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People who belong to a common ethnic group may share customs, languages, or a common history. Tribal affiliations are a source of unity and pride for many Africans.

In Mauritania, the Moors are one distinct ethnic group. Moors are people of mixed Arab and Berber heritage. Citizens of Senegal may belong to one of the following tribes: Wolof, Fulani, Serer, Toucouleur, Diola, or Mandigo, among others.

Over 60 ethnic groups co-exist in Burkina Faso. One of these groups, the Fulani, also live in Senegal and Cameroon. Some of the 70 tribal groups that live in Kenya are the Kikuyu, Luhya, and Kalenjin. The Masai people are perhaps the best known to non-Europeans. On the island of Madagascar, 18 different tribes speak Malagasy and French. In Swaziland, Swazi, Zulu, Tsonga-Shangaan, and Europeans live side by side.

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