Africa, known for safaris, wild animals, and extreme poverty, is the second-largest continent of the 7 continents in the world. It is rich in history, language, culture, and geographic diversity. Africa plays host to some of the most incredible deserts, mountains, animals, reptiles, birds, insects on planet earth.
- History: Africa is the ‘cradle of humankind’, the place where the first hominids, human beings and their closest relatives the gorilla and chimpanzees, evolved 5 to 10 million years ago. Fossils found in Africa, show that modern human beings spread from this continent. One of the earliest evidence of human life were found in South Africa. ‘Mrs Ples and the Taung Child are among the most important fossils found. Many powerful kingdoms existed on the African continent in the early history and the Middle Ages. Between the 5th and 15th century, African slaves were traded mainly by Arab traders. In the late 19th century Europeans started conquering Africa which was then colonised in the 19th and 20th century mainly from Britain and France, but also from the Dutch, Italian and Germans.
2. People of Africa: There are more than 3,000 different groups of indigenous people living in Africa. They have their own language and culture. The majority of Africans are poor. The poorest countries are the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Zimbabwe. Among the most developed and richest countries are Seychelles, Libya, Mauritius, Algeria, Egypt, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
3. Languages in Africa: It is estimated that about 2,000 different languages are spoken on the African continent! Many Africans speak several African languages and also often another ‘European’ language. In many countries, people speak English, French or Portuguese as an additional language, as these languages are often used in communication and business. English is widely spoken in Africa as many countries were formerly British colonies. Arabic, the language spoken in northern Africa, is also used as an official language.