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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 1.3 billion people as of 2018, it accounts for about 16% 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. 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 making it the only continent in the world to be situated in all four cardinal hemispheres. 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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Kweneng’ ruins are the remains of a pre-colonial Sotho-Tswana capital occupied from the 15th to the 19th century AD in South Africa. The site is located 30km south of the modern-day city of Johannesburg. Settlement at the site likely began around the 1400s and saw its peak in the 15th century. The Kweneng' ruins are similar to those built by other early civilizations found in the southern Africa region during this period, including the Luba_Lunda kingdom, Kingdom of Mutapa, Bokoni, and many others, as these groups share ancestry. Kweneng' was the largest of several sizable settlements inhabited by Sotho-Tswana speakers prior to European arrival. Several circular stone walled family compounds are spread out over an area 10km long and 2km wide. It is likely that Kweneng' was abandoned in the 1820s during the Colonial expansion civil wars, leading to the dispersal of its inhabitants. (Full article...)
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Professor Reuben James Olembo (1937–2005) was a prominent Kenyan academic, scientist and environmentalist. He was a deputy executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which he played a pivotal role in helping found, and United Nations Assistant Secretary General from 1994 to 1998. He became the Acting Secretary General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), after his retirement from UNEP. (Full article...)
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Flag of the Kingdom of Eswatini
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Eswatini (/ˌɛswɑːˈtni/ ESS-wah-TEE-nee; Swazi: eSwatini [ɛswáˈtʼiːni]), officially the Kingdom of Eswatini (Swazi: Umbuso weSwatini), sometimes written in English as eSwatini, and formerly and still commonly known in English as Swaziland (/ˈswɑːzilænd/ SWAH-zee-land; officially renamed in 2018), is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. It is bordered by Mozambique to its northeast and South Africa to its north, west, and south. At no more than 200 kilometres (120 mi) north to south and 130 kilometres (81 mi) east to west, Eswatini is one of the smallest countries in Africa; despite this, its climate and topography are diverse, ranging from a cool and mountainous highveld to a hot and dry lowveld.

The population is composed primarily of ethnic Swazis. The prevalent language is Swazi (siSwati in native form). The Swazis established their kingdom in the mid-18th century under the leadership of Ngwane III. The country and the Swazi take their names from Mswati II, the 19th-century king under whose rule Swazi territory was expanded and unified; the present boundaries were drawn up in 1881 in the midst of the Scramble for Africa. After the Second Boer War, the kingdom, under the name of Swaziland, was a British protectorate from 1903 until it regained its independence on 6 September 1968. In April 2018, the official name was changed from the Kingdom of Swaziland to the Kingdom of Eswatini, mirroring the name commonly used in Swazi.

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Safi city
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Safi or Asfi (Arabic: آسفي, romanizedʾāsafī; Berber languages: ⴰⵙⴼⵉ, romanized: asfi) is a city in western Morocco on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of Asfi Province. It recorded a population of 308,508 in the 2014 Moroccan census. The city was occupied by the Portuguese Empire from 1488 to 1541, was the center of Morocco's weaving industry, and became a fortaleza of the Portuguese Crown in 1508. Safi is the main fishing port for the country's sardine industry, and also exports phosphates, textiles and ceramics. During the Second World War, Safi was the site of Operation Blackstone, one of the landing sites for Operation Torch. (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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