In celebrating Africa day i take this opportunity to write about a continent i love and proudly call home. Living outside of Africa i realised that not everyone knows geography. Some people think Africa is one big Republic, some think of Africa as a jungle whilst others think of it as a poverty sticken place with malnutrition people,etc. My article is for the benefit of the millions that don’t know geography when it comes to Africa.
The celebrations on May 25th, crowned as Africa Day, recite the annual commemorations of Africa’s independence, freedom and liberation strife from colonial imperialists. The reinforcement of this liberation was the first union of African countries on African soil; the foundation of the regional integration body; the Organisation of the African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963, which 38 years later, evolved into the African Union (AU).
Africa, the second largest continent (after Asia), covering about one-fifth of the total land surface of Earth. The continent is bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, and on the south by the mingling waters of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Africa’s total land area is approximately 11,724,000 square miles (30,365,000 square km), and the continent measures about 5,000 miles (8,000 km) from north to south and about 4,600 miles (7,400 km) from east to west
Africa is home to fifty five nations. Total population estimation of 1.2 billion people. The two most spoken Languages in Africa are Arabic and Swahili. They are more than 3000 languages spoken by the more than 1 billion inhabitants in Africa.
The longest river in Africa is the Nile the only river flowing northwards. There is the white nile and the blue nile both rivers meet in Khartoum, Sudan. It runs for 6,853 km across 10 countries including Egypt, Uganda, South Sudan, etc. It begins in the rivers that flow into Lake Victoria and empties into the Mediterranean Sea. The river serves as a source of irrigation, as well as an important transportation and trade route.
Africa’s highest mountain is Mount Kilimanjalo located in Tanzania on the border with Kenya. Kilimanjalo is located along the east African rift Valley. They is one saying that Tanzania has the mountain but Kenya has the best view.
Africa is home to the big five land animals found across most nations in sub Sahara. Africa has the world’s largest wildlife migration on Earth, which takes place from The Serengeti in Tanzania to Kenya’s Masai Mara, with over 750,000 zebra marching ahead of 1.2 million wildebeest as they cross this amazing landscape of over 3000km.
Africa has the world’s biggest inland delta, Okavango Delta. The Okavango Delta is a vast and varied ecosystem created as the Okavango River flows into the Kalahari desert in Botswana. Rich in wildlife, this World Heritage Site is a sanctuary to some of the world’s most endangered animals and birds.
Africa is home to the largest and hottest desert in the world. The Sahara desert is one of the harshest environments on Earth, covering 9.4 million square kilometers, nearly a third of the African continent, about the size of the United States. The second desert in Africa is called the Kalahari desert in Southren Africa.
The Congo rainforest is the largest tropical forest in Africa and the second largest in the world. At 500 million acres larger that the state of Alaska. It makes up one of the most important wilderness areas left on Earth. A mosaic of rivers, forests, savannas, swamps and flooded forests, the Congo Basin is teeming with life. Gorillas, elephants and buffalo all call the region home. The Congo Basin spans across six countries—Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
For the record Africa is a continent made up of fifty-five countries. The largest city is Cairo the capital city of Egypt. The country with the highest population is Nigeria with an estimated 25% of Africa. Africa is home to more than thousand cities and towns.
Africa is widely recognized as the birthplace of humankind. Archaeological evidence indicates that the continent has been inhabited by humans and their hominid forebears for some 4,000,000 years or more. Anatomically modern humans are believed to have appeared about 100,000 years ago in the eastern region of sub-Saharan Africa. Somewhat later those early humans spread into northern Africa and the Middle East and, ultimately, to the rest of the world
Cultures in Africa although the precise number is unknown, there are several thousand different societies or ethnic groups in Africa. They are identified by their recognition of a common culture, language, religion, and history. But in some areas the boundaries among ethnic groups and communities (villages, towns, farm areas) may not always be clear to the outsider. Most Africans speak more than one language, and frequent migrations and interactions, including intermarriage, with other peoples have often blurred ethnic distinctions
Africa’s tallest building is carlton centre located in Johannesburg, South Africa. The top floor is known as the “top of Africa”
Africa remains a key territory on the global map. Rich in oil and natural resources, the continent holds a strategic position. Nigeria is fourth largest oil exporter in the world, and Africa’s biggest oil producer with about 2.2 million barrels produced every day. Top 10 oil producers in order of total exports: Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Gabon, South Africa.The continent has the largest reserves of precious metals with over 40% of the gold reserves, over 60% of the cobalt, and 90% of the platinum reserves.
The great lakes region of Africa, Lakes Victoria, Malawi, and Tanganyika, are located in East Africa in the vicinity of the Great Rift Valleys and hold approximately 27% of the world’s freshwater. Lake Turkana is the largest desert lake in the world.
The largest waterfall in Africa is the Victoria Falls and it is located on the Zimbabwe and Zambia border. It has a height of 355 feet and the width of the water fall runs into almost a mile.
A happy Africa day as we strive towards “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.” I hope and trust you learned some one or two things about Africa.