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Top 5 most culturally influential African countries in the world

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  • Business Insider Africa presents the world's top 5 most culturally influential African countries. 
  • This list is courtesy of US News and World Report. 
  • The criteria used to rank these countries include entertainment, fashion, happiness, strong consumer brands, modernity, prestige, and trendiness. 

Culture is an integral part of the human experience, one that shapes how we interact and perceive the world around us. Culture profoundly influences how individuals and societies function, whether through language, customs, beliefs, or social norms.

Culture's influence on every other facet of life cannot be overstated. There are cultural connotations to economic circumstances, and as such, regions across the globe try to garner as much cultural influence in other areas as much as they possibly can.

The more cultural influence a country can achieve, the more economic leverage said the country would have. For example, McDonald, an American fast-food chain, reportedly has over 38,000 locations in over 100 countries. This is because Hollywood has perpetuated the idea that McDonald's makes the best burgers in the world.

Hollywood, while being a very influential medium, is a form of cultural influence itself. Numerous film industries across the globe constantly try to imitate this industry’s style of filmmaking, which could directly or indirectly boost the reputations and earnings of this film industry.

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With the aforementioned examples, it's easy to see how cultural influence significantly impacts the overall bottom line of any given market.

As a result, it is noteworthy to recognize the countries with the most cultural influence. The countries whose food, wine, media, fashion, entertainment, and even socio-economic policies are being adopted by other regions.

On this note, US News and World Report have a ranking system for these countries. The data platform has a rank of the most culturally influential countries based on its metric system.

The U.S. News and World Report Cultural Influence ranking is based on an equally weighted average of scores from eight country attributes that relate to a country's cultural influence: culturally significant in terms of entertainment, fashion, happiness, strong consumer brands, modernity, prestige, and trendiness.

While countries like Italy, with its Italian wine, pizza, and other Italian foods, France with its cuisine, and fashion, America, with its media and entertainment, and Japan with its culture and technology, amongst others are no brainers, the question is, which African countries have the most cultural influence?

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Based on the criteria listed above, here are 5 African countries with the most cultural influence in the world.

Egypt: Egypt’s spot as the number 1 most culturally influential country in Africa needs no explanation, but with its rich and fascinating 5000-year recorded history, its cultural monuments, and its geographic positioning, the country’s high level of influence comes as no surprise. It is the 31st most culturally influential country in the world with a net ranking of 31.8.

Morocco: This largely Islamic nation is highly cultural owing to its masterfully infused blend of Arab, Berber, Jewish, and Western European cultures. It also boasts some of the continent’s most magnificent infrastructures and diverse populations. Its overall cultural influence ranking is 21.5, and it is the 38th most culturally influential nation in the world.

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South Africa: This country is known for its vastly diverse population, representative of a vast spectrum of different languages, practices, and values. it is also one of the richest countries on the continent and is somewhat of a regional leader, as a result, it plays a key economic and political role on the continent. Not to mention the country’s music and film influence. It is the 39th most culturally influential country in the world and has an overall score of 19.3.

Kenya: Arguably the East African center of commerce and culture, Kenya has in recent years announced itself to the world. Kenya’s cultural influence is thanks to its strong ties to its heritage, like the Maasai people of Kenya who remain true to their roots, its game reserves, and its hospitality. It is the 56th most culturally influential country in the world and has a score of 6.6.

Tunisia: Yet another Arab/African country, and like Egypt, Tunisia boasts a 3000-year-long history, an important multi-ethnic influx, and once stood as a crucial civilization in humanity’s history. It has an overall cultural influence score of 5.0 and is the 61st culturally influential country in the world.

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