The Country Similarity Index groups the 30 countries together into the into the Tropical Africa Region. These include: Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Guinea, Benin, Togo, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi, D.R. Congo, Cameroon, Central African Rep., Rep. Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mozambique, Angola, Madagascar, and South Sudan. Here are some of the traits most of these countries share:
Countries in this region are located in Africa between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. As a result, they have warm climates throughout the year. In the drier areas of the region, there are tropical savannas, but in the wetter areas, there are tropical forests. Most of the vegetation is from the Paleotropic Kingdom. The vast majority of these countries are relatively flat. Only Burundi and Rwanda could be considered very mountainous. Furthermore, the region is not highly urbanized so many people do not live in cities. Even in the major cities, few skyscrapers have been built.
Most people in this region have Sub-Saharan African ancestry. Birth rates are high and life expectancy is low, so there are a lot of children but few elderly people. This region has lower literacy rates and few people complete high school. These countries tend to have high employment rates for both men and women. Most of the population is engaged in subsistence farming, so their incomes are quite low. Due to the high rate of poverty, the average height and weight of the people in the region is much lower than the world average.
The native language of most people in the region comes from the Niger-Congo family. Since this region was colonized by European countries, their former colonizer’s language (either English, French, Portuguese, or Spanish) is still an official language in all these countries. As a result, the written languages in this region all primarily use the Latin alphabet as well. In addition, Abrahamic religions, either Christianity or Islam, dominate the region, while there are relatively few atheists. According to the Lewis Model, the people in Tropical Africa are generally outgoing. They also consume few meat products. While cuisine varies within the region, cassava is one of the most important food sources. Plantains and bananas are also popular. Drug usage is very low in most countries. The sporting culture is still developing in the region. Soccer is by far the most popular team sport. Countries in this region generally do not do well at the Olympics. However, boxing and distance running are two sports they are successful at.
The countries in Tropical Africa are not the most democratic. Their governments are generally unstable and there is little rule of law. However, censorship of the internet is not common. All countries in this region are supposed to have a president elected by popular vote, although sometimes elections are rigged. Their governments tend to not provide a lot of entitlements. Unemployment benefits and pensions tend to not be substantial. Education is often not tuition free. Their laws are relatively similar. Same sex marriage is not allowed in any country. Gambling is typically legal. These countries also have liberal alcohol laws. Many even allow people under the age of 18 to drink. All countries are part of the African Union as well.
The countries in this region have relatively little transportation infrastructure. Few people have automobiles. A low percentage of people have access to electricity or improved sanitation. Hydropower and oil are two of its biggest sources of electricity in the region. Type G electrical outlets are common in former British colonies, while Type C electrical outlets are common in the rest. The electrical voltage is between 220 and 240 volts and the frequency is 50 hertz. Few households have television or internet. Most of the region is still transitioning to digital TV broadcasting from analog. Medical infrastructure is also not well developed and there are few doctors per person there. Their military equipment is also not advanced. Much of their equipment was originally made in Russia.