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Country Profiles

Saudi Arabia

Officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia is bordered by the Red Sea on the West, Oman to the Southeast, Yemen to the South, the Arabian Gulf and the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on the East, and Jordan, Kuwait and Iraq on the North. Desert covers more than half the total area of Saudi Arabia. A narrow coastal plain runs through the Kingdom’s western coast while a range of mountains run parallel to the coastal plain along the Red Sea. The mountains in the west of the Kingdom are very rich in minerals with large deposits of limestone, gypsum and sand. The eastern region has the richest reservoirs of oil in the world.

Riyadh is the capital city of Saudi Arabia. Jeddah, located along the eastern coast of the Red Sea, is the commercial capital of Saudi Arabia, and serves as an entrance to the rest of the peninsula. Jeddah’s ports hence become the main thoroughfares for trade. The twin cities of Jubail and Yanbu are a symbol of the government’s vision of Saudi Arabia’s future development.

The kingdom is categorized as a World Bank high-income economy with a high Human Development Index, and is the only Arab country to be part of the G-20 major economies.

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South Africa

Officially known as the Republic of South Africa (RSA) is the southernmost sovereign state in Africa; stretching south along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and neighboured by Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe on the North, and by Mozambique and Swaziland on the East and Northeast, surrounding the kingdom of Lesotho.

South Africa is home to the Cradle Humankind which is known as the oldest prehistoric burial site. South Africa is the world’s richest country in mineral reserves, it has the largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa and it makes up a third of the region’s GDP. South Africa is also the only African country represented in the Group of 20 (G20), which has become an important institution on the reform of the financial and economic global governance architecture. South Africa’s own unique historic political transformation process to become a constitutional democracy is perceived as a unique contribution to the world. The country has facilitated similar processes for peace elsewhere in the world.


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