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 1.4 billion people0 as of 2021, it accounts for about 18% 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 and second-least wealthy by total wealth, behind Oceania. Scholars have attributed this to different factors including geography, climate, tribalism, colonialism, the Cold War, neocolonialism, lack of democracy, and corruption. 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 the prime meridian. It is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to the 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, and 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 Lesotho and Eswatini and the southern tips of Mozambique and Madagascar are located below the tropic of Capricorn, in the southern temperate zone.

Africa is highly biodiverse; 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 pollution. 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 233,000, 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. Africa is also considered by anthropologists to be the most genetically diverse continent as a result of being the longest inhabited. (Full article...)

For a topic outline, see Outline of Africa.
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GhanaSat-1 in the middle of three other deploying CubeSat in Birds-1 mission

GhanaSat-1 was the first Ghanaian nanosatellite to be launched into space. It was designed and built in two years in conjunction with the Kyushu Institute of Technology Birds-1 program, which has the goal of helping countries build their first satellite.

The satellite took images, collected atmospheric data, measured space radiation, and transmitted uploaded audio. GhanaSat-1 was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on a Falcon 9 rocket. It was released into space from the Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer on the ISS on 7 July 2017 and was used to monitor environmental activities along Ghana's coastline. The satellite deorbited on 22 May 2019. (Full article...)
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Mboya in 1962

Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya (15 August 1930 – 5 July 1969) was a Kenyan trade unionist, educator, Pan-Africanist, author, independence activist, and statesman. He was one of the founding fathers of the Republic of Kenya. He led the negotiations for independence at the Lancaster House Conferences and was instrumental in the formation of Kenya's independence party – the Kenya African National Union (KANU) – where he served as its first Secretary-General. He laid the foundation for Kenya's capitalist and mixed economy policies at the height of the Cold War and set up several of the country's key labour institutions.

Mboya's intelligence, charm, leadership, and oratory skills won him admiration from all over the world. He gave speeches, participated in debates and interviews across the world in favour of Kenya's independence from British colonial rule. He also spoke at several rallies in the goodwill of the Civil Rights movement in the United States. In 1958, at the age of 28, Mboya was elected Conference Chairman at the All-African Peoples' Conference convened by Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. He helped build the Trade Union Movement in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, as well as across Africa. He also served as the Africa Representative to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). In 1959, Mboya called a conference in Lagos, Nigeria, to form the first All-Africa ICFTU labour organization. (Full article...)
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Coat of Arms of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Location of Egypt

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country in North Africa that includes the Sinai Peninsula, a land bridge to Asia. Covering an area of about 1,001,450 square kilometers (386,560 sq mi), Egypt borders Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east. The northern coast borders the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern coast borders the Red Sea.

Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa. The vast majority of its estimated 78 million people live near the banks of the Nile River in an area of about 40,000 km² (15,000 sq mi) where the only arable agricultural land is found. Large areas of land form part of the Sahara Desert and are sparsely inhabited.

Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world's most famous monuments, including the Giza pyramids and the Great Sphinx; the southern city of Luxor contains a particularly large number of ancient artifacts such as the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings. (Read more...)

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City view of Nouakchott

Nouakchott (/nwækˈʃɒt, nwɑː-/; French: [nwakʃɔt]; Arabic: نواكشوط; Berber: Nwakcoṭ, originally derived from Berber: Nawākšūṭ, "place of the winds") is the capital and largest city of Mauritania. It is one of the largest cities in the Sahel. The city also serves as the administrative and economic center of Mauritania.

Nouakchott was a mid-sized village of little importance until 1958 when it was chosen as the capital of the nascent nation of Mauritania. At the time, it was designed and built to accommodate 15,000 people. However, beginning in the 1970s, a vast number of Mauritanians began moving to Nouakchott because environmental conditions in their home villages had become too harsh due to drought and increasing desertification. , the city had a population of just under a million people. Many of the newcomers settled in slum areas of the city that were poorly maintained and extremely overcrowded. However, more recently, the living conditions of some of these inhabitants have improved. (Full article...)

In the news

19 March 2022 – Politics of Australia
Preliminary election results show Peter Malinauskas and his Labor Party winning a majority. (ABC News Australia)
15 March 2022 –
Burkinabè architect Diébédo Francis Kéré wins the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize, becoming the first African and black person to do so. (The Guardian)
15 March 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Namibia
Namibia drops its requirement of face mask and mandatory PCR COVID-19 test for vaccinated visitors as the number of cases falls. (Reuters)
14 March 2022 –
Cameroon bans shisha smoking, becoming the sixth African country to do so. (Africanews)
13 March 2022 – Insurgency in Northern Chad; aftermath of the 2021 Northern Chad offensive
The Transitional Military Council of Chad meets with 44 different armed rebel and opposition groups, including the Front for Change and Concord in Chad, Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad, and the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development in Doha, Qatar for peace talks. The President of Chad, Mahamat Déby, hopes that the talks will be the first step towards agreeing on a new constitution and holding free elections. (ABC News) (France24)

Updated: 7:33, 20 March 2022

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