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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 20:00 GMT
Why I love Africa
BBC listeners and readers share their personal experiences of the African continent.

Here are the latest contributions celebrating Africa's culture, its respect for the elderly and its politicians.

Victor Bockarie Foh, Sierra Leone

I love Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Egypt where African Arabs dress in robes and veils. Their rich culture, beautiful leather works, rugs, artefacts, the Suez Canal and the pyramids are great tourist attractions. I also love some leaders from this region including Libya's Gaddafi and Algeria's Bouteflika.

I love Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan for their desert life. I love the sand storms, locusts, camels, donkeys and the countries' rich literature.

Maria Mutola celebrates her world 800m title in Paris
Mozambique's Maria Mutola is one of Africa's most successful athletes

Oh, I love the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Somalia. They together present exciting flora and fauna, culture, politics and history. No wonder the colonialists scrambled here for slaves, minerals and land.

I also love the calmness of Southern Africa where rivers Zambezi and Limpopo meander. I love the wisdom of the late Jomo Kenyatta, the safari suits of Kenneth Kaunda, the teachings of the late Julius Nyerere.

I love Africa... Africa for its great sportsmen and women... past and present... Roger Milla, George Weah, Maria Mutola... its great musicians... Franco Luambo Makiadi, Yusuf N'Dour, Salif Keita.

I love Africa's suffering children and disadvantaged women. I love Nelson and Winnie Madikizela Mandela... symbols of the continent's freedom and greatness. I love Africa.

Andrea Nicodemo, Eritrea

I love Africa for one thing. I was brought up in a society where every child was taught how to develop a positive attitude towards his or her parents and members of the community in general. Aged people are regarded as the most dignified figures in my community because they are the peace makers in times of conflict.

Farmer with locusts
Locusts are a part of desert life to be celebrated, says Victor

Peace and love are the common greetings of every person in my community. Our leaders and the law-making bodies are not university graduates, scholars or military rulers, but people with many wives, children, and animals, because it is a sign of wealth and we are proud of them.

We are neither Christians nor Muslims. We believe in one God of our ancestors. We call him Dungul. God that promotes human dignity, gender equality, and the rights of every human race. Our holy places are mountains, valleys, rivers and forest. Our high courts are taboos and restricted places.

There is no poverty in my community. We eat every sort of food including snakes, crocodiles, and monkeys. We are taught to be generous so every one is invited to enjoy our delicious meal. People in my community spend at least 10 to 15 minutes for greetings on the streets. We live in shanty houses, where everyone knows his neighbours so as to help each other in times of danger. O I love Africa.

Adole Ralph Audu, Nigeria

I love Africa....my beautiful continent. I love, love Africa's extra-ordinary politics and its leaders.

Leaders who will hold on to power for a long time without regard for the interest and needs of the people they lead.

Have you noticed it is only in Africa where it is virtually impossible to wrestle power from a ruling party? That the ruling party dictates conditions or terms of elections...can imprison opposition party leaders at and ban their parties at will?

By the way have you noticed that in Africa corrupt politicians are awarded honorary doctorate degrees for siphoning public funds?

I love this continent for the manner in which its politicians have perfected the art of rigging elections. I will always love Africa and its politics.

What do you think?

Do you find Africa annoying, frustrating and slow or is it fun, fast and exhilarating? Share your joys and sorrows of the continent in the new 2005 BBC competition - Why I love Africa.

If you have photos to accompany your contribution send them to newsonline.africa@bbc.co.uk, otherwise use the form at the bottom of the page. Entries should be no more than 300 words.

The best will be published on the news website and broadcast on the BBC World Service's Network Africa programme. Some will receive small prizes.

Use the form below to send your entry.

Your E-mail address
Postal address, Town & Country

The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

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