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Portal:Africa

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Location of Africa on the world map
Satellite map of Africa

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. With 1.1 billion people as of 2013, it accounts for about 15% of the world's human population. 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 archipelagos. It has 54 fully recognized sovereign states ("countries"), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition.

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

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. Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.

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A map of Johannesburg indicating regions and freeways

The suburbs of Johannesburg are officially demarcated areas within the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. As in other Commonwealth countries, the term suburb refers to a "neighbourhood", although the term has a somewhat stronger meaning in South Africa as most suburbs have legally recognised borders and separate postal codes. The municipal functions for the area, such as police and social services, are still managed by either the local region or the city government.

Johannesburg, like many other boom towns, grew rapidly and with little planning, and thus the city covers an extremely large area. The main differences between the city's suburbs tend to be socioeconomic. The wealthy live to the north of the City Centre in the northern suburbs, while the poor live to the south and on the fringes of the city in former townships. (Read more...)

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Giza pyramid complex
Photo credit: Ricardo Liberato

The Giza Necropolis stands on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. This complex of ancient monuments is located some eight kilometres (5 mi) inland into the desert from the old town of Giza on the Nile, some 25 kilometres (15 mi) southwest of Cairo city centre. The pyramids are the only remaining monuments of the 7 Wonders of the World.

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Akan drum

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Lieutenant Colonel Alexandre Banza (1932 – 12 April 1969) was a Central African military officer and politician. Born in Carnot, Central African Republic, Banza served with the French Army during the First Indochina War before joining the Central African Republic armed forces. As commander of the Camp Kassaï military base in 1965, Banza helped Jean-Bédel Bokassa overthrow the government of President David Dacko. Bokassa rewarded Banza by appointing him as minister of state and minister of finance in the new government. Banza quickly established the new regime's reputation abroad and forged diplomatic relations with other countries. In 1967, Bokassa and his protégé had a major argument over the president's excessive extravagances. In April 1968, Bokassa removed Banza as minister of finance. Recognizing Bokassa's attempts to undermine him, Banza made a number of remarks highly critical of the president's handling of the government. Bokassa responded by abolishing the minister of state position.

Banza soon decided to stage a coup d'état. He confided in a few military officers, who he hoped would support his attempt to gain power. One of his confidants, Jean-Claude Mandaba, contacted the president and informed him of the date of the coup, 9 April 1969. Hours before he was going to execute his bid for power, Banza was ambushed by Mandaba and taken directly to Bokassa. (Read more...)

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