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The continent of Africa offers much more than the typical negative news stories of political unrest, corruption, poverty and disease that we often hear about. Though Africa still had its troubles, 2010 was a momentous year for the motherland that included the excitement of the World Cup being hosted in South Africa and 17 African countries celebrating 50 years of independence from colonialism. Here’s a recap of some of Africa’s memorable events from last year:

FIFA World Cup

This past summer, South Africa had the honor of the hosting The World Cup, an international championship competition that brings together the best soccer players – or should we say footballers- in the world once every four years. Though only a few African teams competed out of 32 teams, and Spain took home the trophy for the first time ever, the festivities did wonders for the country’s economy by generating tons of tourist dollars and enabling funds to build more infrastructure. It also influenced a peaceful union between African soccer fans and casual viewers.

The Year of Independence

This year marked 50 years of independence for 17 African countries, including Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia. Ironically, the occasion was marked by a number of African leaders attending the Bastille Day celebrations in France, the former colonial power for 14 of the 17 countries. In spite of the hardships these countries have faced (civil wars, dictatorship, corruption, etc.) there’s no denying the pride and love the natives feel for their homelands.

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