Africa Essay

Submitted By ariannab2000
Words: 685
Pages: 3

Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers six percent of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area.[2] With 1.1 billion people as of 2013, it accounts for about 15% of the world's human population.[3] The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagoes. It has 54 fully recognized sovereign states ("countries"), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition.[4]

Africa's population is the youngest among all the continents; 50% of Africans are 19 years old or younger.[5]

Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, and Nigeria is the largest by population. 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, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – with the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) found in Ethiopia being dated to circa 200,000 years ago.[6] Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.[7]

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
2 History 2.1 Prehistory
2.2 Early civilizations
2.3 9th to 18th centuries
2.4 Height of slave trade
2.5 Colonialism and the "Scramble for Africa"
2.6 Berlin Conference
2.7 Independence struggles
2.8 Post-colonial Africa

3 Geography 3.1 Climate
3.2 Fauna
3.3 Ecology

4 Biodiversity
5 Politics 5.1 The African Union

6 Economy
7 Demographics
8 Languages
9 Culture 9.1 Visual art and architecture
9.2 Music and dance
9.3 Sports

10 Religion
11 Territories and regions
12 See also
13 References
14 Further reading
15 External links


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; however, see Terence#Biography for discussion. The name is usually connected with Phoenician afar, "dust", but a 1981 hypothesis[8] has asserted that it stems from the Berber ifri (plural ifran) "cave", in reference to cave dwellers.[9] The same word[9] may be found in the name of the Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania, a Berber tribe originally from Yafran (also known as Ifrane) in northwestern Libya.[10]

Under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of Africa Province, which also included the coastal part of modern Libya.[11] The Latin suffix "-ica" can sometimes be used to denote a land (e.g., in Celtica