Portal:Africa


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For a topic outline on this subject, see List of basic Africa topics.



Location of Africa on the world map
Satellite map of Africa

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent (behind Asia in both categories). At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Africa's average population is the youngest amongst all the continents; the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide median age was 30.4. Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, and Nigeria is its largest by population. Africa, particularly central Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors as well as later ones that have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster--the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human), found in Ethiopia, date to circa 200,000 years ago. Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.

Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century, European countries colonised almost all of Africa; most present states in Africa originated from a process of decolonisation in the 20th century. African nations cooperate through the establishment of the African Union, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa.

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Notable massacres in Algeria in the years 1997 and 1998

The Algerian Civil War was an armed conflict between the Algerian government and various Islamist rebel groups that is estimated to have cost between 150,000 and 200,000 lives. The conflict began in December 1991, when the government cancelled elections after the first round results had shown that the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) party would win, citing fears that the FIS would end democracy.

After the FIS was banned and thousands of its members arrested, Islamist guerrillas rapidly emerged and began an armed campaign against the government and its supporters. They formed themselves into several armed groups, principally the Islamic Armed Movement (MIA), based in the mountains, and the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), based in the towns. In 1994, as negotiations between the government and the FIS's imprisoned leadership reached their height, the GIA declared war on the FIS and its supporters, while the MIA and various smaller groups regrouped, becoming the Islamic Salvation Army (AIS). Soon after, the talks collapsed. (Read more...)

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Sand dunes of Erg Chebbi, Morocco
Photo credit: Rosa Cabecinhas and Alcino Cunha

Erg Chebbi (Arabic: ?‎) is the sole Saharan erg in Morocco. It is 22 km long (North-of 150 meters. It is located roughly 40 kilometers south-east of Erfoud. The local center for tourists is the village of Merzouga.

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Akan drum

Featured biography

Charles Atangana (c. 1880 – 1 September 1943), also known by his birth name, Ntsama, and his German name, Karl, was the paramount chief of the Ewondo and Bane ethnic groups during much of the colonial period in Cameroon. Although from an unremarkable background, Atangana's loyalty and friendship with colonial priests and administrators secured him successively more prominent posts in the colonial government. He proved himself an intelligent and diplomatic administrator and was eventually named paramount chief of the Ewondo and Bane peoples. His loyalty to the German Empire was unquestioning, and he even accompanied the Germans on their escape from Africa in World War I.

After a brief stay in Europe, Atangana returned to his homeland in Cameroon, which by then was a League of Nations mandate territory under the administration of the French Third Republic. The French doubted his loyalties at first, but Atangana served satisfactorily and regained his post as paramount chief. During the remainder of his life, he oversaw the Westernisation of his subjects and the improvement of his domains despite the erosion of his powers due to French policies and native unrest. He never advocated resistance to the European powers, preferring to embrace European civilisation and technology in the service of African interests. (Read more...)

In the news

16 July 2018 - Khoisan § Declaration of sovereignty
King Khoebaha Calvin Cornelius III declares independence from South Africa to form the "Sovereign State of Good Hope", encompassing the states of Northern Cape, Western Cape, and the western parts of Eastern Cape. The state raised their own flag after taking down the South African flag. (The Citizen)
22 June 2018 - European migrant crisis
Malta refuses to accept 234 African immigrants from the Dutch ship Lifeline. (Reuters)

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Topics in Africa

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  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Portal:Africa
 



 

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