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Competing Countries


LanguageEnglish (official), Setswana, Shona, local languages
ReligionTraditional beliefs, Protestant, Roman Catholic
GeneralBotswana, a landlocked state in southern Africa, bordering South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Over half of the country lies within the Kalahari Desert, with swamps to the north and salt-pans to the north-east. Most people live near the eastern border. The economy was founded upon cattle rearing, and beef is an important export, but now it is based on mining and industry. Diamonds account for 80 per cent of export earnings. Copper-nickel matte is also exported.

LanguageEnglish, French
ReligionTraditional beliefs, Roman Catholic, Sunni Muslim, Protestant
GeneralCameroon is in west Africa. The majority of Cameroonians are farmers. Cocoa, coffee and cotton are the main cash crops, though crude oil, sawn wood and logs account for over half of export earnings.

LanguageEnglish (officials), Hausa, Akan, local languages
ReligionProtestant, Roman Catholic, Sunni Muslim
GeneralThe climate is tropical, with high rainfall in the south, where most people live. Ghana is a major producer of cocoa. Timber is also an important commodity. Bauxite, gold, diamonds and manganese ore are mined, and there are a number of industries around Tema.

LanguageSwahili (official), English, many local languages
ReligionRoman Catholic, Protestant, traditional beliefs
GeneralKenya is in east Africa. Agricultural products, chiefly tea and coffee, provide half export earnings. Light industry is important. Tourism is the main foreign exchange earner.

LanguageSesotho, English, Zulu
ReligionRoman Catholic, Protestant, traditional beliefs
GeneralLesotho is a landlocked state surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. Subsistence farming and herding are the main activities. Exports include livestock, vegetables, wool and mohair. The economy depends heavily on South Africa for transport links and employment.

LanguageEnglish (official), Chichewa, Lomwe, local languages
ReligionProtestant, Roman Catholic, traditional beliefs, Sunni Muslim
GeneralMalawi is in central Africa and one-fifth of the country is covered by Lake Malawi. The climate is mainly subtropical with varying rainfall. The economy is predominantly agricultural. Tobacco, tea, and sugar are the main exports. Manufacturing involves mainly chemicals, textiles and agricultural products.

CapitalPort Louis
LanguageEnglish, French, Creole, Hindi, Indian languages
ReligionHindu, Roman Catholic, Sunni Muslim, Protestant
GeneralThe main island of Mauritius is volcanic in origin and has a coral coast rising to a central plateau. Most people live on the west side of the island. The climate is warm and humid. Mauritius depends mainly on sugar production, light manufacturing (chiefly clothing) and tourism.

LanguagePortugese, Makua, Tsonga, English and many local languages
ReligionTraditional beliefs, Roman Catholic, Sunni Muslim
GeneralMozambique lies on the coast of southern Africa. In general the climate is tropical with winter rainfall, but droughts occur. Reconstruction began in 1992 after 16 years of civil war. The economy is based on agriculture and trade. Exports include shrimps, cashews, cotton and sugar.

LanguageEnglish, Afrikaans, German, Ovambo and local languages
ReligionProtestant, Roman Catholic
GeneralNamibia lies on the Atlantic coast of southern Africa. Namibia is hot and dry, but some summer rain falls in the north which supports crops, herds and most of the population. The economy is based mainly on agriculture and diamond and uranium mining. Fishing is increasingly important.

LanguageEnglish, Creole, Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo, Fulani
ReligionSunni Muslim, Protestant, Roman Catholic, traditional beliefs
GeneralNigeria is in west Africa, and is the most populous country on the African continent. The climate is tropical with heavy summer rainfall in the south but low rainfall in the north. About half the workforce is involved in agriculture, mainly growing subsistence crops. The economy is heavily dependent on vast oil resources.

LanguageSeychellois (Seselwa, French Creole), English
ReligionRoman Catholic, Protestant
GeneralThe Seychelles comprises an archipelago of 115 granite and coral islands in the western Indian Ocean. The main island, Mahe, contains about 90 per cent of the population. The climate is hot and humid with heavy rainfall. The economy is based mainly on tourism, transit trade, and light manufacturing; fishing and agriculture (chiefly copra, cinnamon and tea) are also important.

Sierra Leone
LanguageEnglish, Creole, Mende, Temne, local languages
ReligionTraditional beliefs, Sunni Muslim, Protestant and Roman Catholic
GeneralSierra Leone lies on the Atlantic coast of west Africa. The climate is tropical and rainfall is heavy. Most of workforce is involved in subsistence farming. Cocoa and coffee are the main cash crops, but rutile (titanium ore), bauxite and diamonds are the main exports.

South Africa
CapitalPretoria (administrative)Cape Town (legislative)
LanguageAfrikaans, English, nine local languages (all official)
ReligionProtestant, Roman Catholic, Sunni Muslim, Hindu
GeneralSouth Africa is the largest and most developed economy in Africa, though wealth is unevenly distributed. Agriculture provides one-third of exports, including fruit, wine, wool and maize. South Africa is the world's leading producer of gold, which accounts for one-third of exports earnings. Coal, diamonds, platinum, uranium and other minerals are also mined. Financial services are also important.

LanguageSwazi (Siswati), English
ReligionProtestant, Roman Catholic, traditional beliefs
GeneralLandlocked Swaziland in southern Africa lies between Mozambique and South Africa. Savannah plateaux descend from mountains in the west towards hill country in the east. The climate is subtropical, with cooler temperatures in the mountains. Subsistence farming predominates. Coal and diamonds are mined. Exports include sugar, fruit and wood pulp. Tourism is important.

CapitalDar es Salaam
LanguageSwahili, English, Nyamwez and many local languages
ReligionRoman Catholic, Sunni Muslim, traditional beliefs, Protestant
GeneralTanzania lies on the coast of east Africa and includes Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean. Most of the mainland is a savannah plateau lying east of the great Rift Valley. In the north are Mount Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti National Park. The climate is tropcal and most people live on the narrow coastal plain or in the north. The economy is mainly agricultural. Coffee, cotton and sisal are the main exports, with cloves from Zanzibar. Agricultural processing and diamond mining are the main industries, though tourism is growing.

The Gambia
LanguageEnglish (official), Mandinka, Fulani, Wolof
ReligionSunni Muslim, Protestant
GeneralThe Gambia, on the coast of west Africa, occupies a strip of land along the lower Gambia River. Sandy beaches are backed by mangrove swamps, beyond which is savannah. The climate is tropical, with rainfall in the summer. Over 70 per cent of Gambians are farmers, growing chiefly groundnuts (the main export) but also seed cotton, oil palms and food crops. Livestock rearing and fishing are important, while manufacturing is limited. Tourism is a major source of income.

LanguageEnglish, Swahili (official), Luganda and many local languages
ReligionRoman Catholic, Protestant, Sunni Muslim, traditional beliefs
GeneralA landlocked country in east Africa, Uganda consists of a savannah plateau with mountains and lakes. It includes part of Lake Victoria from which the Nile flows northwards to Sudan. The climate is warm and wet. Most people live in the southern half of the country. Agriculture dominates the economy. Coffee is the main export, with some cotton and tea.

LanguageEnglish, Bemba, Nyanja, Tonga and many local languages
ReligionProtestant, Roman Catholic, traditional beliefs, Sunni Muslim
GeneralA landlocked state in central Africa, Zambia borders seven countries. It is dominated by high savannah plateaux and flanked by the Zambezi river in the south. Most people live in the central Copperbelt. The climate is tropical with a rainy season from November to May. Agriculture, which involves 70 per cent of the workforce, is mainly at subsistence level. Copper is still the mainstay of the economy. Lead, zinc, cobalt and tobacco are also exported. Manufacturing and tourism are important.