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Location Africa
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Keywords Continents
Authors Phil Green
Published 2013
License CC BY-SA 4.0
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Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.3 billion people as of 2018, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. Africa's population is the youngest amongst all the continents; the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide median age was 30.4. Despite a wide range of natural resources, Africa is the least wealthy continent per capita, in part due to geographic impediments, legacies of European colonization in Africa and the Cold War, predatory/neo-colonialistic activities by Western nations and China, and undemocratic rule and deleterious policies. Despite this low concentration of wealth, recent economic expansion and the large and young population make Africa an important economic market in the broader global context.

The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), eight territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, and Nigeria is its largest by population. African nations cooperate through the establishment of the African Union, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa.

Climate action[edit | edit source]

Biodiversity[edit | edit source]

Serengeti Watch

Africa has over 3,000 protected areas, with 198 marine protected areas, 50 biosphere reserves and 80 wetlands reserves. Significant habitat destruction, increases in human population and poaching are reducing Africa's biological diversity. Human encroachment, civil unrest and the introduction of non-native species threatens biodiversity in Africa. This has been exacerbated by administrative problems, inadequate personnel and funding problems. W

Trees, woodland and forest[edit | edit source]

Greenpop, social enterprise that runs urban greening and reforestation projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Great Green Wall or Great Green Wall of the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (French: Grande Muraille Verte pour le Sahara et le Sahel) is a planned project to plant a wall of trees across Africa at the southern edge of the Sahara desert as a means to prevent desertification. It was developed by the African Union to address the detrimental social, economic and environmental impacts of land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and the Sahara. FAO page on the Great Green Wall W

Deforestation in Africa[edit | edit source]

Africa is suffering deforestation at twice the world rate, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Some sources claim that deforestation has already wiped out roughly 90% of West Africa's original forests. Deforestation is accelerating in Central Africa. According to the FAO, Africa lost the highest percentage of tropical forests of any continent during the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. According to the figures from the FAO (1997), only 22.8% of West Africa's moist forests remain, much of this degraded. Nigeria has lost 81% of its old-growth forests in just 15 years (1990–2005). Massive deforestation threatens food security in some African countries. One factor contributing to the continent's high rates of deforestation is the dependence of 90% of its population on wood as fuel for heating and cooking.

Research carried out by WWF International in 2006 shows that in Africa, rates of illegal logging vary from 50% in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea to 70% in Gabon and 80% in Liberia – where timber revenues played a major role in financing the Sierra Leone Civil War and other regional armed conflicts until the UN Security Council imposed a ban on all Liberian timber in 2003. W

Community energy[edit | edit source]

Solar Sister eradicating energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity

The 'Fuel from Waste' Network - M-KOPA Solar - ColdHubs

Food[edit | edit source]

Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa - Farm Africa - Slow Food in Africa

Social inclusion[edit | edit source]

Southern African Regional Poverty Network - Français - Rede Regional da Pobreza na África Austral (Português}

Sustainable livelihood[edit | edit source], Collaboration, Education, Livelihoods and Development in a Changing World

Sustainable transport[edit | edit source]

Africa Streets Mission

Urban sustainability[edit | edit source]

Africa now has 350 million urban dwellers, more than the populations of Canada and the United States combined. Asia and Africa are expected to double their urban populations to roughly 3.4 billion by 2030. [1]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

Apps for sustainability[edit | edit source]

Citizens data initiative[edit | edit source]

Wealth and poverty in Africa – interactive, 2011 [2]

Video[edit | edit source]

News and comment[edit | edit source]

see separate article: Africa news

Environmental issues in Africa[edit | edit source]

Environmental issues in Africa are caused by anthropogenic effects on the African natural environment and have major impacts on humans and nearly all forms of endemic life. Issues include desertification, problems with access to safe water supply, population explosion and fauna depletion. These issues are ultimately linked to over-population in Africa, as well as on a global scale. Nearly all of Africa's environmental problems are geographically variable and human induced, though not necessarily by Africans. W

Near you[edit | edit source]

Botswana - Burkina Faso - Cameroon - Chad - Democratic Republic of the Congo - Egypt - Ethiopia - Gabon - Gambia - Ghana - Kenya - Madagascar - Mali - Malawi - Morocco - Mozambique - Namibia - Niger - Nigeria - Rwanda - Senegal - Seychelles - Somalia - South Africa - South Sudan - Sudan - Tanzania - Uganda - Zambia - Zimbabwe

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See also[edit | edit source]


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External links[edit | edit source]

Africa W, Environmental issues in Africa W, Great Green Wall W

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Worldwatch Institute, 2007
  2., 25 December 2011