Satellite map of Africa
Satellite map of Africa
Location of Africa on the world map
Location of Africa on the world map

Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent after Asia. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 20% of Earth's land area and 6% of its total surface 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, ahead of Oceania. Scholars have attributed this to different factors including geography, climate, corruption, colonialism, the Cold War, and neocolonialism. 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 has a large quantity of natural resources and food resources, including diamonds, sugar, salt, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver, petroleum, natural gas, cocoa beans, and.

Africa straddles the equator and the prime meridian. It is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to the southern temperate zones. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and a 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, and 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, and pollution. 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 varied, and has often been under-appreciated by the global historical community. Africa, particularly Eastern Africa, is widely accepted to be the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade, also known as the great apes. The earliest hominids and their ancestors have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus, 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. Africa is also considered by anthropologists to be the most genetically diverse continent as a result of being the longest inhabited. (Full article...)

For a topic outline, see Outline of Africa.

North Africa (sometimes Northern Africa) is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of the Western Sahara in the west, to Egypt and Sudan's Red Sea coast in the east.

The most common definition for the region's boundaries includes Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Western Sahara, the territory disputed between Morocco and the partially recognized Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The United Nations' definition includes all these countries as well as the Sudan. The African Union defines the region similarly, only differing from the UN in excluding the Sudan. The Sahel, south of the Sahara Desert, can be considered as the southern boundary of North Africa. North Africa includes the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, and the plazas de soberanía. It can also be considered to include Malta, as well as other Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish regions such as Lampedusa and Lampione, the Azores and Madeira, and the Canary Islands, which are all closer or as close to the African continent than Europe. (Full article...)
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Coetzee in 2023

John Maxwell Coetzee FRSL OMG (born 9 February 1940) is a South African and Australian novelist, essayist, linguist, translator and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. He is one of the most critically acclaimed and decorated authors in the English language. He has won the Booker Prize (twice), the CNA Literary Award (thrice), the Jerusalem Prize, the Prix Femina étranger, and The Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and holds a number of other awards and honorary doctorates.

Coetzee moved to Australia in 2002 and became an Australian citizen in 2006. He lives in Adelaide, South Australia. He is patron of the J. M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice at the University of Adelaide. His most recently published book is The Pole and Other Stories (2023). (Full article...)
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Flag of the Somali Republic
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Somalia (Somali: Soomaaliya; Arabic: الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl), officially the Somali Republic (Somali: Jamhuuriyadda Dimuqraadiga Soomaliya; Arabic: جمهورية الصومال, Jumhūriyyat aṣ-Ṣūmāl) and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic, is located on the Horn of Africa in East Africa. It is bordered by Djibouti to the northwest, Kenya on its southwest, the Gulf of Aden with Yemen on its north, the Indian Ocean at its east and Ethiopia to the west.

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. (Read more...)

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Francistown is the second-largest city in Botswana, with a population of about 103,417 and 147,122 inhabitants for its agglomeration at the 2022 census. It is located in eastern Botswana, about 400 kilometres (250 mi) north-northeast from the capital, Gaborone. Francistown is located at the confluence of the Tati and Ntshe rivers, and near the Shashe River (tributary to the Limpopo) and 90 kilometres (56 mi) from the international border with Zimbabwe.

Francistown was the centre of Southern Africa's first gold rush and is still surrounded by old and abandoned mines. The City of Francistown is an administrative district, separated from North-East District. It is administered by Francistown City Council. The main language spoken and used in and around Francistown is Kalanga. Other languages used in the area are isiNdebele, ChiShona as well as SeTswana. Francistown is the only city in Botswana with an English name. There are no English-language named towns and only a couple of villages with English names. (Full article...)

In the news

12 February 2024 –
Two boats collide on the Congo River near Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; with the death toll remains unclear. (AP)
11 February 2024 – 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
In association football, hosts Ivory Coast win their third Africa Cup of Nations by defeating Nigeria 2–1 in the final. Sébastien Haller scores the winning goal in the 81st minute. (The Guardian)
10 February 2024 – Somali civil war
Four Emirati soldiers and a Bahraini military officer are killed, while ten other people are injured, when a soldier opens fire at a military base in Mogadishu, Somalia, before being killed in the ensuing shootout. Al-Shabaab claims responsibility. (AP)
10 February 2024 –
A Eurocopter EC130 helicopter crashes near Nipton, California, United States, killing all the six people on board, including Nigerian banker Herbert Wigwe. (CBS News)
10 February 2024 – 2023–2024 Senegalese protests
Violent protests occur in Senegal following an announcement by President Macky Sall that presidential elections have been delayed from February 25 to December 15. (Sky News)
9 February 2024 –
At least 18 people are killed during a collision between a bus and a truck on a road in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (AP)

Updated: 16:33, 14 February 2024

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