Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes anachronistically referred to by its former name of Zaire, its official name between 1971 and 1997, it is, by area, the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa, the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 78 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated Francophone country, the fourth-most-populated country in Africa, the 16th-most-populated country in the world. Eastern DR Congo is the scene of ongoing military conflict in Kivu, since 2015. Centred on the Congo Basin, the territory of the DRC was first inhabited by Central African foragers around 90,000 years ago and was reached by the Bantu expansion about 3,000 years ago. In the west, the Kingdom of Kongo ruled around the mouth of the Congo River from the 14th to 19th centuries. In the centre and east, the kingdoms of Luba and Lunda ruled from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 19th century.
In the 1870s, just before the onset of the Scramble for Africa, European exploration of the Congo Basin was carried out, first led by Henry Morton Stanley under the sponsorship of Leopold II of Belgium. Leopold formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Berlin Conference in 1885 and made the land his private property, naming it the Congo Free State. During the Free State, the colonial military unit, the Force Publique, forced the local population to produce rubber, from 1885 to 1908, millions of Congolese died as a consequence of disease and exploitation. In 1908, despite initial reluctance, formally annexed the Free State, which became the Belgian Congo; the Belgian Congo achieved independence on 30 June 1960 under the name Republic of the Congo. Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was elected the first Prime Minister, while Joseph Kasa-Vubu became the first President. Conflict arose over the administration of the territory; the provinces of Katanga, under Moïse Tshombe, South Kasai attempted to secede.
After Lumumba turned to the Soviet Union for assistance in the crisis, the U. S. and Belgium became wary and oversaw his removal from office by Kasa-Vubu on 5 September and ultimate execution by Belgian-led Katangese troops on 17 January 1961. On 25 November 1965, Army Chief of Staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, who renamed himself Mobutu Sese Seko came into power through a coup d'état. In 1971, he renamed the country Zaire; the country was run as a dictatorial one-party state, with his Popular Movement of the Revolution as the sole legal party. Mobutu's government received considerable support from the United States, due to its anti-communist stance during the Cold War. By the early 1990s, Mobutu's government began to weaken. Destabilisation in the east resulting from the 1994 Rwandan genocide and disenfranchisement among the eastern Banyamulenge population led to a 1996 invasion led by Tutsi FPR-ruled Rwanda, which began the First Congo War. On 17 May 1997, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a leader of Tutsi forces from the province of South Kivu, became President after Mobutu fled to Morocco, reverting the country's name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Tensions between President Kabila and the Rwandan and Tutsi presence in the country led to the Second Congo War from 1998 to 2003. Nine African countries and around twenty armed groups became involved in the war, which resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people. The two wars devastated the country. President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated by one of his bodyguards on 16 January 2001 and was succeeded eight days as President by his son Joseph; the Democratic Republic of the Congo is rich in natural resources but has had political instability, a lack of infrastructure, issues with corruption and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation with little holistic development. Besides the capital Kinshasa, the two next largest cities Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi are both mining communities. DR Congo's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRC's exports in 2012. In 2016, DR Congo's level of human development was ranked 176th out of 187 countries by the Human Development Index.
As of 2018, around 600,000 Congolese have fled to neighbouring countries from conflicts in the centre and east of the DRC. Two million children risk starvation, the fighting has displaced 4.5 million people. The sovereign state is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, African Union, COMESA; the Democratic Republic of the Congo is named after the Congo River, which flows throughout the country. The Congo River is the world's second largest river by discharge; the Comité d'études du haut Congo, established by King Leopold II of Belgium in 1876, the International Association of the Congo, established by him in 1879, were named after the river. The Congo River itself was named by early European sailors after the Kingdom of Kongo and its Bantu inhabitants, the Kongo people, when they encountered them in the 16th century; the word Kongo comes from the Kongo language. According to American writer Samuel Henry Nelson "It is probable that the word'Kongo' itself implies a public gathering and that it is based on the root konga,'to gather'."
The modern name of the Kongo people, Bakongo was introduced in the early 20th century. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been known in the past as, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, the Repub
Benin the Republic of Benin and Dahomey, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Burkina Faso and Niger to the north; the majority of its population lives on the small southern coastline of the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northernmost tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean. The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is in Cotonou, the country's largest city and economic capital. Benin covers an area of 114,763 square kilometres and its population in 2016 was estimated to be 10.87 million. Benin is a tropical nation dependent on agriculture. Benin is a big exporter of palm oil; the substantial employment and income arise from subsistence farming. The official language of Benin is French. However, indigenous languages such as Fon and Yoruba are spoken; the largest religious group in Benin is Roman Catholicism, followed by Islam and Protestantism. Benin is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, La Francophonie, the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, the African Petroleum Producers Association and the Niger Basin Authority.
From the 17th to the 19th century, the main political entities in the area were the Kingdom of Dahomey, along with the city-state of Porto-Novo, a large area with many different nations to the north. This region was referred to as the Slave Coast from as early as the 17th century due to the large number of enslaved people who were shipped to the New World during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. After enslavement was abolished, France renamed it French Dahomey. In 1960, Dahomey gained full independence from France; the sovereign state has had a tumultuous history since with many different democratic governments, military coups, military governments. A Marxist–Leninist state called the People's Republic of Benin existed between 1975 and 1990. In 1991, it was replaced by the current multi-party Republic of Benin. During the colonial period and at independence, the country was known as Dahomey. On 30 November 1975, it was renamed to Benin, after the body of water on which the country lies—the Bight of Benin.
This had been named by Europeans after the Benin Empire in present-day Nigeria. The country of Benin has no connection to Benin City in modern Nigeria, nor to the Benin bronzes; the form "Benin" is the result of a Portuguese corruption of the city of Ubinu. The new name, was chosen for its neutrality. Dahomey was the name of the former Fon Kingdom of Dahomey, limited to most of the southern third of the present country and therefore did not represent Porto-Novo, central Benin, the multi-ethnic northwestern sector Atakora, nor the Bariba Kingdom of Borgu, which covered the northeastern district; the current country of Benin combines three areas which had distinctly different political systems and ethnicities prior to French colonial control. Before 1700, there were a few important city-states along the coast and a mass of tribal regions inland; the Oyo Empire, located to the east of modern Benin, was the most significant large-scale military force in the region. It conducted raids and exacted tribute from the coastal kingdoms and the tribal regions.
The situation changed in the 1600s and early 1700s as the Kingdom of Dahomey, consisting of Fon people, was founded on the Abomey plateau and began taking over areas along the coast. By 1727, king Agaja of the Kingdom of Dahomey had conquered the coastal cities of Allada and Whydah, but it had become a tributary of the Oyo empire and did not directly attack the Oyo allied city-state of Porto-Novo; the rise of the kingdom of Dahomey, the rivalry between the kingdom and the city of Porto-Novo, the continued tribal politics of the northern region, persisted into the colonial and post-colonial periods. The Dahomey Kingdom was known for its culture and traditions. Young boys were apprenticed to older soldiers, taught the kingdom's military customs until they were old enough to join the army. Dahomey was famous for instituting an elite female soldier corps, called Ahosi, i.e. the king's wives, or Mino, "our mothers" in the Fon language Fongbe, known by many Europeans as the Dahomean Amazons. This emphasis on military preparation and achievement earned Dahomey the nickname of "black Sparta" from European observers and 19th-century explorers such as Sir Richard Burton.
The kings of Dahomey sold their war captives into transatlantic slavery. They had a practice of killing war captives in a ceremony known as the Annual Customs. By about 1750, the King of Dahomey was earning an estimated £250,000 per year by selling African captives to European slave-traders. Though the leaders of Dahomey appear to have resisted the slave trade, it flourished in the region of Dahomey for three hundred years, beginning in 1472 with a trade agreement with Portuguese merchants; the area was named the "Slave Coast" because of this flourishing trade. Court protocols, which demanded that a portion of war captives from the kingdom's many battles be decapitated, decreased the number of enslaved people exported from the area; the number went from 102,000 people per decade in the 1780s to 24,000 per decade by the 1860s. The decline was due to the Slave Trade Act 1807 banning the trans-Atlantic slave trade by Britain and the United States following in
Liberia the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to its northwest, Guinea to its north, Ivory Coast to its east, the Atlantic Ocean to its south-southwest, it has a population of around 4,700,000 people. English is the official language and over 20 indigenous languages are spoken, representing the numerous ethnic groups who make up more than 95% of the population; the country's capital and largest city is Monrovia. Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society, who believed black people would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa than in the United States; the country declared its independence on July 26, 1847. The U. S. did not recognize Liberia's independence until February 1862, during the American Civil War. Between January 7, 1822, the American Civil War, more than 15,000 freed and free-born black people who faced legislated limits in the U. S. and 3,198 Afro-Caribbeans, relocated to the settlement.
The black settlers carried their tradition with them to Liberia. The Liberian constitution and flag were modeled after those of the U. S. On January 3, 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a wealthy, free-born African American from Virginia who settled in Liberia, was elected as Liberia's first president after the people proclaimed independence. Liberia was the first African republic to proclaim its independence, is Africa's first and oldest modern republic. Liberia retained its independence during the Scramble for Africa. During World War II, Liberia supported the United States war efforts against Germany and in turn, the U. S. invested in considerable infrastructure in Liberia to help its war effort, which aided the country in modernizing and improving its major air transportation facilities. In addition, President William Tubman encouraged economic changes. Internationally, Liberia was a founding member of the League of Nations, United Nations, the Organisation of African Unity; the Americo-Liberian settlers did not relate well to the indigenous peoples they encountered those in communities of the more isolated "bush".
The colonial settlements were raided by the Grebo from their inland chiefdoms. Americo-Liberians developed as a small elite that held on to political power, the indigenous tribesmen were excluded from birthright citizenship in their own lands until 1904, in a repetition of the United States' treatment of Native Americans; the Americo-Liberians promoted religious organizations to set up missions and schools to educate the indigenous peoples. Political tensions from the rule of William R. Tolbert resulted in a military coup in 1980 during which Tolbert was killed, marking the beginning of years-long political instability. Five years of military rule by the People's Redemption Council and five years of civilian rule by the National Democratic Party of Liberia were followed by the First and Second Liberian Civil Wars; these resulted in the deaths of 250,000 people, the displacement of many more, shrunk Liberia's economy by 90%. A peace agreement in 2003 led to democratic elections in 2005, in which Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President.
National infrastructure and basic social services have been impacted by previous conflict, with 83% of the population living below the international poverty line. The Pepper Coast known as the Grain Coast, has been inhabited by indigenous peoples of Africa at least as far back as the 12th century. Mende-speaking people expanded westward from the Sudan, forcing many smaller ethnic groups southward toward the Atlantic Ocean; the Dei, Kru and Kissi were some of the earliest documented peoples in the area. This influx of these groups was compounded by the decline of the Western Sudanic Mali Empire in 1375 and the Songhai Empire in 1591; the area now called Liberia was a part of the Kingdom of Koya from 1450 to 1898. As inland regions underwent desertification, inhabitants moved to the wetter coast; these new inhabitants brought skills such as cotton spinning, cloth weaving, iron smelting and sorghum cultivation, social and political institutions from the Mali and Songhai empires. Shortly after the Mane conquered the region, the Vai people of the former Mali Empire immigrated into the Grand Cape Mount County region.
The ethnic Kru opposed the influx of Vai, forming an alliance with the Mane to stop further influx of Vai. People along the coast built canoes and traded with other West Africans from Cap-Vert to the Gold Coast. Arab traders entered the region from the north, a long-established slave trade took captives to north and east Africa. Between 1461 and the late 17th century, Portuguese and British traders had contacts and trading posts in the region; the Portuguese named the area Costa da Pimenta but it came to be known as the Grain Coast, due to the abundance of melegueta pepper grains. European traders would barter goods with local people. In the United States there was a movement to resettle free-born blacks and freed slaves who faced racial discrimination in the form of political disenfranchisement and the denial of civil and social privileges in the United States. Most whites and a small cadre of black nationalists believed that blacks would face better chances for freedom in Africa than in the U.
S. The American Colonization Society was founded in 1816 in Washington, DC for this purpose by a group of prominent politicians and slaveholders, but its membership grew to include people who supported the abolition of slavery. Slaveholders wanted to get free people of color out of the South, where they were thought to threaten the stability of the slave societie
Mauritius the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. The main Island of Mauritius is located about 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of the African continent; the Republic of Mauritius includes the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega and St. Brandon; the capital and largest city Port Louis is located on the main island of Mauritius. In 1598, the Dutch took possession of Mauritius, they abandoned Mauritius in 1710 and the French took control of the island in 1715, renaming it Isle de France. France ceded Mauritius including all its dependencies to the United Kingdom through the Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814 and in which Réunion was returned to France; the British colony of Mauritius consisted of the main island of Mauritius along with Rodrigues, Agalega, St Brandon and the Chagos Archipelago, while the Seychelles became a separate colony in 1906. The sovereignty of Tromelin is disputed between Mauritius and France as some of the islands such as St. Brandon, Chagos and Tromelin were not mentioned in the Treaty of Paris.
In 1965, three years prior to the independence of Mauritius, the UK split the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritian territory, the islands of Aldabra and Desroches from the Seychelles, to form the British Indian Ocean Territory. The UK forcibly expelled the archipelago's local population and leased its largest island, Diego Garcia, to the United States; the UK has restricted access to the Chagos Archipelago. The sovereignty of the Chagos is disputed between Mauritius and the UK. In February 2019, in an advisory opinion given by the International Court of Justice on this dispute, the ICJ ordered the UK to hand back the Chagos Islands to Mauritius as as possible; the people of Mauritius are multiethnic and multilingual. The island's government is modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system, Mauritius is ranked for democracy and for economic and political freedom; the Human Development Index of Mauritius is one of the highest in Africa. Mauritius is ranked as the most competitive and one of the most developed economies in the African region.
The main pillars of the Mauritian economy are manufacturing, financial services and information and communications technology. Mauritius is a welfare state. Along with the other Mascarene Islands, Mauritius is known for its varied flora and fauna, with many species endemic to the island; the island was the only known home of the dodo, along with several other avian species, was made extinct by human activities shortly after the island's settlement. The first historical evidence of the existence of an island now known as Mauritius is on a map produced by the Italian cartographer Alberto Cantino in 1502. From this, it appears that Mauritius was first named Dina Arobi around 975 by Arab sailors, the first people to visit the island. In 1507, Portuguese sailors visited the uninhabited island; the island appears with a Portuguese name Cirne on early Portuguese maps from the name of a ship in the 1507 expedition. Another Portuguese sailor, Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, gave the name Mascarenes to the Archipelago.
In 1598, a Dutch squadron under Admiral Wybrand van Warwyck landed at Grand Port and named the island Mauritius, in honour of Prince Maurice van Nassau, stadholder of the Dutch Republic. The island became a French colony and was renamed Isle de France. On 3 December 1810, the French surrendered the island to Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. Under British rule, the island's name reverted to Mauritius. Mauritius is commonly known as Maurice and Île Maurice in French, Moris in Mauritian Creole; the island of Mauritius was uninhabited before its first recorded visit during the Middle Ages by Arab sailors, who named it Dina Arobi. In 1507, Portuguese sailors came to the uninhabited island and established a visiting base. Diogo Fernandes Pereira, a Portuguese navigator, was the first European known to land in Mauritius, he named the island "Ilha do Cirne". The Portuguese did not stay. In 1598 a Dutch squadron under Admiral Wybrand van Warwyck landed at Grand Port and named the island "Mauritius" after Prince Maurice of Nassau of the Dutch Republic.
The Dutch inhabited the island in 1638, from which they exploited ebony trees and introduced sugar cane, domestic animals and deer. It was from here; the first Dutch settlement lasted twenty years. Several attempts were subsequently made, but the settlements never developed enough to produce dividends, causing the Dutch to abandon Mauritius in 1710. France, which controlled neighbouring Île Bourbon, took control of Mauritius in 1715 and renamed it Isle de France. In 1723, the Code Noir was established to categorise one group of human beings as "goods", in order for the owner of these goods to be able to obtain insurance money and compensation in case of loss of his "goods"; the 1735 arrival of French governor Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais coincided with development of a prosperous economy based on sugar production. Mahé de La Bourdonnais established Port Louis as a shipbuilding centre. Under his governorship, numerous buildings were erected, a number of which are sti
Nigeria the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean; the federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular country. Nigeria has been home to states over the millennia; the modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, 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 while 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.
Nigeria is referred to as the "Giant of Africa", owing to its large population and economy. 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; the country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by 250 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa and Yoruba. The official language is English. Nigeria is divided in half between Christians, who live in the southern part of the country, Muslims, who live in the north. A minority of the population practice 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.
The 2013 debt-to-GDP ratio was 11 percent. Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank. However, it has a "low" Human Development Index, ranking 152nd in the world. Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are seen as the globe's next "BRIC-like" economies, it is 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; the name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who married Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator; the origin of the name Niger, which applied only to the middle reaches of the Niger River, is uncertain. The word is an alteration of the Tuareg name egerew n-igerewen used by inhabitants along the middle reaches of the river around Timbuktu prior to 19th-century European colonialism.
The Nok civilisation of Northern Nigeria flourished between 500 BC and AD 200, producing life-sized terracotta figures that are some of the earliest known sculptures in Sub-Saharan Africa. Further north, the cities Kano and Katsina have a recorded history dating to around 999 AD. Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem–Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa; the Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people consolidated in the 10th century and continued until it lost its sovereignty to the British in 1911. Nri was ruled by the Eze Nri, the city of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture. Nri and Aguleri, where the Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umeuri clan. Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri. In West Africa, the oldest bronzes made using the lost-wax process were from Igbo-Ukwu, a city under Nri influence; the Yoruba kingdoms of Ife and Oyo in southwestern Nigeria became prominent in the 12th and 14th centuries, respectively.
The oldest signs of human settlement at Ife's current site date back to the 9th century, its material culture includes terracotta and bronze figures. Oyo, at its territorial zenith in the late 17th to early 18th centuries, extended its influence from western Nigeria to modern-day Togo; the Edo's Benin Empire is located in southwestern Nigeria. Benin's power lasted between the 19th centuries, their dominance reached further. At the beginning of the 19th century, Usman dan Fodio directed a successful jihad and created and led the centralised Fulani Empire; the territory controlled by the resultant state included much of modern-day northern and central Nigeria. For centuries, various peoples in modern-day Nigeria traded overland with traders from North Africa. Cities in the area became regional centres in a broad network of trade routes that spanned western and northern Africa. In the 16th century, Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin significant, direct trade with peoples of modern-day Nigeria, at the port they named Lago
Mozambique the Republic of Mozambique, is a country located in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, Eswatini and South Africa to the southwest. The sovereign state is separated from the Comoros and Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel to the east; the capital of Mozambique is Maputo. Between the first and fifth centuries AD, Bantu-speaking peoples migrated to present-day Mozambique from farther north and west. Northern Mozambique lies within the monsoon trade winds of the Indian Ocean. Between the 7th and 11th centuries, a series of Swahili port towns developed here, which contributed to the development of a distinct Swahili culture and language. In the late medieval period, these towns were frequented by traders from Somalia, Egypt, Arabia and India; the voyage of Vasco da Gama in 1498 marked the arrival of the Portuguese, who began a gradual process of colonisation and settlement in 1505. After over four centuries of Portuguese rule, Mozambique gained independence in 1975, becoming the People's Republic of Mozambique shortly thereafter.
After only two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. In 1994, Mozambique held its first multiparty elections, has since remained a stable presidential republic, although it still faces a low-intensity insurgency. Mozambique is endowed with extensive natural resources; the country's economy is based on agriculture, but industry is growing food and beverages, chemical manufacturing and aluminium and petroleum production. The tourism sector is expanding. South Africa is Mozambique's main trading partner and source of foreign direct investment, while Belgium, Brazil and Spain are among the country's most important economic partners. Since 2001, Mozambique's annual average GDP growth has been among the world's highest. However, the country is still one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world, ranking low in GDP per capita, human development, measures of inequality and average life expectancy; the only official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, spoken as a second language by about half the population.
Common native languages include Makhuwa and Swahili. The country's population of around 29 million is composed overwhelmingly of Bantu people; the largest religion in Mozambique is Christianity, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions. Mozambique is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Southern African Development Community, is an observer at La Francophonie; the country was named Moçambique by the Portuguese after the Island of Mozambique, derived from Mussa Bin Bique or Musa Al Big or Mossa Al Bique or Mussa Ben Mbiki or Mussa Ibn Malik, an Arab trader who first visited the island and lived there. The island-town was the capital of the Portuguese colony until 1898, when it was moved south to Lourenço Marques. Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, waves of Bantu-speaking people migrated from the west and north through the Zambezi River valley and gradually into the plateau and coastal areas.
They established agricultural societies based on herding cattle. They brought with them the technology for smithing iron. From the late first millennium AD, vast Indian Ocean trade networks extended as far south into Mozambique as evidenced by the ancient port town of Chibuene. Beginning in the 9th century, a growing involvement in Indian Ocean trade led to the development of numerous port towns along the entire East African coast, including modern day Mozambique. Autonomous, these towns broadly participated in the incipient Swahili culture. Islam was adopted by urban elites, facilitating trade. In Mozambique, Sofala and Mozambique Island were regional powers by the 15th century; the towns traded with merchants from both the broader Indian Ocean world. Important were the gold and ivory caravan routes. Inland states like the Kingdom of Zimbabwe and Kingdom of Mutapa provided the coveted gold and ivory, which were exchanged up the coast to larger port cities like Kilwa and Mombasa. From about 1500, Portuguese trading posts and forts displaced the Arabic commercial and military hegemony, becoming regular ports of call on the new European sea route to the east.
The voyage of Vasco da Gama around the Cape of Good Hope in 1498 marked the Portuguese entry into trade and society of the region. The Portuguese gained control of the Island of Mozambique and the port city of Sofala in the early 16th century, by the 1530s, small groups of Portuguese traders and prospectors seeking gold penetrated the interior regions, where they set up garrisons and trading posts at Sena and Tete on the River Zambezi and tried to gain exclusive control over the gold trade. In the central part of the Mozambique territory, the Portuguese attempted to legitimise and consolidate their trade and settlement positions through the creation of prazos tied to their settlement and administration. While prazos were developed to be held by Portuguese, through intermarriage they became African Portuguese or African Indian centres defended by large African sl
Malawi the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa, known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, Mozambique on the east and west. Malawi is over 118,000 km2 with an estimated population of 18,091,575. Lake Malawi takes up about a third of Malawi's area, its capital is Lilongwe, Malawi's largest city. The name Malawi comes from an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area; the country is nicknamed "The Warm Heart of Africa" because of the friendliness of the people. The part of Africa now known as Malawi was settled by migrating Bantu groups around the 10th century. Centuries in 1891 the area was colonised by the British. In 1953 Malawi known as Nyasaland, a protectorate of the United Kingdom, became a protectorate within the semi-independent Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland; the Federation was dissolved in 1963. In 1964 the protectorate over Nyasaland was ended and Nyasaland became an independent country under Queen Elizabeth II with the new name Malawi.
Two years it became a republic. Upon gaining independence it became a totalitarian one-party state under the presidency of Hastings Banda, who remained president until 1994. Malawi has a democratic, multi-party government headed by an elected president Arthur Peter Mutharika; the country has a Malawian Defence Force that includes a navy and an air wing. Malawi's foreign policy is pro-Western and includes positive diplomatic relations with most countries and participation in several international organisations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the African Union. Malawi is among the world's least-developed countries; the economy is based in agriculture, with a rural population. The Malawian government depends on outside aid to meet development needs, although this need has decreased since 2000; the Malawian government faces challenges in building and expanding the economy, improving education, environmental protection, becoming financially independent amidst widespread unemployment.
Since 2005, Malawi has developed several programs that focus on these issues, the country's outlook appears to be improving, with a rise in the economy and healthcare seen in 2007 and 2008. Malawi has a low life expectancy and high infant mortality. There is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, a drain on the labour force and government expenditures. There is a diverse population of native peoples and Europeans, with several languages spoken and an array of religious beliefs. Although there was periodic regional conflict fuelled in part by ethnic divisions in the past, by 2008 it had diminished and the concept of a Malawian nationality had reemerged; the area of Africa now known as Malawi had a small population of hunter-gatherers before waves of Bantu peoples began emigrating from the north around the 10th century. Although most of the Bantu peoples continued south, some remained permanently and founded ethnic groups based on common ancestry. By 1500 AD, the tribes had established the Kingdom of Maravi that reached from north of what is now Nkhotakota to the Zambezi River and from Lake Malawi to the Luangwa River in what is now Zambia.
Soon after 1600, with the area united under one native ruler, native tribesmen began encountering, trading with and making alliances with Portuguese traders and members of the military. By 1700, the empire had broken up into areas controlled by many individual ethnic groups; the Arab slave trade reached its height in the mid- 1800s, when 20,000 people were enslaved and considered to be carried yearly from Nkhotakota to Kilwa where they were sold. Missionary and explorer David Livingstone reached Lake Malawi in 1859 and identified the Shire Highlands south of the lake as an area suitable for European settlement; as the result of Livingstone's visit, several Anglican and Presbyterian missions were established in the area in the 1860s and 1870s, the African Lakes Company Limited was established in 1878 to set up a trade and transport concern working with the missions, a small mission and trading settlement was established at Blantyre in 1876 and a British Consul took up residence there in 1883.
The Portuguese government was interested in the area so, to prevent Portuguese occupation, the British government sent Harry Johnston as British consul with instructions to make treaties with local rulers beyond Portuguese jurisdiction. In 1889, a British protectorate was proclaimed over the Shire Highlands, extended in 1891 to include the whole of present-day Malawi as the British Central Africa Protectorate. In 1907, the protectorate was renamed Nyasaland, a name it retained for the remainder of its time under British rule. In a prime example of what is sometimes called the "Thin White Line" of colonial authority in Africa, the colonial government of Nyasaland was formed in 1891; the administrators were given a budget of £10,000 per year, enough to employ ten European civilians, two military officers, seventy Punjab Sikhs and eighty-five Zanzibar porters. These few employees were expected to administer and police a territory of around 94,000 square kilometres with between one and two million people.
In 1944, the Nyasaland African Congress was formed by the Africans of Nyasaland to promote local interests to the British g