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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 1.4 billion people0 as of 2021, it accounts for about 18% 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 and second-least wealthy by total wealth, behind Oceania. Scholars have attributed this to different factors including geography, climate, tribalism, colonialism, the Cold War, neocolonialism, lack of democracy, and corruption. 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 the prime meridian. 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. Most of the continent lies in the tropics, except for a large part of Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya and Egypt, the northern tip of Mauritania, the entire territories of Morocco, Ceuta, Melilla, and Tunisia which in turn are located above the tropic of Cancer, in the northern temperate zone. In the other extreme of the continent, southern Namibia, southern Botswana, great parts of South Africa, the entire territories of Lesotho and Eswatini and the southern tips of Mozambique and Madagascar are located below the tropic of Capricorn, in the southern temperate zone.

Africa is highly biodiverse; 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, pollution 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.

The history of Africa is long, complex, and has often been under-appreciated by the global historical community. Africa, particularly Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes). 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 233,000, 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. Due to being the longest inhabited continent, Africa is also considered by anthropologists to be the most genetically diverse continent on the planet. (Full article...)

For a topic outline, see Outline of Africa.

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Military deployed in the streets of Algiers after the military coup against the Islamists, 12 January 1992.

The Algerian Civil War (Arabic: الْحَرْبُ الْأَهْلِيَّةُ الجَزَائِرِيَّةُ, romanizedal-Ḥarb al-ʾAhlīyah al-Jazāʾirīyah) was a civil war in Algeria fought between the Algerian government and various Islamist rebel groups from 26 December 1991 (following a coup negating an Islamist electoral victory) to 8 February 2002. The war began slowly, as it initially appeared the government had successfully crushed the Islamist movement, but armed groups emerged to declare jihad and by 1994, violence had reached such a level that it appeared the government might not be able to withstand it. By 1996–97, it had become clear that the Islamist resistance had lost its popular support, although fighting continued for several years after.

The war has been referred to as 'the dirty war' (la sale guerre), and saw extreme violence and brutality used against civilians. Islamists targeted journalists, over 70 of whom were killed, and foreigners, over 100 of whom were killed, although it is thought by many that security forces as well as Islamists were involved, as the government had infiltrated the insurgents. Children were widely used, particularly by the rebel groups. Total fatalities have been estimated at 44,000 to between 100,000 and 200,000. (Full article...)
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Canyon in the Futa Jallon

Karamokho Alfa (born Ibrahima Musa Sambeghu and sometimes called Alfa Ibrahim; died c. 1751) was a Fula religious leader who led a jihad that created the Imamate of Futa Jallon in what is now Guinea. This was one of the first of the Fulbe jihads that established Muslim states in West Africa.

Alfa Ba, Karamoko Alfa's father, formed a coalition of Muslim Fulbe and called for the jihad in 1725, but died before the struggle began. The jihad was launched around 1726-1727. After a crucial, concluding victory at Talansan, the state was established at a meeting of nine Fulbe ulama who each represented one of the Futa Jallon provinces. Ibrahima Sambeghu, who became known as Karamokho Alfa, was the hereditary ruler of Timbo and one of the nine ulama. He was elected leader of the jihad. Under his leadership, Futa Jallon became the first Muslim state to be founded by the Fulbe. Despite this, Karamokho Alfa was constrained by the other eight ulama. Some of the other Ulama had more secular power than Karamokho Alfa, who directly ruled only the diwal of Timbo; for this reason the new state was always a tenuous confederation. Karamoko Alfa ruled the theocratic state until 1748, when his excessive devotions caused him to become mentally unstable and Sori was selected as de facto leader. Karamokho Alfa died around 1751 and was formally succeeded by Ibrahim Sori, his cousin. (Full article...)
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Emblem of Sudan
Location of Sudan

Sudan (or The Sudan), officially the Republic of the Sudan or Republic of Sudan (Arabic: السودان as-Sūdān), is the largest African and Arab country by area. The country is situated at a crossroads between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, Kenya and Uganda to the southeast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, and Libya to the northwest. It is the sixteenth largest country in the world by area.

In Sudan's 1993 census, the population was recorded to be 25 million. No comprehensive census has been carried out since then due to the continuation of the Second Sudanese Civil War. A 2006 United Nations estimate put the population at about 37 million. The population of metropolitan Khartoum (including Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North) is growing rapidly and is estimated at about 5 to 7 million, including around 2 million displaced persons from the southern war zone as well as western and eastern drought-affected areas. (Read more...)

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Yaoundé 1.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.

The outpost of Epsumb or Jeundo was founded between the Nyong and Sanaga rivers at the northern edge of the area's forests in 1887 by German explorers as a trading base for rubber and ivory. A military garrison was built in 1895 which enabled further colonization. After Imperial Germany's defeat in World War I, France held eastern Cameroon as a mandate, and Yaoundé was chosen to become the capital of the colony in 1922. (Full article...)

In the news

19 March 2022 – Politics of Australia
Preliminary election results show Peter Malinauskas and his Labor Party winning a majority. (ABC News Australia)
15 March 2022 –
Burkinabè architect Diébédo Francis Kéré wins the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize, becoming the first African and black person to do so. (The Guardian)
15 March 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Namibia
Namibia drops its requirement of face mask and mandatory PCR COVID-19 test for vaccinated visitors as the number of cases falls. (Reuters)
14 March 2022 –
Cameroon bans shisha smoking, becoming the sixth African country to do so. (Africanews)
13 March 2022 – Insurgency in Northern Chad; aftermath of the 2021 Northern Chad offensive
The Transitional Military Council of Chad meets with 44 different armed rebel and opposition groups, including the Front for Change and Concord in Chad, Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad, and the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development in Doha, Qatar for peace talks. The President of Chad, Mahamat Déby, hopes that the talks will be the first step towards agreeing on a new constitution and holding free elections. (ABC News) (France24)

Updated: 7:33, 20 March 2022

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