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.
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
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
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.
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
In the same way is the region of the great lakes and the
highest points of the continent, where stands the 5895
In the southern part of the continent we find the deserts
of Namibia and Kalahari, called "brothers" because they are
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.
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.
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
For this reason it is easy to find Africans who are true
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).
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.