Portal:Africa



Satellite map of Africa
Location of Africa on the world map

Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. 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 1.3 billion people as of 2018, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. Africa's population is the youngest amongst all the continents; the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide median age was 30.4. Despite a wide range of natural resources, Africa is the least wealthy continent per capita, in part due to geographic impediments, legacies of European colonization in Africa and the Cold War, predatory/neo-colonialistic activities by Western nations and China, and undemocratic rule and deleterious policies. Despite this low concentration of wealth, recent economic expansion and the large and young population make Africa an important economic market in the broader global context.

Africa straddles the Equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones. 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. Most of the continent lies in the tropics, except by for a large part of Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya and Egypt, the northern tip of Mauritania, the entire territories of Morocco, Ceuta, Melilla and Tunisia which in turn are located above the tropic of Cancer, in the northern temperate zone and in the other extreme of the continent southern Namibia, southern Botsuana, great part of South Africa, the entire territories of Lesoto and eSwatini and the southern tips of Mozambique and Madagascar are located below the tropic of Capricorn, in the southern temperate zone.

Africa is home to much biodiversity; it is the continent with the largest number of megafauna species, as it was least affected by the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna. However, Africa also is heavily affected by a wide range of environmental issues, including desertification, deforestation, water scarcity, and other issues. These entrenched environmental concerns are expected to worsen as climate change impacts Africa. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified Africa as the continent most vulnerable to climate change.

Africa, particularly Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), meaning that Africa has a long and complex history. The earliest hominids and their ancestors 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) remains, found in Ethiopia, South Africa, and Morocco, date to circa 200,000, 259,000, and 300,000 years ago respectively, and Homo sapiens is believed to have originated in Africa around 350,000–260,000 years ago. (Full article...)


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

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French Sudan (French: Soudan français; Arabic: السودان الفرنسي as-Sūdān al-Faransī) was a French colonial territory in the Federation of French West Africa from around 1880 until 1959, when it joined the Mali Federation, and then in 1960, when it became the independent state of Mali. The colony was formally called French Sudan from 1890 until 1899 and then again from 1921 until 1958, and had a variety of different names over the course of its existence. The colony was initially established largely as a military project led by French troops, but in the mid-1890s it came under civilian administration.

A number of administrative reorganizations in the early 1900s brought increasing French administration over issues like agriculture, religion, and slavery. Following World War II, the African Democratic Rally (RDA) under Modibo Keïta became the most significant political force pushing for independence. (Full article...)
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Jean Verdi Salomon Razakandrainy (1913–1978), commonly known as Dox, was a Malagasy writer and poet considered one of the most important literary figures in the country's history. He is principally renowned for his poetry and plays, but was also a painter, wrote and performed musical compositions, and translated several major French and English language works into Malagasy. His works have formed part of the language arts curriculum in Madagascar at every grade level since the country regained independence in 1960.

Dox began writing in 1930 while studying at a fine arts school in Antananarivo, where fellow students gave him the nickname "Dox". In 1932, after briefly conceding to his father's wish that he study medicine, Dox dedicated himself fully to the arts and joined with other notable Malagasy poets in advancing the Mitady ny very movement ("search for lost values"), launched by Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo, Charles Rajoelisolo and Ny Avana Ramanantoanina. His work during this period reflected the movement's aim to reaffirm the value of Malagasy identity, which had been eroded under the influence of the French colonial administration. In 1941, he printed his first collection of poems, Ny Hirako, which was written in the Malagasy language. When a major nationalist uprising erupted in 1947, Dox rallied behind the Mouvement démocratique de la rénovation malgache and suffered a gunshot wound during a protest. He also actively took part in the student protests of 1972 that brought down the Tsiranana administration. In 1971 he published his only compilation of French language poems, Chants Capricorniens. Over the span of his career, he produced nine poem anthologies, numerous books in prose, and sixteen plays featuring folk tales, Biblical stories or Malagasy historical themes, in addition to countless privately commissioned works. (Full article...)
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Flag of Eritrea
Emblem of Eritrea

Eritrea (Ge'ez: ኤርትራ ʾĒrtrā) is a country situated in northern East Africa. It is a multilingual and multicultural country with two dominant religions (Sunni Islam and Oriental Orthodox Christianity) and nine ethnic groups. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The east and northeast of the country have an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands are part of Eritrea.

Eritrea was consolidated into a colony by the Italian government on January 1, 1890. Upon Italy's losses in World War II, Eritrea was ruled as a British protectorate between 1941 and 1952. Following a UN plebiscite in 1950, a resolution 390 (V) was adopted to have Eritrea enter into a federation with Ethiopia in 1952. Emperor Haile Selassie I nevertheless annexed Eritrea as Ethiopia's 14th province in 1961 sparking the 30-year Eritrean War of Independence. Following a UN-supervised referendum, Eritrea declared and gained international recognition for its independence in 1993. (Read more...)

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Douala
Douala is the largest city in Cameroon and its economic capital. It is also the capital of Cameroon's Littoral Region. Home to Central Africa's largest port and its major international airport, Douala International Airport (DLA), it is the commercial and economic capital of Cameroon and the entire CEMAC region comprising Gabon, Congo, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic and Cameroon. Consequently, it handles most of the country's major exports, such as oil, cocoa and coffee, timber, metals and fruits. As from 2018, the city and its surrounding area had an estimated population of 2,768,400. The city sits on the estuary of Wouri River and its climate is tropical. (Full article...)

In the news

23 June 2021 – Tigray War
Doctors and medical workers in the Tigray Region say more than 80 civilians have been killed and dozens more wounded in an airstrike on a busy market in the village of Togoga. Ethiopian soldiers have reportedly prevented a convoy of ambulances from reaching the village. (AP)
22 June 2021 –
South Sudan officially resumes the production of crude oil after a 7-year hiatus. The country's Minister of Petroleum says that production has begun at the Block 5A oil field and that the country is seeking a production of 8,000 barrels per day. (The Nation)
21 June 2021 – 2021 Ethiopian general election
Ethiopian voters head to the polls to elect a new session to the House of Peoples' Representatives after months of delays. The election occurs in the midst of multiple problems affecting the country, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, deteriorating conditions in the Tigray Region brought on by the Tigray War, and the jailing of multiple oppositional figures. (CNN)
20 June 2021 – Libyan peace process
Prime Minister of the provisional Libyan government Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh announces the reopening of a major coastal road connecting the western city of Misrata and the eastern city of Sirte, declaring it a major step in restoring stability in the country. However, a media unit connected to the Libyan National Army disputes this, saying that the road remains closed. (Al Jazeera)
The Libyan Presidential Council bans all unauthorized military movement in the country, after forces loyal to Libyan National Army leader Khalifa Haftar announce that they have seized control of the southern border with Algeria earlier in the day. The seizure was the first major military operation of its type since the ceasefire was signed last October. (Al Jazeera) (Reuters)
18 June 2021 – Kidnapping in Nigeria
A kidnapped female student is found dead as the Nigerian Army rescues five other students and two teachers who were kidnapped on Thursday from a school in Kebbi State. (Reuters via SwissInfo)

Updated: 15:33, 23 June 2021

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