marxist–Leninist state called the People’s Republic of Benin existed between 1975 and 1990. In 1991, it was replaced by the current multi-party Republic of Benin.



Angola

Current President: João Lourenço

Angola officially the Republic of Angola (PortugueseRepública de Angola), is a country located on the west coast of Southern Africa. It is the second-largest lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) country in both total area and population (behind Brazil), and it is the seventh-largest country in Africa, bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Angola has an exclave province, the province of Cabinda that borders the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The capital and largest city is Luanda.

Angola has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Age. Its formation as a nation-state originates from Portuguese colonisation, which initially began with coastal settlements and trading posts founded in the 16th century. In the 19th century, European settlers gradually began to establish themselves in the interior. The Portuguese colony that became Angola did not have its present borders until the early 20th century, owing to resistance by native groups such as the Cuamato, the Kwanyama and the Mbunda.

After a protracted anti-colonial struggle, Angola achieved independence in 1975 as a Marxist–Leninist one-party Republic. The country descended into a devastating civil war the same year, between the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba, and the insurgent anti-communist National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), supported by the United States and South Africa. The country has been governed by MPLA ever since its independence in 1975. Following the end of the war in 2002, Angola emerged as a relatively stable unitarypresidential constitutional republic.

Angola has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, and its economy is among the fastest-growing in the world, especially since the end of the civil war. However, economic growth is highly uneven, with most of the nation’s wealth concentrated in a disproportionately small sector of the population.[7] The standard of living remains low for most Angolans; life expectancy is among the lowest in the world, while infant mortality is among the highest.[8] Since 2017, the government of João Lourenço has made fighting corruption its flagship, so much so that many individuals of the previous government are either jailed or awaiting trial. While this was not done by the previous government, skeptics see the actions as politically motivated.[citation needed] Angola is a member of the United NationsOPECAfrican Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and the Southern African Development Community. As of 2019, the Angolan population is estimated at 31.83 million. Angola is multicultural and multiethnic. Angolan culture reflects centuries of Portuguese rule, namely the predominance of the Portuguese language and of the Catholic Church, intermingled with a variety of indigenous customs and traditions.



Algeria

Current President: Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Algeria, officially the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It is the largest country in Africa and the Arab world, and is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia; to the east by Libya; to the southeast by Niger; to the southwest by MaliMauritania, and Western Sahara; to the west by Morocco; and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea. The country has a semi-arid geography, with most of the population living in the fertile north and the Sahara dominating the geography of the south. Algeria covers an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), with a population of 44 million, and is the ninth-most populous country in Africa. The capital and largest city is Algiers, located in the far north, on the Mediterranean coast.

Pre-1962 Algeria has seen many empires and dynasties, including ancient NumidiansPhoeniciansCarthaginiansRomansVandalsByzantinesUmayyadsAbbasidsRustamidIdrisidAghlabidsFatimidsZiridHammadidsAlmoravidsAlmohadsZayyanidsSpaniardsOttomans and finally, the French Colonial Empire. The vast majority of Algeria’s population is Arab-Berber, practicing Islam and using the official languages of Arabic and Berber. However, French serves as an administrative and education language in some contexts, and Algerian Arabic is the main spoken language.

Algeria is a semi-presidential republic, with local constituencies consisting of 58 provinces and 1,541 communes. Algeria is a regional power in North Africa, and a middle power in global affairs. It has the highest Human Development Index of all non-island African countries and one of the largest economies on the continent, based largely on energy exports. Algeria has the world’s sixteenth-largest oil reserves and the ninth-largest reserves of natural gasSonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa, supplying large amounts of natural gas to Europe. Algeria’s military is one of the largest in Africa, and has the largest defence budget on the continent. It is a member of the African Union, the Arab LeagueOPEC, the United Nations, and the Arab Maghreb Union, of which it is a founding member.



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