Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the 24th president of Liberia in 2006. She won the 2005 elections and was re-elected in 2011. She, with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karman of Yemen, received the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for their nonviolent work to help women. Educated in the United States, Sirleaf is the first elected female head of state of an African country. Her term of office ended January 22, 2018. Older children could learn more at: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
World Hippo Day is today! The day reminds us to make sure hippos survive and thrive. The animals’ name is interesting: hippos means horse and potamos means river. So the animals’ name is apt: a river horse. Two types of hippos exist today. The common hippo is on the vulnerable list and the pigmy hippo is on the endangered list. Both types exist in sub-Saharan Africa. They are the third largest land mammal, after elephants and rhinos. Children can learn more at: Hippos.
The Gambia celebrates Independence Day. It gained its independence from Great Britain in 1965. Banjul is the capital of this small country, located on the northwestern coast of Africa. According to the CIA World Factbook, The Gambia is about twice the size of Delaware. Almost two million people live in The Gambia, and about 75 percent of its inhabitants are farmers. Children could learn more at: The Gambia.
Tunisia celebrates Independence Day. France gave up control of Tunisia in 1956. Slightly smaller than the state of Wisconsin, Tunisia is located on the northern coast of Africa. Approximately 10.7 million people live in Tunisia. In the north, this country has a temperate climate with rainy winter. In the south, most of the country is in a desert. Tunis is the capital. One source of income for the country is petroleum. Older children can learn more at: Tunisia.
Togo celebrates Independence Day. It became free from France in 1960. This long, thin country (slightly smaller than West Virginia) is located on the southern coast of West Africa. The climate is tropical in the south and semiarid in the north. Togo exports cotton, cocoa, and coffee. About 7.1 million people reside in Togo. Lome, located on the coast, is the capital. Children can learn more at: Togo.
Sierra Leone celebrates Independence Day. In 1961 it broke away from the British government. Located on the western coast of Africa, this small country (about the size of South Carolina) has many diamond deposits. Its climate has a tropical, rainy season from May to December and a dry season from December to April. About 5.6 million people live there. Freetown is the capital. Children can learn more at: Sierra Leone.
South Africa celebrates Freedom Day when in 1994 general elections were held for the first time. Apartheid began to be a thing of the past. According to the CIA World Factbook, South Africa is about twice the size of Texas. The country has a mostly semiarid climate except along the tropical coast. About 48.6 million people live in the country. Agricultural products include corn, wheat, and sugarcane. The country exports diamonds, gold, and platinum. Pretoria is the capital. Children can learn more at: South Africa.
Ethiopia celebrates Freedom Day. Also known as Patriots’ Day, the day marks the 1941 end of Italy’s occupation of Ethiopia. Located in eastern Africa, it is the largest land-locked country in the world. The country’s area is a bit less than twice the area of Texas. It has small reserves of gold, copper, potash, and natural gas. Crops include maize, wheat, sorghum, and sweet potatoes, but food insecurity exists. Over 113 million people live in Ethiopia, and Addis Ababa is the capital. Children can learn more at: Ethiopia.
Cameroon celebrates Republic Day. Declared a republic in 1972, Cameroon, according to the CIA World Factbook, is about the size of California. Its climate varies from tropical in the south to semiarid in the north. About 20.5 million people live in this African country, with most of the population located in the south. Approximately 70 percent of the population are farmers. Yaoundé is the capital. Kids can discover some great facts about Cameroon at: Cameroon.
Eritrea celebrates Independence Day. It broke away from Ethiopia in 1993. The African country, bordering the Red Sea, was once under Italian and then British control. According to the CIA World Factbook, Eritrea is a bit smaller than Pennsylvania. About 6.3 million people live in the country, and about 80 percent of them are subsistence farmers. Deserts dominate the land along the Red Sea, but the central highlands are more temperate. Asmara is the capital. Children can learn more at: Eritrea.
Mozambique celebrates Independence Day. It became independent from Portugal in 1975. Located on the east coast of Africa, it is almost double the size of California. Natural resources include titanium, coal, and natural gas. About 25 million people live there. Maputo is the capital. Children could learn more at: Mozambique.
Djibouti celebrates Independence Day. It declared its independence from France in 1977. Located in northeastern Africa, Djibouti is a bit smaller than Massachusetts. The capital is named Djibouti as well. According to the CIA World Factbook, most of the country is a desert, and natural resources include gold, limestone, and marble. About 800,000 people live in Djibouti. Children can learn more at: Djibouti.