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 17% 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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The false potto (Pseudopotto martini) is a lorisoid primate of uncertain taxonomic status found in Africa. Anthropologist Jeffrey H. Schwartz named it in 1996 as the only species of the genus Pseudopotto on the basis of two specimens (consisting only of skeletal material) that had previously been identified as a potto (Perodicticus). The precise provenances of the two specimens are uncertain, but at least one may have come from Cameroon. Schwartz thought the false potto could even represent a separate family, but other researchers have argued that the supposed distinguishing features of the animal do not actually distinguish it from the potto; specifically, the false potto shares several features with the West African potto ((Perodicticus potto).

The false potto generally resembles a small potto, but according to Schwartz it differs in having a longer tail, shorter spines on its neck and chest vertebrae, a smaller, less complex spine on the second neck vertebra, an entepicondylar foramen (an opening in the humerus, or upper arm bone), a lacrimal fossa (a depression in the skull) that is located inside the eye socket, a smaller upper third premolar and molar, and higher-crowned cheekteeth, among other traits. However, many of these traits are variable among pottos; for example, one researcher found entepicondylar foramina in almost half of the specimens in his sample of pottos. (Full article...)
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Paul Kruger as an old man with a grey beard wearing a black top hat as well as pirate style earrings
Kruger in 1883

Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (Afrikaans pronunciation: [ˈkry.(j)ər]; 10 October 1825 – 14 July 1904) was a South African politician. He was one of the dominant political and military figures in 19th-century South Africa, and President of the South African Republic (or Transvaal) from 1883 to 1900. Nicknamed Oom Paul ("Uncle Paul"), he came to international prominence as the face of the Boer cause—that of the Transvaal and its neighbour the Orange Free State—against Britain during the Second Boer War of 1899–1902. He has been called a personification of Afrikanerdom, and remains a controversial figure; admirers venerate him as a tragic folk hero.

Born near the eastern edge of the Cape Colony, Kruger took part in the Great Trek as a child during the late 1830s. He had almost no education apart from the Bible. A protégé of the Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius, he witnessed the signing of the Sand River Convention with Britain in 1852 and over the next decade played a prominent role in the forging of the South African Republic, leading its commandos and resolving disputes between the rival Boer leaders and factions. In 1863 he was elected Commandant-General, a post he held for a decade before he resigned soon after the election of President Thomas François Burgers. (Full article...)
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Coat of Arms of the Republic of the Congo
Location of the Republic of the Congo

The Republic of the Congo (French: République du Congo; Kongo: Repubilika ya Kongo; Lingala: Republiki ya Kongó), also known as Congo-Brazzaville, is a former French colony of western-central Africa. Upon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government installed in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis Sassou Nguesso.

The Republic of the Congo borders the Democratic Republic of Congo to the south and east, Gabon to the west, Cameroon and the Central African Republic to the north, and Cabinda (Angola) and the Gulf of Guinea to the southwest. The southwest of the country is a coastal plain for which the primary drainage is the Kouilou-Niari River; the interior consists of a central plateau between two basins to the south and north. The capital, Brazzaville, is located on the Congo River, in the south of the country, immediately across from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Read more...)

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DZ-25-01 Constantine.svg

Constantine (Arabic: قسنطينة Qusanṭīnah), also spelled Qacentina or Kasantina, is the capital of Constantine Province in northeastern Algeria. During Roman times it was called Cirta and was renamed "Constantina" in honor of emperor Constantine the Great. It was the capital of the French department of Constantine until 1962. Located somewhat inland, Constantine is about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the Mediterranean coast, on the banks of the Rhumel River.

Constantine is regarded as the capital of eastern Algeria and the commercial center of its region, and it has a population of about 450,000 (938,475 with the agglomeration), making it the third largest city in the country after Algiers and Oran. There are several museums and historical sites located around the city. Constantine is often referred to as the "City of Bridges" due to the numerous picturesque bridges connecting the various hills, valleys, and ravines that the city is built on and around. (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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