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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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The Mozambican War of Independence, (clockwise from top left): a Portuguese supply convoy traverses the countryside; a foot patrol of Portuguese soldiers in the forest; Portuguese troops embark surface ships on their way to Africa; a heavily armed Portuguese armoured column

The Mozambican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique, or FRELIMO) and Portugal. The war officially started on September 25, 1964, and ended with a ceasefire on September 8, 1974, resulting in a negotiated independence in 1975.

The conflict was a result of unrest and frustration amongst the indigenous Mozambican population, who perceived foreign rule to be a form of exploitation and mistreatment and resented Portugal's policies towards indigenous people, which included denying locals access to fundamental education and employment.

As successful self-determination movements spread throughout Africa after World War II, many Mozambicans became progressively nationalistic in outlook. A mass exile of Mozambique's political intelligentsia to neighbouring countries provided havens from which radical Mozambicans could plan actions and foment political unrest in the home country. The formation of FRELIMO and the support of the Soviet Union, China and Cuba through arms and advisors, led to the outbreak of violence that was to last over a decade. (Read more...)

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Dar es Salaam
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania. It is also the country's richest city and a regionally important economic centre. Dar es Salaam is actually an administrative province within Tanzania, and consists of three local government areas or administrative districts: Kinondoni to the north, Ilala in the center of the region, and Temeke to the south. The Dar es Salaam Region had a population of 2,497,940 as of the official 2002 census. Though Dar es Salaam lost its official status as capital city to Dodoma in 1974, it remains the center of the permanent central government bureaucracy and continues to serve as the capital for the surrounding Dar es Salaam Region.

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Akan drum

Featured biography

The mummified head of Ahmose I

Ahmose I (sometimes written Amosis I and meaning The Moon is Born) was a pharaoh of ancient Egypt and the founder of the Eighteenth dynasty. He was a member of the Theban royal house, the son of pharaoh Tao II Seqenenre and brother of the last pharaoh of the Seventeenth dynasty, King Kamose. When he was seven his father was killed, and when he was about ten his brother died of unknown causes, after reigning only three years. Ahmose I assumed the throne after the death of his brother, and upon coronation became known as Neb-pehty-re (The Lord of Strength is Re).

During his reign he completed the conquest and expulsion of the Hyksos from the delta region, restored Theban rule over the whole of Egypt and successfully reasserted Egyptian power in its formerly subject territories of Nubia and Canaan. Ahmose's reign, usually dated to about 1550–1525 BC, laid the foundations for the New Kingdom, under which Egyptian power reached its peak. (Read more...)


Topics in Africa

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220930892 news items

Scientific American

Scientific American
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 13:33:45 -0800

And now, nearly 70 years after its discovery in mainland Africa, it is threatening to return to its roots - this time apparently in a changed form causing large-scale outbreaks. "Cape Verde has historical links with Brazil and it seems very likely it ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 12:50:25 -0800

South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters party have walked out of Jacob Zuma's state of the nation address in the latest attack on the embattled president. In chaotic scenes in parliament, EFF lawmakers shouted down the speaker for more than an hour ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 09:07:08 -0800

It would be remarkable if England could humble South Africa twice at the Bullring on the same tour. On Friday a win for Eoin Morgan's side will ensure a series victory in the ODI series, an outcome that would be as worthy as winning the Test equivalent.

Herald Sun

Thu, 11 Feb 2016 00:59:46 -0800

SYDNEY -- Australia scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the final two on a throwing error, to beat the Philippines 11-1 on Thursday in a World Baseball Classic qualifying game shortened by the mercy rule. The home side had 11 hits ...
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 10:45:00 -0800

2016 leads Africa into a new era in international cooperation. The migration and refugee crisis, terrorism, violence and fragility - all triggered by or mixed with the very visible impacts of climate change - are stark reminders that action on multiple ...

National Geographic Traveler Magazine (blog)

National Geographic Traveler Magazine (blog)
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 13:45:00 -0800

My husband and I have traveled here hoping to photograph Africa's “Big Five”—lion, leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo, and rhino. Sadly the “Big Five” may soon become the “Big Four”; wildlife experts warn the animals could be erased from the continent by ...


Thu, 11 Feb 2016 13:45:00 -0800

Here U.S. forces patrol the land and the sea. They're constantly on the lookout for terrorists and other threats. Brigadier General William West, Commander of U.S. forces in the horn of Africa, says Djibouti sits in a very strategic location. Its port ...


Thu, 11 Feb 2016 03:37:30 -0800

Africa Internet Group (AIG), parent company to e-commerce brands like Jumia and Jovago, has become Africa's first venture capital-backed business to be valued at $1 billion dollars after an $83 million investment from insurance company AXA for an 8% ...

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