Africa is the second largest continent in the world, both in area as well as in population. With its 30,244,050 sq.km or 11,677,240 sq.miles including the islands, it covers 20.3% of the total land areaon Earth
Because it has 800 million human inhabitants it accounts for around one seventh of the human population on Earth.
Origins of the Name
The European use of the name Africa came through the Romans who administered the territorry known as Carthage (modern Tunisia) as a province of Africa. The actual origins of the name is not really certain, however it might have come from the Greek word phrike, meaning cold and horror combined with the a- prefix, meaning a land free of cold and horror, though the change of the sound ph to f in Greek is from around the first century, and makes it uncertain that this should really be the origin of the name. Perhaps the suggestions that it is from the name Afer,relating to the modern name Berber might be a possibility as well. The geographer Ptolemy first assigned Egypt to Africa and made the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa, before then Egypt was considered a part of Asia. When the Europeans came to a better knowledge of the extent of the African continent the idea of Africa expanded.
It is believed that the human race originated from Africa and surely it is the oldest inhabited territory on earth. Africa, (and all other continents) for most of humanity's history, had no ationstates, but was instead inhabited by many small, loosely associated tribal groups, kingdoms, andfamilies. In the 14th century European explorers arrived in Africa. Europeans bargained withsome local tribal leaders, and were therefore able to capture millions of Africans, and export them around the world for labour, which later became known as the global slave trade. The European imperial powers occupied most of the continent in the early 19th century, creating many colonial states. This occupation continued until the end of the Second World ar.Gradually all colonial states were hereafter granted formal independence. Africa is today the home to over 50 independent countries, many of which still have borders drawn during the era of European colonialism.