Portal:Africa
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Portal:Africa
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Satellite map of Africa
Location of Africa on the world map

Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.3 billion people as of 2018, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. Africa's population is the youngest amongst all the continents; the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide median age was 30.4. Despite a wide range of natural resources, Africa is the least wealthy continent per capita, in part due to geographic impediments, legacies of European colonization in Africa and the Cold War, undemocratic rule and deleterious policies. Despite this low concentration of wealth, recent economic expansion and the large and young population make Africa an important economic market in the broader global context.

Africa straddles the Equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Africa is home to much biodiversity; it is the continent with the largest number of megafauna species, as it was least affected by the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna. However, Africa also is heavily affected by a wide range of environmental issues, including desertification, deforestation, water scarcity, and other issues. These entrenched environmental concerns are expected to worsen as climate change impacts Africa. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified Africa as the continent most vulnerable to climate change.

Africa, particularly Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), meaning that Africa has a long and complex history. The earliest hominids and their ancestors have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster-- the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) remains, found in Ethiopia, South Africa, and Morocco, date to circa 200,000, 259,000, and 300,000 years ago respectively, and Homo sapiens is believed to have originated in Africa around 350,000-260,000 years ago.

Early human civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Phoenicia emerged in North Africa. Following a subsequent long and complex history of civilizations, migration and trade, Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. The last 400 years have witnessed an increasing European influence on the continent. Starting in the 16th century, this was driven by trade, including the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, which created large African diaspora populations in the Americas. In the late 19th century, European countries colonized almost all of Africa, extracting resources from the continent and exploiting local communities; most present states in Africa emerged from a process of decolonisation in the 20th century. (Full article...)


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

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Male lion in Okonjima, Namibia

The lion (Panthera leo) is a species in the family Felidae and a member of the genus Panthera. It has a muscular, deep-chested body, short, rounded head, round ears, and a hairy tuft at the end of its tail. It is sexually dimorphic; adult male lions have a prominent mane. With a typical head-to-body length of 184 to 208 cm (72 to 82 in) they are larger than females at 160 to 184 cm (63 to 72 in). It is a social species, forming groups called prides. A lion pride consists of a few adult males, related females and cubs. Groups of female lions usually hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. The lion is an apex and keystone predator; although some lions scavenge when opportunities occur and have been known to hunt humans, the species typically does not.

Typically, the lion inhabits grasslands and savannas, but is absent in dense forests. It is usually more diurnal than other wild cats, but when persecuted, it adapts to being active at night and at twilight. During the Neolithic period, the lion ranged throughout Africa, Southeast Europe, and Western and South Asia, but it has been reduced to fragmented populations in sub-Saharan Africa and one population in western India. It has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1996 because populations in African countries have declined by about 43% since the early 1990s. Lion populations are untenable outside designated protected areas. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are the greatest causes for concern. (Full article...)
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Pieter Kenyon Fleming-Voltelyn van der Byl (11 November 1923 - 15 November 1999) was a Rhodesian politician who served as his country's Foreign Minister from 1974 to 1979 as a member of the Rhodesian Front (RF). A close associate of Prime Minister Ian Smith, Van der Byl opposed attempts to compromise with the British government and domestic black nationalist opposition on the issue of majority rule throughout most his time in government. However, in the late 1970s he supported the moves which led to majority rule and internationally recognised independence for Zimbabwe.

Van der Byl was born and raised in Cape Town, the son of the South African politician P V van der Byl, and served in the Middle East and Europe during the Second World War. After a high-flying international education, he moved to the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia in 1950 to manage family farms. He went into politics in the early 1960s through his involvement with farming trade bodies, and became a government minister responsible for propaganda. One of the leading agitators for Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965, Van der Byl was afterwards responsible for introducing press censorship. He was unsuccessful in his attempt to persuade international opinion to recognise Rhodesia, but was popular among members of his own party. (Full article...)
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Flag of the Republic of Senegal
Location of Senegal

Senegal (French: le Sénégal), officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country south of the Sénégal River in western Africa. Senegal is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east, and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south. The Republic of The Gambia lies almost entirely within Senegal, surrounded on the north, east and south; from its western coast, Gambia's territory follows the Gambia River more than 300 kilometers (190 mi) inland.

The Senegalese landscape consists mainly of the rolling sandy plains of the western Sahel which rise to foothills in the southeast. Here is also found Senegal's highest point, an otherwise unnamed feature near Nepen Diakha at 581 m (1906 ft). The northern border is formed by the Senegal River; other rivers include the Gambia and Casamance Rivers. The capital Dakar lies on the Cap-Vert peninsula, the westernmost point of continental Africa. The local climate is tropical with well-defined dry and humid seasons that result from northeast winter winds and southwest summer winds. (Read more...)

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Omdurman Market
Omdurman (standard Arabic: Umm Durm?n) is the most populated city in Sudan and Khartoum State, lying on the western banks of the River Nile, opposite the capital, Khartoum. (Full article...)

In the news

13 May 2021 - Protests against the 2021 Israel-Palestine crisis
Kenya Police fire tear gas at a group of crowds protesting the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip in Nairobi. (Reuters)
12 May 2021 -
The government of Sierra Leone decides to push for the abolition of capital punishment. (IOL)
11 May 2021 -
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signs Presidential Proclamation No. 1143, declaring a state of calamity for one year due to the African swine fever, two years after the disease was reported in the country. (Rappler)
11 May 2021 - Kenya-Somalia relations
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority suspends all commercial flights to Somalia for three months, days after both countries announced the restoration of diplomatic relations. No reason is given for the suspension. (Al Jazeera)
9 May 2021 -
A landslide at a clandestine gold mine in Siguiri, Guinea, kills at least fifteen miners. (BBC)
9 May 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Tunisia

Updated: 10:33, 14 May 2021

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