Wednesday 31 October 2018

Ethnic Groups Of Senegal

The Wolof are the largest of many ethnic groups in the West African nation of Senegal.
Senegal is a West African country with about 20 ethnic groups. These ethnic communities are important in the political, social and cultural spheres of the country. These communities have occupied the country from the prehistoric times developing their cultures and adapting to social and cultural pressures from other dominant communities. Senegal's ethnic groups played a significant role in the slave trade with European traders and also the colonial administration. Most of the people of Senegal are Islam, a few Christians and others who still adhere to their traditional religions.

Ethnic Groups Of Senegal


Wolof is an ethnic group comprising of peoples in West African countries including Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania. Wolof language is the largest ethnic group in Senegal with about 43% of the total population who mainly occupy the north-western region near River Senegal. Most of the people use Wolof as the second language. The Wolof people were part of the slave traders with the Portuguese before the 18th century. Wolof is primarily Islam which has been their religion even during the establishment of the Jolof Kingdom. Wolof resisted the French colonial rule. The Wolof are a patriarchal community.


Fula is the second largest ethnic community in Senegal constituting about 24% of the population. Fula people are also mainly Muslims who occupy the West African Sahel region and the Futa Tooro savannah region in Senegal. The Fula are mostly pastoralists, and others are farmers, artisans, and merchants. Pastoralist and agricultural groups of the Fula are constantly in conflict over land and cattle. The Fula people are thought to have originated from the North Africa and the Arabic. The Fula were politically and religiously dominant group throughout West Africa who exerted a significant influence in the conversion of other groups into Islam.


The Serer are the third largest ethnic group in Senegal with a population of 15% which occupies western Senegal. The Serer are thought to have migrated from the Senegal River Valley from the 11th century. The community existed as a matrilineal group. Serer people resisted efforts by the jihadist who were influential in the expansion of the Islamic faith and the French colonial rule. Currently, some of the Serer practice Islam and Christianity while some still practice the traditional religion. Serer people engage in activities such as trade, animal husbandry, farming, and pastoralists. The Serer are socially stratified into the free nobles, artisans, peasants, and slaves.


Jola is the fourth largest ethnic group with about 4% of the total Senegalese population found in the Casamance region. The Jola are thought to have migrated during the 14th-15th century from the southern area of Egypt. The Jola engaged in farming of palm, groundnuts, sweet potatoes, yams, watermelons, and kept livestock. The Jola also involved in palm wine tapping, producing wine that was important in the performance of rituals. The community was reluctant to convert to Islam though some eventually converted to the religion. The community is organized into clan systems and had no significant influence on political spheres.

Other Ethnic Groups That Inhabit Senegal

The Mandinka are the fifth largest group in Senegal with 3% of the total population followed by the Soninke who make up 1% of the population. 

Other ethnic groups make up 10% of the population.

Rank Ethnic Group Share of Population in Senegal
1 Wolof 43%
2 Fula 24%
3 Serer 15%
4 Jola 4%
5 Mandinka 3%
6 Soninke 1%
Other Peoples 10%

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from

About Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and Principe is an island nation off the western coast of Africa. Its official name is the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe. It was founded by Portuguese explorers who arrived on the feast day of Saint Thomas, the island's namesake. Today it is the smallest Portuguese-speaking country. The country is made of two islands: Sao Tome and Principe. São Tomé is the larger southern island and lies slightly north of the equator. An extinct volcanic mountain range is part of both islands.

While Seychelles is the smallest country in African by population, Sao Tome and Principe is the second smallest. It's the smallest country in the world that was never under control of the British, US, or European microstate.


Portuguese navigators Pedro Escobar and João de Santarém discovered the uninhabited islands around 1470. They decided the islands would be good bases for mainland trade. The discovery year estimates vary but sources say São Tomé was discovered on December 21, 1471 (St Thomas's Day) and thus named after the Saint. Príncipe was discovered on St Anthony's Day, January 17, 1472, and initially named Santo Antão (Saint Anthony). Príncipe changed its name in 1502 to Ilha do Príncipe (Prince's Island) after the Portuguese prince who received the island's sugar crop duties.
In 1493, Álvaro Caminha used a land grant from Portugal to establish São Tomé the first successful settlement. A similar arrangement was in place for Príncipe and it was settled seven years later. Earliest settlers were "undesirable" populations sent from Portugal since attracting inhabitants was difficult. Eventually settlers had success with growing sugar and other agriculture through the island's rich volcanic soil.

The Portuguese needed significantly more manpower to cultivate the sugar so they began bringing over slave labor from the mainland. The islands became Africa's most prominent exporter of sugar by the mid-1500s. The Portuguese crown took over and administered São Tomé in 1522 and Príncipe in 1573.
Competition with the higher quality Western Hemisphere sugar colonies did damage to the islands. Additionally, it was hard to command the extensive slave labor force, as Portugal was not able to contribute additional resources. These forces lead to the decline in sugar refinement over the century. By the mid-1600s the economy was mainly a stopping point for Western and continental African slave trading ships.
Volcanic soil is suitable for cash crops and the introduction of coffee and cocoa in the early 1800s lead to the rise of roças, large plantations that were owned by Portuguese companies or absent landlords. This new system took over most of the suitable farmland, and led to abuse of the farm workers due to the high authority for the plantation managers. Even though slavery was abolished by Portugal in 1876 forced paid labor still existed.

The use of slave labor in São Tomé was captured by Scientific American magazine in a March 14, 1897 issue. Labor unrest continued into the 1900s including allegations that contract workers for Angola were also being forced into labor in poor working conditions. The culmination of these conditions came in 1953 with the "Batepá Massacre" in which workers were killed by Portuguese rulers during a series of riots. The government recognizes this seminal historical event annually.


The Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe (MLSTP) was founded in the late 1950s by a small group of São Toméans seeking independence who eventually established a base in Gabon.
Other African nations were also working towards independence at the same time, and the movement continued to grow through the 1960s, and even more so in April 1974 after Caetano was overthrown as dictator in Portugal. The subsequent leadership in Portugal wanted to dissolve its overseas colonies and in that vein met with the MLSTP in Algiers in November of 1974 to transfer sovereignty. On July 12, 1975 Sao Tome and Principe finally gained independence after a short transitional period. Their first president was Manuel Pinto da Costa who was Secretary General of the MLSTP.
São Tomé encouraged constitutional changes and democratic reform in 1990, one of the first countries in Africa to do so. They also legalized opposition political parties and the following elections in 1991 were transparent, free and peaceful. An exiled former prime minister, Miguel Trovoada, returned to the county to run and was elected president as an independent candidate. He was re-elected in the 1996 multi-party presidential election, the second of its kind.

The MLSTP became a prominent minority party when the Party of Democratic Convergence (PCD) got the majority of seats in the National Assembly.

The MLSTP won a majority of seats on five of the seven regional councils in the 1992 municipal elections. In October of 1994 the MLSTP won a plurality of Assembly seats in early legislative elections, and in 1998 regained an outright majority of seats. São Tomé's government is a fully functioning multi-party system.

Independent Democratic Action party candidate, Fradique de Menezes, won the president elections held in July 2001. He was inaugurated on September 3rd.

In March 2002 parliamentary elections were held. Several passing opposition-led governments were created.

In July 2003, citing concerns over the division of oil revenues and corruption concerns the army seized power for a week. President de Menezes returned to office after an accord was negotiated.
In March 2006, a pro-presidential coalition ended the cohabitation period by creating and heading a new government after winning enough seats in National Assembly to be able to do so. Fradique de Menezes defeated the son of former President Miguel Trovoada, Patrice Trovoada, and independent Nilo Guimarães to win another five-year term in office on July 30, 2006. Members of the ruling coalition dominated the first local elections since 1992 on August 27, 2006.
In a failed coup to overthrow President Fradique de Menezes on February 12, 2009, the plotters were initially imprisoned but were ultimately pardoned by President de Menezes.
Manuel Pinto da Costa, who served as the country's first president from 1975 to 1991, was re-elected in 2011 and is the current president.


São Tomé is governed by a president and prime minister. The president is elected directly by an outright majority to a five-year term and may hold up to two consecutive terms. Elections are held by secret ballot and there is a universal right to vote. Since 1990 the have had a multiparty system. The president names the Prime Minister who then appoints the fourteen members of the cabinet.

The highest legislative body, the National Assembly, meets semiannually and has 55 members elected to a four-year term. There is an independent judiciary and the highest court is the Supreme Court.

Citizens have the right to form opposition political parties and freedom of speech rights.

Provinces and Districts

Sao Tome and Principe are the two provinces of the country. São Tomé has six districts and Príncipe, self-governing since April 29, 1995, has one.


The islands of Sao Tome and Principe measure 50km long by 32 km wide and 30 km long by 6 km wide respectively. They are approximately 50 kilometers apart and located in the Atlantic just north of the equator about 300 kilometers off the northwest coast of Gabon. The islands sit on the Cameroon volcanic mountain line along with 3 other islands, although São Tomé has more mountains than Príncipe with peaks at 2,024 meters. Both islands are home to mountainous steams and lush forests.


The climate is hot and humid at sea level with average temperatures of approximately 27 °C for the year and varies little during the day. Highs are infrequently above 32 °C. In the inner more elevated regions the nights are typically cool and the average temperature is 20 °C. In the southwestern slopes the annual rainfall averages 5,000 mm and in the northern lowlands it is approximately 1,000 mm. October to May is the rainy season.


Sao Tome and Principe have few endemic mammal species including the São Tomé Shrew and multiple species of bats. Many native plants and birds also reside on the island. Notable creatures include the Giant Sunbird, the world's largest sunbird, the São Tomé Ibis, the world's smallest ibis, and the rare São Tomé Fiscal. Giant Begonia species can also be found on the islands.


São Tomé and Príncipe's economy has been based on plantation agriculture since the 1800s. Plantations owned by the Portuguese dominated 90 percent of the cultivated land prior to the countries independence, but afterwards several state-owned agricultural enterprises took over control. Cocoa is the most important crop and represents 80 percent of exports. São Tomé became the world's largest cocoa producer in 1908. They also export palm kernels, coffee, and copra.

Sao Tome and Principe needs to import food since the domestic food crop is not sufficient to meet local demand. In recent years the government has tried to increase food product, and foreign donors have undertaken other food expansion projects.

Agriculture also supports the economy since there is a small industrial sector devoted to processing its good as well as a few other basic items. Fishing is another main activity in additional to agriculture. The government employs 11 percent of the workforce and is also trying to strengthen the tourism infrastructure and promote travel to the picturesque islands.

The state owned the means of production and the economy was centrally driven after Sao Tome and Principe became independent.
A "mixed economy", with public and privately owned enterprises, was allowed in the original constitution.
São Tomé's economy experienced several challenges in the 1980s and 90s, which included a stagnation of economic growth, and a drop in value and volume of cocoa export, which created balance-of-payment deficits. Cocoa production decreased as a result of the redistribution of land all while the international price of cocoa was falling.

The government responded to the fiscal downturn with several extensive reforms. The main focus of these reforms is increased privatization of state run enterprises such as agriculture and industry. One government implemented reform was the creation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a structural adjustment program created in 1987. The invited more private involvement in managing the commercial, agricultural, banking, tourism sectors and the parastatals.

The World Bank, the African Development Bank, the European Union (EU), Portugal, Taiwan, and the UN Development Programme have also provided assistance to the country. The IMF came together with the Banco Central de São Tomé e Príncipe in April of 2000 to approve a poverty reduction and growth facility to attempt to reduce 2001's inflation to 3 percent, increase ideal growth to 4 percent, and reduce the fiscal deficit.

One of São Tomé's major sources of imports and trading partners continues to be Portugal. Additionally, the EU imports much of transportation equipment, machinery, manufactured articles, and food.

Petroleum Exploration

São Tomé and Nigeria both lay claim to the waters in the Niger Delta geologic province, a source of potential petroleum. In 2001 they reached an agreement to jointly explore the area. This joint development zone (JDZ) was divided into 9 blocks and was open in April of 2003 for bids from international oil firms. In April of 2004, ExxonMobil, Chevron Texaco, and Equity Energy, a Norwegian firm, won the bids for block one. The $123 million bid was divided with Nigeria taking 60 percent and São Tomé taking in 40 percent. The bank gave São Tomé more than $2 million for development of its petroleum sector. If reserves pan out as expected, São Tomé could gain extensive revenue from production and bidding.


The country has a central bank responsible for monetary policy and bank supervision called Banco Central de Sāo Tomé e Príncipe.
There are six banks and the largest, Banco Internacional de São Tomé e Príncipe, is a subsidiary of Portugual's government owned Caixa Geral de Depósitos. This bank monopolized this sector until a 2003 law allowed for additional banks to enter the market.


Approximately 137,500 of the country's population live on São Tomé and 6,000 live on Príncipe. The population is descended from seven main ethnic groups that have been migrating to the country since 1485. These groups include: Europeans (mainly Portuguese), the descendants of Portuguese colonists and slaves (Mesticos), the descendants of Angolan slaves (Angolares), the descendants of freed slaves (Forros), contract laborers (Servicais) and their children (Tongas), and Asians.

The population experience and important shift in the 1970s when hundreds of São Toméan refugees from Angola returned and the majority of the 4,000 Portuguese residents left. The majority of the population are members of the Evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholic, or Seventh-day Adventist Churches, although there is a minority Muslim population that is increasing. They have also principally adopted a Luso-African culture.

The country has four national languages. The most prevalent, being spoken by 95 percent of the population is Portuguese, the official language. Forro (85 percent), a Portuguese based Creole language, Angolar (3 percent), and Principense (0.1 percent) are also spoken. Since the country is a Francophonie member, schools also teach French.


According to recent estimates life expectancy at birth is 64.22 years –62.94 years for males, and 65.53 years for females. The infant mortality rate is 49.16 deaths for every 1,000 live births.


Both African and Portuguese influences can be found in São Toméan culture, particularly in music, rhythm, and dance. The popular rhythms and dances and socopé and ússua in São Tomé and the dêxa beat in Príncipe may have been inspired by Portuguese ballroom dancing.

São Toméans also combine music, dance and theatre, such as the danço-congo to tell stories. Another dramatic musical dance performance is the Tchiloli.

•culled from

Monday 29 October 2018

Ethnic Groups Of Rwanda

Rwanda has worked hard to move forward in the wake of the horrific genocide that plagued the country in 1994.
The Republic of Rwanda is located in Central and East Africa in the Africa Great Lakes Region. The geography of Rwanda is dominated by mountains and Savanna with several lakes spread throughout the country. Rwanda has an estimated population of 11.2 million with 43% of the population aged 15 years and below. Kinyarwanda is the first language for the majority of Rwandans and also the national language while English and French are the official languages. There are three main ethnic groups in Rwanda. These ethnic groups include;

The Three Major Ethnic Groups Of Rwanda


Hutu is an ethnic group found in the African Great Lakes regions in Rwanda, Burundi, and some parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Hutu are the ethnic majority in Rwanda and Burundi. According to the 2015 census, 84% of the Rwandese population is Hutu. The Hutu immigrated into the Great Lakes region from the great Bantu expansion in West Africa. The Hutu are almost similar to the Tutsi who are also an ethnic majority in Rwanda. The two tribes share a common ancestry or origin. The Hutu people speak Rwanda-Bundu as their native language. Rwanda-Bundu is divided into two dialects; Kinyarwanda and Kirundi which are the official languages of Rwanda and Burundi respectively. Some of the Hutus also speak French. In the post-colonial era, the transfer of power from the minority Tutsi to the Hutu led to the Hutu violence against the Tutsi with thousands of Tutsi killed and several displaced to other countries in what has been described as the deadliest genocide in the history of Africa.


The Tutsi are a sub-ethnic group of the Banyarwanda who are found primarily in Rwanda and Burundi. They are the second largest ethnic group in Rwanda accounting for 15% of the population. The Northern Tutsi residing in Rwanda are known as Ruguru while the Southerners living in Burundi are called Hima. The Tutsi have lived in the Rwanda for over 400 years and have intermarried with the Hutu. Before the arrival of the colonialist Rwanda was ruled by the Tutsi Monarchy. However, the Tutsi were replaced by the Hutu after the 1962 independence in anti-Tutsi violence. During the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, an estimated one million people, largely Tutsi, were killed. The Tutsi's native language is the Rwanda-Rundi which is subdivided into Kinyarwanda and Kirundi. Many Tutsi also speak French as a second or third language.


Twa is the longest surviving people of the Great Lakes region currently living as Bantu caste in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Twa are an ethnic minority in Rwanda accounting for only 1% of the population. They are semi-nomadic hunters and gatherers living in association with agricultural communities. The Twa arrived in Rwanda alongside the Hutu as distinct people and also mixed ancestry in the 15th century AD. The expansion of agriculture and increased logging has forced the Twa to leave the mountain forests for new homes. They have been marginalized with little access to basic amenities like schools. They continue to suffer discrimination and prejudice due to their pygmy ancestry.

Ethnic Identity of Rwandan Youth

Many young people in Rwanda are of mixed ethnicity due to the ongoing intermarriages, in particular between the Hutu and the Tutsi. These young people are confronted with many challenges and decisions with their background affecting their interactions and social identities. Intermarriage is encouraged in Rwanda to dilute ethnic purity and is seen as a way of preventing Genocide in the future.

Rank Ethnic Group Share of Population in Rwanda
1 Hutu 84%
2 Tutsi 15%
3 Twa 1%

By John Misachi

•culled from

Saturday 27 October 2018

Largest Ethnic Groups In Nigeria

Nigeria is a land of more than 500 languages and hundreds of ethnic groups, the Hausa being the largest. Nigeria has been referred to as "The Giant of Africa," due to the large population and distinct economic achievements in comparison to countries that surround this land. Nigeria is found in West Africa and borders Benin, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger. Nigeria is a fascinating country; in the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria there are over 500 ethnic groups and over 500 languages spoken!

Explore the eight largest ethnic groups in Nigeria below:


The Hausa are the biggest ethnic group in Nigeria. With estimates of their population reaching 67 million, Hausa make up approximately 25% of the Nigerian population. The Hausa culture is homogenized, meaning, throughout Nigeria, the Hausa culture is extremely similar. Hausa are known for raising cattle and other stock, growing crops and trading. Hausa are also recognized for practicing Islam as their main religion. Being the largest ethnic group in Nigeria, Hausa have always been some of the main players in Nigerian politics since Nigeria was granted independence from Britain in 1960.


Individuals who designate themselves as Yoruba make up approximately 21% of the population of Nigeria, making them the second biggest ethnic group in the country. Yoruba are usually identified as Christian or Muslim, although a lot of Yoruba still uphold traditional aspects of their ancestors religious practices and beliefs. This ethnic group upholds many cultural traditions, including music and culture festivals, traditional Yoruba art, and conventional architecture. The Yoruba culture has historically relied on large populations in a centralized location and an Oba (King).


The Igbo people of Nigeria have long been opposed to Sharia law in Nigeria, with most Igbo identifying as Christian. Igbo society, unlike the Hausa and Yoruba, is non-hierarchical and not reliant on a centralized society. The Igbo are an essential part of the oil trade in Nigeria's southeastern region. In 1967, Igbo fought with the Nigerian government to achieve independence. This was a two and a half year battle in which Igbo people were subjected to brutal conditions, many starving to death during this time. Since this war, Igbo have been reintegrated into Nigerian society; a lot Igbo still feel marginalized by the status quo in Nigeria.


The Ijaw live in the Niger River Delta area of Nigeria and constitute around 10% of the population of the country. The Ijaw have historically had tensions with the rest of the Nigerian population. The lands in which the Ijaw inhabit are extremely oil-rich. This is bittersweet for the Ijaw people, as oil exploration has subjected their land to ecological vulnerability. Mismanagement of these oil revenues has kept a substantial amount of the wealth from returning to the Ijaw community. Goodluck Jonathan, the Prime Minister of Nigeria from 2010 to 2015 identifies as an Ijaw, and his election to the highest office in Nigeria was a proud moment for Ijaw people.


The Kanuri people are found in northeastern Nigeria. Their population is believed to be around 4% of Nigeria (approximately 4,000,000). The regions in which Kanuri live are largely impractical for outsiders to reach. Kanuri people are predominately Sunni Muslims. Boko Haram, an Islamist insurgent group in the North of Nigeria, are mostly of Kanuri descent. This group seeks to express many of the Kanuri grievances towards the Nigerian government. Although the Kanuri culture is rich with tradition, Boko Haram are using their lands as a base for operations, and innocent Kanuri people have been subjected to violence and Sharia law.


Since the Fulani War (1804-1808), the Fulani people have been intertwined with the Hausa of Nigeria. This is largely due to intermarriage and Fulani living among the Hausa population. Fulani and Hausa together make up approximately 29% of the population of Nigeria. Fulani adopted Islam early, and a large section of the Fulani people are recognized as excellent Islamic clerics. Along with the Hausa, Fulani people have also been a dominant presence in the sphere of Nigerian politics since independence in 1960.


The Ibibio, mostly found in southeastern Nigeria, have a rich oral history passed down through generations. These people have lived in this part of Nigeria for several hundred years. This ethnic group numbers approximately 4.5 million which is equivalent to 3.5% of the population of Nigeria. Ibibio people in the region also inquired (with the British Crown) to become their own sovereign nation within Nigeria (pre-independence). Today, Ibibio predominantly identify themselves as Christian. Ibibio has an amazing artistic culture, most known for creating intricate wooden masks and carvings.


The ethnic group known as Tiv are well known for their agricultural produce and the trading of this produce. This is one of the only sources of income for the group. The Tiv people all trace their ancestry back to an ancient individual also named Tiv, who had two sons. Some Tiv people identify as Christians, even less as Muslim. The traditional religion of Tiv, based on manipulations of forces by humans who have been entrusted by a creator God, remains strong within the Tiv populace. Tiv only make up 3.5% of the Nigerian population, making them one of the smaller ethnic groups within the country.

Other Ethnic Groups In Nigeria

The remaining ethnic groups in Nigeria make up 12% of the Nigerian population. These groups include Ebira, Edo, Gwari, Jukun, and Igala, to name a few. The middle belt of Nigeria is well known for its diversity, with many of these remaining groups living in this part of the country. Although Nigeria is rich in her diverse ethnicity, many of these groups mentioned above live segregated from others. Most ethnic groups in Nigeria have formed illegal vigilante or militia groups, protecting their interests from other groups within the country.

Largest Ethnic Groups In Nigeria

Rank Ethnic Group Share of Nigerian Population

1 Hausa 25.1%
2 Yoruba 21.0%
3 Igbo 18.0%
4 Ijaw 10.0%
5 Kanuri 4.0%
6 Fulani 3.9%
7 Ibibio 3.5%
8 Tiv 2.5%
* Other Groups 12%

By Justin Findlay

•Culled from

Friday 26 October 2018

Largest Ethnic Groups In Niger

Niger is a multi-ethnic nation with a slight Hausa majority. The Zarma are the largest among several ethnic minorities.
The country of Niger is located in Western Africa. It is a landlocked nation where more than 80% of the land is covered by the vast Sahara Desert. The country is named after the Niger River, which runs through the capital of Niamey in the southwest. Part of Lake Chad is also located in the southeastern area of the country by the border with Chad and Nigeria. This country has a wide variety of ethnic groups and this article will delve into their histories, cultures and current status in the country.

The Largest Ethnic Groups In Niger

8. Gurma

The Gurma ethnic group is the eighth largest in Niger, accounting for 0.3% of the population. Most of the population of this group live in the country of Burkina Faso around the city of Fada N'Gourma, with the rest of the Gurma population living in southwestern Niger and northern parts of Benin and Togo. The major language of the Gurma people is Gourmanchéma, which is part of the Gur languages of the Niger-Congo group. The religion that most of the Gurma people follow is Islam. The area that the Gurma people live in is a wooded savanna area that is flat land with rare, isolated hills. Most of the Gurma are farmers that live in round houses made of mud bricks inside compounds that are made up of woven-straw fences.

7. Arab

The Arab ethnic group is the seventh largest in Niger, accounting for 0.3% of the population. In Niger, the Arab nomadic tribes are located in the eastern part of the country, mostly in the Diffa region. The Arabs in Niger are known as Diffa Arabs because of this. The Arabs of Niger practice Islam. They speak Arabic and came into Niger from Sudan and Chad at some point during the 19th century. In recent years the Arabs have come into conflict with other ethnic groups in the country, particularly the Hausa, Tuareg, and Kanuri.


The Tubu ethnic group is the sixth largest in Niger, accounting for 0.4% of the population. More than half of the Tubu population lives in Chad, while a significant population is in Niger. The major languages of the Tubu people are Dazaga and Tedaga, which are part of the Tebu languages of the Saharan language family. These languages divide the Tubu into two groups, the Daza and Teda, with the Daza being found in the Sahel region that mostly covers the north-central area of Chad and the Teda in the Sahara region of northwest Chad, northeast Niger, and southeast Libya. The major religion of the Tubu people is Sunni Islam. Most of the Tubu are herders, nomads or oases farmers, although in some place they live as slat or natron miners. The Tubu people have a clan-based society, and most are nomadic, although some have settled in mud, palm-thatched houses.

5. Kanuri

The Kanuri ethnic group is the fifth largest in Niger, accounting for 4.6% of the population. The majority of the Kanuri ethnic groups is found in Nigeria, with the rest being found in Chad, Niger and a small number in Cameroon. The major language of the Kanuri people is the Kanuri language, which is part of the Nilo-Saharan language family. The major religion of the Tubu people is Sunni Islam. The Kanuri people in Niger are found in the southeastern area of the country, where they make up the majority of the area's sedentary population.

4. Fulani

The Fulani ethnic group is the fourth largest in Niger, accounting for 9.2% of the population. The Fulani people are found in 21 different countries ranging from Gambia all the way east to Ethiopia. Nigeria has the most Fulani with about 7 million, while Niger in comparison has the fourth most with 1.5 million. The major languages that the Fulani people speak are Fula, which is part of the Niger-Congo language group, as well as Arabic, English, and French. The major religion of the Fulani is Islam, and they follow the pulaaku code of behavior. The Fulani are a mostly nomadic trading people that herd various animals like cattle and sheep across the dry hinterlands that they occupy and are the largest nomadic ethnic group on Earth. In recent years, across most of the area they roam, they have come into heightened conflict with the settled farmers over land use and crops.


The Tuareg ethnic group is the third largest in Niger, accounting for 9.9% of the population. The Tuareg people are found in 7 different countries, with about two-thirds of the Tuareg population living in Niger. The Tuareg people speak five different languages in the Tuareg group that make up the Afro-Asiatic group. The major religion of the Tuareg people is Islam, and they have been one of the major groups that helped to spread Islam across Northern Africa. The Tuareg people mostly live in the Sahara desert as nomadic herders and control several trade routes through the Saharan region, as well as managing conflicts in the area. They are most known for their indigo-dye colored clothes that they wear and how this dye stains their skin.

2. Zarma

The Zarma ethnic group is the second largest in Niger, accounting for 21.2% of the population. The vast majority, around 95% of the Zarma people, are found in Niger, with the rest live in small numbers in Nigeria, Benin, Ghana and Burkina Faso. The Zarma people speak the Zarma language, which is part of the Songhay language group. The major religion of the Zarma people is Sunni Islam. The Zarma people mostly live around the Niger River Valley in the arid Sahel lands. The Zarma people are decently well-off and own a wide variety of farm animals that they rent out to other people. They have a very similar culture, language, and society as the Songhai people in West Africa.

1. Hausa

The Hausa ethnic group is the largest in Niger, and the majority of the population (54.1%) belong to this group. The Hausa are one of the largest ethnic groups in all of Africa and are scattered across West Africa, with most making up the majority of the population in Nigeria, as well as Niger. The Hausa people in Niger speak the Hausa language as part of the greater Afro-Asiatic family and also speak French, English, and Arabic. Most Hausa people live in small towns and mostly raise livestock, work as farmers and conduct trade. The horse is a major symbol of the Hausa people, as it is closely associated with the aristocracy and their equestrian based culture.

The Benefits And Challenges Of Having Multiple Ethnic Groups

There are many ethnic groups in Niger, just like in many other countries around the world, particularly other African countries. Having different ethnic groups can lead to a diverse array of unique cultures, history, and heritage property of a country. Having many different ethnic groups can also lead to conflicts among them over land or a clash of cultures since different groups have different practices and beliefs.

Largest Ethnic Groups in Niger

Rank Ethnic Group Share of Population of Niger
1 Hausa 54.1%
2 Zarma 21.1%
3 Tuareg 9.9%
4 Fulani 9.2%
5 Kanuri 4.6%
6 Tubu 0.4%
7 Arab 0.4%
8 Gurma 0.3%

By Gregory Sousa

•culled from

Thursday 25 October 2018

Tribes And Ethnic Groups Of Namibia

The Ovambo tribe constitutes around half of the Namibian population, making it by far the largest in the country.
This African country was founded in 1990 after it won independence from
South Africa . The population density is the second lowest in the world, meaning that residents have significant land area per person. Humans have inhabited the area since ancient times and Bantu- speaking tribes began arriving in the 14th century AD. German colonizers began developing agriculture and infrastructure in the region during the 1800's until 1915 when South Africa took over its administration. The current population of Namibia is 2.1 million, and this is made up of several different tribes and ethnic groups which are discussed below.

Tribes and Ethnicities of Namibia

Ovambo People

About half of the population is made up of the Ovambo people (also known as Ambo) who mainly inhabit the northern part of the country. The Ovambo group consists of approximately 12 smaller tribes and is part of the larger Bantu people. Traditionally, this ethnic group has lived under the guidance of a chief who assigned plots of land to each family. When the tenant died, the chief assigned the land to a new person. Today, the people survive by harvesting millet (a type of grain) and raising livestock. The most common religion is the Lutheran faith although it is mixed with traditional beliefs in good and bad spirits.

Kavango People

Following the Ovambo people is the Kavango which makes up 9% of the total population. This ethnic group is also a Bantu group, and they live along the northeastern region of Namibia. They practice fishing, livestock raising, and agricultural harvesting for subsistence. Namibian law protects their right to practice their traditional government which divides the group into five kingdoms each ruled by a separate king. Their customs place a lot of respect towards elders.

White Namibian

White Namibians consist of individuals of German, British, Portuguese, and Afrikaner descent. They are estimated to make up 7% of the population although accuracy is limited because the Namibian government no longer collects racial data on the census. The majority of these people live in the urban centers. During the apartheid regime, which racially segregated the area and gave political power to the white minority, this group gained a privileged status that continues to benefit them today. They own 50% of all farmable land despite a land reform that has tried to return control of the property to its original owners.

Damara People

The Damara people comprise 7% of the population and live in the northwestern part of the country. Their native language is Khoekhoe though little else is known about the group. They have no relationship with other tribes and are believed to have descended from a tribe of hunter-gatherers. They once practiced coppersmithing, herding, and agricultural in the central part of the country. Their belief in communally owned property ultimately led to them being forced out of the territory by the Herero and Nama tribes who they went on to work for as house servants.

Herero Group

Another 7% of the total population is made up of the Herero group that has historically inhabited the central part of the country for its vast pastureland. This geographic separation meant that the Herero did not have much interaction with the previously mentioned Ovambo and Kavango people. This group is originally from the eastern part of the continent in the 17th and 18th centuries. They were soon followed by the Nama (which make up 5% of the population) and colonialists.
The Nama and Herero began wars with each other that lasted throughout the 19th century although they were able to find common ground over their distrust of the German colonizers. The white immigrants seized land from both the Herero and Nama and had majority control by the beginning of the 1900's. This did not, however, appease the Germans, and they had plans to displace the tribes to reservation lands to obtain more land and cattle. The two tribal groups worked together to form a rebellion that lasted for three years and nearly obliterated the Herero and Nama populations. Estimates believe approximately 80% of each tribe perished during the genocide. Those that remained were pushed out to desert land and forced to live in concentration camps along the coast and work as slaves building the railways and mining diamonds.

Minority Groups

Other tribes and ethnicities live in Namibia though they make up a small percentage of the population. These include the: Caprivian (4%), Busmen (3%), Tswana (1%), and other groups that make up less than 1% each.

Tribes And Ethnic Groups Of Namibia

Rank Tribe or Ethnicity Share of Namibian Population
1 Ovambo 50%
2 Kavango 9%
3 White Namibian 7%
4 Herero 7%
5 Damara 7%
6 Nama 5%
7 Caprivian 4%
8 Busmen 3%
9 Tswana 1%
10 Others Less than 1% each

By Amber Pariona

•culled from

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Ethnic Groups Of Mozambique

Around 99% of Mozambicans are descended from indigenous tribes, with small European, Arabian, and South Asian minorities
Mozambique , officially known as the Republic of Mozambique, is a country in the Southeast of Africa bordering the Indian Ocean. It has a population of around 26 million people, with 99% of Mozambicans descended from such indigenous tribes as the Makua, Tonga , Chokwe, Manyika, and Sau. The capital city of Mozambique is Maputo, which is also the largest city in the country. In Mozambique, the official language is Portuguese, but English is spoken in major cities such as Maputo and Beira.

History of Mozambique

Bantu-speaking peoples were the first immigrants into what is now Mozambique, arriving there from regions to the far north and the west. Later, the Swahili and Arabs came to settle along the coastal towns where they built commercial ports before the Europeans' arrival. Mozambique became a Portuguese colony in 1505, after the area was explored by Vasco da Gama in 1498. The country exchanged hands from a Portuguese colony to a Somali colony and later to a Portuguese colony. During this period, Somali merchants enslaved the local people and led to the Somali slave trade. Mozambique gained independence in 1975, but descended into civil war from 1977 until 1992, which affected the stability of the country to a great extent. Until 2010, there had been political unrest following every election.

Major Ethnic Groups in Mozambique

The main ethnic groups in Mozambique are the Makua, Tsonga, Makonde, Shangaan, Shona, Sena, Ndau, and other indigenous groups. There are approximately 45,000 Europeans, and 15,000 South Asians, constituting less than 2% of the population, as well.


The Makua people are the largest ethnic group with over four million people, and occupy mostly the northern regions of the country bordering Tanzania and the Republic of the Congo . They speak Portuguese as their official language.


The Sena people are the second largest ethnic group with over 1.7 million people. They are predominantly found in the Zambezi Valley and are thought to have migrated from historical Judea and what is present-day Yemen.


The Shona people, also found in Zimbabwe, are approximately 173,000 in number and live according to their clans. They are predominantly found in Zambezi valley.


The Tsonga mainly occupy the southern parts of the country between the Limpopo and Save rivers, and are considered the sister tribe to the Shanhaan people in South Africa's Mpumalanga and Northern Provinces.


The Makonde people of Mozambique are closely related to the Makonde in Tanzania, but the separation of the groups by the Ruvuma River resulted in linguistic and cultural differences. The Makonde are a matrilineal society. Women control the children and inheritances. Men move into the women's villages and homes.


The Swahili people occupy the northern parts of the country and predominately speak Swahili. They maintain a cultural difference that is specific to other Swahilis in Kenya, Tanzania the Zanzibar archipelago. They follow Islam and wear traditional Islam attire such as hijab and thob.

Other Ethnic Minorities

Other indigenous tribes include the Yao, Nguni, Chokwe and Maravi. Most of the remaining 2% of the population is made up of Portuguese Mozambicans, Indian Mozambicans, multiracial groups, Chinese Mozambicans, and Arab Mozambicans.

Ethnic Groups Of Mozambique

Ethnic Group Share of Mozambican Population
98.61% Combined Chokwe
Other Indigenuous Mozambicans
Multiracial 0.84%
Portuguese Mozambicans 0.36%
Indian Mozambicans 0.20%
Chinese Mozambicans <0.2%
Arab Mozambicans <0.2%

By Andrew Mwaniki

•culled from

Monday 22 October 2018

The Ethnic Groups In Morocco

The Arab and Berber cultures have for centuries defined Moroccan ways of daily life.
The Arab and Berber cultures can be traced back through several centuries in the nation's history, and they largely define what are now considered the "Moroccan" ways of daily life. The Berbers are the indigenous residents of
Morocco . The Arab people came in the 7th Century and conquered the country. As a result, they infiltrated every sector of the Country and controlled the political, cultural, and social way of life of the Moroccans. Today, Arabs and Berbers closely intermingle, and bilingualism is a common characteristic in modern Morocco. The Jewish community played a significant role in the economic life of Morocco until their numbers started to dwindle. Other groups in Morocco are the Europeans, Sub-Sahara African, and Gnawa.

Historic Settlement of Morocco

Indigenous Berbers lived in Morocco more than two millennia before Phoenicians colonized the country in the 8th through 6 th Centuries BC. Before the 3rd Century BC, Carthage ruled the coastal areas while indigenous monarchs ruled the hinterland. In 40 AD, the Roman Empire annexed part of what is present Morocco. In the mid-5 th Century AD, the Vandals overrun the country until the 6th Century when the Byzantine Empire took over.In the last phase of the 7 th Century, Muslims invasion of Morocco began. In the 8 th Century AD, Arabs conquered the country and the Umayyad Caliphate ruled Morocco. The Arabs imposed their will on the towns, which then grew under their patronage, and so did the farming areas. The sedentary Berbers joined the Arabs looking for protection against their nomadic kins. During the Berber revolution of 740, the country broke away from the tyranny of Baghdad Caliphates after the Abbasids replaced the Umayyad Caliphate. However, half a century later the Idrisid dynasty established the Moroccan State. When Idris son and heir died, Morocco dissolved into inconsequential principalities. Tangier, the last territory was captured by the state of Cordovan in 929. From 1549 to 1659 the Saadi dynasties invaded and ruled Morocco. The Alaouites, the ruling dynasty of Morocco took power in 1667. The European settled in Morocco in early 1900s. By 1912-1956, Morocco was colonized by both French and Spanish administrations. The Arabs were most influential in the cultural aspects and the demographics of the country.


The Arabs came to Morocco towards the end of the 7th Century, doing so in the name of Allah and spreading Islamic teachings. The Arabs had swept the Middle East and North Africa, spreading religion when they came to Morocco. Upon settling, they assimilated the Berbers community who were formerly Christians and converted them to Muslims. In the war of Iberian Peninsula, the Arabs and Berbers fought as Muslims. Today, most Moroccans identify as both Arabic and Berbers. Only a few Arabs, especially the Shereefs, who trace their ancestry back to Mohammed, the Prophet, claim to be pure Arabs.


The Berbers are the native peoples of Morocco. They have lived in Morocco for more than four millenniums. They call themselves Amazigh and for centuries they fought against the Roman, Arab, and French invaders. The Berber language is more oral than written even though scripts as old as 2500 years old containing their writing system is available. Before the Arab invasion, the Berbers were Christian or Jewish. When the Arabs settled in Morocco, they converted to Islam.


The Gnawa people came from what was in ancient times the Ghana Empire of Ouagadougou, which ruled over present day Senegal, Mauritania , Burkina Faso,
Gambia , and 85% of Mali. The ethnic community became part of Sufi order in Maghreb, present day Morocco. They adopted Islam but continued to practice possession, a type of dance, during rituals. The music of Gnawa mixes classical Islamic Sufism with the pre-Islamic African traditions. In Morocco culture, the Gnawa are considered experts in the treatment of psychological disorders, scorpion stings, the use of colors, perfumes, fright, and condensed cultural image.


Europeans, also known as White Moroccans, are Moroccans with a European descent, most commonly descended from Spanish pr French ancestry. The Europeans settled in Morocco during the French and Spanish rule around 1912-1956. Before independence, more than half a million Europeans lived in Morocco. European population was almost half of the Casablanca's total population. After the country's independence in 1956, the people of Europe dwindled. Today Europeans make only 1% of the total population.


After the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem, many Jews migrated to Morocco and settled among the Berbers. More Jews came to Morocco before and after the 1492 Alhambra Decree. This second wave of immigrants profoundly influenced the Moroccan Jewry, and soon they embraced the Andalusian Sephardic liturgy, and the Moroccan Jews started to identify with Sephardic. By the 1940s, the Jewish exceeded 250,000, but the Operation Yachin has reduced this population to around 5,000. From that period many of Moroccan Jews immigrated to Israel.

Sub-Saharan Africans

People from the Sub-Saharan African region have been migrating into Morocco since antiquity. During the slave trade, Morocco position along the coastline became a hub for Arab traders. Also, there is a possibility that some were escaping drought and famine in the Sahel region when they came to Morocco.Today, the country's proxy to the European countries attracts many Sub-Saharan Africans looking forward to crossing over. However, the strict immigration bans trap many people in Morocco. The majority of Sub-Saharan Africans in Morocco are from South Africa approximately 2,100 and Cote d'Ivoire with 1, 800.

Relations Among Ethnic Groups in Morocco

Since most of Moroccans are Muslims, most of these people can interact and relate to each other as fellow Muslims.There is generally a peaceful coexistence among the Muslim communities regardless of ethnic background. However, there have been cases of discrimination against the Black African community living in Morocco. Peoples from south of the Sahel region are often regarded as lesser communities. However, in more recent years, the government of Morocco has decided to provide these Sub-Saharan Africans living in Morocco more extensive citizenship rights.

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from

Saturday 20 October 2018


Republic of Mauritius
CAPITAL : Port Louis
FLAG : The national flag consists of four horizontal stripes of red, blue, yellow, and green.

ANTHEM : Glory to Thee, Motherland, O Motherland of Mine.
MONETARY UNIT : The Mauritius rupee ( R ) is a currency of 100 cents. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents and 1 rupee, and notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 rupees. R 1 = $0.03787 (or $1 = R 26.4) as of May 2003
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is in general use; traditional weights and measures also are employed.

HOLIDAYS : New Year, 1–2 January; National Day, 12 March; Labor Day, 1 May. Christian, Hindu, and Muslim holidays also are observed.
TIME : 4 PM = noon GMT.


Mauritius is mostly of volcanic formation and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs. A coastal plain rises sharply to a plateau 275 to 580 m (900–1,900 ft) high. Piton de la Rivière Noire, the highest peak, reaches 828 m (2,717 ft). The longest river is the Grand River South East.


A small number of Mauritians emigrate each year, principally to Australia, Europe, and Canada. The net migration rate was -2.0 per 1,000 population in 2000. In that year the number of migrants living in Mauritius was 8,000. The government views the migration levels as satisfactory.


The largest group on Mauritius—about 68% of the population— is Indo-Mauritian, consisting of immigrants from India and their descendants. About 27% of the islanders are Creole (mixed European and African), 3% Sino-Mauritian, and 2% Franco-Mauritian.


English and French are the official languages; however, Creole, derived from French, is most widely spoken. On Rodrigues, virtually the entire population speaks Creole. Bojpoori, Hindi, Urdu, and Hakka are also widely spoken. Only a small minority speak English as a first language.


There are nine administrative districts and three dependencies, of which the Island of Rodrigues is one. The other dependencies are Agalega Islands and Carajos Shoals. The lowest level of local government is the village council, composed of elected as well as nominated members; above the village councils are three district councils. Commissions govern the major towns. There are also three dependencies.


All defense and security duties are carried out by the 10,000 personnel police force. The paramilitary forces within this structure are the 688-member Coast Guard and the 1,400-member Special Mobile Force. There is also an air wing with two air craft. The defense budget for 2001 was $9.1 million or 0.2% of GDP.


In 2001, Mauritius had 95,000 goats, 28,000 head of cattle, 12,000 pigs, and 7.7 million chickens. That year, 4,700 tons of cow milk, 26,300 tons of meat, and 5,200 tons of hen eggs were produced.


The total catch in 2000 was 9,299 tons, a decline from 21,157 tons in 1993. In 2000, about 3% of the catch consisted of skipjack tuna. Exports of fish products were valued at nearly $36.6 million in 2000.


About 8% of the total land area of Mauritius is classified as forest. Roundwood removals were an estimated 25,000 cu m (882,500 cu ft) in 2000, half of it burned as fuel. Sawn wood production was about 5,000 cu m (176,500 cu ft) in 2000.


The installed capacity of power plants in 2001 totaled 365,000 kW. Production increased from 136 million kWh in 1970 to 1.3 billion kWh in 2000, of which 91% was from fossil fuels and 9% from hydropower. A significant portion of all primary energy consumed comes from bagasse, or sugarcane waste.


There are at least 20 insurance companies operating in Mauritius. In 2001, there was $112 million in life insurance premiums written in Mauritius.


Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (1900–85), the first leader of independent Mauritius, was prime minister from 1968 to 1982, when Aneerood Jugnauth (b.1930) succeeded him. The prime minister, Navinchandra Ramgoolam (b.1947), has been in office since 1995.


Dependencies are the Agalega Islands and the St. Brandon Group.

Ethnic Groups Of Mauritania

Kids of Oualata. 
The image of ethnic groups in Mauritania is somewhat complex and confusing, people are divided across more than just normal dividing lines of ethnic groups. One division line runs between blacks and whites, another between Moors and black peoples of sub-Saharan origins. Within the group of Moors, a majority are themselves blacks.

Other ethnic groups are divided into peoples and sub-groups of these peoples. The Wolof live around the city of Rosso;

Fulani dispersed all over the south;
Soninke in the extreme south; and the
Toucouleur along the Senegal River valley.

Mauritanian man. 
About 47% of the population are registered as urban, 51% rural and 2% are nomads. But it must be underlined that cities of Mauritania in most cases are little developed, and is best compared large versions of villages in North Africa.

The Berber population listed here, the Lamtuna , represents a few problems of categorization. First, the figures given are merely a rough estimate, second, although they are Berbers, they make a claim on being an original tribe of Yemen. This claim can neither be confirmed nor disproved from available historical sources.


The actual composition of ethnic groups in Mauritania is actually not very well known, it is generally referred to routinely by "40% black Moors, 30% white Moors and 30% blacks". This representation appears not to be wrong, but with respect to the 30% blacks, there is much insecurity. Out of 1 million in total, the individual groups add up to less than half a million. This suggests only one thing: the quality of work on this matter by professionals is of extremely poor quality.

As there is no contradiction to the total number of it appears that the 1 million is correct, hence that the single groups are far larger than what they are referred to. LookLex here gives new estimates, greatly different from other sources, but our figures are correctly dimensioned no the total figures.

Ethnic Groups 
Figures in 1000.
Moors 2,400 70.0%
Blacks 1,400 40.0%
Whites 1,000 30.0%
Berbers 20 0.6%
Lamtuna 20 0.6%
Wolof 350 10.0%
Fulani 250 7.5%
Soninke 150 4.5%
Toucouleur 150 4.5%
Mande 100 3.0%
Bambara 100 3.0%
Imraguen 15 0.4%

By Tore Kjeilen

•culled from

Thursday 18 October 2018

Largest Ethnic Groups In Mali

The Bambara are the largest ethnic group in the multi-ethnic country, accounting for more than one-third of its people.
Mali is a landlocked country in the Western parts of Africa. The capital is Bamako, and the country has a population of 14.5 million people. This population consists of some sub-Saharan ethnic groups. The largest ethnic group is the Bambara with an estimated population of 2.7 million people as at the year 2007. The other major groups include the Fulani, Sarakole, Senufo, and Dogo. These ethnic groups are predominantly Islam as the religion was brought to them by Berber traders. We are going to discuss some of these major ethnic groups.

Largest Ethnic Groups In Mali


The Bambara are the largest ethnic group in the country making up about 36.5% of the total population in the country. They are believed to have originated from southern parts of Mauritania as early as 2000BC. Most of them are Muslim in the present day with, but a good number still practice traditional rituals. The Bambara art is one of the most sophisticated and diverse being adapted from various artistic traditions. The artwork was used to define religion and each creative artwork anybody made was seen as a different way to appease the spirits. The Bambara language is spoken by over 80% of Malians irrespective of their ethnic group. Apart from Mali, the group is also found in Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ivory Coast, and Mauritania.


They also referred to as the Fulbe, Fula, or the Hilani depending ion the Language one is speaking. They are one of the largest groups in Africa with the majority of them living in Nigeria. Other countries they occupy include; Guinea, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, and Sudan. They are believed to have come from intermarriages from the people of North Africa and the Middle East who intermarried with West Africans. About a third of the Fulani are nomadic pastoralists with the remainder having adopted a more sedentary lifestyle. The Fulani are the earliest ethnic group in West Africa to adopt the Islamic religion, and they took center stage in spreading it.hey have participated in several major Jihad wars which also led to rapid spread of Islam in the area. The tribe has held on to a very rigid caste system with for major castes which are; traders, tradesmen, and descendants of slaves. A person can only marry within their caste. They are traditional nomadic pastoralist trading people, but some of them have become plant farmers and lived a more settled life.


These are Sonike speaking group with a total population of around two million people in West Africa. They are also found in Mauritania, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Gambia. Archeological evidence shows that the Sarakole lived in stone settlements in the ancient times. They believe that they come from an ancestor called Dinga who came from the Middle East. They culture has borrowed a lot from the Islam culture especially of marriage. The Sarakole are known for their strict adherence to their culture, and they still practice female circumcision.


The Senufo are sub-divided into three major groups which are quite distinct. They are namely; Northern Senufo, Southern Senufo, and central Senufo are the smallest. They are multi-lingual and speak more than thirty languages. The Senufo group also practices hereditary caste system with the castes being despised and the farmers being higher ranked than the artisans. There are villages which are independent of each other with a male society known as Poro which conducts a secret initiation in the forests.


This is one of the minority groups living in central parts of Mali. They are best known for their make dance and religious traditions. Their art primarily consists of sculpture which revolves around religion, values, and freedoms. According to their beliefs, the clitoris is considered masculine while the foreskin is feminine. There is, therefore, a dire need to eliminate these parts via circumcision.

Other Ethnic Groups Of Mali

Malinke, Bobo, Songhai, and the Tuareg are some of the other notable ethnic groups in the country. There are other groups which are very minor comprising of few members. The most common traditions in all Malian communities is the practice of the case system, circumcision of both male and female, and widespread acceptance of the Islamic religion.

Largest Ethnic Groups In Mali

Rank Ethnic Group Share of Population in Mali
1 Bambara 34%
2 Fulani 15%
3 Sarakole 11%
4 Senufo 11%
5 Dogon 9%
6 Malinke 9%
7 Bobo 3%
8 Songhai 2%
9 Tuareg 1%
Other Ethnic Groups 5%

By Kenneth Kimutai too

•culled from

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Ethnic Groups Of Malawi

Malawi is an ethnically diverse nation. The Chewa are the largest ethnic group there, accounting for more than one-third of all Malawians.
Malawi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in Southeastern Africa. It borders Tanzania, Zambia, and Mozambique. It is one of the smallest countries in Africa with an area of 45,460 square miles and an estimated population of 16.8 million. Lilongwe is the country's capital and largest city. It is under the leadership of the president who is elected democratically. English is the country's official language, but other ethnic languages are used. The people of Malawi are mainly Bantus divided into several ethnic groups.

Ethnic Groups Of Malawi


The Chewa are Bantu people found in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. They are a remnant of the Maravi people of the 16 th Century and are divided into two clans the Phiri and the Banda. They originated from Malabo, Democratic Republic of Congo before migrating to Zambia in late 1400. Women are regarded as special people as they are the reproducers of their lineage and the entire extended family. They constitute 36% of the entire Malawian population.


The Lomwe people are mainly found in the Phalombe district, southeast Malawi but initially originated from Mozambique. They are Bantu-speaking people who follow deep cultural customs, but the practices have died out over the years. It is the second largest ethnic group in Malawi forming up to 18% of the entire county's population.


The Wayao people commonly referred to as the Yao people are major Bantu ethnic group mainly found in the southern part of Lake Malawi. They can also be found in Mozambique and Tanzania. The Yao people are Muslim subsistence farmers who participated in the Barter trade with Arabs along the Southeastern Coast of Africa. In the 19 th Century, it became the most influential tribe in southeastern Africa. They strictly follow their traditions to date. They constitute 14% of the entire Malawian population.


The Ngoni people are believed to have originated from the Zulu and Nguni people of South Africa who were displaced during the Zulu wars and relocated to Zambia and Malawi. Zulu wars arose after the death of the leader and succession problems arose. These led to the division of the Ngoni group into seven substantial kingdoms in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania. They relied on agriculture but preferred cattle due to migrations to different northern countries. In Malawi, they constitute 12% of the entire population.


The Tumboka people are Bantu people originating from the eastern region of Lake Malawi and are found in Eastern Zambia, Northern Malawi, and Southern Tanzania. Though greatly affected by the wars of the Ngoni people, the Tumboka people are subsistence farmers. They form 9% of the country's entire population.
Other Ethnic Groups Of Malawi
There are other smaller ethnic groups in Malawi like the Nyanja which constitute 6% of the country's population. Nyasa Tonga is an ethnic group of Bantus speaking people living in Nkhata Bay, Northern Malawi and form 2% of Malawian population. Ndonde Hamba is one of the least populated ethnic groups with 1% of the population. Other minority groups form 2% of the population in a multi-ethnic country.

Ethnic Groups Of Malawi

Rank Ethnic Group Share of Population in Malawi
1 Chewa 36%
2 Lomwe 18%
3 Wayao 14%
4 Ngoni 12%
5 Tumboka 9%
6 Nyanja 6%
7 Nyasa Tonga 2%
8 Ndonde Hamba 1%
Other Peoples 2%

By Kenneth Kimutai too

•culled from
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