Africa is the Earth's second-largest (about 30,221,532 sq km / 11,668,545 sq mi) and second most populous (about 900 billion people as of 2008W) continent.

Africa straddles the equator and no part of the continent is more than about 4,000 kilometers from it, thus the continent's environments are largely tropical and subtropical, and with a great variation in rainfall and humidity, from tropical rain forests, through scrubland and savanna, to the Sahara and Kalahari deserts.

Both genus HomoW and our own species Homo sapiensW are thought to have originated in Africa, about 2.5 million years ago and 130,000 years ago respectively.

The Challenge[edit | edit source]

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people living on less than $1 per day has grown from about 231 million to 318 million people. Extreme poverty persists as a major challenge for the world to face. A complex set of factors—lack of access to basic human health services, clean water, education, technology, among many others—weave what has become known as a "vicious poverty trap" preventing millions worldwide from breaking free of the cycle. Leading development experts worldwide have come to identify that vital tool the impoverished need to break out of this cycle: access to credit, capital, and other essential financial services. Thus, was born the concept of Microfinance.

A solution[edit | edit source]

If you're interested in helping this beautiful continent and it's inhabitants, there are innovative, empowering, and sustainable solutions through art, music, and microfinance (learn more at Promote Africa).

The African Language Challenge and Solution[edit | edit source]

As Open source appropriate technology(OSAT) like that shown here on Appropedia is being developed largely in English, Africa's many languages present a fundamental challenge to OSAT's use for sustainable development on this continent. Although the demand for English is very high in Africa because of the revolution in information and communication technology ,[1] over 2,000 languages are spoken in Africa.[2] This represents more than a third of the world's languages and an enormous amount of localized knowledge on sustainable survival. Some recent work has started here at Appropedia to use service learning in language courses to help translate appropriate technology from English into other lanuages.[3] If you would be interested in helping translate some of the best articles in Appropedia into African languages please go here

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Bgoya, W. (2001). "The Effect of Globalisation in Africa and the Choice of Language in Publishing." International Review of Education/Internationale Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft/Revue internationale l'éducation. 47(3-4): 283-292.
  2. Grimes, B. F. (ed.) (2000). Ethnologue: Languages of the world. Summer Institute of Linguistics, Dallas/Texas.
  3. Joshua M. Pearce and Eleanor ter Horst, "Overcoming Language Challenges of Open Source Appropriate Technology for Sustainable Development in Africa" open access, Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, 11(3) pp.230-245, 2010.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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Authors Fixer, Writtenonsand
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related subpages, pages link here
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Created March 27, 2007 by Chris Watkins
Modified December 13, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
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