10 Interesting Facts about Africa

One of these following facts about Africa might give you much information about this continent. Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-populous continent. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers six percent of the Earth’s total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area.With 1.1 billion people as of 2013, it accounts for about 15% of the world’s human population.The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagoes. To get to know more about this continent, here are some other facts about Africa you might be interested in.

Facts about Africa 1: Origin of Humans and Great Apes

Africa, particularly central Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors, as well as later ones that have been dated to around seven million years ago.

Facts about Africa 2: Etymology

“Afri” was a Latin name used to refer to the Carthaginians, who dwelt in North Africa in modern-day Tunisia. This name seems to have originally referred to a native Libyan tribe. The name is usually connected with Phoenician “afar” meaning “dust”.

Facts about Africa - Abu Simbel Temple
Facts about Africa – Abu Simbel Temple

Facts about Africa 3: Paleoanthropologist

Africa is considered by most paleoanthropologist to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth, with the human species originating from the continent. During the middle of the 20th century, anthropologists discovered many fossils and evidence of human occupation perhaps as early as 7 million years ago.

Facts about Africa 4: Center of Civilization

An independent center of civilization with trading links to Phoenicia was established by Phoenicians from Tyre on the north-west African coast at Carthage.

Facts about Africa - Igbo Ukwu Bronzes
Facts about Africa – Igbo Ukwu Bronzes

Facts about Africa 5: Pre-colonial Africa

Pre-colonial Africa possessed perhaps as many as 10,000 different states and politiescharacterized by many different sorts of political organization and rule. These included small family groups of hunter-gatherers such as the San people of southern Africa.

Facts about Africa 6: Height of Slave Trade

Slavery had long been practiced in Africa. Between the 7th and 20th centuries, Arab slave trade (also known as slavery in the East) took 18 million slaves from Africa via trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean routes. Between the 15th and the 19th centuries (500 years), the Atlantic slave trade took an estimated 7–12 million slaves to the New World.

Facts about Africa - Savanna
Facts about Africa – Savanna

Facts about Africa 7: Scramble for Africa

In the late 19th century, the European imperial powers engaged in a major territorial scramble and occupied most of the continent, creating many colonial territories, and leaving only two fully independent states: Ethiopia (known to Europeans as “Abyssinia”), and Liberia.

Facts about Africa 8: Independent Movement in Africa

Imperial rule by Europeans would continue until after the conclusion of World War II, when almost all remaining colonial territories gradually obtained formal independence. Independence movement in Africa gained momentum following World War II, which left the major European powers weakened.

Facts about Africa - Trou Auz Beach
Facts about Africa – Trou Auz Beach

Facts about Africa 9: Post-colonial Africa

Today, Africa contains 54 sovereign countries, most of which have borders that were drawn during the era of European colonialism. Since colonialism, African states have frequently been hampered by instability, corruption, violence, and authoritarianism.

Facts about Africa 10: Ecology and Biodiversity

Deforestation is affecting Africa at twice the world rate, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). According to the University of Pennsylvania African Studies Center, 31% of Africa’s pasture lands and 19% of its forests and woodlands are classified as degraded, and Africa is losing over four million hectares of forest every year.

Facts about Africa - Zimbabwe
Facts about Africa – Zimbabwe

Hope you would find those Africa facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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