So you're curious about East African countries? Don't blame ya, East Africa is a breathtaking place. Just imagine two million wildebeests and zebras running across the open plains of Maasai Mara and Serengeti. Vast savannas, highlands, large lakes, tall mountains . . . yeah, there's lots of reasons to want to learn more about this region of the world. Ahead you'll see what nations constitute the area.
What is considered East Africa?
Good question, and you need not look any further for your answer. East Africa is the easternmost region of Africa. The Horn of Africa and the African Great Lakes region are two geographical landmarks that are common to countries of East Africa. Below you will find the nine countries that make up the region known as Eastern Africa. Bon voyage
The Federal Republic of Somali is located on the peninsula called the Horn of Africa. It covers a total of 637,657 km2 and has a population of over 1.3 million with more than half of the people living nomadic lives. Somalis communicate with each other using Somali or Arabic. The people receive income from the rearing of livestock, receiving remittances and the telecommunication sector also employs a significant portion of the population. International bodies can only estimate as to the size of the economy as the economy of Somalia is largely informal.
The Republic of Burundi is a landlocked country in the Southeast Africa. Burundi's location places it in the African Great Lakes region and its south-western border runs along the boundary of Lake Tanganyika. The languages of the government are French and Kirundi. The government, however, has little control of the economy and does little to improve the quality of life of Burundians. Widespread poverty, lack of access to social amenities and a degenerate health care system are the prevalent issues in the society. A GDP per capital of US$284 makes Burundi one of the five poorest countries in the world.
In Kenya, lions, elephants, leopards roam the savannah grassland and white sandy beaches are grace its coastline. Kenya's natural resources allow for a very vibrant tourism sector. Growth in the country's telecommunication sector and financial services allow Kenya to have the largest economy in East Africa. A very underdeveloped agriculture sector employs 75% of the working population.
Rwanda is a country in East Africa located in the Great Lakes Region. Most Rwandans make a living from raising livestock and planting coffee, tea, and bananas on a small scale for export. The largest contributors to Rwanda’s economy are its service and tourism industries. The government is working assiduously to grow the economy by putting measures in place and passing new laws to make the economy attractive to foreign investors.
Tanzania is another East African country located in the Great Lakes region. Its population of over 44 million people speaks over 100 different languages, the most languages spoken in any one East African country. It is the home of Africa’s tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. The agriculture, industry, construction and tourism sectors are the main contributors to the economy. The country may mine and export stones like diamonds and minerals but over 50% of its population live in extreme poverty.
The East African country of Eritrea is located in the Horn of Africa. Its small population of over 5 million people occupies 117,600 km2. Eritrea's population is very small when compared to other African nations however there is great ethnic diversity. Eighty percent of Eritreans work in the agriculture sector. However it was the mining of gold and silver which began in 2011, that gave the economy a much-needed boost. The mining industry continues to contribute to the increased growth of the Eritrean economy.
The Republic of Djibouti is located in the Horn of Africa. The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden wash its eastern border. Most of Djibouti’s 846,687 citizens follow the Muslim religion and speak either French or Arabic, the official languages of Djibouti. The leading sector's revenue, the services industry, make up 80% of the GDP. The government is actively working to reduce the high level of unemployment in the country and to make Djibouti the place of choice to do business.
The East African country of Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world with over 100 million people. The small agriculture sector employs 85% of the population. Crops produced for export include coffee and cereals. The economy of Ethiopia continues to grow as the government puts in place infrastructure to make use of the abundant water sources found in the country. These developments along with many others make Ethiopia’s economy one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
Uganda is another landlocked country in East Africa. Its population of over 34.6 million inhabitants speak a variety of languages but the country's official languages are English and Swahili. Uganda earns from its agriculture and manufacturing sector. Among the cash crops exported are coffee, flowers, and cocoa beans. The Ugandan economy is currently experiencing a period of growth but has seen no reduction in its poverty levels.
Parting words on East Africa
Ready to pack your suitcase and head to Mount Kilimanjaro? Just be ready for a trip of a lifetime, that's all. All jest aside, the eastern region of Africa is truly a blessed place, and we sincerely hope that we do our best to preserve the ecosystems, agriculture, and the natural wonders that lie within. Once you're done exploring the east coast, you may get the Africa bug and desire to see Western Africa as well. Each are two unique parts of the world, both offering their own industries such as agriculture, tourism, mining, minerals, manufacturing, and more. Hope you learned a lot about this region of Africa, be sure to share your travels in the comments.