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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 1.4 billion people0 as of 2021, it accounts for about 18% of the world's human population. Africa's population is the youngest amongst all the continents; the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide median age was 30.4. Despite a wide range of natural resources, Africa is the least wealthy continent per capita and second-least wealthy by total wealth, behind Oceania. Scholars have attributed this to different factors including geography, climate, tribalism, colonialism, the Cold War, neocolonialism, lack of democracy, and corruption. Despite this low concentration of wealth, recent economic expansion and the large and young population make Africa an important economic market in the broader global context.

Africa straddles the equator and the prime meridian. It is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Most of the continent lies in the tropics, except for a large part of Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya and Egypt, the northern tip of Mauritania, the entire territories of Morocco, Ceuta, Melilla, and Tunisia which in turn are located above the tropic of Cancer, in the northern temperate zone. In the other extreme of the continent, southern Namibia, southern Botswana, great parts of South Africa, the entire territories of Lesotho and Eswatini and the southern tips of Mozambique and Madagascar are located below the tropic of Capricorn, in the southern temperate zone.

Africa is highly biodiverse; it is the continent with the largest number of megafauna species, as it was least affected by the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna. However, Africa also is heavily affected by a wide range of environmental issues, including desertification, deforestation, water scarcity, pollution and other issues. These entrenched environmental concerns are expected to worsen as climate change impacts Africa. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified Africa as the continent most vulnerable to climate change.

The history of Africa is long, complex, and has often been under-appreciated by the global historical community. Africa, particularly Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes). The earliest hominids and their ancestors have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster— the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) remains, found in Ethiopia, South Africa, and Morocco, date to circa 233,000, 259,000, and 300,000 years ago respectively, and Homo sapiens is believed to have originated in Africa around 350,000–260,000 years ago. Due to being the longest inhabited continent, Africa is also considered by anthropologists to be the most genetically diverse continent on the planet. (Full article...)

For a topic outline, see Outline of Africa.

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Nok sculpture Louvre 70-1998-11-1.jpg

African art describes the modern and historical paintings, sculptures, installations, and other visual culture from native or indigenous Africans and the African continent. The definition may also include the art of the African diasporas, such as African American, Caribbean or art in South American societies inspired by African traditions. Despite this diversity, there are unifying artistic themes present, when considering the totality of the visual culture from the continent of Africa.

Pottery, metalwork, sculpture, architecture, textile art and fibre art, are important visual art forms across Africa and may be included in the study of African art. The term "African art" does not usually include the art of the North African areas along the Mediterranean coast, as such areas had long been part of different traditions. For more than a millennium, the art of such areas had formed part of Berber or Islamic art, although with many particular local characteristics. (Full article...)
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Photo of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti standing with hands clasped together in front of her
Ransome-Kuti on her 70th birthday

Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, MON ( /ˌfʊnmiˈlaɪjoʊ ˈrænsəm ˈkuːti/; born Frances Abigail Olufunmilayo Thomas; 25 October 1900 – 13 April 1978), also known as Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti, was a Nigerian educator, political campaigner, suffragist, and women's rights activist.

Fumilayo Ransome Kuti was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, and was the first female student to attend the Abeokuta Grammar School. As a young adult, she worked as a teacher, organizing some of the first preschool classes in the country and arranging literacy classes for lower-income women. (Full article...)
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Flag of the Republic of Botswana
Coat of arms of Botswana
Location of Botswana

Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana (Tswana: Lefatshe lo Botswana), is a landlocked nation in Southern Africa. Citizens of Botswana are Batswana (singular: Motswana), regardless of ethnicity. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west, Zambia to the north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast, it is divided into nine districts, which are further subdivided into a total twenty-eight subdistricts.

For over 30 years, Botswana had the fastest growing economy in the world, with growth averaging over 9% per year from 1966 to 1999. The economy, closely tied to South Africa's, is dominated by mining (38 percent), services (44 percent), construction (7 percent), manufacturing (4 percent) and agriculture (2 percent). Botswana has been hit very hard by the AIDS epidemic; the average life expectancy in Botswana at birth has declined from 64 years in 1990 to 50.6 years in 2007. (Read more...)

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Addis Ababa (/ˌædɪs ˈæbəbə/; Amharic: አዲስ አበባ, lit.'new flower' [adˈdis ˈabəba] (listen)), also known as Finfinne (lit. "natural spring" in Oromo), is the capital and largest city of Ethiopia. It also serves as the regional capital of Oromia. In the 2007 census, the city's population was estimated to be 2,739,551 inhabitants. Addis Ababa is a highly developed and important cultural, artistic, financial and administritive centre of Ethiopia.

In the 15th century, Addis Ababa was depicted as a fortified place named "Barara" and served as a residence of the Emperors of Ethiopia until Dawit II. Barara was completely destroyed during the Ethiopian–Adal War and Oromo expansions. The founding history of Addis Ababa dates back in late 19th-century by Menelik II, Negus of Shewa, in 1886 after finding Mount Entoto unpleasant two years prior. At the time, the city was a resort town; its large mineral spring abundance attracted nobilities of the empire, led them to establish permanent settlement. It also attracted many members of the working classes — including artisans and merchants — and foreign visitors. Menelik II then formed his imperial palace in 1887. Addis Ababa became the empire's capital in 1889, and subsequently international embassies were opened. Addis Ababa urban development began at the beginning of the 20th century, and without any preplanning. (Full article...)

In the news

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

Updated: 7:33, 20 March 2022

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