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Africa’s 11 Billionaires 2009

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1. Mohammed Al Amoudi

FORBES RANKING: 43

Photo by asplundbild.com

Net Worth:$9.0 bil

Fortune:self made
 
Source:oil

Age:63

Country Of Citizenship:Saudi Arabia

Residence:Jeddah

Industry: Oil

Education:NA,

M arital Status:married, 8 children

Born in Ethiopia and now a Saudi citizen. Built fortune in construction and real estate in Saudi Arabia before betting on energy. Began investing in Sweden in 1974; owns Svenska Petroleum and Swedish refinery Preem. Has invested more than $2 billion in Ethiopia, from hotels to stevedoring. Hit jackpot with gold mine in the Oromo region of Ethiopia; it now produces 6 tons of gold annually, set to double production by 2010. Owns several properties in London and the U.S. Donated more than $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.

2. Patrick Soon-Shiong

FORBES RANKING: 87

Photo by SPH/The Business Times

Net Worth:$5.5 bil

Fortune:self made
Source: Generic Drugs
Age: 57

Country Of Citizenship:United States

Residence:Los Angeles, CA

Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Education:University of Witwatersrand, Bachelor of Arts / Science, University of Witwatersrand, Medical Doctor

M arital Status:married, 2 children

Dad was a village doctor in China; family immigrated to South Africa during WWII. Finished high school at age 16; was a doctor by 23. Got only half-salary because of apartheid race rules. Joined UCLA faculty 1980; developed technique for inserting islet cells into pancreas to treat diabetes. Founded VivoRx; quit after fight with brother, investors. Took American Pharmaceutical Partners public 2001. Invented cancer drug Abraxane; nanotech drug is more potent, has fewer side effects. Split company in two in 2007: APP Pharmaceuticals creates hospital products, Abraxis BioScience develops drugs (shares flat in past 12 months). Sold APP Pharmaceuticals to German dialysis-clinic operator Fresenius for $5.6 billion including debt in July; netted $3 billion. Plans to donate $1 billion to create “the Bell Labs of health care.” Will hire mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists, doctors to build database of biological markers to better identify ailments, treatments.

3. Nicky Oppenheimer & family

FORBES RANKING: 98

Per-Anders Pettersson/Reportage by Getty Image

Net Worth:$5.0 bil

Fortune:inherited

Source:De Beers

Age:63

Country Of Citizenship:South Africa

Residence:Johannesburg

Industry:Metals & Mining

Education:Christ Church, Oxford U, Bachelor of Arts / Science, Christ Church, Oxford U, Master of Arts

Marital Status:married, 1 child

Chairman of De Beers, world’s largest diamond producer, which had $5.9 billion in sales last year. Has been through a sea change over past five years: sold off a piece of De Beers’ South African operations to a black-empowerment group, first major ownership change in a century; welcomed its first black executive; and settled a long-standing price-fixing suit that prevented it from opening offices in the U.S. Sold off a third of family’s interest in mining giant Anglo American, founded in 1917 by grandfather Ernest. On behalf of De Beers, Oppenheimer courted Russian President Vladimir Putin in fall of 2006; two months later De Beers and Russia’s state-owned Alrosa diamond mining firm signed joint prospecting deal. With the demand dampening, the company bought fewer stones for resale from Alrosa last year. In December announced that production from its biggest open-pit mines in South Africa and Botswana, which had been running at full capacity, would be reduced until diamond demand recovers. His response to declining markets, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

4. Nassef Sawiris

 

FORBES RANKING: 196

MEIGNEUX/SIPA

Net Worth:$3.1 bil

Fortune:inherited and growing

Source:construction

Age:47

Country Of Citizenship:Egypt

Residence:Cairo

Industry: Construction & Engineering

Education:University of Chicago, Bachelor of Arts / Science,

Marital Status:NA,
Youngest son of Orascom conglomerate founder and fellow billionaire, Onsi Sawiris. Took over leadership of empire’s flagship construction and fertilizer division in 1998; Orascom Construction shares tumbled 80% over past year. Chief still bullish, projecting 50% increase in group revenues from projects in Gulf and North Africa; company also sitting on $1 billion cash war chest. Spun off group’s cement division 2 years ago to French giant LaFarge, landing Nassef a seat on the board and a 13% stake. University of Chicago grad launched boardroom battle last October at U.S. cement supplier Texas Industries, in which he holds 15% stake; succeeded in rallying shareholders to pass no-confidence votes against 2 board members to protest company’s poor performance, no one was ousted. Asking for board seat and chance to increase stake to 25%.

5. Naguib Sawiris

FORBES RANKING: 205

JEROME FAVRE/Bloomberg News /Landov

Net Worth:$3.0 bil

Fortune:inherited and growing

Source:telecom

Age:54

Country Of Citizenship:Egypt

Residence:Cairo

Industry: Telecommunications

Education:Swiss Federal Polytechnical Institute, Bachelor of Arts / Science, Swiss Federal Polytechnical Institute, Master of Science

Marital Status:married, 4 children

Eldest son of Orascom conglomerate founder and fellow billionaire Onsi Sawiris. Heads up Orascom Telecom, one of largest mobile providers in Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Telecom tycoon’s insatiable risk appetite backfiring; his personal fund, Weather Investments, saddled with $7.7 billion in debt from leveraged buyouts of Italian phone company Wind and leading Greek telecom companies Wind Hellas and Tellas three years ago. Sold 10% of fund to trio of private equity players for $1 billion last year to pay down debt. Not slowing down: in December paid a visit to Kim Jong Il to sign license agreement granting Orascom exclusive access to North Korea’s cell phone market; first mobile company to invest in the pariah state.

6. Aliko Dangote

 

Net Worth:$2.5 bil

Fortune:inherited and growing

Source:sugar, flour, cement manufacturing

Age:51

Country Of Citizenship:Nigeria

Residence:Lagos

Industry: Manufacturing

Education:NA,

Marital Status:NA,

Though initial offerings of his sugar and flour companies were oversubscribed in 2007, stocks in both have fallen nearly 70% since last February. Using his role as committee member on government economic advisory board to encourage federal government to rescue the nation’s capital markets. His conglomerate, the Dangote Group, has expanded its cement operations with new plants across Nigeria and as well as South Africa and Ethiopia. Sparring with new Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola over oil and gas concessions; Otedola parried by buying up stock in Dangote’s companies. Dangote began career as trader at age 21 with loan from his uncle; built his Dangote Group into conglomerate with interests in sugar, flour milling, salt processing, cement manufacturing, textiles, real estate, and oil and gas. Closely linked to Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

7. Mohammed Ibrahim

Net Worth:$2.0 bil

Fortune:self made

Source:communications

Age:NA

Country Of Citizenship:United Kingdom

Residence:London

Industry: Telecommunications

Education:NA,

Marital Status:NA,

Sudanese-born “Mo” founded Celtel, a mobile phone company that now serves 15 African countries. Sold it in 2005 for $3.4 billion; pocketed $1.4 billion. The London resident now spends his time on philanthropy and investing in Africa. Created Mo Ibrahim Foundation to award monetary prize to former African heads of state who have shown exemplary leadership in such areas as promoting political freedom; awarded first $5 million prize in October.

8. Onsi Sawiris

FORBES RANKING: 430

 

Image Source: Al-Ahram Weekly

 

Net Worth:$1.7 bil

Fortune:self made

Source:construction

Age:79

Country Of Citizenship:Egypt

Residence:Cairo

Industry: Construction & Engineering

Education:Bachelor of Arts / Science,

Marital Status:married, 3 children

Founding patriarch of Egypt’s most famous business dynasty saw shares in primary holding, Orascom Construction Industries, plunge 80% over past year; remains chair. His 3 sons run construction, telecommunications and tourism divisions. Studied agriculture in college after lawyer father urged him to pursue farming. Found it boring, instead opened a small contracting firm in Upper Egypt. Construction baron forced to rebuild empire after it was nationalized by Nasser in 1960s.

9. Patrice Motsepe

Net Worth:$1.3 bil

Fortune:self made

Source:mining

Age:47

Country Of Citizenship:South Africa

Residence:Johannesburg

Industry: Metals & Mining

Education:Bachelor of Arts / Science, Doctor of Jurisprudence

Marital Status:married, 3 children

Johannesburg mining magnate is South Africa’s first black billionaire. Born in the sprawling black township of Soweto and then trained as a lawyer, became first black partner at Bowman Gilfillan law firm in Johannesburg, before starting a contracting business doing mine scut work. Bought low-producing gold mine shafts in 1994, turned them profitable using lean, mean management style. Since then built $875 million (sales) mining conglomerate, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), with interests in a wide swath of minerals: platinum, nickel, chrome, iron, manganese and coal. Benefited from South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) laws, which mandate that companies be at least 26% black-owned in order to get a government mining license. Also holds a 5.5% stake in Sanlam, a publicly traded financial services company outside Cape Town.

10. Femi Otedola

 

Pius Utomi/AFP/Getty Images

Pius Utomi/AFP/Getty Images

Net Worth:

$1.2 bil

Fortune:self made

Source:Energy

Age:42

Country Of Citizenship:Nigeria

Residence:

Industry: Energy

Education:NA,

Marital Status:married, 4 children

Politician’s son used a majority stake in African Petroleum to get himself appointed its chief executive last year. Now he plans to merge it with his private firm, Zenon, to create the continent’s largest oil company. Deal has stalled in the face of government concerns about a monopoly, with his assets temporarily frozen last year. Nigerian regulators lifted the ban in January. Conflict abounds in Otedola’s life: he claims his friend and fellow billionaire, Aliko Dangote, broke a gentleman’s agreement when he thwarted Zenon’s bid to buy Chevron’s local subsidiary in September. In retaliation, starting buying shares in Dangote’s publicly traded sugar company.

 


11. Johann Rupert & family

FORBES RANKING: 601

David Cannon/Getty Images

David Cannon/Getty Images

Net Worth:$1.2 bil

Fortune:inherited and growing

Source:luxury goods

Age:58

Country Of Citizenship:South Africa

Residence:Stellenbosch

Industry: Retail

Education:University of Stellenbosch, Bachelor of Arts / Science,

Marital Status:married, 3 children

Head of publicly traded Swiss luxury group Richemont, which owns Cartier, Dunhill and other premium brands. Stock down 70% since last February. His South African holding company, Remgro, is listing its stake in British American Tobacco on the Johannesberg exchange. But unbundling of the BAT stake will create pressure to find investments to replace the asset, say analysts. His private South African investment outfit, VenFin, finalized a much-anticipated deal to acquire British rugby club Saracens. With family relatives, owns two of South Africa’s best-known vineyards, Rupert & Rothschild and L’Ormarins; also owns one of the country’s most exclusive golf clubs.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Tigwe

    March 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Hey,
    its a wounderful thing to allow each and every one to have a word to say concerning our mother land Africa .But its rather unfortunate that we keep on day in and day out in mass numbers migratting out of the continent to the developed world, and with all the riches we make why can”t we in single propotions contribute for the cleaning of are own environment .Just a dust bin at every conner of the street near to you will atleast in a way make a difference.Lets stop throwing large parties when we come back home and what ever.There ophans and homeless ones out there , who need our attention.Please together we can make the difference and yes we can.

  2. Felix Leshey

    March 17, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Every Continent has billionaires and its good to see how many we do have in or from Africa. The challenge that we face is not only in investments but also in our ability to develop and maintain sustainable projects in the non profit sector.

    With regards to investments, the political climate and the business environment has to be right. Security gurantees with investment banking when major banks collapse is a serious issue that needs to be properly addressed.

    The non profit sector has problems of lack of trust and sustainable growth. Most successful NGOs have a support base that guarantee continuity in the services they provide to communities. Not everyone looks at things the same way, we are bound to be different. Good articles…… Felix Leshey,

  3. wesley bula

    March 21, 2009 at 11:09 am

    This is great to see these rich men from Africa.But all of us know that the really Rich guys from Africa are they Heads Of States ..We all further know that they have the wealth of their countries on their hands .This is just my point of view …

    Wesley Bula

  4. thabo

    March 3, 2010 at 8:42 am

    All i can say is :Motsepe uya “rocka” boss!!!

  5. lawrence

    March 11, 2010 at 9:11 am

    it is encouraging and motivating to know that the sky is the limit in this world even in africa. People should not lose hope and ask Motsepe how we can aspire towards the millions that he started with.

    Human development, education, Job creation and sustainability is my request for these guise to focus on to make a meaningful contribution to our poverty levels in south africa.

    L Kok

  6. larry ehuntsi

    October 19, 2010 at 6:58 am

    is good you people get more money before i join race. coming soon.

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Travel

10 Must See Historic Sites In Ghana

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Historic sites in Ghana are an important feature that tourist should not miss. Majority of them tell stories of oppression, survival, and ingenuity. Ghana is one of the most progressive countries in West Africa. Located along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana is recognized globally for its unique cultures, particularly the Kente. Ghana also played a major role during the trans-Atlantic slave trade era. The Ghanaian government has done a good in preserving some of these historic monuments and relics. From monuments that are now part of UNESCO World Heritage sites to ancient tribes, Ghana has a lot of historic sites that bring up some strong emotions. If you love antiquities, plan to visit the following historic sites when you visit Ghana.

#1 – The Traditional Buildings of The Asante Kingdom

Asante buildings

The Ashanti Kingdom was a great force to reckon with in the 18th century and still remain influential to this day in Ghana. Their militaristic nature allowed them to control large areas with significant gold deposits. They ruled a vast area of present-day Ghana before the arrival of the Europeans in 1806. This historic site contains thirteen houses built by the Asante Kingdom. During the European reign, a significant number of the Asante buildings were destroyed. However, the surviving buildings are now cultural emblems. In 1980, they were recognized as one of the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ghana. These buildings consist of clay or mud walls and roofs made from woven palm branches. They have a geometrical design embellished with stylized animal emblems.

#2 – Jamestown Lighthouse

Jamestown Lighthouse

This historic town, Jamestown, is one of the two oldest districts in Accra. The second is Usshertown. As early as the 17th century, Jamestown already had communities. By the end of the 19th century, it already had heavy development. Jamestown remains useful today as a great fishing harbor. The area has witnessed a tremendous population growth over time. The most prominent structure of Jamestown is the lighthouse. The original structure is the handiwork of the British as early as 1871. However, the present structure came to be in the 1930s. The Jamestown lighthouse has an imposing height of 28 meters. From the summit, you will get a bird’s eye view of the Ussher Fort, the Bukom district, and the James Fort. Jamestown is today a popular tourist destination and one of the important historic sites in Ghana.

#3 – Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Region

Forts and Castles

This is the second UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ghana. These fortified trading posts were built between the 15th and 18th century. These magnificent buildings span about 500 km, sandwiched between the coast of Beyin in the west and Keta in the east. Over the century, the fort witnessed a succession of occupants including traders from Denmark, Britain, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. Consequently, they played an important role in gold and slave trade. The Ghanaian forts are better preserved than other forts in the neighboring countries.  In 1979, UNESCO recognized this monument as a World Heritage Site.

#4 – Kakum National Park

Kakum National Park

This national park dates back to 1931 but it was not until 1992 that it became a national park. The park covers an area of 357 km sq. The major attraction of this park is the canopy walkway. This is the first of its kind in Africa. It is also one of the only three locations in the continent with a similar walkway of length up to 350 meters. The walkway links six gigantic trees and reaches a height of forty meters above the floor of the forest. Other features of the park include hardwood trees of heights up to 65m, medical plants, and the Sun Bird Trail. Majority of tourists want to have a feel of the walkway. Therefore, if you are planning to visit this park, arrive on time.

#5 – Paga Nania

Paga Nania

This is one of the historic sites in Ghana that attracts lots of visitors. The Ghana Tourist Board in 2008 announced it earned about $500 million from tourists visiting this area. The origin of this slave camp dates back to 1704. Slave raiders came to Paga and the surrounding communities and held people as slaves. This unchecked activity led to the establishment of slave camps in the area. Located in Upper East Region, Paga Nania looks desolate. What remains are water troughs in the rock, observation posts, and grinding stones. The management is asking the government to renovate the camps to make it attractive again.

#6 – Lake Bosomtwe

Lake Bosomtwe

This lake is sacred according to the Ashanti people. The people believe the souls of the dead converge here to bid their farewell to the goddess Asase Ya. This lake is over 1.07 million years old. Firstly, Lake Bosomtwe is till date the only natural lake in Ghana. Several studies suggest the crater on which the lake sits must have been from the impact of asteroids. Chromis bosomanus is a species of fish predominant in this area. However, this lake faces the risk of drying up. There is an ongoing debate for this historic site to be part of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Consequently, it will help to preserve this sacred water.

#7 – Holy Trinity Cathedral

Holy Trinity Cathedral

The funding for this cathedral came from the British government. The Holy Trinity Cathedral is part of the Anglican Diocese of Accra. This ancient building was completed in 1894 but was made a cathedral in 1909. The most remarkable feature of this fortress-like structure is the rectangular bell tower. The church is not only a place of worship but also one of the historic sites in Ghana that tourists want to visit. The resident tranquility within the walls is a respite from the bustling city noise.

#8 – Salaga Slave Market

Salaga Slave Market

The name Salaga is a derivation from “Salgi”, a Dagomba word meaning “To get used to a place”. The Salaga market was an important trading route linking the northern and southern Sahel. Its location in East Gonja district is strategic making it an important trading route for agricultural products. However, in the trans-Atlantic slave trade era, it also served as a route for moving slaves to the coast for onward exportation. Series of events led to civil war in 1892. Consequently, this led to the decimation of the population of this area. To reach the Salaga slave market, you will need a ferry through Yeji if coming from Kumasi. This difficult terrain is the reason why the Salaga slave market is one of the historic sites in Ghana with the least visitors.

#9 – Gwollu Slave Defense Wall

Gwollu Slave Defense Wall

Human beings have a natural survival instinct. The Gwollu slave defense wall is one of the historic sites in Ghana that highlight how far humans can desperately fight for survival. Gwollu is a small town in Sissala West district in Upper West Region. The Gwollu wall dates back to the 19th century. It was built by Gwollu Koro Limann and its main purpose was to defend the people against slave raiders. Most of these walls have been lost to environmental factors. However, the surviving wall is at the border town of Gwollu. Gwollu also holds other important tourist attractions like traditional bone-setting clinic and crocodile pond. The tomb of the former president, Hilla Limann (1979-1981) is also here.

#10 – Cape Coast Castle

Cape Coast Castle

This facility is a 15th-century building by the Swedes to facilitate gold and timber trade. However, it was later used as a holding facility for slaves before they were shipped to America. The British Public Works Department began restoration work of the castle in the 1920s. After Ghana’s independence in 1957, the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board took over the care of the building. The building now serves as a museum and house slave-related artifacts and documents. The rusting canons on the walls paint a vivid picture of the fortification of the facility.

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Explore Africa

16 Beautiful Cities to Visit In Africa

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Africa is often portrayed as poor and underdeveloped but that is not the entire story. Characterized by fascinating natural and manmade landscape and architecture, Africa is undoubtedly a great destination for tourists. From safari to experiencing culinary diversity, there are millions of things to do in Africa. There are thousands of cities to visit in Africa. However, these fifteen cities in the second largest continent are selected based on cleanliness, beauty, security, and things to do. Each of these cities is unique and can hardly be pinned to one experience. Having a hard time deciding which cities to visit in Africa? This list will give you a head start.

Mahé is the largest island in the Seychelles archipelago. It hosts some of the most breathtaking beaches. It is home to the international airport, cruise ship ports, and the must-see Morne Seychellois National Park. It boasts beautiful hiking trails among other tourist attractions in its capital city Victoria.

#2 – Johannesburg (South Africa)

The beauty of Johannesburg is more than just the presence of breathtaking edifices like the 15 Alice Lane Towers. It cut across cultural and ethnic diversity. Johannesburg is the largest city and the economic hub of South Africa. About ten percent of the GDP of the nation come from here. The largest dry port in the world, the City Deep, is found here. You also get a chance to visit the Apartheid Museum. Other places you can visit in Jo’Burg as it is fondly called are Lion Park, Mandela Square, and Gold Reef City. Skirmishes do arise from the uneven distribution of wealth but generally, Johannesburg is safe.

#3 – Port Louis (Mauritius)

Numerous qualities make Port Louis one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Africa. However, cleanliness, beauty, and security stand out. The presence of port facilities, manufacturing industries, and tourism sites makes Port Louis Mauritius’ financial hub. Blue Penny Museum is the place to discover the rich Mauritian culture. Pay attention as you explore the Central Market and walk away with a cool souvenir. Your visit will not be complete without the taste of the local cuisine at Yuzu.

#4 – Cairo (Egypt)

Tutankhamen’s coffin is one of the antiquities held at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo / Shutterstock

Northern African countries have notoriety for beautiful cities and Cairo is one of them. With breathtaking infrastructures and a moderate crime level according to the U.S. Government, Cairo is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Africa. Cairo is one of the oldest cities in Africa and some of the ancient buildings still stand tall. The Citadel, for example, was built in the 12th century but still has the glamour of ancient lavishness. You can take a break from busy traffics and population in places like Al-Azhar Park. Don’t forget to take Egyptian antiques with you when it’s time to leave.

#5 – Gaborone (Botswana)

Gaborone wild life

It is often considered the best beginning spot for those who want to explore Africa for the first time. Gaborone may not be as popular as Johannesburg but in terms of security, it is safer. Gaborone will introduce you to epic wildlife, traditional handicrafts, and mouthwatering southern African dishes. The Gaborone Game Reserve is a must visit. You will come down with chills as you stare into the eyes of gemsboks and warthogs.

ALSO READ: Botswana’s 4th President Did Something African leaders Rarely Do

#6 – Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)

The city is brimming with activities for tourists. Dar es Salaam sits along the coast of the Indian Ocean. It is Tanzania’s largest city. Like Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam boasts of a diverse culture of people and magnificent buildings. Dar es Salaam is popular for music, seafood, islands, and beaches. If you need time off the bustling city noise, visit Mbudya Island. In this captivating scenery, you can also enjoy short boat rides. Coco Beach is where you will find the majority of tourists.

#7 – Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Addis Ababa

Often called the capital of Africa, Addis Ababa radiates youthful beauty and serenity. Addis Ababa in the Amharic language means ‘New Flower’. Consequently, if you adore flowers, you will have many reasons to love Addis Ababa too. Addis Ababa is the tenth on the list of beautiful cities to visit in Africa. One quality it shares with all the aforementioned cities is a low-security risk. Spice up your stay with a visit to Makush Art Gallery. Make plans to visit the National Museum of Ethiopia. If you come across dancers, join in because Ethiopians love it.

#8 – Alexandria (Egypt)

Many Egyptian cities will definitely appear on an expanded list of most beautiful cities to visit in Africa. However, Alexandria is definitely the second best in terms of beauty and security. Like Cairo, the crimes here are mostly opportunistic like pickpockets. Alexandria is a major economic center boasting of large seaports. If you have a few days to spend here, visit Bibliotheca Alexandrina a 2002 building in memorial of the Royal Library of Alexandria. Other important places to explore are Corniche and Alexandria National Museum.

#9 – Nairobi (Kenya)

Nairobi

If you call Nairobi Africa’s culture capital you won’t be wrong. Recent attacks by rebels have cast doubt on the security of the city. However, the beauty of the city remains untainted. If you are enthusiastic about witnessing the unbridled wildlife, Nairobi remains one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Africa. At David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust you can adopt an elephant and follow their growth. A large diversity of wildlife awaits you at the Nairobi National Park.

#10 – Agadir (Morocco)

Agadir

The beauty of Agadir rests on the blending of history and modernity. Agadir is considered a safe haven for tourists. The level of crime in the city is very low and it is unlikely that you will meet any harm. Agadir sits on the country’s southern coast by the Atlantic Ocean. You can take a hike to the Kasbah, a 16th-century building unhurt by the 1960 earthquake. The earthquake also marked a new beginning for the city. There are lots of restaurants like Les Blancs serving vegetarian and Spanish-inspired dishes. You can learn more about the city’s history through the newspaper clippings and photos that cover the wall of Memoire d’Agadir, a small historical museum.

#11 – Abuja (Nigeria)

Aso Rock

The capital of Nigeria, Abuja has the sights and sounds befitting of any national capital. From the impressive skyline to the highly-branching road network, Abuja is definitely one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Africa. Located in the heart of the country, Abuja is the most secure location you can be in Nigeria. Abuja is filled with adventures. A boat ride is one of the characteristics of Jabi Lake Park. It is also a great place to relax and experience nature. Your trip will not be complete without a visit to Aso Rock. The city boast of many five-star hotels and a robust nightlife.

#12 – Luanda (Angola)

Luanda

This beautiful city rests on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Luanda is split into two parts namely Cidade Alta and Baixa de Luanda. Luanda moved up on the list of most beautiful cities to visit in African owing to recent reconstructions in different parts of the city. Saint Michael Fortress, a 16th-century Portuguese fortress is a place you will love to visit. You can also learn about the city’s contribution to slavery at the National Museum of Slavery (Museu Nacional de Escravatura). Luanda is generally safe and a great place to spend a family vacation.

#13 – Tunis (Tunisia)

Tunis

The city has a mixture of stunning old and new architectures with an exotic appeal. Tunis is another North African country that has an imposing beauty. These features make it a great destination for all kinds of travelers. The Tunis Medina Festival lights up the city with music and films every evening during the period of Ramadan. Other places you should not fail to visit are the Bardo Museum and La Goulette. The latter is also a respite when you need quiet time.

#14 – Abidjan (Ivory Coast)

Abidjan

In terms of beauty, Abidjan was one of the cities that was revered in West Africa until wars ripped it apart. Now with improved security, tourists can explore the lengths and breadths of the city. Bushman Café is a great place to start your culinary adventure as you enjoy local dishes. Galerie Cécile Fakhoury is one of the places that should be in your Itinerary. The beautiful skyline of Abidjan defies it’s gory past and will leave you in awe. The springing technology-inspired infrastructures has made Abidjan one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Africa.

#15 – Tripoli (Libya)

It lies on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Tripoli has a historical relevance as a trading city. The city bears the scars of wars and security is also an issue. However, its historical relevance and old-world beauty remain preserved. You will be thrilled by the view of the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles, one of Lebanon’s biggest fortresses. Majority of the 20th century cosmopolitan activities happened in Tal. Notwithstanding, it is still open for you to explore. Don’t forget to have a taste of the local foods.

#16 – Algiers (Algeria)

Algiers

Completing the list of most beautiful cities to visit in Africa is another Northern city, Algiers. Algiers sits along the Mediterranean coastline. The reformed part of the city is along the coast. Many refer to Algiers as the city of rare beauty. Visitors talk about the city’s hospitality. However, security is a burning question that needs to be put right. The 17th century Casbah is the part of the city you need to be if antiquity excites you.

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African Ingenuity

One of The Oldest Tribes In Africa Was Kicked Out Of Their Homes And Here Is What Happened

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Displaced Batwa Tribe

The Batwa tribe is one of the oldest in Africa. They originally resided in the rainforests of Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda. They survived many decades through hunting and gathering. However, in the 1990s, the government evicted them from the rainforest leaving them homeless. This and subsequent events threw them into poverty.

The actions of the governments of the three countries were prompted by the need to create a national park. The national parks helped to preserve the population of endangered gorillas in the Virunga Mountains. Since then, the population of the gorillas has grown to 880 in 2018 from 284 in 1981. Tourists now pay a huge amount to spend one hour with the apes. The parks have become a huge money spinner for the East African countries. However, the Batwa tribe paid the price.

A glimmer of hope for eighteen Batwa families

Volcanoes Safaris, a luxury lodge operator was drawn to the plight of the Batwa tribe condemned to squat in Uganda’ farmland. The founder of Volcanoes Safari, Praveen Moman was touched by their appalling livelihood. Moman first met the Batwa tribe when he opened the Mount Gahinga Lodge in 1997 on the outskirts of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The encounter sparked their relationship.

Through the Volcanoes Safari Partnership Trust, Moman gifted ten acres of land to the tribe.  When asked about what motivated his actions, Moman said,

“Generally, we want to support people and improve their livelihood in relation to the work we do at our lodges. It was a bunch of rocks on which they built little shacks of twigs, of tarpaulins, of cardboard—whatever they could get.”

All the material used for the construction of the new village were donations from the guests at Mount Gahinga lodge and the Volcanoes Safari Trust. However, Uganda-based Studio FH architects’ contribution was in terms of supervision services and free designs.

A glimpse into the new settlement for the Batwa tribe

The village consists of eighteen houses each measuring twenty square meters. Each of the homes boasts of a bedroom, common room and a covered veranda which also serves as the kitchen. Eucalyptus poles with bamboo crisscross form a grid and make up the walls. However, the roofing consists of metal sheets with papyrus coating.

Batwa Village Home

The builders took some steps to ensure the safety of these eco-friendly homes. First, the buildings have compact spacing for wind protection as well as to conserve farming lands. Secondly, the verandas face opposite of the direction of strong winds from the volcanoes. To ensure proper sanitation, two buildings containing latrines lie in the slopes on one side of the village.

The Batwa tribe village also has a community center on a 100 square meter space. Consequently, the dome-shaped community center is intended to be used for multiple purposes that involves public gathering. The official opening of the village was in May 2018.

Batwa tribe village community center

The 2018 Emerging Architecture Awards

The contributions of Studio FH Architects to the Batwa tribe also earned them a place on the 2018 Emerging Architecture Awards list. The prestigious award instituted in 1999 honors young designers who create a positive impact in their environment through architectural designs.

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