Africa

Africa is the world's third-largest continent. At 11,608,000 sq. miles (30,065,000 km²), it covers 20.3% of the total land area on Earth, and with over 800 million human inhabitants it accounts for around one seventh of Earth's human population.

The ancient Romans used the name Africa terra --- "land of the Afri" (plural, or "Afer" singular) --- for the northern part of the continent, corresponding to modern-day Tunisia. The origin of Afer may be the Arabic afer, dust; the Afridi tribe, who dwelt in Northern Africa around the area of Carthage; Greek aphrike, without cold; or Latin aprica, sunny.

Table of contents
1 Map
2 Geography
3 History
4 Politics
5 Demographics
6 Countries
7 List of countries/dependencies by population density
8 See also
9 External link

Map

See also: World map
.

Geography

Main Article: Geography of Africa

History

Main Article: History of Africa

Africa is home to the oldest inhabited territory on earth, and it is believed the human race originated from what is now this continent.

For most of humanity's history, Africa had no nation states, and was instead inhabited by many small, loosely associated tribal groups, kingdomss, and families. In the 14th century European explorers arrived in Africa. By bargaining with some local tribal leaders, Europeans were able to capture millions of Africans, and export them for labour around the world in what became known as the global slave trade. In the early 19th century the European imperial powers staged a massive "scramble for Africa" and occupied most of the continent, creating many colonial states. This occupation continued until the conclusion of the Second World War, after which all colonial states were gradually granted independence. Today, Africa is home to over 30 independent countries, many of which still have borders drawn during the era of European colonialism.


Map showing European claimants to the African continent

Politics

Since independence, African states have frequently been hampered by instability, violence, and authoritarianism. Until recently, few nations in Africa were able to sustain democratic governments, instead cycling through a series of brutal coups and military dictatorships.

Border and territorial disputes have also been common, with the European-imposed borders of many nations being widely contested through armed conflicts.

Failed government policies have also resulted in many widespread famines, and significant portions of Africa remain without enough food or water to survive. The spread of dangerous diseases is also rampant, especially the deadly AIDS virus.

Despite numerous hardships, there have been some signs the continent has hope for the future. With international help, many African governments have been able to turn their economies around, and some nations are showing growth for the first time in decades. Democratic governments seem to be spreading, and although still not the majority, more and more Africans are living in freedom than ever before. Political associations such as the African Union are also offering hope for greater co-operation and peace between the continent's many countries.

Demographics

The population of Africa is almost entirely black. The nations of Zimbabwe and South Africa maintain small, but significant white and Asian minorities groups. Some northern countries, such as Egypt and Morocco, have Arabic majorities.

Africa is home to a wide variety of different religious groups. Christianity and Islam have a significant presence in many countries, while others retain regionally unique tribal beliefs and customs.

Countries

Central Africa

Eastern Africa Northern Africa (see also North Africa) Southern Africa Western Africa African Languages

Ecology of Africa

List of countries/dependencies by population density

in inhabitants/km2.

Saint Helena, being closest to Africa, has been included.

Unlike the figures in the country articles, the figures in this table are based on areas including inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers) and may therefore be lower here.

 
country pop. dens. area population
  (/km²) (km²) (2002-07-01 est.)
Mauritius 588 2,040 1,200,206
Mayotte (Fr.) 457 374 170,879
Reunion (Fr.) 296 2,512 743,981
Comoros 283 2,170 614,382
Rwanda 281 26,338 7,398,074
Burundi 229 27,830 6,373,002
Seychelles 176 455 80,098
São Tomé and Príncipe 170 1,001 170,372
Nigeria 141 923,768 129,934,911
Gambia 129 11,300 1,455,842
Uganda 105 236,040 24,699,073
Cape Verde 101 4,033 408,760
Togo 93 56,785 5,285,501
Malawi 90 118,480 10,701,824
Ghana 85 239,460 20,244,154
Sierra Leone 78 71,740 5,614,743
Lesotho 73 30,355 2,207,954
Egypt 71 1,001,450 70,712,345
Morocco (excluding Western Sahara) 70 446,550 31,167,783
Swaziland 65 17,363 1,123,605
Benin 60 112,620 6,787,625
Ethiopia 60 1,127,127 67,673,031
Tunisia 60 163,610 9815,644
Senegal 54 196,190 10,589,571
Kenya 53 582,650 31,138,735
Côte d'Ivoire 52 322,460 16,804,784
Burkina Faso 46 274,200 12,603,185
Tanzania 39 945,087 37,187,939
Guinea-Bissau 37 36,120 1,345,479
Eritrea 37 121,320 4,465,651
South Africa 36 1,219,912 43,647,658
Cameroon 34 475,440 16,184,748
Guinea 32 245,857 7,775,065
Liberia 30 111,370 3,288,198
Zimbabwe 29 390,580 11,376,676
Madagascar 28 587,040 16,473,477
Mozambique 24 801,590 19,607,519
Democratic Republic of the Congo 24 2,345,410 55,225,478
Djibouti 21 23,000 472,810
Equatorial Guinea 18 28,051 498,144
Saint Helena (UK) 18 410 7,317
Sudan 15 2,505,810 37,090,298
Algeria 14 2,381,740 32,277,942
Zambia 13 752,614 9,959,037
Somalia 12 637,657 7,753,310
Mali 9.1 1,240,000 11,340,480
Republic of the Congo 8.7 342,000 2,958,448
Angola 8.5 1,246,700 10,593,171
Niger 8.4 1,267,000 10,639,744
Chad 7.0 1,284,000 8,997,237
Central African Republic 5.8 622,984 3,642,739
Gabon 4.6 267,667 1,233,353
Libya 3.1 1,759,540 5,368,585
Mauritania 2.7 1,030,700 2,828,858
Botswana 2.7 600,370 1,591,232
Namibia 2.2 825,418 1,820,916
Western Sahara (Morocco) 1.0 266,000 256,177

See also

Sub-Saharan Africa

External link

simple:Africa

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