The sub-Saharan African region has provided something of a silver lining in an otherwise broadly felt global economic downturn in recent years, according to the latest edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, which assesses 144 economies. Sub-Saharan economies continued to register impressive growth rates of close to 5% in 2013 – with rising projections for the next two years – below only emerging and developing Asia.
The report ranks markets on 12 key measures that influence competitiveness, including infrastructure, education and innovation. The following are the top 10 performers in the region.
For the first time, Western stereotypes associating Africa with death, disease, poverty, and war are being replaced by the reality of demanding, brand-conscious consumers who happen to live in a challenging environment.
“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.”—Angela Davis - from a lecture delivered at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. February 13th, 2014. (via ninjaruski)
Bitcoin, a kind of alternative digital currency that enables instant, anonymous money transfers using peer-to-peer technology, has stirred up interest in leading financial markets such as the United States and China.
12 of the most astonishing places to visit in Africa:
My Africa Is beautiful. From the stunning landscapes to the unique mixture of cultures, the world’s second-largest continent is arguably the best tourist destination. Here is a list (in no particular order) of some of the most breathtaking places in Africa we highly suggest you visit:
1. Mount Kilimanjaro
Location: Tanzania, East Africa
This must-see sight happens to be the highest mountain in the continent and the highest freestanding mountain in the world. Mount Kilimanjaro contains three volcanic cones; Mawenzi, Kibo and Shira. The two peaks, Mawenzi and Shira, are extinct while Kibo is dormant and has the possibility of erupting again. Uhuru Peak, located on Kibo, is accessible to climb but one must be rightfully trained to do so.
2. Fish River Canyon
Location: Namibia, Southern Africa
Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa and the second-largest in the world. It is also one of the top three visited places in Namibia. This stunning natural wonder situates between the Namib and Kalahari deserts. The Fish River is the longest interior river in Namibia and flows on the floor of the Fish River Canyon.
3. Victoria Falls
Location: Zimbabwe & Zambia border, Southern Africa
Victoria Falls can be found on the Zambezi River, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. Also referred to as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” by the locals, this sight is a must-see! It is possible to have a swim in the natural pools at the top of the waterfall – if you consider yourself a daring tourist.
4. The Great Pyramid of Giza
Location: Egypt, Northern Africa
The Pyramids of Giza do not need to be introduced! The Great Pyramid is the oldest and largest pyramid of the three. It is also one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence today. However, all three pyramids are distinct representations of Egypt.
It is no surprise that one of the countries that lies on the African Great Lakes Region of East Africa is home to Lake Nakuru National Park; a lake where millions of flamingos reside. These flamingos line the shore due to Lake Nakuru’s mass amounts of algae. The lake is well-known for being the location of the greatest bird spectacle in the world.
Located in the Namib Desert National Park, Sossusvlei is a huge salt and clay pan. The pan is surrounded by large red sand dunes that symbolize Namibia. Sossusvlei means “the gathering place of water” and on rare occasions when it rains, the Sossusvlei fills with water and changes the lake to a turquoise color. It is undoubtedly an amazing sight to see in the desert.
7. The Great Wildebeest Migration
Location: Kenya & Tanzania, East Africa
The Great Wildebeest Migration is now considered one of the Seven New Wonders. This annual migration includes over two million animals that migrate from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve. The migration normally begins in July and runs until October. However, the event is spontaneous and the exact date varies each year.
Location: Mali, West Africa
Djenné is a town in Mali and one of the oldest cities of Sub-Saharan Africa. Tourists visit this sight for the distinct architecture and for the beautiful Great Mosque of Djenné; the largest mud brick building in the world. Djenné’s market is also a popular tourist attraction. It is one of the most impressive and enjoyable markets in Africa. It is best recommended to visit Djenné after the rainy season in August and September when Djenné turns into an island.
Location: Botswana, Southern Africa
The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world. It was formed after Lake Makgadikgadi, an ancient lake, dried up. The Okavango Delta is made by seasonal flooding and it is Botswana most famous and popular tourist attraction.
10.Djmaa el Fna
Location: Morocco, Northern Africa
Considered by many to be the world’s most interesting town square, Djmaa el Fna is a wonderful place to visit. It is situated in the Medina, old city, of Marrakech. Henna-painters, wonderful story-tellers, and other appealing attractions fill Djmaa el Fnai during the day. At night time, the atmosphere is more upbeat and you can hear music playing around the area. Tourists can relax during the day and enjoy performances, live events, and great food at night.
11. Temples in Abu Simbel
Location: Egypt, Northern Africa
The two temples at Abu Simbel are massive and out-of-this-world. The monuments were historically relocated from their original setting near the Nile River. Archeologists around the world consider these temples to be two of the most outstanding archeological sites. It is a definite must-see for tourists.
Location: Morocco, Northern Africa
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Sahara. The northern edge of Morocco is an accessible part of the Sahara tourists can visit. Here, you can see some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Climbing the dunes is a fun experience for tourists.
These are only a few of the stunning attractions in Africa. We are aware that there are many more. If you have other suggestions, join our discussion on Reddit or comment below. You can also tweet us - #myAfricais followed by your favorite place on the list. We would love to hear from you!
“My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.”—Maya Angelou (via awake-andunafraidd)
“The continent is flush with opportunity, with ideas, it is highly educated, there’s a consumer boom, opportunities galore, infrastructure, investment from China, but a person wanting to expand from selling eggs to selling meringues to British supermarkets can’t get the investment capital they need. That is a systemic failure.”
NEW YORK (March 31, 2014)—The Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) and African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) will present the 21th New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) May 7-13. Organized under the banner theme “Revolution and Liberation in the Digital Age,” the initial leg of the festival includes eleven features and eight short films from various African nations and the Diaspora. The NYAFF continues throughout May at the Cinema at the Maysles Documentary Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek.
“There are long and proud cinematic traditions in countries all over the African continent, and at the same time there are new voices and new means of expression. We are happy that the festival this year will be able to share the work of these artists, who are exploring both myth and modernity,” said FSLC Associate Director of Programming Marian Masone.
NASA, Made in Space, My Africa Is, and Woelab Industries will be collaborating for a Hangouts On Air series titled Pioneers in 3D Printing: Building Better Globally and Beyond. Stemming from conversations around the creation of the first 3D printer made from recycled electronics in Africa and M3D’s first mass-market 3D printer, we’d like for you us to join us for the second Hangout of the series on May 1 to be centered on the disruptive effects of 3D printing on manufacturers, the infinite amount of innovations possible, and the DIY culture being created with 3D printing. We are excited to dissect the effects it could have in African marketplace, and the effects on your world as you know it. The Panel will feature Dodji Koffi Honou and Sename Koffi Agboginou from Woelab, as well as Michael Chen the CSO of Made in Space, an outfit that has created the first 3D printer that will go up to space in partnership with NASA.
If you missed the live Google Hangout, check out the discussion here!