Portal:Africa

Introduction

Africa (orthographic projection).svg

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[1] 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.

Selected general articles

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Flag of Mozambique.svg

Mozambique , officially the Republic of Mozambique (Portuguese: Moçambique or República de Moçambique, pronounced ['pu?lik? ð? mus'bik?]) is a country in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Swaziland (Eswatini) and South Africa to the southwest. It is separated from the Comoros, Mayotte and Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel to the east. The capital of Mozambique is Maputo (formerly known as "Lourenço Marques" from 1876 to 1976) while Matola is the largest city, being a suburb of Maputo.

Between the first and fifth centuries AD, Bantu-speaking peoples migrated to present-day Mozambique from farther north and west. Beginning in the 11th century, Arab, Persian, and Somali merchants began settlements and establishing commercial ports along the coast, contributing to the development of a distinct Swahili culture and language. Read more...
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Emblem of Italy.svg

Italy (Italian: Italia [i'ta:lja]), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana [re'pubblika ita'lja:na]), is a country in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous in southern Europe.

Due to its central geographic location in Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has historically been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient Italian tribes and Italic peoples dispersed throughout the Italian Peninsula and insular Italy, beginning from the classical era, Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Greeks established settlements in the south of Italy, with Etruscans and Celts inhabiting the centre and the north of Italy respectively. The Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated its neighbours. In the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural, political and religious centre of Western civilisation. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the global distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity and the Latin script. Read more...
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Flag of Malawi.svg

Malawi (, or ; Chichewa[malá?i] or [maláwi]), officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. Malawi is over 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of 18,091,575 (as at July 2016). Lake Malawi takes up about a third of Malawi's area. Its capital is Lilongwe, which is also Malawi's largest city; the second largest is Blantyre, the third is Mzuzu and the fourth largest is its old capital Zomba. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is also nicknamed "The Warm Heart of Africa".

The area of Africa now known as Malawi was settled by migrating Bantu groups around the 10th century. Centuries later in 1891 the area was colonised by the British. In 1953 Malawi, then known as Nyasaland, a protectorate of the United Kingdom, became a protectorate within the semi-independent Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The Federation was dissolved in 1963. In 1964 the protectorate over Nyasaland was ended and Nyasaland became an independent country under Queen Elizabeth II with the new name Malawi. Two years later it became a republic. Upon gaining independence it became a totalitarian one-party state under the presidency of Hastings Banda, who remained president until 1994, when he lost an election.[contradictory]Arthur Peter Mutharika is the current president. Malawi has a democratic, multi-party government. The country has a Malawian Defence Force that includes an army, a navy and an air wing. Malawi's foreign policy is pro-Western and includes positive diplomatic relations with most countries and participation in several international organisations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the African Union (AU). Read more...
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Flag of Botswana.svg

Botswana , officially the Republic of Botswana (Tswana: Lefatshe la Botswana), is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Since then, it has maintained a strong tradition of stable representative democracy, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998.

Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 70 percent of its territory being the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with Zambia to the north near Kazungula is poorly defined but is, at most, a few hundred metres long. Read more...
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Flag of Namibia.svg

Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia (German: About this sound Republik Namibia ; Afrikaans: Republiek van Namibië), is a country in southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean; it shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of the Zambezi River (essentially a small bulge in Botswana to achieve a Botswana/Zambia micro-border) separates the two countries. Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek, and it is a member state of the United Nations (UN), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Namibia, the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, was inhabited since early times by the San, Damara, and Nama peoples. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu peoples arrived as part of the Bantu expansion. Since then, the Bantu groups, one of which is known as the Ovambo people, have dominated the population of the country; since the late 19th century, they have constituted a majority. Read more...
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Flag of Tanzania.svg

Tanzania , officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south; and the Indian Ocean to the east. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania.

Some prehistoric population migrations into Tanzania include Southern Cushitic speakers who moved south from Ethiopia; Eastern Cushitic people who moved into Tanzania from north of Lake Turkana about 2,000 and 4,000 years ago; and the Southern Nilotes, including the Datoog, who originated from the present-day South Sudan-Ethiopia border region between 2,900 and 2,400 years ago. These movements took place at about the same time as the settlement of the Mashariki Bantu from West Africa in the Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika areas. They subsequently migrated across the rest of Tanzania between 2,300 and 1,700 years ago. Read more...
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Location of  Africa(orange)

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In the news

22 September 2018 - Somali Civil War
A U.S. airstrike kills 18 Al Shabaab militants north of Kismayo, Somalia. The militants were engaged in an attack on U.S. and local forces. (CBC News)
21 September 2018 - Libyan Civil War (2014-present), Battle of Tripoli (2018)
The death toll from recent clashes in Tripoli rises to 96. The clashes, which began on August 26, 2018, have also left 444 wounded and 16 missing. (The Washington Post)
19 September 2018 - Oromo-Somali clashes
The death toll from the recent spike in ethnic violence in Ethiopia rises to 58. Thousands are still protesting against the killings in the capital Addis Ababa. (Yahoo News)
18 September 2018 - Cannabis in South Africa
South Africa legalizes the recreational use of cannabis. (BBC)
16 September 2018 - 2018 Berlin Marathon
Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya sets a new world record for the fastest marathon time, at 2:01:39. (BBC)
13 September 2018 - Organized crime in Nigeria
Bandits open fire at a village hall, where residents gather at night to watch films, in Zamfara State, Nigeria. Eleven people are killed and many more are injured. (BBC)
13 September 2018 - Torture during the Algerian War of Independence
French President Emmanuel Macron announces the recognition that the French state systematically tortured during the 1950s-60s Algerian War of Independence and calls to open archives concerning those who disappeared, such as activist Maurice Audin. (The Washington Post)
13 September 2018 - South Sudan civil war
President of South Sudan Salva Kiir and leader of SPLM-IO Riek Machar reach a peace agreement. Other rebel factions are also expected to join a reformed government. (BBC)
11 September 2018 - Eritrean-Ethiopian border conflict, Eritrea-Ethiopia relations
The Eritrean-Ethiopian border reopens for the first time since 1998. (The New York Times)
10 September 2018 - Libyan Civil War (2014-present), 2018 Tripoli attack
Gunmen storm the headquarters of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli, Libya. At least four people are killed. (BBC)
8 September 2018 - Human rights in Egypt
A court in Egypt sentences 75 people to death for participating in a pro-Morsi sit-in protest in a Cairo suburb in 2013. The breakup of that protest at Rabaa Square by Egyptian authorities resulted in over 600 deaths. Of the 739 defendants, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 46 others are sentenced to life in prison, 374 receive 15-year jail terms, 22 are sentenced to 10 years and 215 people, including Mahmoud Abu Zeid (Shawkan), to five years in jail. (France 24) (The Evening Standard)
6 September 2018 - Eritrea-Ethiopia relations
Ethiopia reopens its embassy in the Eritrean capital Asmara. After the 1998-2018 Eritrean-Ethiopian War, both countries signed a peace accord in July 2018. Also in July, Eritrea reopened its embassy in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. (Al Jazeera)
4 September 2018 - Libyan civil war
The United Nations reports that a ceasefire has been agreed upon by non-governmental militias fighting in Tripoli. (BBC)
3 September 2018 - Libyan Civil War (2014-present)
More than 40 people, including civilians, have died in clashes in the Libyan city of Tripoli. (BBC)
2 September 2018 - Libyan Civil War (2014-present)
Around 400 prisoners, mostly supporters of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, escape from a detention facility in Ain Zara, near Tripoli, amid fighting between rival militia groups. (BBC)
2 September 2018 - National Museum of Brazil fire
A massive fire destroys most of the Paço de São Cristóvão, which houses the National Museum of Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro. The museum holds important archae?logical and anthropological objects, including the remains of the Luzia Woman, Marajoara vases and Egyptian mummies. (G1) (Reuters)
24 August 2018 - Democratic Republic of the Congo general election, 2018
The electoral commission publishes the list of approved candidates. Jean-Pierre Bemba and two former prime ministers are excluded. (Reuters via Business Insider)
23 August 2018 - South Africa-United States relations, South African farm attacks, Fox News controversies
The government of South Africa rejects a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump as "based on false information", in which he appeared to respond to a Fox News report stating that the South African government is "now seizing land from white farmers." (CNN) [contradictory]
19 August 2018 - European migrant crisis
Italy Interior Minister Matteo Salvini threatens to return 177 migrants who have been aboard an Italian coast guard ship for days to Libya. (Time)
18 August 2018 - History of cheese
Archeologists from the Cairo University and the University of Catania report the discovery of one of the oldest known examples of cheese. Discovered at a tomb in the Saqqara necropolis, it is the first known evidence of ancient Egyptian cheese production. (BBC)

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  1. ^ "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 2017. 

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