African Country of Your Choice (1/2)

Kenya, safari, elephants and giraffes, poverty, conflicts, humanitarian assistance… Our knowledge of Africa is largely limited to these stereotypes. You don’t believe that? Ok. Then, let’s make a small test. Try to name the capitals of Ethiopia, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Ghana… How do they look like? What are the characteristics of the Central Africa?

For many Europeans, especially those from Central and Eastern Europe, Africa is a mysterious, yet an unknown place. Unlike attractive Asian and Latin American destinations that are presented by an aggressive marketing, we are not too inspired by Africa.

Africa does not deserve to be so unknown. It is an immense continent that has the size of the entire U.S., China, India together with biggest countries of Western Europe…they all could be placed on its territory and there would still be some space left.

Africa is ethnically, religiously and culturally diverse. Each country has ts own and unique natural resources, fauna and flora. African countries have different access to the sea, the topology of the terrain, the amount of forests, savannas, deserts… Not all African countries have their population devastated by civil wars or ethnic clashes. Serious conflicts occur “only” in about 6 out of total 53 countries of Africa.

How to be attracted by such an unknown place? Primary school’s lessons of geography were not much of a help to me, even if I used to like them as a subject. Maybe teachers should teach the subject in a less theoretical manner. My geographical insight changed only by personal experience with Africa.

But how to pick the right country as a start of an amazing life-long venture with Africa? We will describe the important choice criteria in the next article.

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