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Portal:Africa

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Satellite map of Africa
Location of Africa on the world map

Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.3 billion people as of 2018, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. Africa's population is the youngest amongst all the continents; the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide median age was 30.4. Despite a wide range of natural resources, Africa is the least wealthy continent per capita, in part due to geographic impediments, legacies of European colonization in Africa and the Cold War, undemocratic rule and deleterious policies. Despite this low concentration of wealth, recent economic expansion and the large and young population make Africa an important economic market in the broader global context.

Africa straddles the Equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Africa is home to much biodiversity; it is the continent with the largest number of megafauna species, as it was least affected by the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna. However, Africa also is heavily affected by a wide range of environmental issues, including desertification, deforestation, water scarcity, and other issues. These entrenched environmental concerns are expected to worsen as climate change impacts Africa. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified Africa as the continent most vulnerable to climate change.

Africa, particularly Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), meaning that Africa has a long and complex history. The earliest hominids and their ancestors have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster— the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) remains, found in Ethiopia, South Africa, and Morocco, date to circa 200,000, 259,000, and 300,000 years ago respectively, and Homo sapiens is believed to have originated in Africa around 350,000–260,000 years ago.

Early human civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Phoenicia emerged in North Africa. Following a subsequent long and complex history of civilizations, migration and trade, Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. The last 400 years have witnessed an increasing European influence on the continent. Starting in the 16th century, this was driven by trade, including the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, which created large African diaspora populations in the Americas. In the late 19th century, European countries colonized almost all of Africa, extracting resources from the continent and exploiting local communities; most present states in Africa emerged from a process of decolonisation in the 20th century. (Full article...)


For a topic outline on this subject, see List of basic Africa topics.

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Naqa Lion Temple: Three-headed Apedemak with four arms
Naqa Lion Temple: Three-headed Apedemak with four arms

Apedemak or Apademak was a lion-headed warrior god worshiped by the Meroitic peoples inhabiting Nubia. In the temple of Naqa built by the rulers of Meroe, Apedemak was depicted as a three-headed leonine god with four arms and as a snake with a lion head. However, he is usually depicted as a man with a lion head.

Apedemak was considered the war god of Kush. The Kushites believed that Apedemak brought victories to their armies and defeated their enemies. When Kushite pharaohs carried out military campaigns, they often claimed the support and companionship of Apedemak. (Full article...)
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Hamidou Maiga (born 1932) is a Malian studio photographer among the region's pioneers in the craft during the postcolonial period. His work was largely unknown in the West prior to his discovery and display in the early 2010s. Maiga's early outdoor portraits from the Niger River region in the late 1950s reflect Mali's period of societal transition from colony to sovereignty. He has exhibited in solo shows in London and Lima, Peru. (Full article...)
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Flag of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Location of Mauritania

Mauritania (Arabic: موريتانيا‎ Mūrītāniyā), officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is a country in northwest Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, by Senegal on the southwest, by Mali on the east and southeast, by Algeria on the northeast, and by the Moroccan-annexed territory of Western Sahara on the northwest. It is named after the ancient Berber kingdom of Mauretania. The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast.

Approximately three-fourths of Mauritania is desert or semidesert. As a result of extended, severe drought, the desert has been expanding since the mid-1960s. A majority of the population still depends on agriculture and livestock for a livelihood, even though most of the nomads and many subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by recurrent droughts in the 1970s and 1980s. Mauritania has extensive deposits of iron ore, which account for almost 50% of total exports. The nation's coastal waters are among the richest fishing areas in the world, but overexploitation by foreigners threatens this key source of revenue. (Read more...)

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Ngousso Ntem.jpg
Yaoundé (UK: /jɑːˈʊnd, -ˈn-/; US: /ˌjɑːʊnˈd/, French pronunciation: ​[ja.unde]) is the capital of Cameroon and, with a population of more than 2.8 million, the second-largest city in the country after the port city Douala. It lies in the Centre Region of the nation at an elevation of about 750 metres (2,500 ft) above sea level. (Full article...)

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