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Africa
Africa (orthographic projection).svg
Area 30,221,532 km2 (11,668,598.7 sq mi)
Population 1,000,010,000[1] (2005, 2nd)
Pop. density 30.51/km2 (about 80/sq mi)
Demonym African
Countries 53 (List of countries)
Dependencies
Languages List of languages
Time Zones UTC-1 to UTC+4
Largest cities List of cities
.Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia.^ "Africa has an indispensable contribution to make in ensuring that 2005 becomes a turning point for the continent, the United Nations and the world."
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area.[2] With a billion people (as of 2009, see table) in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14.72% of the World's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. .Not counting the disputed territory of Western Sahara, there are 53 countries, including Madagascar and various island groups, associated with the continent.^ There was some evidence, including several infrastructure projects, which the Government started to use the country's oil wealth for the public good.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.Africa, particularly central eastern Africa, is widely regarded within the scientific community to be the 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 seven million years ago – including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – with the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) found in Ethiopia being dated to ca.^ The Embassy ran its own programs to explore how freedom of expression manifested itself in the United States, including an event during one of the U.S. presidential debates, and the Embassy supported other programs during the year that promoted democracy and human rights.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ It also includes widespread communication about human rights and democracy with various levels of Guinean society, including the Government, political parties, civil society, local government and the military.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States continues to communicate to the ruling party the importance of improving the political situation, including cessation of human rights abuses.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.200,000 years ago.^ In addition more than 1.5million civilians were internally displaced, and over 200,000 refugees fled to neighboring Chad by year's end.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[3]
.Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.^ Southern Africa Encompassed .
  • Africa Tours, African Tours, Africa Travel, Africa Vacations, African Safaris 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.tourvacationstogo.com [Source type: General]

[4]

Contents

Etymology

Afri was the name of several peoples who dwelt in North Africa near Carthage. Their name is usually connected with Phoenician afar, "dust", but a 1981 theory[5] has asserted that it stems from a Berber word ifri or Ifran meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers[6]. Africa or Ifri or Afer[6] is name of Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania (Berber Tribe of Yafran) [7].
Under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of Africa Province, which also included the coastal part of modern Libya. The Roman suffix "-ca" denotes "country or land".[8] The later Muslim kingdom of Ifriqiya, modern-day Tunisia, also preserved a form of the name.
Other etymologies that have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa":
  • the 1st century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (Ant. 1.15) asserted that it was named for Epher, grandson of Abraham according to Gen. 25:4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya.
  • Latin word aprica ("sunny") mentioned by Isidore of Seville in Etymologiae XIV.5.2.
  • the Greek word aphrike (Αφρική), meaning "without cold." This was proposed by historian Leo Africanus (1488–1554), who suggested the Greek word phrike (φρίκη, meaning "cold and horror"), combined with the privative prefix "a-", thus indicating a land free of cold and horror.
  • Massey, in 1881, derived an etymology from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, "to turn toward the opening of the Ka." The Ka is the energetic double of every person and "opening of the Ka" refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa would be, for the Egyptians, "the birthplace."[9]
  • yet another hypothesis was proposed by Michèle Fruyt in Revue de Philologie 50, 1976: 221-238, linking the Latin word with africus 'south wind', which would be of Umbrian origin and mean originally 'rainy wind'.
The Irish female name Aifric is sometimes anglicised as Africa, but the given name is unrelated to the geonym.

History

Paleohistory

The African prosauropod Massospondylus
At the beginning of the Mesozoic Era, Africa was joined with Earth's other continents in Pangaea.[10] Africa shared the supercontinent's relatively uniform fauna which was dominated by theropods, prosauropods and primitive ornithischians by the close of the Triassic period.[10] Late Triassic fossils are found through-out Africa, but are more common in the south than north.[10] The boundary separating the Triassic and Jurassic marks the advent of an extinction event with global impact, although African strata from this time period have not been thoroughly studied.[10]
Early Jurassic strata are distributed in a similar fashion to Late Triassic beds, with more common outcrops in the south and less common fossil beds which are predominated by tracks to the north.[10] As the Jurassic proceeded, larger and more iconic groups of dinosaurs like sauropods and ornithopods proliferated in Africa.[10] Middle Jurassic strata are neither well represented nor well studied in Africa.[10] Late Jurassic strata are also poorly represented apart from the spectacular Tendaguru fauna in Tanzania.[10] The Late Jurassic life of Tendaguru is very similar to that found in western North America's Morrison Formation.[10]
Midway through the Mesozoic, about 150–160 million years ago, Madagascar separated from Africa, although it remained connected to India and the rest of the Gondwanan landmasses.[10] Fossils from Madagascar include abelisaurs and titanosaurs.[10]
The African theropod Spinosaurus was the largest known carnivorous dinosaur.
Later into the Early Cretaceous epoch, the India-Madagascar landmass separated from the rest of Gondwana.[10] By the Late Cretaceous, Madagascar and India had permanently split ways and continued until later reaching their modern configurations.[10]
By contrast to Madagascar, mainland Africa was relatively stable in position through-out the Mesozoic.[10] Despite the stable position, major changes occurred to its relation to other landmasses as the remains of Pangea continued to break apart.[10] By the beginning of the Late Cretaceous epoch South America had split off from Africa, completing the southern half of the Atlantic Ocean.[10] This event had a profound effect on global climate by altering ocean currents.[10]
During the Cretaceous, Africa was populated by allosauroids and spinosaurids, including the largest known carnivorous dinosaurs.[10] Titanosaurs were significant herbivores in its ancient ecosystems.[10] Cretaceous sites are more common than Jurassic ones, but are often unable to be dated radiometrically making it difficult to know their exact ages.[10] Paleontologist Louis Jacobs, who spent time doing field work in Malawi,[citation needed] says that African beds are "in need of more field work" and will prove to be a "fertile ground ... for discovery."[10]

Pre-history

Lucy, an Australopithecus afarensis skeleton discovered on November 24, 1974, in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar Depression
Africa is considered by most paleoanthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth, with the human species originating from the continent.[11][12] During the middle of the twentieth century, anthropologists discovered many fossils and evidence of human occupation perhaps as early as 7 million years ago. .Fossil remains of several species of early apelike humans thought to have evolved into modern man, such as Australopithecus afarensis (radiometrically dated to approximately 3.9–3.0 million years BC),[13] Paranthropus boisei (c.^ The United States remains the largest financial contributor to the Special Court of Sierra Leone, providing Economic Support Funds (ESF) for the past three years.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

2.3–1.4 million years BC)[14] and Homo ergaster (c. 1.9 million–600,000 years BC) have been discovered.[2]
.Throughout humanity's prehistory, Africa (like all other continents) had no nation states, and was instead inhabited by groups of hunter-gatherers such as the Khoi and San.^ The United States will continue to encourage the Government to implement policies that lead to a decrease in human rights violations throughout the country.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States strategy to support human rights and democracy encompasses supporting the national reconciliation process, strengthening civil society and reducing the impunity that prevails throughout the country.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States maintains ties with representatives of all these groups.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[15][16][17]
.At the end of the Ice Ages, estimated to have been around 10,500 BC, the Sahara had again become a green fertile valley, and its African populations returned from the interior and coastal highlands in Sub-Saharan Africa[citation needed].^ The United States continues to work closely with the nations of sub-Saharan Africa to overcome these difficulties.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

However, the warming and drying climate meant that by 5000 BC the Sahara region was becoming increasingly dry and hostile. The population trekked out of the Sahara region towards the Nile Valley below the Second Cataract where they made permanent or semi-permanent settlements. A major climatic recession occurred, lessening the heavy and persistent rains in Central and Eastern Africa. Since this time dry conditions have prevailed in Eastern Africa, and increasingly during the last 200 years, in Ethiopia.
The domestication of cattle in Africa preceded agriculture and seems to have existed alongside hunter-gathering cultures. It is speculated that by 6000 BC cattle were already domesticated in North Africa.[18] In the Sahara-Nile complex, people domesticated many animals including the donkey, and a small screw-horned goat which was common from Algeria to Nubia. In the year 4000 BC the climate of the Sahara started to become drier at an exceedingly fast pace.[19] This climate change caused lakes and rivers to shrink significantly and caused increasing desertification. This, in turn, decreased the amount of land conducive to settlements and helped to cause migrations of farming communities to the more tropical climate of West Africa.[19]
.By the first millennium BC ironworking had been introduced in Northern Africa and quickly spread across the Sahara into the northern parts of sub-Saharan Africa[20] and by 500 BC metalworking began to become commonplace in West Africa.^ The United States continues to work closely with the nations of sub-Saharan Africa to overcome these difficulties.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Across sub-Saharan Africa, the United States promotes initiatives that increase participation in the democratic process, nurture good governance and encourage democratic institutions such as an independent press.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.Ironworking was fully established by roughly 500 BC in many areas of East and West Africa, although other regions didn't begin ironworking until the early centuries AD. Copper objects from Egypt, North Africa, Nubia and Ethiopia dating from around 500 BC have been excavated in West Africa, suggesting that trans-saharan trade networks had been established by this date.^ Growing poverty and poor governance in many areas around the country have added tension to the political climate.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Close A-B C-E F-K L-O P-S T-Z Regions Please choose a country or other area, or a Region.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[19]

Early civilizations

Colossal statues of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel, Egypt, date from around 1400 BC.
At about 3300 BC, the historical record opens in Northern Africa with the rise of literacy in the Pharaonic civilisation of Ancient Egypt.[21] .One of the world's earliest and longest-lasting civilizations, the Egyptian state continued, with varying levels of influence over other areas, until 343 BC.[22][23] Egyptian influence reached deep into modern-day Libya, north to Crete[24] and Canaan[citation needed], and south to the kingdoms of Aksum[citation needed] and Nubia[citation needed].^ It also includes widespread communication about human rights and democracy with various levels of Guinean society, including the Government, political parties, civil society, local government and the military.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Following the successful conclusion of a one-year pilot project, the United States continued its commitment, with the Governments of four other nations, to provide funding to support this three-year project.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States spent additional funds to support programming in other areas of Sudan, including programs to promote the peace process in the South that included peaceful return of displaced populations to their places of origin.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

An independent centre of civilisation with trading links to Phoenicia was established on the north-west African coast at Carthage.[25][26]
European exploration of Africa began with Ancient Greeks and Romans. In 332 BC, Alexander the Great was welcomed as a liberator in Persian-occupied Egypt. He founded Alexandria in Egypt, which would become the prosperous capital of the Ptolemaic dynasty after his death.[27] Following the conquest of North Africa's Mediterranean coastline by the Roman Empire, the area was integrated economically and culturally into the Roman system. Roman settlement occurred in modern Tunisia and elsewhere along the coast. .Christianity spread across these areas from Palestine via Egypt, also passing south, beyond the borders of the Roman world into Nubia and by at least the 6th century into Ethiopia.^ Instability in border areas, as well as occasional incursions into the country by Liberian combatants who sometimes raided villages for food continued during 2004.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

In the early 7th century, the newly formed Arabian Islamic Caliphate expanded into Egypt, and then into North Africa. In a short while the local Berber elite had been integrated into Muslim Arab tribes. When the Ummayad capital Damascus fell in the eight century, the Islamic center of the Mediterranean shifted from Syria to Qayrawan in North Africa. Islamic North Africa had become diverse, and a hub for mystics, scholars, jurists and philosophers. .During the above mentioned period, Islam spread to sub-Saharan Africa, mainly through trade routes and migration.^ The United States, through USAID, continues to work with IFES, which received a grant during the reporting period to improve the capacity of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK).
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Through a U.S. Government grant awarded in 2003, the Federation of Women Lawyers continued their work during the reporting period to improve the legislative and policy framework for women's rights.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States continues to work closely with the nations of sub-Saharan Africa to overcome these difficulties.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[28]

9th–18th century

9th century bronzes from the Igbo town of Igbo Ukwu, now at the British Museum[29]
.Pre-colonial Africa possessed perhaps as many as 10,000 different states and polities[30] characterised by many different sorts of political organisation and rule.^ The United States is also directing funds toward assisting up to 10,000 former child soldiers and women ex-combatants.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States continues to communicate to the ruling party the importance of improving the political situation, including cessation of human rights abuses.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.These included small family groups of hunter-gatherers such as the San people of southern Africa; larger, more structured groups such as the family clan groupings of the Bantu-speaking people of central and southern Africa, heavily structured clan groups in the Horn of Africa, the large Sahelian kingdoms, and autonomous city-states and kingdoms such as those of the Yoruba and Igbo people (also misspelled as Ibo) in West Africa, and the Swahili coastal trading towns of East Africa.^ This new Labor Code included clear definitions of forced labor and related crimes, as well as applicable criminal penalties for those found guilty of such violations.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States used the Human Rights and Democracy Fund (HRDF) to support programs on the rights of key minority groups, such as the Pygmies, and on prevention of trafficking in children.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Another trained representatives from women's groups in family law issues from which women had been traditionally excluded, such as property rights or visitation and custody rights.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.By the 9th century AD a string of dynastic states, including the earliest Hausa states, stretched across the sub-saharan savannah from the western regions to central Sudan.^ The United States continues to work closely with the nations of sub-Saharan Africa to overcome these difficulties.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Across sub-Saharan Africa, the United States promotes initiatives that increase participation in the democratic process, nurture good governance and encourage democratic institutions such as an independent press.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

The most powerful of these states were Ghana, Gao, and the Kanem-Bornu Empire. Ghana declined in the 11th century but was succeeded by the Mali Empire which consolidated much of western Sudan in the 13th century. Kanem accepted Islam in the 11th century.
In the forested regions of the West African coast, independent kingdoms grew up with little influence from the Muslim north. The Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo was established around the 9th century and was one of the first. It is also one of the oldest Kingdom in modern day Nigeria and was ruled by the Eze Nri. The Nri kingdom is famous for its elaborate bronzes, found at the town of Igbo Ukwu. The bronzes have been dated from as far back as the 9th century.[31]
Ashanti yam ceremony, 19th century by Thomas E. Bowdich
.The Ife, historically the first of these Yoruba city-states or kingdoms, established government under a priestly oba, (oba means 'king' or 'ruler' in the Yoruba language), called the Ooni of Ife.^ Affaires met with President Mkapa to gain government support for working with the United States on these anti-trafficking programs.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States can begin implementing these programs as soon as the Government formally indicates its political will to cooperate in these areas.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States supported these efforts by sharing information with international partners and preparing public statements in support of Guinea-Bissau's democratic Government.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

Ife was noted as a major religious and cultural centre in Africa, and for its unique naturalistic tradition of bronze sculpture. .The Ife model of government was adapted at Oyo, where its obas or kings, called the Alaafins of Oyo once controlled a large number of other Yoruba and non Yoruba city states and Kingdoms, the Fon Kingdom of Dahomey was one of the non Yoruba domains under Oyo control.^ The Government successfully prosecuted, and then released, one mid-level official for corruption, but to date, there have been no arrests or prosecutions of senior officials involved in any number of large-scale corruption cases.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ United States Embassy officials consulted with host government officials, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), opposition political party members and other embassies, to identify constructive means of intervention.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The U.S. Embassy, with considerable support from U.S. Government agencies, supports press freedom and other democracy and human rights objectives through a number of its annual programs.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

The Almoravids, was a Berber dynasty from the Sahara that spread over a wide area of northwestern Africa and the Iberian peninsula during the 11th century.[32] The Banu Hilal and Banu Ma'qil were a collection of Arab Bedouin tribes from the Arabian peninsula who migrated westwards via Egypt between the 11th and 13th centuries. Their migration resulted in the fusion of the Arabs and Berbers, where the locals were Arabized, and Arab culture absorbed elements of the local culture, under the unifying framework of Islam.[33]
Ruins of Great Zimbabwe (11th-15th c.)
Following the breakup of Mali a local leader named Sonni Ali (1464–1492) founded the Songhai Empire in the region of middle Niger and the western Sudan and took control of the trans-Saharan trade. Sonni Ali seized Timbuktu in 1468 and Jenne in 1473, building his regime on trade revenues and the cooperation of Muslim merchants. His successor Askia Mohammad I (1493–1528) made Islam the official religion, built mosques, and brought Muslim scholars, including al-Maghili (d.1504), the founder of an important tradition of Sudanic African Muslim scholarship, to Gao.[34] .By the 11th century some Hausa states – such as Kano, jigawa, Katsina, and Gobir – had developed into walled towns engaging in trade, servicing caravans, and the manufacture of goods.^ The United States remains committed to assisting in Rwanda's recovery while at the same time supporting its development into a full-fledged democracy.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ United States intervention has resulted in positive developments, such as the release of a half dozen persons detained without charge.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States is also addressing human rights issues by concentrating programs in areas such as political party development and the education of the public on civic responsibility and human rights.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

Until the 15th century these small states were on the periphery of the major Sudanic empires of the era, paying tribute to Songhai to the west and Kanem-Borno to the east.

Height of slave trade

A Point of No Return in Ouidah, Benin, a former gateway for slaves to slave ships
Slavery has been practiced in Africa, as well as other places, throughout recorded history.[35][36] Between the seventh and twentieth centuries, Arab slave trade (also known as slavery in the East) took 18 million slaves from Africa via trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean routes. Between the fifteenth and the nineteenth centuries, the Atlantic slave trade took 7–12 million slaves to the New World.[37][38][39]
In West Africa, the decline of the Atlantic slave trade in the 1820s caused dramatic economic shifts in local polities. .The gradual decline of slave-trading, prompted by a lack of demand for slaves in the New World, increasing anti-slavery legislation in Europe and America, and the British Royal Navy's increasing presence off the West African coast, obliged African states to adopt new economies.^ The United States funded a program to strengthen good governance, which has resulted in an increased debate in parliament and stronger participation by the committees in amending legislation drafted by the Executive.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

Between 1808 and 1860, the British West Africa Squadron seized approximately 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans who were aboard.[40] Action was also taken against African leaders who refused to agree to British treaties to outlaw the trade, for example against "the usurping King of Lagos", deposed in 1851. Anti-slavery treaties were signed with over 50 African rulers.[41] The largest powers of West Africa: the Asante Confederacy, the Kingdom of Dahomey, and the Oyo Empire, adopted different ways of adapting to the shift. Asante and Dahomey concentrated on the development of "legitimate commerce" in the form of palm oil, cocoa, timber and gold, forming the bedrock of West Africa's modern export trade. The Oyo Empire, unable to adapt, collapsed into civil wars.[42]

Colonialism and the "Scramble for Africa"

European territorial claims on the African continent in 1914
.In the late nineteenth century, the European imperial powers engaged in a major territorial scramble and occupied most of the continent, creating many colonial nation states, and leaving only two independent nations: Liberia, an independent state partly settled by African Americans; and Orthodox Christian Ethiopia (known to Europeans as "Abyssinia").^ Government officials, most of whom participated in the successful 30-year fight for independence from Ethiopia, state that they have always envisioned a democratic Eritrea that fully respects its citizens' human rights.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ In support of national elections for Liberia?s transition to democracy, the United States has awarded grants to various programs run through implementing partners.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The Government also proceeded to shut down the nascent free press, arrested most of the country's independent journalists, and postponed national elections indefinitely.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.Colonial rule by Europeans would continue until after the conclusion of World War II, when almost all colonial states gradually obtained formal independence.^ The United States continues to communicate to the ruling party the importance of improving the political situation, including cessation of human rights abuses.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

Independence movements in Africa gained momentum following World War II, which left the major European powers weakened. In 1951, Libya, a former Italian colony, gained independence. In 1956, Tunisia and Morocco won their independence from France. Ghana followed suit the next year, becoming the first of the sub-Saharan colonies to be freed. .Most of the rest of the continent became independent over the next decade, most often through relatively peaceful means, though in some countries, notably Algeria, it came only after a violent struggle.^ The Gomes Junior Government is widely recognized as the most competent and well-meaning Government Guinea-Bissau has had in 30 years since independence from Portugal.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The Government also proceeded to shut down the nascent free press, arrested most of the country's independent journalists, and postponed national elections indefinitely.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.Portugal's overseas presence in Sub-Saharan Africa (most notably in Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe) lasted from the 16th century to 1975, after the Estado Novo regime was overthrown in a military coup in Lisbon.^ The United States continues to work closely with the nations of sub-Saharan Africa to overcome these difficulties.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Sao Tome and Principe .
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

Though South Africa was one of the first African countries to gain independence, it remained under the rule of its white settler population, in a policy known as Apartheid, until 1994.

Post-colonial Africa

.Today, Africa contains 53 independent and sovereign countries, most of which still have the borders drawn during the era of European colonialism.^ Pan Africanism has to do with daring to stand up - Economical enslavement [slavery, exploitation, and child labour] - Nationalism and border line [Colonialism] - Africans from the Diaspora and their influence in the country.

^ A week in the former European colony reveals a dynamic and diverse country with eye-popping scenery.
  • Africa & Middle East Travel Guides, Vacation Packages & Deals - Travel - LATimes.com 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC travel.latimes.com [Source type: General]

^ The Exploration of Africa by Europeans and Colonial Development - up to ca 1907.
  • The Ants of Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC antbase.org [Source type: General]

.Since colonialism, African states have frequently been hampered by instability, corruption, violence, and authoritarianism.^ The United States has been actively working to combat sexual violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2001.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.The vast majority of African nations are republics that operate under some form of the presidential system of rule.^ However, democratization could suffer a setback if members of the ruling National Resistance Movement are successful in removing presidential term limits from the Constitution.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Since its disputed victories in the 2000 parliamentary and 2002 presidential elections, the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) has pursued repressive policies designed to maintain its dominant position in the country.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.However, few of them have been able to sustain democratic governments, and many have instead cycled through a series of coups, producing military dictatorships.^ The Government?s human rights record remained poor; although there were some improvements in a few areas, serious problems remained.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Zambia has made strides toward democratic governance that protects human rights, but many challenges remain.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Exceptionally poor civil-military relations have been a chronic impediment to democratic governance in Sierra Leonean society.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.A number of Africa's post-colonial political leaders were military generals who were poorly educated and ignorant on matters of governance.^ Governance and politics in Africa.
  • Project MUSE - Subject Browse 16 September 2009 0:33 UTC muse.jhu.edu [Source type: Academic]

^ African leaders have sought to develop a pan-African approach to the continent’s political and military affairs through the Organization of African Unity and its successor, the African Union.
  • Africa -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.britannica.com [Source type: Reference]

^ The island nation's leader of a self-styled transitional government, Andry Rajoelina, ousted his political rival, President Marc Ravalomanana, and suspended parliament.
  • Africa on David T. Nicholson's Wednesday-Night.com 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.wednesday-night.com [Source type: News]

.Great instability, however, was mainly the result of marginalization of other ethnic groups and graft under these leaders.^ However, it simply does not follow that from a demonstration that there were nominal differences in wage rates between two groups of miners that the one benefited from the exploitation of the other.
  • African anarchists on imperialism 16 September 2009 0:33 UTC flag.blackened.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Neither would you call them 'ethnic groups', as these terms refer to the residents of those countries ie: one might also term kikuyus as kenyans.
  • Open House: Have Your Say: Kenya's Slide Towards Civil War 16 September 2009 0:33 UTC blogs.independent.co.uk [Source type: Original source]

^ We might expect the "tribal" model of isolated ethnic groups to be nowhere more appropriate than in the great equatorial forest of modern-day Zaire.
  • African History 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.uiowa.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.For political gain, many leaders fanned ethnic conflicts that had been exacerbated, or even created, by colonial rule.^ Politically motivated violence, corruption, ethnic and religious violence, flaws in the electoral process and concerns over judicial independence were among many themes pursued by U.S. officials in Nigeria.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States also urges political, military, and ethnic leaders not to interfere with the presidential election.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

In many countries, the military was perceived as being the only group that could effectively maintain order, and it ruled many nations in Africa during the 1970s and early 1980s. During the period from the early 1960s to the late 1980s, Africa had more than 70 coups and 13 presidential assassinations. .Border and territorial disputes were also common, with the European-imposed borders of many nations being widely contested through armed conflicts.^ Border and territorial disputes have also been common, with the European-imposed borders of many nations being widely contested through armed conflicts.
  • Africa - Discussion and Encyclopedia Article. Who is Africa? What is Africa? Where is Africa? Definition of Africa. Meaning of Africa. 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.knowledgerush.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The U.N. Security Council slapped Eritrea with an arms embargo and further sanctions Wednesday for its role in aiding rebels in Somalia and refusing to withdraw from a border dispute with Djibouti.
  • Africa News and Video Coverage -- African International News from CNN.com 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

^ Today, Africa is home to over 30 independent countries, many of which still have borders drawn during the era of European colonialism .
  • Africa - Discussion and Encyclopedia Article. Who is Africa? What is Africa? Where is Africa? Definition of Africa. Meaning of Africa. 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.knowledgerush.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Cold War conflicts between the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as the policies of the International Monetary Fund, also played a role in instability.^ The Solidarity Center-Kenya, in conjunction with Kenya?s Coalition of Trade Unions, received a grant from the United States to focus on raising awareness within trade unions of the human trafficking problem in Kenya.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ To complement training in better revenue collection, the United States also funded the training of local officials on planning, budgeting, and funds accounting.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ United States support for democracy and human rights is also expressed by sending Guineans on International Visitors Programs related to human rights and democracy.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.When a country became independent for the first time, it was often expected to align with one of the two superpowers.^ Reconciliation activities included creation of the country's first Christian-Muslim platform for dialogue in the province of Mahajanga, one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse areas.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ In August and September 2003, the country held its first multi-candidate national elections since independence in elections that were peaceful but seriously marred.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.Many countries in Northern Africa received Soviet military aid, while many in Central and Southern Africa were supported by the United States, France or both.^ The United States will continue to encourage the Government to implement policies that lead to a decrease in human rights violations throughout the country.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States, through USAID, continues to work with IFES, which received a grant during the reporting period to improve the capacity of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK).
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States also funds de-mining activities in northern Chad.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

The 1970s saw an escalation, as newly independent Angola and Mozambique aligned themselves with the Soviet Union, and the West and South Africa sought to contain Soviet influence by funding insurgency movements. There was a major famine in Ethiopia, when hundreds of thousands of people starved. Some claimed that Marxist/Soviet polices made the situation worse.[43][44][45]
The most devastating military conflict in modern independent Africa has been the Second Congo War. By 2008, this conflict and its aftermath had killed 5.4 million people. .Since 2003 there has been an ongoing conflict in Darfur which has become a humanitarian disaster.^ The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan deeply affects Chad.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ In FY 2004, the United States supported humanitarian assistance and protection activities in Darfur and programmed Disaster Assistance Response Team protection officers as part of its humanitarian relief efforts.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

AIDS has also been a prevalent issue in post-colonial Africa.

Geography

A composite satellite image of Africa (centre) with North America (left) and Eurasia (right) to scale
Africa is the largest of the three great southward projections from the largest landmass of the Earth. Separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea, it is joined to Asia at its northeast extremity by the Isthmus of Suez (transected by the Suez Canal), 163 km (101 miles) wide.[46] (Geopolitically, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula east of the Suez Canal is often considered part of Africa, as well.)[47] .From the most northerly point, Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia (37°21' N), to the most southerly point, Cape Agulhas in South Africa (34°51'15" S), is a distance of approximately 8,000 km (5,000 miles);[48] from Cape Verde, 17°33'22" W, the westernmost point, to Ras Hafun in Somalia, 51°27'52" E, the most easterly projection, is a distance of approximately 7,400 km (4,600 miles).^ The U.S. Government has consistently engaged the Tanzanian Government on the issue of refugee protection for the approximately 400,000 Great Lakes refugees in Tanzania.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[49] The coastline is 26,000 km (16,100 miles) long, and the absence of deep indentations of the shore is illustrated by the fact that Europe, which covers only 10,400,000 km² (4,010,000 square miles) – about a third of the surface of Africa – has a coastline of 32,000 km (19,800 miles).[49]
Africa's largest country is Sudan, and its smallest country is the Seychelles, an archipelago off the east coast.[50] The smallest nation on the continental mainland is The Gambia.
Biomes of Africa (see world vegetation map for key)
According to the ancient Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while "Asia" was used to refer to Anatolia and lands to the east. A definite line was drawn between the two continents by the geographer Ptolemy (85–165 AD), indicating Alexandria along the Prime Meridian and making the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa. As Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of Africa expanded with their knowledge.
Geologically, Africa includes the Arabian Peninsula; the Zagros Mountains of Iran and the Anatolian Plateau of Turkey mark where the African Plate collided with Eurasia. The Afrotropic ecozone and the Saharo-Arabian desert to its north unite the region biogeographically, and the Afro-Asiatic language family unites the north linguistically.

Climate

The climate of Africa ranges from tropical to subarctic on its highest peaks. Its northern half is primarily desert or arid, while its central and southern areas contain both savanna plains and very dense jungle (rainforest) regions. In between, there is a convergence where vegetation patterns such as sahel, and steppe dominate.

Fauna

Africa boasts perhaps the world's largest combination of density and "range of freedom" of wild animal populations and diversity, with wild populations of large carnivores (such as lions, hyenas, and cheetahs) and herbivores (such as buffalo, deer, elephants, camels, and giraffes) ranging freely on primarily open non-private plains. It is also home to a variety of jungle creatures (including snakes and primates) and aquatic life (including crocodiles and amphibians). Africa also has the largest number of megafauna species, as it was least affected by the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna.

Ecology

.Africa is suffering deforestation at twice the world rate, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).^ "Africa has an indispensable contribution to make in ensuring that 2005 becomes a turning point for the continent, the United Nations and the world."
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States continues to work closely with the nations of sub-Saharan Africa to overcome these difficulties.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[51] Some sources claim that deforestation has already wiped out roughly 90% of West Africa's original forests.[52] .Since the arrival of humans 2000 years ago, Madagascar has lost more than 90% of its original forest.^ In addition more than 1.5million civilians were internally displaced, and over 200,000 refugees fled to neighboring Chad by year's end.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ At year?s end, more than 8,000 ex-combatants were participating in the program.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The Transitional Government is preparing for democratic elections in 2005, the first elections in more than 40 years.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[53] About 65% of Africa's agricultural land suffers from soil degradation.[54]

Politics

Egypt Sudan Eritrea Ethiopia Djibouti Somalia Kenya Uganda Rwanda Burundi Tanzania Mozambique Malawi Madagascar Swaziland Lesotho South Africa Zimbabwe Botswana Namibia Angola Zambia Democratic Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo Gabon São Tomé and Príncipe Equatorial Guinea Cameroon Central African Republic Chad Nigeria Niger Burkina Faso Benin Togo Ghana Côte d'Ivoire Liberia Sierra Leone Guinea Guinea-Bissau Senegal Gambia Mauritania Mali Western Sahara Morocco Algeria Tunisia Libya Middle East Mediterranean Sea Indian Ocean Red Sea Atlantic Ocean Strait of Gibraltar
Political map of Africa. .(Hover mouse to see name, click area to go to article.^ You can click directly on the map (Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Kenya and polar region text labels) to see all hotels of the selected area.
  • Africa Hotels in South Africa Hotel Morocco Hotels Egypt Tunisia Seychelles Mauritius 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.asiarooms.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ See an example of his map at: http://www.petersmap.com (Click through to Page 2 for a comparison between the traditional world map and the equal-area map) .

^ To go to an article on a select australopith fossil site, click on a hyperlinked label.
  • Africa -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.britannica.com [Source type: Reference]

)
.
The African Union (AU) is a federation consisting of all of Africa's states except Morocco.
^ The Head of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions attended a workshop in the United States highlighting the role of civil society in a political system.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States led international efforts to improve the situation in Darfur, working within the UN, with the African Union and bilaterally.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States also provided funding to support the African Union's (AU) monitoring efforts in Darfur.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.The union was formed, with Addis Ababa as its headquarters, on 26 June 2001. In July 2004, the African Union's Pan-African Parliament (PAP) was relocated to Midrand, in South Africa, but the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights remained in Addis Ababa.^ The Central African Republic?s human rights record remains poor.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The Government?s human rights record remained poor; although there were some improvements in a few areas, serious problems remained.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ At the beginning of 2004 the human rights and democracy situation in Guinea-Bissau was gradually improving.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.There is a policy in effect to decentralise the African Federation's institutions so that they are shared by all the states.^ They share a common language, widely spoken by non-Swahilis, called Ki-Swahili, and enjoy a city-based fusion of African and Arab culture.

^ National African Language Resource Center, NALRC [Language Map] "federally funded, nonprofit national foreign language center dedicated to the advancement of African language teaching and learning in the United States."
  • African Maps | Map Africa 10 September 2009 17:20 UTC www-sul.stanford.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ On Friday, the African Union suspended Madagascar's membership in protest, and the United States cut all non-humanitarian aid.
  • Africa on David T. Nicholson's Wednesday-Night.com 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.wednesday-night.com [Source type: News]

.The African Union, not to be confused with the AU Commission, is formed by an Act of Union, which aims to transform the African Economic Community, a federated commonwealth, into a state under established international conventions.^ One tangible result of the Embassy's collaboration with the Ministry of Communication was the establishment of a "Media House" that works as a liaison to Cameroon's many ministries for the local and international media.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States allocated funds to two international NGOs to reintegrate former combatants into their communities and provided a staff member and extensive technical support to the national DDR program.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ For example, Global Rights supported local groups that advocated for a bill, signed into law in December 2004 that establishes a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.The African Union has a parliamentary government, known as the African Union Government, consisting of legislative, judicial and executive organs.^ Swaziland is a modified traditional monarchy with executive, legislative, and limited judicial powers ultimately vested in the King.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States funded a program to strengthen good governance, which has resulted in an increased debate in parliament and stronger participation by the committees in amending legislation drafted by the Executive.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ A key objective is the adoption of a new Constitution (to replace the 1963 authoritarian constitution) that includes a better balance of authority among the executive, legislative and judicial branches and provides for devolution of authority to sub-national units of government.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.It is led by the African Union President and Head of State, who is also the President of the Pan African Parliament.^ In 2005, Gertrude Mongella, president of the Pan-African Parliament, received the award for her pioneering work supporting woman rights.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ President Bongo is the longest serving head of state in Africa.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The Head of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions attended a workshop in the United States highlighting the role of civil society in a political system.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

A person becomes AU President by being elected to the PAP, and subsequently gaining majority support in the PAP.
.The powers and authority of the President of the African Parliament derive from the Union Act, and the Protocol of the Pan African Parliament, as well as the inheritance of presidential authority stipulated by African treaties and by international treaties, including those subordinating the Secretary General of the OAU Secretariat (AU Commission) to the PAP. The government of the AU consists of all-union (federal), regional, state, and municipal authorities, as well as hundreds of institutions, that together manage the day-to-day affairs of the institution.^ The situation in Darfur received significant international attention, including visits by the Secretary of State and the Secretary-General of the UN. Numerous other official visitors and Members of Congress traveled to Sudan during the year and met with top government officials to press for improvements in Darfur.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Following the October 6 mutiny, the international community, represented by the UN Secretary General's Representative in Guinea-Bissau, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, and the Economic Community of West African States, was best placed to help the Government of Guinea-Bissau ease tensions in the country.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Seminar moderators challenged participants, including senior military leaders and the Secretary-General of the Defense Ministry, to understand each other's perspectives and roles in a developing democracy.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.There are clear signs of increased networking among African organisations and states.^ Doctors Without Borders The Issue: Chinese Investment in Africa There has been much controversy and debate lately over China's increased investment in African countries.
  • African Continent - Associated Content - Topic - associatedcontent.com 10 September 2009 21:14 UTC www.associatedcontent.com [Source type: General]

^ The Treaty of Utrecht, signed by Spain in 1713, stated that no Jews or Muslims could live there.

^ United States officials have made clear that demonstrated improvement with respect to democracy and human rights could lead to increased cooperation with the United States.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.In the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire), rather than rich, non-African countries intervening, neighbouring African countries became involved (see also Second Congo War).^ The Republic of Angola is a country in transition following its 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States also provided a grant to the International Labor Organization in four countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to help former child soldiers return to civilian life.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States has been actively working to combat sexual violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2001.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

Since the conflict began in 1998, the estimated death toll has reached 5 million. .Political associations such as the African Union offer hope for greater co-operation and peace between the continent's many countries.^ Growing poverty and poor governance in many areas around the country have added tension to the political climate.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.Extensive human rights abuses still occur in several parts of Africa, often under the oversight of the state.^ Application deadline is February 20, 2005 The Africa Advocacy Director is the chief advocacy strategist for Human Rights Watch's work in the sub-Saharan Africa region.
  • JUA: Penn African Studies Bulletin (02/14/05) 16 September 2009 0:33 UTC www.africa.upenn.edu [Source type: Academic]

^ The United States will continue to encourage the Government to implement policies that lead to a decrease in human rights violations throughout the country.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Some of these poorest countries of the world are in Africa and many remain perpetually paralyzed with problems of starvation and poverty, HIV and widespread illnesses and political corruption or human rights abuse.
  • Global Politician - Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC globalpolitician.com [Source type: Original source]

.Most of such violations occur for political reasons, often as a side effect of civil war.^ Ultimately, such policies can lead to economic and political disaster, or even war.
  • AfriMAP 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.afrimap.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Africa's modern history has also earned an as-yet-unrecognized place in the world events that have effected everyone in the western world, such as world wars and the cold war.

^ Although there are no political prisoners in the country and serious violations have been few, human rights violations continue to occur.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.Countries where major human rights violations have been reported in recent times include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Côte d'Ivoire.^ The Embassy widely circulated its human rights-related reports among civil society, Government, and party officials.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The U.S. human rights strategy in Zimbabwe focuses on supporting civil society and the democratic opposition that are dedicated to expanding democratic space.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ It also includes widespread communication about human rights and democracy with various levels of Guinean society, including the Government, political parties, civil society, local government and the military.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

Economy

.Although it has abundant natural resources, Africa remains the world's poorest and most underdeveloped continent, due to a variety of causes that may include the spread of deadly diseases and viruses (notably HIV/AIDS and malaria), corrupt governments that have often committed serious human rights violations, failed central planning, high levels of illiteracy, lack of access to foreign capital, and frequent tribal and military conflict (ranging from guerrilla warfare to genocide).^ The Government's human rights record remained poor, and the Government continued to commit serious abuses.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The Central African Republic?s human rights record remains poor.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The Government of Zimbabwe?s human rights record remained poor and it continued to commit abuses.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[55] .According to the United Nations' Human Development Report in 2003, the bottom 25 ranked nations (151st to 175th) were all African.^ The United States is funding an American NGO in northern Nigeria in a program to promote good human rights reporting.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States uses all the opportunities at its disposal to promote the democratization process and respect for human rights in The Gambia.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Effective January 1, 2003, the United States also granted The Gambia eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) based on the criteria set forth in the law, including a commitment to democracy and human rights.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[56]
Poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and inadequate water supply and sanitation, as well as poor health, affect a large proportion of the people who reside in the African continent. .In August 2008, the World Bank[57] announced revised global poverty estimates based on a new international poverty line of $1.25 per day (versus the previous measure of $1.00).^ Based on a study conducted between June and August, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that up to 70,000 civilians were killed or died as a result of the conflict.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.80.5% of the Sub-Saharan Africa population was living on less than $2.50 (PPP) a day in 2005, compared with 85.7% for India.^ The United States continues to work closely with the nations of sub-Saharan Africa to overcome these difficulties.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The constitutional review process is mired in political in-fighting, unemployment is close to 50 percent and more than one-half of all Kenyans continue to live on less than one dollar a day.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[58] .The new figures confirm that sub-Saharan Africa has been the least successful region of the world in reducing poverty ($1.25 per day); some 50% of the population living in poverty in 1981 (200 million people), a figure that rose to 58% in 1996 before dropping to 50% in 2005 (380 million people).^ The United States continues to work closely with the nations of sub-Saharan Africa to overcome these difficulties.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Budget Africa Tours = Tours typically range from $45 to $130 per person, per day, plus airfare.
  • Africa Tours, African Tours, Africa Travel, Africa Vacations, African Safaris 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.tourvacationstogo.com [Source type: General]

^ Combine a Contiki Europe vacation of at least 25 days with a Contiki Great Britain tour booked at the same time and get a special $100 discount off the land price in addition to the $50 second tour discount.
  • Africa Tours, African Tours, Africa Travel, Africa Vacations, African Safaris 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.tourvacationstogo.com [Source type: General]

.The average poor person in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to live on only 70 cents per day, and was poorer in 2003 than he or she was in 1973 [59] indicating increasing poverty in some areas.^ The Government?s human rights record remained poor; although there were some improvements in a few areas, serious problems remained.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The United States continues to work closely with the nations of sub-Saharan Africa to overcome these difficulties.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Growing poverty and poor governance in many areas around the country have added tension to the political climate.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.Some of it is attributed to unsuccessful economic liberalization programs spearheaded by foreign companies and governments, but other studies and reports have cited bad domestic government policies more than external factors.^ External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Through a U.S. Government grant awarded in 2003, the Federation of Women Lawyers continued their work during the reporting period to improve the legislative and policy framework for women's rights.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ LCIP is designed to promote the social reintegration of more than 20,000 ex-combatants and others.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[60][61][62]
.From 1995 to 2005, Africa's rate of economic growth increased, averaging 5% in 2005. Some countries experienced still higher growth rates, notably Angola, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea, all three of which had recently begun extracting their petroleum reserves or had expanded their oil extraction capacity.^ There was some evidence, including several infrastructure projects, which the Government started to use the country's oil wealth for the public good.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The companies all strongly reject allegations emanating from the Riggs Bank investigation that they have engaged in illegal or unethical practices in Equatorial Guinea.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Through U.S. engagement, especially from the direct engagement of the U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, the country is more aware of trafficking issues and is taking measures to address them.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

The continent has 90% of the world’s cobalt, 90% of its platinum, 50% of its gold, 98% of its chromium, 70% of its tantalite,[63] 64% of its manganese and one-third of its uranium.[64] The DRC has 70% of the world’s coltan, and most mobile phones in the world have coltan in them. .The Democratic Republic of the Congo also has more than 30% of the world’s diamond reserves.^ The United States has been actively working to combat sexual violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2001.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The Transitional Government is preparing for democratic elections in 2005, the first elections in more than 40 years.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ A prominent U.S. non-governmental organization (NGO) estimates that more than 31,000 people die each month in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, making it the deadliest humanitarian crisis in the world.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[65] Guinea is the world’s largest exporter of bauxite.[66] .In recent years, the People's Republic of China has built increasingly stronger ties with African nations.^ Supporting the electoral process is arguably the most strategic support any partner can offer the people of the Central African Republic at this critical time in their history.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

In 2007, Chinese companies invested a total of US$1 billion in Africa.[67]

Demographics

Tuareg man from Algeria
Africa's population has rapidly increased over the last 40 years, and consequently it is relatively young. .In some African states half or more of the population is under 25 years of age.^ In Fiscal Year 2004, more than one-half of the Embassy's annual allotment of 20 international exchange visitors participated in programs that fit broadly under this rubric, including two East African regional small group projects.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ In 2004, although many of the former practices of the police have been curtailed, some serious abuses continued under the NTGL. The NTGL did not have much presence beyond the capital and its immediate environs until the second half of the year.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

[68] African population grew from 221 million in 1950 to 1 billion in 2009.[69][70]
.Speakers of Bantu languages (part of the Niger-Congo family) are the majority in southern, central and East Africa proper.^ East Africa Family Safari (Northbound) .
  • Africa Tours, African Tours, Africa Travel, Africa Vacations, African Safaris 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.tourvacationstogo.com [Source type: General]

^ East Africa Family Safari (Southbound) .
  • Africa Tours, African Tours, Africa Travel, Africa Vacations, African Safaris 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.tourvacationstogo.com [Source type: General]

.But there are also several Nilotic groups in East Africa, and a few remaining indigenous Khoisan ('San' or 'Bushmen') and Pygmy peoples in southern and central Africa, respectively.^ The Government?s human rights record remained poor; although there were some improvements in a few areas, serious problems remained.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Although there were improvements in some areas, several problems remained.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ The Government generally respected the rights of its citizens; however, there were serious problems in several areas.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

.Bantu-speaking Africans also predominate in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, and are found in parts of southern Cameroon.^ The U.S. Ambassador to Cameroon concurrently remains U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

In the Kalahari Desert of Southern Africa, the distinct people known as the Bushmen (also "San", closely related to, but distinct from "Hottentots") have long been present. .The San are physically distinct from other Africans and are the indigenous people of southern Africa.^ Africa: Religions ) indigenous religions ( in African religions ) influence of .
  • Africa -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.britannica.com [Source type: Reference]

^ The vast majority of sub-Saharan peoples speak Bantu languages of the Niger-Congo family, while smaller numbers in central Africa speak Nilo-Saharan languages and in southern Africa Khoisan languages .
  • Africa -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.britannica.com [Source type: Reference]

^ December 2008, San Francisco - South Africa Shares its success stories - Says we are working with other African countries to enable the same!
  • . Africa - Africa’s map in the digital inclusion! 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC dotafrica.blogspot.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Pygmies are the pre-Bantu indigenous peoples of central Africa.^ The vast majority of sub-Saharan peoples speak Bantu languages of the Niger-Congo family, while smaller numbers in central Africa speak Nilo-Saharan languages and in southern Africa Khoisan languages .
  • Africa -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.britannica.com [Source type: Reference]

^ Bantu, a linguistically related group of about 60 million people living in equatorial and southern Africa.

^ ANTH 313 Peoples of Africa (5) I&S Survey of the many cultures of pre- and post-colonial sub-Saharan Africa.

[71]
San man from Botswana
The peoples of North Africa comprise two main groups; Berber and Arabic-speaking peoples in the west, and Egyptians in the east. The Arabs who arrived in the seventh century introduced the Arabic language and Islam to North Africa. The Semitic Phoenicians, the Iranian Alans, the European Greeks, Romans and Vandals settled in North Africa as well. Berbers still make up the majority in Morocco, while they are a significant minority within Algeria. They are also present in Tunisia and Libya.[72] The Tuareg and other often-nomadic peoples are the principal inhabitants of the Saharan interior of North Africa. Nubians are a Nilo-Saharan-speaking group (though many also speak Arabic), who developed an ancient civilisation in northeast Africa.
Some Ethiopian and Eritrean groups (like the Amhara and Tigrayans, collectively known as "Habesha") speak Semitic languages. The Oromo and Somali peoples speak Cushitic languages, but some Somali clans trace their founding to legendary Arab founders. Sudan and Mauritania are divided between a mostly Arabized north and a native African south (although the "Arabs" of Sudan clearly have a predominantly native African ancestry themselves). Some areas of East Africa, particularly the island of Zanzibar and the Kenyan island of Lamu, received Arab Muslim and Southwest Asian settlers and merchants throughout the Middle Ages and in antiquity.[73]
Prior to the decolonisation movements of the post-World War II era, Whites were represented in every part of Africa.[74] Decolonisation during the 1960s and 1970s often resulted in the mass emigration of European-descended settlers out of Africa – especially from Algeria (pieds-noirs),[75] Kenya, Congo,[76] Angola,[77] Mozambique and Rhodesia. Nevertheless, White Africans remain an important minority in many African states. The African country with the largest White African population is South Africa.[78] The Afrikaners, the Anglo-Africans and the Coloureds are the largest European-descended groups in Africa today.
Woman from Benin
European colonisation also brought sizeable groups of Asians, particularly people from the Indian subcontinent, to British colonies. Large Indian communities are found in South Africa, and smaller ones are present in Kenya, Tanzania, and some other southern and East African countries. The large Indian community in Uganda was expelled by the dictator Idi Amin in 1972, though many have since returned. The islands in the Indian Ocean are also populated primarily by people of Asian origin, often mixed with Africans and Europeans. The Malagasy people of Madagascar are an Austronesian people, but those along the coast are generally mixed with Bantu, Arab, Indian and European origins. Malay and Indian ancestries are also important components in the group of people known in South Africa as Cape Coloureds (people with origins in two or more races and continents). During the 20th century, small but economically important communities of Lebanese and Chinese[67] have also developed in the larger coastal cities of West and East Africa, respectively.[79]

Languages

Map showing the distribution of the various language families of Africa.
By most estimates, well over a thousand languages (UNESCO has estimated around two thousand) are spoken in Africa.[80] Most are of African origin, though some are of European or Asian origin. Africa is the most multilingual continent in the world, and it is not rare for individuals to fluently speak not only multiple African languages, but one or more European ones as well. There are four major language families indigenous to Africa.
  • The Afro-Asiatic languages are a language family of about 240 languages and 285 million people widespread throughout the Horn of Africa, North Africa, the Sahel, and Southwest Asia.
  • The Nilo-Saharan language family consists of more than a hundred languages spoken by 30 million people. Nilo-Saharan languages are spoken by Nilotic tribes in Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, and northern Tanzania.
  • The Niger-Congo language family covers much of Sub-Saharan Africa and is probably the largest language family in the world in terms of different languages.
  • The Khoisan languages number about fifty and are spoken in Southern Africa by approximately 120,000 people. Many of the Khoisan languages are endangered. The Khoi and San peoples are considered the original inhabitants of this part of Africa.
Following the end of colonialism, nearly all African countries adopted official languages that originated outside the continent, although several countries also granted legal recognition to indigenous languages (such as Swahili, Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa). In numerous countries, English and French (see African French) are used for communication in the public sphere such as government, commerce, education and the media. Arabic, Portuguese, Afrikaans and Malagasy are examples of languages that trace their origin to outside of Africa, and that are used by millions of Africans today, both in the public and private spheres.

Culture

Kikuyu woman in Kenya
Modern African culture is characterised by conflicted responses to Arab nationalism and European imperialism.[citation needed] Increasingly, beginning in the late 1990s, Africans have been reasserting their identity.[citation needed] In North Africa, especially because of the rejection of the label Arab or European, there is now an upsurge of demands for special protection of indigenous Berber languages and culture in Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia.[citation needed] The re-emergence of Pan-Africanism since the fall of apartheid has heightened calls for a renewed sense of African identity.[citation needed] In South Africa, intellectuals from settler communities of European descent increasingly identify as African for cultural, rather than geographical or racial, reasons. Famously, some have undergone ritual ceremonies to become members of the Zulu or other communities.[citation needed]
Many aspects of traditional African cultures have become less practiced in recent years as a result of years of neglect and suppression by colonial and post-colonial regimes.[citation needed] There is now a resurgence in the attempts to rediscover and revalourise African traditional cultures, under such movements as the African Renaissance, led by Thabo Mbeki, Afrocentrism, led by a group of scholars, including Molefi Asante, as well as the increasing recognition of traditional spiritualism through decriminalization of Vodou and other forms of spirituality. In recent years, traditional African culture has become synonymous with rural poverty and subsistence farming.[citation needed]
Mali's Great Mosque of Djenné is built in an architectural style prevalent in the interior regions of West Africa.
.The vast majority of the scholarship on Africa was extraneous and catered to the demand for exotic and outlandish representations of Africa.^ The vast majority of sub-Saharan peoples speak Bantu languages of the Niger-Congo family, while smaller numbers in central Africa speak Nilo-Saharan languages and in southern Africa Khoisan languages .
  • Africa -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.britannica.com [Source type: Reference]

^ At the larger scale there are major disparities between South Africa and the rest of the continent, with the vast majority of Internet connectivity at the extreme south or north.

The enforcement of government decrees and policies tended to produce effects that confirmed the prejudices of the European colonialists.

Visual art and architecture

African art and architecture reflect the diversity of African cultures. The oldest existing examples of art from Africa are 82,000-year-old beads made from Nassarius shells that were found in the Aterian levels at Grotte des Pigeons, Taforalt, Morocco.[citation needed] The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt was the world's tallest structure for 4,000 years, until the completion of Lincoln Cathedral around the year 1300. The stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe are also noteworthy for their architecture, and the complexity of monolithic churches at Lalibela, Ethiopia, of which the Church of Saint George is representative.[citation needed]

Music and dance

A young man playing the k'ra, a traditional instrument of Ethiopia
Egypt has long been a cultural focus of the Arab world, while remembrance of the rhythms of sub-Saharan Africa, in particular West Africa, was transmitted through the Atlantic slave trade to modern samba, blues, jazz, reggae, hip hop, and rock. The 1950s through the 1970s saw a conglomeration of these various styles with the popularization of Afrobeat and Highlife music. Modern music of the continent includes the highly complex choral singing of southern Africa and the dance rhythms of the musical genre of soukous, dominated by the music of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Indigenous musical and dance traditions of Africa are maintained by oral traditions, and they are distinct from the music and dance styles of North Africa and Southern Africa. Arab influences are visible in North African music and dance and, in Southern Africa, Western influences are apparent due to colonisation.

Sports

Fifty-three African countries have football (soccer) teams in the Confederation of African Football, while Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, and Ghana have advanced to the knockout stage of recent FIFA World Cups. South Africa will host the 2010 World Cup tournament, and will be the first African country to do so.
Cricket is popular in some African nations. South Africa and Zimbabwe have Test status, while Kenya is the leading non-test team in One-Day International cricket and has attained permanent One-Day International status. The three countries jointly hosted the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Namibia is the other African country to have played in a World Cup. Morocco in northern Africa has also hosted the 2002 Morocco Cup, but the national team has never qualified for a major tournament.

Religion

Africans profess a wide variety of religious beliefs[81] and statistics on religious affiliation are difficult to come by since they are too sensitive a topic for governments with mixed populations.[82] According to the World Book Encyclopedia, Islam is the largest religion in Africa, followed by Christianity. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, 45% of the population are Muslims, 40% are Christians and less than 15% are non-religious or follow African religions. A small number of Africans are Hindu, Baha'i, or have beliefs from the Judaic tradition. Examples of African Jews are the Beta Israel, Lemba peoples and the Abayudaya of Eastern Uganda.

Territories and regions

The countries in this table are categorised according to the scheme for geographic subregions used by the United Nations, and data included are per sources in cross-referenced articles. Where they differ, provisos are clearly indicated.
Regions of Africa:      Northern Africa      Western Africa      Middle Africa      Eastern Africa      Southern Africa
 
 
Physical map of Africa
Satellite photo of Africa
Political map of Africa
Name of region[83] and
territory, with flag
Area
(km²)
Population
(2009 est) except where noted
Density
(per km²)
Capital
Eastern Africa: 6,384,904 316,053,651 49.5
Burundi Burundi 27,830 8,988,091[84] 322.9 Bujumbura
Comoros Comoros 2,170 752,438[84] 346.7 Moroni
Djibouti Djibouti 23,000 516,055[84] 22.4 Djibouti
Eritrea Eritrea 121,320 5,647,168[84] 46.5 Asmara
Ethiopia Ethiopia 1,127,127 85,237,338[84] 75.6 Addis Ababa
Kenya Kenya 582,650 39,002,772[84] 66.0 Nairobi
Madagascar Madagascar 587,040 20,653,556[84] 35.1 Antananarivo
Malawi Malawi 118,480 14,268,711[84] 120.4 Lilongwe
Mauritius Mauritius 2,040 1,284,264[84] 629.5 Port Louis
Mayotte Mayotte (France) 374 223,765[84] 489.7 Mamoudzou
Mozambique Mozambique 801,590 21,669,278[84] 27.0 Maputo
Réunion Réunion (France) 2,512 743,981(2002) 296.2 Saint-Denis
Rwanda Rwanda 26,338 10,473,282[84] 397.6 Kigali
Seychelles Seychelles 455 87,476[84] 192.2 Victoria
Somalia Somalia 637,657 9,832,017[84] 15.4 Mogadishu
Tanzania Tanzania 945,087 41,048,532[84] 43.3 Dodoma
Uganda Uganda 236,040 32,369,558[84] 137.1 Kampala
Zambia Zambia 752,614 11,862,740[84] 15.7 Lusaka
Middle Africa: 6,613,253 121,585,754 18.4
Angola Angola 1,246,700 12,799,293[84] 10.3 Luanda
Cameroon Cameroon 475,440 18,879,301[84] 39.7 Yaoundé
Central African Republic Central African Republic 622,984 4,511,488[84] 7.2 Bangui
Chad Chad 1,284,000 10,329,208[84] 8.0 N'Djamena
Republic of the Congo Congo 342,000 4,012,809[84] 11.7 Brazzaville
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,345,410 68,692,542[84] 29.2 Kinshasa
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea 28,051 633,441[84] 22.6 Malabo
Gabon Gabon 267,667 1,514,993[84] 5.6 Libreville
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe 1,001 212,679[84] 212.4 São Tomé
Northern Africa: 8,533,021 211,087,622 24.7
Algeria Algeria 2,381,740 34,178,188[84] 14.3 Algiers
Egypt Egypt[85] 1,001,450 83,082,869[84] total, Asia 1.4m 82.9 Cairo
Libya Libya 1,759,540 6,310,434[84] 3.6 Tripoli
Morocco Morocco 446,550 34,859,364[84] 78.0 Rabat
Sudan Sudan 2,505,810 41,087,825[84] 16.4 Khartoum
Tunisia Tunisia 163,610 10,486,339[84] 64.1 Tunis
Western Sahara Western Sahara[86] 266,000 405,210[84] 1.5 El Aaiún
Spanish and Portuguese territories in Northern Africa:
Canary Islands Canary Islands (Spain)[87] 7,492 1,694,477(2001) 226.2 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Ceuta Ceuta (Spain)[88] 20 71,505(2001) 3,575.2
Madeira Madeira Islands (Portugal)[89] 797 245,000(2001) 307.4 Funchal
Melilla Melilla (Spain)[90] 12 66,411(2001) 5,534.2
Southern Africa: 2,693,418 56,406,762 20.9
Botswana Botswana 600,370 1,990,876[84] 3.3 Gaborone
Lesotho Lesotho 30,355 2,130,819[84] 70.2 Maseru
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe 390,580 11,392,629[84] 29.1 Harare
Namibia Namibia 825,418 2,108,665[84] 2.6 Windhoek
South Africa South Africa 1,219,912 49,052,489[84] 40.2 Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Pretoria[91]
Swaziland Swaziland 17,363 1,123,913[84] 64.7 Mbabane
Western Africa: 6,144,013 296,186,492 48.2
Benin Benin 112,620 8,791,832[84] 78.0 Porto-Novo
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso 274,200 15,746,232[84] 57.4 Ouagadougou
Cape Verde Cape Verde 4,033 429,474[84] 107.3 Praia
Côte d'Ivoire Côte d'Ivoire 322,460 20,617,068[84] 63.9 Abidjan,[92] Yamoussoukro
The Gambia Gambia 11,300 1,782,893[84] 157.7 Banjul
Ghana Ghana 239,460 23,832,495[84] 99.5 Accra
Guinea Guinea 245,857 10,057,975[84] 40.9 Conakry
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau 36,120 1,533,964[84] 42.5 Bissau
Liberia Liberia 111,370 3,441,790[84] 30.9 Monrovia
Mali Mali 1,240,000 12,666,987[84] 10.2 Bamako
Mauritania Mauritania 1,030,700 3,129,486[84] 3.0 Nouakchott
Niger Niger 1,267,000 15,306,252[84] 12.1 Niamey
Nigeria Nigeria 923,768 149,229,090[84] 161.5 Abuja
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (UK) 410 7,637[84] 14.4 Jamestown
Senegal Senegal 196,190 13,711,597[84] 69.9 Dakar
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone 71,740 6,440,053[84] 89.9 Freetown
Togo Togo 56,785 6,019,877[84] 106.0 Lomé
Africa Total 30,368,609 1,001,320,281 33.0

See also

References

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  85. ^ Egypt is generally considered a transcontinental country in Northern Africa (UN region) and Western Asia; population and area figures are for African portion only, west of the Suez Canal.
  86. ^ Western Sahara is disputed between the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, who administer a minority of the territory, and Morocco, who occupy the remainder.
  87. ^ The Spanish Canary Islands, of which Las Palmas de Gran Canaria are Santa Cruz de Tenerife are co-capitals, are often considered part of Northern Africa due to their relative proximity to Morocco and Western Sahara; population and area figures are for 2001.
  88. ^ The Spanish exclave of Ceuta is surrounded on land by Morocco in Northern Africa; population and area figures are for 2001.
  89. ^ The Portuguese Madeira Islands are often considered part of Northern Africa due to their relative proximity to Morocco; population and area figures are for 2001.
  90. ^ The Spanish exclave of Melilla is surrounded on land by Morocco in Northern Africa; population and area figures are for 2001.
  91. ^ Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of South Africa, while Cape Town is its legislative seat, and Pretoria is the country's administrative seat.
  92. ^ Yamoussoukro is the official capital of Côte d'Ivoire, while Abidjan is the de facto seat.

Further reading

  • Asante, Molefi (2007). The History of Africa. USA: Routledge. ISBN 0415771390. 
  • Clark, J. Desmond (1970). The Prehistory of Africa. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 9780500020692. 
  • Crowder, Michael (1978). The Story of Nigeria. London: Faber. ISBN 9780571049479. 
  • Davidson, Basil (1966). The African past; chronicles from antiquity to modern times. Harmondsworth: Penguin. OCLC 2016817. 
  • Gordon, April A.; Donald L. Gordon (1996). Understanding contemporary Africa. .Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.^ Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1995.
    • RECOLLECTION USED BOOKS & HORIZON BOOKS: Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.eskimo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ISBN 9781555875473.
     
  • Khapoya, Vincent B. (1998). The African experience: an introduction. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 9780137458523. 

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Africa
File:Africa (orthographic projection).svg
Area 30,221,532 km2 (11,668,598.7 sq mi)
Population 1,000,010,000[1] (2005, 2nd)
Pop. density 30.51/km2 (about 80/sq mi)
Demonym African
Countries 54 (List of countries)
Dependencies
Languages List of languages
Time Zones UTC-1 to UTC+4
Largest cities List of cities

Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area.[2] With a billion people (as of 2009, see table) in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14.72% of the world's human population.

The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent has 54 sovereign states, including Madagascar, various island groups, and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, a member state of the African Union whose statehood is disputed by Morocco.

Africa, particularly central eastern Africa, is widely regarded within the scientific community to be the 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 seven million years ago – including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – with the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) found in Ethiopia being dated to circa 200,000 years ago.[3]

Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.[4] The African expected economic growth rate for 2010 is at about 4.7%.[5]

Contents

Etymology

Afri was the name of several peoples who dwelt in North Africa near Carthage. Their name is usually connected with Phoenician afar, "dust", but a 1981 hypothesis[6] has asserted that it stems from a Berber word ifri or Ifran meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers.[7] Africa or Ifri or Afer[7] is name of Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania (Berber Tribe of Yafran).[8]

Under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of Africa Province, which also included the coastal part of modern Libya. The Roman suffix "-ca" denotes "country or land".[9] The later Muslim kingdom of Ifriqiya, modern-day Tunisia, also preserved a form of the name.

Other etymological hypotheses that have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa":

  • the 1st century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (Ant. 1.15) asserted that it was named for Epher, grandson of Abraham according to Gen. 25:4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya.
  • Latin word aprica ("sunny") mentioned by Isidore of Seville in Etymologiae XIV.5.2.
  • the Greek word aphrike (Αφρική), meaning "without cold." This was proposed by historian Leo Africanus (1488–1554), who suggested the Greek word phrike (φρίκη, meaning "cold and horror"), combined with the privative prefix "a-", thus indicating a land free of cold and horror.
  • Massey, in 1881, derived an etymology from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, "to turn toward the opening of the Ka." The Ka is the energetic double of every person and "opening of the Ka" refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa would be, for the Egyptians, "the birthplace."[10]
  • yet another hypothesis was proposed by Michèle Fruyt in Revue de Philologie 50, 1976: 221–238, linking the Latin word with africus 'south wind', which would be of Umbrian origin and mean originally 'rainy wind'.

The Irish female name Aifric is sometimes anglicised as Africa, but the given name is unrelated to the geonym.

History

Paleohistory

File:Massospondylus
The African prosauropod Massospondylus.

At the beginning of the Mesozoic Era, Africa was joined with Earth's other continents in Pangaea.[11] Africa shared the supercontinent's relatively uniform fauna which was dominated by theropods, prosauropods and primitive ornithischians by the close of the Triassic period.[11] Late Triassic fossils are found through-out Africa, but are more common in the south than north.[11] The boundary separating the Triassic and Jurassic marks the advent of an extinction event with global impact, although African strata from this time period have not been thoroughly studied.[11]

Early Jurassic strata are distributed in a similar fashion to Late Triassic beds, with more common outcrops in the south and less common fossil beds which are predominated by tracks to the north.[11] As the Jurassic proceeded, larger and more iconic groups of dinosaurs like sauropods and ornithopods proliferated in Africa.[11] Middle Jurassic strata are neither well represented nor well studied in Africa.[11] Late Jurassic strata are also poorly represented apart from the spectacular Tendaguru fauna in Tanzania.[11] The Late Jurassic life of Tendaguru is very similar to that found in western North America's Morrison Formation.[11]

Midway through the Mesozoic, about 150–160 million years ago, Madagascar separated from Africa, although it remained connected to India and the rest of the Gondwanan landmasses.[11] Fossils from Madagascar include abelisaurs and titanosaurs.[11]

File:Spinosaurus
The African theropod Spinosaurus was the largest known carnivorous dinosaur.
Later into the Early Cretaceous epoch, the India-Madagascar landmass separated from the rest of Gondwana.[11] By the Late Cretaceous, Madagascar and India had permanently split ways and continued until later reaching their modern configurations.[11]

By contrast to Madagascar, mainland Africa was relatively stable in position through-out the Mesozoic.[11] Despite the stable position, major changes occurred to its relation to other landmasses as the remains of Pangea continued to break apart.[11] By the beginning of the Late Cretaceous epoch South America had split off from Africa, completing the southern half of the Atlantic Ocean.[11] This event had a profound effect on global climate by altering ocean currents.[11]

During the Cretaceous, Africa was populated by allosauroids and spinosaurids, including the largest known carnivorous dinosaurs.[11] Titanosaurs were significant herbivores in its ancient ecosystems.[11] Cretaceous sites are more common than Jurassic ones, but are often unable to be dated radiometrically making it difficult to know their exact ages.[11] Paleontologist Louis Jacobs, who spent time doing field work in Malawi,[citation needed] says that African beds are "in need of more field work" and will prove to be a "fertile ground ... for discovery."[11]

Pre-history

File:Lucy
Lucy, an Australopithecus afarensis skeleton discovered on November 24, 1974, in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar Depression

Africa is considered by most paleoanthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth, with the human species originating from the continent.[12][13] During the middle of the twentieth century, anthropologists discovered many fossils and evidence of human occupation perhaps as early as 7 million years ago. Fossil remains of several species of early apelike humans thought to have evolved into modern man, such as Australopithecus afarensis (radiometrically dated to approximately 3.9–3.0 million years BC),[14] Paranthropus boisei (c. 2.3–1.4 million years BC)[15] and Homo ergaster (c. 1.9 million–600,000 years BC) have been discovered.[2]

Throughout humanity's prehistory, Africa (like all other continents) had no nation states, and was instead inhabited by groups of hunter-gatherers such as the Khoi and San.[16][17][18]

At the end of the Ice Ages, estimated to have been around 10,500 BC, the Sahara had again become a green fertile valley, and its African populations returned from the interior and coastal highlands in Sub-Saharan Africa[citation needed]. However, the warming and drying climate meant that by 5000 BC the Sahara region was becoming increasingly dry and hostile. The population trekked out of the Sahara region towards the Nile Valley below the Second Cataract where they made permanent or semi-permanent settlements. A major climatic recession occurred, lessening the heavy and persistent rains in Central and Eastern Africa. Since this time dry conditions have prevailed in Eastern Africa, and increasingly during the last 200 years, in Ethiopia.

The domestication of cattle in Africa preceded agriculture and seems to have existed alongside hunter-gathering cultures. It is speculated that by 6000 BC cattle were already domesticated in North Africa.[19] In the Sahara-Nile complex, people domesticated many animals including the donkey, and a small screw-horned goat which was common from Algeria to Nubia. In the year 4000 BC the climate of the Sahara started to become drier at an exceedingly fast pace.[20] This climate change caused lakes and rivers to shrink significantly and caused increasing desertification. This, in turn, decreased the amount of land conducive to settlements and helped to cause migrations of farming communities to the more tropical climate of West Africa.[20]

By the first millennium BC ironworking had been introduced in Northern Africa and quickly spread across the Sahara into the northern parts of sub-Saharan Africa[21] and by 500 BC metalworking began to become commonplace in West Africa. Ironworking was fully established by roughly 500 BC in many areas of East and West Africa, although other regions didn't begin ironworking until the early centuries AD. Copper objects from Egypt, North Africa, Nubia and Ethiopia dating from around 500 BC have been excavated in West Africa, suggesting that trans-saharan trade networks had been established by this date.[20]

Early civilizations

File:SFEC EGYPT ABUSIMBEL
Colossal statues of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel, Egypt, date from around 1400 BC.

At about 3300 BC, the historical record opens in Northern Africa with the rise of literacy in the Pharaonic civilisation of Ancient Egypt.[22] One of the world's earliest and longest-lasting civilizations, the Egyptian state continued, with varying levels of influence over other areas, until 343 BC.[23][24] Egyptian influence reached deep into modern-day Libya, north to Crete[25] and Canaan[citation needed], and south to the kingdoms of Aksum[citation needed] and Nubia[citation needed].

An independent centre of civilisation with trading links to Phoenicia was established by Phoenicians from Tyre on the north-west African coast at Carthage.[26][27][28]

European exploration of Africa began with Ancient Greeks and Romans. In 332 BC, Alexander the Great was welcomed as a liberator in Persian-occupied Egypt. He founded Alexandria in Egypt, which would become the prosperous capital of the Ptolemaic dynasty after his death.[29] Following the conquest of North Africa's Mediterranean coastline by the Roman Empire, the area was integrated economically and culturally into the Roman system. Roman settlement occurred in modern Tunisia and elsewhere along the coast. Christianity spread across these areas from Palestine via Egypt, also passing south, beyond the borders of the Roman world into Nubia and by at least the 6th century into Ethiopia.

In the early 7th century, the newly formed Arabian Islamic Caliphate expanded into Egypt, and then into North Africa. In a short while the local Berber elite had been integrated into Muslim Arab tribes. When the Ummayad capital Damascus fell in the eight century, the Islamic center of the Mediterranean shifted from Syria to Qayrawan in North Africa. Islamic North Africa had become diverse, and a hub for mystics, scholars, jurists and philosophers. During the above mentioned period, Islam spread to sub-Saharan Africa, mainly through trade routes and migration.[30]

9th–18th century

File:Igbo ukwu
9th century bronzes from the Igbo town of Igbo Ukwu, now at the British Museum[31]

Pre-colonial Africa possessed perhaps as many as 10,000 different states and polities[32] characterised by many different sorts of political organisation and rule. These included small family groups of hunter-gatherers such as the San people of southern Africa; larger, more structured groups such as the family clan groupings of the Bantu-speaking people of central and southern Africa, heavily structured clan groups in the Horn of Africa, the large Sahelian kingdoms, and autonomous city-states and kingdoms such as those of the Yoruba and Igbo people (also misspelled as Ibo) in West Africa, and the Swahili coastal trading towns of East Africa.

By the 9th century AD a string of dynastic states, including the earliest Hausa states, stretched across the sub-saharan savannah from the western regions to central Sudan. The most powerful of these states were Ghana, Gao, and the Kanem-Bornu Empire. Ghana declined in the 11th century but was succeeded by the Mali Empire which consolidated much of western Sudan in the 13th century. Kanem accepted Islam in the 11th century.

In the forested regions of the West African coast, independent kingdoms grew up with little influence from the Muslim north. The Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo was established around the 9th century and was one of the first. It is also one of the oldest Kingdom in modern day Nigeria and was ruled by the Eze Nri. The Nri kingdom is famous for its elaborate bronzes, found at the town of Igbo Ukwu. The bronzes have been dated from as far back as the 9th century.[33]


The Ife, historically the first of these Yoruba city-states or kingdoms, established government under a priestly oba (ruler), (oba means 'king' or 'ruler' in the Yoruba language), called the Ooni of Ife. Ife was noted as a major religious and cultural centre in Africa, and for its unique naturalistic tradition of bronze sculpture. The Ife model of government was adapted at Oyo, where its obas or kings, called the Alaafins of Oyo once controlled a large number of other Yoruba and non Yoruba city states and Kingdoms, the Fon Kingdom of Dahomey was one of the non Yoruba domains under Oyo control.

The Almoravids was a Berber dynasty from the Sahara that spread over a wide area of northwestern Africa and the Iberian peninsula during the 11th century.[34] The Banu Hilal and Banu Ma'qil were a collection of Arab Bedouin tribes from the Arabian peninsula who migrated westwards via Egypt between the 11th and 13th centuries. Their migration resulted in the fusion of the Arabs and Berbers, where the locals were Arabized,[35] and Arab culture absorbed elements of the local culture, under the unifying framework of Islam.[36]

File:Great Zimbabwe
Ruins of Great Zimbabwe (11th–15th c.)

Following the breakup of Mali a local leader named Sonni Ali (1464–1492) founded the Songhai Empire in the region of middle Niger and the western Sudan and took control of the trans-Saharan trade. Sonni Ali seized Timbuktu in 1468 and Jenne in 1473, building his regime on trade revenues and the cooperation of Muslim merchants. His successor Askia Mohammad I (1493–1528) made Islam the official religion, built mosques, and brought Muslim scholars, including al-Maghili (d.1504), the founder of an important tradition of Sudanic African Muslim scholarship, to Gao.[37] By the 11th century some Hausa states – such as Kano, jigawa, Katsina, and Gobir – had developed into walled towns engaging in trade, servicing caravans, and the manufacture of goods. Until the 15th century these small states were on the periphery of the major Sudanic empires of the era, paying tribute to Songhai to the west and Kanem-Borno to the east.

Height of slave trade

File:Point du Non
A Point of No Return in Ouidah, Benin, a former gateway for slaves to slave ships

Slavery had long been practiced in Africa.[38][39] Between the seventh and twentieth centuries, Arab slave trade (also known as slavery in the East) took 18 million slaves from Africa via trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean routes. Between the fifteenth and the nineteenth centuries, the Atlantic slave trade took 7–12 million slaves to the New World.[40][41][42]

In West Africa, the decline of the Atlantic slave trade in the 1820s caused dramatic economic shifts in local polities. The gradual decline of slave-trading, prompted by a lack of demand for slaves in the New World, increasing anti-slavery legislation in Europe and America, and the British Royal Navy's increasing presence off the West African coast, obliged African states to adopt new economies. Between 1808 and 1860, the British West Africa Squadron seized approximately 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans who were aboard.[43]

Action was also taken against African leaders who refused to agree to British treaties to outlaw the trade, for example against "the usurping King of Lagos", deposed in 1851. Anti-slavery treaties were signed with over 50 African rulers.[44] The largest powers of West Africa: the Asante Confederacy, the Kingdom of Dahomey, and the Oyo Empire, adopted different ways of adapting to the shift. Asante and Dahomey concentrated on the development of "legitimate commerce" in the form of palm oil, cocoa, timber and gold, forming the bedrock of West Africa's modern export trade. The Oyo Empire, unable to adapt, collapsed into civil wars.[45]

Colonialism and the "Scramble for Africa"

[[File:|thumb|250px|right|Areas of Africa under the control, influence, or claimed control, of the colonial powers in 1914 (at outbreak of World War One).]] In the late nineteenth century, the European imperial powers engaged in a major territorial scramble and occupied most of the continent, creating many colonial territories, and leaving only two fully independent states: Ethiopia (known to Europeans as "Abyssinia"), and Liberia. Egypt and Sudan were never formally incorporated into any European colonial empire; however, after the British occupation of 1882, Egypt was effectively under British administration until 1922. Imperial rule by Europeans would continue until after the conclusion of World War II, when almost all remaining colonial territories gradually obtained formal independence.

Independence movements in Africa gained momentum following World War II, which left the major European powers weakened. In 1951, Libya, a former Italian colony, gained independence. In 1956, Tunisia and Morocco won their independence from France. Ghana followed suit the next year, becoming the first of the sub-Saharan colonies to be freed. Most of the rest of the continent became independent over the next decade, most often through relatively peaceful means, though in some countries, notably Algeria, it came only after a violent struggle.

Portugal's overseas presence in Sub-Saharan Africa (most notably in Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe) lasted from the 16th century to 1975, after the Estado Novo regime was overthrown in a military coup in Lisbon. Zimbabwe won its independence from the United Kingdom in 1980 after a bitter guerrilla war between black nationalists and the white minority Rhodesian government of Ian Smith. Although South Africa was one of the first African countries to gain independence, the state remained under the control of the country's white minority through a system of racial segregation known as apartheid until 1994.

Post-colonial Africa

Today, Africa contains 54 sovereign countries, most of which still have the borders drawn during the era of European colonialism. Since colonialism, African states have frequently been hampered by instability, corruption, violence, and authoritarianism. The vast majority of African states are republics that operate under some form of the presidential system of rule. However, few of them have been able to sustain democratic governments on a permanent basis, and many have instead cycled through a series of coups, producing military dictatorships.

Great instability was mainly the result of marginalization of ethnic groups, and graft under these leaders. For political gain, many leaders fanned ethnic conflicts that had been exacerbated, or even created, by colonial rule. In many countries, the military was perceived as being the only group that could effectively maintain order, and it ruled many nations in Africa during the 1970s and early 1980s. During the period from the early 1960s to the late 1980s, Africa had more than 70 coups and 13 presidential assassinations. Border and territorial disputes were also common, with the European-imposed borders of many nations being widely contested through armed conflicts.

Cold War conflicts between the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as the policies of the International Monetary Fund, also played a role in instability. When a country became independent for the first time, it was often expected to align with one of the two superpowers. Many countries in Northern Africa received Soviet military aid, while many in Central and Southern Africa were supported by the United States, France or both. The 1970s saw an escalation, as newly independent Angola and Mozambique aligned themselves with the Soviet Union, and the West and South Africa sought to contain Soviet influence by funding insurgency movements. There was a major famine in Ethiopia, when hundreds of thousands of people starved. Some claimed that Marxist/Soviet policies made the situation worse.[46][47][48]

The most devastating military conflict in modern independent Africa has been the Second Congo War. By 2008, this conflict and its aftermath had killed 5.4 million people. Since 2003 there has been an ongoing conflict in Darfur which has become a humanitarian disaster. AIDS has also been a prevalent issue in post-colonial Africa.

Geography

[[File:|thumb|300px|A composite satellite image of Africa (centre) with North America (left) and Eurasia (right) to scale]]

Africa is the largest of the three great southward projections from the largest landmass of the Earth. Separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea, it is joined to Asia at its northeast extremity by the Isthmus of Suez (transected by the Suez Canal), 163 km (101 miles) wide.[49] (Geopolitically, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula east of the Suez Canal is often considered part of Africa, as well.)[50]

From the most northerly point, Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia (37°21' N), to the most southerly point, Cape Agulhas in South Africa (34°51'15" S), is a distance of approximately 8,000 km (5,000 miles);[51] from Cape Verde, 17°33'22" W, the westernmost point, to Ras Hafun in Somalia, 51°27'52" E, the most easterly projection, is a distance of approximately 7,400 km (4,600 miles).[52] The coastline is 26,000 km (16,100 miles) long, and the absence of deep indentations of the shore is illustrated by the fact that Europe, which covers only 10,400,000 km² (4,010,000 square miles) – about a third of the surface of Africa – has a coastline of 32,000 km (19,800 miles).[52]

Africa's largest country is Sudan, and its smallest country is the Seychelles, an archipelago off the east coast.[53] The smallest nation on the continental mainland is The Gambia.

File:Vegetation
world vegetation map]] for key)

According to the ancient Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while "Asia" was used to refer to Anatolia and lands to the east. A definite line was drawn between the two continents by the geographer Ptolemy (85–165 AD), indicating Alexandria along the Prime Meridian and making the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa. As Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of Africa expanded with their knowledge.

Geologically, Africa includes the Arabian Peninsula; the Zagros Mountains of Iran and the Anatolian Plateau of Turkey mark where the African Plate collided with Eurasia. The Afrotropic ecozone and the Saharo-Arabian desert to its north unite the region biogeographically, and the Afro-Asiatic language family unites the north linguistically.

Climate

The climate of Africa ranges from tropical to subarctic on its highest peaks. Its northern half is primarily desert or arid, while its central and southern areas contain both savanna plains and very dense jungle (rainforest) regions. In between, there is a convergence where vegetation patterns such as sahel, and steppe dominate.

Fauna

, Tanzania.]] Africa boasts perhaps the world's largest combination of density and "range of freedom" of wild animal populations and diversity, with wild populations of large carnivores (such as lions, hyenas, and cheetahs) and herbivores (such as buffalo, deer, elephants, camels, and giraffes) ranging freely on primarily open non-private plains. It is also home to a variety of "jungle" animals including snakes and primates and aquatic life such as crocodiles and amphibians. Africa also has the largest number of megafauna species, as it was least affected by the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna.

Ecology

Deforestation is affecting Africa at twice the world rate, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).[54] Some sources claim that deforestation has already wiped out roughly 90% of West Africa's original forests.[55] Since the arrival of humans 2000 years ago, Madagascar has lost more than 90% of its original forest.[56] About 65% of Africa's agricultural land suffers from soil degradation.[57]

Politics


The African Union (AU) is a 53 member federation consisting of all of Africa's states except Morocco. The union was formed, with Addis Ababa as its headquarters, on 26 June 2001. In July 2004, the African Union's Pan-African Parliament (PAP) was relocated to Midrand, in South Africa, but the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights remained in Addis Ababa. There is a policy in effect to decentralize the African Federation's institutions so that they are shared by all the states.

The African Union, not to be confused with the AU Commission, is formed by the Constitutive Act of the African Union, which aims to transform the African Economic Community, a federated commonwealth, into a state under established international conventions. The African Union has a parliamentary government, known as the African Union Government, consisting of legislative, judicial and executive organs. It is led by the African Union President and Head of State, who is also the President of the Pan African Parliament. A person becomes AU President by being elected to the PAP, and subsequently gaining majority support in the PAP. 1 The powers and authority of the President of the African Parliament derive from the Constitutive Act and the Protocol of the Pan African Parliament, as well as the inheritance of presidential authority stipulated by African treaties and by international treaties, including those subordinating the Secretary General of the OAU Secretariat (AU Commission) to the PAP. The government of the AU consists of all-union (federal), regional, state, and municipal authorities, as well as hundreds of institutions, that together manage the day-to-day affairs of the institution.

There are clear signs of increased networking among African organisations and states. In the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire), rather than rich, non-African countries intervening, neighbouring African countries became involved (see also Second Congo War). Since the conflict began in 1998, the estimated death toll has reached 5 million.

Political associations such as the African Union offer hope for greater co-operation and peace between the continent's many countries. Extensive human rights abuses still occur in several parts of Africa, often under the oversight of the state. Most of such violations occur for political reasons, often as a side effect of civil war. Countries where major human rights violations have been reported in recent times include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Côte d'Ivoire.

Economy

Although it has abundant natural resources, Africa remains the world's poorest and most underdeveloped continent, due to a variety of causes that may include the spread of deadly diseases and viruses (notably HIV/AIDS and malaria), corrupt governments that have often committed serious human rights violations, failed central planning, high levels of illiteracy, lack of access to foreign capital, and frequent tribal and military conflict (ranging from guerrilla warfare to genocide).[1] According to the United Nations' Human Development Report in 2003, the bottom 25 ranked nations (151st to 175th) were all African.[2]

Poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and inadequate water supply and sanitation, as well as poor health, affect a large proportion of the people who reside in the African continent. In August 2008, the World Bank[3] announced revised global poverty estimates based on a new international poverty line of $1.25 per day (versus the previous measure of $1.00). 80.5% of the Sub-Saharan Africa population was living on less than $2.50 (PPP) a day in 2005, compared with 85.7% for India.[4]

The new figures confirm that sub-Saharan Africa has been the least successful region of the world in reducing poverty ($1.25 per day); some 50% of the population living in poverty in 1981 (200 million people), a figure that rose to 58% in 1996 before dropping to 50% in 2005 (380 million people). The average poor person in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to live on only 70 cents per day, and was poorer in 2003 than he or she was in 1973 [5] indicating increasing poverty in some areas. Some of it is attributed to unsuccessful economic liberalization programs spearheaded by foreign companies and governments, but other studies and reports have cited bad domestic government policies more than external factors.[6][7][8]

From 1995 to 2005, Africa's rate of economic growth increased, averaging 5% in 2005. Some countries experienced still higher growth rates, notably Angola, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea, all three of which had recently begun extracting their petroleum reserves or had expanded their oil extraction capacity. The continent has 90% of the world’s cobalt, 90% of its platinum, 50% of its gold, 98% of its chromium, 70% of its tantalite,[9] 64% of its manganese and one-third of its uranium.[10] The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has 70% of the world’s coltan, and most mobile phones in the world have coltan in them. The DRC also has more than 30% of the world’s diamond reserves.[11] Guinea is the world’s largest exporter of bauxite.[12] As the growth in Africa has been driven mainly by services and not manufacturing or agriculture, it has been growth without jobs and without reduction in poverty levels. In fact, the food security crisis of 2008 which took place on the heels of the global financial crisis has pushed back 100 million people into food insecurity.[13]

In recent years, the People's Republic of China has built increasingly stronger ties with African nations. In 2007, Chinese companies invested a total of US$1 billion in Africa.[14]

Demographics

[[File:|thumb|left|upright|Tuareg man from Algeria ]] Africa's population has rapidly increased over the last 40 years, and consequently it is relatively young. In some African states half or more of the population is under 25 years of age.[15] African population grew from 221 million in 1950 to 1 billion in 2009.[16][17]

Speakers of Bantu languages (part of the Niger-Congo family) are the majority in southern, central and East Africa proper. But there are also several Nilotic groups in East Africa, and a few remaining indigenous Khoisan ('San' or 'Bushmen') and Pygmy peoples in southern and central Africa, respectively. Bantu-speaking Africans also predominate in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, and are found in parts of southern Cameroon. In the Kalahari Desert of Southern Africa, the distinct people known as the Bushmen (also "San", closely related to, but distinct from "Hottentots") have long been present. The San are physically distinct from other Africans and are the indigenous people of southern Africa. Pygmies are the pre-Bantu indigenous peoples of central Africa.[18]

The peoples of North Africa comprise two main groups; Berber and Arabic-speaking peoples in the west, and Egyptians in the east. The Arabs who arrived in the seventh century introduced the Arabic language and Islam to North Africa. The Semitic Phoenicians, the Iranian Alans, the European Greeks, Romans and Vandals settled in North Africa as well. Berbers still make up the majority in Morocco, while they are a significant minority within Algeria. They are also present in Tunisia and Libya.[19] The Tuareg and other often-nomadic peoples are the principal inhabitants of the Saharan interior of North Africa. Nubians are a Nilo-Saharan-speaking group (though many also speak Arabic), who developed an ancient civilisation in northeast Africa.

Some Ethiopian and Eritrean groups (like the Amhara and Tigrayans, collectively known as "Habesha") speak languages from the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic linguistic family, while the Oromo and Somali speak languages from the Cushitic branch of Afro-Asiatic. Sudan is divided between a mostly Muslim Nubian and Beja north and a Christian and animist Nilotic south, with Mauritania somewhat similarly structured. Some areas of East Africa, particularly the island of Zanzibar and the Kenyan island of Lamu, have also received Arab Muslim and Southwest Asian settlers and merchants throughout the Middle Ages and in antiquity.[20]

Prior to the decolonization movements of the post-World War II era, Europeans were represented in every part of Africa.[21] Decolonisation during the 1960s and 1970s often resulted in the mass emigration of European-descended settlers out of Africa – especially from Algeria (pieds-noirs), Morocco,[22] Kenya, Congo,[23] Angola,[24] Mozambique and Rhodesia. Nevertheless, White Africans remain an important minority in many African states. The African country with the largest White African population is South Africa.[25] The Afrikaners, the Anglo-Africans and the Coloureds are the largest European-descended groups in Africa today.

[[File:|thumb|left|Woman from Benin]] European colonization also brought sizable groups of Asians, particularly people from the Indian subcontinent, to British colonies. Large Indian communities are found in South Africa, and smaller ones are present in Kenya, Tanzania, and some other southern and East African countries. The large Indian community in Uganda was expelled by the dictator Idi Amin in 1972, though many have since returned. The islands in the Indian Ocean are also populated primarily by people of Asian origin, often mixed with Africans and Europeans. The Malagasy people of Madagascar are an Austronesian people, but those along the coast are generally mixed with Bantu, Arab, Indian and European origins. Malay and Indian ancestries are also important components in the group of people known in South Africa as Cape Coloureds (people with origins in two or more races and continents). During the 20th century, small but economically important communities of Lebanese and Chinese[14] have also developed in the larger coastal cities of West and East Africa, respectively.[26]

Languages

File:Languages of Africa
Map showing the distribution of the various language families of Africa.

By most estimates, well over a thousand languages (UNESCO has estimated around two thousand) are spoken in Africa.[27] Most are of African origin, though some are of European or Asian origin. Africa is the most multilingual continent in the world, and it is not rare for individuals to fluently speak not only multiple African languages, but one or more European ones as well. There are four major language families indigenous to Africa.

  • The Afro-Asiatic languages are a language family of about 240 languages and 285 million people widespread throughout the Horn of Africa, North Africa, the Sahel, and Southwest Asia.
  • The Nilo-Saharan language family consists of more than a hundred languages spoken by 30 million people. Nilo-Saharan languages are spoken by Nilotic tribes in Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, and northern Tanzania.
  • The Niger-Congo language family covers much of Sub-Saharan Africa and is probably the largest language family in the world in terms of different languages.
  • The Khoisan languages number about fifty and are spoken in Southern Africa by approximately 120,000 people. Many of the Khoisan languages are endangered. The Khoi and San peoples are considered the original inhabitants of this part of Africa.

Following the end of colonialism, nearly all African countries adopted official languages that originated outside the continent, although several countries also granted legal recognition to indigenous languages (such as Swahili, Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa). In numerous countries, English and French (see African French) are used for communication in the public sphere such as government, commerce, education and the media. Arabic, Portuguese, Afrikaans and Malagasy are examples of languages that trace their origin to outside of Africa, and that are used by millions of Africans today, both in the public and private spheres.

Culture

Some[which?] aspects of traditional African cultures have become less practiced in recent years as a result of years of neglect and suppression by colonial and post-colonial regimes. There is now a resurgence in the attempts to rediscover and revalourise African traditional cultures, under such movements as the African Renaissance, led by Thabo Mbeki, Afrocentrism, led by a group of scholars, including Molefi Asante, as well as the increasing recognition of traditional spiritualism through decriminalization of Vodou and other forms of spirituality. In recent years, traditional African culture has become synonymous with rural poverty and subsistence farming. [[File:|thumb|right|Fasil Ghebbi in Ethiopia]]

Visual art and architecture

African art and architecture reflect the diversity of African cultures. The oldest existing examples of art from Africa are 82,000-year-old beads made from Nassarius shells that were found in the Aterian levels at Grotte des Pigeons, Taforalt, Morocco.[citation needed] The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt was the world's tallest structure for 4,000 years, until the completion of Lincoln Cathedral around the year 1300. The stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe are also noteworthy for their architecture, and the complexity of monolithic churches at Lalibela, Ethiopia, of which the Church of Saint George is representative.[citation needed]

Music and dance

File:Man playing a
A young man playing the k'ra, a traditional instrument of Ethiopia

Egypt has long been a cultural focus of the Arab world, while remembrance of the rhythms of sub-Saharan Africa, in particular West Africa, was transmitted through the Atlantic slave trade to modern samba, blues, jazz, reggae, hip hop, and rock. The 1950s through the 1970s saw a conglomeration of these various styles with the popularization of Afrobeat and Highlife music. Modern music of the continent includes the highly complex choral singing of southern Africa and the dance rhythms of the musical genre of soukous, dominated by the music of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Indigenous musical and dance traditions of Africa are maintained by oral traditions, and they are distinct from the music and dance styles of North Africa and Southern Africa. Arab influences are visible in North African music and dance and, in Southern Africa, Western influences are apparent due to colonisation.

Sports

Fifty-three African countries have football (soccer) teams in the Confederation of African Football, while Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, and Ghana have advanced to the knockout stage of recent FIFA World Cups. South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup tournament, becoming the first African country to do so.

Cricket is popular in some African nations. South Africa and Zimbabwe have Test status, while Kenya is the leading non-test team in One-Day International cricket and has attained permanent One-Day International status. The three countries jointly hosted the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Namibia is the other African country to have played in a World Cup. Morocco in northern Africa has also hosted the 2002 Morocco Cup, but the national team has never qualified for a major tournament. Rugby is a popular sport in South Africa.

Religion

Africans profess a wide variety of religious beliefs[28] and statistics on religious affiliation are difficult to come by since they are too sensitive a topic for governments with mixed populations.[29] According to the World Book Encyclopedia, Islam is the largest religion in Africa, followed by Christianity. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, 45% of the population are Muslims, 40% are Christians and less than 15% continue to follow traditional African religions. A small number of Africans are Hindu, Baha'i, or have beliefs from the Judaic tradition. Examples of African Jews are the Beta Israel, Lemba peoples and the Abayudaya of Eastern Uganda. There is also a small minority of Africans who are non-religious.

Territories and regions

The countries in this table are categorised according to the scheme for geographic subregions used by the United Nations, and data included are per sources in cross-referenced articles. Where they differ, provisos are clearly indicated.

[[File:|thumb|150px|Regions of Africa:

     Northern Africa      Western Africa      Middle Africa      Eastern Africa      Southern Africa]]

 
 
File:Topography of
Physical map of Africa
[[File:|thumb|150px|Satellite photo of Africa]]
File:African
Political map of Africa
Name of region[30] and
territory, with flag
Area
(km²)
Population
(2009 est) except where noted
Density
(per km²)
Capital
Eastern Africa: 6,384,904 316,053,651 49.5
Burundi 27,830 8,988,091[31] 322.9 Bujumbura
Comoros 2,170 752,438[31] 346.7 Moroni
Djibouti 23,000 516,055[31] 22.4 Djibouti
Eritrea 121,320 5,647,168[31] 46.5 Asmara
Ethiopia 1,127,127 85,237,338[31] 75.6 Addis Ababa
Template:Country data Kenya Kenya 582,650 39,002,772[31] 66.0 Nairobi
Madagascar 587,040 20,653,556[31] 35.1 Antananarivo
Malawi 118,480 14,268,711[31] 120.4 Lilongwe
Mauritius 2,040 1,284,264[31] 629.5 Port Louis
Mayotte (France) 374 223,765[31] 489.7 Mamoudzou
Mozambique 801,590 21,669,278[31] 27.0 Maputo
Template:Country data Réunion Réunion (France) 2,512 743,981(2002) 296.2 Saint-Denis
Rwanda 26,338 10,473,282[31] 397.6 Kigali
Seychelles 455 87,476[31] 192.2 Victoria
Somalia 637,657 9,832,017[31] 15.4 Mogadishu
Tanzania 945,087 41,048,532[31] 43.3 Dodoma
Uganda 236,040 32,369,558[31] 137.1 Kampala
Zambia 752,614 11,862,740[31] 15.7 Lusaka
Middle Africa: 6,613,253 121,585,754 18.4
Angola 1,246,700 12,799,293[31] 10.3 Luanda
Cameroon 475,440 18,879,301[31] 39.7 Yaoundé
Central African Republic 622,984 4,511,488[31] 7.2 Bangui
Chad 1,284,000 10,329,208[31] 8.0 N'Djamena
Congo 342,000 4,012,809[31] 11.7 Brazzaville
Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,345,410 68,692,542[31] 29.2 Kinshasa
Equatorial Guinea 28,051 633,441[31] 22.6 Malabo
Gabon 267,667 1,514,993[31] 5.6 Libreville
Template:Country data São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe 1,001 212,679[31] 212.4 São Tomé
Northern Africa: 8,533,021 211,087,622 24.7
Algeria 2,381,740 34,178,188[31] 14.3 Algiers
Egypt[32] 1,001,450 83,082,869[31] total, Asia 1.4m 82.9 Cairo
Libya 1,759,540 6,310,434[31] 3.6 Tripoli
Morocco 446,550 34,859,364[31] 78.0 Rabat
Sudan 2,505,810 41,087,825[31] 16.4 Khartoum
Tunisia 163,610 10,486,339[31] 64.1 Tunis
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[33] 266,000 405,210[31] 1.5 El Aaiún
Spanish and Portuguese territories in Northern Africa:
Canary Islands (Spain)[34] 7,492 1,694,477(2001) 226.2 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Ceuta (Spain)[35] 20 71,505(2001) 3,575.2
Madeira Islands (Portugal)[36] 797 245,000(2001) 307.4 Funchal
Melilla (Spain)[37] 12 66,411(2001) 5,534.2
Southern Africa: 2,693,418 56,406,762 20.9
Botswana 600,370 1,990,876[31] 3.3 Gaborone
Lesotho 30,355 2,130,819[31] 70.2 Maseru
Zimbabwe 390,580 11,392,629[31] 29.1 Harare
Namibia 825,418 2,108,665[31] 2.6 Windhoek
South Africa 1,219,912 49,052,489[31] 40.2 Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Pretoria[38]
Swaziland 17,363 1,123,913[31] 64.7 Mbabane
Western Africa: 6,144,013 296,186,492 48.2
Benin 112,620 8,791,832[31] 78.0 Porto-Novo
Burkina Faso 274,200 15,746,232[31] 57.4 Ouagadougou
Cape Verde 4,033 429,474[31] 107.3 Praia
Template:Country data Côte d'Ivoire Côte d'Ivoire 322,460 20,617,068[31] 63.9 Abidjan,[39] Yamoussoukro
Gambia 11,300 1,782,893[31] 157.7 Banjul
Ghana 239,460 23,832,495[31] 99.5 Accra
Guinea 245,857 10,057,975[31] 40.9 Conakry
Guinea-Bissau 36,120 1,533,964[31] 42.5 Bissau
Liberia 111,370 3,441,790[31] 30.9 Monrovia
Mali 1,240,000 12,666,987[31] 10.2 Bamako
Mauritania 1,030,700 3,129,486[31] 3.0 Nouakchott
Niger 1,267,000 15,306,252[31] 12.1 Niamey
Nigeria 923,768 158,259,000[31] 161.5 Abuja
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (UK) 410 7,637[31] 14.4 Jamestown
Senegal 196,190 13,711,597[31] 69.9 Dakar
Sierra Leone 71,740 6,440,053[31] 89.9 Freetown
Togo 56,785 6,019,877[31] 106.0 Lomé
Africa Total 30,368,609 1,001,320,281 33.0

See also

Lists:

References

  1. ^ Richard Sandbrook, The Politics of Africa's Economic Stagnation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1985 passim
  2. ^ [1], United Nations
  3. ^ "World Bank Updates Poverty Estimates for the Developing World". Econ.worldbank.org. http://econ.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTDEC/EXTRESEARCH/0,,contentMDK:21882162~pagePK:64165401~piPK:64165026~theSitePK:469382,00.html. Retrieved 2010-05-18. [dead link]
  4. ^ "The developing world is poorer than we thought, but no less successful in the fight against poverty". World Bank. http://econ.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64165259&piPK=64165421&theSitePK=469372&menuPK=64166093&entityID=000158349_20080826113239. 
  5. ^ Economic report on Africa 2004: unlocking Africa’s potential in the global economy, (Substantive session 28 June-23 July 2004) United Nations
  6. ^ "Neo-Liberalism and the Economic and Political Future of Africa". Globalpolitician.com. 2005-12-19. http://www.globalpolitician.com/21498-africa-malawi-poverty. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  7. ^ "Capitalism – Africa – Neoliberalism, Structural Adjustment, And The African Reaction". Science.jrank.org. http://science.jrank.org/pages/8526/Capitalism-Africa-Neoliberalism-Structural-Adjustment-African-Reaction.html. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  8. ^ http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=58925
  9. ^ "Africa: Developed Countries' Leverage On the Continent". AllAfrica.com. February 7, 2008.
  10. ^ "Africa, China's new frontier". Times Online. February 10, 2008.
  11. ^ "DR Congo poll crucial for Africa". BBC News. November 16, 2006.
  12. ^ "China tightens grip on Africa with $4.4bn lifeline for Guinea junta". The Times. October 13, 2009.
  13. ^ "The African Decade?". Ilmas Futehally. Strategic Foresight Group
  14. ^ a b "China and Africa: Stronger Economic Ties Mean More Migration". By Malia Politzer, Migration Information Source. August 2008.
  15. ^ "Africa Population Dynamics". http://www.overpopulation.org/Africa.html. 
  16. ^ Population. Western Kentucky University.
  17. ^ Africa's population now 1 billion. AfricaNews. August 25, 2009.
  18. ^ Pygmies struggle to survive in war zone where abuse is routine. Times Online. December 16, 2004.
  19. ^ Q&A: The Berbers. BBC News. March 12, 2004.
  20. ^ The Story of Africa. BBC World Service.
  21. ^ "We Want Our Country" (3 of 10). Time. November 5, 1965
  22. ^ "Migration and development co-operation.". Raimondo Cagiano De Azevedo (1994). p.25. ISBN 92-871-2611-9
  23. ^ Jungle Shipwreck. Time. July 25, 1960
  24. ^ Flight from Angola, The Economist , August 16, 1975
  25. ^ South Africa: People: Ethnic Groups. World Factbook of CIA
  26. ^ Lebanese Immigrants Boost West African Commerce, By Naomi Schwarz, voanews.com, July 10
  27. ^ "Africa". UNESCO. 2005. Archived from the original on June 2, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080602050234/http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=8048&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  28. ^ "African Religion on the Internet", Stanford University
  29. ^ Onishi, Normitsu (November 1, 2001). "Rising Muslim Power in Africa Causing Unrest in Nigeria and Elsewhere". The New York Times Company. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C00EEDC1030F932A35752C1A9679C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  30. ^ Continental regions as per UN categorisations/map.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd USCensusBureau:Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2009[dead link]
  32. ^ Egypt is generally considered a transcontinental country in Northern Africa (UN region) and Western Asia; population and area figures are for African portion only, west of the Suez Canal.
  33. ^ The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is recognized as a sovereign state by the African Union, however, Morocco claims the entirety of the country as Morocco's own Southern Provinces, and has occupied most of its territory since it declared its independence from Spain in 1976. Morocco's occupation and annexation of this territory has not been recognized internationally.
  34. ^ The Spanish Canary Islands, of which Las Palmas de Gran Canaria are Santa Cruz de Tenerife are co-capitals, are often considered part of Northern Africa due to their relative proximity to Morocco and Western Sahara; population and area figures are for 2001.
  35. ^ The Spanish exclave of Ceuta is surrounded on land by Morocco in Northern Africa; population and area figures are for 2001.
  36. ^ The Portuguese Madeira Islands are often considered part of Northern Africa due to their relative proximity to Morocco; population and area figures are for 2001.
  37. ^ The Spanish exclave of Melilla is surrounded on land by Morocco in Northern Africa; population and area figures are for 2001.
  38. ^ Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of South Africa, while Cape Town is its legislative seat, and Pretoria is the country's administrative seat.
  39. ^ Yamoussoukro is the official capital of Côte d'Ivoire, while Abidjan is the de facto seat.

Further reading

External links

General information
History
News media
Travel

krc:Африкаfrr:Afrikoopcd:Afrike


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Africa has 53 countries (not including disputed Western Sahara)—the most on any continent—and is the second largest continent in terms of both land area and population. Africa is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, by the Red Sea to the northeast, and by the Indian Ocean to the southeast. Understand that while many refer to "Africa" as if it's a country, Africa is the second largest continent spanning over 5,000 miles north-south and 4,800 miles east-west (not including islands) and contains a wide aura of peoples, skin colors, religions, and cultures. Tragically misunderstood by most people in the West as a land of poverty and corruption, war and famine, and simply as a land of suffering—a misconception only bolstered by the media and the numerous NGOs on the continent—Africa today is a vast continent with bustling metropolises, friendly people, and amazingly diverse and beautiful landscapes. While there are plenty of places resembling the stereotypical Africa of war, famine, and poverty, the overwhelming majority of the continent is peaceful, well-fed, and of working class. Why don't you come explore this wonderfully diverse continent?

Understand

Geography

Africa's highest point is Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world's highest free-standing mountain, which rises to 5,895 m (19,340ft) above sea level. Its lowest point is Djibouti's Lake Assal, whose surface is 157 m (515 feet) below sea level. Its longest river, the Nile, is also the World's longest, and runs 6,650 km (4,132 miles) from Burundi to Egypt. Other noteworthy rivers include the Congo, Niger, & Zambezi Rivers. North Africa is dominated by the Sahara Desert which, at roughly 9 million square kilometers (3.5 million sq. mi.), is the world's largest hot desert. Its largest lake is the 69,485 sq km (26,828 square mile) Lake Victoria, which is surrounded by Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya. Africa has extensive mineral resources, including gold, diamonds, uranium, and copper.
The pyramids at Giza: the most famous Pharonic relic and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The pyramids at Giza: the most famous Pharonic relic and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Modern humans, homo sapiens, are believed to have originated in East Africa somewhere between Ethiopia and Kenya. Despite this long history of habitation, there is very little (or little known about) African history prior to the second millennium AD outside of North Africa, Sudan & Ethiopia, as most were simple hunter-gatherers similar to most cultures still found today on the continent, with no writing systems nor lasting structures, arts, or crafts (aside from some cave paintings). North Africa, on the other hand, has a recorded history dating back several millennia with bountiful structures, writings, arts, and crafts which have survived to this day. The ancient Pharonic civilization centered in modern-day Egypt is recognized as the longest-lasting and one of the, if not the, greatest ancient civilizations lasting from around 3300BC until the invasion of Persians in 343BC. Today, their legacy lives with many of their cities well-preserved and now popular tourist attractions along with a few museums hosting their artifacts. Modern Jews believe themselves to be descendants of slaves in ancient Egypt and much of the Hebrew Bible, religious texts for both Jews & Christians, was based and written in the region. The other great early civilizations on the continent were the Nubians in northern Sudan and southern Egypt who were very similar to the ancient Egyptians, leaving behind the city of Meroe in Sudan, and the Aksumite Empire from the 4th century BC until the 7st century AD in modern-day Ethiopia and eastern Sudan which was important to trade between India and the Roman Empire and an important center of early Christianity.
Roman theater at Leptis Magna, Libya.
Roman theater at Leptis Magna, Libya.
Meanwhile the 300s BC brought about the first (and less famous) invasions of Europeans in the continent. In 322 BC, Alexander the Great invaded Persian-occupied Egypt, establishing the famous city of Alexandria which would serve as an important center of scholarship and Greek culture for many centuries. Meanwhile, the Romans conquered much of the Mediterranean coastline to the west, leaving behind such ruins as Carthage and Leptis Magna. In the first centuries AD, Christianity spread to much of the region, first to Egypt, then Nubia, Ethiopia, & and Roman Empire.
The Muslim invasion and the beginning of the Arab Slave Trade in the 7th century AD changed the cultural landscape of North and large parts of East and West Africa. The newly-formed Arab caliphate invaded North Africa and the Horn of Africa within a few decades. In the west, Berbers would intermarry with the Arab invaders and become the Moorish population that would invade the Iberian peninsula. When the Damascus was invaded in the early eighth century, the Islamic religious and political center of the Mediterranean shifted to Kairouan in Tunisia. Their progress was limited only by the dense forests of West and Central Africa and to coastal areas in the East. The last region to come under Muslim influence was that of Nubia (moden-day norther Sudan) in the 14th century.
Old Mogadishu which reached its height as a commercial center in the 13th century.
Old Mogadishu which reached its height as a commercial center in the 13th century.
The 7th-9th century would see the beginning of significant history in much of sub-Saharan Africa. In the west, large and powerful kingdoms rose inland, among which the Ghana (in Mali & Mauritania, no relation to modern Ghana), Dahomey (which lasted until French capture in 1894, now Benin), Za/Gao (in Mali & Niger), Kanem (in Chad), & Bornu (in Nigeria). As many of these empires converted to Islam, trans-Saharan trade grew with salt & gold transported to Libya & Egypt in large caravans of camels—a trade made possible by the introduction of camels from Arabia in the 10th century and which would support much of the area from northern Nigeria west to Mali & Mauritania until the 19th century. During the 13th-16th centuries, many of these early kingdoms were replaced with new empires, chief among them the Mali (in Mali, Guinea, & Senegal) and later Soghay (in Mali, Burkina Faso, & Niger) and a plethora of small, single-tribe kingdoms and city states sprouted. Many of Mali's popular tourist destinations, including Timbuktu, Djenne, & Gao, rose to prominence during this period as they became centers of trade and Islamic scholarship during this period. The Hausa tribes in northern Nigeria began organizing in walled city states, of which remnants remain in Kano. Coastal, forsted West Africa remained largely unorganized, with the exceptions of a few Yorba city-states of Benin, Ife, & Oyo along with small Dahomey & Igbo empires all in modern-day Benin & Nigeria.
Meanwhile East Africa also saw a rise of Islamic influence and prosperity from Indian Ocean trade as ships from Arabia, Persia, India, and as far as Southeast Asia dropped anchor in major ports from Somalia down to Mozambique bringing spices and taking away slaves and ivory. Between the 7th and 19th century, over 18 million people were taken from this region by the Arab slave trade—roughly twice as many as the Atlantic slave trade would take to the Americas. Today, that influence remains in the culture and gastronomy of many places, most notably on Indian Ocean islands such as Zanzibar, Comoros, the Seychelles, & Mauritius.
Ruins at Great Zimbabwe.
Ruins at Great Zimbabwe.
Southern Africa remained undeveloped, with primarily nomadic hunter-gatherers such as the San people and some small kingdoms. The Kingdom of Zimbabwe (namesake of today's state) was one of the most notable, constructing the greatest stone structures in pre-colonial sub-Saharan Africa at their capital Great Zimbabwe. The Kingdom of Mapungubwe in modern eastern South Africa also left smaller stone ruins. Both profited from trade in gold and ivory with Arab and Asian merchants.
While a few Genoese, Castillian, & French explorers managed to reach parts of West Africa in the Middle Ages, European exploration of the continent truly began when Prince "Henry the Navigator" set out to acquire African territory for Portugal in the mid-15th century. The Portuguese reached Cape Verde in 1445 and by 1480 they had charted and began trade with the entire Guinea coast (modern Guinea-Bissau to Nigeria). In 1482, Diogo Cão reached the mouth of the Congo River, the Cape of Good Hope (the southern tip of Africa) was reached by Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, and in 1498 Vasco da Gama sailed up the eastern coast where in Kenya his expedition set up a trading post at Malindi before finding a guide to take them to India. The Portuguese set up numerous forts along the African coast and established a highly profitable trade, (initially) held good relations with locals, and remained the dominant European power in the region until the 17th century while Spain, France, & Britain began exploring the Americas.
Slaving castle in Cape Coast, Ghana.
Slaving castle in Cape Coast, Ghana.
The lucrative trade and large amounts of gold obtained by the Portuguese lured other nations to the continent. As the demands for labor in the America's grew, Portuguese sailors began taking shiploads of slaves to the Americas, beginning the Atlantic slave trade.In the early 17th century, the Dutch fought the Portuguese to win control of most of their West and Central African ports, some (like Luanda) would be retaken later, and established a couple dozen forts of their own, notably at Goree Island in Dakar and at the Cape of Good Hope—a port they hoped to use for trade routes to East Asia and which has become modern-day Cape Town. In 1642, the French built their first fort on Madagascar (which they claimed in 1667) and in 1663 the British built their first fort on the continent in the Gambia. Swedish merchants established a fort on Cape Coast which later was overpowered by the Danish nearby at modern Accra.
In the 19th century, European attention shifted from establishing coastal ports for trade to fighting one another to colonize the continent and explore its uncharted interior. With slavery abolished by Britain and their strong efforts to thwart slavery around the world, Europe began to look for other sources of wealth on the continent. The most successful European colony, the Dutch Cape Colony, was seized by the British in 1795. Napoleonic France conquered Egypt in 1798, notably discovering the Rosetta Stone, only to be forced out by the British and then the Turks. France invaded a significant amount of coastal West Africa and the Barbary states in Algeria, cutting rampant piracy in the region. Accounts of brave adventurers travelling inland to find places such as Mount Kilimanjaro and rumored "inland sea"(the Great Lakes) and city of gold on the Nile sparked a wave of exploration in the mid-century primarily by Catholic and Jesuit missionaries in the Southern, Eastern, & Great Lakes regions of Africa. Chief among explorers was the British national hero David Livingstone, who as a poor missionary with few porters explored much of Southern and Eastern Africa, flowed down the Congo River from its sources, and sought the source of the Nile. In West & Central Africa French, Belgian, & Spanish explorers ventured into the Sahara to find the legendary Timbuktu and Malian gold mines and the Congo in search of the Pygmies and hairy, large peoples (gorillas) of Greek legend.
Colonial division of Africa, 1914.
Colonial division of Africa, 1914.
As accounts of Africa's interior reached Europe, nations and merchants began to view the continent as a major source of commerce and wealth, simmilar to their Asian exploits, while the philanthropic and missionary class saw a great opportunity to "Christianize" and "civilize" the savage people of Africa. With social Darwinism introduced, many countries saw Africa as a great opportunity to establish colonial empires and establish their preeminence among other European nations, chiefly Germany to catch up with other European nations and France, to regain glories lost in North America and under Napoleon. Britain and Portugal joined this Scramble for Africa when they saw their interests threatened. In 1885, the Berlin Conference brought together European colonial powers to carve up the continent into defined colonial territories with many straight lines and no input from any African kingdom or settlement.
At the turn of the 20th century, Britain began a series of deadly South African Wars from their Cape Colony into surrounding African and Boer (white descendants of the Dutch) lands in modern South Africa, which brought Cecil Rhodes to fame for his vision to conquer and bring unite Africa from Cairo to Cape Town. The dense jungles of Central Africa lured Joseph Conrad, who wrote the novel Heart of Darkness from his experience. World War I saw one battle in German East Africa (Tanzania) which the British lost, although post-war, German possessions were divided amongst France, Belgium, & the UK. The Union of South Africa was granted independence from the UK in 1930. World War Two saw Ethiopia invaded by Italy along with major fighting in North Africa in which the Nazis were eventually evicted by the Allies. It was the social changes stemming from the war, in which tens of thousands of Africans fought for their colonial power, along with the Atlantic Charter which led to the spread of nationalistic movements post-war.
Dates of independence across Africa.
Dates of independence across Africa.
The decolonization of Africa began with Libyan independence from Italy in 1951. Colonial powers employed varying means of control over their colonies, some granting natives representation in the government and cultivating a select few civil servants while others maintained a firm grip with an all-European government. In some countries, nationalist movements were quashed and their leaders killed or jailed while others were able to peacefully achieve independence. In the 1950s, Guinea, Ghana, & North African nations gained independence non-violently with the exception of Algeria, where France violently fought independence movements until 1963. With the establishment and new constitution of France's Fifth Republic in 1958, French West Africa & French Equatorial Africa ceased to exist and, after a brief "community" with France, the countries of these regions gained independence in 1960. By 1970, all but a handful of African nations were independent. The Portuguese bitterly fought to maintain their African possessions until 1975, all but one of whom gained independence through war. Zimbabwe was the last major colony to gain independence, in 1980. In 1990, semi-autonomous Namibia gained independence from South Africa and in 1993, Eritrea separated from Ethiopia following a protracted war. South Africa remained under firm control by its white minority, suppressing its black population under a system called apartheid until 1994. Morocco maintains control over Western Sahara, despite an established independence movement and remains a point of contention between Morocco and Algeria. Southern Sudan will vote on an independence referendum in 2011.
Europe divided Africa with complete disregard for the cultures and ethnic groups in Africa, often dividing a peoples between 2 or more countries and forcing peoples with a history of fighting or differing religions into one country. Additionally, a lack of training in civil service before and even after independence left most countries with dysfunctional governments and leaders tended to reward their own ethnic groups with jobs and money and in many cases suppressed ethnic minorities. This has been a cause of much strife post-independence across most of sub-Saharan Africa and has led to dozens of prolonged civil wars (notably in Sudan, Angola, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Nigeria), countless coups, and a countless number of inept, corrupt leaders. The discovery of valuable natural resources such as oil, uranium, diamonds, and coltan, has produced numerous independence movements post-independence citing the taking value of resources from their land to benefit the entire coutry (notably tiny, oil-rich Cabinda in Angola). Fortunately, there are numerous examples in Africa where past conflict has made way for functional governments, offering some hope for the future of African self-government.

Climate

As the second largest continent, there is a wide range of climates to be found. However, since the continent is nearly centered on the equator, much of the continent is quite warm/temperate with very few, small areas on the continent experiencing any temperatures that can be considered "cold". In the temperate regions (parts of northern Morocco & the Mediterranean coast as well as South Africa), temperatures generally range from the 10s C to the mid-30s C (40s-90s F)year round. Closer to the equator and on islands like Cape Verde or Mauritius, temperatures may only vary less than 20 degrees C (15-35C/65-95F) throughout the year! In the deserts and arid regions like the Sahel and Horn of Africa, temperatures routinely hit 40C+ (and even 50C+ in the heart of the Sahara) but because sand does not retain heat like most soil does, those same places can easily fall down to 15 at night. There are a few bastions of cooler weather, however. Higher elevations, such as the Atlas Mountains in Morocco & Algeria or in Lesotho, are quite cold and snowy during winter and Mount Kilimanjaro, almost on the equator, is cold year-round (cold enough to support glaciers!). Peaks on islands such as Reunion, the Canary Islands, Mount Cameroon and more are cool enough to necessitate a jacket much of the year.
A far more important factor to consider when travelling to Africa is when the rain/monsoon season occurs. Timing varies a bit even in neighboring countries, so check the page of the country you are visiting for more info. In West Africa the season starts in March around Cameroon, but not until June in Senegal or the Sahel and ends around September. While rain may not be a huge factor when travelling to southern or East Africa, it is very problematic in West Africa and on islands in the Indian Ocean. In West Africa, rains will often flood and make many roads and railroads impassable and, due to poor drainage, can literally result in rivers of water flowing down streets and sewage lines to overflow. In the Sahel, it can result in flash floods in low-lying areas.
The largest weather-related dangers for travellers to Africa are lightning and tropical cyclones. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has more lighting strikes each year than any other country on earth, especially in the eastern part of the country near Goma. Lightning risk is highest from western Kenya/Tanzania and Ethiopia west to Senegal and south to Angola and Zambia. Tropical cyclones affect the islands of the Indian Oceean, with the season running from November 15-April 30 (May 15 in the Seychelles & Mauritius). Tropical cyclones also infrequently affect the horn of Africa near Djibouti & Somalia, but when they do, the arid land results in major flooding. Tropical cyclones often form off the coast of western West Africa (Guinea/Senegal) during the early part of the Atlantic Hurricane Season (June-August) and will rarely impact Cape Verde, for which these particular storms are called "Cape Verde-type hurricanes".
Regions of Africa
Regions of Africa
North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Western Sahara)
The countries that rim the southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
Saharan Africa (Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Sudan)
The mostly desert and often landlocked nations that span the Sahara Desert.
West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo)
The tropical Atlantic coastal nations.
Central Africa (Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Zambia)
The heart of Africa.
East Africa (Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda)
The nations that border the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe)
Nations at Africa's southern tip.

Other territories

Atlantic Ocean Islands: Canary Islands (Spain), Madeira Islands (Portugal), Saint Helena (UK)
Spanish Exclaves: Ceuta, Melilla
Indian Ocean Islands: Mayotte(France), Reunion (France), Socotra (Yemen)
Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls

Get in

By plane

Air fares to Africa can be very expensive, but there are ways to save. The best way to get great airfare to the continent is fly directly to an African country from its former colonial rulers. For example, it can easily cost hundreds of euros/dollars more to fly from London to a former French colony, or conversely from Paris to a former British colony. About the only exceptions are Egypt, which has plentiful, cheap connections with the Middle East & Europe and a handful of West African destinations (the Gambia, Cape Verde, Morocco) popular with British tourists and accessible with cheap holiday flights.
Airline consolidators can also be used for discounted air fares. If you have additional travel time, check to see how your total fare quote to Africa compares with a round-the-world fare. Don't forget to add in the extra costs of additional visas, departure taxes, ground transportation, etc. for all those places outside of Africa.
See your destination's article for more specific information on flights. Bear in mind that many African countries only offer a few international flights each day, or in some cases, each week. While it isn't hard to reach South Africa or Egypt, getting to Malawi or Togo can be quite a challenge.

From Europe

There are more flights to Africa from Europe than from any other continent. Popular holiday destinations such as Egypt, Morocco, Cape Verde, & South Africa are well-served from Europe's major cities, even with discount and charter airlines. Royal Air Maroc, Afriqyah Airlines, Jet4you & EgyptAir have a good selection of European destinations and Ethiopian, Kenyan, South African, & Arik Air serve a couple of major cities (London, Paris, etc.). The cheapest flights to African cities are often through the African country's former colonial power. Cities with large immigrant populations such as London, Marseilles, & Paris have a good number of flights to Africa.
Chief among European airlines flying to Africa are:
  • Air France is the best (although not cheapest) carrier serving French-speaking Africa, with service to most major cities of West, Central, & North Africa along with service to Johannesburg, Cairo, Tripoli, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, & Djibouti.
  • British Airways is the best (although not particularly cheap) way to fly to former British colonies, they have service to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, & Egypt along with Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritius, & Angola.
  • Brussels Airlines flies from Brussels to most francophone countries in West and Central Africa along with Entebbe (Uganda), Nairobi, & Luanda.
  • Lufthansa flies to major cities in North Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ethiopia, & Eritrea.
  • TAP Portugal flies to former Portuguese colonies (Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome & Principe, Mozambique, Angola) and South Africa, Algeria, Morocco, & Senegal.
Many European discount airlines serve major tourist destination in Africa (especially Morocco, Cape Verde, Tunisia, Egypt, & the Gambia), including Jetairfly, EasyJet, & Corsairfly.

From the Americas

The only countries with direct flights to Africa are the United States, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, & Argentina.
From the United States, these are routes operated as of December 2009:
  • New York-JFK: Delta Air Lines to Johannesburg, Cairo, Abuja (via Dakar), Accra; EgyptAir to Cairo; Royal Air Moroc to Casablanca; & Arik Air to Lagos.
  • Washington-Dulles: South African Airlines to Johannesburg (via Dakar); Ethiopian Airlines to Addis Ababa (via Rome)
  • Atlanta: Delta Air Lines to Johannesburg, Accra (begins 2 June 2010), & Lagos
  • Houston: charter flights for oil workers to Nigeria and Angola
Delta Air Lines had planned to begin service to several new African destinations in June 2009, but canceled several of them just weeks before they were to begin (including Sal, Malabo, Luanda, Nairobi, & Cape Town). The most anticipated new route, the thrice-weekly Atlanta-Nairobi route, was canceled the day before it was to commence by the FAA citing security shortcomings at the Nairobi airport, leaving Kenyans so outraged that the US ambassador was even summoned to answer questions. Look for new Delta routes in the coming years (especially Atlanta-Nairobi). Arik Air, which began New York-Lagos flights in November 2009, plans to expand service to Miami, Atlanta, & Houston in the near future, but no dates have been announced for these services.
Outside the peak travel times to Europe (e.g. summer) you might be able to get a good deal to London or Paris and book a fare from there to Africa separately on a European travel website. But don't book the United States to Europe portion until you get confirmed on the Europe to Africa portion first. Through fares to Africa from the United States can be quite expensive, so avoiding peak travel times to Europe can sometimes save a lot. However, since new non-stop flights to Africa have recently been added, and Europe is much more expensive than it used to be, try getting a direct quote first, then see if you can do better. Another growing option is flying through the Middle East on Emirates or Qatar, which both serve a reasonable selection of African & American cities.
TAAG Angolan Airlines offers flights from Luanda to the Brazilian cities Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador de Bahia (seasonal), & Recife (seasonal) as well as a weekly flight to Havana via Sal.
South African Airways offers flights from Johannesburg to Sao Paulo & Buenos Aires. There are seasonal flights from Caracas to Tenerife-North in the Canary Islands. Malaysian Airlines flies Buenos Aires to Johannesburg. Turkish Airlines and Emirates both have flights from Sao Paulo to the Middle East which make stops in West Africa (Dakar or Lagos).

From Asia & the Middle East

If you're flying to a small African country, Africa's major airlines all have extensive coverage in Africa and fly to a handful of Asian destinations:
  • Ethiopian Airlines: Bahrain, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Tel Aviv, Beirut, Kuwait, Jeddah, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Aden, Sana'a
  • Kenyan Airways: Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Beijing, Mumbai, Dubai
  • South African Airways: Mumbai, Hong Kong
Nearly all North African countries along with Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, & Somaliland have extensive connections with the Middle East. And similarly, countries with large Muslim populations are likely to have a connection to Jedda/Mecca either year-round or seasonal (e.g. during hajj). North African destinations aside, connections with the Middle East include:
  • Emirates flies from Dubai to: Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Dar Es Salaam, Durban, Entebbe, Johannsburg, Khartoum, Lagos, Luanda, Mauritius, Nairobi, & Mahe.
  • Qatar Airways flies from Doha to: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Mahe, & Lagos.
  • Turkish Airlines flies from Istanbul to: Dakar, Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Cape Town, & Johannesburg.
Other flights from East and South Asia include the following: Cathay Pacific flights to Hong Kong. Furthermore, due to increased Chinese investment many cities have service from Beijing, cities with direct flights to Beijing-Capital include Luanda, Algiers, Lagos, Khartoum, Addis Ababa, & Harare. Malaysian Airlines serves Johannesburg from Kuala Lumpor. Korean Air serves Cairo from Seoul. Air Austral flies to Bangkok seasonally from Reunion. Air Seychelles flies to Singapore and Male from Mahe. Air Madagascar flies from Antananarivo to Bangkok & Guangzhou.Air Mauritius flies from Mauritius to Bangalore, Chennai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, & Singapore.
The best option to fly from East or South Asia is likely on Emirates or Qatar, both of which have a decent selection of destinations in Asia & Africa, or via Europe on airlines such as British Airways, Air France, or Lufthansa which all offer an extensive number of destinations across Africa.

From Australia

There are only a handful of connections to Australia, primarily to Johannesburg. Flights from Johannesburg include: Perth (South African Airways), Melbourne (V Australia, begins March 2010), & Sydney (Qantas).
There are also flights to the Indian Ocean islands of Reunion & Mauritius, including: Air Austral (Saint Denis-Sydney), Air Mauritius (Mauritius-Perth, Mauritius-Melbourne, and Mauritius-Sydney [beginning 5 July 2010]).

By road/ferry

The only land connection to another continent is the 163km-wide Isthmus of Suez, which is found in Egypt (although the Sinai peninsula is sometimes considered a part of Africa for geopolitical reasons). Thus the only way to drive into Africa is to drive through Egypt. Most people driving from the Middle East to Africa travel through Jordan and take a short car ferry to Egypt to avoid transiting Israel, since Egypt's two African neighbors (Sudan & Libya) deny entry for persons with Israeli stamps or Egyptian/Jordanian stamps indicating travel to Israel.
Despite there being just one, narrow land crossing into the continent, there are other ways to bring vehicles into Africa by short car ferries. The short crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco is crossed by several ferries daily and relatively inexpensive. Other car ferries include:
  • Italy-Tunisia ferries are operated by a couple of different companies: [1]. However, you must pass through Algeria to Mauritania/Niger -or- Libya to Egypt, both very expensive and difficult to enter with a car.
  • Yemen-Djibouti ferries may be running weekly or more frequently (information about this crossing is little and conflicting) to avoid Egypt (because of the extremely high import taxes) or Sudan (as the Ethiopian-Sudan border is prone to banditry). It is also possible to cross by dhow in motorcycles or small/light vehicles.
  • Port Said, Sudan to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia car ferries are run daily and are a great way to avoid the very high tariffs to enter Egypt, although visas for SA are difficult to obtain.
Several overland trucks make journeys which cross between Europe or the Middle East and Africa, these companies are listed below under "Get around/Overland trucks".

By ship

Many Mediterranean cruises stop in North African countries such Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, the Canary Islands, & Cape Verde. Some ocean liners will stop in the Canary or Cape Verde Islands on trans-Atlantic crossings or in South Africa, Madagascar, Zanzibar, the Seychelles, or Mauritius on round-the-world trips.
Elsewhere is Africa, cruises are limited to luxury or 'boutique' cruise lines often aboard small vessels and quite expensive or "freighter cruises" which do not offer much to "passengers" but may spend a few days in a handful of ports. Grimaldi Freighter Cruises, [2], has weekly departures to West Africa making the round-trip from Amsterdam in 38 days.
The Seychelles, Reunion, & Mauritius are popular destinations for yachts and private vessels, but piracy around the Horn of Africa has kept a lot of the European vessels away.
For a truly unique experience, take the RMS St Helena [3] from the UK to Cape Town via St Helena-one of the world's most remote islands!

Get around

By plane

There are a number of reliable airlines that ply the African Continent. Chief among them are certainly:
  • South African Airways (SAA) (Johannesburg, South Africa), [4], has daily flights to most major Southern, Eastern, & Central African political and economic hubs. If you're flying from the Northern Hemisphere to somewhere north of South Africa, don't forget to check how much backtracking you'll have to do, and if it's worth it. The flight from Washington does stop in Senegal, but if you get off there, SAA has no connections to anywhere else.
  • Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), [5] carries more passengers than any other African airline and offers a direct service from many European cities & Washington to its hub Addis Ababa. From there it has a very good coverage to many cities in Africa. The flight from/to Washington refuels in Rome. Its mileage can be used on Lufthansa services & Lufthansa miles can also be used on Ethiopian.
  • Kenya Airways (Nairobi, Kenya), [6], partly owned by Royal Dutch KLM, offers good service and frequent flights to all East African countries and many other major African destinations.
There are also many airlines which are noteworthy in particular regions, such as TAAG Angola Airlines (South/Central Africa), Arik Air(Nigeria), Afriqiyah Airways (Central/West Africa, but their hub is in Tripoli), Royal Air Maroc (West/Central/North Africa, but hub is in Morocco), Air Mali (West Africa), Air Burkina (West Africa), Air Austral (Indian Ocean), Air Mauritius (Indian Ocean), Tunis Air (North Africa), and more. Many other African carriers offer flights to more remote locations.
Travel Warning
WARNING: Choose wisely when flying in Africa. Although SAA, Ethiopian Airlines, & Kenya Airways all meet EU & FAA safety standards, the same isn't true for all airlines, especially smaller domestic carriers in countries where political stability may be lacking, tenuous or only recently reintroduced. Check with the EU Commision on Air Safety [7] for a list of airlines that do not meet their safety standards.
Bloukrans Bridge along South Africa's Garden Route.
Bloukrans Bridge along South Africa's Garden Route.
If you want to drive your own car around Africa see also Carnet de Passage
For sightseeing trips, it may be less expensive to hire a taxi than to rent a car, but be sure to negotiate taxi fares beforehand. Travel on rural roads can be slow and difficult in the dry season and disrupted by floods in the rainy season. If you plan on traveling in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, avoid the rainy months of May through October above the equator and the rainy months of November through April below the equator. Some roads may be flooded or washed out during these months.
Travel by car outside large towns can be dangerous. Major roads are generally well maintained but there are few divided highways in Africa. In addition, rural auto accidents are fairly common because of high speed limits and the presence of wildlife in these areas. Night driving, especially in rural areas, is not recommended, and visitors are encouraged to hire reputable tour operators for safaris or other game viewing expeditions.
The definitive guidebook for overland travel in Africa is Bradt's Africa Overland, 5th: 4x4, Motorbike, Bicycle, Truck. Africa Overland covers every corner of the continent with practical info on formalities, general road conditions, and plenty of helpful tips. If you are planning a trip in North Africa or Saharan Africa, the guidebook Sahara Overland, 2nd: A Route and Planning Guide by Trailblazer Publications. As for maps, Michelin has published three large regional road maps covering the continent: North & West Africa, Northeast Africa & Arabia, South & Central Africa w/Madagascar. [8] has a far more extensive offering of maps, including numerous single-country maps for African countries and are likely better if your African road trip only covers a couple countries.

By bus

Bus service is extensive in Africa and in almost all countries it is the main means of transportation for locals and tourists alike. Styles of busses and minibusses vary across the continent, refer to country pages for more info.

By thumb

Many locals hitchhike in countries throughout Africa, often paying a small fee to the driver. It is best to check the political and social climate of each region before traveling.
In the whole of Africa it is possible to flag down cars and pay them a required fee and get a lift in return. That is just the way public transport works in this part of the world - he who has a means of transportation, that is a car or minibus, is automatically expected to give lifts to others and of course charge them a small amount of money for the favor. The idea of it has nothing to do with the Western idea of hitchhiking.

Overland trucks

Some people with limited amounts of time or who would prefer not to make their own arrangements opt for the "overlander" experience. Many operators run tours in large trucks that are comfortable and equipped with facilities for around 8-30 persons. They're generally run on a pretty tight schedule and cover a lot of distance, such as "Nairobi to Johannesburg in six weeks". These tours are run throughout the whole continent but East and Southern Africa are by far the most popular destinations. Accommodation is mostly camping with tents provided. Most meals are arranged and many are prepared by those on the trip (cooking duties rotated throughout the trip), and free time (like everything else) is scheduled. However, there is plenty of time to participate in the adventure activities that certain areas of Africa are famous for such as Victoria Falls, Swakopmund, Zanzibar, and Serengeti National Park. Some people really enjoy these tours, especially when they do not have enough time to organize all travel arrangements themselves. Others loathe the very thought of traveling in a group and think that they keep you way out of touch with the "real" Africa. Whatever the case, they're a very different way to travel through Africa. The people that go on these tours tend to be young at heart and slightly adventurous; these tours are not luxury trips.
There are a few dozen companies that run overland tours, here are a handful of the more popular and/or highly rated ones:
  • Dragoman, [9], offers overland journeys down the Atlantic coast from Morocco to Cameroon and on the eastern side of Africa from Egypt down to South Africa.
  • Oasis Overland, [10], offers tours throughout the continent.
  • African Trails, [11], offers tours in Southern and East Africa, Sudan, & Egypt.
  • Oz Bus Africa, [www.oz-busafrica.com/], offers trips from Nairobi-Cape Town, which can be broken into segments, as well as to Uganda & Rwanda round-trip from Nairobi and Mount Kilimanjaro.

By train

There are only a few passenger railroads in Africa, and the majority are short and/or within one country. A few that cross borders are services between (incomplete): Bamako-Dakar, Ouagadougou-Abidjan, Rwanda-Tanzania (opening sometime between 2010-2012), Zimbabwe-South Africa.

By boat

There are minor boat services in many countries, but a few notable boat connections are along the:L
  • Niger River: ferries during the wet season, small and quaint pirogues make for a scenic and memorable African experience.
  • Congo River: large, old and often overcrowded ferries connect cities along the river in the Congo, DRC, & Central African Republic. Small boats from villages come out and moor themselves to these ferries to sell food and merchandise and the boat becomes a bustling marketplace.
A giraffe in Niger.
A giraffe in Niger.
Many visitors are attracted by the African flora and fauna and several countries benefit from Safari tourism to African National Parks.

Historical Civilizations

While the continent's diverse and unique wildlife is often all that is mentioned in regards to African travel, as home to the oldest civilizations on the planet, Africa has equally impressive cultures and history. The most famous civilization on the continent, and arguably in the world, is that of ancient Egypt. From the southern city of Abu Simbel to Luxor and all the way north to Alexandria and Cairo, including the Pyramids of Giza, the only surviving of the original Seven Wonders of the World and the most iconic symbols of this ancient kingdom. Sites from the Nubian-Kushite Kingdom that broke away from Egypt can be found in Sudan, such as Gebel Barkal and many other pyramids in Meroe.
Ethiopia offers many ruins from the ancient Axumite Kingdom where the Queen of Sheba ruled. The obelisks and Dungur ruins in Axum were built prior to the kingdom's conversion to Christianity, while many other great monuments, such as the Ezana Stone and the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, where the Arc of the Covenant is said to be stored, were built after the conversion as religious sites. Other famous Christian structures built later by the kingdom's successor, the Abyssinian Empire, especially during the 12th and 13th centuries, can also be found in Lalibela.
In West Africa, structures from the ancient Mali Empire can be found in Timbuktu and Djenne. Although there are Islamic influences, the architectural style of the Malian Kingdom's mosques are still quite unique and recognizably African. The cliff dwellings in Mali's Dogon Country, built by the Dogon people, are also impressive ancient structures in Mali. Often overshadowed by Africa's other monuments, Sungbo's Eredo in Ijebu Ode, Nigeria, built by the Yoruba people, is the largest pre-colonial structure remaining on the continent. Today it is towers over the city, covered in vegetation.
Ruins from the ancient Swahili culture can be found in the coastal areas of East Africa, particularly in Kenya and Tanzania. The Swahili structures combines elements of African architecture with Islamic architecture, which was quite prominent around the 14th century. Some of the most famous Swahili structures include the Gedi Ruins and Pillar Tombs around Malindi and Kilwa Kisiwani. Zanzibar's Stone Town features Swahili structures spanning hundreds of years from its early days to th 18th century.
In Southern Africa, the ruins of Great Zimbabwe have fascinated visitors ever since Europeans discovered them. No one had believed that the inhabitants of black Africa were capable of creating any great monuments on their own until the ruins of this ancient culture were discovered.
Roman structures are scattered throughout North Africa, with the ancient city of Carthage being the most well-known abroad. Many cities, such as Leptis Magna, Timgad, and Dougga feature Roman ruins as impressive as those in Europe itself. Many other European structures can be found throughout the continent, dating back to the earliest days of imperialism.

Do

Outdoor Activities

Hiking

Climbing

Diving

Stay safe

Africa has a bad reputation for genocidal dictators and while most of Africa is safe for travel and nearly all tourist attractions on the continent are far from conflict, there are a few regions which should be considered no-go areas for even the most seasoned of travellers. While there are corrupt police in a large number, most just want a little change or a drink; references to "corrupt police" below, however, are the type that will steal, threaten imprisonment (or actually put you in jail), or even cause physical harm. As of December 2009 (and these won't change much in the foreseeable future), they are:
  • Somalia — by far the most dangerous region on the continent: without a central government since 1993 there are warring warlords in the south and central regions, many of whom follow strict Islamist principals (similar if not worse than the Taliban); kidnapping is a great threat to fund these warlords' operations or for the purpose of al Qaeda-style beheadings; piracy off the coast, their headquarters in many coastal cities; the exception is the fairly safe, de facto-independent Somaliland.
  • Central African Republic — is simmering with rebels (especially in the north and east) and plagued with some of the most corrupt police and militia on the continent; exceptions are Bangui proper and Dzangha Sangha National Park
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo — the eastern region has been home to the bloodiest war since World War 2 in the past decade and is absolutely unfit for travel, primarily regions around (but not including) Goma; the northeast near Sudan/CAR/Uganda is filled with rebels who fled neighboring countries over the past decade, most notoriously the LRA; the interior is nearly impassable except by boat (it is nearly identical to the Amazon rainforest); police are extremely corrupt and information from the central government is slow to be disseminated (you will have ten different officials claim ten different ways that your visa is not correct/valid); exceptions are the west (although Kinshasa has very high crime rates) and a few spots on the border, such as Goma, Bukavu, Virunga National Park (although it has been closed at times due to rebel activity), and places on the Ugandan border popular for gorilla watching.
  • Chad — while it is possible to visit much of the country: rebels from the CAR operate in the southeast; militants from Sudan have crossed the border multiple times and in 2008 attacked crossed the country to attack the capital; there is a high risk of banditry on the Niger and Libyan borders; there in many regions away from the capital there are extremely corrupt police; exceptions are N'Djamena and areas within a couple hundred kilometers to the east and southeast of the capital.
  • Sudan — western and southwestern Sudan are home to rebels (the janjiweed in Darfur, LRA near the DRC, and more); tensions with the south remain high even with the official end to the civil war; smugglers armed and dangerous near the Libyan border; and a low-moderate level banditry near the Egyptian & Ethiopian borders; most tourist destinations near Khartoum and Port Said are safe and bandits almost always target lone vehicles and not busses and convoys of vehicles (which most tourists find themselves in) on the Egyptian and Ethiopian borders.
  • Central Sahara — a growing presence (or at least impact) of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in much of Saharan Algeria (where military escorts are required for tourists), northern Mali (north of Timbuktu, Kidal region, and near the Nigerien border), and far eastern Mauritania has resulted in several kidnappings (including one Briton beheaded, kidnapped near the Mali-Niger border) and a couple of suicide bombings in Nouakchott, Mauritania; a Tuareg uprising has left much of the area around Agadez (sadly a beautiful and popular tourist destination) off-limits and unsafe ; there is also low-moderate banditry in central Niger (between Tahouna & Agadez), on the Mali-Niger border, the Niger-Chad border, and eastern Mali; see also problems mentioned for Chad & Sudan above.
  • Cote d'Ivoire — rebel activity in the north for many years, although they don't target Westerners, you may find yourself dealing with rebel roadblock extorting you for fines and don't bring up politics at all; Abidjan has one of Africa's highest crime rates
  • Niger Delta — probably more notorious than the threat currently posed (although it was very dangerous in the past), the biggest threat is kidnapping (but if you aren't connected to the oil industry, you'll likely be let off, they are only after the money and making a dogged effort to force out oil exploration in the region).
  • Liberia & Sierra Leone — sporadic rebel activity in these neighbors along with high crime rates mean travelers should be very cautious
A couple areas that should not be visited as of writing (Dec 2009) largely for political and stability reasons (hopefully temporary) are:
  • Eritrea — a totalitarian government has gradually tighened control over this small country and become increasingly anti-Western after being scorned for refusing food aid during a drought (letting thousands starve to death) and helping Iran funnel weapons to Somali Islamists. The US & EU have imposed
  • Guinea — following the death of its last president, Conte, in early 2009, a military junta has taken command and consolidated control over the country which has been accused of violating human rights, including a murder of over 140 people when the military opened fire at a demonstration. The EU & US have imposed severe sanctions and have warned their citizens to leave and avoid travel here due to the current political situation.

Crime

Africa can certainly be a dangerous continent. Check the "stay safe" areas of the individual countries you are going to.

Wildlife

In most parts of Africa dangerous wildlife should be of only very minor, if any, concern at all. In some parts of East Africa and South Africa large abundances of potentially dangerous animals can be found, but the majority of the time any traveler would most likely be perfectly safe in a vehicle with their tour guide. Nonetheless, attacks and deaths do occur (rarely with foreigners, but commonly with locals) and it is best to be well-informed. Nile crocodiles can be extremely dangerous and swimming is not an option in most low-lying portions of East Africa. Lions and leopards can be dangerous, but you are unlikely to encounter them on foot unless you are being extremely foolish. Large herbivores such as Elephants and Rhinos can also be very dangerous if aggravated, even while in a vehicle. Venomous snakes exist and are plentiful, but are very shy and you are unlikely to even see one let alone be bitten by one. Most insects in the country are no more dangerous than what you would find in any other country, and the spiders are mostly harmless to humans. Despite all of this, easily the most dangerous non-human animal in the entire African continent is the mosquito.

Stay healthy

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of HIV and AIDS infection on Earth. A 2005 UN Report says over 25 million infected, over 7% of adults, for the continent as a whole. Be extremely cautious about any sexual activity in Africa. Especially note that the rates of HIV infection among sex workers is phenomenally high.
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Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

Flag of South Africa
Area in Africa where Swahili is spoken
.Africa is a continent consisting of many countries, nations and peoples.^ "Africa has an indispensable contribution to make in ensuring that 2005 becomes a turning point for the continent, the United Nations and the world."
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AFRICA, the name of a continent representing the largest of the three great southward projections from the main mass of the earth's surface. It includes within its remarkably regular outline an area, according to the most recent computations, of 11,262,000 sq. m., excluding the islands.' Separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea, it is joined to Asia at its N.E. extremity by the Isthmus of Suez, 80 m. wide. From the most northerly point, Ras ben Sakka, a little west of Cape Blanc, in 37°21' N., to the most southerly point, Cape Agulhas, 34° 51' 15" S., is a distance approximately of 5000 m.; from Cape Verde, 17° 33' 22" W., the westernmost point, to Ras Hafun, 51° 27' 52" E., the most easterly projection, is a distance (also approximately) of 4600 m. The length of coast-line is 16,100 m. and the absence of deep indentations of the shore is shown by the fact that Europe, which covers only 3,760,000 sq. m., has a coast-line of 19,800 m.
I. Physical Geography The main structural lines of the continent show both the east-to-west direction characteristic, at least in the eastern hemisphere, of the more northern parts of the world, and the north-to-south direction seen in the southern peninsulas. Africa is thus composed of two segments at right angles, the northern running from east to west, the southern from north to south, the subordinate lines corresponding in the main to these two directions.
Table of contents

Main Geographical Features

The mean elevation of the continent approximates closely to 2000 ft., which is roughly the elevation of both North and South America, but is considerably less than that of Asia (3117 ft.). In contrast with the other continents it is marked by the comparatively small area both of very high and of very low ground, lands under 600 ft. occupying an unusually small part of the surface; while not only are the highest elevations inferior to those of Asia and South America, but the area of land over 10,000 ft. is also quite insignificant, being represented almost entirely by individual peaks and mountain ranges. Moderately elevated tablelands are thus the characteristic feature of the continent, though the surface of these is broken by higher peaks and ridges. (So prevalent are these isolated peaks and ridges that a special term [Inselberglandschaft] has been adopted in Germany to describe this kind of country, which is thought to be in great part the result of wind action.) As a general rule, the higher tablelands lie to the east and south, while a progressive diminution in altitude towards the west and north is observable. Apart from the lowlands and the Atlas range, the continent may be divided into two regions of higher and lower plateaus, the dividing line (somewhat concave to the north-west) running from the middle of the Red Sea to about 6° S. on the west coast. We thus obtain the following four main divisions of the continent: - (1) The coast plains - often fringed seawards by mangrove swamps - never stretching far from the coast, except on the lower courses of streams. Recent alluvial flats are found chiefly in the delta of the more important rivers. Elsewhere the coast lowlands merely form the lowest steps of the system of terraces which constitutes the ascent to the inner plateaus. (2) The Atlas range, which, orographically, is distinct from the rest of the continent, being unconnected with any other area of high ground, and separated from the rest of the continent on the south by a depressed and desert area (the Sahara), in places below sea-level. (3) The high southern and eastern plateaus, rarely falling below 2000 ft., and having a mean elevation of about 3500 ft. (4) The north and west African plains, bordered and traversed by bands of higher ground, but generally below 2000 ft. This division includes the great desert of the Sahara.
The third and fourth divisions may be again subdivided. Thus the high plateaus include: - (a) The South African plateau as far as about 12° S., bounded east, west and south by bands of high ground which fall steeply to the coasts. On this account South Africa has a general resemblance to an inverted saucer. Due south the plateau rim is formed by three parallel steps with level ground between them. The largest of these level areas, the Great Karroo, is a dry, barren region, and a large tract of the plateau proper is of a still more arid character and is known as the Kalahari Desert. The South African plateau is connected towards the north-east with (b) the East African plateau, with probably a slightly greater average elevation, and marked by some distinct features. It is formed by a widening out of the eastern axis of high ground, which becomes subdivided into a number of zones running north and south and consisting in turn of ranges, tablelands and depressions. The most striking feature is the existence of two great lines of depression, due largely to the subsidence of whole segments of the earth's crust, the lowest parts of which are occupied by vast lakes. Towards the south the two lines converge and give place to one great valley (occupied by Lake Nyasa), the southern part of which is less distinctly due to rifting and subsidence than the rest of the system. Farther north the western depression, sometimes known as the Central African trough or Albertine rift-valley, is occupied for more than half its length by water, forming the four lakes of Tanganyika, Kivu, Albert Edward and Albert, the first-named over 400 m. long and the longest freshwater lake in the world. Associated with these great valleys are a number of volcanic peaks, the greatest of which occur on a meridional line east of the eastern trough. The eastern depression, known as the East African trough or rift-valley, contains much smaller lakes, many of them brackish and without outlet, the only one comparable to those of the western trough being Lake Rudolf or Basso Norok. At no great distance east of this rift-valley are Kilimanjaro - with its two peaks Kibo and Mawenzi, the former 19,321 ft., and the culminating point of the whole continent - and Kenya (17,007 ft.). Hardly less important is the Ruwenzori range (over 16,600 ft.), which lies east of the western trough. Other volcanic peaks rise from the floor of the valleys, some of the Kirunga (Mfumbiro) group, north of Lake Kivu, being still partially active. (c) The third division of the higher region of Africa is formed by the Abyssinian highlands, a rugged mass of mountains forming the largest continuous area of its altitude in the whole continent, little of its surface falling below 5000 ft., while the summits reach heights of 15,000 to 16,000 ft. This block of country lies just west of the line of the great East African trough, the northern continuation of which passes along its eastern escarpment as it runs up to join the Red Sea. There is, however, in the centre a circular basin occupied by Lake Tsana.
Both in the east and west of the continent the bordering highlands are continued as strips of plateau parallel to the coast, the Abyssinian mountains being continued northwards along the Red Sea coast by a series of ridges reaching in places a height of 7000 ft. In the west the zone of high land is broader but somewhat lower. The most mountainous districts lie inland from the head of the Gulf of Guinea (Adamawa, &c.), where heights of 6000 to 8000 ft. are reached. Exactly at the head of the gulf the great peak of the Cameroon, on a line of volcanic action continued by the islands to the south-west, has a height of 13,370 ft., while Clarence Peak, in Fernando Po, the first of the line of islands, rises to over 9000. Towards the extreme west the Futa Jallon highlands form an important diverging point of rivers, but beyond this, as far as the Atlas chain, the elevated rim of the continent is almost wanting.
The area between the east and west coast highlands, which north of 17° N. is mainly desert, is divided into separate basins by other bands of high ground, one of which runs nearly centrally through North Africa in a line corresponding roughly with the curved axis of the continent as a whole. The best marked of the basins so formed (the Congo basin) occupies a circular area bisected by the equator, once probably the site of an inland sea. The arid region, the Sahara - the largest desert in the world, covering 3,500,000 sq. m. - extends from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. Though generally of slight elevation it contains mountain ranges with peaks rising to 8000 ft. Bordered N.W. by the Atlas range, to the N.E. a rocky plateau separates it from the Mediterranean; this plateau gives place at the extreme east to the delta of the Nile. That river (see below) pierces the desert without modifying its character. The Atlas range, the north-westerly part of the continent, between its seaward and landward heights encloses elevated steppes in places 100 m. broad. From the inner slopes of the plateau numerous wadis take a direction towards the Sahara. The greater part of that now desert region is, indeed, furrowed by old water-channels.
Mountains.
Ft.
Lakes.
Ft.
Rungwe (Nyasa) .
10,400
Chad .
8501
Drakensberg. .
11,7001
Leopold II
I 100
Lereko or Sattima
13,2142
Rudolf .
1250
(Aberdare Range)
Cameroon .
13,370
Nyasa .
Albert Nyanza
16 45 2
20281
Elgon .
14,1522
Tanganyika .
26242
Karissimbi (Mfum-
biro) .
?4,6832
Ngami .
Mweru
2950
3000
Meru .
14,9552
Albert Edward
30042
Tagharat (Atlas) .
15,0001
Bangweulu. .
3700
Simen Mountains,
Abyssinia
15,1601
Victoria Nyanza
Abai
37 202
4200
Ruwenzori
16,6192
Kivu
48292
Kenya .
17,0072
Tsana .
5690
Kilimanjaro
19,3212
Naivasha
61 35 2
The following table gives the approximate altitudes of the chief mountains and lakes of the continent: - The Hydrographic Systems. - From the outer margin of the African plateaus a large number of streams run to the sea with comparatively short courses, while the larger rivers flow for long 1 Estimated.
2 See the calculations of Capt. T. T. Behrens, Geog. Journal, vol. xxix. (1907).
distances on the interior highlands before breaking through the outer ranges. The main drainage of the continent is to the north and west, or towards the basin of the Atlantic Ocean. The high lake plateau of East Africa contains the head-waters of the Nile and Congo: the former the longest, the latter the largest river of the continent. The upper Nile receives its chief supplies from the mountainous region adjoining the Central African trough in the neighbourhood of the equator. Thence streams pour east to the Victoria Nyanza, the largest African lake (covering over 26,000 sq. m.), and west and north to the Albert Edward and Albert Nyanzas, to the latter of which the effluents of the other two lakes add their waters. Issuing from it the Nile flows north, and between 7° and 10 N. traverses a vast marshy level during which its course is liable to blocking by floating vegetation. After receiving the Bahr-el-Ghazal from the west and the Sobat, Blue Nile and Atbara from the Abyssinian highlands (the chief gathering ground of the flood-water), it crosses the great desert and enters the Mediterranean by a vast delta. The most remote head-stream of the Congo is the Chambezi, which flows south-west into the marshy Lake Bangweulu. From this lake issues the Congo, known in its upper course by various names. Flowing first south, it afterwards turns north through Lake Mweru and descends to the forest-clad basin of west equatorial Africa. Traversing this in a majestic northward curve and receiving vast supplies of water from many great tributaries, it finally turns south-west and cuts a way to the Atlantic Ocean through the western highlands. North of the Congo basin and separated from it by a broad undulation of the surface is the basin of Lake Chad - a flat-shored, shallow lake filled principally by the Shari coming from the south-east. West of this is the basin of the Niger, the third river of Africa, which, though flowing to the Atlantic, has its principal source in the far west, and reverses the direction of flow exhibited by the Nile and Congo. An important branch, however - the Benue - comes from the south-east. These four river-basins occupy the greater part of the lower plateaus of North and West Africa, the remainder consisting of arid regions watered only by intermittent streams which do not reach the sea. Of the remaining rivers of the Atlantic basin the Orange, in the extreme south, brings the drainage from the Drakensberg on the opposite side of the continent, while the Kunene, Kwanza, Ogowe and Sanaga drain the west coast highlands of the southern limb; the Volta, Komoe, Bandama, Gambia and Senegal the highlands of the western limb. North of the Senegal for over 1000 m. of coast the arid region reaches to the Atlantic. Farther north are the streams, with comparatively short courses, which reach the Atlantic and Mediterranean from the Atlas mountains.
Of the rivers flowing to the Indian Ocean the only one draining any large part of the interior plateaus is the Zambezi, whose western branches rise in the west coast highlands. The main stream has its rise in 11° 21' 3" S. 24° 22' E. at an elevation of 5000 ft. It flows west and south for a considerable distance before turning to the east. All the largest tributaries, including the Shire, the outflow of Lake Nyasa, flow down the southern slopes of the band of high ground which stretches across the continent in to 12° S. In the south-west the Zambezi system interlaces with that of the Taukhe (or Tioghe), from which it at times receives surplus water. The rest of the water of the Taukhe, known in its middle course as the Okavango, is lost in a system of swamps and saltpans which formerly centred in Lake Ngami, now dried up. Farther south the Limpopo drains a portion of the interior plateau but breaks through the bounding highlands on the side of the continent nearest its source. The Rovuma, Rufiji, Tana, Juba and Webi Shebeli principally drain the outer slopes of the East African highlands, the last named losing itself in the sands in close proximity to the sea. Another large stream, the Hawash, rising in the Abyssinian mountains, is lost in a saline depression near the Gulf of Aden. Lastly, between the basins of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans there is an area of inland drainage along the centre of the East African plateau, directed chiefly into the lakes in the great rift-valley. The largest river is the Omo., which, fed by the rains of the Abyssinian highlands, carries down a large body of water into Lake Rudolf. The rivers of Africa are generally obstructed either by bars at their mouths or by cataracts at no great distance up-stream. But when these obstacles have been overcome the rivers and lakes afford a network of navigable waters of vast extent.
The calculation of the areas of African drainage systems, made by Dr A. Bludau (Petermann Mitteilungen, 43, 1897, pp. 184-186) gives the following general results: Basin of the Atlantic .
� � Mediterranean. 4,070,000 sq. m.
Congo (length over 3000 m.) .
. 1,425,000 sq. m.
Nile (� fully 4000 m.) .
. 1,082,000 2 �
Niger (,, about 2600 m.) .
. 808,0002
Zambezi (� � 2000 m.) ,
513,500
Lake Chad .
ran
Orange (length about 1300 m.) .
g (g 3)
370,5002
. �
37 ,5 �
(actual drainage area) .
172,500 �
. I,680,000 � � � Indian Ocean. 2,086,000 � Inland drainage area. .. � 3,452,000 The areas of individual river-basins are: The area of the Congo basin is greater than that of any other river except the Amazon, while the African inland drainage area is greater than that of any continent but Asia, in which the corresponding area is 4,900,000 sq. m.
The principal African lakes have been mentioned in the description of the East African plateau, but some of the phenomena connected with them may be spoken of more particularly here. As a rule the lakes which occupy portions of the great rift-valleys have steep sides and are very deep. This is the case with the two largest of the type, Tanganyika and Nyasa, the latter of which has depths of 430 fathoms. Others, however, are shallow, and hardly reach the steep sides of the valleys in the dry season. Such are Lake Rukwa, in a subsidiary depression north of Nyasa, and Eiassi and Manyara in the system of the eastern rift-valley. Lakes of the broad type are of moderate depth, the deepest sounding in [[Victoria (disambiguation)|Victoria ]] being under 50 fathoms. Apart from the seasonal variations of level, most of the lakes show periodic fluctuations, while a progressive desiccation of the whole region is said to be traceable, tending to the ultimate disappearance of the lakes. Such a drying up has been in progress during long geologic ages, but doubt exists as to its practical importance at the present time. The periodic fluctuations in the level of Lake Tanganyika are such that its outflow is intermittent. Besides the East African lakes the principal are: - Lake Chad, in the northern area of inland drainage; Bangweulu and Mweru, traversed by the head-stream of the Congo; and Leopold II. and Ntomba (Mantumba), within the great bend of that river. All, except possibly Mweru, are more or less shallow, and Chad appears to by drying up. The altitudes of the African lakes have already been stated.
Divergent opinions have been held as to the mode of origin of the East African lakes, especially Tanganyika, which some geologists have considered to represent an old arm of the sea, dating from a time when the whole central Congo basin was under water; others holding that the lake water has accumulated in a depression caused by subsidence. The former view is based on the existence in the lake of organisms of a decidedly marine type. They include a jelly-fish, molluscs, prawns, crabs, &c., and were at first considered to form an isolated group found in no other of the African lakes; but this supposition has been proved to be erroneous.

Islands

With one exception - Madagascar - the African islands are small. Madagascar, with an area of 229,820 sq. m., is, after New Guinea and Borneo, the largest island of the world. It lies off the S.E. coast of the continent, from which it is separated by the deep Mozambique channel, 250 m. wide at its narrowest point. Madagascar in its general structure, as in flora and fauna, forms a connecting link between Africa and southern Asia. East of Madagascar are the small islands of Mauritius and Reunion. Sokotra lies E.N.E. of Cape Guardafui. Off the 1 The estimate of Capt. H. G. Lyons in 1905 was 1,107,227 sq. m.
2 Including waterless tracts naturally belonging to the river-basin.
north-west coast are the Canary and Cape Verde archipelagoes, which, like some small islands in the Gulf of Guinea, are of volcanic origin.

Climate and Health

Lying almost entirely within the tropics, and equally to north and south of the equator, Africa does not show excessive variations of temperature. Great heat is experienced in the lower plains and desert regions of North Africa, removed by the great width of the continent from the influence of the ocean, and here, too, the contrast between day and night, and between summer and winter, is greatest. (The rarity of the air and the great radiation during the night cause the temperature in the Sahara to fall occasionally to freezing point.) Farther south, the heat is to some extent modified by the moisture brought from the ocean, and by the greater elevation of a large part of the surface, especially in East Africa, where the range of temperature is wider than in the Congo basin or on the Guinea coast. In the extreme north and south the climate is a warm temperate one, the northern countries being on the whole hotter and drier than those in the southern zone; the south of the continent being narrower than the north, the influence of the surrounding ocean is more felt. The most important climatic differences are due to variations in the amount of rainfall. The wide heated plains of the Sahara, and in a lesser degree the corresponding zone of the Kalahari in the south, have an exceedingly scanty rainfall, the winds which blow over them from the ocean losing part of their moisture as they pass over the outer highlands, and becoming constantly drier owing to the heating effects of the burning soil of the interior; while the scarcity of mountain ranges in the more central parts likewise tends to prevent condensation. In the inter-tropical zone of summer precipitation, the rainfall is greatest when the sun is vertical or soon after. It is therefore greatest of all near the equator, where the sun is twice vertical, and less in the direction of both tropics. The rainfall zones are, however, somewhat deflected from a due west-to-east direction, the drier northern conditions extending southwards along the east coast, and those of the south northwards along the west. Within the equatorial zone certain areas, especially on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea and in the upper Nile basin, have an intensified rainfall, but this rarely approaches that of the rainiest regions of the world. The rainiest district in all Africa is a strip of coastland west of Mount Cameroon, where there is a mean annual rainfall of about 390 in. as compared with a mean of 458 in. at Cherrapunji, in Assam. The two distinct rainy seasons of the equatorial zone, where the sun is vertical at half-yearly intervals, become gradually merged into one in the direction of the tropics, where the sun is overhead but once. Snow falls on all the higher mountain ranges, and on the highest the climate is thoroughly Alpine. The countries bordering the Sahara are much exposed to a very dry wind, full of fine particles of sand, blowing from the desert towards the sea. Known in Egypt as the khamsin, on the Mediterranean as the sirocco, it is called on the Guinea coast the harmattan. This wind is not invariably hot; its great dryness causes so much evaporation that cold is not infrequently the result. Similar dry winds blow from the Kalahari in the south. On the eastern coast the monsoons of the Indian Ocean are regularly felt, and on the south-east hurricanes are occasionally experienced.
While the climate of the north and south, especially the south, is eminently healthy, and even the intensely heated Sahara is salubrious by reason of its dryness, the tropical zone as a whole is, for European races, the most unhealthy portion of the world. This is especially the case in the lower and moister regions, such as the west coast, where malarial fever is very prevalent and deadly; the most unfavourable factors being humidity with absence of climatic variation (daily or seasonal). The higher plateaus, where not only is the average temperature lower, but such variations are more extensive, are more healthy; and in certain localities (e.g. Abyssinia and parts of British East Africa) Europeans find the climate suitable for permanent residence. On tablelands over 6500 ft. above the sea, frost is not uncommon at night, even in places directly under the equator. The acclimatization of white men in tropical Africa generally is dependent largely on the successful treatment of tropical diseases. Districts which had been notoriously deadly to Europeans were rendered comparatively healthy after the discovery, in 1899, of the species of mosquito which propagates malarial fever, and the measures thereafter taken for its destruction and the filling up of swamps. The rate of mortality among the natives from tropical diseases is also high, one of the most fatal being that known as sleeping sickness. (The ravages of this disease, which also attacks Europeans, reached alarming proportions between 1893 and 1907, and in the last-named year an international conference was held in London to consider measures to combat it.) When removed to colder regions natives of the equatorial districts suffer greatly from chest complaints. Smallpox also makes great ravages among the negro population.

Flora

The vegetation of Africa follows very closely the distribution of heat and moisture. The northern and southern temperate zones have a flora distinct from that of the continent generally, which is tropical. In the countries bordering the Mediterranean are groves of oranges and olive trees, evergreen oaks, cork trees and pines, intermixed with cypresses, myrtles, arbutus and fragrant tree-heaths. South of the Atlas range the conditions alter. The zones of minimum rainfall have a very scanty flora, consisting of plants adapted to resist the great dryness. Characteristic of the Sahara is the date-palm, which flourishes where other vegetation can scarcely maintain existence, while in the semi-desert regions the acacia (whence is obtained gum-arabic) is abundant. The more humid regions have a richer vegetation - dense forest where the rainfall is greatest and variations of temperature least, conditions found chiefly on the tropical coasts, and in the west African equatorial basin with its extension towards the upper Nile; and savanna interspersed with trees on the greater part of the plateaus, passing as the desert regions are appNoached into a scrub vegetation consisting of thorny acacias, &c. Forests also occur on the humid slopes of mountain ranges up to a certain elevation. In the coast regions the typical tree is the mangrove, which flourishes wherever the soil is of a swamp character. The dense forests of West Africa contain, in addition to a great variety of dicotyledonous trees, two palms, the Elaeis guincensis (oil-palm) and Raphia vinifera (bamboo-palm), not found, generally speaking, in the savanna regions. The bombax or silk-cotton tree attains gigantic proportions in the forests, which are the home of the indiarubber-producing plants and of many valuable kinds of timber trees, such as odum (Chlorophora excelsa), ebony, mahogany (Khaya senegalensis), African teak or oak (Oldfieldia africana) and camwood (Baphia nitida). The climbing plants in the tropical forests are exceedingly luxuriant and the undergrowth or " bush " is extremely dense. In the savannas the most characteristic trees are the monkey bread tree or baobab (Adansonia digitata), doom palm (Hyphaene) and euphorbias. The coffee plant grows wild in such widely separated places as Liberia and southern Abyssinia. The higher mountains have a special flora showing close agreement over wide intervals of space, as well as affinities with the mountain flora of the eastern Mediterranean, the Himalayas and IndoChina (cf. A. Engler, Ober die Hochgebirgsflora des tropischen Afrika, 1892).
In the swamp regions of north-east Africa the papyrus and associated plants, including the soft-wooded ambach, flourish in immense quantities - and little else is found in the way of vegetation. South Africa is largely destitute of forest save in the lower valleys and coast regions. Tropical flora disappears, and in the semi-desert plains the fleshy, leafless, contorted species of kapsias, mesembryanthemums, aloes and other succulent plants make their appearance. There are, too, valuable timber trees, such as the yellow pine (Podocarpus elongatus), stinkwood (Ocotea), sneezewood or Cape ebony (Pteroxylon utile) and ironwood. Extensive miniature woods of heaths are found in almost endless variety and covered throughout the greater part of the year with innumerable blossoms in which red is very prevalent. Of the grasses of Africa alfa is very abundant in the plateaus of the Atlas range.

Fauna

The fauna again shows the effect of the characteristics of the vegetation. The open savannas are the home of large ungulates, especially antelopes, the giraffe (peculiar to Africa), zebra, buffalo, wild ass and four species of rhinoceros; and of carnivores, such as the lion, leopard, hyaena, &c. The okapi (a genus restricted to Africa) is found only in the dense forests of the Congo basin. Bears are confined to the Atlas region, wolves and foxes to North Africa. The elephant (though its range has become restricted through the attacks of hunters) is found both in the savannas and forest regions, the latter being otherwise poor in large game, though the special habitat of the chimpanzee and gorilla. Baboons and mandrills, with few exceptions, are peculiar to Africa. The single-humped camel - as a domestic animal - is especially characteristic of the northern deserts and steppes.
The rivers in the tropical zone abound with hippopotami and crocodiles, the former entirely confined to Africa. The vast herds of game, formerly so characteristic of many parts of Africa, have much diminished with the increase of intercourse with the interior. Game reserves have, however, been established in South Africa, British Central Africa, British East Africa, Somaliland, &c., while measures for the protection of wild animals were laid down in an international convention signed in May 1900.
The ornithology of northern Africa presents a close resemblance to that of southern Europe, scarcely a species being found which does not also occur in the other countries bordering the Mediterranean. Among the birds most characteristic of Africa are the ostrich and the secretary-bird. The ostrich is widely dispersed, but is found chiefly in the desert and steppe regions. The secretary-bird is common in the south. The weaver birds and their allies, including the long-tailed whydahs, are abundant, as are, among game-birds, the francolin and guinea-fowl. Many of the smaller birds, such as the sun-birds, bee-eaters, the parrots and halcyons, as well as the larger plantain-eaters, are noted for the brilliance of their plumage. Of reptiles the lizard and chameleon are common, and there are a number of venomous serpents, though these are not so numerous as in other tropical countries. The scorpion is abundant. Of insects Africa has many thousand different kinds; of these the locust is the proverbial scourge of the continent, and the ravages of the termites or white ants are almost incredible. The spread of malaria by means of mosquitoes has already been mentioned. The tsetse fly, whose bite is fatal to all domestic animals, is common in many districts of South and East Africa. Fortunately it is found nowhere outside Africa. (E. HE.; F. R. C.) II. Geology In shape and general geological structure Africa bears a close resemblance to India. Both possess a meridional extension with a broad east and west folded region in the north. In both a successive series of continental deposits, ranging from the Carboniferous to the Rhaetic, rests on an older base of crystalline rocks. In the words of Professor Suess, " India and Africa are true plateau countries." Of the primitive axes of Africa few traces remain. Both on the east and west abroad zone of crystalline rocks extends parallel with the coast-line to form the margin of the elevated plateau of the interior. Occasionally the crystalline belt comes to the coast, but it is usually reached by two steps known as the coastal belt and foot-plateau. On the flanks of the primitive western axis certain ancient sedimentary strata are thrown into folds which were completed before the commencement of the mesozoic period. In the south, the later palaeozoic rocks are also thrown into acute folds by a movement acting from the south, and which ceased towards the close of the mesozoic period. In northern Africa the folded region of the Atlas belongs to the comparatively recent date of the Alpine system. None of these earth movements affected the interior, for here the continental mesozoic deposits rest, undisturbed by folding, on the primary sedimentary and crystalline rocks. The crystalline massif, therefore, presents a solid block which has remained elevated since early palaeozoic times, and against which earth waves of several geological periods have broken.
The formations older than the mesozoic are remarkably unfossiliferous, so that the determination of their age is frequently a matter of speculation, and in the following table the European equivalents of the pre-Karroo formations in many regions must be regarded as subject to considerable revision.
Rocks of Archean age cover wide areas in the interior, in West and East Africa and across the Sahara. Along the coastal margins they underlie the newer formations and appear in the deep valleys and kloofs wherever denudation has laid them bare. The prevailing types are granites, gneisses and schists. In the central regions the predominant strike of the foliae is north and south. The rocks, for convenience classed as pre-Cambrian, occur as several unconformable groups, chiefly developed in the south where alone their stratigraphy has been determined. They are unfossiliferous, and in the absence of undoubted Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian strata in Africa they may be regarded as of older date than any of these formations. The general occurrence of jasper-bearing rocks is of interest, as these are always present in the ancient pressure-altered sedimentary formations of America and Europe. Some unfossiliferous conglomerates, sandstones and dolomites in South Africa and on the west coast are considered to belong to the Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian formations, but merely from their occurrence beneath strata yielding Devonian fossils. In Cape Colony the Silurian age of the Table Mountain Sandstone is based on such evidence.
The Devonian and Carboniferous formations are well represented in the north and south and in northern Angola.
Up to the close of the palaeozoic period the relative positions of the ancient land masses and oceans remain unsolved; but the absence of marine strata of early palaeozoic age from Central Africa points to there being land in this direction. In late Carboniferous times Africa and India were undoubtedly united to form a large continent, called by Suess Gondwana Land. In each country the same succession of the rocks is met with; over both the same specialized orders of reptiles roamedand were entombed.
The interior of the African portion of Gondwana Land was occupied by several large lakes in which an immense thickness - amounting to over 18,000 ft. in South Africa - of sandstones and marls, forming the Karroo system, was laid down. This is par excellence the African formation, and covers immense areas in South Africa and the Congo basin, with detached portions in East Africa. During the whole of the time - Carboniferous to Rhaetic - that this great accumulation of freshwater beds was taking place, the interior of the continent must have been undergoing depression. The commencement of the period was marked by one of the most wonderful episodes in the geological history of Africa. Preserved in the formation known as the Dwyka Conglomerate, are evidences that at this time the greater portion of South Africa was undergoing extreme glaciation, while the same conditions appear to have prevailed in India Table Of Formations Sedimentary. Recent. Alluvium; travertine; coral; sand dunes; continental dunes. Generally distributed.
Pleistocene. Ancient alluviums and gravels; travertine. Generally distributed.
Pliocene. N. Africa; Madagascar.
Miocene. N. Africa.
Oligocene. N. Africa.
Eocene. N. Africa, along east and west coasts; Madagascar.
Cretaceous. Extensively developed in N. Africa; along coast and foot-plateaus in east and west; Madagascar.
Jurassic. N. Africa; E. Africa; Madagascar; Stormberg period (Rhaetic) in S. Africa.
< Trias. Beaufort Series in S. Africa; Congo basin; Central Africa; Algeria; Tunis.
Permian. Ecca Series in S. Africa.
Carboniferous. N. Africa; Sabaki Shales in E. Africa; Dwyka and Witteberg Series in S. Africa.
Devonian. N. Africa; Angola; Bokke veld Series in S. Africa. Silurian. Table Mountain Sandstone in S. Africa, Silurian(?). Ordovician. Doubtfully represented in N. Africa, French Cambrian. Congo, Angola, and by Vaal River and Water berg Series in S. Africa. Pre-Cambrian. Quartzites, conglomerates, phyllites, jasper-bearing rocks and schists. Gener ally distributed.
Archean. Gneisses and schists of the continental platform.
and Australia. At the close of the Karroo period there was a remarkable manifestation of volcanic activity which again has its parallel in the Deccan traps of India.
How far the Karroo formation extended beyond its present confines has not been determined. To the east it reached India. In the south all that can be said is that it extended to the south of Worcester in Cape Colony. The Crystal Mountains of Angola may represent its western boundary; while the absence of mesozoic strata beneath the Cretaceous rocks of the mid-Sahara indicates that the system of Karroo lakeland had here reached its most northerly extension. Towards the close of the Karroo period, possibly about the middle, the southern rim of the great central depression became ridged up to form the folded regions of the Zwaarteberg, Cedarberg and Langeberg mountains in Cape Colony. This folded belt gives Africa its abrupt southern Scale,n Deposits (A) 1 Ili Igneous. Some volcanic islands; rift-valley volcanoes.
A long-continued succession in the central and northern regions and among the island groups. Doubtfully represented south of the Zambezi.
Diamond pipes of S.
Africa; Kaptian fissure eruptions; Ashangi traps of Abyssinia.
Chief volcanic period in S. Africa.
Feebly, if .anywhere developed.
Not recorded.
Klipriversberg and Ventersdorp Series of the Transvaal (?).
S. Africa and generally.
Igneous complex of sheared igneous rocks; granites.
termination, and may be regarded as an embryonic indication of its present outline. The exact date of the maximum development of this folding is unknown, but it had done its work and some ro,000 ft. of strata had been removed before the commencement of the Cretaceous period. It appears to approximate in time to the similar earth movement and denudation at the close of the palaeozoic period in Europe. It was doubtless connected with the disruption of Gondwana Land, since it is known that this great alteration of geographical outline commenced in Jurassic times.
The breaking up of Gondwana Land is usually considered to have been caused by a series of blocks of country being let down by faulting with the consequent formation of the Indian Ocean. Other blocks, termed horsts, remained unmoved, the island of Madagascar affording a striking example. In the African portion Ruwenzori is regarded by some geologists to be a block mountain or horst.
In Jurassic times the sea gained access to East Africa north of Mozambique, but does not appear to have reached far beyond the foot-plateau except in Abyssinia.
The Cretaceous seas appear to have extended into the central Saharan regions, for fossils of this age have been discovered in the interior. On the west coast Cretaceous rocks extend continuously from Mogador to Cape Blanco. From here they are absent up to the Gabun river, where they commence to form a narrow fringe as far as the Kunene river, though often overlain by recent deposits. They are again absent up to the Sunday river in Cape Colony, where Lower Cretaceous rocks (for long considered to be of Oolitic age) of an inshore character are met with. Strata of Upper Cretaceous age occur in Pondoland and Natal, and are of exceptional interest since the fossils show an intermingling of Pacific types with other forms having European affinities. In Mozambique and in German East Africa, Cretaceous rocks extend from the coast to a distance inland of over roo m.
Except in northern Africa, the Tertiary formations only occur in a few isolated patches on the east and west coasts. In northern Africa they are well developed and of much interest._ They contain the well-known nummulitic limestone of Eocene age, which has been traced from Egypt across Asia to China. The Upper Eocene rocks of Egypt have also yielded primeval types of the Proboscidea and other mammalia. Evidences for the greater extension of the Eocene seas than was formerly considered to be the case have been discovered around Sokoto. During Miocene times Passarge considers that the region of the Zambezi underwent extreme desiccation.
The effect of the Glacial epoch in Europe is shown in northern Africa by the moraines of the higher Atlas, and the wider extension of the glaciers on Kilimanjaro, Kenya and Ruwenzori, and by the extensive accumulations of gravel over the Sahara.
The earliest signs of igneous activity in Africa are to be found in the granites, intrusive into the older rocks of the Cape peninsula, into those of the Transvaal, and into the gneisses and schists of Central Africa. The Ventersdorp boulder beds of the Transvaal may be of early palaeozoic age; but as a whole the palaeozoic period in Africa was remarkably free from volcanic and igneous disturbances. The close of the Stormberg period (Rhaetic) was one of great volcanic activity in South Africa. Whilst the later Secondary and Tertiary formations were being laid down in North Africa and around the margins of the rest of the continent, Africa received its last great accumulation of strata and at the same time underwent a consecutive series of earth-movements. The additional strata consist of the immense quantities of volcanic material on the plateau of East Africa, the basalt flows of West Africa and possibly those of the Zambezi basin. The exact period of the commencement of volcanic activity is unknown. In Abyssinia the Ashangi traps are certainly post-Oolitic. In East Africa the fissure eruptions are considered to belong to the Cretaceous. These early eruptions were followed by those of Kenya, Mawenzi, Elgon, Chibcharagnani, and these by the eruptions of Kibo, Longonot, Suswa and the Kyulu Mountains. The last phase of vulcanicity took place along the great meridional rifts of East Africa, and though feebly manifested has not entirely passed away. In northern Africa a continuous sequence of volcanic events has taken place from Eocene times to latest Tertiary; but in South Africa it is doubtful if there have been any intrusions later then Cretaceous.
During this long continuance of vulcanicity, earth-movements were in progress. In the north the chief movements gave rise to the system of latitudinal folding and faulting of the Moroccan and Algerian Atlas, the last stages being represented by the formation of the Algerian and Moroccan coast-outline and the sundering of Europe from Africa at the Straits of Gibraltar. Whilst northern Africa was being folded, the East African plateau was broken up by a series of longitudinal rifts extending from Nyasaland to Egypt. The depressed areas contain the long, narrow, precipitously walled lakes of East Africa. The Red Sea also occupies a meridional trough.
Lastly there are the recent elevations of the northern coastal regions, the Barbary coast and along the east coast. (W. G.*) Ethnology In attempting a review of the races and tribes which inhabit Africa, their distribution, movements and culture, it is advisable that three points be borne in mind. The first of these is the comparative absence of natural barriers in the interior, owing to which intercommunication between tribes, the dissemination of culture and tribal migration have been considerably facilitated. Hence the student must be prepared to find that, for the most part, there are no sharp divisions to mark the extent of the various races composing the population, but than the number of what may be termed " transitional " peoples is unusually large. The second point is that Africa, with the exception of the lower Nile valley and what is known as Roman Africa (see Roman Africa), is, so far as its native inhabitants are concerned, a continent practically without a history, and possessing no records from which such a history might be reconstructed. The early movements of tribes, the routes by which they reached their present abodes, and the origin of such forms of culture as may be distinguished in the general mass of customs, beliefs, &c., are largely matters of conjecture. The negro is essentially the child of the moment; and his memory, both tribal and individual, is very short. The third point is that many theories which have been formulated with respect to such matters are unsatisfactory owing to the small amount of information concerning many of the tribes in the interior.
Excluding the Europeans who have found a home in various parts of Africa, and the Asiatics, Chinese and natives of India introduced by them (see section History below), the of Africa consists of the following elements: The chief populationgl African - the Bushman, the Negro, the Eastern Hamite, races. the Libyan and the Semite, from the intermingling of which in various proportions a vast number of " transitional " tribes has arisen. The Bushmen, a race of short yellowish-brown nomad hunters, inhabited, in the earliest times of which there is historic knowledge, the land adjoining the southern and eastern borders of the Kalahari desert, into which they were gradually being forced by the encroachment of the Hottentots and Bantu tribes. But signs of their former presence are not wanting as far north as Lake Tanganyika, and even, it is rumoured, still farther north. With them may be classed provisionally the Hottentots, a pastoral people of medium stature and yellowish-brown complexion, who in early times shared with the Bushmen the whole of what is now Cape Colony. Though the racial affinities of the Hottentots have been disputed, the most satisfactory view on the whole is that they represent a blend of Bushman, Negroid and Hamitic elements. Practically the rest of Africa, from the southern fringe of the Sahara and the upper valley of the Nile to the Cape, with the exception of Abyssinia and Galla and Somali-lands, is peopled by Negroes and the " transitional " tribes to which their admixture with Libyans on the north, and Semites (Arabs) and Hamites on the north-east and east, has given rise. A slight qualification of the last statement is necessary, in so far as, among the Fula in the western Sudan, and the Ba-Hima, &c., of the Victoria Nyanza, Libyan and Hamitic elements are respectively stronger than the Negroid. Of the tracts excepted, Abyssinia is inhabited mainly by Semito-Hamites (though a fairly strong negroid element can be found), and Somali and Galla-lands by Hamites. North of the Sahara in Algeria and Morocco are the Libyans (Berbers, q.v.), a distinctively white people, who have in certain respects (e.g. religion) fallen under Arab influence. In the north-east the brown-skinned Hamite and the Semite mingle in varied proportions. The Negroid peoples, which inhabit the vast tracts of forest and savanna between the areas held by Bushmen to the south and the Hamites, Semites and Libyans to the north, fall into two groups divided by a line running from the Cameroon (Rio del Rey) crossing the Ubangi river below the bend and passing between the Ituri and the Semliki rivers, to Lake Albert and thence with a slight southerly trend to the coast. North of this line are the Negroes proper, south are the Bantu. The division is primarily philological. Among the true Negroes the greatest linguistic confusion prevails; for instance, in certain parts of Nigeria it is possible to find half-a-dozen villages within a comparatively small area speaking, not different dialects, but different languages, a fact which adds greatly to the difficulty of political administration. To the south of the line the condition of affairs is entirely different; here the entire population speaks one or another dialect of the Bantu Languages. As said before, the division is primarily linguistic and, especially upon the border line, does not always correspond with the variations of physical type. At the same time it is extremely convenient and to a ceriain extent justifiable on physical and psychological grounds; and it may be said roughly that while the linguistic uniformity of the Bantu is accompanied by great variation of physical type, the converse is in the main true of the Negro proper, especially where least affected by Libyan and Hamitic admixture, e.g. on the Guinea coast. The variation of type among the Bantu is due probably to a varying admixture of alien blood,which is more apparent as the east coast is approached. This foreign element cannot be identified with certainty, but since the Bantu seem to approach the Hamites in those points where they differ from the Negro proper, and since the physical characteristics of Hamites and Semites are very similar, it seems probable that the last two races have entered into the composition of the Bantu, though it is highly improbable that Semitic influence should have permeated any distance from the east coast. An extremely interesting section of the population not hitherto mentioned is constituted by the Pygmy tribes inhabiting the densely forested regions along the equator from Uganda to the Gabun and living the life of nomadic hunters. The affinities of. this little people are undecided, owing to the small amount of knowledge concerning them. The theories which connected them with the Bushmen do not seem to be correct. It is more probable that they are to be classed among the Negroids, with whom they appear to have intermingled to a certain extent in the upper basin of the Ituri, and perhaps elsewhere. As far as is known they speak no language peculiar to themselves but adopt that of the nearest agricultural tribe. They are of a dark brown complexion, with very broad noses, lips but slightly everted, and small but usually sturdy physique, though often considerably emaciated owing to insufficiency of food. Another peculiar tribe, also of short stature, are the Vaalpens of the steppe region of the north Transvaal. Practically nothing is known of them except that they are said to be very dark in colour and live in holes in the ground, and under rock shelters.
Having indicated the chief races of which in various degrees of purity and intermixture the population of Africa is formed, it remains to consider them in greater detail, particu connected by a vertical strip of grassy highland lying mainly to the east of the chain of great lakes. The third zone is a vast region of forest and rivers in the west centre, comprising the greater part of the basin of the Congo and the Guinea coast. The rainfall, which also has an important bearing upor the culture of peoples, will be found on the whole to be greatest in the third zone and also in the eastern highlands, and of course least in the desert, the steppes and savannas standing midway between the two. As might be expected these variations are accompanied by certain variations in culture. In the bestwatered districts agriculture is naturally of the greatest importance, except where the density of the forest renders the work of clearing too arduous. The main portion therefore of the inhabitants of the forest zone are agriculturists, save only the nomad Pygmies, who live in the inmost recesses of the forest and support themselves by hunting the game with which it abounds. Agriculture, too, flourishes in the eastern highlands, and throughout the greater part of the steppe and savanna region of the northern and southern zones, especially the latter. In fact the only Bantu tribes who are not agriculturists are the Ova-Herero of German South-West Africa, whose purely pastoral habits are the natural outcome of the barren country they inhabit. But the wide open plains and slopes surrounding the forest area are eminently suited to cattle-breeding, and there are few tribes who do not take advantage of the fact. At the same time a natural check is imposed upon the desire for cattle, which is so characteristic of the Bantu peoples. This is constituted by the tsetse fly, which renders a pastoral life absolutely impossible throughout large tracts in central and southern Africa. In the northern zone this check is absent, and the number of more essentially pastoral peoples, such as the eastern Hamites, Masai, Dinka, Fula, &c., correspondingly greater. The desert regions yield support only to nomadic peoples, such as the Tuareg, Tibbu, Bedouins and Bushmen, though the presence of numerous oases in the north renders the condition of life easier for the inhabitants. Upon geographical conditions likewise depend to a large extent the political conditions prevailing among the various tribes. Thus among the wandering tribes of the desert and of the heart of the forests, where large communities are impossible, a patriarchal system prevails with the family as the unit. Where the forest is less dense and small agricultural communities begin to make their appearance, the unit expands to the village with its headman. Where the forest thins to the savanna and steppe, and communication is easier, are found the larger kingdoms and " empires " such as, in the north those established by the Songhai, Hausa, Fula, Bagirmi, Ba-Hima, &c., and in the south the states of Lunda, Kazembe, the Ba-Rotse, &c.
But if ease of communication is favourable to the rise of large 'states and the cultural progress that usually accompanies it, it is, nevertheless, often fatal to the very culture which, at first, it fostered, in so far as the absence of natural boundaries renders invasion easy. A good example of this is furnished by the history of the western Sudan and particularly of East and South-East Africa. From its geographical position Africa looks naturally to the east, and it is on this side that it has been most affected by external culture both by land (across the Sinaitic peninsula) and by sea. Though a certain amount of Indonesian and even aboriginal Indian influence has been traced in African ethnography, the people who have produced the most serious ethnic disturbances (apart from modern Europeans) are the Arabs. This is particularly the case in East Africa, where the systematic slave raids organized by them and carried out with the assistance of various warlike tribes reduced vast regions to a state of desolation. In the north and west of Africa, however, the Arab has had a less destructive but more extensive and permanent influence in spreading the Mahommedan religion throughout the whole of the Sudan.
The fact that the physical geography of Africa affords fewer natural obstacles to racial movements on the side most exposed to foreign influence, renders it obvious that the culture most characteristically African must be sought on the other side.
gi larly from the cultural standpoint. This is hardly possible without drawing attention to the main physical characters of the continent, as far as they affect the inhabitants. For ethnological purposes three principal zones may be distinguished; the first two are respectively a large region of steppes and desert in the north, and a smaller region of steppes and desert in the south. These two zones are It is therefore in the forests of the Congo, and among the lagoons and estuaries of the Guinea coast, that this earlier culture will The char- most probably be found. That there is a culture acteristic distinctive of this area, irrespective of the linguistic African line dividing the Bantu from the Negro proper, has culture. now been recognized. Its main features may be summed as follows: - a purely agricultural life, with the plantain, yam and manioc (the last two of American origin) as the staple food; cannibalism common; rectangular houses with ridged roofs; scar-tattooing; clothing of bark-cloth or palm-fibre; occasional chipping or extraction of upper incisors; bows with strings of cane, as the principal weapons, shields of wood or wickerwork; religion, a primitive form of fetishism with the belief that death is due to witchcraft; ordeals, secret societies, the use of masks and anthropomorphic figures, and wooden gongs. With this may be contrasted the culture of the Bantu peoples to the south and east, also agriculturists, but in addition, where possible, great cattle-breeders, whose staple food is millet and milk. These are distinguished by circular huts with domed or conical roofs; clothing of skin or leather; occasional chipping or extraction of lower incisors; spears as the principal weapons, bows, where found, with a sinew cord, shields of hide or leather; religion, ancestor-worship with belief in the power of the magicians as rain-makers. Though this difference in culture may well be explained on the supposition that the first is the older and more representative of Africa, this theory must not be pushed too far. Many of the distinguishing characteristics of the two regions are doubtless due simply to environment, even the difference in religion. Ancestor-worship occurs most naturally among a people where tribal organization has reached a fairly advanced stage, and is the natural outcome of patriotic reverence for a successful chief and his councillors. Rain-making, too, is of little importance in a well-watered region, but a matter of vital interest to an agricultural people where the rainfall is slight and irregular.
Within the eastern and southern Bantu area certain cultural variations occur; beehive huts are found among the ZuluXosa and Herero, giving place among the Bechuana to the cylindrical variety with conical roof, a type which, with few exceptions, extends north to Abyssinia. The tanged spearhead characteristic of the south is replaced by the socketed variety towards the north. Circumcision, characteristic of the Zulu-Xosa and Bechuana, is not practised by many tribes farther north; tooth-mutilation, on the contrary, is absent among the more southern tribes. The lip-plug is found in the eastern area, especially among the Nyasa tribes, but not in the south. The head-rest common in the south-east and the southern fringe of the forest area is not found far north of Tanganyika until the Horn of Africa is reached.
In the regions outside the western area occupied by the Negro proper, exclusive of the upper Nile, the similarities of culture outweigh the differences. Here the cylindrical type of hut prevails; clothing is of skin or leather but is very scanty; iron ornaments are worn in profusion; arrows are not feathered; shields of hide, spears with leather sheaths are found and also fighting bracelets. Certain small differences appear between the eastern and western portions, the dividing line being formed by the boundary between Bornu and Hausaland. Characteristic of the east are the harp and the throwing-club and throwingknife, the last of which has penetrated into the forest area. Typical of the west are the bow and the dagger with the ring hilt. The tribes of the upper Nile are somewhat specialized, though here, too, are found the cylindrical hut, iron ornaments, fighting bracelets, &c., characteristic of the Sudanese tribes. Here the removal of the lower incisors is common, and circumcision entirely absent.
Throughout the rest of the Sudan is found Semitic culture introduced by the Arabized Libyan. Circumcision, as is usual among Mahommedan tribes, is universal, and tooth-mutilation absent; of other characteristics, the use of the sword has penetrated to the northern portion of the forest area. The culture prevailing in the Horn of Africa is, naturally, mainly Hamito Semitic; here are found both cylindrical and bee-hive huts, the sword (which has been adopted by the Masai to the south), the lyre (which has found its way to some of the Nilotic tribes) and the head-rest. Circumcision is practically universal.
As has been said earlier, the history of Africa reaches back but a short distance, except, of course, as far as the lower Nile valley and Roman Africa is concerned; elsewhere no records exist, save tribal traditions, and these only relate to very recent events. Even archaeology, which can often sketch the main outlines of a people's history, is here practically powerless, owing to the insufficiency of data. It is true that stone implements of palaeolithic and neolithic types are found sporadically in the Nile valley, Somaliland, on the Zambezi, in Cape Colony and the northern portions of the Congo Free State, as well as in Algeria and Tunisia; but the localities are far too few and too widely separated to warrant the inference that they are to be in any way connected. Moreover, where stone implements are found they are, as a rule, very near, even actually on, the surface of the earth; nothing occurs resembling the regular stratification of Europe, and consequently no argument based on geological grounds is possible.
The lower Nile valley, however, forms an exception; flint implements of a palaeolithic type have been found near Thebes, not only on the surface of the ground, which for several thousand years has been desert owing to the contraction of the river-bed, but also in stratified gravel of an older date. References to a number of papers bearing on the discussion to which their discovery has given rise may be found in an article by Mr H. R. Hall in Man, 1905, No. 19. The Egyptian and also the Somaliland finds appear to be true palaeoliths in type and remarkably similar to those found in Europe. But evidence bearing on the Stone age in Africa, if the latter existed apart from the localities mentioned, is so slight that little can be said save that from the available evidence the palaeoliths of the Nile valley alone can with any degree of certainty be assigned to a remote period of antiquity, and that the chips scattered over Mashonaland and the regions occupied within historic times by Bushmen are the most recent; since it has been shown that the stone flakes were used by the medieval Makalanga to engrave their hard pottery and the Bushmen were still using stone implements in the 10th century. Other early remains, but of equally uncertain date, are the stone circles of Algeria, the Cross river and the Gambia. The large system of ruined forts and " cities " in Mashonaland, at Zimbabwe and elsewhere, concerning which so many ingenious theories have been woven, have been proved to date from medieval times.
Thus while in Europe there is a Stone age, divided into periods according to various types of implement disposed in geological strata, and followed in orderly succession by the ages Origin and of Bronze and Iron, in Africa can be found no true spread of Stone age and practically no Bronze at all. The reason the racial is not far to seek; Africa is a country of iron, which is stocks. found distributed widely throughout the continent in ores so rich that the metal can be extracted with very little trouble and by the simplest methods. Iron has been worked from time immemorial by the Negroid peoples, and whole tribes are found whose chief industry is the smelting and forging of the metal. Under such conditions, questions relating to the origin and spread of the racial stocks which form the population of Africa cannot be answered with any certainty; at best only a certain amount of probability can be attained.
Five of these racial stocks have been mentioned: Bushman, Negro, Hamite, Semite, Libyan, the last three probably related through some common ancestor. Of these the honour of being considered the most truly African belongs to the two first. It is true that people of Negroid type are found elsewhere, principally in Melanesia, but as yet their possible connexion with the African Negro is little more than theoretical, and for the present purposes it need not be considered.
The origin of the Bushman is lost in obscurity, but he may be conceived as the original inhabitant of the southern portion of the continent. The original home of the Negro, at first an agriculturist, is most probably to be found in the neighbourhood of the great lakes, whence he penetrated along the fringe of the Sahara to the west and across the eastern highlands southward. Northerly expansion was prevented by the early occupation of the Nile valley, the only easy route to the Mediterranean, but there seems no doubt that the population of ancient Egypt contained a distinct Negroid element. The question as to the ethnic affinities of the pre-dynastic Egyptians is still unsolved; but they may be regarded as, in the main, Hamitic, though it is a question how far it is just to apply a name which implies a definite specialization in what may be comparatively modern times to a people of such antiquity.
The Horn of Africa appears to have been the centre from which the Hamites spread, and the pressure they seem to have applied to the Negro tribes, themselves also in process of expansion, sent forth larger waves of emigrants from the latter. These emigrants, already affected by the Hamitic pastoral culture, and with a strain of Hamitic blood in their veins, passed rapidly down the open tract in the east, doubtless exterminating their predecessors, except such few as took refuge in the mountains and swamps. The advance-guard of this wave of pastoral Negroids, in fact primitive Bantu, mingled with the Bushmen and produced the Hottentots. The penetration of the forest area must certainly have taken longer and was probably accomplished as much from the south-east, up the Zambezi valley, as from any other quarter. It was a more peaceful process, since natural obstacles are unfavourable to rapid movements of large bodies of immigrants, though not so serious as to prevent the spread of language and culture. A modern parallel to the spread of Bantu speech is found in the rise of the Hausa language, which is gradually enlarging its sphere of influence in the western and central Sudan. Thus those qualities, physical and otherwise, in which the Bantu approach the Hamites gradually fade as we proceed westward through the Congo basin, while in the east, among the tribes to the west of Tanganyika and on the upper Zambezi, " transitional " forms of culture are found. In later times this gradual pressure from the south-east became greater, and resulted, at a comparatively recent date, in the irruption of the Fang into the Gabun.
The earlier stages of the southern movement must have been accompanied by a similar movement westward between the Sahara and the forest; and, probably, at the same time, or even earlier, the Libyans crossing the desert had begun to press upon the primitive Negroes from the north. In this way were produced the Fula, who mingled further with the Negro to give birth to the Mandingo, Wolof and Tukulor. It would appear that either Libyan (Fula) or, less probably, Hamitic, blood enters into the composition of the Zandeh peoples on the Nile-Congo watershed. These Libyans or Berbers, included by G. Sergi in his " Mediterranean Race," were active on the north coast of Africa in very early times, and had relations with the Egyptians from a prehistoric period. For long these movements continued, always in the same direction, from north to south and from east to west; though, of course, more rapid changes took place in the open country, especially in the great eastern highway from north to south, than in the forest area. Large states arose in the western Sudan; Ghana flourished in the 7th century A.D., Melle in the IIth, Songhai in the 14th, and Bornu in the 16th.
Meanwhile in the east began the southerly movement of the Bechuana, which was probably ,spread over a considerable period. Later than they, but proceeding faster, came the Zulu-Xosa (" Kaffir ") peoples, who followed a line nearer the coast and outflanked them, surrounding them on the south. Then followed a time of great ethnical confusion in South Africa, during which tribes flourished, split up and disappeared; but ere this the culture represented by the ruins in Rhodesia had waxed and waned. It is uncertain who were the builders of the forts and " cities," but it is not improbable that they may be found to have been early Bechuana. The Zulu-Xosa, Bechuana and Herero together form a group which may conveniently be termed " Southern Bantu." Finally began a movement hitherto unparalleled in the history of African migration; certain peoples of Zulu blood began to press north, spreading destruction in their wake. Of these the principal were the Matabele and Angoni. The movement continued as far as the Victoria Nyanza. Here, on the border-line of Negro, Bantu and Hamite, important changes had taken place. Certain of the Negro tribes had retired to the swamps of the Nile, and had become somewhat specialized, both physically and culturally (Shilluk, Dinka, Alur, Acholi, &c.)., These had blended with the Hamites to produce such races as the Masai and kindred tribes. The old Kitwara empire, which comprised the plateau land between the Ruwenzori range and Kavirondo, had broken up into small states, usually governed by a Hamitic (Ba-Hima) aristocracy. The more extensive Zang (Zenj) empire, of which the name Zanzibar (Zanguebar) is a lasting memorial, extending along the sea-board from Somaliland to the Zambezi, was also extinct. The Arabs had established themselves firmly on the coast, and thence made continual slave-raids into the interior, penetrating later to the Congo. The Swahili, inhabiting the coast-line from the equator to about r6° S., are a somewhat heterogeneous mixture of Bantu with a tinge of Arab blood.
In the neighbourhood of Victoria Nyanza, where Hamite, Bantu, Nilotic Negro and Pygmy are found in close contact, the ethnic relations of tribes are often puzzling, but the Bantu not under a Hamitic domination have been divided by F. Stuhlmann into the Older Bantu (Wanyamwezi, Wasukuma, Wasambara, Waseguha, Wasagara, Wasaramo, &c.) and the Bantu of Later Immigration (Wakikuyu, Wakamba, Wapokomo, Wataita, Wachaga, &c.), who are more strongly Hamitized and in many cases have adopted Masai customs. These peoples, from the Victoria Nyanza to the Zambezi, may conveniently be termed the " Eastern Bantu." Turning to the Congo basin in the south, the great Luba and Lunda peoples are found stretching nearly across the continent, the latter, from at any rate the end of the 16th century until the close of the 19th century, more or less united under a single ruler, styled Muata Yanvo. These seem to have been the most recent immigrants from the south-east, and to exhibit certain affinities with the Barotse on the upper Zambezi. Among the western Baluba, or Bashilange, a remarkable politico-religious revolution took place at a comparatively recent date, initiated by a secret society termed Bena Riamba or " Sons of Hemp," and resulted in the subordination of the old fetishism to a cult of hemp, in accordance with which all hemp-smokers consider themselves brothers, and the duty of mutual hospitality, &c., is acknowledged. North of these, in the great bend of the Congo, are the Balolo, &c., the Balolo a nation of iron-workers; and westward, on the Kasai, the Bakuba, and a large number of tribes as yet imperfectly known. Farther west are the tribes of Angola, many of whom were included within the old " Congo empire," of which the kingdom of Loango was an offshoot. North of the latter lies the Gabun, with a large number of small tribes dominated by the Fang who are recent arrivals from the Congo. Farther to the north are the Bali and other tribes of the Cameroon, among whom many primitive Negroid elements begin to appear. Eastward are the Zandeh peoples of the Welle district (primitive Negroids with a Hamitic or, more probably, Libyan strain), with whom the Dor tribe of Nilotes on their eastern border show certain affinities; while to the west along the coast are the Guinea Negroes of primitive type. Here, amidst great linguistic confusion, may be distinguished the tribes of Yoruba speech in the Niger delta and the east portion of the Slave Coast; those of Ewe speech, in the western portion of the latter; and those of Ga and Tshi speech, on the Gold Coast. Among the last two groups respectively may be mentioned the Dahomi and Ashanti. Similar tribes are found along the coast to the Bissagos Islands, though the introduction in Sierra Leone and Liberia of settlements of repatriated slaves from the American plantations has in those places modified the original ethnic distribution. Leaving the forest zone and entering the more open country there are, on the north from the Niger to the Nile, a number of Negroids strongly tinged with Libyan blood and professing the Mahommedan religion. Such are the Mandingo, the Songhai, the Fula, Hausa, Kanuri, Bagirmi, Kanembu, and the peoples of Wadai and Darfur; the few aborigines who persist, on the southern fringe of the Chad basin, are imperfectly known.
The island of Madagascar, belonging to the African continent, still remains for discussion. Here the ethnological conditions are peculiar. Before the French occupation the dominant people were the Hova, a Malayo-Indonesian people who must have come from the Malay Peninsula or the adjacent islands. The date of their immigration has been the subject of a good deal of dispute, but it may be argued that their arrival must have taken place in early times, since Malagasy speech, which is the language of the island, is principally MalayoPolynesian in origin, and contains no traces of Sanskrit. Such traces, introduced with Hinduism, are present in all the cultivated languages of Malaysia at the present day. The Hova occupy the table-land of Imerina and form the first of the three main groups into which the population of Madagascar may be divided. They are short, of an olive-yellow complexion and have straight or faintly wavy hair. On the east coast are the Malagasy, who in physical characteristics stand halfway between the Hova and the Sakalava, the last occupying the remaining portion of the island and displaying almost pure Negroid characteristics.
Though the Hova belong to a race naturally addicted to seafaring, the contrary is the case respecting the Negroid population, and the presence of the latter in the island has been explained by the supposition that they were imported by the Hova. Other authorities assign less antiquity to the Hova immigration and believe that they found the Negroid tribes already in occupation of the island.
As might be expected, the culture found in Madagascar contains two elements, Negroid and Malayo-Indonesian. The first of these two shows certain affinities with the culture characteristic of the western area of Africa, such as rectangular huts, clothing of bark and palm-fibre, fetishism, &c., but cattle-breeding is found as well as agriculture. However, the Negroid tribes are more and more adopting the customs and mode of life of the Hova, among whom are found pile-houses, the sarong, f adi or tabu applied to food, a non-African form of bellows, &c., all characteristic of their original home. The Hova, during the 19th century, embraced Christianity, but retain, nevertheless, many of their old animistic beliefs; their original social organization in three classes, andriana or nobles, Nova or freemen, and andevo or slaves, has been modified by the French, who have abolished kingship and slavery. An Arab infusion is also to be noticed, especially on the north-east and south-east coasts.
It is impossible to give a complete list of the tribes inhabiting Africa, owing to the fact that the country is not fully explored. Even where the names of the tribes are known their ethnic relations are still a matter of uncertainty in many localities.
The following list, therefore, must be regarded as purely tentative, and liable to correction in the light of fuller information: -


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Wikipedia has an article on:
See also África, Àfrica, and africa

Contents

English

Etymology

From Latin Africa, from Afri, the ancient Carthaginian tribe of Northern Africa named after Άφρος (Afros), a character in Greek mythology, king of Λιβύη (Libya) and son of Κρόνος (Kronos) and Φιλύρα (Filyra). Adjective form with suffix -ic, -icus, -ikos, related to Afars.

Pronunciation

  • (RP) IPA: /ˈæfɹɪkə/

Proper noun

Singular
Africa
Plural
-
Africa
  1. The continent that is south of Europe, east of the Atlantic Ocean, west of the Indian Ocean and north of Antarctica. It holds the following countries:

Derived terms

Translations

See also

External links

Anagrams


Italian

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Africa f.
  1. Africa.

Related terms


Latin

Proper noun

Āfrica (genitive Āfricae); f, first declension
  1. Africa
    Si probare possemus Ligarium in Āfricā omnino non fuisse.
    If we could prove that Ligarius was not at all in Africa.

Inflection

nominative Āfrica
genitive Āfricae
dative Āfricae
accusative Āfricam
ablative Āfricā
vocative Āfrica
locative Āfricae

Related terms

  • Āfricānus
  • Āfricus

Romanian

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Romanian Wikipedia has an article on:
Africa
Wikipedia ro

Etymology

Pronunciation

  • IPA: [ˈa.fri.ka]

Proper noun

Africa f.
  1. Africa

Declension

gender f. uncountable
Nom/Acc Africa
Gen/Dat Africii

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Contents

Biblical Age.

.The Bible has no general name for Africa, any more than it has for Europe or Asia.^ AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES FIELD STAFF. A SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY: Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America.
  • RECOLLECTION USED BOOKS & HORIZON BOOKS: Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.eskimo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

The word "Ham," from the Hebrew root (missing hebrew text) (to be hot), which is applied in the later Psalms (lxxviii. 51; cv. 23, 27; cvi. 22) to Egypt, is the nearest approach to a general name, inasmuch as it applies directly to the hot southern countries (Book of Jubilees, viii.). Next in importance is the term "Cush," corresponding to the Greek ἔθνος Κουσσαῖον, the Cushite tribe, in Plutarch's "Lives" ("Alexander," lxxii.), and also occurring frequently in the works of other Greek writers in the form Κοσσαῖοτ (Knobel, "Völkertafel der Genesis," p. 250, Giessen, 1850). The "Kossaioi" or the "Kissia Chora" of the ancients, it is true, are to be sought in Asia, but it is supposed that a migration of these peoples took place, and there are many philological, historical, and ethnological proofs of such an occurrence. .Since two of the peoples mentioned as belonging to the sons of Ham (Gen 10:6), Mizraim and Canaan, are perfectly well known, it is evident that the enumeration proceeds from south to north; and on this basis Cush must be the southernmost of the Hamitic peoples.^ Last year was a momentous year in Sudan, with the world's attention focused on the crisis in Darfur as well as the peace negotiations between the Government in the North and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement in the South.
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The ancient Greeks and Romans regarded these peoples collectively as Ethiopians (Knobel, "Völkertafel der Genesis"), which goes far to prove that the terms "Cush" and "Ethiopia" are nearly equivalent. .Both terms were used originally to designate various nations in Asia and Africa, but their use was afterward limited to the countries south of Egypt.^ The United States seeks to promote long-term stability, both in the country and in the region, through the promotion of reconciliation and judicial transparency.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ THE AFRICAN PATRIOTS: The Story of the African National Congress of South Africa.
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Even in its closer application, the Hebrew term "Cush," as used in Gen. x., includes peoples outside of Africa. One, at least, of the descendants of Ham, Sheba (Gen 10:7), must be identified with a nation in southwest Arabia (Dillmann, "Die Genesis," 5th ed., p. 181, Leipsic, 1886). A definitely bounded African continent, as known to-day, was not thought of by the Biblical writers. On the contrary, the territory on both sides of the Red Sea formed for them an ethnic unit, which was sharply distinguished from the rest of Africa.

Extent of Africa.

After Ethiopia, Egypt and Libya are the two most important lands of Africa. The Hebrew name for Egypt is (missing hebrew text) (compare the Phenician Muẓra, for which read Musra in Stephanus Byzantinus under the word Αίγυπτος; Babylonian, Muẓri, Miẓir—(Schrader, "K. A. T.," 2d ed., p. 89; ancient Persian, Mudraja; Septuaginta, Mestrem; South Arabian, Miẓr; Arabic Maẓr). The Hebrew term has not been sufficiently explained, but it certainly shows a dual form which can best be interpreted as referring to the upper and lower districts. From a philological standpoint, however, the form may be differently explained, and the seeming sign of the dual may be regarded as a locative ending (Barth, "Nominalbildung in den Semitischen Sprachen," p. 319). The two names Cush and Mizraim, therefore, designate the entire eastern portion of the African continent known to antiquity. Several of the countries adjacent to Egypt are also found in the table of peoples as given in Genesis. "Phut" is mentioned as of equal rank with Egypt (Gen 10:6; compare also Nah 3:9; Jer 46:9; Ezek 27:10, xxx. 5, xxxviii. 5). The Septuagint, a recognized authority in Egyptianmatters, Josephus, and Jerome, all interpret Phut as referring to Libya (Dillmann, "Die Genesis," p. 178), from which it may be assumed that the Biblical writers included in their perspective also that great expanse of territory west of Egypt called Libya, by which name ancient writers often designate the whole of Africa. Authors like Herodotus were unacquainted with any African countries to the west of Libya. Some, indeed, have endeavored to explain the Biblical Havilah as an African region; and Josephus ("Ant." i. 6, § 1) even identifies it with the land of the Gætuli, which view is also held by the medieval chronicler Jerahmeel ("Jew. Quart. Rev." xi. 675; Gaster, "Chronicles of Jerahmeel," 1899, p. 68). The land of the Gætuli is placed by the ancients on the borders of the Sahara (Sallust, "Bellum Jugurthinum," xix. .11); though it is hardly probable that writers who do not appear to have known even the western coast of North Africa should have been acquainted with an interior country south of ancient Numidia, now Algeria.^ Rebels and mercenaries committed particularly grave abuses in the western region of the country and in the north.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

The Old Testament takes no cognizance of the negro race, though Jer 13:23 may be considered a passing reference to a dark-skinned people. Cush refers only to Ethiopia, and there exists no ground for assuming that the Biblical writers had a more extended knowledge of the African continent.
All other Biblical names that have been supposed to apply to individual parts of Africa belong to the realm of myth.

Other Biblical Identifications.

The term "Sofala" for the east coast of Africa is of the same origin as the Hebrew (missing hebrew text) (shefelah), or coastland (Winer, "B. R." 3d ed., s.v. "Ophir"), but the assertion that the Biblical gold-producing Ophir is to be located in that region is utterly without foundation. This semifabulous land has been located with more justification in Mozambique and Zambesia. The statement that Tunis is the Biblical Tarshish is erroneous, and was long ago refuted by Abraham Zacuto ("Yuḥasin," p. 231b, London, 1857). Nevertheless, it is the serious opinion of Zacuto that Epher (Gen 25:4) gave his name to the continent when, as Zacuto thinks, the children of Keturah migrated thither ("Yuḥasin," p. 233b). This is also the opinion of the Arabian Ibn Idris (Rapoport, "'Erek Millin," p. 184). Benjamin of Tudela, a noted traveler of the twelfth century, considered Tunis the same as Hanes (Isa 30:4), and also identified the modern Damietta with the Biblical Caphtor. According to legend, the city Sabta ( (missing hebrew text) ) was built by Shem, the son of Noah, and it is even related that Joab, the general of David, reached it ("Yuḥasin," p. 226a). Israel ben Joseph Benjamin, a traveler of more recent times, whose descriptions of various countries were written in French, German, and English, and translated into Hebrew by David Gordon ("Mas'e Yisrael" [Israel's Travels], p. 109, Lyck, 1859), relates the same legend, but does not mention the "Yuḥasin." In a geographical work by Abraham Farissol, "Iggeret Orḥot 'Olam" (Letter on the Ways of the World), fols. 18 and 30, even paradise is said to have been situated in the Mountains of the Moon, in Nubia (Zunz, "Geographische Literatur der Juden," in "Gesammelte Schriften," i. 179, Berlin, 1875).

Egypt.

Without doubt Egypt is, historically, the most important of the countries of Africa. Indeed, it was considered by the ancients as belonging rather to Asia than to Africa, and was, with Palestine, the classic land of Jewish history. .For centuries an important historic connection existed between the land of the Israelites and the kingdom of the Pharaohs, a connection which the tablets discovered in 1887 at Tell el-Amarna have established beyond the possibility of doubt.^ The focus on human rights throughout 2004 underscored the important connection between the protection of human rights and a strong relationship with the United States.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

When the national life of Israel in Palestine ceased, an important section of the people, carrying with them the prophet Jeremiah, wandered back to Egypt. Thus, for the second time, Egypt became the home of the Jewish race, and much of later Jewish history was made upon its soil. To what importance the Jews attained here can best be inferred from legends concerning them, originating in other countries. An Ethiopic apocryphal book contains a legend respecting Jeremiah which narrates that, in answer to a prayer of the prophet, the reptiles of the dry land and the crocodiles of the rivers were exterminated (R. Basset, "Les Apocryphes Éthiopiens," i. 25, Paris, 1893; and also "Chron. Paschale," ed. Dindorf, i. 293; Suidas, under the word 'Αργολαι). According to Jewish legend similar blessings descended upon Egypt at the advent in the land of the patriarch Jacob (Midrash Tanḥuma on Gen 67:10, quoted by Rashi). A native legend declares also that, previous to the arrival of Joseph, the son of Jacob, the present province of Fayum was covered by a great lake, which received its water from the Nile, but that Joseph drained it and turned it into a dry plain (Baḥr Yusufs; Ritter, "Erdkunde," part i., "Afrika," p. 804, Berlin, 1822).

Jewish Soldiers in Egypt.

In ancient times the Jews performed military service for the Egyptians; for, according to the letter of Aristeas, King Psammetichus, probably the second of the name, employed Jewish mercenaries in a war against the Ethiopians, and it is reported that these Hebrew soldiers distinguished themselves by their courage. Even more remarkable is the legend recounted by Josephus ("Ant." ii. 10, § 2), according to which Moses himself was an Egyptian general, and conducted a successful invasion of Ethiopia (Meroe?). The Hebrew Josephus (Josippon, i. chap. ii.), indeed, reports that Zepho, son of Eliphaz, son of Esau, who was brought to Egypt as a captive by the viceroy Joseph, escaped thence to Carthage, where he was appointed general by King Angias. The source of this legend is not known, but it recalls the Talmudic legend (Yer. Shab. vi. 36c), that the Girgashites went to Africa, a statemenṭ based upon the fact that Carthage was colonized by Phenicians; hence from Canaan. Again Jerome, in "Onomastica Sacra," ed. Lagarde, Göttingen, 1887, represents Gergesæus as establishing colonies (colonum eiciens), which story is undoubtedly based on the Talmudic legend. This recalls the inscription said by Procopius to have been found in Africa, which describes Joshua as a robber, because he conquered Canaan (see "Jew. Quart. Rev." iii. 354; Barker, "Supposed Inscription upon 'Joshua the Robber,'" illustrated from Jewish sources). These wide-spread legends are ample proof that the continent of Africa occupied an important place in the thoughts of Jews.

Ethiopia.

The next most important land of Africa, from the point of view of Jewish history, is Cush (Ethiopia), the influence of whose king, Tirhakah, upon the history of Israel in the days of King Hezekiah is plainly discernible. According to 2Chr 14:8 et seq., the Ethiopian king Zerah invaded Judah and advanced as far as Mareshah; but the passage offers many historical difficulties. A war of the Ethiopian king Kyknos with the Syrians and the Children of the East is described in Yalḳuṭ. (Ex. § 168, 52d) and in the Sefer ha-Yashar (on Ex. ii.), but the source of the legend is unknown. Ezekiel indicates Ethiopia as the border-land of Egypt, and designates(xxix. 10, xxx. 6) Syene, the present Assouan, as the most southern city. This probably exhausts what the Biblical sources and the legends connected with the Bible contain on Africa.

Greek and Roman Age.

About the time that Greek and Roman culture began to influence the northern portion of Africa the Jews began to spread into these regions; indeed, they went even beyond the confines of the Roman empire. Egypt, according to the testimony of Philo, was inhabited, as far as the borders of Libya and Ethiopia, by Jews whose numbers were estimated at a million. The great mercantile city of nullAlexandria was the intellectual and commercial center of African Jewish life. Alexander the Great had conferred upon the Jews full rights of citizenship, and they guarded these rights jealously. In Cyrene also they were of importance; and their progress may be traced by the aid of inscriptions as far as Volubilis, in the extreme west of Mauretania (Schürer, "Gesch." 3d ed., iii. 19-26). .Throughout the Grecian countries they formed themselves into separate political communities (πολίτευμα; see P. Prerdrizet, in "Revue Archéologique," 1899, xxxv.^ The Embassy maintains regular contact with a diverse groups of religious communities and utilizes these contacts to promote dialogue on religious freedom throughout the country.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ Several of the Embassy's regular interlocutors have noted that they see the American Embassy as the best and strongest advocate in the country for human rights and democracy.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ With the assistance of the international community, the former government, rebel groups, civil society, and the political opposition formed a transitional government in 2003.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

45), while in the Latin districts they not only founded communities, but built synagogues, some of which were very beautiful. According to Jerome, the Jews dwelt in a continuous chain of settlements, from Mauretania eastward, throughout the province of Africa, and in Palestine, reaching as far as India ("Ep. 129 ad Dardanum," ed. Vallarsi, i. 966). If they were interrogated on Biblical matters they gave no answer ("Ep. 112 ad Augustinum," i. 744), probably in order to avoid being drawn into disputes with Christians. Jerome, it is true, claims they did not know any Hebrew. When Jerome's Bible translation, the Vulgate, was to be introduced among the African Christians, the Jews spread the report that the translation was false and thereby aroused strife among the Christian congregations (Jerome, ibid., and S. Krauss in the "Magyar Zsidó Szemle," vii. 530, Budapest, 1890). But Judaism in these regions did not dissolve or merge into Christianity; on the contrary, it continued to maintain its independent existence. Only in Egypt, particularly in Alexandria, where the path to Christianity had been smoothed by Jewish Hellenism, undoubtedly great masses of Jews went over to Christianity; but even there they continued to exist until the beginning of the fifth century, when Bishop Cyril expelled them from that city, which had been their home for many centuries. They must have returned at the first favorable opportunity, for in 640 the calif Omar, the conqueror of Egypt, found 40,000 Jews in Alexandria.

Rabbinic Accounts.

Rabbinical sources show much familiarity with, and great interest in, this part of the world. The Biblical names of Hamitic peoples are explained in the Talmud and Midrash from the standpoint of Greco-Roman geography. According to the researches of Epstein ("Les Chamites de la Table Ethnographique," in "Rev. Ét. Juives," xxiv. 8; S. Krauss, "Die Biblische Völkertafel im Talmud, Midrasch, und Targum," in "Monatsschrift," xxxix. 56) the following African peoples are mentioned: Syenians, Indians (that is, African Indians), Sembritæ (south of Meroe), Libyans, Zingians (on the east coast of Africa), Mazakians (in Mauretania, mentioned in Sifre, Deut. 320 and in Yeb. 63b; in Ex. R. iii. 4 reference is made to a Mauretanian girl). A collective term for the dark-skinned Africans is Cushites, which often occurs in this literature. The terms "Barbar" and "Barbaria," which very frequently occur in connection with the term Cushites, do not indicate the Berbers or Barbary country of Africa, but the Scythian peoples of the north of Europe. The word "Barbaria," which occurs in Ptolemy and in Cosmas Indicopleustes in about the same sense as the modern Barbary, and which has come to the Arabs in the form "Barbara" (Yakut, i. 543), only appears in later Jewish literature in this sense, and is applied to the coast of Somaliland (see Tomaschek, under the word "Barbaria," in the "Realencyklopädie für Classische Alterthumswissenschaft").

Meaning of "Africa."

On the other hand, the rabbinical term (missing hebrew text) , which has been wrongly explained as Phrygia, or Iberia in the Caucasus, means nothing else than the present Africa ("Monatsschrift," ibid.), and is intended to denote either the entire continent or the Roman province Africa. Thus, when the "sons of Africa" appear before Alexander the Great to accuse the Jews of the reconquest of Palestine (Sanh. 91a), and the Egyptians almost immediately present another charge against them, the reference can only be to the province of Africa, since the "sons of Africa" who demand the restoration of Canaan are, without doubt, the Girgashites, who had been compelled to emigrate to Africa (Yer. Sheb. vi, 36c.). Since the legend of this Girgashite emigration is intimately connected with the founding of Carthage, Africa is thus identified with it even more closely (Tamid, 32b, and the parallel passage, where (missing hebrew text) , "African land," is evidently the same as Carthage). The Septuagint (Isa 23:1), and Jerome (on Ezek. xxvii.), who, though a Christian, was taught by Jews, and very often the Aramaic Targum on the Prophets, identify the Biblical Tarshish with Carthage, which was the birthplace of a number of rabbis mentioned in the Talmud (compare above the identification with Tunis). Africa, in the broader sense, is clearly indicated where mention is made of the Ten Tribes having been driven into exile by the Assyrians and having journeyed into Africa (Mek., Bo, 17; Tosef., Shab. vii. 25; Deut. R. v. 14; and especially Sanh. 94a). Connected with this is the idea that the river Sambation is in Africa. The Arabs, who also know the legend of the Beni Musa ("Sons of Moses"), agree with the Jews in placing their land in Africa (compare Bacher, "Ag. Tan." i. 298; Epstein, "Eldad ha-Dani," p. 15). The probable basis of this legend must be sought in the actual existence of the Falashas in Africa. Rabbi Akiba, who traveled in Africa, on one occasion made use of an African word (Rapoport, in "Bikkure ha-'Ittim," iv. 70, 1823).
.Besides the north of Africa, the great region to the west of the Red Sea—the land of Ethiopia or Abyssinia (Habesh), together with its adjacent countries, inhabited from time immemorial by the tribe of the Falashas, who profess the Jewish faith—possesses a special interest for Judaism.^ Rebels and mercenaries committed particularly grave abuses in the western region of the country and in the north.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

^ In 2004, Madagascar was selected as a focus country for the Women's Legal Rights Initiative in the Africa region.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

The native legend narrates that the queen of Sheba (I Kings, x.) bore a son called .Menelek to Solomon, and that Menelek was educated in Jerusalem and afterward introduced the Mosaic law into his own country.^ Zanzibar, although integrated into the country's governmental and party structure, has its own president and legislature and exercises considerable autonomy.
  • Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: Original source]

This, however, only makes intelligible the rapid dissemination of Christianity in Ethiopia. With this may be compared the conversion of the eunuch of the queen Candace in Acts 8:27. According to the royal annals of Abyssinia, a large part of the land was inhabited by Jews, even before the common era. This refers, in all probability, to the Falashas (Ritter, "Erdkunde," part i., "Afrika," p. 218, Berlin, 1822). The undeniable relationship of the Ethiopian language (Geez) to other Semitic dialects stamps the Ethiopiansas a Semitic tribe, an assumption that is confirmed by their physical appearance. The nomadic Zalans, who live apart from the state church, also consider themselves Israelites (Flad, "Die Abyssinischen Juden," Basel, 1869; also the monograph of Metz in "Monatsschrift," 1879, xxviii.; and Epstein, "Eldad ha-Dani," Presburg, 1891).
This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.

Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

.
A world map showing the continent of Africa.
^ MAPS 4 AFRICA - the world at your fingertips...
  • MAPS 4 AFRICA - the world at your fingertips... 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.maps4africa.net [Source type: News]

^ Africa is the second largest continent in the world .
  • "How Big is Africa?" Curriculum Guide: Outreach Program 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.bu.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Africa is the world's second largest continent.
  • Welcome in Africa 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC us-africa.tripod.com [Source type: Original source]
  • Mr. Dowling's Africa Today Page 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www.mrdowling.com [Source type: News]

.(See Politics section for a clickable map of individual countries.^ Clickable map to locate writers by country .
  • African Literature and Writers on the Internet 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC www-sul.stanford.edu [Source type: Academic]

^ This section includes a map overview, a description of the different migration seasons, as well as recommended Africa safari tours to see the migration.
  • Africa Safari Travel - Tours & African Travel Guide 19 January 2010 8:47 UTC safari.go2africa.com [Source type: News]