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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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Map of Sub-Saharan African and North African admixture in European populations
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Max Theiler (30 January 1899 – 11 August 1972) was a South African-American virologist and physician. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951 for developing a vaccine against yellow fever in 1937, becoming the first African-born Nobel laureate.

Born in Pretoria, Theiler was educated in South Africa through completion of his degree in medical school. He went to London for postgraduate work at St Thomas's Hospital Medical School, King's College London, and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, earning a 1922 diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene. That year, he moved to the United States to do research at the Harvard University School of Tropical Medicine. He lived and worked in that nation the rest of his life. In 1930, he moved to the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, becoming director of the Virus Laboratory. (Full article...)
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Location of Angola

Angola, formally the Republic of Angola (Portuguese: República de Angola, pronounced [ʁɛˈpublikɐ dɨ ɐ̃ˈɡɔlɐ], Kongo: Repubilika ya Ngola), is a country in south-central Africa bordering Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The exclave province Cabinda also borders the Republic of the Congo to the north. At 481,321 mi² (1,246,700 km²), it is the world's twenty-third largest country.

A former Portuguese colony, it has considerable natural resources, among which oil and diamonds are the most significant. Angola's economy has undergone a period of transformation in recent years, moving from the disarray caused by the Angolan Civil War to being the fastest growing economy in Africa and one of the fastest in the world. Growth is almost entirely driven by rising oil production which surpassed 1.4 million barrels per day in late-2005 and which is expected to grow to 2 million barrels per day by 2007. (Read more...)

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Tangier

Tangier, (Arabic: طنجة‎, romanizedṭanja; Berber languages: ⵟⴰⵏⵊⴰ, romanized: ṭanja) is a city in northwestern Morocco. It is on the Maghreb coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel. The town is the capital of the Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, as well as the Tangier-Assilah prefecture of Morocco.

Many civilisations and cultures have influenced the history of Tangier, starting from before the 10th century BCE. Between the period of being a strategic Berber town and then a Phoenician trading centre to the independence era around the 1950s, Tangier was a nexus for many cultures. In 1923, it was considered as having international status by foreign colonial powers and became a destination for many European and American diplomats, spies, writers and businessmen. (Full article...)

In the news

21 April 2021 – Northern Chad offensive
Rebels of the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) threaten to press on and reach Chad's capital N'Djamena following the killing of President Idriss Déby. In the capital, many civilians choose to stay home as fears grow. FACT rebels reject the military junta led by Déby's son, Mahamat Déby Itno, and opposition politicians also call for a civilian transition. (Reuters)
21 April 2021 – Insurgency in the Maghreb
At least four soldiers are killed by an ambush in the Sanmatenga Province of Burkina Faso. (News24)
21 April 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea surpasses 10,000 cases of COVID-19. (CNA)
20 April 2021 – Northern Chad offensive
Chadian President Idriss Déby dies from wounds sustained while commanding forces against rebels in the northern portion of the country. The Constitution is suspended, and a Transitional Military Council headed by Déby's son, General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, will rule the country for an estimated 18 months. (The Africa Report)
20 April 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt

Updated: 21:33, 22 April 2021

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