On a typicalone-dimensionalmapAfricaisrelatively smallerthanin reality.The African continentaccounts for over 20% ofEarth's land areaand is thesecond largestcontinentafter Asia.It is theonly continentcontainingboththe northern and southerntemperatezones. More than a billionpeople liveIn54countries, of whichone billionsouth ofthe Sahara.
Turning toorganic lifeAfricaharbors2/3of the world'splant species.80%of the world'smammalslive here,becausethis is wherethey oncedeveloped,whenAfricawas thecentral part ofGondwanaland.
Thereis every indicationthatAfrica is the place whereweoriginated asthe people weare today.The fossilstell a story thatis morerich in detailthanthe present knowledgeabouthow Africawas like beforeEuropeans arrived.Europeancolonization ofthe continenthad consequenceswe still seetoday.With the help ofcommoditiesand slavesaccumulatedthe capital thatbuiltthe European and Americanempiresand big business.For thisthe greatestholocaustAfrica is denied even an apologyin words, let aloneaction.
Despite the fact thatwe have somuch to thankthiscontinent for, inthe global perspective it isslippingfurther and further behindthe rest ofthe world.Its historicalsignificance forthe world'sflora and fauna,andnot leastits currentsignificance forthe world economyin the form ofraw materials,should meanafargreaterprosperityfor thecitizens of this continent.
After independenceinthe early1960s, Africa hasgrappledwith major problems.ContinuedEuropean influenceover parts ofthe economyand endemic corruptionhindersthe improvement ofpeoples'living conditions.Women's educationand the breaking ofoldconventionsis probablya prerequisiteif the trendis to be broken.