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Description of the Country:
South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. Inland safari destination Kruger National Park covers vast shrublands populated by big game; the Western Cape encompasses lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, wild beaches, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.
Geography of the Country:
South Africa occupies the southern tip of Africa, its coastline stretching more than 2,500 kilometres (1,600 miles) from the desert border with Namibia on the Atlantic (western) coast southwards around the tip of Africa and then north to the border with Mozambique on the Indian Ocean. The low-lying coastal zone is narrow for much of that distance, soon giving way to a mountainous escarpment (Great Escarpment) that separates the coast from the high inland plateau. In some places, notably the province of KwaZulu-Natal in the east, a greater distance separates the coast from the escarpment. Although most of the country is classified as semi-arid, it has considerable variation in climate as well as topography.
Status of Economy:
The economy of South Africa is the second-largest in Africa, behind Nigeria. South Africa accounts for 24 percent of Africa's gross domestic product (PPP), and it is ranked as an upper-middle-income economy by the World Bank – one of only four such countries in Africa (alongside Botswana, Gabon and Mauritius). Since 1996, at the end of over twelve years of international sanctions, South Africa's Gross Domestic Product has almost tripled to $400 billion, and foreign exchange reserves have increased from $3 billion to nearly $50 billion; creating a diversified economy with a growing and sizable middle class, within two decades of establishing democracy and ending apartheid. High levels of unemployment, income inequality, growing public debt, political mismanagement, low levels of education, reliable access to electricity, and crime are all serious problems that have negatively impacted the South African economy. R&D outlook in South Africa is improving, but not yet at the country's full potential. The latest R&D survey shows that South Africa spent 23.871 billion on research and development (R&D) in 2012/13.
Research and Development:
The Noble Prize is awarded to the people mostly related to Physics, Medicine, Chemistry, Literature and Peace; this nation has produced 27 Nobel laureates so far, and 24 people acted as nominators among 4 cities and 5 universities. South Africa has established infrastructure for advanced medical research. Medical Research and Development monitors the funding and integration of the R & D related to medical sciences in the country. The aim of SASCA (The Southern African Spinal Cord Association) is the study of all problems concerning traumatic and non-traumatic afflictions of the spinal cord and more particularly the advancement in medical and surgical intervention, rehabilitation and social reintegration of the spinal cord paralysed. Numerous medical journals are published from South Africa with good reputation.