Country Profiles: Sub-Saharan Africa

Angola

Angola is a poor country in west central Africa of about 1.25 million sq. km (about twice the size of Texas). One part of Angola, Calinda, is an exclave, separated from the rest of the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC). It has a narrow coastal plain that rises abruptly to a vast interior plateau. It has a semiarid climate but heavy rainfall can cause flooding on the plateau.

Angola's population is just over 11 million people. However, Angola's average life expectancy is only a little over 48 years. Angola also has a very high infant mortality rate. Most Angolans are from indigenous ethnic groups. About half of the population follows indigenous beliefs and, of the rest, nearly 40% are Catholic. The official language is Portuguese, but Bantu and other African languages are also spoken.

Angola has experienced several years of civil war. Currently the government is trying to transition to a multiparty democracy with a strong presidential system. The government also includes a unicameral legislature and a supreme court. In view of continued civil unrest, the level of progress toward a multiparty democracy cannot be determined. The capital is Luanda.

Civil war has also had a detrimental effect on the economy. Despite its abundant natural resources, Angola's output per capita is among the world's lowest. About 85% of the population is employed in subsistence agriculture. Angola has significant petroleum and mineral resources but developing this is still somewhat hampered by civil unrest. The large numbers of mines that still remain have had a negative impact on farming, forcing Angola to import much of its food needs. By far, Angola's largest export is crude oil (90%), and the U.S. accounts for 65% of the export trade. Angola's main imports include machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts, medicines, food, textiles, and clothing. Besides the U.S., its trading partners include Portugal, the EU, China, and South Africa.

Angola's infrastructure has also suffered from civil unrest. A significant portion of its 2,952 km of railways is unusable because of mines that have not been cleared. It has over 76,000 km of highways (less than 20,000 km paved) and nearly 1,300 km of navigable waterways. Angola has several ports and harbors and over 250 airports (only 32 have paved runways).

Benin

Benin is a country in western Africa of just under 113,000 sq. km that makes it slightly smaller than Pennsylvania. It has no natural harbors. Its terrain is mostly flat and undulating plain with some hills and low mountains. Its highest point is 658 m above sea level. Its climate is tropical but is subject to droughts. It has an inadequate supply of freshwater.

Benin has a growing population, currently over 6 million people. Like many other nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, it has a high (nearly 100 deaths per 1,000 live births) infant mortality rate and a relatively low average life expectancy (54 years). Except for a very small number of Europeans, the population is entirely African. Most of the people (70%) follow indigenous beliefs, while the rest are split almost evenly between Christian and Muslim. The official language is French, but several ethnic languages are also spoken.

Benin was once a Marxist-Leninist government but throughout the 1990s has transitioned to a multiparty democratic system. The president is both the chief of state and head of government. Benin has a unicameral legislature as well as a supreme court. The official capital is Porto Novo, but Cotonou is the seat of government.

The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Rapid population growth has largely offset sound growth in economic output. Approximately one-third of the population lives below the poverty level. Benin imports nearly half of its electricity. Its principal exports are cotton, crude oil, palm products, and cocoa, mostly to Brazil, Portugal, Morocco, Libya, and France. It imports foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco, petroleum products, and other intermediate capital and consumer goods. Its import partners are mostly France, UK, Thailand, Hong Kong, and China.

Benin has a limited infrastructure including 578 km of railways, 6,787 km of highways (1,357 km paved), and five airports (two with paved runways).

Botswana

Botswana is a landlocked nation in southern Africa, slightly smaller than Texas (600,370 sq. km). It has a semiarid climate. The Kalahari Desert is in its southwest region. Its terrain is predominantly flat with some gently rolling tableland. It has only about 1% arable land and limited freshwater resources.

Most of Botswana's 1.5 million people are concentrated in the eastern part of the country. Botswana has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world at only 39.9 years. Ninety-five percent of the people are Botswana and only 1% is white. About half of the population follows indigenous beliefs, and the other half is Christian. The official language is English.

Botswana is a parliamentary republic in which the president is both the chief of state and the head of government. The legislature is bicameral with the House of Chiefs made up mostly of tribal chiefs and the National Assembly mostly of elected members. There is also a High Court and Court of Appeal. The capital is Gabarone.

Like many other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture provides the livelihood for most of the population (in this case 80%), but does not meet the food needs of the nation. Diamond mining and tourism are important to the economy. Officially unemployment is 21%, but unofficial estimates are nearly twice that. Diamonds make up 76% of Botswana's exports, primarily to the EU and the South African Customs Union (SACU). It imports foodstuffs, vehicles and transport equipment, and textiles. Again, its principal trading partners are SACU and Europe.

Botswana has less than 1,000 km of railways. Less than one-quarter of its more than 18,000 km of highways are paved. Of its 92 airports, 12 have paved runways.

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in Sub-Saharan Africa with an area of slightly over one-quarter of a million sq. km, making it slightly smaller than Colorado. It has a tropical climate and a relatively flat terrain. With about 13% arable land, one of its problems is a recurring drought.

Burkina Faso's population is about 11.5 million people. Due in part to a high total fertility rate (TFR), Burkina Faso's population is growing. However, its social development is low as evidenced by the high infant mortality rate (greater than 100 deaths per thousand live births), its relatively low average life expectancy (46 years), and an extremely low literacy rate (less than twenty percent average). Most of the population is from African tribes. The largest religious group is Muslim (50%), followed by indigenous religions (40%). Most of the remainder is Roman Catholic. The official language is French, but tribal languages are spoken by over 90% of the population.

Burkina Faso has a parliamentary government. The head of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote. The head of government is the prime minister, who is appointed by the president with the approval of the legislature. There is a bicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Ouagadougou.

One of the poorest countries in the world, landlocked Burkina Faso has a high population density, few natural resources, and a fragile soil. About 85% of the population is engaged in (mainly subsistence) agriculture that is highly vulnerable to variations in rainfall. Its main exports are cotton, animal products, and gold. Its imports include machinery, food products, and petroleum. Its main trading partners are Cote d'Ivoire and France.

Burkina Faso has a limited infrastructure with only 622 km of railways and 12,500 km of highways (2,000 km paved). It has 33 airports, but only two have paved runways.

Burundi

Burundi is a landlocked nation in a region of unrest in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has an area of 27,830 sq. km that makes it slightly smaller than Maryland. It has a tropical climate but since its terrain is high plateau with considerable variation in elevation (772 m to 2,760 m), average annual temperature varies with elevation. Lake Tanganyika is its lowest point at 772 m above sea level.

Burundi's population of about 5.7 million people is mostly Hutu (85%). Most are Christian (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%). Most of the rest follow indigenous beliefs. Burundi has two official languages, Kirundi and French. Swahili is also spoken. Like many other Sub-Saharan nations, Burundi has a high infant mortality rate (nearly 100 per thousand live births), low life expectancy (45.4 years), and low literacy (35.3%).

Burundi is a republic. The president is both the chief of state and the head of government. There is a unicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Bujumbura.

Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with a poorly developed manufacturing sector. The economy is predominately agricultural with roughly 90% of the population dependent on subsistence agriculture. Its economic health depends on the coffee crop, which accounts for 80% of foreign exchange earnings. The ability to pay for imports therefore rests largely on the vagaries of the climate and the international coffee market. Since October 1993, the nation has suffered from massive ethnic-based violence that has resulted in the death of perhaps 250,000 persons and the displacement of about 800,000 others. Foods, medicines, and electricity remain in short supply. Over 30% of the people live below the poverty line and there is double-digit inflation. Most electrical power is hydroelectric. Burundi's main exports are coffee, tea, cotton, and hides. Its main imports are capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs, and consumer goods. Its main trading partners include the Benelux nations, Germany, and other European countries.

Burundi has no railways and less than 10% of its 14,480 km of highways are paved. One of its four airports has paved runways.

Cameroon

Cameroon is a West African nation, part of Sub-Saharan Africa. It has over 475,000 sq. km of area, making it slightly larger than California. Sometimes referred to as the hinge of Africa, this country has a diverse terrain, ranging from coastal plains to mountains. Its climate varies with the terrain and is tropical along the coast and semiarid in the north. Cameroon has had recent volcanic activity.

Cameroon's population of nearly 15.5 million people is growing. Although not as high as some other nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, Cameroon's infant mortality rate is still high at 75 deaths per thousand live births. The total fertility rate is fairly high at just under 6 children born per woman (average). The life expectancy is fairly low at 51.3 years (average). Cameroon's ethnic groups are mostly African tribes. Both English and French are official languages, but native languages are widely spoken. Slightly more than half of the population follows indigenous religious beliefs. One-third of the population is Christian, and about one-sixth is Muslim.

Cameroon is a republic. The president is head of state, while the prime minister (appointed by the president) is the head of government. Cameroon has a unicameral legislature and a supreme court. Its capital is Yaounde.

Cameroon has abundant oil reserves and favorable agricultural conditions yet remains underdeveloped. A top-heavy civil service, government mismanagement, and corruption continue to be problems. Cameroon's principal exports are crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, and coffee. Its main imports include machines and electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, and food. Its principal trading partners are members of the EU.

Cameroon has over 1,000 km of railways and over 34,000 km of highways (4,288 km paved). It has a few ports and harbors, and 11 of its 52 airports have paved runways.

Cape Verde

Cape Verde is a group of islands off the west coast of Africa, in the North Atlantic Ocean, almost due west of the Mauritania-Senegal border. With 4,030 sq. km of area it is slightly larger than Rhode Island. Although in the tropics, the ocean environment gives Cape Verde a moderate climate. Erratic and limited precipitation is a problem. Cape Verde's terrain is steep, rugged, and rocky. It is seismically and volcanically active. Cape Verde occupies a strategic location 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes. It is also an important sea and air refueling site.

Cape Verde's population is just over 400,000 people. Most are mulatto (71%) and African (28%). The languages spoken are Portuguese and a Portuguese-African Creole called Crioulo. The main religions are Roman Catholic (infused with some indigenous beliefs) and Protestant.

Cape Verde is a republic with three branches of government. The chief of state is the president with a prime minister as head of government. Cape Verde has a unicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Praia.

Cape Verde has very limited resources. Most of the food must be imported. There may be room for increased development of the fishing industry. Cape Verde's exports include shoes, garments, fish, and bananas. Its imports include foodstuffs, consumer goods, and industrial products. Its main trading partners include Portugal, France, Spain, and the UK.

Cape Verde has no railways and over 1,000 km of highways, most of which are paved. It has a few main ports and harbors, and all of its six airports have paved runways.

Central African Republic

The Central African Republic is another African nation that has experienced considerable civil unrest in recent years. In this case, dissident elements of the armed forces were responsible for several mutinies. Slightly smaller than Texas, it encompasses an area of almost 623,000 sq. km. It is a landlocked nation, located at nearly the precise center of the continent of Africa. Its climate is tropical. Its terrain is mostly a vast plateau with some rolling hills in the southeast and southwest.

The population of the Central African Republic numbers about 3.4 million people. The two main indigenous groups, Baya and Banda, together comprise over 60% of the population. The religious following of this nation is split almost evenly between indigenous beliefs, Protestants, and Catholics with a significant percentage of Muslim (15%) followers. Animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority. The Central African Republic has a growing population. It has a relatively high total fertility rate (over 5 children born per woman), but it also has a high infant mortality rate (103 deaths per thousand live births) and a low average life expectancy (less than 50 years). The official language is French, but the national language and lingua franca is Sangho.

The Central African Republic is a republic with three branches of government. The president is the chief of state, elected by popular vote. The head of government is the prime minister appointed by the president. The National Assembly is a unicameral legislature, and there is a supreme court. The capital is Bangui.

Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with more than 70% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates half of GDP. Timber has accounted for about 16% of export earnings and the diamond industry for nearly 54%. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked position, a poor transportation system, a largely unskilled workforce, and a legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. Its principal exports are diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee, and tobacco. Its principal imports include food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery and equipment, and motor vehicles. The CAR's main trading partners include France, Belgium-Luxembourg, Cote d'Ivoire, and Cameroon.

The CAR has no railways and only a very small portion (429 km) of its 23,800 km of highways is paved. It has two main ports and harbors, and only three of its 52 airports have paved runways.

Chad

Chad is located in central Africa south of Libya. It is slightly more than three times larger than California with 1.284 million sq. km of area. The lowlands in the south have a tropical climate, while the climate in the north is desert. The center of the country consists of broad, arid plains. The terrain in the northwest is mountainous. The highest elevation point in the country is 3,415 m.

The population of Chad is about 7.5 million people with an infant mortality rate of 115 per thousand live births. The life expectancy at birth is 48.6 years. About half the population is illiterate in the official languages. Approximately 50% of the population is Muslim; however, there are significant non-Muslim populations of Christian and indigenous peoples who practice animism. The official languages are French and Arabic.

Chad is a republic with a president who is the chief of state, elected by popular vote. The head of government is the prime minister. The unicameral legislative branch is elected by popular vote. The judicial branch consists of a supreme court, court of appeal, and criminal and magistrate courts. The capital of Chad is N'Djamena.

Eighty-five percent of the population of Chad is dependent on agriculture, including herding livestock. Other industry includes cotton textiles, meatpacking, and beer brewing. Chad's exports are cotton, cattle, and textiles. It imports the following: machinery and transportation equipment, industrial goods, foodstuffs, and textiles. Trading partners with Chad include France, Portugal, Germany, Nigeria, Cameroon, and India.

Chad's lack of infrastructure has contributed to its poor economic development. It has no railways and only 267 km of its 33,400 km of roads are paved. Although Chad has 52 airports, only eight have paved runways.

Comoros

Comoros is a small group of islands in the Mozambique channel between Madagascar and Mozambique. With an area of over 2,000 sq. km, it is slightly more than 12 times the size of Washington, D.C. These volcanic islands have steep mountains, low hills, and a tropical marine climate. One of the islands has an active volcano. There is significant arable land, but soil erosion and deforestation are significant problems. The islands occupy an important location at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel.

The Comoros population of slightly more than half a million people is mostly local ethnic groups. Over 85% of the population is Sunni Muslim, and the rest are Roman Catholic. Comoros has two official languages, Arabic and French. Comoran, a blend of Swahili and Arabic, is also spoken.

Comoros is an independent republic. It has a president, a bicameral legislature, and a supreme court. The capital is Moroni.

Comoros is one of the world's poorest countries. The country is not self-sufficient in food despite the fact that agriculture employs 80% of the labor force. Comoros' exports include vanilla, ylang-ylang, cloves, perfume oils, and copra. Its principal trading partners are France, the U.S., and South Africa.

Comoros has a poor infrastructure. It has no railways, less than 1,000 km of highways (about three-quarters paved), a few ports and harbors, and only four airports (all with paved runways).

Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

The Cote d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast, as it was once called, is a nation in Sub-Saharan Africa on the southern coast of the West African hump. With over 322,000 sq. km of area, it is slightly larger than New Mexico. Its climate ranges from tropical along the coast to semiarid in the far northern portion. The terrain is mostly flat with undulating plains and mountains in the northwest. Torrential flooding is possible during the rainy season.

Cote d'Ivoire's population of nearly 16 million people is made up of several tribal groups. They have a fairly high total fertility rate, but the infant mortality rate is almost 100 per thousand live births. The average life expectancy is only 46 years. The literacy is less than 50%. Most of the population is Muslim (60%), with a significant Christian minority (22%) and indigenous following (18%). The official language is French, but some 60 native dialects are widely spoken.

Cote d'Ivoire is a republic with a multiparty presidential government. The president is elected by popular vote. The head of government is the prime minister, appointed by the president. There is a unicameral National Assembly and a supreme court.

Cote d'Ivoire is among the world's largest producers and exporters of coffee, cocoa beans, and palm oil. Consequently, the economy is highly sensitive to fluctuations in international prices for these products and to weather conditions. Despite attempts by the government to diversify the economy, it is still largely dependent on agriculture and related activities, which engage roughly 68% of the population. Cote d'Ivoire's exports include cocoa (36%), coffee, tropical woods, and other agricultural products. Its imports include food, consumer goods, and capital equipment. Its main trading partners include France, Germany, the Netherlands, Nigeria, and Italy.

Cote d'Ivoire has 660 km of railways. Less than one-tenth of its 50,400 km of highways is paved. It has nearly 1000 km of navigable rivers, canals, and coastal lagoons. It has several ports and harbors, and seven of its 36 airports have paved runways.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Slightly smaller than Algeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is over 2.3 million sq. km in area. This is also slightly less than one-fourth the size of the U.S. Situated on the equator, the climate is tropical although cooler in the highlands. The vast central basin is a low-lying plateau with mountains in the east. There is a tropical rain forest in the central river basin. The country controls the lower Congo River, which is the only outlet to the South Atlantic Ocean.

The population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) numbers about 50.5 million. Social development is low, and the population is still growing. The total fertility rate is almost 6.5 children born per woman. The average life expectancy at birth is just under 50 years, and the infant mortality rate is almost 100 per thousand live births. The population consists of over 200 African ethnic groups. French is the official language as well as several dialects. About half of the population is Roman Catholic. The remainder is Protestant, Muslim, and various traditional beliefs.

The DROC government is a dictatorship presumably undergoing a transition to a representative government. The president is both the chief of state and the head of government. The current president led the overthrow of the dictatorship but is delaying elections until all other military forces have left the country. Consequently, all legislative activity has also been suspended. There is also a supreme court. The capital is Kinshasa.

The problems with civil unrest have also had a negative impact on the economy. DROC has significant potential wealth, but its economic status has declined since the mid-1980s. Since the military overthrow of the previous dictator, foreign businesses have curtailed operations due to uncertainty about the outcome of the conflict and because of increased government harassment and restrictions. Poor infrastructure, an uncertain legal framework, corruption, and lack of transparency in government economic policy remain a brake on investment and growth. Inflation in recent years has reached almost 150%. DROC's principal exports include diamonds, copper, coffee, cobalt, and petroleum products. It imports consumer goods, foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, and transport equipment. Its main trading partners include the Benelux countries, the U.S., South Africa, and other European nations.

DROC has over 5,000 km of railways, but service has been severely reduced due to damage to facilities by civil difficulties. It has 145,000 km of highways, but only about 2,500 km are paved. Including the Congo River, it has about 15,000 km of waterways with several ports and harbors. It has 233 airports, but only about 23 have paved runways.

Djibouti

Djibouti is a small country in eastern Africa that commands a very strategic location near the world's busiest shipping lanes between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean (Northern Arabian Sea). It is only 22,000 sq. km in area, or slightly smaller than Massachusetts. It is mostly a wasteland with a desert and a torrid and dry climate. It has a coastal plain and plateau separated by central mountains. Its only natural resources are geothermal areas. It is subject to earthquakes and droughts, although cyclonic (tropical storm) activity in the Indian Ocean can bring heavy rains and cause flooding.

Djibouti's population numbers less than half a million people. Its principal ethnic groups are Somali (60%) and Afar (35%). The population is overwhelmingly Muslim (94%). The low state of social development is evidenced by its relatively high total fertility rate (5.87 children born per woman), high infant mortality (about 100 deaths per thousand live births), low life expectancy (51.5 years), and low literacy (less than 50%). Two-thirds of the population lives in the capital city. Djibouti has two official languages, French and Arabic.

Djibouti is a republic with three branches of government. The chief of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote. The president appoints the prime minister, who is the head of government. There is a unicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Djibouti.

The economy is based on service activities connected with the country's strategic location and status as a free trade zone in northeast Africa. Scanty rainfall limits crop production to fruits and vegetables, and most food must be imported. Djibouti provides services as both a transit port for the region and an international transshipment and refueling center. It has few natural resources and little industry. The nation is, therefore, heavily dependent on foreign assistance to help support its balance of payments and to finance development projects. An unemployment rate of 40% to 50% continues to be a major problem. Per capita consumption dropped an estimated 35% over the last several years because of recession, civil war, and a high population growth rate (including immigrants and refugees). Also, renewed fighting between Ethiopia and Eritrea has disturbed normal external channels of commerce.

Djibouti has only 97 km of railways. Only about 364 km of its 2,890 km of highways are paved. The only port is Djibouti and only two of its 11 airports have paved runways.

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea is a small country in western Africa between Gabon and Cameroon. It comprises about 28,000 sq. km that makes it slightly smaller than Maryland. Barely above the equator, it has a tropical climate. Its coastal plains rise to interior hills and mountains. Its insular regions, off the coast of Cameroon, are volcanic. Its highest point is Pico Basile at 3,008 m above sea level. It is subject to violent winds and flash floods.

Equatorial Guinea has a growing population, currently estimated to be just below one-half million people. Their ethnic background is primarily various tribal groups (there are estimated to be less than 1,000 Europeans in the country). It is nominally a Christian country (mostly Roman Catholic), but pagan practices are still prevalent. Both French and English are official languages, but other indigenous languages along with Pidgin English are spoken. Equatorial Guinea's social development appears to be somewhat better than many other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa but still has a long way to go. The infant mortality rate and total fertility rate are fairly high (91 deaths per thousand live births and 5 children born per woman). Although low, the life expectancy is not nearly as bad as many other nations in the region (54.4 years). Furthermore, the literacy rate is better than many countries in the region at 78.5% (68.1% among women).

Equatorial Guinea is currently a republic but has begun a transition to a multiparty democracy. The transition is currently halted due to problems with voter fraud. Normally the president would be the chief of state following popular elections. The president would appoint the prime minister who would be the head of government. The members of the unicameral legislature are also elected by popular vote. The supreme tribunal heads the judicial branch.

The discovery and exploitation of large oil reserves have contributed to dramatic economic growth in recent years. Forestry, farming, and fishing are also major components of GDP. Subsistence farming predominates. Although pre-independence Equatorial Guinea counted on cocoa production for hard currency earnings, the deterioration of the rural economy under successive brutal regimes has diminished potential for agriculture-led growth. A number of aid programs sponsored by the World Bank and the IMF have been cut off since 1993 because of the government's gross corruption and mismanagement. Government officials and their family members, for the most part, own businesses. Undeveloped natural resources include titanium, iron ore, manganese, uranium, and alluvial gold. Unemployment is high (on the order of 30%). Equatorial Guinea's main exports include petroleum, timber, and cocoa. It imports petroleum products, food, beverages, clothing, and machinery. Its main trading partners include the U.S., France, Spain, and Nigeria.

Equatorial Guinea has no railways and no paved roads (it has 2,880 km unpaved). It has a few ports and harbors, and two of the three airports have paved runways.

Eritrea

Eritrea is a country in eastern Africa that was formerly part of Ethiopia. It consists of over 121,000 sq. km that makes it slightly larger than Pennsylvania. Eritrea has a hot, dry, desert climate. This long narrow country along the Red Sea and with islands in the Red Sea has highlands, coastal desert, and flat-to-rolling plains. It occupies a strategic position along some of the busiest sea routes in the world, since Eritrea retained the coastal region upon gaining independence from Ethiopia.

Eritrea's population of nearly 4 million is mostly drawn from two ethnic groups: Tigrinya and Tigre and Kunama. The main religions are Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, and Protestant. Several languages are spoken, including Afar, Arabic, Tigre and Kunama, Tigrinya, and other ethnic tongues. While better than many Sub-Saharan countries, Eritrea has moderately high infant mortality (76.8 deaths per thousand live births) and moderately low life expectancy (55.7 years).

Eritrea's government is undergoing the transition from an Ethiopian state to an independent nation. A transitional legislature was established and a constitution drafted. Following ratification of the constitution, the transition will continue. The capital is Asmara.

With independence from Ethiopia on 24 May 1993, Eritrea faced the bitter economic problems of a small, desperately poor African country. The economy is based largely on subsistence agriculture, with over 70% of the population involved in farming and herding. The small industrial sector consists mainly of light industries with outmoded technologies. Road construction is a top domestic priority. Eritrea has long-term prospects for revenues from the development of offshore oil, offshore fishing, and tourism. Eritrea's economic future depends on its ability to master fundamental social and economic problems (e.g., overcoming illiteracy, promoting job creation, expanding technical training, attracting foreign investment, and streamlining the bureaucracy). Eritrea's exports include livestock, sorghum, textiles, and food. Its main imports include processed goods, machinery, and petroleum products. Its main trading partners include Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and other regional countries.

Eritrea has only 307 km of railways. It has over 4,000 km of highways, less than one-quarter of which are paved. It has a few ports and harbors and 20 airports (only two have paved runways).

Ethiopia

One of the larger countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia comprises 1.13 million sq. km of area (slightly less than twice the size of Texas). Since the independence of Eritrea, Ethiopia has been a landlocked nation. Its climate is tropical monsoon with broad topographic-induced variations. The terrain includes a high plateau with a central mountain range. The country is divided by the Great Rift Valley. The Great Rift Valley is geologically active with earthquakes and active volcanoes. Frequent droughts are also a problem.

Ethiopia's population of nearly 60 million people is from various ethnic groups. Most follow the Muslim faith or are Ethiopian Orthodox. About 12% have animist beliefs. Several languages are spoken, including Amharic, Tigrinya, Somali, Arabic, and English. Like many other Sub-Saharan African nations, Ethiopia has high total fertility rate (6.8 children born per woman), high infant mortality rate (124.6 deaths per thousand live births), low life expectancy (40.5 years), and low literacy (35.5%).

Ethiopia is a federal republic. The president is the chief of state and is elected by the House of People's Representatives (part of the bicameral legislature). The prime minister is the head of government and is designated by the party in power. The upper house of the legislature is the House of Federation whose members are chosen by state assemblies. The judicial branch includes a Federal Supreme Court. The capital is Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia remains one of the least developed countries in the world. Its economy is based on agriculture, which accounts for more than half of GDP, 90% of exports, and 80% of total employment; coffee generates 60% of export earnings. The agricultural sector suffers from frequent periods of drought, poor cultivation practices, and deterioration of internal security conditions. The manufacturing sector is heavily dependent on inputs from the agricultural sector. Over 90% of large-scale industry, but less than 10% of agriculture, is state-run. The government is considering selling off a portion of state-owned plants and is implementing reform measures that are gradually liberalizing the economy. A major medium-term problem is the improvement of roads, water supply, and other parts of an infrastructure badly neglected during years of civil strife. Ethiopia's exports include coffee, leather products, and gold. Its imports include food and live animals, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery, and motor vehicles. Its main trading partners include Germany, Italy, and Saudi Arabia.

Ethiopia has about 681 km of railways. About 4,275 km of its 28,500 km of highways are paved. It has 84 airports, but only 11 of them have paved runways.

Gabon

Gabon is a Sub-Saharan African nation just south of the equator with an area of nearly 268,000 sq. km (slightly smaller than Colorado). Its climate is tropical. It has a narrow coastal plain, a hilly interior, and savanna in the east and south.

Gabon's population of nearly one and a quarter million people is mostly from the Bantu tribes. The population is mostly Christian. The official language is French, although various ethnic tongues are spoken. Although better than most, Gabon still has a fairly high infant mortality rate (83 deaths per thousand live births) and a moderately low life expectancy (57 years).

Gabon's government is a republic with a multiparty presidential regime. The president is the chief of state and is elected by popular vote. The president appoints the prime minister. There is a bicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Libreville.

Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most nations of sub-Saharan Africa. This has supported a sharp decline in extreme poverty; yet because of high-income inequality, a large proportion of the population remains poor. Gabon depended on timber and manganese until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s. The oil sector now accounts for 50% of GDP. Gabon continues to face fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, manganese, and uranium exports. Despite the abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management hobbles the economy. Gabon's main exports are crude oil and timber. Its imports include machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, and petroleum products. Its main trading partners include the U.S., France, and Japan.

Gabon has almost 650 km of railways. Less than 10% of its 7,670 km of highways are paved. It has 1,600 km of waterways. It has several ports and harbors, and ten of its sixty-two airports have paved runways.

The Gambia

The Gambia is a small, narrow country of 11,300 sq. km (slightly less than twice the size of Delaware) in Sub-Saharan Africa. It essentially encompasses much of the floodplain of the Gambia River. It has a tropical climate. Almost an enclave of Senegal, it is the smallest country on the continent of Africa.

The Gambia's population of about 1.3 million people is made up almost entirely of African ethnic groups. Most of the population is Muslim with about 9% being Christian. The official language is English, although several indigenous languages are spoken. Like many other countries of the region, it has a relatively high total fertility rate (5.8 children born per woman), moderately high infant mortality rate (75.3 deaths per thousand live births), a moderately low life expectancy (54.4 years), and very low literacy (38.5%).

The Gambia is a republic under multiparty democratic rule. The president is the chief of state and the head of government. There is a unicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Banjul.

The Gambia has no important mineral or other natural resources and has a limited agricultural base. About 75% of the population depends on crops and livestock for its livelihood. Small-scale manufacturing activity is principally involved in the processing of peanuts, fish, and hides. Re-export trade normally constitutes a major segment of its economic activity. Tourism declined after a military takeover in 1994 but is rebounding since the return to elected rule. Gambia's main exports include peanuts and peanut products and fish. It imports foodstuffs, manufactured items, raw materials, and fuel. Its main trading partners include Belgium, France, UK, and neighboring Africa nations.

The Gambia has no railways, 2700 km of highways (956 paved), one main harbor, and only one airport (with paved runways).

Ghana

Ghana is a Sub-Saharan African nation with almost 240,000 sq. km of area (slightly smaller than Oregon). It has a tropical climate. Its terrain is mostly low plains with a dissected plateau in the south-central area. Ghana has the world's largest artificial lake, Lake Volta.

Ghana's population of nearly 19 million people is black African. Although English is the official language, several African languages are spoken. Slightly more than one-third of the people follow indigenous beliefs, while slightly less than one third are Muslim and about one-quarter are Christian. Ghana has a moderate life expectancy (57 years) and a moderately high infant mortality rate (76 deaths per thousand live births).

Ghana is a constitutional democracy. The president is both the chief of state and the head of government. There is a unicameral parliament and a supreme court. The capital is Accra.

Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. Gold, timber, and cocoa production are major sources of foreign exchange. The domestic economy continues to revolve around subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 41% of GDP and employs 60% of the workforce, mainly small landholders. Over 30% of the people live below the poverty line and unemployment is about 20%. Gold, cocoa, and timber are the main exports. The main imports are capital equipment, petroleum, consumer goods, and food. Its main trading partners are the UK, Germany, U.S, Japan, and the Netherlands.

Ghana has nearly 1,000 km of railways and nearly 40,000 km of highways (over 11,000 km paved). It has two main ports and harbors, and half of its 12 airports have paved runways.

Guinea

Guinea is a Sub-Saharan nation in West Africa. With an area of almost 250,000 sq. km, it is slightly smaller than Oregon. Well within the tropics, its climate is generally hot and humid. It has a flat coastal plain with a hilly to mountainous interior. Some of Guinea's problems include deforestation, inadequate supplies of potable water, and desertification.

Guinea's population of about 7.5 million people is mostly tribal. Most follow Islam (85%) with the remainder split between Christian and indigenous beliefs. Guinea's social development is very limited. It has very low literacy (35.9% average, only 22% among women), high infant mortality rate (over 125 per thousand live births), and low average life expectancy (46.5 years).

Guinea is a republic with three branches of government. The chief of state is the president, elected by popular vote. The head of government is the prime minister, appointed by the president. The legislature is unicameral and the judicial branch is the court of appeal. The capital is Conakry.

Guinea possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources, yet remains a poor underdeveloped nation. Despite the fact that Guinea is the second-largest bauxite producer, 80% of the workforce is employed in agriculture. However, the mining sector accounts for about 75% of the exports. Besides bauxite, Guinea exports alumina, diamonds, gold, coffee, and fish. It imports petroleum products, metals, machinery, and transport equipment. Its principal trading partners are Russia, the U.S., Belgium, France, and Cote d'Ivoire.

Guinea has just over 1,000 km of railways and over 30,000 km of highways (5,000 km paved). It has three main ports and harbors, and five of its 15 airports have paved runways.

Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau on the west coast of Africa has about 36,120 sq. km of area (about three times the size of Connecticut). It has a tropical climate. Its terrain is mostly low coastal plain rising to savanna in the east.

Guinea-Bissau's population of almost one and a quarter million people consists of various African tribes. About half of the people follow indigenous beliefs, and slightly less than that are Muslim. The official language is Portuguese. Like many other countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, Guinea-Bissau has a low life expectancy (49.6 years), high infant mortality rate (109 deaths per thousand live births), and low literacy (53.9%).

Guinea-Bissau is a multiparty republic. The chief of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote. The prime minister is the head of government and is appointed by the president. There is a unicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Bissau.

One of the 20 poorest countries in the world, Guinea-Bissau depends mainly on farming and fishing. Cashew crops have increased remarkably in recent years, and the country now ranks sixth in cashew production. Guinea-Bissau exports fish and seafood along with small amounts of peanuts, palm kernels, and timber. Rice is the major crop and staple food. However, intermittent fighting between Senegalese-backed government troops and a military junta destroyed much of the country's infrastructure and caused widespread damage to the economy in 1998. Cashews make up 95% of the exports. It imports foodstuffs, transport equipment, petroleum products, machinery, and equipment. Its trading partners include Spain, India, Thailand, Portugal, and the U.S.

Guinea-Bissau has no railways. Only about 10% of its 4,400 km of highways are unpaved. It has a few ports and harbors and three of its thirty airports have paved runways.

Kenya

Kenya, a nation in eastern Africa on the Indian Ocean, has an area of about 582,650 sq. km (slightly more than twice the size of Nevada). Its climate varies from tropical along the coast to arid in the interior. Its low plains rise to central highlands bisected by the Great Rift Valley. The Kenyan Highlands comprise one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa. Mount Kenya, with an elevation of 5,199 m, has glaciers.

Kenya's population numbers 28.8 million people. It consists of many African ethnic groups. The largest religious group is Protestant at 38%, followed by Roman Catholic at 28% and indigenous beliefs at 26%. Kenya has two official languages, English and Swahili. Numerous indigenous languages are also spoken. Although Kenya's literacy, infant mortality rates, and total fertility rates are moderate, it has a low life expectancy (47 years).

Kenya is a republic. The president is both the chief of state and the head of government. There is a unicameral legislature and a court of appeal. The capital is Nairobi.

Although Kenya's economy experienced a few years of growth, much of the 1990s have been characterized by fits and starts. El Niño rains destroyed crops and damaged an already crumbling infrastructure in 1997 and 1998. Political violence damaged the tourist industry. Long-term barriers to development include electricity shortages, the government's continued and inefficient dominance of key sectors, endemic corruption, and the country's high population growth rate. More than 40% of the population lives below the poverty line, and estimates of the unemployment rate approach 50%. Tea, coffee, and petroleum products are among Kenya's main exports. Its main imports include machinery and transportation equipment, consumer goods, and petroleum products. Its main trading partners include the UK, Germany, and other African nations.

Kenya has over 2,600 km of railways. About 15% of its 63,800 km of roads is paved. It has a few ports and harbors, and 21 of its 232 airports have paved runways.

Lesotho

Lesotho is a landlocked nation in southern Africa, completely surrounded by South Africa. With an area of about 30,350 sq. km, it is slightly smaller than Maryland. Its climate is temperate. Its terrain is mostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains.

Lesotho's population of 2.1 million people is mostly Sotho. Most of the population is Christian. English is the official language, but other languages are also spoken. Although better than most nations of the region, Lesotho still has a moderately high infant mortality rate (77.6 deaths per thousand live births) and a moderately low life expectancy (53 years).

Lesotho is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. The chief of state is the hereditary monarch. The leader of the government is the prime minister. There is a bicameral parliament and a high court. The capital is Maseru.

Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho's only important natural resource is water. Its economy is based on subsistence agriculture, livestock, and remittances from miners employed in South Africa. The number of such mineworkers has declined steadily over the past several years. In 1996 their remittances added about 33% to GDP compared with the addition of roughly 67% in 1990. A small manufacturing base depends largely on farm products, which support the milling, canning, leather, and jute industries. Agricultural products are exported primarily to South Africa. Proceeds from membership in a common customs union with South Africa form the majority of government revenue. Although drought has decreased agricultural activity over the past few years, completion of a major hydropower facility in January 1998 now permits the sale of water to South Africa, generating royalties that will be an important source of income for Lesotho. Almost half of the population lives below the poverty line. It exports manufactured goods and imports food, building materials, and machinery. Its main trading partners are the South African Customs Union, North America, and the EU.

The 2.6 km of railway in Lesotho is owned and operated by South Africa. Lesotho has nearly 5,000 km of highways, but less than 1,000 km are paved. Four of its 29 airports have paved runways.

Liberia

Liberia is a country in western Africa on the Atlantic coast with over two centuries of ties to the United States. Its area encompasses over 111,000 sq. km of area (slightly larger than Tennessee). It has a tropical climate. Its terrain is mostly flat to rolling plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in the northeast.

Liberia's population is just under 3 million people. Most are indigenous African tribes. The official language is English, although most people speak indigenous tribal languages. Most (70%) follow traditional indigenous beliefs. Like many other countries in this region, Liberia suffers from high total fertility rate (6 children born per woman), high infant mortality rate (over 100 per thousand live births), and low literacy (38.3%). Despite these indications of low social development, the life expectancy is almost 60 years.

Liberia is a republic. It is still recovering from seven years of civil war that ended in 1995. Elections resumed in 1997. The president is both the chief of state and the head of the government. There is a bicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Monrovia.

A civil war in 1989–97 has destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially the infrastructure in and around Monrovia. Many businessmen have fled the country, taking capital and expertise with them. Some returned during 1997. Many will not return. Richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture, Liberia had been a producer and exporter of basic products, while local manufacturing, mainly foreign owned, had been small in scope. The democratically elected government, installed in August 1997, inherited massive international debts and currently relies on revenues from its maritime registry to provide the bulk of its foreign exchange earnings. The restoration of the infrastructure and the raising of incomes in this ravaged economy depends on the implementation of sound macro- and microeconomic policies of the new government, including the encouragement of foreign investment. Eighty percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Unemployment approaches 70%. Liberia's exports include diamonds, iron ore, rubber, timber, and coffee. Its imports include fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, and foodstuffs. Its main trading partners include European nations, Singapore, Ukraine, and Japan.

Liberia has about 480 km of railways and over 10,000 km of highways (only 603 km are paved). It has four main ports and harbors. Only two if its 45 airports have paved runways.

Madagascar

Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the world and is strategically located along the Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean. It is east of Mozambique and almost twice the size of Arizona with 587,040 sq. km. It has a narrow coastal plain that, in the north, experiences a tropical climate, a temperate high plateau, and a mountainous center that reaches elevations of 2,876 m. The climate on the southern part of the island is arid.

The population of Madagascar is about 14.9 million people, with a population growth rate of nearly 3%. Like many other countries of the region, it has a relatively high infant mortality rate (89 deaths per thousand live births) and a moderately low life expectancy (53 years). The ethnic groups living on the island include Malayo-Indonesian, Cotiers, French, Indian, Creole, and Comoran. Over half of the population practices indigenous religions; however, there is a strong Christian population (41%) and a small Muslim minority. The official languages are French and Malagasy.

The chief of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote. The president appoints a prime minister as the head of government. There is a unicameral legislature and a judicial branch with several levels of courts. The capital is Antanandrino.

Madagascar has been plagued by a high population growth rate, under-funded health and education facilities, chronic malnutrition, and severe deforestation accompanied by erosion. The mainstay of the economy is agriculture, including fishing and forestry. Industry on Madagascar includes textile manufacturing and the processing of agricultural products. Several factors have worked together to stunt Madagascar's economic growth, including a decline in world coffee demand. Its main export is coffee (45%) followed by vanilla (20%). Other exports include cloves, shellfish, sugar, and petroleum products. Imports include manufactured and capital goods, petroleum, and consumer goods. Their main trading partner is France, but others include Japan, Ira, South Africa, Germany, Reunion, and the U.S.

Madagascar's infrastructure consists of 883 km of railways and almost 50,000 km of highways (5,781 km paved). Additionally, there are 133 airports, 33 of which have paved runways. Madagascar has five main harbors.

Malawi

Malawi is one of the many landlocked countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. With 118,480 sq. km, it is slightly smaller than Pennsylvania. It has a tropical climate. Its terrain includes lowlands, plateau, rolling plains, and mountains.

Malawi has a population of about 10 million people. Several statistics are indicators of its low level of social development. It has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world at 36.3 years. Its total fertility rate is fairly high, but its infant mortality rate is over 130 deaths per thousand live births.

Malawi is a multiparty democracy with three branches of government. The president is both the chief of state and the head of government. There is a unicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Lilongwe.

Malawi is one of the world's least-developed countries. The economy is predominantly agricultural and the population rural. Some of the principal environmental concerns include soil erosion and water pollution from agricultural runoff. Its main exports are agricultural; tobacco, tea, sugar, coffee, and peanuts. Its imports include food, petroleum products, semi-manufactured goods and consumer goods. Its main trading partners include the U.S., South Africa, Germany, and Japan.

Malawi has less than 800 km of railways. Only about 5,000 of its 28,000 km of highways are paved. It has several ports and harbors, but only five of its 45 airports have paved runways.

Mali

Located in western Africa, south of Algeria, Mali is almost twice the size of Texas with a total of 1.24 million sq. km. It is a landlocked country with hills in the northeast and savanna in the south. The climate varies from subtropical to arid with three seasons: hot and dry from February to June; rainy, humid, and mild from June to November; and cool and dry from November to February.

The population of almost 10.5 million people has a high growth rate (3%). Like many other countries of the region, it has a high total fertility rate (7 children born per woman), high infant mortality rate (119.4 deaths per thousand live births), a low life expectancy (47.5 years), and very low literacy (31%). The population is overwhelmingly Muslim (90%); however, it is composed of indigenous ethnic groups that include Mande, Peul, and Voltaic. The official language is French, although over 80% of the population speaks Bambara.

Mali is a republic. The chief of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote. The president appoints a prime minister as the head of government. There is a unicameral legislature and a judicial branch that includes a supreme court. The capital of Mali is Bamako.

Mali is among the poorest countries in the world. Sixty-five percent of its land area is desert or semi-desert. Most of the economic activity revolves around areas that are irrigated by the Niger River. About 80% of the labor force is involved in agriculture and fishing, with the industrial activity focused around processing of farm commodities. In recent years, several multinational corporations have increased gold mining operations. The major export is still cotton, which is vulnerable to fluctuations in world prices, followed by gold and livestock. The major imports include machinery and equipment, construction materials, petroleum, foodstuffs, and textiles. Mali's main trading partners include Thailand, Cote d'Ivoire, Italy, France, China, and Brazil.

Mali has 1,815 km of navigable waterways with one port (Koulikoro). Of its 15,100 km of highways, less than 2,000 km are paved. It has 641 km of railways; however, only six of its 28 airports have paved runways.

Mauritania

Mauritania is a dry, flat, mostly barren country in western Africa. With an area of over one million sq. km, it is slightly larger than three times the size of New Mexico. It has a desert climate, and the country boundaries contain some of the flat plains of the Sahara Desert. The only perennial river within the country is the Senegal, away from which freshwater resources are very limited.

Most of the population of 2.5 million people is concentrated in two cities on the Senegal River. The national religion is Islam. The population is growing, but many of the national statistics are indicative of low social development. The total fertility rate is fairly high, yet so is the infant mortality rate (76 per thousand live births). The average life expectancy is only 50.5 years, and the average literacy is only 37.7% (lower for women).

Mauritania is a republic with three branches of government. The chief of state is an elected president, who appoints the head of government (prime minister). There is a bicameral legislature and a supreme court.

A majority of Mauritania's population depends on agriculture and livestock. Mauritania has extensive deposits of iron ore that account for nearly half of its exports. More than half of the population lives below the poverty line and the unemployment rate is over 20%. Mauritania's exports include iron ore, fish and fish products, and gold. Its imports include foodstuffs, consumer goods, petroleum products, and capital goods. Its principal export partners include Japan, Italy, and France, while its import partners include France, Algeria, Spain, and China.

Mauritania has just over 700 km of railways. Slightly more than 10% of its 7,660 km of highways are paved. It has a few ports and harbors, and eight of its 26 airports have paved runways.

Mauritius

Mauritius is a small group of tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. With a total area of about 1,860 sq. km, it is about 11 times the size of Washington, D.C. The tropical climate is modified by southeast trade winds. Mauritius has a small coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling a central plateau. It is subject to cyclones and other tropical storms. The islands are almost completely surrounded by reefs.

The population of Mauritius numbers nearly 1.2 million people. Most are Indo-Mauritian, with a significant (27%) Creole minority. About half of the population is Hindu, and over one-quarter is Roman Catholic. There is a significant Muslim minority (16.6%). The official language is English, but several other languages and dialects are also spoken.

Mauritius is a parliamentary democracy. The president is the chief of state and is elected by the national assembly. The president appoints the prime minister, who is the head of government. The legislative branch is the unicameral National Assembly. There is a supreme court. The capital is Port Louis.

Economically, Mauritius has a history of solid growth since independence from the UK in 1968. Ninety percent of the cultivated land is used for sugarcane, one of the chief exports. The government's development strategy centers on industrialization, agricultural diversification, and tourism. Sugar alone accounts for one-quarter of its exports. Most of the remainder is from the clothing and textile industry. Mauritius imports include manufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs, and petroleum products. Its trading partners include the UK, France, Germany, South Africa, the U.S., and India.

Mauritius has no railways. Most of its 1,860 km of highways are paved. Port Louis is the main port. Two of its five airports have paved runways.

Mozambique

Mozambique is a Sub-Saharan country in east Africa bordering the Mozambique Channel. With an area of 801,590 sq. km, it is almost twice the size of California. Its climate is tropical to subtropical. Mozambique's terrain is mostly coastal lowland with high plateaus and mountains in the west. Mozambique is subject to severe droughts and floods as well as damaging tropical storms (cyclones).

Mozambique's population is estimated at over 19 million but some estimates are as low as 16.9 million people. Virtually all of the population is from indigenous tribal groups. About half of them practice indigenous tribal beliefs, while about 30% are Christian and 20% are Muslim. The official language is Portuguese, but many indigenous dialects are spoken. Like many other nations of the region, Mozambique has a growing population but with a high total fertility rate (5.9 children born per woman), high infant mortality rate (117.6 deaths per thousand live births), low average life expectancy (45.9 years), and low literacy (40.1%).

Mozambique is a republic. The chief of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote. The head of government is the prime minister who is appointed by the president. There is a unicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Maputo.

In 1994, Mozambique was ranked among the poorest countries in the world. Since then, government liberalization of the economy, including significant steps at privatization, has resulted in strong growth. Nevertheless, Mozambique still relies on foreign assistance to balance its budget. Currently, imports outnumber exports significantly. Mozambique's exports include shrimp, cashews, cotton, sugar, copra, and citrus. Its imports include food, clothing, farm equipment, and petroleum. Its main trading partners include South Africa, Zimbabwe, Portugal, Japan, and the U.S.

Mozambique has 3,131 km of railways. It has 30,400 km of highways, but less than 20% are paved. It has about 3,750 km of navigable waterways, several ports and harbors, and 174 airports (22 with paved runways).

Namibia

Namibia is a Sub-Saharan African country on the South Atlantic Coast of the continent. With an area of 825,418 sq. km, it is slightly more than half the size of Alaska. It has a hot, dry climate with sparse rainfall. The terrain is mostly high plateau but includes the Namib Desert and the Kalahari Desert.

Namibia's population numbers a little more than 1.6 million people, about 86% of which are black. There is a small white population (6.6%), and the rest are mixed. Most of the population is Christian, with about 10–20% who still practice native religions. The official language is English, but the common language of most of the population is Afrikaans. Namibia's population is growing. Like many of the other nations of the region, it has a low average life expectancy (41.3 years), low literacy (38%), relatively high total fertility rate (4.9 children born per woman), and a moderate infant mortality rate (65.9 deaths per thousand live births).

Namibia is a republic. The president is both the chief of state and head of government and is elected by popular vote. There is a bicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Windhoek.

Namibia's economy is heavily dependent on mining. Namibia is the fourth-largest exporter of non-fuel minerals in Africa, including diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, and tungsten. It is also the world's fifth-largest producer of uranium. Despite this, about half of Namibia's population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, and Namibia still must import food. Furthermore, there is great inequality in the distribution of wealth such that a large percentage of the population lives in poverty. Besides diamonds and metals, Namibia exports cattle and processed fish. Its imports include foodstuffs, petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, and chemicals. Its main trading partners include South Africa, U.S., UK, and Japan.

Namibia has 2,382 km of railways. It has over 64,000 km of highways, but less than one-eighth of them are paved. It has two main ports and harbors, and 22 of its 135 airports have paved runways.

Niger

Niger is a fairly large landlocked country in Sub-Saharan Africa. With an area of about 1.27 million sq. km, it is slightly less than twice the size of Texas. It has a desert climate, although in the extreme south, the climate is more tropical. The terrain is predominately desert.

The population of Niger is just under 10 million people. Like many other countries of the region, it has a high total fertility rate (7.2 children born per woman), high infant mortality rate (112.8 deaths per thousand live births), a very low life expectancy (42 years), and very low literacy (13.6%). Most of the population is from African tribal groups. Most of the population (80%) is Muslim. The official language is French, although other ethnic languages are spoken.

Niger is a republic. The president is the chief of state and the head of government. There is a bicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Niamey.

Niger is a poor, landlocked, Sub-Saharan nation, whose economy centers on subsistence agriculture, animal husbandry, re-export trade, and increasingly less on uranium, its major export since the 1970s. About 90% of the labor force is engaged in agriculture. Uranium still accounts for about 50% of its exports. Other exports include livestock products and agricultural products. Its imports include consumer goods, primary materials, machinery, and petroleum. Its main trading partners include France, U.S., Nigeria, and other European nations.

Niger has a limited infrastructure. It has no railways, less than 800 km of its 10,000 km of highways are paved and, being landlocked, it has no ports or harbors. It has 27 airports, nine of which have paved runways.

Nigeria

Nigeria is a Sub-Saharan African nation on the Gulf of Guinea in western Africa. With an area of about 923,770 sq. km, it is slightly more than twice the size of California. It is a tropical country with enough latitudinal expanses to have a climate that varies from equatorial in the south to tropical in the center and arid in the northern interior. Its terrain also varies from lowlands in the south to central hills and plateaus and plains in the north. It also has mountains in the southeast, near Cameroon. It has significant arable land, but among its environmental concerns are drought, soil degradation, deforestation, and desertification.

Nigeria is one of the most populous nations in Africa, with nearly 114 million people. Like many other countries of the region, it has a high total fertility rate (6 children born per woman), moderately high infant mortality rate (69.5 deaths per thousand live births), a low life expectancy (53.3 years), and low literacy (57.1%). About half of the population is Muslim. Except for about 10% who follow indigenous beliefs, the remainder is Christian. The population is mostly from various African tribal groups. The official language is English, although several ethnic languages are spoken.

Nigeria is a republic transitioning from military to civilian rule. The chief of state was the chairman of the ruling council. He was supposed to transition to the president-elect in May 1999. The president will be both chief of state and head of government. There is a bicameral legislature and Supreme Court. The capital is Abuja (many government offices remain in Lagos awaiting completion of facilities in Abuja).

The oil-rich Nigerian economy continues to be hobbled by political instability, corruption, and poor macroeconomic management. Nigeria's unpopular military rulers have failed to make significant progress in diversifying the economy away from overdependence on the capital-intensive oil sector. The oil industry provides 30% of GDP, 95% of foreign exchange earnings, and about 80% of budgetary revenues. Over 30% of the population is estimated to live below the poverty line. Besides the oil industry, Nigeria's exports include cocoa and rubber. It imports machinery, chemicals, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, and food and animals. Its main trading partners include the U.S. and Europe.

Nigeria has over 3,500 km of railways, but neglect has reduced the capacity and utility of the system. It has 51,000 km of highways, about half of which are paved. Nigeria also has 8,575 km of waterways, primarily consisting of the Niger and Benue rivers. It has about 5,500 km of pipelines, several ports and harbors, and 72 airports (half with paved runways.

Republic of the Congo (Congo)

The Republic of the Congo is in Sub-Saharan Africa on the South Atlantic Ocean, just south of the Equator. It has an area of about 342,000 sq. km that makes it slightly smaller than Montana. Its climate is tropical. Its terrain includes coastal plains, southern and northern basins, and a central plateau.

About 70% of the population of 2.7 million people lives in the cities of Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad that runs between them. Like many other countries of the region, it has a high infant mortality rate (100.6 deaths per thousand live births) and a very low life expectancy (47.1 years). The population is mostly Kongo and other African tribes. About half are Christian, and most of the other half is animist. The official language is French, but many local languages and dialects are spoken.

The Republic of the Congo is a republic. The president is the chief of state and the head of government. Normally the president would appoint a prime minister as head of government, but the current president has assumed both duties since toppling the previously elected president following the civil war in 1997. There is a unicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Brazzaville.

The economy is a mixture of village agriculture and handicrafts, an industrial sector based largely on oil, support services, and a government characterized by budget problems and overstaffing. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. The current government is making an effort toward returning the economy to normal; however, improvements are hampered by continued civil unrest. Oil accounts for about half of the exports that also include lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, and coffee. Imports include intermediate manufactured goods, capital equipment, construction materials, and foodstuffs. Principal trading partners include the U.S., Taiwan, China, and European nations.

The Republic of the Congo infrastructure includes about 795 km of railroads, 12,800 km of highway (only 10% paved) and over 1,000 km of navigable waterways (Congo and Bangui Rivers). It has a few ports and harbors and 36 airports (only four with paved runways).

Reunion

An island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, Reunion has an area of about 2,510 sq. km, which makes it slightly smaller than Rhode Island. It has a tropical climate, but temperatures moderate with elevation. The terrain is mostly rugged and mountainous, but there are fertile lowlands along the coast. Reunion has an active volcano on its southeastern coast, and it is subject to destructive tropical storms (cyclones).

Reunion has a population of about 717,723 people from several ethnic groups including French, African, Malagasy, Chinese, Pakistani, and Indian. Most of the people are Roman Catholic (85%), but Hindu, Islam, and Buddhism can also be found. The official language is French, but Creole is widely used.

Reunion is an overseas department of France. Its chief of state is the French president. The local government is headed by the president of the General Council (the unicameral legislature) and the president of the Regional Council (both are elected by their respective bodies). There is a court of appeal. The local capital is Saint-Denis.

Reunion's economy is primarily based on agriculture and, in particular, sugar. The government is attempting to build up the tourist industry. Reunion's economic problems include high unemployment and a large gap between the wealthy and the poor. Its economy also relies heavily on financial assistance from France. Reunion's exports include sugar, rum and molasses, perfume essences, and lobster. Its imports include manufactured goods, food, beverages, tobacco, machinery and transportation equipment, and raw materials. Its main trading partner is France.

Reunion has no railways. Most of its 2,784 km of highways are paved. It has two main ports and harbors, and both of its airports have paved runways.

Rwanda

Rwanda is situated in a very troubled region in central Africa. Besides its own civil unrest, it has been involved in the difficulties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC). It has 26,340 sq. km of area, making it slightly smaller than Maryland. Although in the tropics, it has a temperate climate with two rainy seasons. The climate is milder in the mountains, and snow is possible. The terrain is mostly grassy uplands, hills, and mountains. Rwanda is subject to periodic droughts, and the mountains are volcanic.

Rwanda's population numbers over 8 million people, mostly Tutsis (20%) and Hutus (80%). Most of the people are Roman Catholic (65%) and Protestant (9%). Most of the remaining 25% follow indigenous beliefs. The official language is Kinyarwanda, a Bantu vernacular. French and English are also official languages. Like many other nations of the region, Rwanda has a growing population but with a high total fertility rate (5.8 children born per woman), high infant mortality rate (112.9 deaths per thousand live births), low average life expectancy (41.3 years), and low literacy (60.5%).

Rwanda is a republic with a multiparty system. The president is the chief of state and elected by popular vote. The prime minister is the head of government and is appointed by the president. There is a unicameral legislature and a Constitutional court. The capital is Kigali.

Most of Rwanda's population is rural, and about 90% are engaged in subsistence agriculture. Rwanda has made significant progress in recovering from the economic devastation caused by the civil war in 1994. However, over half of the people still live below the poverty line. Rwanda's exports are mostly agricultural, primarily coffee and tea. It imports foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, steel, petroleum products, cement, and construction material. Its main trading partners include the U.S., Brazil, Germany, and other European and African nations.

Rwanda has no railways. It has 12,000 km of highways, but only 1,000 km are paved. It has a few ports and harbors, and four of its seven airports have paved runways.

Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and Principe are islands off of the west coast of Africa. With a total area of about 1,000 sq. km, they are more than five times the size of Washington, D.C. Straddling the equator provides them with a tropical climate. The islands are volcanic and mountainous.

Sao Tome and Principe has a total population of almost 155,000 people. Their ethnic background includes a variety of mixed groups, including descendants of Angolan slaves, descendants of freed slaves, contract laborers, and Europeans. Most of the population is Christian. The official language is Portuguese. The population is growing at a rate of over 3%. They have a high total fertility rate (6.1 children born per woman) and a moderate infant mortality rate (52.9 deaths per thousand live births).

The state of Sao Tome and Principe is a republic. The chief of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote. The head of government is the prime minister, who is appointed by the president. There is a unicameral National Assembly and a supreme court. The capital is Sao Tome.

Sao Tome has a poor island economy, highly dependent upon cocoa. The economy is currently in trouble due to drought and mismanagement. The government is attempting to develop the tourist industry. However, Sao Tome has to import most needed goods including fuels, food, and consumer goods. The population is primarily engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing. Its chief export is cocoa (90%), but it also exports copra, coffee, and palm oil. Its imports include machinery and electrical equipment, food products, and petroleum products.

Sao Tome has no railways and 320 km of highways (218 km paved). It has two main ports, and both of its airports have paved runways.

Senegal

Senegal is on the west coast of Africa, part of Sub-Saharan Africa. With an area of about 196,100 sq. km, it is slightly smaller than South Dakota. It has a tropical climate. Its terrain consists of generally low rolling plains with foothills in the southeast. The lowlands are subject to seasonal floods, but periodic droughts are also a problem.

Senegal's population of just over 10 million is mostly African tribal groups. The major religion is Muslim. French is the official language, but several indigenous languages are also spoken.

Senegal is a republic under multiparty democratic rule. The chief of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote. The president appoints a prime minister as the head of government. There is a unicameral legislature and a judicial branch with several levels of courts. The capital is Dakar.

In the mid-1990s, Senegal undertook a bold and ambitious economic reform program. Privatization has been a major undertaking, and private activity now accounts for over 80% of GDP. However, Senegal still faces problems of chronic unemployment and other urban problems. Senegal's exports include fish, ground nuts (peanuts), petroleum products, phosphates, and cotton. Its imports include food and beverages, consumer goods, and capital goods. Its main trading partners include the EU, India, U.S., and other African nations.

Senegal has over 900 km of railways. More than one-quarter of its 14,576 km of highways are paved. It has nearly 900 km of waterways, most on the Senegal River, several ports and harbors, and 20 airports (half with paved runways).

Seychelles

The Seychelles is a group of about 90 islands in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar. With a total area of about 500 sq. km, they are about 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C. They have a tropical marine climate. One group of islands is basically granite with a narrow coastal strip and rocky terrain. The others are mostly flat, elevated (coral) reefs. The islands occasionally suffer from droughts.

The population of the Seychelles is about 89,000 people. They are called Seychelles, which is a mixture of Asians, Africans, and Europeans. Most of the people are Roman Catholic (90%). The official languages are English and French, but Creole is also spoken.

The Seychelles is a republic. The president, who is both the chief of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote. The legislature is the unicameral National Assembly. There is a Court of Appeal. The capital is Victoria.

The economy of the Seychelles is highly dependent upon tourism and tuna fishing. The government has taken recent steps to encourage foreign investment. The main exports include fish, cinnamon bark, copra, and petroleum products. The main imports include manufactured goods, food, petroleum products, tobacco, beverages, and machinery and transportation equipment. The main trading partners include China, France, Singapore, UK, and South Africa.

Seychelles has no railways. It has 280 km of highways, 176 km of which are paved. Its main harbor is Victoria. Six of its fourteen airports have paved runways.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a troubled country in Sub-Saharan Africa that is still trying to recover from a recent military coup. Its area is about 71,000 sq. km (slightly smaller than South Carolina). It has a tropical climate. Its terrain ranges from mangrove swamps on the coast to upland plateau, and mountains in the east. During the dry season, it is subject to sandstorms.

Sierra Leone's population of over 5 million people is growing, but it has several problems. The average life expectancy in Sierra Leone is only 49 years, and the infant mortality rate is quite high at over 125 deaths per thousand live births. Sierra Leone's population is about 90% African tribes. The remainder is primarily Creole descendents of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in Freetown in the late eighteenth century. Over half of the population is Muslim, with about 30% following indigenous beliefs and about 10% Christian. The official language is English, but most of the population understands a language called Krio, an English-based Creole dialect.

Sierra Leone is a constitutional democracy with three branches of government. The president is both the chief of state and head of government. There is a unicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Freetown. The president has recently been reinstated, but civil unrest is still widespread and hampering a return to stability.

Sierra Leone has substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources. However, the economic and social infrastructure is not well developed, and serious social disorders continue to hamper economic development. About two-thirds of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture. Manufacturing consists mainly of the processing of raw materials and of light manufacturing for the domestic market. Bauxite and rutile mines have been shut down by civil strife. The major source of hard currency is found in the mining of diamonds, the large majority of which are smuggled out of the country. Diamonds and rutile make up much of Sierra Leone's exports, and it imports foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels, and lubricants. Sierra Leone's main trading partners are Belgium, Spain, UK, the U.S., and Cote d'Ivoire.

Sierra Leone has a limited infrastructure, with less than 100 km of railways, 11,700 km of highways (1,200 km paved), two ports and harbors, and only two of its ten airports with paved runways.

Somalia

Somalia is on the east coast of Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. With 637,660 sq. km of area, it is slightly smaller than Texas. Its climate is principally desert. Its terrain is mostly flat, rising to hills in the north (highest point is Shimbiris, 2,416 m above sea level). Somalia occupies a strategic position on the Horn of Africa along the southern approaches to Bab el Mandeb (the approach to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal).

The population of Somalia is estimated to be between 6 and 7 million people. A more accurate estimate is difficult due to the number of nomads and refugees moving in and out of the region. Like many other countries of the region, it has a high total fertility rate (7.2 children born per woman), high infant mortality rate (125.8 deaths per thousand live births), a very low life expectancy (46.2 years), and very low literacy (24%). Most of the people are Somali in origin. The principal religion is Sunni Muslim. The official language is Somali, but Arabic, Italian, and English are also spoken.

Somalia has no functioning government. The present situation is one of anarchy. Neither the unicameral legislature nor the judicial system is functioning. The capital is Mogadishu.

One of the world's poorest and least developed countries, Somalia has few resources. Moreover, much of the economy has been devastated by the civil war. Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings. Nomads and seminomads, who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood, make up a large portion of the population. After livestock, bananas are the principal export; sugar, sorghum, corn, and fish are products for the domestic market. The small industrial sector, based on the processing of agricultural products, accounts for 10% of GDP; most facilities have been shut down because of the civil strife. Moreover, as of early 1999, ongoing civil disturbances in Mogadishu and outlying areas are interfering with any substantial economic advance.

Somalia has no railways. About 10% of its 22,100 km of highways is paved. It has several ports and harbors, and seven of its 61 airports have paved runways.

South Africa

Situated at the southern tip of the continent of Africa, South Africa has an area of over 1.2 million sq. km, making is slightly less than twice the size of Texas. Its climate is mostly semiarid with a subtropical region along the east coast. It has a vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and a narrow coastal plain. It is subject to prolonged droughts. South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland.

South Africa's population is estimated at between 38 and 44 million people. Its population is about three-fourths black and 13.6% white. Most of the population is Christian. There are eleven official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Tsonga, and other African tongues.

South Africa is a republic. The president is the chief of state and the head of government. There is a bicameral legislature and several judicial levels. South Africa's government is divided among three cities, Pretoria (administrative), Cape Town (legislative), and Bloemfontein (judicial).

South Africa is a middle-income, developing country with an abundant supply of resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors, a stock exchange that ranks among the 10 largest in the world, and a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region. However, growth has not been strong enough to cut into the 30% unemployment, and daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era, especially the problems of poverty and lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups. Other problems are crime and corruption. The new government demonstrated its commitment to open markets, privatization, and a favorable investment climate with the release of its macroeconomic strategy in June 1996. South Africa's electrical generation system is mostly fossil fuel, but over 6% of its needs are generated by nuclear power. South Africa's principal exports are gold and other minerals and metals. It imports machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, and textiles. Its principal trading partners include Germany, the U.S., UK, and Japan.

South Africa has over 21,000 km of railways. About 40% of its 331,000 km of highways are paved. It has nearly 3,000 km of pipelines. South Africa has several ports and harbors, and 144 of its 749 airports have paved runways.

Sudan

Sudan is the largest country in Africa, with an area of over 2.5 million sq. km. It is approximately one-quarter the size of the United States. Located in northern Africa, Sudan borders the Red Sea between Egypt and Eritrea. In the south of the country the climate is tropical, while in the north the climate is desert. The terrain is a fairly flat plateau with mountains in the east and west. The Nile River and its tributaries dominate Sudan.

Sudan's population of over 34 million people has a moderate life expectancy of 56 years and a fairly high infant mortality rate of 71 deaths per thousand live births. Their literacy rate at age 15 and over is below 50%. Additionally, the total fertility rate is 5.6 children born per woman. Over half the population of Sudan is black; however, there are significant populations of Arab, Beja, and foreigners. The majority of Sudanese are Sunni Muslim, but there is a significant portion of the population that practices indigenous beliefs.

The government of Sudan is at a transitional stage, moving toward a constitutional government from a military junta. Although the constitution was implemented in June 1998, in most northern Sudanese states Islamic law applies to all of the residents. The president of the country is both the chief of state and head of government. Of the 400 seats in their unicameral legislature, 275 are elected by popular vote. The judicial branch includes a supreme court and special revolutionary courts.

Sudan's economy has suffered due to civil war, long-term political instability, adverse weather, high inflation, and counterproductive economic policies. The main areas of economic activity in the private sector are agriculture and trading. In fact, 80% of the workforce is employed in agriculture. Industry in Sudan is mainly processing agricultural items. More recently, the government has been working to develop the potentially lucrative oilfields located in the southern central part of the country. Exports from Sudan include cotton, sesame, and livestock. Their main imports are food, petroleum products, manufactured goods, machinery, and medicines. Sudan's main trading partners include Saudi Arabia, UK, South Korea, China, Italy, Germany, and Egypt.

The infrastructure of Sudan includes 5,516 km of railways, 815 km of pipelines for refined products, and 5,310 km of navigable waterways, with several ports and harbors including its capital of Khartoum. Additionally, Sudan has 11,900 km of highways, but less than half (4,320 km) are paved. Of its 63 airports, only 12 have paved runways.

Swaziland

Almost completely surrounded by South Africa, Swaziland is a landlocked country in southern Africa comprising about 17,360 sq. km of area (slightly smaller than New Jersey). Its climate varies from tropical to near temperate. Its terrain is mostly mountains and hills.

Swaziland's population of just fewer than 1 million people is predominantly African with a small (3%) European contingent. Like many other countries of the region, it has a high total fertility rate (5.9 children born per woman), high infant mortality rate (101.9 deaths per thousand live births), and a very low life expectancy (38.1 years). The principal religious affiliation is Christian, but 40% follow indigenous beliefs. The official language is English (for government business) as well as siSwati.

Swaziland is a monarchy. The chief of state is the hereditary monarch, who appoints a prime minister to be the head of government. There is a bicameral parliament, which acts as an advisory body. Half of the 20 members of the senate are appointed by the monarch and half by the House of Assembly. Fifty-five of the 65 members of the House of Assembly are elected by popular vote, and the remaining ten are appointed by the monarch. There is a judicial branch whose judges are appointed by the monarch. The capital is Mbabane. Lobamba is the royal and legislative capital.

In this small landlocked economy, subsistence agriculture occupies more than 60% of the population. Manufacturing features a number of agro-processing factories. Mining has declined in importance in recent years; high-grade iron ore deposits were depleted by 1978, and health concerns have cut world demand for asbestos. Exports of soft drink concentrate, sugar, and wood pulp are the main earners of hard currency. Surrounded by South Africa, except for a short border with Mozambique, Swaziland is heavily dependent on South Africa from which it receives nearly all of its imports and to which it sends more than half of its exports. Remittances from Swazi workers in South African mines supplement domestically earned income by as much as 20%. The government is trying to improve the atmosphere for foreign investment. Overgrazing, soil depletion, and drought persist as problems for the future.

Swaziland has almost 300 km of railways. It has 3,810 km of unpaved highways, no ports and harbors, and only one of its 18 airports has paved runways.

Tanzania

Tanzania is an eastern African nation on the Indian Ocean. With a total area of 945,090 sq. km (including the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar), it is slightly larger than twice the size of California. Its climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate in the highlands. Its terrain consists of coastal plains, a central plateau, and highlands in both the north and south. Tanzania is one of those countries that suffer from both flooding during the rainy season and drought during the dry season. Another hazard is the tsetse fly, which carries disease. Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa at 5,895 m above sea level, is in Tanzania.

Tanzania's population of over 31 million people is mostly Bantu (more than 130 tribes). Christians make up the largest population group (45%), with Muslims the next largest (35%), and the rest following indigenous beliefs. The island of Zanzibar is more than 99% Muslim. The official languages are Swahili (Kiswahili) and English (the primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education). Like many other countries of the region, it has a fairly high total fertility rate (5.4 children born per woman), high infant mortality rate (95.3 deaths per thousand live births), a very low life expectancy (46.2 years), and fairly low literacy (57.8%).

Tanzania is a republic. The president is the chief of state and the head of government. There is a unicameral legislature and a court of appeal. The capital is Dar es Salaam.

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for 56% of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 90% of the workforce. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. Industry accounts for 15% of GDP and is mainly limited to processing agricultural products and light consumer goods. About half of the population lives below the poverty line. Tanzania's exports include coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, and other agricultural products. It imports consumer goods, machinery and transportation equipment, industrial materials, and crude oil. Its main trading partners include other African nations, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Europe, and India.

Tanzania has almost 3,600 km of railways. It has 88,200 km of highways, but less than 4,000 km are paved. It has several ports and harbors and 129 airports (only 10 have paved runways).

Togo

Togo is a Sub-Saharan African nation on the Atlantic Ocean with about 56,790 sq. km of area (slightly smaller than West Virginia). Its climate is tropical (semiarid in the north). It has a varied terrain, including rolling savanna, central hills, southern plateau, and a coastal plain with extensive lagoons and marshes.

Togo's population of just over 5 million people is comprised of many African tribes. Most (70%) follow indigenous beliefs, followed by Christians (20%) and Muslim. Togo's life expectancy is better than most in the area at just under 60 years. However, its literacy is still fairly low at 51.7%, and its infant mortality is fairly high at 77.5 deaths per thousand live births. Total fertility rate is also high at 6.5 children born per woman. The official language is French (also the language of commerce), but many African languages are also spoken.

Togo is a republic under transition to multiparty democratic rule. The chief of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote. The president appoints a prime minister as the head of government. There is a unicameral legislature and a judicial branch with several levels of courts.

This small sub-Saharan economy is heavily dependent on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for 65% of the labor force. Cocoa, coffee, and cotton together generate about 30% of export earnings. Togo is self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs when harvests are normal, with occasional regional supply difficulties. In the industrial sector, phosphate mining is by far the most important activity, although it has suffered from the collapse of world phosphate prices and increased foreign competition. Togo serves as a regional commercial and trade center. Togo's imports include machinery and equipment, consumer goods, and petroleum products. Its main trading partners include Taiwan, France, China, and other African nations.

Togo has 525 km of railways. Almost one-third of its 7,500 km of highways are paved. It has two main ports and harbors, and two of its nine airports have paved runways.

Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country in the eastern part of Sub-Saharan Africa. With a total area of 236,040 sq. km, it is slightly smaller than Oregon. It has a tropical climate but is semiarid in the northeast. It is mostly plateau (its lowest point is 621 m above sea level) surrounded by mountains (its highest point is 5,110 m above sea level).

Uganda's population numbers about 22.8 million people. Like many other countries of the region, it has a high total fertility rate (7 children born per woman), high infant mortality rate (90.7 deaths per thousand live births), a very low life expectancy (43 years), and low literacy (61.8%). The people of Uganda are from several African ethnic groups. About two-thirds of the population is Christian, split evenly between Roman Catholic and Protestant. About 16% are Muslim, and 18% follow indigenous beliefs. The official language is English, but several other native languages are also spoken and widely used. Uganda is a republic. The president is the chief of state and the head of government. There is a unicameral legislature and a judicial branch with several layers of courts. The capital is Kampala.

Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, and sizable mineral deposits of copper and cobalt. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the workforce. Coffee is the major export crop and accounts for the bulk of export revenues. Uganda has been involved in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC). This involvement, coupled with growing corruption in the government, could hamper continued economic growth. Coffee accounts for over half of Uganda's exports. In addition, Uganda exports gold, fish and fish products, cotton, tea, and corn. It imports transportation equipment, petroleum, medical supplies, iron, and steel. Its main trading partners include Kenya, Japan, India, South Africa, and several European nations.

Uganda has 1,241 km of railways, some of which is undergoing rehabilitation. It has 27,000 km of highways, but only about 1,000 km are paved. It has significant waterways made up of some of the large lakes in the region (Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, Lake George, Lake Edward) and portions of Nile tributaries in the region. Uganda has 27 airports, four of which have paved runways.

Zambia

Another landlocked country in Sub-Saharan Africa, Zambia comprises about 752,610 sq. km (slightly larger than Texas). It is mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains, so its tropical climate is modified by altitude. Although somewhat near the center of that portion of the continent, it still suffers occasionally from tropical storms.

Zambia's population of 9.66 million people is mostly African, with a small (1.1%) percentage of European stock. About 50–70% of the population is Christian, and most of the rest are Muslim and Hindu. The official language is English, but many African languages and dialects are also spoken. Like many other countries of the region, it has a high total fertility rate (6.4 children born per woman), high infant mortality rate (91.6 deaths per thousand live births), and a very low life expectancy (37 years).

Zambia is a republic. The president is the chief of state and the head of government. There is a bicameral legislature and a supreme court. The capital is Lusaka.

Zambia's economy has made progress in privatization and budgetary reform but is still facing several problems. Zambia's copper mining industry accounts for 80% of the nation's foreign exchange but is struggling. Zambia is also facing one of the major AIDS epidemics in the world. Several sources estimate that one-quarter of the adult population of Zambia is infected with HIV. Estimates place the percentage of people living below the poverty line as high as 85%. Unemployment exceeds 20%. Zambia's main exports are metals and tobacco. It imports machinery, transportation equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, and electricity. Its main trading partners include South Africa, Saudi Arabia, India, Japan, and other African nations.

Zimbabwe has over 2,100 km of railways. It has nearly 40,000 km of highways (over 7,000 km paved). It has 2,250 km of waterways, including the Zambezi and Luapula Rivers and Lake Tanganyika. It has 1,724 km of pipelines. The main port is Mpulungu. Of its 112 airports, only 12 have paved runways.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa north of South Africa between Botswana and Mozambique. With an area of about 390,580 sq. km, it is slightly larger than Montana. It has a tropical climate. However, since the terrain includes high plateau and mountains, this climate is moderated by elevation. The lowest point is the junction of the Runde and Save Rivers at 162 m above sea level.

Zimbabwe's population of just over 11 million people is mostly African tribal groups. Although the infant mortality rate, total fertility rate, and growth rate are moderate compared to other nations of the region, the life expectancy is very low (38.9 years). About half of the population follows what is called syncretic beliefs (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs). The remainder is split almost evenly between Christians and followers of indigenous beliefs. The official language is English, but numerous tribal dialects are also spoken.

Zimbabwe is a parliamentary democracy. The executive president is both the chief of state and head of government. The president is nominated by the House of Assembly (the unicameral parliament). If there is more than one nominee, the House then elects the president. The House of Assembly consists of 150 members: 120 elected by popular vote, 12 nominated by the president, 10 occupied by traditional chiefs chosen by their peers, and 8 occupied by provincial governors. There is also a supreme court. The capital is Harare.

Zimbabwe is facing several difficult economic problems. Its involvement in some of the regional conflicts has drained the economy. It is struggling to establish a market-oriented economy. Its economy is further devastated by its AIDS epidemic. Zimbabwe has one of the highest rates of AIDS infection in the world. Over 20% of the population lives below the poverty level. Zimbabwe's exports include tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, and cotton. Its imports include machinery and transport equipment, other manufactured goods, chemicals, and fuels. Its main trading partners include South Africa, UK, U.S., Japan, and Germany.

Zimbabwe has over 2,750 km of railways. It has over 18,000 km of highways, about 40% of which are paved. The Mazoe and Zambezi Rivers are used for ore transportation. It has two main ports and harbors and 449 airports (only 18 have paved runways).