Portal:Africa


  • P:AFRICA
Satellite map of Africa
Satellite map of Africa
Location of Africa on the world map
Location of Africa on the world map

Africa is the world's second largest and second-most populous continent after Asia. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 20% of Earth's land area and 6% of its total surface 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, ahead of Oceania. Scholars have attributed this to different factors including geography, climate, lack of democracy, tribalism, corruption, colonialism, the Cold War, and neocolonialism. 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 a 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 varied, 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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Old Map of Engaruka Site
Engaruka is an abandoned system of ruins located in northwest Monduli District in central Arusha Region. The site is in geographical range of the Great Rift Valley of northern Tanzania. Situated in the Monduli District, it is famed for its irrigation and cultivation structures. It is considered one of the most important Iron Age archaeological sites in Tanzania. The site is located in the ward of Engaruka. The site is registered as one of the National Historic Sites of Tanzania. (Full article...)
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Gaddafi in 1970

Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi (c. 1942 – 20 October 2011) was a Libyan revolutionary, politician and political theorist who ruled Libya from 1969 until his assassination by rebel forces in 2011. He first served as Revolutionary Chairman of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977 and then as the Brotherly Leader of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011. Initially ideologically committed to Arab nationalism and Arab socialism, Gaddafi later ruled according to his own Third International Theory.


Born near Sirte, Italian Libya, to a poor Bedouin Arab family, Gaddafi became an Arab nationalist while at school in Sabha, later enrolling in the Royal Military Academy, Benghazi. Within the military, he founded a revolutionary group which deposed the Western-backed Senussi monarchy of Idris in a 1969 coup. Having taken power, Gaddafi converted Libya into a republic governed by his Revolutionary Command Council. Ruling by decree, he deported Libya's Italian population and ejected its Western military bases. Strengthening ties to Arab nationalist governments—particularly Gamal Abdel Nasser's Egypt—he unsuccessfully advocated pan-Arab political union. An Islamic modernist, he introduced sharia as the basis for the legal system and promoted Islamic socialism. He nationalized the oil industry and used the increasing state revenues to bolster the military, fund foreign revolutionaries, and implement social programs emphasizing housebuilding, healthcare and education projects. In 1973, he initiated a "Popular Revolution" with the formation of Basic People's Congresses, presented as a system of direct democracy, but retained personal control over major decisions. He outlined his Third International Theory that year in The Green Book. (Full article...)
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Flag of the Republic of Madagascar
Flag of the Republic of Madagascar
Coat of Arms of the Republic of Madagascar
Coat of Arms of the Republic of Madagascar
Location of Madagascar

Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar (older name Malagasy Republic), is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. The main island, also called Madagascar, is the fourth largest island in the world, and is home to five percent of the world's plant and animal species, more than 80 percent of which are endemic to Madagascar. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy. Major exports are coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts and livestock products.

The principal institutions of the Republic of Madagascar are a presidency, a parliament (National Assembly and Senate), a prime ministry and cabinet, and an independent judiciary. The president is elected by direct universal suffrage for a 5-year term, renewable twice. The National Assembly consists of 160 representatives elected by direct vote every 5 years. The Senate consists of 90 senators, two-thirds elected by local legislators and other Grand Electors and one-third appointed by the president, all for 6-year terms. (Read more...)

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Kano (Ajami: كَنُواْ) is a city in northern Nigeria and the capital of Kano State. It is the second largest city in Nigeria after Lagos, with over ten million citizens living within 449 km2 (173 sq mi). Located in the Savanna, south of the Sahel, Kano is a major route of the trans-Saharan trade, having been a trade and human settlement for millennia. It is the traditional state of the Dabo dynasty who have ruled as emirs over the city-state since the 19th century. Kano Emirate Council is the current traditional institution inside the city boundaries of Kano, and under the authority of the Government of Kano State.

The city is one of the seven medieval Hausa kingdoms. The principal inhabitants of the city are the Hausa and Fulani people. Centuries before British colonization, Kano was strongly cosmopolitan with settled populations of Arab, Tuareg, Kanuri and remains so with the Hausa language spoken as a lingua-franca by over 70 million speakers in the region. (Full article...)

In the news

12 February 2024 –
Two boats collide on the Congo River near Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; with the death toll remains unclear. (AP)
11 February 2024 – 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
In association football, hosts Ivory Coast win their third Africa Cup of Nations by defeating Nigeria 2–1 in the final. Sébastien Haller scores the winning goal in the 81st minute. (The Guardian)
10 February 2024 – Somali civil war
Four Emirati soldiers and a Bahraini military officer are killed, while ten other people are injured, when a soldier opens fire at a military base in Mogadishu, Somalia, before being killed in the ensuing shootout. Al-Shabaab claims responsibility. (AP)
10 February 2024 –
A Eurocopter EC130 helicopter crashes near Nipton, California, United States, killing all the six people on board, including Nigerian banker Herbert Wigwe. (CBS News)
10 February 2024 – 2023–2024 Senegalese protests
Violent protests occur in Senegal following an announcement by President Macky Sall that presidential elections have been delayed from February 25 to December 15. (Sky News)
9 February 2024 –
At least 18 people are killed during a collision between a bus and a truck on a road in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (AP)

Updated: 16:33, 14 February 2024

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Akan drum
Akan drum

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Major Religions in Africa


North Africa

West Africa

Central Africa

East Africa

Southern Africa

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