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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, celebrates Independence Day. Belgium relinquished control in 1960. It is about one and a half times the size of Alaska. The country is famous for its minerals and forest products. Over 75 million people live in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The capital is Kinshasa.
South Sudan celebrates Independence Day. This land-locked country voted to secede from Sudan in 2011. South Sudan’s area is a bit smaller than the area of Texas. The White Nile flows through the center of the country, and the climate is hot with seasonal rains. Most of the twelve million people survive on subsistence farming, and Juba is the capital.