Portal:Africa
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Portal:Africa
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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 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. In the other extreme of the continent, southern Namibia, southern Botswana, great parts 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.

The History of Africa is long, complex, and has often been under-appreciated by the global historical community. Africa, particularly Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes). 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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Ruins of the Great Mosque at Gedi

The ruins of Gedi are a historical and archaeological site near the Indian Ocean coast of eastern Kenya. The site is adjacent to the town of Gedi (also known as Gede) in the Kilifi District and within the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Gedi is one of many medieval Swahili coastal settlements that stretch from Mogadishu, Somalia to the Zambezi River in Mozambique. There are 116 known Swahili sites stretching from southern Somalia to Vumba Kuu at the Kenya-Tanzania border. Since the rediscovery of the Gedi ruins by colonialists in the 1920s, Gedi has been one of the most intensely excavated and studied of those sites, along with Shanga, Manda, Ungwana, Kilwa, and the Comoros. (Full article...)
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Desmond Mpilo Tutu (born 7 October 1931) is a South African Anglican cleric and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was the Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then the Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996, in both cases being the first black African to hold the position. Theologically, he sought to fuse ideas from black theology with African theology.

Tutu was born of mixed Xhosa and Motswana heritage to a poor family in Klerksdorp, Union of South Africa. Entering adulthood, he trained as a teacher and married Nomalizo Leah Tutu, with whom he had several children. In 1960, he was ordained as an Anglican priest and in 1962 moved to the United Kingdom to study theology at King's College London. In 1966 he returned to southern Africa, teaching at the Federal Theological Seminary and then the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. In 1972, he became the Theological Education Fund's director for Africa, a position based in London but necessitating regular tours of the African continent. Back in southern Africa in 1975, he served first as dean of St Mary's Cathedral in Johannesburg and then as Bishop of Lesotho; from 1978 to 1985 he was general-secretary of the South African Council of Churches. He emerged as one of the most prominent opponents of South Africa's apartheid system of racial segregation and white-minority rule. Although warning the National Party government that anger at apartheid would lead to racial violence, as an activist he stressed non-violent protest and foreign economic pressure to bring about universal suffrage. (Full article...)
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Coat of Arms of the Republic of Seychelles
Location of Seychelles

Seychelles, officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: République des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an archipelago nation of 155 islands (115 islands and 40 islets) in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 km east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar. It consists of 42 granitic islands, two coral sand cays north of the granitics, two coral islands south of the granitics, 29 coral islands in the Amirantes group, west of the granitics, 13 coral islands in the Farquhar Group, south-south west of the Amirantes, and 67 raised coral islands in the Aldabra Group, west of the Farquhar Group. Seychelles has the smallest population of any sovereign state of Africa.

The Seychelles president, who is both head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term of office. The previous president, France-Albert René, first came to power in a coup d'état in 1977, one year after independence. He was democratically elected after the constitutional reforms of 1992. He stood down in 2004 in favour of his vice-president, James Michel, who was re-elected in 2006. (Read more...)

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Accra (; Twi: Nkran; Dagbani: Ankara; Ga: Ga or Gaga) is the capital of Ghana covering an area of 225.67 km2 (87.13 sq mi) with an estimated urban population of 4.2 million . It is organized into 12 local government districts - 11 municipal districts and the Accra Metropolitan District, which is the only district within the capital to be granted city status. "Accra" usually refers to the Accra Metropolitan Area, which serves as the capital of Ghana, while the district under the jurisdiction of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly is distinguished from the rest of the capital as the "City of Accra". In common usage, however, the terms "Accra" and "City of Accra" are used interchangeably.

The intersection of the Lafa stream and Mallam junction serves as the western border of Accra, the Great Hall of the University of Ghana forms Accra's northern border, while the Nautical College forms the eastern border. The Gulf of Guinea forms the southern border. (Full article...)

In the news

31 July 2021 -
Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina calls on the military to take "responsibility for threats to national sovereignty and threats to national security" after a plot to assassinate him was foiled last week. Rajoelina called on the new military graduates to uphold democracy. (Madagascar Tribune)
30 July 2021 - 2019-2021 Persian Gulf crisis
A Romanian captain and a British bodyguard are killed in a suicide drone attack on a Liberian-flagged Japanese-owned oil tanker, belonging to an Israeli company, near the coast of Oman. (Al Jazeera)
30 July 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Africa
COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya
Kenya bans all public gatherings and in-person meetings, as well as extends the nationwide curfew to from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. (Al Jazeera)
COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda

Updated: 9:33, 1 August 2021

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