While most African nations have gained independence since the end of the colonial age, there are still parts of the continent under foreign control.
Most of these are small islands or archipelagos that are dependent territories of the U.K., France, Spain, Portugal and even Italy, but there are still two cities on the continent itself that are considered European territory.
Ceuta and Melilla are two port cities on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast which have been claimed by Spain for more than 400 years along with a handful of islands that are collectively known as the plazas de soberanía or places of sovereignty.
Ceuta is home to 82,000 people and is about eighteen square kilometers in size. While most people speak Spanish, there is still a sizable Moroccan population and the North African country continues to claim that the city is in its territory.
Melilla is the smaller of the two cities in land area at about 12 square kilometers which is the home to about 80,000 people.
Today, both outposts have become magnets for migrants trying to make their way to the European Union which is why giant fences have been erected around the territories which otherwise rely mostly on fishing and tourism to survive.
After a while, videos promoting tourism in different countries all start to look the same. This one from South Africa takes a different path. It tells a story that reveals the people and landscapes of the country in a fresh and original way that will surely inspire you to want to visit this beautiful land.
The Indian Ocean archipelago of the Seychelles is paradise on Earth. Take a few minutes scrolling through Instagram to find photos of the 115-island nation and you’ll see a constant stream of blue skies, blue water, palm trees and pretty people who come to enjoy its beaches. This coming June 18, Africa’s least-populous nation celebrates its national day. In honour of the occasion, here are some photos that leave no doubt that it’s a land of beauty.
Today marks Freedom Day for South Africa, a national holiday that commemorates the nation’s first elections after the end of apartheid.
Then president Nelson Mandela said these words at the first commemoration of the holiday:
“As dawn ushered in this day, the 27th of April 1994, few of us could suppress the welling of emotion, as we were reminded of the terrible past from which we come as a nation; the great possibilities that we now have; and the bright future that beckons us. And so we assemble here today, and in other parts of the country, to mark a historic day in the life of our nation. Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one, as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future.”
I was lucky enough to hear Mandela speak at a rally held in his honour in Montreal back in 1990. It was an inspiring experience.
Liberia, a country in West Africa, was founded, established, colonized and controlled by citizens of the United States and ex-Caribbean slaves as a colony for former African American slaves and their free black descendants. It was an American protectorate until 1847 when it declared its independence.
I took this photo in 2001 on a trip in Morocco. We were driving to the coastal city of Essaouira and stopped en route to take some photos of the desert-like landscape. These curious girls who lived nearby came to see what we were doing. I snapped their photo and it was better than any of the landscape photos I took in that spot.
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