Formerly known as Dahomey, Benin successfully transitioned from dictatorship to democracy in 1991 with the free election of the president, and the country continues to enjoy a strong and stable democracy.
Burundi is a densely populated, land locked country in Central Africa, and one of the world's poorest nations due to decades of civil unrest, and political and economic instability.
Kenya's potential for development, supported by a relatively diversified economy and central role in regional transport, telecommunications and financial services, is hampered by low investments in the infrastructure sector and growing security threats.
Over a decade has passed since the end of conflict in Liberia, but the incidence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) has not diminished.
In 2012, a secessionist rebellion cut off northern Mali and imposed a harsh form of Shari’a law in the territories it controlled. Following the defeat of the insurgency, Mali has been striving to reassert statehood.
The former Portuguese colony emerged in 1992 from a civil war that left more than one million dead. Mozambique is now one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, largely thanks to strong foreign investor interest.
In 2012 a Somali government took office with international backing, after two decades of anarchy and warfare. Supported by African Union peacekeeping troops, the government is seeking to extend its jurisdiction over areas of the country still controlled by Islamist militias.
Twenty years of stable democratic government after the end of apartheid have not succeeded in eliminating poverty, violent crime, and glaring disparities in income and educational opportunities in South Africa.
Statehood came to South Sudan in mid-2011, accompanied by international goodwill. But the conflict which erupted in late 2013 inflamed latent political and ethnic tensions. This resulted in gross human rights violations and piled further pressure onto the fledgling justice delivery system.
With a array of natural sights, Tanzania is a tourist magnet. Revenues from the travel industry, as well as gold mining, have spurred high overall economic growth rates. However, Tanzania remains one of the world’s poorest countries in terms of per capita income.