Although a great deal of attention is focused on Africaís economic failures and political instability, a factual compendium such as this, the 15th edition of Africa at a Glance, serves as a reminder of the many positive achievements which need to be appreciated. This compilation has been issued since 1968. It has been prepared to fulfill the need for an up-to-date and concise compendium of published but not readily accessible data on the countries of Africa. Every effort has been made to provide the most current as well as authoritative information. Apart from presenting the latest available data, new tables, maps and diagrams have been added. Attention may be drawn particularly to the inclusion of a new table and maps in Section Four: Democracy Index. While the raison díÍtre of the Africa Institute of South African is the conducting and dissemination of scholarly research, it is also concerned with the collection and dissemination of statistical and other factual data about the African continent. The present issue of Africa at a Glance serves the latter purpose.