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Satellite map of Africa
Location of Africa on the world map

Africa is the world'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.

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

For a topic outline, see Outline of Africa.
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The Victoria Falls Bridge, seen from the Rhodesian side in 1975. Talks between the African National Council and the Rhodesian government took place at the centre of the bridge on 26 August that year.
The Victoria Falls Bridge, seen from the Rhodesian side in 1975. Talks between the African National Council and the Rhodesian government took place at the centre of the bridge on 26 August that year.

The Victoria Falls Conference took place on 26 August 1975 aboard a South African Railways train halfway across the Victoria Falls Bridge on the border between the unrecognised state of Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) and Zambia. It was the culmination of the "détente" policy introduced and championed by B. J. Vorster, the Prime Minister of South Africa, which was then under apartheid and was attempting to improve its relations with the Frontline States to Rhodesia's north, west and east by helping to produce a settlement in Rhodesia. The participants in the conference were a delegation led by the Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith on behalf of his government, and a nationalist delegation attending under the banner of Abel Muzorewa's African National Council (UANC), which for this conference also incorporated delegates from the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and the Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe (FROLIZI). Vorster and the Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda acted as mediators in the conference, which was held on the border in an attempt to provide a venue both sides would accept as neutral.

The conference failed to produce a settlement, breaking up on the same day it began with each side blaming the other for its unsuccessful outcome. Smith believed the nationalists were being unreasonable by requesting preconditions for talks—which they had previously agreed not to do—and asking for diplomatic immunity for their leaders and fighters. The nationalists contended that Smith was being deliberately intransigent and that they did not believe he was sincere in seeking an agreement if he was so adamant about not giving diplomatic immunity. Direct talks between the government and the Zimbabwe African People's Union followed in December 1975, but these also failed to produce any significant progress. The Victoria Falls Conference, the détente initiative and the associated ceasefire, though unsuccessful, did affect the course of the Rhodesian Bush War, as they gave the nationalist guerrillas significant time to regroup and reorganise themselves following the decisive security force counter-campaign of 1973–74. A further conference would follow in the Geneva Conference in 1976 . (Full article...)
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Rémy Mwamba (1921–1967) was a Congolese politician who twice served as Minister of Justice of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Republic of the Congo). He was also a leading figure of the Association Générale des Baluba du Katanga (BALUBAKAT).

Mwamba was born in 1921 in Vunga, Belgian Congo to a Luba family. After completing his education he took up work at the Élisabethville Parquet. He later co-founded and became secretary-general of BALUBAKAT. He served in the Collége Exécutive Général transitional government before being elected a senator of the newly independent Republic of the Congo in 1960. Mwamba was subsequently appointed to serve as Minister of Justice in the first government under Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. On 5 September he and Lumumba were dismissed by the President. Following harassment by the new authorities, Mwamba fled to Stanleyville and joined a rival regime. Negotiations led to the creation of a new government in August 1961 under Cyrille Adoula and he resumed his work as Minister of Justice. Following his dismissal in July 1962, Mwamba joined the parliamentary opposition. He died in 1967. (Full article...)
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Flag of the Republic of South Africa
Coat of arms of South Africa (heraldic)
Location of South Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is a country located at the southern tip of the African continent. It borders Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho. South Africa is often called the "Rainbow Nation", a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and later adopted by then President Nelson Mandela.

South Africa is an ethnically diverse nation with the largest white, Indian, and racially-mixed communities in Africa. Black South Africans, who speak nine officially-recognized languages and many more dialects, account for slightly less than 80% of the population. Racial strife between the white minority and the black majority has played a large part in the country's history and politics, culminating in apartheid, which was instituted in 1948 by the National Party (although segregation existed prior to then). The laws that defined apartheid began to be repealed or abolished by the National Party in 1990 after a long and sometimes violent struggle. (Read more...)

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View of downtown Cotonou in 2019
View of downtown Cotonou in 2019

Cotonou (French pronunciation: ​[kɔtɔnu]; Fon: Kútɔ̀nú) is a city in Benin. Its official population count was 761,137 inhabitants in 2006; however, some estimates indicate its population to be as high as 2.4 million.

The urban area continues to expand, notably toward the west. The city lies in the southeast of the country, between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Nokoué. (Full article...)

In the news

19 March 2022 – Politics of Australia
Preliminary election results show Peter Malinauskas and his Labor Party winning a majority. (ABC News Australia)
15 March 2022 –
Burkinabè architect Diébédo Francis Kéré wins the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize, becoming the first African and black person to do so. (The Guardian)
15 March 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Namibia
Namibia drops its requirement of face mask and mandatory PCR COVID-19 test for vaccinated visitors as the number of cases falls. (Reuters)
14 March 2022 –
Cameroon bans shisha smoking, becoming the sixth African country to do so. (Africanews)
13 March 2022 – Insurgency in Northern Chad; aftermath of the 2021 Northern Chad offensive
The Transitional Military Council of Chad meets with 44 different armed rebel and opposition groups, including the Front for Change and Concord in Chad, Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad, and the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development in Doha, Qatar for peace talks. The President of Chad, Mahamat Déby, hopes that the talks will be the first step towards agreeing on a new constitution and holding free elections. (ABC News) (France24)

Updated: 7:33, 20 March 2022

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