The best countries in Africa


Forum Staff
Oct 2009
Ask a Westerner what they think of when they hear "Africa", and you're probably going to hear a reference to the beautiful and brutal menagerie of the Serengeti. But if you ask them what comes to their mind when they think about the human situation in Africa, their thoughts will probably be a lot more depressing - genocide, AID's, starvation, child-soldiers, warlords, failed states, corrupt and oppressive regimes, and both Christian and Islamic extremism.

Africa is the second-largest continent on earth, and it is filled with an astounding array of cultures and languages, not to mention an insane amount of history. But it also gets a lot of bad press, probably more than any other region on earth excepting the Middle East. For many Americans and Europeans, Africa is still the 'Dark Continent' of their Victorian ancestors, if for different reasons.

Point is, people can (and do) talk all day about how Africa supposedly sucks. But where is all the good news from Africa? What are some of the continent's most developed countries, and the most pleasant to live in?

For the sake of convenience, exclude Egypt and northern Africa from this thread, as they are generally associated with the Middle East politically and culturally. Start at the Sahara and work your way down, as is the usual policy :)

Nigeria is an African nation I'm particularly interested in.
Oct 2014
As an African (living in Africa) with a more informed perspective; the envied African countries in no order are South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Nigeria, Ghana and the various tiny island paradise/tax-haven nations like Seychelles and Mauritius.
In terms of cities, the South African trio- Jo'burg, Durban, Capetown are developed while you can get an Africanized version of that in Nairobi.
Francophone Africa is subject to extreme neo-colonialism by France
Generally successful African nations are former settler colonies (with USA sidedness in the cold war also playing a role in this, except DRC)
Tanzania is the only multiethnic country without levels of ethnic animosity because of the Ujamaa socialist policy instituted there by Nyerere.
One may have more in common with a person from another region of Africa than the next door neighbor because of Bantu-Nilote alignments.
Kiswahili is the top 'native' lingua franca.
Kenya is Africa's biggest economy without a major mineral resource (9th).
You ask, I answer...better that way.
Sep 2014
My mother lived in Nigeria and went to school there .She had a good time. But she says the police were very bad (blocked roads for no reason to get bribed , used hyenas to threaten people)


Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
Canary Islands-Spain
Right now, the most stable, prosperous and well balanced sub-saharan country is, with the exception of great South Africa, Ghana.


Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
Canary Islands-Spain
Yes, but Cape Verde is a country of a much smaller scale. They have just 512,000 people, for 27 million in Ghana.

In any case, Cape Verde can work as a model for many areas.


Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
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My favourite two countries are Congo-Kinshasa and Côte d'Ivoire.
My paternal family is from the Kisangani region, so Congo kinda lives in our family... A country with huge potential, on paper, but it seems hard enough not to fall apart. Follow the money to know who benefits from the chaos in mineral-rich east Congo. The Congolese are known as the musicians of Africa.

Côte d'Ivoire was once called the second African wonder, after South Africa. It's an agricultural powerhouse. Among others the largest exporter of cocoa beans and of ananas. Shared a house with an Ivorian a couple of years and i came to love the culture, the language (Dyoula) the food and the people. They're remarkably tolerant, which was an essential quality to put up with me for so long! :) Funnily, my friend, despite coming from the largest cocoa producing country on earth, only in Belgium tasted chocolate for the first time. (The subsaharrean climate of Cd'I doesn't favour chocolate...)
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