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, 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 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 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. 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.
Refresh with new selections below (purge)

Selected article – show another

The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) is an annual film festival that takes place in Nigeria. It was founded in 2010 with its Inaugural edition in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. AFRIFF was founded by Chioma Ude a passionate film buff and entrepreneur, The event normally spans through a week and it includes award shows and film training classes. Keith Shiri, the founder/director of Africa at the Pictures is the artistic director of the festival. AFRIFF gives out honors in categories such Feature, Documentary, Short, Animation, and Students Short, as well as awards and prizes for Directing, Acting, and Screenplay. There are additional special awards for Audience Choice and an Outstanding Film Jury Award. (Full article...)
List of selected articles

Featured pictures – show another

Did you know (auto-generated) - load new batch


Category puzzle
Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories

Selected biography – show another

Theiler in 1951

Max Theiler (30 January 1899 – 11 August 1972) was a South African-American virologist and physician. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951 for developing a vaccine against yellow fever in 1937, becoming the first African-born Nobel laureate.

Born in Pretoria, Theiler was educated in South Africa through completion of his degree in medical school. He went to London for postgraduate work at St Thomas's Hospital Medical School, King's College London, and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, earning a 1922 diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene. That year, he moved to the United States to do research at the Harvard University School of Tropical Medicine. He lived and worked in that nation the rest of his life. In 1930, he moved to the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, becoming director of the Virus Laboratory. (Full article...)
List of selected biographies

Selected country – show another

Flag of the Republic of Chad
Flag of the Republic of Chad
Coat of arms of Chad
Coat of arms of Chad
Location of Chad

Chad (Arabic: تشاد; French: Tchad), officially the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in central Africa. It borders Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west.

Chad has three major geographical regions: a desert zone in the north, an arid Sahelian belt in the centre and a more fertile Sudanian savanna zone in the south. Lake Chad, after which the country is named, is the largest wetland in Chad and the second largest in Africa. Chad's highest peak is the Emi Koussi in the Sahara, and the largest city is N'Djamena, the capital. Chad is home to over 200 different ethnic and linguistic groups.

While many political parties are active, power lies firmly in the hands of President Idriss Déby and his Patriotic Salvation Movement. Chad remains plagued by political violence and recurrent attempted coups d'état. Recently, the Darfur conflict in Sudan has spilt over the border and destabilised the nation. (Read more...)

Selected city – show another

Casablanca (Arabic: الدار البيضاء, romanizedal-Dār al-Bayḍāʾ, lit.'the White House', IPA: [adˈdaːru ɫbajdˤaːʔ]) is the largest city in Morocco and the country's economic and business centre. Located on the Atlantic coast of the Chaouia plain in the central-western part of Morocco, the city has a population of about 3.71 million in the urban area, and over 4.27 million in Greater Casablanca, making it the most populous city in the Maghreb region, and the eighth-largest in the Arab world.

Casablanca is Morocco's chief port, with the Port of Casablanca being one of the largest artificial ports in Africa, and the third-largest port in North Africa, after Tanger-Med (40 km (25 mi) east of Tangier) and Port Said. Casablanca also hosts the primary naval base for the Royal Moroccan Navy. (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

General images - load new batch

The following are images from various Africa-related articles on Wikipedia.

Africa topics

More did you know – show different entries

Related portals

Major Religions in Africa

North Africa

West Africa

Central Africa

East Africa

Southern Africa


Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

More portals

Discover Wikipedia using portals