- For a topic outline on this subject, see List of basic Africa topics.
Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30,221,532 km² (11,668,599 sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 20.4% of the Earth's total land area, and with over 1 billion inhabitants in 61 territories, it accounts for about 15% of the world's human population. Modern human evolutionary theory recognizes Africa, particularly the area in and around present-day Ethiopia, as the cradle of humankind.
The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas and is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones. Because of the lack of natural regular precipitation and irrigation as well as glaciers or mountain aquifer systems, there no natural moderating effect on the climate exists except near the coasts.
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...)
Chinua Achebe, born Albert Chinualumogu Achebe on November 16, 1930, is a Nigerian novelist, poet and critic. He is best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), which is the most widely-read book in modern African literature.
Raised by Christian parents in the Igbo village of Ogidi in south Nigeria, Achebe excelled at school and won a scholarship for undergraduate studies. He became fascinated with world religions and traditional African cultures, and began writing stories as a university student. After graduation, he worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service and soon moved to the metropolis of Lagos. He gained worldwide attention for Things Fall Apart in the late 1950s; his later novels include No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah (1987). Achebe wrote his novels in English and has defended the use of English, a language of colonisers, in African literature. In 1975 he was the focus of controversy when he delivered a lecture entitled An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness". He criticised author Joseph Conrad for his unflattering depiction of African people, referring to him as "a thoroughgoing racist". (Read more...)
The following Wikimedia
sister projects provide more on this subject:
Toto - Africa
Music video by Toto performing Africa. (C) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
Empire - The New Scramble for Africa
Described by many as the 'new scramble for Africa', the US, China and other nations are attempting to consolidate their grip on Africa's natural resources an...
Who Controls Africa? (part 1/5)
We begin the chapter by one of the great powers in Africa, women. They are the ones who educate children, which remain when they leave, the guardians of the ...
Pure Nature Specials - Africa's Super Seven
Uploaded under license from Off the Fence. On the northern bank of the Sand River in the Mala-Mala Game Reserve in South Africa, seven magnificent creatures ...
Perpetuum Jazzile - Africa
Perpetuum Jazzile is an XXL vocal group from Slovenia. Toto's Africa by Perpetuum Jazzile, performed live at Vokal Xtravaganzza 2008 (October 2008) - arrange...
► First Out of Africa - The totally isolated Tribe of the Andaman (Sky Vision Documentary)
There are still people in this world who have no idea that civilization exists. On remote islands in the Bay of Bengal live mysterious tribes. The five-foot ...
Kenyans voted the ugliest in Africa
They say beauty is only skin deep. But when Kenyans were voted the ugliest people in Africa in the annual 'most beautiful people of Africa' awards, our national perceptions on beauty took center...
War in the Central African Republic (Full Length Documentary)
Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News The Central African Republic's capital of Bangui has seen its Muslim population drop from 1...
Africa's Moonshine Epidemic
Ugandans are the hardest drinking Africans in the motherland, both in terms of per capita consumption and the hooch they choose to chug. Waregi, or "war gin,...
Stealing Africa - Why Poverty?
How much profit is fair? To find out more and get teaching resources, go to www.whypoverty.net Rüschlikon is a village in Switzerland with a very low tax rat...
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:46:27 -0700
South Africa: AB de Villiers (c), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, JP Duminy, Ryan McLaren, Dale Steyn, Aaron Phangiso, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir. Watch Australia v South Africa LIVE on Fox Sports 3HD. During the lunch break ...
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:01:06 -0700
Lesotho, the impoverished "kingdom in the sky" 1,500 metres above sea level, is entirely surrounded by South Africa and has endured numerous military coups since gaining independence from Britain in 1966. Britain's Prince Harry has visited several ...
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:03:45 -0700
There are already animation studios in Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, but only a very limited number of good schools teach such techniques on the African continent. Now a project launched by a Senegalese media mogul and funded by the ...
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:52:33 -0700
The previously undisclosed decision gives the Pentagon another surveillance hub — its second in Niger and third in the region — to track Islamist fighters who have destabilized parts of North and West Africa. It also advances a little-publicized U.S ...
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:03:45 -0700
The Qantas Wallabies have announced their side for Saturday night's Mandela Plate and Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship clash against South Africa at Patersons Stadium. Coach Ewen McKenzie has made three personnel changes to the starting XV with ...
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 07:15:00 -0700
Cape Town, South Africa - In June, Lesotho's deputy prime minister and leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) Mothetjoa Metsing announced he would be removing his party from a three-way political coalition that had brought Prime Minister ...
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:48:45 -0700
But Ebola has been stopped in every other outbreak to date, and it can be stopped in West Africa, too. The crisis we are watching unfold derives less from the virus itself and more from deadly and misinformed biases that have led to a disastrously ...
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:33:45 -0700
The Ebola epidemic that has killed some 1,550 people in West Africa since March is now expected to whittle the region's food supply, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Tuesday. The FAO is warning that food prices in Liberia ...
Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter
You can talk about Africa with people all over the world in our discussions.