Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country situated in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Sudan to the west, Kenya to the south, Somalia to the east and Djibouti to the north-east.

Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world and Africa‘s second-most populous nation.Ethiopia has yielded some of humanity’s oldest traces, making the area important in the history of human evolution. Recent studies claim that the vicinity of present-day Addis Ababa was the point from which human beings migrated around the world. Ethiopian dynastic history traditionally began with the reign of Emperor Menelik I in 1000 BC. The roots of the Ethiopian state are similarly deep, dating with unbroken continuity to at least the Aksumite Empire (which adopted the name “Ethiopia” in the 4th century) and its predecessor state, D`mt (with early 1st millennium BC roots). After a period of decentralized power in the 18th and early 19th centuries known as the Zemene Mesafint (“Era of the Judges/Princes”), the country was reunited in 1855 by Kassa Hailu, who became Emperor Tewodros II, beginning Ethiopia’s modern history. Ethiopia’s borders underwent significant territorial expansion to its modern borders for the rest of the century, especially by Emperor Menelik II and Ras Gobena, culminating in its victory over the Italians at the Battle of Adwa in 1896 with the military leadership of Ras Makonnen, and ensuring its sovereignty and freedom from colonization. It was brutally occupied by Mussolini’s Italy from 1936 to 1941, ending with its liberation byBritish Empire and Ethiopian Patriot forces.

Having converted during the fourth century AD, it is also the second-oldest country to become officially Christian, after Armenia. Since 1974, it has been secular and has also had a considerable Muslim minority since the earliest days of Islam. Historically a relatively isolated mountain country, Ethiopia by the mid 20th century became a crossroads of global international cooperation. It became a member of the League of Nations in 1923, signed the Declaration by United Nations in 1942, and was one of the fifty-one original members of the United Nations (UN). The headquarters of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) is in Addis Ababa, as is the headquarters of the African Union (formerly the Organisation of African Unity), of which Ethiopia was the principal founder. There are about forty-five Ethiopian embassies and consulates around the world.

US citizens are required to possess a valid US passport and a valid visa to enter Ethiopia. For detailed information regarding visa and other immigration requirements for visiting Ethiopia, follow the link below.

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The Republic of Ghana is a country in West Africa. It borders Ivory Coast to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. The word “Ghana” means “Warrior King”, and was the source of the name “Guinea” used to refer to the West African coast (as in Gulf of Guinea).

Ghana was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient kingdoms, including the Ga Adangbes on the eastern coast, inland Empire of Ashanti and various Fante states along the coast and inland. Trade with European states flourished after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century, and the British established a crown colony, Gold Coast, in 1874.

Upon being the first African nation to achieve independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, the name Ghana was chosen for the new nation to reflect the ancient Empire of Ghana that once extended throughout much of western Africa. In the Ashanti language it is spelled Gaana.

US citizens traveling to Ghana must have a valid US passport and be in possession of a visa. Visas can be obtained from a Ghana embassy and must be obtained prior to arriving in Ghana. For detailed information regarding visa and other immigration requirements for entering and staying in Ghana, follow the link below.

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The Republic of South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. South Africa‘s coast stretches 2,798 kilometers (1,739 mi) and borders both the Atlantic and Indian oceans. To the north of South Africa lie Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, while the Kingdom of Lesotho is an independent enclave surrounded by South African territory.

Modern human beings have inhabited South Africa for more than 100,000 years. However, with the discovery of the Cape Sea Route, the Dutch East India Company founded a refreshment station at what would become Cape Town in 1652. Cape Town became a British colony in 1806. European settlement expanded during the 1820s as the Boers (original Dutch settlers) and the British 1820 Settlers claimed land in the north and east of the country. Conflicts arose between the original inhabitants of the land, the Xhosa and Zulu, and the new European settlers. However, the discovery of diamonds and later gold triggered the conflict known as the Anglo-Boer War as the Boers and the British fought for the control of South Africa’s mineral wealth. Although the Boers were defeated, limited independence was given toSouth Africa in 1910 as a British dominion. Anti-British policies focused on ultimate independence which was achieved in 1961 when South Africa was declared a republic. The leading National Party legislated segregation known as apartheid despite opposition both in and outside of the country. In 1990 the then president F.W. de Klerk began to dismantle this legislation, and in 1994 the first democratic election was held in South Africa. This election brought Nelson Mandela and the current ruling party, the African National Congress to power.

South Africa is known for its diversity, and eleven official languages are recognized in its constitution. English is the most commonly spoken language in official and commercial public life; however it is only the fifth most spoken home language. South Africa is ethnically diverse, with the largest Caucasian, Indian, and racially mixed communities in Africa. Although 79.6% of South Africa‘s population is Black, this category is neither culturally nor linguistically homogenous, as they speak a number of different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status. Midyear 2007, South Africa‘s population was estimated at 47.9 million.

US citizens who hold valid US passports are not required to possess a visa prior to entry intoSouth Africa . The visa exemption is subject to a stay not exceeding 90 days. For detailed information regarding visa and residency requirements to South Africa, please follow the appropriate link below.

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The Republic of Kenya is a country of east-central Africa bordering on the Indian Ocean. The site of many early hominid fossils, Kenya was inhabited during historic times by various Cushitic, Nilotic, and Bantu peoples including the Kikuyu and the Masai. The coast was settled by Arab traders in the 8th century A.D. and later (16th-18th century) by the Portuguese.Kenya became a British protectorate in 1890 and crown colony in 1920. It achieved independence in 1963. Nairobi is the capital and the largest city. Population: 36,900,000.

US citizens traveling to Kenya must possess a valid US passport and obtain a visa prior to entering the Republic of Kenya. For detailed information regarding visa requirements and other immigration related concerns for the Republic of Kenya, follow the link below.

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Nigeria, officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and one Federal Capital Territory. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast lies on the Gulf of Guinea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, in the south. The capital city is Abuja.

The people of Nigeria have an extensive history, and archaeological evidence shows that human habitation of the area dates back to at least 9000 BC. The Benue-Cross River area is thought to be the original homeland of the Bantu migrants who spread across most of central and southern Africa in waves between the 1st millennium BC and the 2nd millennium AD.

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous country in the world with a population of over 140 million. The country is listed among the “Next Eleven” economies, and is one of the fastest growing in the world with the International Monetary Fund projecting growth of 9% in 2008 and 8.3% in 2009.

US citizens traveling to Nigeria must possess a valid visa prior to entering Nigeria. For detailed immigration regarding visa and other immigration requirements for visiting and staying in Nigerian, follow the link below.

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