Curiosity is the key to knowledge.

Established 2008 Chic African Culture teaches the history of African-food recipes and African-cultures, art, music, and oral literature.

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The person who is not patient cannot eat well-cooked dishes. -African Proverb

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hamar Tribe Beauty and Cattle Leaping

The Hamar tribe of the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia is an ancient tribe with an unique cattle leaping ritual. 


 Cattle and other livestock are at the heart of Hamar life. 


The Hamar tribe use red-ochre clay and animal fat to pleat and color their hair.
Young Hamar Girl

Hamar men come of age by leaping over a line of about 15 cows and castrated bull. In order to come of age, the man must leap across the line four times. At the end of the leap, he is blessed and sent off with the Maza who shave his head and make him one of their alumni. It is an important ritual that qualifies him to marry, own cattle and have children.

There is usually several days of nonstop dancing, eating grilled meats and drinking beer. Hamar tribe women and men want to look beautiful so they use red-ochre clay and animal fat to braid and color their hair. On the afternoon of the leap, fellow pledgees’ female relatives make loud plea’s to be whipped as part of the ceremony cattle leaping ceremony to show physical and emotional support.

One outcome of the cattle jumping ritual is whipping creates responsibility between the pledgee and his female relatives. If they face hard times in the future, he will remember them because of the pain they went through at his initiation. Her scars are a mark of how she suffered for her male relative.


Hamar people are no different from many ancient African cultures; they are moving to urban areas, attending formal schools, mingling with tourists and are disregarding traditions and are losing knowledge of ancient rituals.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

African Proverb - To get lost is to learn the way

To get lost is to learn the way

Five reasons getting lost can be a good thing.

 

 Getting lost is an uncommon opportunity to benefit from hands-on learning of the practical real-world lessons. Being lost can teach you more than what you can learn in a classroom.


African Proverb - To get lost is to learn the way
Getting lost is a good way to find yourself

Five reasons getting lost can be a good thing


1. You will learn to trust a higher power as well as yourself and find what was lost inside you.

2. You will become more resourceful by letting people inside learning it is never too late to find your way out.

3. You will have a new perspective on your life and the lives of others.

4. You will learn to truly listen to your inner voice, your internal spirit and other people.

5. You will find a new adventure, a good story and learn an important lesson. 




To get lost is to learn the way

Morocco desert traveler

Search

Mursi Woman Ethiopia Africa

Wander

Young Maasai tribe herder

Get lost


 Damara Tribe Elder in Namibia Africa

Find yourself in the end

Himba girl in Kaokoland Namibia Africa


Getting lost is just another way of saying going exploring. To get lost is to learn the way to find yourself in the end then you will understand how to hear and listen to your inner voice, your internal spirit and other people.

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Facts about the Slave Trade in Africa

Nearly 40% of Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Gabon were imprisoned Africans were enslaved on bights and were sold to the present day US State of Virginia. Many of these captives were Igbo, a people living in the area north what is now Nigeria. 


Western Africa's Bight of Bonny African Slave Trade


Painted in 1840 during a time when slavery was still legal in French colonies, The Slave Trade by Auguste-Francois Biard is a strong statement against the institution.
The Slave Trade by Auguste-Francois Biard
The Bight of Bonny is a bay in the warm waters of the Gulf of Guinea. The Gulf of Guinea is the bay the northeastern most part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean off the Western African coast. Bight is an Old English word for the Modern English word bay or bends. The Bight of Biafra was renamed the Bight of Bonny after the Biafra War in 1972. 

Between the 16th and the 19th century, nearly one fifth of the enslaved Africans brought to colonial America were from African regions based mainly on the ports of Brass, Bonny, Opobo and Calabar in Nigeria. 

The Slave Coast in the 18th and 19th  century transatlantic slave trade was the section of the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, in Africa, in the present-day republics of Togo, Benin, and Nigeria.

Around 18% of Africans were sold to British colonies and the United States were captured from the Bight of Bonny. In the 1830’s Britain began enforcing the end of the slave trade on the bights. 

The slave trade was the main income of most of the residents however; by the 1850’s, Bonny had become a major exporter of palm oil and palm kernels. One hundred years later, around 1950, oil became the chief source of income for the area. ExxonMobil Qua Iboe crude oil is produced from numerous offshore fields in the Bight of Bonny in Nigeria's South Eastern region.

Dutch sea captain Willem Bosman in 1705 wrote a firsthand detailed account of how the middle passage slave trade was managed in West Africa.


The Slave Coast in the 18th and 19th  century transatlantic slave trade was the section of the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, in Africa, in the present-day republics of Togo, Benin, and Nigeria.
Bight of Biafra was renamed the Bight of Bonny
after the Biafran War in 1972
"Not a few in our country fondly imagine that parents here sell their children, men their wives, and one brother the other. But those who think so, do deceive themselves; for this never happens on any other account but that of necessity, or some great crime; but most of the slaves that are offered to us, are prisoners of war, which are sold by the victors as their booty.

Those which are approved as good are set on one side; and the lame or faulty are set byas Invalides, which are here called Mackrons. These are such as are above five and thirty Years old, or are maimed in the Arms, Legs, Hands or Feet, have lost a Tooth, are grey haired, or have Films over their Eyes; as well as all those which are affected with any Veneral Distemper, or with several other Diseases.

The Invalides and the Maimed being thrown out, as I have told you, the remainder are numbred, and it is entred who delivered them. In the mean while a burning Iron, with the Arms or Name of the Companies, lyes in the Fire, with which ours are marked on the breast. This is done that we may distinguish them from the slaves of the English, French, or others (which are also marked with their mark), and to prevent the Negroes exchanging them for worse, at which they have a good hand. I doubt not but this trade seems very barbarous to you, but since it is followed by mere necessity, it must go on; but we yet take all possible care that they are not burned too hard, especially the women, who are more tender than the men.
Dutch sea captain Willem Bosman in 1705 wrote a firsthand detailed account of how the middle passage slave trade was managed in West Africa. 
When we have agreed with the owners of the slaves, they are returned to their prison; where, from that time forwards, they are kept at our charge, cost us two pence a day a slave; which serves to subsist them, like our criminals, on bread and water: so that to save charges, we send them on board our ships with the very first opportunity, before which their masters strip them of all they have on their backs; so that they come to us stark-naked, as well women as men: in which condition they are obliged to continue, if the master of the ship is not so charitable (which he commonly is) as to bestow something on them to cover their nakedness.

The slaves are fed three times a day with indifferent good victuals, and much better than they eat in their own country. Their lodging place is divided into two parts; one of which is appointed for the men, the other for the women, each sex being kept apart. Here they lie as close together as it is possible for them to be crowded."

Source: Willem Bosman, A New and Accurate Description of the Coast of Guinea Divided into the Gold, the Slave, and the Ivory Coasts.


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Saturday, June 25, 2016

You Can't Make an Ungrateful Person Happy

African proverb, "When a person is carrying someone on his back, the one being carried gets tired before he does" teaches you can not make an ungrateful person happy because they don't care about all the good things you've done for them.


Ungrateful People



You Can't Make an Ungrateful Person Happy

“When a person is carrying someone on his back, the one being carried gets tired before he does” – African Proverb

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Cooking With Leaves African Style

One of the African Yoruba people traditional recipes for cooking with leaves is Ewuro or bitter leaf stew.


Bitter leaf stew is not bitter as suggested by the name but a delicious mix of beef, fish, chicken, pork and seafood. The leaves are green with a robust odor and a bitter taste, every part of the plant is beneficial from the stem, leaves, and root.

One of the African Yoruba people traditional recipes for cooking with leaves is Ewuro or bitter leaf stew.
Ewuro Bitter Leaf Stew

Ewuro Bitter Leaf Stew


Ingredients:
5 ounces of cubed beef
5 ounces of pork or pork sausage
2 skinless chicken thighs
3 smoked fish, flaked
1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1/4 cup palm oil 
1 small eggplant, peeled and diced
2 bunches scallions, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 punch bitter leaf, chopped
Water to cover

Directions:

Note: If you cannot find bitter leaf, substitute 2 handfuls of spinach

Add all ingredients except shrimp to a large pot over medium heat cover ingredients with water. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour. Add shrimp and continue to simmer another 15 minutes.


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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Broccoli and Red Peppers with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Broccoli and Red Peppers with Spicy Peanut Sauce recipe can be whipped up in an instant and makes a great family night meal for the vegetarian in the family.



Broccoli and Red Peppers with Spicy Peanut Sauce


Broccoli and Red Peppers with Spicy Peanut Sauce recipe can be whipped up in an instant
Broccoli and Red Peppers with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Ingredients:
3 cups broccoli florets
1 thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 chopped hot pepper (optional)
¼ cup vegetable stock
¼ cup water
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic cloves

Directions:

Whisk water, peanut butter, and garlic cloves together in bowl. Add broccoli, red bell pepper, and vegetable stock in large pot covered, over high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add sauce to pot and simmer over medium-high heat until thickened, about 30 seconds. Return vegetables to pot and cook until well coated, about 30 seconds. Serve warm over rice.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Organic Coconut Chips Recipe

Learn how to quickly and easily crack open a coconut and enjoy freshly made organic baked coconut chips.


 Coconuts are not indigenous to Africa but have found the perfect home to grow in Africa’s Madagascar and coastal countries of east Africa.


Coconuts are not indigenous to Africa but have found the perfect home to grow in Africa’s Madagascar and coastal countries of east Africa.
Organic Coconut Chips Recipe

Coconut Chips Recipe


Ingredients:
1 coconut
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
½ teaspoon paprika (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then use a corkscrew or screwdriver and a hammer to pierce the eyes. Strain water through a fine sieve into a glass or bowl to allow the coconut water to drain out.

Place the coconut in a sturdy plastic bag and smash it on a hard surface like a floor or concrete driveway.

Separate coconut flesh from shell, rinse and dry coconut. Using a vegetable peeler, remove strips from edges.

Place the coconut strips on a baking sheet in a single layers, season with salt and paprika and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and enjoy!


Did you know?

Coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit's center that is inside young coconuts. Coconut water is low in calories, fat and cholesterol free, and full of potassium, more potassium than bananas in fact. 

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sautéed Chicken Wings with Shito

Sautéed Chicken Wings with Shito Ghanaian pepper sauce recipe.Shito is Ghana’s much-loved hot sauce.



Sautéed Chicken Wings with Shito


Ingredients:
Sautéed Chicken Wings with Shito Ghanaian pepper sauce recipe. Shito is Ghana’s much-loved hot sauce.
Sautéed Chicken Wings with Shito
2 pounds chicken wings
2 cups tomato puree
10 dried hot chilies
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Season chicken wings with black pepper and salt, place in a large resealable plastic bag. Add remaining ingredients into a food processor and mix well. Add sauce into the bag with the chicken wings, seal and coat. Marinate at least 3 hours. In a large fry pan sauté wings on medium-low 30 minutes. Serve with a side salad or grilled vegetables.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Fumo Liyongo African Swahili Hero Poet

Fumo Liyongo African Swahili Hero Poet


African Hero Poet

Fumo Liyongo was an African Swahili supernatural mythological hero, the son of African royalty. The mighty African hero Liyongo was an invincible poet a standing over eight feet tall.



The mystical powers and supernatural abilities of the African hero Liyongo are told in many African Swahili poems.



Fumo Liyongo African Swahili Hero Poet



Fumo Liyongo means strong spear


Fumo Liyongo was a Swahili hero the son of African royalty. He was an invincible poet a standing over eight feet tall.
At the heart of many of the world's most enduring myths and legends is a bigger than life hero who triumphs over obstacles. 

Fumo Liyongo was famous throughout the land. He was a strong young man, beautiful and tall, he was so special he could not be compared to any other human. Apart from the exaggerated physical features, Liyongo is also described as humble, respectful and obedient.


Liyongo is similar to the tales told of the USA’s Paul Bunyan and John Henry. Liyongo and Paul Bunyan are larger than life mythical folk heroes who symbolize strength. Swahili hero Liyongo is perhaps the most famous character in Swahili classical poetry. 



Fumo Liyongo was an invincible African hero poet a standing over eight feet tall. The mystical powers and supernatural abilities of the African hero poet Liyongo are told in many Swahili poems. Swahili poetry or ushairi for centuries has played a central role in Swahili society. Fumo Liyongo or Liongo Swahili poetry has a long and rich history among the Swahili people of the East African coast with traditional African hero poetry and stories. 

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day 365

African fathers deserve to be praised 365 days of the year.


Father's Day is a special day of celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood and the influence of fathers in the world. The idea for Father's Day originated in the United States and has been officially celebrated on the third Sunday in June since 1966.

The general perception in the world is that the African fathers does not exist however, many black African fathers play an active role in their children’s lives spending more time in their children's day-to-day lives than any other race.




A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.


Fatherhood Quotes


He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. -Clarence Budington Kelland

Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance. --Ruth Renkel

The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God; I call him Dad!
-Author Unknown

I am not ashamed to say that no man I ever met was my father’s equal, and I never loved any other man as much. -Hedy Lamarr

I love how we do not have to say out loud that I am your favorite child. -Author Unknown

There are three stages of a man’s life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus. -Author Unknown

Whether you call him uba, baba, bapa, pa, père, nna, papai, ubaba, utata, father, dad, daddy, paw or old man, if you love him tell him so, if you hate him, let go and forgive him for being an imperfect parent.  
Children who hate their fathers learn to forgive and begin to love
Love and forgive















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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Africa's Most Visited Cities

Africa's Most Visited Cities

Travel Africa
It is not easy to identify the five most visited cities in the whole of Africa but here are our top picks.
Travel Africa

Africa's Most Visited Cities


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




South Africa’s' Johannesburg is Africa’s Most Visited City in 2015 according to MasterCard’s global destination power rankings.




Many of Africa’s cities are changing so rapidly that they are barely recognizable when compared to what they were a decade ago. Below, in order are the top five of Africa's Most Visited Cities 2015.



Africa's Most Visited Cities 2015


1. Johannesburg South Africa

South African Woman

Johannesburg or Joburg the City of Gold has over 40 art galleries and is the hub of the fashion industry and wine making in South Africa. The largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg is also the wealthiest. Johannesburg also has a reputation for crime. The city was established in 1886 following the discovery of gold. A separate city from the late 1970s until 1994, Soweto is now part of Johannesburg.


2. Cape Town South Africa


South Africa is world famous for producing some of the world’s most delectable wines. Cape vineyards, where cultivation of grapes dates back to the 1600’s today this is the largest winemaking region in South Africa, and organized wine tourism has become a big business. However, an El Nino-triggered drought two years ago hit agricultural production and economic growth throughout South Africa. Cape Town was particularly hard hit, and lack of good subsequent rains around the city has made its water shortage worse. The Vaal Dam is a major supply source for Gauteng, the province that includes Johannesburg, Pretoria and much of South Africa’s industry. South Africa’s drought-stricken Cape Town “Day Zero,” when taps in the city run dry and people start queuing for water will be in August 2019.


3. Cairo Egypt

Camel parade

Cairo Egypt was once known as the Paris of the Middle East. Cairo’s priceless pyramids of Giza, Saqqara, Memphis and Dahshur should be on everyone’s bucket list of must-see places to visits before you die. Also on the list are the Egyptian museum, Coptic Cairo, City of the Dead, Saladino's citadel and the Marble Mosque. With a population of over 9 million spread over 3,085 square kilometers or 1,191 sq mi, Cairo is the largest city in Egypt. Cairo's Tahrir Square was the focal point of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution against former president Hosni Mubarak.


4. Casablanca Morocco

Casablanca Morocco has beautiful buildings in shades of blue in the city of Chefchaouen.
Chefchaouen, Casablanca Morocco
Casablanca Morocco has beautiful buildings in shades of blue in the city of Chefchaouen, the Atlas Mountains, Sahara Desert and camel trekking in the Erg Chebbi sand dunes. Casablanca is located in the central western part of Morocco bordering the Atlantic Ocean, is the largest city in Morocco. It is also the largest city in the Maghreb, as well as one of the largest and most important cities in Africa, both economically and demographically. The area that is Casablanca today was founded and settled by Berbers around the seventh century BC. It was used as a port by the Phoenicians and later the Romans. Leo Africanus in his book Description of Africa, Casablanca as Anfa, a great city founded in the Berber kingdom of Barghawata. He believed Anfa was the most prosperous city on the Atlantic Coast because of its fertile land. Following the defeat of the Barghawata around the 12th century, Arabs of Hilal and Sulaym descent settled in the region. 


5. Durban South Africa


Durban also known as eThekweni in the Zulu language has one of the world’s largest aquariums, uShaka Sea World. uShaka Sea World is the fifth largest aquarium in the world where you can swim with the dolphins and watch penguins swim and play. Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third most populous in South Africa after Johannesburg and Cape Town. It is also the second most important manufacturing hub in South Africa after Johannesburg. Located on the east coast of South Africa, Durban is famous for being the second busiest port in the country, after Wetty Station.



Did you Know?

The meeting and greeting etiquette in South Africa and Cairo may be different from what you are used to.
A smile is a universal language
The meeting and greeting etiquette in South Africa and Cairo may be different from what you are used to. When dealing with foreigners, most people shake hands while maintaining friendly eye contact and smiling. 

Some women do not shake hands and merely nod their head, so it is best to wait for a woman to extend her hand first. Men may kiss a woman they know well on the cheek instead of giving a handshake. 

Traveling to Africa maybe different than your home town customs, for example greetings are leisurely and include time for exchanging pleasantries and social discussion.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Fear the Afro

All women be they African or African American are sisters bound together by history sharing a common bond of beauty, intelligence, strength, courage and of course the love of our crown and glory, our hair.


The Hair That Divides Us


The decision to wear natural hair whether it is dreadlocks, Nubian twists, braids means that you are outside of the norm.
Nubian twists hairstyle
Moms, daughters, daughters-in-law, sisters-in-law, grandmothers, aunts, nieces, cousins, and friends, all may have a different opinion on the accepted way to style hair. Never before, it seems, has the styling of black women's hair been such a topic of national conversation. However, some feel the elitist feeling that is growing with the natural hair movement is just another way to divide women of color.

The decision to wear natural hair whether it is dreadlocks, Nubian twists, braids means that you are outside of the norm. Natural hair supporters go one step further - to say natural hair is a nod to being a real African.

Because of the historic devaluation of “kinky” hair and the association of hairstyles such as Afros and dreadlocks with revolutionary thinking and militancy, Black hair has strong negative political implications. 

I'm with Afros


On the continent of itself, Africa is a prime market for Indian hair. It’s the market for weaves, wigs, and extensions is currently estimated to be worth $6 billion a year and growing fast. The hair market is so big that global giants such as Unilever and L’Oreal are investing heavily in African hair care products. Many African Americans believe wearing natural hair means getting in touch with African roots however, due to the influence of China, Africa’s cravings for weave and wigs is just as strong as it is in the USA.

The natural hair movement is a celebration of Black women’s  beauty
Ombre hair weave
There are those who choose to focus on individual expression and argue that whether a Black woman’s hair is worn kinky, curly or straight, or with wigs or weaves, the hairstyle does not automatically determine if the wearer is self-loving or self-loathing. However, people such as Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says, "Relaxing your hair is like being in prison," she wrote. "You're caged in. Your hair rules you." "You're always battling to make your hair do what it wasn't meant to do."

Clutch magazine writer, Shahida Muhammad, asserts, “Instead of debating on what’s better, let’s applaud the fact that we now have options in hair care that will inspire the next generations of Black girls to embrace their hair in ways that suit their preferences, and not imposed social ideals.” Playing into the neocolonial agenda by dividing women culturally hurts us all. 


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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Literacy Rates by Country

Literacy rate among African adults aged 15 years and older including statistics and definitions of literacy rates by countries in Africa.


Putting literacy rates in Africa in perspective


Learning to read and write should be fundamental yet, more than 75% of the world's 781 million illiterate adults are found in South and West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa; of all the illiterate adults in the world, almost 66% are women.

Reading inspires children to be successful in school and life. Nevertheless, keep in mind there are no universal definitions and standards of literacy therefore literacy rates in Africa are subjective. Also Africa is the second most populous continent with about 1.1 billion people or 16% of the world’s population. Mexico, China, Eastern and Western Europe, India, the USA and Japan can all fit into Africa's total land area very comfortably.

Africa, the cradle of language


People who read are better able to understand other people, empathize with them and view the world from their perspective.Most importantly, over 25% all languages are spoken only in Africa with over 2,000 languages spoken on the continent. With such diversity in language, a person is counted as literate by the World Bank as the population age 15 and above who can, with understanding, read and write a short, simple statement on their everyday life. Generally, ‘literacy’ also encompasses ‘numeracy’, the ability to make simple arithmetic calculations. 

African Country Literacy rates (2015)

1.   Algeria: 80.2%
2.   Angola: 71.1%
3.   Benin: 38.4%
4.   Botswana: 88.5%
5.   Burkina Faso: 36%
6.   Burundi: 85.6%
7.   Cabo Verde (Cape Verde): 87.6%
8.   Cameroon: 75%
9.   Central African Republic: 36.8%
10.       Chad: 40.2%
11.       Comoros: 77.8%
12.       Democratic Republic of the Congo: 63.8%
13.       Republic of the Congo: 79.3%
14.       Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast): 43.1%
15.       Egypt: 73.8%
16.       Equatorial Guinea: 95.3%
Reading is essential for a child’s success.17.       Eritrea: 73.8%
18.       Ethiopia: 49.1%
19.       Gabon: 83.2%
20.       The Gambia: 55.5%
21.       Ghana: 76.6%
22.       Guinea Bissau: 59.9%
23.       Guinea: 30.4%
24.       Kenya: 78%
25.       Lesotho: 79.4%
26.       Liberia: 47.6% (male: 62.4% and female: 32.8%)
27.       Libya: 91%
28.       Madagascar: 64.7%
29.       Malawi: 65.8%
30.       Mali: 38.7%
31.       Mauritania: 52.1%
32.       Mauritius: 90.6%
33.       Morocco: 68.5%
34.       Mozambique: 58.8% (male: 73.3% and female: 45.4%)
35.       Namibia: 81.9%
36.       Nigeria: 59.6%
37.       Niger: 19.1%
38.       Rwanda: 70.5%
39.       Sao Tome and Principe: 74.9%
40.       Senegal: 57.7%
41.       Seychelles: 91.8% (2012)
42.       Sierra Leone: 48.1%
43.       South Africa: 94.3%
44.       South Sudan: 27% (male: 40% and female: 16% -2009 est.)
45.       Sudan: 75.9%
46.       Swaziland: 87.5%
47.       Tanzania: 70.6%
48.       Togo: 66.5%
49.       Tunisia: 81.8%
50.       Uganda: 78.4%
51.       Zambia: 63.4%
52.       Zimbabwe English: 86.5%

Note: no data available on two African countries from the World Bank


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Chic African Culture Featured Articles

Truth is treason in the empire of lies.

Mental Discovery

The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb

Wise Words


A wise person does not fall down on the same hill twice.