I often use a plugin called <a href="http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/widget-logic/" title="Widget Logic"> to do that.
It uses WordPress <a href="http://codex.wordpress.org/Conditional_Tags" title="Conditional Tags">, so you can tell it show a widget using a wide variety of logic, such as show this widget when category=africa, etc.
Need more help? Find me on Twitter @gidgetthegeek
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