Africa is Earth'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.
Gedi is one of many medieval Swahili coastal settlements that stretch from Mogadishu, Somalia to the Zambezi River in Mozambique. There are 116 known Swahili sites stretching from southern Somalia to Vumba Kuu at the Kenya-Tanzania border. Since the rediscovery of the Gedi ruins by colonialists in the 1920s, Gedi has been one of the most intensely excavated and studied of those sites, along with Shanga, Manda, Ungwana, Kilwa, and the Comoros. (Full article...)
Adansonia digitata is a sub-Saharan African species of baobab tree. The genus, scientifically known as Adansonia, consists of nine species native to Madagascar, Africa, Arabia and Australia, and can reach heights of 5 to 30 m (16 to 98 ft) with trunk diameters of 7 to 11 m (23 to 36 ft).
Mikumi National Park is a national park in Mikumi, near Morogoro, Tanzania. The park was established in 1964, currently covers an area of 3230 km² and is the fourth largest in the country. The landscape of Mikumi is often compared to that of the Serengeti. The road that crosses the park divides it into two areas with partially distinct environments. The area north-west is characterized by the alluvial plain of the river basin Mkata. The vegetation of this area consists of savannah dotted with acacia, baobab, tamarinds, and some rare palm. In this area, at the furthest from the road, there are spectacular rock formations of the mountains Rubeho and Uluguru. The southeast part of the park is less rich in wildlife, and not very accessible.
Idi Amin (c. 1925 – 16 August 2003) was President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. While President, Amin committed acts of violence against the people of his country; an estimated 300,000, possibly 500,000 civilians may have been killed under his regime. In this caricature by Edmund S. Valtman, Amin is depicted as a bloated, powerful figure in military dress covered with medals and insignia, holding a scepter, and crowned by a small head with heavy features.
Dallol is a cinder-cone volcano in the Danakil Depression, northeast of the Erta Ale Range in Ethiopia. The area lies up to 120 m (390 ft) below sea level, and has been repeatedly flooded in the past when waters from the Red Sea have inundated it. The Danakil Depression is one of the hottest places on Earth, and the evaporation of seawater after these flooding episodes produced thick deposits of salt, as seen in this landscape. The deposits at Dallol include significant quantities of the carbonate, sulfate and chloride salts of sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Hot springs discharge brine to form the blueish ponds, and small, temporary geysers produce cones of salt.
The sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) is an antelope which inhabits wooded savanna in eastern and southern Africa, from the south of Kenya to South Africa, with a separate population in Angola. The species is sexually dimorphic, with the male heavier and about one-fifth taller than the female. It has a compact and robust build, characterized by a thick neck and tough skin, and both sexes have ringed horns which arch backward. The sable antelope has four subspecies.
Panoramic view of the Amphitheatre of El Jem, an archeological site in the city of El Djem, Tunisia. The amphitheatre, one of the best-preserved Roman ruins and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, was built around 238 AD, when modern Tunisia belonged to the Roman province of Africa. It is the third-biggest amphitheatre in the world, with axes of 148 m (486 ft) and 122 m (400 ft) and a seating capacity of 35,000, unique in Africa.
Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The government is an absolute monarchy, the last of its kind in Africa, and the country has been ruled by King Mswati III since 1986. One of the country's important cultural events is Umhlanga, the reed-dance festival, held in August or September each year. This photograph shows Princess Sikhanyiso Dlamini, the eldest daughter of Mswati III, at the 2006 festival.
The roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus) is a species of savanna antelope found in western, central and southern Africa. Named for its reddish-brown coat, it has a black face with white patches around the eyes and the mouth, and a short erect mane of greyish brown hair extending from the back of the neck to the rump. This roan antelope, of the subspeciesH. e. koba, was photographed in Senegal; the subspecies's range extends from Senegal to Benin in western Africa.
Portrait of a Maasai woman, with shaved head, stretched earlobes, and beaded adornments, typical of the Maasai culture. The Maasai are a Niloticethnic group of semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known of African ethnic groups, due to their distinctive customs and dress and residence near the many game parks of East Africa. Their primary language Maa (ɔl Maa) is a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family that is related to Dinka and Nuer.
Banknote design credit: Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank; photographed by Andrew Shiva
The rupie was the unit of currency of German East Africa between 1890 and 1916. During World War I, the colony was cut off from Germany as a result of a wartime blockade and the colonial government needed to create an emergency issue of banknotes. Paper made from linen or jute was initially used, but because of wartime shortages, the notes were later printed on commercial paper in a variety of colours, wrapping paper, and in one instance, wallpaper. This ten-rupie banknote was issued in 1916, and is now part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.
After twelve years abroad pursuing higher education, developing his political philosophy, and organizing with other diasporic pan-Africanists, Nkrumah returned to the Gold Coast to begin his political career as an advocate of national independence. He formed the Convention People's Party, which achieved rapid success through its unprecedented appeal to the common voter. He became Prime Minister in 1952 and retained the position when Ghana declared independence from Britain in 1957. In 1960, Ghanaians approved a new constitution and elected Nkrumah President. (Full article...)
The Somali state currently exists largely in a de jure capacity; Somalia has a weak but largely recognised central government authority, the Transitional Federal Government, that currently controls only the central region of Somalia and, until recently, controlled only Baidoa. De facto authority in the north of the country resides in the hands of Puntland, Maakhir, and Somaliland respectively. In the south of the country, no government exists at all, while various tribal militias battle for dominance or rule their own regions. Violence has plagued Mogadishu, the capital, since warlords ousted former President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
Ouagadougou's primary industries are food processing and textiles. It is served by an international airport and is linked by rail to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast and, for freight only, to Kaya. There are several highways linking the city to Niamey, Niger, south to Ghana, and southwest to Ivory Coast. Ouagadougou has one of West Africa's largest markets, which burned down in 2003 and has since reopened with better facilities and improved fire-prevention measures. Other attractions include the National Museum of Burkina Faso, the Moro-Naba Palace (site of the Moro-Naba Ceremony), the National Museum of Music, and several craft markets. (Full article...)
Image 261 = 3000 – 1500 BC origin 2 = c. 1500 BC first migrations 2.a = Eastern Bantu, 2.b = Western Bantu 3 = 1000 – 500 BC Urewe nucleus of Eastern Bantu 4 – 7 = southward advance 9 = 500 BC – 0 Congo nucleus 10 = 0 – 1000 CE last phase (from History of Africa)
Image 74Contemporary political map of Africa (Includes Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa) (from History of Africa)
Image 75Areas controlled by European powers in 1939. British (red) and Belgian (Orange) colonies fought with the Allies. Italian (green) with the Axis. French colonies (dark blue) fought alongside the Allies until the Fall of France in June 1940. Vichy was in control until the Free French prevailed in late 1942. Portuguese (brown) and Spanish (teal) colonies remained neutral. (from History of Africa)