I am starting to notice some differences which may be indicative of W. vs E.
One big one is language, other than the many tribal voices, the colonial influence of French in the W. and Brittish in the E. pretty much defines the common spoken or commercial languages used. In the W. Ghana stands as the only English exception and the influence there is considerable, in the E Mozambique is the only non-English speaking country theirs being Portugese. Also, because DeGalle pulled out of the French colonies very suddenly because he was incensed that they would not opt for association w/ France(much like the Brittish Commonwealth) but rather preferred complete independence, you see much deterioration of the previously built French infrastructure there. Here in the E. the Brittish must have done a bit better job because it seems there is more of a European-like influence and not as much evidence of collapsed infrastructure.
A big similarity is the ubiquitous charcoal/wood for fuel in bags & stacks & bundles everywhere along the roads. Likewise, the striking gap between rich and poor...and it seems to be more in-your-face as well, the rich being in close proximity with the poor, rubbing shoulder so to speak and noses quite in the air even to westerners/whites.
Malawi in particular is somewhat different in that the people seem much more apt to smile and greet you and it does not follow up with an attempt to get $$ from you somehow.
The country is the second largest exporter of tobacco in the world, you see crops drying under long stick and thatch shade structures everywhere. Some locals on the bus down from Livingstonia got off in the countryside and they threw down from the top of the bus 3-4 big bundles of burlap bags which they use to bundle the tobacco crop and take it to market.
Just south of Selima on our way to Lilongwe I saw for the first time beautiful cane furniture for sale along the side of the road! Chairs, tables, etc. great stuff, a cooperative of some kind.