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Introduction to the Country

Angola

Quote
“Chance all; see what destiny yields.”
(Angolan proverb)

Population
18,500,000

Capital
Luanda

Government type
Republic; multiparty presidential regime

Legal system
The legal system is based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law; modified to accommodate political pluralism and increased use of free markets; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economy overview
Angola's high growth rate is driven by its oil sector, which has taken advantage of high international oil prices. Oil production and its supporting activities contribute about 85% of GDP, Angola became a member of OPEC in late 2006 and in late 2007 was assigned a production quota of 1.9 million barrels a day.

Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people, but half of the country's food must still be imported.

In 2005, the government started using a $2 billion line of credit, since increased to $7 billion, from China to rebuild Angola's public infrastructure, and several large-scale projects were completed in 2006. Angola also has large credit lines from Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU.

To fully take advantage of its rich national resources - gold, diamonds, extensive forests, Atlantic fisheries, and large oil deposits - Angola will need to implement government reforms, increase transparency, and reduce corruption.

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Next election due
The next election was due September 2009 but was postponed.

Guinea

Population
10 057 975


Capital
Conakry

Government type
Guinea is a secular State independent since 02 October 1958. It has a pluralist presidential regime since 1991. The President of the Republic is elected by universal suffrage and for a 5-year mandate renewable once. He is the head of the Executive.

The National Assembly with 114 deputies elected by universal suffrage for 4 years holds legislative power. The Supreme Court and the Economic and Social Council complete the great democratic and republican institutions. Guinea is organized into 8 administrative entities headed each by 1 Governor.
Currently Guinea is under transition period from the death of the President Lansana CONTE in December 2008.

Legal system
Based on French civil law system, customary law, and decree; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations.

Economy overview
Guinea possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources; yet remains a poor underdeveloped country. The agricultural sector employs 80% of the work force. Guinea has half of the world's bauxite reserves and is the second largest bauxite producer. The country's economy is heavily dependent on the mining sector which contributes 19% of exports earnings, 29% of the State's own earnings and 40,000 jobs.

Investor confidence has been sapped by rampant corruption, a lack of electricity and other infrastructure, a lack of skilled workers, and the political uncertainty because of the transition period.
The Guinea franc depreciated sharply as the prices for basic necessities like food and fuel rose beyond the reach of most Guineans.

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Next election due
President is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; and candidate must receive a majority of the votes to be elected president. The last election was held in 21th of December 2003 (ad hoc election scheduled for 13th December 2009); the prime minister is appointed by the president. The Guinean State is currently under transition period.

Ivory Coast

Quote
"Solidarity always comes first."
Didier Drogba, professional footballer (1978 - )

Population
20,600,000

Capital
Yamoussoukro

Government type
The Government of Ivory Coast is a republic with a multiparty presidential regime established in 1960. Cote d'Ivoire's constitution of the Second Republic (2000) provides for a strong presidency within the framework of a separation of powers.

The executive power is held by the president elected for a 5 year-term. The president is the head of state and commander in chief of the army. He selects the prime minister, who is the head of government. The unicameral National Assembly is composed of 225 members elected by direct universal suffrage for a 5-year term concurrently with the president. The National Assembly holds the legislative power. The judicial system culminates in the Supreme Court. The High Court of Justice is competent to try government officials for major offences. There is also an independent Constitutional Council for the organisation of the election and other matters related to this.

The unicameral National Assembly is composed of 225 members elected by direct universal suffrage for a 5-year term concurrently with the president.

For administrative purposes, Ivory Coast is divided into 19 regions and 58 departments. Each region and department is headed by a prefect appointed by the central government. In 2002, the country held its first departmental elections to select departmental councils to oversee local infrastructure development and maintenance as well as economic and social development plans and projects. There are 196 communes, each headed by an elected mayor, plus the city of Abidjan with 10 mayors.

Legal system
The legal system of Ivory Coast is based on French civil law system and customary law; judicial review in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economy overview
The Ivorian economy is largely market-based and depends heavily on the agricultural sector. Between 60% and 70% of the Ivoirian people are engaged in some form of agricultural activity. A majority of the population remains dependent on smallholder cash crop production. Principal exports are petroleum, cocoa, coffee, cotton, pineapples, tuna, and tropical woods.

Ivory Coast 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.

Direct foreign investment plays a key role in the Ivoirian economy, accounting for between 40% and 45% of total capital in Ivorian firms. France is overwhelmingly the most important foreign investor.

By developing-country standards, Cote d'Ivoire has an outstanding infrastructure. There is a network of more than 8,000 miles of paved roads; good telecommunications services, including a public data communications network, cellular phones, and Internet access. There are two active ports. Abidjan's port is the most modern in West Africa and the largest between Casablanca and Cape Town. A smaller port is located in San Pedro.

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Next election due
Following a peace deal between the government and former rebels in March 2007, the next elections were planned to be held in early 2008. These elections however, have been postponed (most recently in November 2009).

Kenya

Quote
"It is important to nuture any new ideas and initiatives which can make a difference for Africa."
Professor Wangai Maathai (Nobel Peace Prize Winner; and Environmental and Women's Rights Activist)
 

Population
Kenya has a population of approximately 39,002,772 million people (July 2009 estimate).

Capital
Nairobi

Government type
Kenya has a presidential representative democratic republic. It has a president who is both the head of state and head of government; and of a multiparty system.

Legal system
The Kenyan legal system is based on Kenyan statutory law, Kenyan and English common law, tribal law, and Islamic law.

Economy overview

In general, Kenya is perceived to be the regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa. As at May 2010, the economic indicators suggested that a positive growth rate of 4-5% GDP was expected. This was largely due to expansions in the tourism, telecommunications, transport, construction sectors and a recovery in agriculture.

The Kenyan economy is primarily market based, with a few state owned infrastructure enterprises, and maintains a liberalised external trade system. Kenya’s economy is reasonably diversified as the tourism industry is Kenya’s largest foreign export earner followed by agriculture, which is the second largest contributor to the country’s GDP. 

The Kenyan government is considered to be investment friendly and has enacted several regulatory reforms to simplify both foreign and local investment. In comparison to other countries in the region, it has a well developed social and physical infrastructure making it an alternative location to South Africa, for major corporations who seek a point of entry to the African continent.

 

 

 

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Next election due
The next general election is scheduled for 2012.

 

Madagascar

Quote
“One does not like hot, the other does not like cold; make it tepid to make an agreement.”
(Malagasy proverb)

Population
21 000 000

Capital
Antananarivo

Government type
Madagascar is a republican unitary state. The Republic of Madagascar is organized by local authorities Communes which made up the 22 Regions. There is a degree administrative and financial autonomy guaranteed by the Constitution. The President is the Head of State and is elected; the Prime Minister Head of Government and is appointed by the President. Other Government members are appointed by the President on the proposal of the Prime Minister. Executive power is answerable to both Houses of Parliament, Senate. The Judiciary is nominally independent of the first two.

Legal system
Constitution and Malagasy law, based on French napoleon code in the event of a legal vacuum.

Economy overview
Primary production ranks first in the national economy and employs more than 70% of the population. It is responsible for 80% of export earnings. Export crops include coffee, vanilla (top world producer), sugar cane, cloves, cocoa, cotton, sisal, etc.

The industrialization of the country is hampered by the lack of energy resources and inadequate roads. Industrial activity, mainly limited to processing agricultural products is located in the cities of Antananarivo, Majunga and Tamatave (main commercial port). Industry includes mining, food processing, textiles, glassware, cement factories assembling cars, oil refineries, fertilizers and pharmaceuticals.

The minimum monthly wage in the private sector is less than 30 euros. This cheap labour in Madagascar is attractive to foreign industries looking to relocate. Export Processing Zones (EPZs) have created 100,000 jobs, mainly textiles, and only in the major cities. Textiles have become the biggest net foreign exchange earner in the country, approx 200 million euros per year.

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Next election due
Normally, presidential election is held every five years; but as Madagascar is now in full transition period, no specific date has been set an election must be held by the end of 2010.

Mali

Quote
"The fields are blooming into hope. The hearts are vibrant with confidence".

Population
12,600,000

Capital
Bamako

Government type
Mali is a Republic with unicameral parliament since 22nd September 1960. The President of the Republic is elected for a term of five years, renewable once. The President government represent the executive power.

The National Assembly holds the legislative power. It is represented by 147 deputies democratically elected for a 5 years term. The Highest juridical authority is the Supreme Court.

Mali is divided into 8 regions plus the district of Bamako placed under the authority of a Governor. Each regions of Mali has 9 prefectures administered by prefects. The prefectures are divided into communes, themselves divided into villages or quarters.

Legal system
Based on French civil law system, customary law, and decree; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economy overview
Agricultural activities in Mali represent 70% of Mali's labour force and provide 42% of the GDP. Cotton and livestock make up 75%-80% of Mali's annual exports. Small-scale traditional farming dominates the agricultural sector, with subsistence farming (of cereals, primarily sorghum, pearl millet, and maize) on about 90% of the 14,000 km

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Mauritius

Quote

[   ]

Population
1,288,000 (2008 estimate)

Capital
Port Louis

Government type
Constitutional democracy with a president and elected assembly

Legal system
Based on French civil law system with elements of English common law in certain areas. Bilateral investment treaties currently in force with 18 countries including South Africa, UK, France and Germany. Mauritius is a signatory to The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the "Convention"), but applies the Convention only to recognition and enforcement of awards made in the territory of another contracting state.

Economy overview
Mauritius gained its independence in 1968 and since then has developed from a largely agricultural based economy to embrace the financial, tourist and industrial sectors. Since independence, annual gross domestic product growth has averaged around 4% per annum.

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Next election due
By the latest, July 2010 (five year election cycle)

Morocco

Quote
"My hope is that countries like Morocco will have investment to create work, so people don't have to leave."
Tahar Ben Jelloun (Writer & Poet)

Population
The Kingdom of Morocco has a population of approximately 34 435 719 million people (July 2008 estimate).

Capital
Rabat

Government type
The Kingdom of Morocco has a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The Chief of State is King Mohammed VI (since 23rd July 1999).

Legal system
The legal system is based on French common law and customary law, with Shari'a law applying to family matters.

Economy overview
The Moroccan economy is considered to be a relatively liberal economy, regulated by the law of supply and demand. Since 1993, the country has privatised certain sectors of the economy. In comparison with a few years ago, economic growth is far more diversified, with new service and industrial centres developing, such as Casablanca and Tangiers. In addition, the agricultural section is in the process of being rehabilitated, which in combination with good rainfalls led to sectorial growth of over 20% in 2009.

The services sector accounts for over half of GDP with an additional quarter deriving from industry comprising construction and manufacturing. The sectors of the economy which recorded the highest growth are tourism, telecoms, information technology and textile sectors.

The economic system of the country presents several facets. It is characterised by a large opening towards the outside world. However, France remains the main trading partner of Morocco. France is also the primary creditor and foreign investor in Morocco. In the Arab world, Morocco has the second largest non–oil GDP, after Egypt, since 2005.

The main resources of the Moroccan economy are agriculture, phosphates and tourism. In addition, fish sales and seafood are an important resource. Industry and mining contribute to a third of the annual GDP. Morocco is the world’s third–largest producer of phosphorus and the price fluctuations of phosphates on the international market greatly influence Morocco’s economy. Tourism and workers' remittances have played a critical role since the Kingdom's independence. The production of textiles and clothing is part of a growing manufacturing sector that accounted for approximately 34% of total exports in 2002, employing 40% of the industrial workforce. The government wishes to increase textile and clothing exports from $1.27 billion in 2001 to $3.29 billion in 2010.

 

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Next election due
The next election is scheduled for September 2012. Democratic elections are held every five years for members of parliament. Local government elections are held every five years.

 

Mozambique

Quote
“Moçambique nossa terra gloriosa! Pedra a pedra construindo o novo dia!”
(“Mozambique, our Glorious Land! Rock by rock constructing the new day!”)
(From the National Anthem of Mozambique)

Population
22,900,000

Capital
Maputo

Government type
Republic

Legal system
The legal system is based on the Portuguese civil law system and customary law and Mozambique has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economy overview
Mozambique was one of the world's poorest countries when it achieved indepdence in 1975. It suffered further due to socialist mismanagement and a brutal civil war from 1977-92 which further exacerbated the situation. Fiscal reforms, including the introduction of a value-added tax and reform of the customs service, have improved the government's revenue collection abilities. Nevertheless Mozambique is heavily reliant on international assistance for a lot its annual budget, and the vast majority of the population are impoverished.

Subsistence agriculture and farming provides the main source of employment for the majority of the working population.

Mozambique's foreign debt has been reduced through forgiveness and rescheduling under the IMF's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries programme. Further, in July 2007, the Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a Compact with Mozambique that will focus on improving sanitation, roads, agriculture, and the business regulation environment with the aim of improving economic growth in the country.

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Next election due
The next election is to be held in 2014

 

Niger

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[  ]

Population
15,300,000

Capital
Niamey

Government type
Niger has adopted a constitution in July 1999. The executive branch is headed by a president, who is popularly elected for a five-year term and is eligible for a second term. The prime minister is appointed by the president.

The Executive power is held by the -president and prime minister. The Unicameral National Assembly holds the Legislative power. And the Judicial power is held by the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and the High Court of Justice.

The unicameral legislature is represented by 113 deputies elected for a 5 years term under a proportional system of representation.

The National Assembly passed in June 2002 a series of decentralization bills. The administrative powers have been distributed among 265 communes (local councils). The country is currently divided into 8 regions, which are subdivided into 36 districts (departments). The chief administrators in each region (Governor) and department (Prefect) are appointed by the government and function primarily as the local agents of the central authorities.

Legal system
The legal system is based on French civil law, with important customary-law modifications. Niger has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economy overview
Niger is a landlocked Sub-Sahara African nation. It is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking near last on the United Nations Development Fund index of human development. Its economy relies mainly on subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 40% of GDP and engages 91% of the population. The Hausa, Kanuri, and Songhai are mainly sedentary farmers, and the Fulani and Tuareg are principally nomadic and semi nomadic pastoralists. The leading crops are cowpeas, cotton, peanuts, millet, sorghum, cassava, and rice. Cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses, and poultry are raised.

Most of the country's few industries produce basic consumer goods such as processed food and beverages, soap, and textiles. In addition, chemicals, construction materials, peanut oil, and ginned cotton are produced. Niger has some of the world's largest uranium deposits and the mining of high-grade uranium ore began in the 1970s at Arlit in the Air Massif. Small quantities of cassiterite (tin ore), low-grade iron ore, gypsum, phosphates, coal, natron, and salt also are extracted. Gold and petroleum deposits are being explored. There is a fishing industry in the Niger River and Lake Chad.

Drought cycles, desertification, a 3.4% population growth rate and the drop in world demand for uranium have undercut an already marginal economy.

Niger shares a common currency, the CFA franc, and a common central bank, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), with seven other members of the West African Monetary Union.

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Next election due
The president of Republic is elected by universal suffrage for a 5 year term (eligible for a second term). The last local election was in July 2004 and the next presidential election is expected on November and December 2009, in two rounds but no specific date yet is selected.

Nigeria

Quote
"Hold a true friend with both hands." - Nigerian proverb

Population
Approximately 150 million (Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous country in the world)

Capital
Abuja

Government type
Presidential System of democracy with elected President from a (2007) national election. Nigeria is a federation of 36 states in a federal system, each with limited authority and its own Houses of Assembly. Education, employment and infrastructure are conducted concurrently at a state level and Federal level, but tax, energy, land and defence laws remain within the remit of the Federal Government.

Legal system
Based on customary law and English common law with Sharia law applying to certain states in the northern region.

Economy overview
Nigeria is one of Africa's leading producers of petroleum, and there are significant other mineral resources, including large deposits of iron ore, tin, coal, bauxite, and other solid minerals. The country is richly endowed with natural gas. There is a mixed economy, with private enterprises coexisting with public corporations. Nigeria is classified as an emerging market with its stock exchange (the Nigerian Stock Exchange), being the second largest in Africa.

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Next election due
Expected around May 2011. Democratic elections are held every four years for both President and members of parliament.

South Africa

Quote
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." Nelson Mandela

Population
49,320,000

Capital
Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)

Government type
Constitutional Democracy

Legal system
Primary sources of South Africa law are Roman-Dutch mercantile law and personal law with English Common law. Since 1910, it has passed laws through its own parliament.

Economy overview
By UN classification, South Africa is a middle-income country with an abundant supply of resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors, a stock exchange that ranks among the top twenty in the world, and a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centres throughout the entire region. South Africa is ranked 25th in the world in terms of GDP as of 2007.

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Next election due
2014

Tanzania

Quote
"Violence is unnecessary and costly. Peace is the only way". - Julius Nyere, first president of Tanzania (1922 - 1999).

Population
40 million, including 1 million in Zanzibar

Capital
Dodoma

Government type
Tanzania is a republic which adheres to multi-party democracy. The constitution endorses a federal system of government in which the President of the United Republic is the head of State and Government, but Tanzania Mainland and the Isles of Zanzibar each have their own executive, legislative and judicial institutions with defined spheres of competence. There is a Union legislature, which comprises members of both the Mainland and Zanzibar legislatures, and 11 Presidential appointees (one of whom is the Attorney General).

Legal system
The Tanzanian legal system has evolved largely on the basis of English common law because of the British presence in the country from 1919 until independence in 1961. In Zanzibar, the legal system has evolved from both English common law and Islamic law. The constitution is the fundamental law prevailing over all other legislation and includes a Bill of Rights.

Economy overview
Tanzania has become a free market economy in which the pricing of goods and services (including foreign exchange) is determined by market forces. Government professes a commitment to macroeconomic stability and the promotion of savings and investment.

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Next election due
October 2010

Uganda

Quote
"The hunter in pursuit of an elephant does not stop to throw stones at birds."
Traditional proverb, Uganda.

Population
32,369,558

Capital
Kampala

Government type
Republic

Legal system
The legal system is based on English common law and customary law and is subject to the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (with reservations).

Economy overview
Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, small deposits of copper, gold, and other minerals, and recently discovered oil. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the work force. Coffee accounts for the bulk of export revenues. In 2000, Uganda qualified for enhanced Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief worth $1.3 billion and Paris Club debt relief worth $145 million. These amounts combined with the original HIPC debt relief added up to about $2 billion.

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Next election due
2011

Zambia

Quote
"The inability of those in power to still the voices of their own consciences is the great force leading to change." - Kenneth Kaunda, President of Zambia 1964-1991

Population
13 million

Capital
Lusaka

Government type
Constitutional democracy with an elected President

Legal system
Common Law, based on the English system

Economy overview
GDP of approximately US$16 billion and GDP growth of 6% per annum, per capita income of about US$ 1,400. Inflation is at approximately 13.8%. Main industries are copper mining and processing, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, fertilizer, horticulture.

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Next election due
End of 2011, the date is fixed by the President.

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