Interesting Africa Facts – People of Africa

The continent of Africa is considered to be the second most populous country worldwide with over a billion people.

There are more than one thousand languages spoken by individuals in Africa. There are some estimates which put the languages spoken to as close as two thousand.

The remains of the oldest human which was located in Ethiopia and it was estimated to be over 100 thousand years of age.

Islam is the largest religion in Africa closely followed by Christianity. The population of Africa as at 2009 made more than 14 percent of the population of the world.

There are 45 independent African nations with the addition of the disputed Western Sahara territory. Due to the fast growth in population in the continent of Africa over the last 40 years, its population consists of mostly young individuals. In a majority of the African states, over half of the population are below the age of 20.

Africa is the continent that is most centrally situated of all the continents with both the equator and the prime meridian going through it.

The major region of Africa is popularly recognized as sub-Saharan Africa and it excludes a majority of the Islamic countries of North Africa; Morocco, Western Sahara, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, and Libya. Sub-Saharan Africa consists of 42 nations on the African mainland as well as six island nations.

The most populated country in Africa is Nigeria with an estimated population of more than 170 million individuals. Egypt is considered the second most populated country with more than 76 million people.

The common language in Africa with a variety of dialects is Arabic with more than 170 million speakers which are mostly situated in North Africa.

The city with the highest population in Africa is Egypt with an estimation of 17 million individuals situated in the capital of Cairo. The owners of an Edmonton roofing company that specializes in commercial roofing Edmonton, has told me that visiting Egypt is an absolute must when in Africa.

Algeria is the largest country in Africa with a total of 967,490 square miles while the smallest is the nation of Seychelles with a total of 175 square miles. According to experts, it is estimated that Africa consists of over 3,000 different ethnic tribes. Nigeria alone is made up of over 300 tribes recognized in its population.

Brief History of Africa

Human origins & migrations

Africa is the most enduring and most ancient landmass in the globe. When you are on African soil, more than 90 percent of what is underneath your feet has been in existence for over 300 million years. In that period, Africa has had a feel of everything ranging from dinosaurs to proto-bacteria and about five to ten million years ago, a unique type of ape known as Australopithecines, which diverted and began to walk on its own two legs down a diverse track to evolution.

This move led to the various hairy early men being developed. They were also known as hominids. About 2.4 million years ago they were known as Homo habilis and Homo erectus 1.8million years ago and lastly Homo sapiens or modern humans around 200,000 years ago.

Africa is believed to be the first continent humans first lived on earth. In the early history of Africa, groups were made up of hunter-gatherers who followed a nomadic way of life. Little communities situated themselves in locations that were fertile and began to defend their local territory.

African kingdoms began to form starting from 1000 AD and this was partly due to the fact that Africans saw a need to take charge of the resources and land as European and Arab traders came to trade for food, goods, and slaves. The African empires boundaries went through changes over time as leaders rose and fell.

A massive part of North Africa became controlled by the Islamic states while a very powerful Christian Kingdom was created around Ethiopia in the eastern part.

Takeover by the Europeans

European countries started taking control of the coastal regions in Africa and by 1880 only little sections of the African continent were ruled by the Europeans.

Then in a period of 30years, the entire Africa was overtaken by the major European powers and by 1913, boundaries had been drawn by the Europeans for their new colonies. These boundaries make the basis of the African Nations in existence today.

After world war II, European countries no longer had any economic strength to rule Africa and starting from the 1950s, African nations started to attain independence.