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Wikipedia portal Africa logo.png
For a topic outline on this subject, see List of basic Africa topics.
Main page   African countries   Tasks, WikiProjects & related portals  
Location of Africa on the world map
Satellite map of Africa

Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.2 million km2 (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers six percent of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area. With 1.1 billion people as of 2013, it accounts for about 15% 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 includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It has 54 fully recognized sovereign states ("countries"), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition.

Africa's population is the youngest among all the continents; 50% of Africans are 19 years old or younger.

Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, and Nigeria is the largest by population. Africa, particularly central Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of 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. Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.

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Featured article

Diamonds

Diamond is the hardest natural material known to man and the third-hardest known material after aggregated diamond nanorods and ultrahard fullerite. Its hardness and high dispersion of light make it useful for industrial applications and jewelry.

Diamonds are specifically renowned as a material with superlative physical qualities — they make excellent abrasives because they can be scratched only by other diamonds, Borazon, ultrahard fullerite, or aggregated diamond nanorods, which also means they hold a polish extremely well and retain their lustre. About 130 million carats (26,000 kg) are mined annually, with a total value of nearly USD $9 billion. About 100,000 kg are synthesized annually.

Roughly 49% of diamonds originate from central and southern Africa, although significant sources of the mineral have been discovered in Canada, India, Russia, Brazil, and Australia. They are mined from kimberlite and lamproite volcanic pipes, which brought to the surface the diamond crystals from deep in the Earth where the high pressure and temperature enables the formation of the crystals. The mining and distribution of natural diamonds are subjects of frequent controversy such as with concerns over the sale of conflict diamonds by African paramilitary groups. (Read more...)

Featured picture

Sphinx, partially excavated
Credit: Maison Bonfils

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a statue of a reclining lion with a human head that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile, near modern-day Cairo, in Egypt. It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 m (241 ft) long, 6 m (20 ft) wide, and 20 m (65 ft) high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians in the third millennium BC. After the Giza Necropolis was abandoned, the Sphinx became buried up to its shoulders in sand. The first documented attempt at an excavation dates to c. 1400 BC. In 1817 AD, the first modern archaeological dig, supervised by the Italian Captain Giovanni Battista Caviglia, uncovered the Sphinx’s chest completely. The entire Sphinx was finally excavated in 1925.

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Akan drum

Featured biography

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (born c. 1944) has been the President of Uganda since January 29, 1986.

Museveni was involved in the war that toppled Idi Amin's (1971–79) rule and the rebellion that subsequently led to the demise of Milton Obote's (1980–85) regime. With the notable exception of northern areas, Museveni has brought relative stability and economic growth to a country that has endured decades of government mismanagement, rebel activity and civil war. His tenure has also witnessed one of the most effective national responses to HIV/AIDS in Africa.

In the mid to late 1990s, Museveni was lauded by the West as part of a new generation of African leaders. His presidency has been marred, however, by involvement in civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other Great Lakes region conflicts. Rebellion in the north of Uganda by the Lord's Resistance Army continues to perpetuate one of the world's worst humanitarian emergencies. Recent developments, including the abolition of Presidential term limits before the 2006 elections and the harassment of democratic opposition, have attracted concern from domestic commentators and the international community. (Read more...)

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Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Africa — Please support Wikipedia.
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153049769 news items

New York Times

New York Times
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 04:37:30 -0700

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Without ever quite saying so explicitly, President Obama used his four-day trip to Africa to suggest that the United States offers an alternative to China's aggressive courtship of the continent. At a time when China has ...

New York Times

New York Times
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 07:09:10 -0700

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — President Obama jabbed at the power structures of Africa on Tuesday by calling for long-entrenched leaders to step down, using off-the-cuff remarks about his own political standing and his stature as the first American ...

Bloomberg

Quartz
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 03:52:19 -0700

Airbnb has ambitious plans for Africa, as its CEO, Brian Chesky, announced in Johannesburg on July 27. Already in 17 countries on the continent, the accommodation listings company has seen its listings in Africa more than double over the past 12 months ...

Los Angeles Times

CNN
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:21:23 -0700

(CNN) An American man is being sought in connection with a case that has drawn international attention -- the killing of Cecil the lion -- Zimbabwean officials said Tuesday. The man suspected in Cecil's death is Walter James Palmer of Eden Prairie, ...

Bloomberg

Bloomberg
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 22:52:39 -0700

Barclays Africa Group Ltd. said talks to buy its parent company's operations in Egypt and Zimbabwe have been accelerated following management changes at Barclays Plc. “Our ambition is to do the acquisition of both, and the management changes have ...

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 21:41:15 -0700

If the first Test between Bangladesh and South Africa was anything to go by, we could be in for a potentially intriguing five days when the next match begins in Mirpur on Thursday. The only thing standing in the way of an enthralling five days is the ...

Clippers.com

Clippers.com
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 15:07:30 -0700

SOUTH AFRICA – Chris Paul has landed in South Africa, as his jam-packed, international preseason takes him to Johannesburg this week in advance of the first ever NBA Africa Game on Aug. 1. Paul, who had never been to South Africa before, already ...

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:10:17 -0700

When President Obama joked to African Union leaders Tuesday about his theoretical ability to win a third-term if not for the U.S. Constitution, he was speaking to a group of men notorious for clinging to power. "I love my job," Obama told leaders at ...
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