Ma
2 Recommendations West Africa
Mali, officially the Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa, a region geologically identified with the West African Craton. Its capital is Bamako. Mali consists of eight regions and its border on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert, while the country's southern part features the Niger and Senegal river. Since 2016, Mali has been divided into ten regions and the District of Bamako. Each region has a governor.  Mali's official language is French and over 40 African languages also are spoken by the various ethnic groups. About 80 percent of Mali's population can communicate in Bambara, which serves as an important lingua franca. Mali's key industry is agriculture and fishing. Cotton is the country's largest crop export and is exported west throughout Senegal and Ivory Coast. In addition to cotton, Mali produces rice, millet, corn, vegetables, tobacco, and tree crops. Gold, livestock. Gold is mined in the southern region and Mali has the third highest gold production in Africa (after South Africa and Ghana). Other natural resources include kaolin, salt, phosphate, and limestone. In Mali, there is a railway that connects to bordering countries. There are also approximately 29 airports of which 8 have paved runways. Urban areas are known for their large quantity of green and white taxicabs. A significant sum of the population is dependent on public transportation. The varied everyday culture of Malians reflects the country's ethnic and geographic diversity. Most Malians wear flowing, colorful robes called boubous that are typical of West Africa. Malians frequently participate in traditional festivals, dances, and ceremonies. Malian musical traditions are derived from the griots, who are known as "Keepers of Memories". Malian music is diverse and has several different genres.   Mali has always been one of Africa's liveliest intellectual centers. Mali's literary tradition is passed mainly by word of mouth, with jalis reciting or singing histories and stories known by heart. Rice and millet are the staples of Malian cuisine, which is heavily based on cereal grains. Grains are generally prepared with sauces made from edible leaves, such as spinach or baobab, with tomato peanut sauce, and may be accompanied by pieces of grilled meat (typically chicken, mutton, beef, or goat). Malian cuisine varies regionally. Other popular dishes include fufu, jollof rice, and maafe.
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Gh
2 Recommendations West Africa
Officially the Republic of Ghana is located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language. Ghana is only a few degrees north of the Equator, therefore giving it a warm climate.The Prime Meridian passes through Ghana, specifically through the industrial port town of Tema. Ghana is geographically closer to the "centre" of the Earth than any other country. The climate of Ghana is tropical and there are two main seasons: the wet season and the dry season. Ghana encompasses plains, waterfalls, low hills, rivers, Lake Volta, the world's largest artificial lake, Dodi Island and Bobowasi Island on the south Atlantic Ocean coast of Ghana. The northernmost part of Ghana is Pulmakong and the southernmost part of Ghana is Cape Three Points. English is the language of the state and widely used as a lingua franca. However, there are eleven languages that have the status of government-sponsored language. Ghana is surrounded by French-speaking countries, French is widely taught in schools and universities, as well as a language used for commercial and international economic exchanges. Tourism is the fourth highest earner of foreign exchange for the country.   The attractions and major tourist destinations of Ghana include a warm, tropical climate year-round; diverse wildlife; exotic waterfalls such as Kintampo Waterfalls and the largest waterfall in west Africa, Wli Waterfalls; Ghana's coastal palm-lined sandy beaches; caves; mountains, rivers; meteorite impact crater and reservoirs and lakes such as Lake Bosumtwi or Bosumtwi meteorite crater and the largest man-made lake in the world by surface area, Lake Volta; dozens of castles and forts. Along with the Adinkra cloth Ghanaians use many different cloth fabrics for their traditional attire. The different ethnic groups have their own individual cloth. These come in various colours, sizes and designs and are worn during very important social and religious occasions. Kente is the most famous of all the Ghanaian cloths. Ghanaian cuisine and gastronomy is diverse, and includes an assortment of soups and stews with varied seafoods prepared with vegetables, meat, poultry or fish. Banku (Akple) is a common Ghanaian starchy food made from ground corn (maize), usually accompanied by some form of fried fish (chinam) or grilled tilapia and a very spicy condiment from raw red and green chillies, onions and tomatoes (pepper sauce). Banku and tilapia is a combo served in most Ghanaian restaurants. Ghanaian dance is as diverse as its music, and there are traditional dances and different dances for different occasions Ghanaian music incorporates several distinct types of musical instruments such as the talking drum ensembles, Akan Drum, goje fiddle and koloko lute. Ghanaian traditional construction: the series of adjacent buildings in an enclosure around a common are common and the traditional round huts with grass roof. There are a number of museums that provide insight into the traditions and history of their own geographical area in Ghana. The Cape Coast Castle Museum and St. Georges Castle (Elmina Castle) Museum offer guided tours. To enter Ghana, it is necessary to have a visa authorised by the Government of Ghana. Travelers must apply for this visa at a Ghanaian embassy; this process can take approximately two weeks. By law, visitors entering Ghana must be able to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate
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Nigeria
3 Recommendations West Africa
  Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria (/naɪˈdʒɪəriə/ (About this sound listen)) is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It comprises 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja is located. Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country.[6] Nigeria has been home to a number of kingdoms and tribal states over the millennia. The modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures whilst practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms. Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960. It experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970. It thereafter alternated between democratically elected civilian governments and military dictatorships until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the 2011 presidential election considered the first to be reasonably free and fair.[7] Nigeria is often referred to as the "Giant of Africa", owing to its large population and economy.[8] With 186 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has the third-largest youth population in the world, after India and China, with more than 90 million of its population under age 18.[9][10] The country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; these ethnic groups speak over 500 different languages and are identified with a wide variety of cultures.[11][12] The official language is English. Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Christians, who live mostly in the southern part of the country, and Muslims, who live mostly in the north. A minority of the population practise religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities. As of 2015, Nigeria is the world's 20th largest economy, worth more than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively. It overtook South Africa to become Africa's largest economy in 2014.[13][14] The 2013 debt-to-GDP ratio was 11 percent.[15] Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank;[16] it has been identified as a regional power on the African continent,[17][18][19] a middle power in international affairs,[20][21][22][23] and has also been identified as an emerging global power.[24][25][26] However, it currently has a "low" Human Development Index, ranking 152nd in the world. Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are widely seen as the globe's next "BRIC-like" economies. It is also listed among the "Next Eleven" economies set to become among the biggest in the world. Nigeria is a founding member of the African Union and a member of many other international organizations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and OPEC.
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