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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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Map showing the distribution of the major Gbe dialect areas

The Gbe languages (pronounced [ɡ͡be]) form a cluster of about twenty related languages stretching across the area between eastern Ghana and western Nigeria. The total number of speakers of Gbe languages is between four and eight million. The most widely spoken Gbe language is Ewe (3 million speakers in Ghana and Togo), followed by Fon (1.7 million, mainly in Benin). The Gbe languages belong to the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo languages, and break up into five major dialect clusters: Ewe, Fon, Aja, Gen, and Phla-Pherá.

Around 1840, German missionaries started linguistic research into the Gbe languages. In the first half of the twentieth century, the Africanist Diedrich Hermann Westermann was one of the most prolific contributors to the study of Gbe. The first internal classification of the Gbe languages was published in 1988 by H.B. Capo, followed by a comparative phonology in 1991. The Gbe languages are tonal, isolating languages and the basic word order is Subject Verb Object. (Read more...)

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A lioness in Ishasha Southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park in southwestern Uganda)
Photo credit: Cody Pope

The lion (Panthera leo) is a mammal of the family Felidae and one of four "big cats" in the genus Panthera. The lion is the second largest feline species, after the tiger. The male lion, easily recognized by his mane, weighs between 150 and 250 kg (330–500 lb). Females range 120–150 kg (260–330 lb). In the wild, lions live for around 10–14 years, while in captivity they can live over 20 years. Though they were once found throughout much of Africa, Asia and Europe, lions presently exist in the wild only in Africa and India. They enjoy hot climates, and hunt in groups.

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Akan drum

Featured biography

Robert Baden-Powell

Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB (22 February 1857 – 8 January 1941) was a lieutenant-general in the British Army, writer, and founder of the Scout Movement.

After being educated at Charterhouse School, Baden-Powell served in the British Army from 1876 until 1910 in India and Africa. In 1899, during the Second Boer War in South Africa, he organised a successful defence of Mafeking when it was besieged by the Boers. He wrote several books for military reconnaissance and scout training in his African years. During writing, he tested his ideas through a camping trip on Brownsea Island that began on August 1, 1907, which is now seen as the beginning of Scouting. (Read more...)

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This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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The Guardian

The Guardian
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 23:22:30 -0700

It is for this reason that we embrace our African brothers and sisters who migrate to South Africa legally. In fact our migration policy is advanced because we integrate refugees and asylum seekers within our communities. They live among our citizens ...

Reuters

Reuters
Tue, 28 Apr 2015 06:52:30 -0700

Nigeria's Acting High Commissioner to South Africa Martin Cobham said on Saturday he had been "invited" to Abuja to discuss this month's anti-immigrant attacks in South Africa, which have killed at least seven people. Televised images of armed gangs ...

Financial Times

Financial Times
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 21:03:35 -0700

A Chinese state-owned rail company has signed $5.5bn worth of contracts in Africa, in the latest sign that the country's “New Silk Road” strategy to build infrastructure around the developing world is showing tangible results. African units of China ...
 
Forbes
Tue, 28 Apr 2015 07:15:00 -0700

These are heady times for private equity in Africa. Earlier this month the Abraaj Group closed its third dedicated sub-Saharan African private equity fund, this one raising US$990 million. The African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association ...

NPR

NPR
Sun, 26 Apr 2015 15:33:41 -0700

Goodwill Zwelithini is the influential king of South Africa's Zulu nation. Comments that he made last month — when he reportedly said head lice should be squashed and foreigners should pack their belongings and leave the country — have been blamed ...

Independent Online

Independent Online
Tue, 28 Apr 2015 00:41:15 -0700

The seventh edition of Africa's biggest free motorcycle rally, hosted by Harley-Davidson and open to anything with two or three wheels, an engine and handlebars, was different only in that it was, if anything, louder than previous years and that ...

MainStreet

MainStreet
Tue, 28 Apr 2015 04:03:45 -0700

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — It's hard for some to develop a mental image of Africa beyond headlines about Ebola, famine, poverty and Somali pirates. But there's a new headline emerging about the continent, one that's far more positive and welcoming for ...

New York Times (blog)

New York Times (blog)
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 23:56:15 -0700

Since then, he has continued his work for Reuters, capturing life in the heart of Lagos, whose population of more than 20 million makes it Africa's largest city. The exhibition is called “Each Passing Day” (it opened at Red Door Gallery in Lagos on ...
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