Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > Africa


African Geology

The African geological base is very old, which explains the small altitudes. However, we have in East Africa a succession of mountains, such as the Kilimanjaro and the Atlas Mountain Range.

African Geology

Africa occupies a single tectonic plate, unlike Europe which shares its plate with Asia (Eurasian plate).

In addition, it is mostly made up of plateaus and coastal plains, which can be immensely large, such as the plains of Niger.

Northern Plateau

On the northern plateau is the Sahara Desert, the longest in the world with 9.2 million km 2 and the Atlas Mountains, a mountain range that reaches 4000 meters high.

Through this area flows the 6755 km Nile River, the longest in Africa and the second in the world. The Nile was the cradle of the earliest civilizations in history, such as the Egyptian.

South of the Sahara we have the Chad Basin, with 2,382,000 km 2 which is a source of fishing for the local population. There is also the Niger River, which is 4180 kilometers long.

Eastern Plateau

In the eastern part of the continent is the Rift Valley, the largest tectonic pit in the world, which forms a 4000 km long, narrow and deep valley. There were traces of the first human groups.

In the same way is the region of the great lakes and the highest points of the continent, where stands the 5895 meters Kilimanjaro.

Southern Plateau

In the southern part of the continent we find the deserts of Namibia and Kalahari, called "brothers" because they are very close.

The southernmost point on the continent is the Cape of Good Hope and is surrounded by the Drakensberg Mountains.

The Congo Basin, situated in the equatorial zone of the continent, is a huge forest, the 2nd in the world, just behind the Amazon.


From the religious point of view, Islam, Christianity and traditional African religions predominate.

African Religions

We can generally share that in North Africa the predominant religion is Islam and in sub-Saharan Africa Christianity is the majority. In Ethiopia, for example, are the oldest Christian churches on the continent.

Protestant Christianity is also present due to English, German and Dutch colonization.

African animist religions continue to be practiced by tribes and even those who migrate to the city.


Across the continent with over 50 countries, 2,000 languages ​​are spoken and countless dialects according to Countryaah. In addition to the various languages ​​of African origin, some of the languages ​​introduced by the colonizers are still used today: Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

African Languages

In certain countries, such as the Seychelles, the language of the colonizer, French, has been so mixed with the local language that it is already considered another language: Creole.

For this reason it is easy to find Africans who are true polyglots.

African History and Colonization

The beginnings of his colonization date from the Quaternary era or the end of the tertiary era, and it is possible that man has his origins on this continent.

North Africa is the oldest region in the world occupied by humans. The hominid fossils found there in Tanzania and Kenya are about five million years old.

The name "Africa" ​​is generally related to the Phoenicians as "afar" which means " dust " and

In Egypt there was the first state to be formed in Africa, about 5000 years old. Subsequently, with the aim of finding new ways for the Indies, Europeans will launch themselves on the African continent.

There were also great African civilizations on the continent, such as Askum (13th century) in Ethiopia, and Ghana (5th to 11th century).

There were powerful Muslim states such as those of Mali (13th to 15th century), Songhai (15th to 16th century), the Abomey kingdom of Benin (17th century). Finally, the South African Zulu Confederation (19th century).

European colonization

In the fifteenth century, explorers from Europe conquer the coast of West Africa and from the nineteenth century, the European powers will colonize the interior.

Portugal will dominate Angola, Mozambique, Guinea and strategic islands such as Sao Tome and Principe. Equally, Portugal and other countries will remove from Africa about eleven million people and enslave them in their colonies.

Already in the nineteenth century, the Berlin Conference will literally formalize the imperialist advance on the European continent.

The UK will occupy a strip from north to south, from Egypt to South Africa, as well as other areas it colonized in the Gulf of Guinea. France will be based in northwest Africa, the African equator and Madagascar.

Finally, outnumbered are Germany, which is established in Togo, Tanganyika and Cameroon; and Belgium, the Belgian Congo and Rwanda.

Italy, Libya, Ethiopia and Somalia; and Spain, will occupy part of Morocco, the current Western Sahara and enclaves in Guinea.

However, the African colonies announced their independence, especially after World War II, in a process that would be concluded between 1960 and 1975.

After independence, there were separatist uprisings and coups d'état, culminating in truculent dictatorships.

Thus, in most cases, political independence was only a prerogative at the moment, as, as a rule, the new countries maintained economic ties with their former metropolises.


Africa is the world's poorest continent: of the thirty poorest countries, at least 21 are Africans.

Extractivism and agriculture are the main activities in Africa. These are practiced at very low technological levels and are therefore very harmful to the environment.

African Economy

Hunting, fishing and gathering natural products still make up the main sources of income for the majority of the African population. The trade in leather and fur, ivory, woods, resins, palm oil and spices should be highlighted.

However, in the 21st century, due to the rising price of primary products, the African economy has experienced a considerable increase. The region's growth rates reached up to 9% in the period 2004-2015.


Africa has large mineral reserves, most notably gold and diamonds, as well as energy sources such as oil and natural gas. It is also abundant in antimony, phosphates, manganese, cobalt and copper.

South Africa's largest economy is South Africa, followed by countries such as Morocco and Tunisia (major phosphate exporters, raw material for the fertilizer industry).

Also of note is Algeria, rich in oil and natural gas, and a member of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries).

However, the exploitation of mineral wealth is practiced by European or North American companies, which are attracted by the low price of labor, electricity and raw materials.

These companies extract and produce at reduced costs, allowing them high profit margins.


Africa's agriculture comes in two forms: subsistence and commercial.

The first is rudimentary, itinerant and extensive, and the second, practiced under the old form of Plantation, introduced by Europeans during the colonial period.

The main products of export agriculture are tropical fruits such as bananas, cashews, coffee and flowers.


Due to the unsuitable natural conditions for cattle breeding, Africa has an internal economic activity in cattle raising.

Fauna and Flora

The African fauna is very rich and has the largest animals on earth and in the savannas and steppes, populate the antelopes, zebras, giraffes, lions, leopards, elephants.

In the equatorial forest we can find a wide variety of birds and monkeys.

Thanks to precipitation, the predominant vegetation is the equatorial forest. To the north and south of this range, a region of hot and humid summers, come the savannas, which make up the most abundant vegetation on the continent.

In the Mediterranean Sea and South Africa, the Mediterranean vegetation with shrubs and grasses stands out .


The Sahel is one of the areas where temperatures are milder, with less rainfall and more pronounced dry seasons.

The climatic conditions include: equatorial, tropical, desert and Mediterranean.

The equatorial climate, hot and humid all year round, is in the midwest region of the continent. 75% of the continent is in the tropics. Only the north and south of the continent have a temperate climate.

The warm tropical climate with dry winters dominates the African continent as a whole and the Mediterranean climate emerges in small stretches of the northern tip and the southernmost tip of the continent.

Deserts occupy the rest of the territory, as rainfall is rare near the Tropic of Cancer, which is home to the Sahara Desert, and Kalahari, found in the Tropic of Capricorn.

Countries in Africa
  1. Algeria
  2. Angola
  3. Benin
  4. Botswana
  5. Burkina Faso
  6. Burundi
  7. Cameroon
  8. Cabo Verde
  9. Central African Republic
  10. Chad
  11. Comoros
  12. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  13. Djibouti
  14. Egypt
  15. Equatorial Guinea
  16. Eritrea
  17. Eswatini
  18. Ethiopia
  19. Gabon
  20. Gambia
  21. Ghana
  22. Guinea
  23. Guinea-Bissau
  24. Ivory Coast
  25. Kenya
  26. Lesotho
  27. Liberia
  28. Libya
  29. Madagascar
  30. Malawi
  31. Mali
  32. Mauritania
  33. Mauritius
  34. Morocco
  35. Mozambique
  36. Namibia
  37. Niger
  38. Nigeria
  39. Republic of the Congo
  40. Rwanda
  41. Sao Tome and Principe
  42. Senegal
  43. Seychelles
  44. Sierra Leone
  45. Somalia
  46. South Africa
  47. South Sudan
  48. Sudan
  49. Tanzania
  50. Togo
  51. Tunisia
  52. Uganda
  53. Western Sahara
  54. Zambia
  55. Zimbabwe

Politics eZine Copyright 1999 - 2020 All Rights Reserved