Ethiopia known to Europeans as "Abyssinia" , and Liberia. Around BC, due to a tilt in the earth's orbit, the Sahara experienced a period of rapid desertification. Find more about Africa at Wikipedia's sister projects.
Significant habitat destruction, increases in human population and poaching are reducing Africa's biological diversity and arable land. Human encroachment, civil unrest and the introduction of non-native species threaten biodiversity in Africa. This has been exacerbated by administrative problems, inadequate personnel and funding problems. There are clear signs of increased networking among African organizations and states.
For example, in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo former Zaire , rather than rich, non-African countries intervening, neighbouring African countries became involved see also Second Congo War. Since the conflict began in , the estimated death toll has reached 5 million. The union was formed, with Addis Ababa , Ethiopia , as its headquarters, on 26 June There is a policy in effect to decentralize the African Federation's institutions so that they are shared by all the states.
The African Union, not to be confused with the AU Commission, is formed by the Constitutive Act of the African Union , which aims to transform the African Economic Community , a federated commonwealth, into a state under established international conventions.
The African Union has a parliamentary government, known as the African Union Government , consisting of legislative, judicial and executive organs. The government of the AU consists of all-union federal , regional, state, and municipal authorities, as well as hundreds of institutions, that together manage the day-to-day affairs of the institution.
Political associations such as the African Union offer hope for greater co-operation and peace between the continent's many countries. Extensive human rights abuses still occur in several parts of Africa, often under the oversight of the state. Most of such violations occur for political reasons, often as a side effect of civil war. Countries where major human rights violations have been reported in recent times include the Democratic Republic of the Congo , Sierra Leone , Liberia , Sudan , Zimbabwe , and Côte d'Ivoire.
Although it has abundant natural resources , Africa remains the world's poorest and most underdeveloped continent, the result of a variety of causes that may include corrupt governments that have often committed serious human rights violations , failed central planning , high levels of illiteracy , lack of access to foreign capital, and frequent tribal and military conflict ranging from guerrilla warfare to genocide.
Poverty , illiteracy, malnutrition and inadequate water supply and sanitation, as well as poor health, affect a large proportion of the people who reside in the African continent. The average poor person in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to live on only 70 cents per day, and was poorer in than in ,  indicating increasing poverty in some areas. Some of it is attributed to unsuccessful economic liberalization programmes spearheaded by foreign companies and governments, but other studies have cited bad domestic government policies more than external factors.
Africa is now at risk of being in debt once again, particularly in Sub-Saharan African countries. The last debt crisis in was resolved with help from the heavily indebted poor countries scheme HIPC. About ten years after the debt crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa was resolved, Zambia fell back into dept.
A small reason was due to the fall in copper prices in , but the bigger reason was that a large amount of the money Zambia borrowed was wasted or pocketed by the elite. Some countries experienced still higher growth rates, notably Angola , Sudan and Equatorial Guinea , all of which had recently begun extracting their petroleum reserves or had expanded their oil extraction capacity.
In a recently published analysis based on World Values Survey data, the Austrian political scientist Arno Tausch maintained that several African countries, most notably Ghana , perform quite well on scales of mass support for democracy and the market economy. The non-violent and law-abiding society 2. Climate of personal non-violence 4. Trust in institutions 5. Happiness, good health 6. No redistributive religious fundamentalism 7.
Accepting the market 8. Involvement in politics Optimism and engagement No welfare mentality, acceptancy of the Calvinist work ethics. Tausch also maintains that the certain recent optimism, corresponding to economic and human rights data, emerging from Africa, is reflected in the development of a civil society. In fact, the food security crisis of which took place on the heels of the global financial crisis pushed million people into food insecurity.
In recent years, the People's Republic of China has built increasingly stronger ties with African nations and is Africa's largest trading partner. A Harvard University study led by professor Calestous Juma showed that Africa could feed itself by making the transition from importer to self-sufficiency.
Africa is starting to focus on agricultural innovation as its new engine for regional trade and prosperity. He also announced a new programme named Trade Africa, designed to boost trade within the continent as well as between Africa and the US. Africa's population has rapidly increased over the last 40 years, and consequently, it is relatively young. In some African states, more than half the population is under 25 years of age.
Africa's total population surpassing other continents is fairly recent; African population surpassed Europe in the s, while the Americas was overtaken sometime around the year ; Africa's rapid population growth is expected to overtake the only two nations currently larger than its population, at roughly the same time — India and China's 1. Speakers of Bantu languages part of the Niger—Congo family are the majority in southern, central and southeast Africa. Bantu-speaking Africans also predominate in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, and are found in parts of southern Cameroon.
In the Kalahari Desert of Southern Africa, the distinct people known as the Bushmen also "San", closely related to, but distinct from " Hottentots " have long been present. The San are physically distinct from other Africans and are the indigenous people of southern Africa. Pygmies are the pre-Bantu indigenous peoples of central Africa. The peoples of West Africa primarily speak Niger—Congo languages , belonging mostly to its non-Bantu branches, though some Nilo-Saharan and Afro-Asiatic speaking groups are also found.
In the central Sahara, Mandinka or Mande groups are most significant. Chadic-speaking groups, including the Hausa , are found in more northerly parts of the region nearest to the Sahara, and Nilo-Saharan communities, such as the Songhai , Kanuri and Zarma , are found in the eastern parts of West Africa bordering Central Africa. The peoples of North Africa consist of three main indigenous groups: Berbers in the northwest, Egyptians in the northeast, and Nilo-Saharan-speaking peoples in the east.
Significant Berber communities remain within Morocco and Algeria in the 21st century, while, to a lesser extent, Berber speakers are also present in some regions of Tunisia and Libya. In Mauritania, there is a small but near-extinct Berber community in the north and Niger—Congo-speaking peoples in the south, though in both regions Arabic and Arab culture predominates. In Sudan, although Arabic and Arab culture predominate, it is mostly inhabited by groups that originally spoke Nilo-Saharan, such as the Nubians, Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa, who, over the centuries, have variously intermixed with migrants from the Arabian peninsula.
In the Horn of Africa , some Ethiopian and Eritrean groups like the Amhara and Tigrayans , collectively known as Habesha speak languages from the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family, while the Oromo and Somali speak languages from the Cushitic branch of Afro-Asiatic.
Prior to the decolonization movements of the post- World War II era, Europeans were represented in every part of Africa. European colonization also brought sizable groups of Asians , particularly from the Indian subcontinent , to British colonies.
Large Indian communities are found in South Africa, and smaller ones are present in Kenya, Tanzania, and some other southern and southeast African countries. The large Indian community in Uganda was expelled by the dictator Idi Amin in , though many have since returned. The islands in the Indian Ocean are also populated primarily by people of Asian origin, often mixed with Africans and Europeans. The Malagasy people of Madagascar are an Austronesian people , but those along the coast are generally mixed with Bantu, Arab, Indian and European origins.
Malay and Indian ancestries are also important components in the group of people known in South Africa as Cape Coloureds people with origins in two or more races and continents. During the 20th century, small but economically important communities of Lebanese and Chinese  have also developed in the larger coastal cities of West and East Africa , respectively. Africa is the most multilingual continent in the world, and it is not rare for individuals to fluently speak not only multiple African languages, but one or more European ones as well.
There are four major language families indigenous to Africa:. Following the end of colonialism , nearly all African countries adopted official languages that originated outside the continent, although several countries also granted legal recognition to indigenous languages such as Swahili , Yoruba , Igbo and Hausa.
In numerous countries, English and French see African French are used for communication in the public sphere such as government, commerce, education and the media. Arabic , Portuguese , Afrikaans and Spanish are examples of languages that trace their origin to outside of Africa, and that are used by millions of Africans today, both in the public and private spheres.
Italian is spoken by some in former Italian colonies in Africa. German is spoken in Namibia , as it was a former German protectorate. Some aspects of traditional African cultures have become less practised in recent years as a result of neglect and suppression by colonial and post-colonial regimes.
For example, African customs were discouraged, and African languages were prohibited in mission schools. Obidoh Freeborn posits that colonialism is one element that has created the character of modern African art.
Cole, "The precipitous alterations in the power structure wrought by colonialism were quickly followed by drastic iconographic changes in the art. Abiola Irele and Simon Gikandi comment that the current identity of African literature had its genesis in the "traumatic encounter between Africa and Europe. There is now a resurgence in the attempts to rediscover and revalue African traditional cultures, under such movements as the African Renaissance , led by Thabo Mbeki , Afrocentrism , led by a group of scholars, including Molefi Asante , as well as the increasing recognition of traditional spiritualism through decriminalization of Vodou and other forms of spirituality.
African art and architecture reflect the diversity of African cultures. The region's oldest known beads were made from Nassarius shells and worn as personal ornaments 72, years ago.
The stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe are also noteworthy for their architecture, as are the monolithic churches at Lalibela , Ethiopia, such as the Church of Saint George. Egypt has long been a cultural focus of the Arab world , while remembrance of the rhythms of sub-Saharan Africa, in particular West Africa, was transmitted through the Atlantic slave trade to modern samba , blues , jazz , reggae , hip hop , and rock.
The s through the s saw a conglomeration of these various styles with the popularization of Afrobeat and Highlife music. Modern music of the continent includes the highly complex choral singing of southern Africa and the dance rhythms of the musical genre of soukous , dominated by the music of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Indigenous musical and dance traditions of Africa are maintained by oral traditions, and they are distinct from the music and dance styles of North Africa and Southern Africa. Arab influences are visible in North African music and dance and, in Southern Africa, Western influences are apparent due to colonization. Fifty-four African countries have football soccer teams in the Confederation of African Football. Egypt has won the African Cup seven times, and a record-making three times in a row.
South Africa hosted the World Cup tournament , becoming the first African country to do so. Cricket is popular in some African nations.
The three countries jointly hosted the Cricket World Cup. Namibia is the other African country to have played in a World Cup. Morocco in northern Africa has also hosted the Morocco Cup , but the national team has never qualified for a major tournament. Rugby is a popular sport in South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Africans profess a wide variety of religious beliefs, and statistics on religious affiliation are difficult to come by since they are often a sensitive topic for governments with mixed religious populations.
There is also a minority of people in Africa who are irreligious. The countries in this table are categorized according to the scheme for geographic subregions used by the United Nations, and data included are per sources in cross-referenced articles. Where they differ, provisos are clearly indicated.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Africa disambiguation. Recent African origin of modern humans. Arab slave trade and Atlantic slave trade. Afrotropic ecozone and Palearctic ecozone.
List of political parties in Africa by country. Economy of the African Union. Central and Eastern Sudanese. List of regions of Africa and List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Africa. Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Africa portal Geography portal. The US is approximately 9. Eurasia is about 53,, square kilometres. That means the US would fit into Eurasia about 5. What is the size of the UK compared to South Africa? South Africa is just over five times the size of the UK. Can you compare the size of Africa to the UK? United Kingdom not including territories: Africa is about times larger than the UK United Kingdom including territories: Africa is about 15 times larger than the UK.
How does North America compare to Africa in size? How big is Africa compared to the US? The are of the African continent is about 3 times larger than the are of the United States. How does the size of Antarctica compare to the size of the US? The more unequal a country's income distribution, the farther its Lorenz curve from the 45 degree line and the higher its Gini index, e. If income were distributed with perfect equality, the Lorenz curve would coincide with the 45 degree line and the index would be zero; if income were distributed with perfect inequality, the Lorenz curve would coincide with the horizontal axis and the right vertical axis and the index would be The annual number of births per 1, people in South Africa is This entry gives the average annual number of births during a year per 1, persons in the population at midyear; also known as crude birth rate.
The birth rate is usually the dominant factor in determining the rate of population growth. It depends on both the level of fertility and the age structure of the population.
With its 48,, people, South Africa is the 27th largest country in the world by population. It is the 25th largest country in the world by area with 1,, square kilometers. Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town.
After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in , many of the Dutch settlers the Boers trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds and gold spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Second Anglo Boer War ; however, the British and the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together beginning in under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in after a whites-only referendum.
In , the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races - which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in brought an end to apartheid and ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government.
South Africa since then has struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in decent housing, education, and health care. National presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for May
Aug 18, · Africa is much bigger than you think. Traditional maps have downplayed the size of the continent in comparison to other parts of the world for hundreds of years. Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent (behind Asia in both categories). At about million km 2 ( million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land eskortlarankara.ga: 30,, km² (11,, sq mi) (2nd). 21 rows · Kai Krause The True Size of Africa A few years back there was an exhibition in a London .
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