People / Places
By Alistair Boddy-Evans, About.com Guide
- Independence Leaders
- Presidents and Heads of State
- Apartheid and Anti-Apartheid Leaders
- Explorers of Africa
- Writers and Artists
- North African States
- West African States
- Central African States
- East African States
- Southern African States
- African Island States
The struggle for independence brought forth a number of great African leaders.
Presidents and Heads of State
Africa has had some of the world's greatest political leaders, as well as some of the worst. From Nelson Mandela to Idi Amin, find out more about Africa's presidents.
Apartheid and Anti-Apartheid Leaders
The struggle against Apartheid in South Africa produced many heroes and scoundrels alike. Here are a few from either side of the fence.
Explorers of Africa
Explorers of Africa, especially those of the nineteenth century have had a special influence on the continent's development. Had it not been for their zeal to discover the unknown (to them) the rest of the world would not have been brought so harshly into the political, social, and economic development of Africans. Discover their stories.
- René-Auguste Caillié
- Mary Henrietta Kingsley
- Mungo Park
- Carl Peters
- Who's Who, Where They Went, and When
Writers and Artists
Africa's long history of artistic works has its roots in the rock art of hunter gathers and the oral traditions of storytellers and griots.
North African States
Contained by the shores of the Mediterranean to the north and the arid sands of the Sahara to the south, the countries of North Africa were heavily influenced by ancient European civilizations such as Rome as well as the more recent expansion of Islam.
West African States
The desert lands of the southern Sahara, the lush rainforest of the coastal areas, the rich natural resources and, of course the slave trade have influenced the development of this region. The spread of Islam and the aggressive competition between France and Britain to exploit the region has left a powerful legacy.
Central African States
From the Tibesti mountains in the north to the great rainforest basin of the Congo (Zaire) River. This region was relatively free of European influence until the end of the 19th century when France and Belgium developed colonies. Are the current conflicts a legacy of colonial occupation?
East African States
From the Libyan Desert, the source of the Nile and the Ethiopian highlands in the north to the rich volcanic soils surrounding the Great Rift Valley in the south, East Africa exhibits the strong influences of Arab traders and European colonization.
Southern African States
Now recognized as the Cradle of Humankind, southern Africa has been the home of many African societies. Although overshadowed by the era of Apartheid, this region has a rich and well documented history.
African Island States
The Islands around the continent of Africa have a particular story to tell, the smaller islands were generally uninhabited when the Europeans arrived on the scene, whilst the largest, Madagascar, was first colonized by Indonesian seafarers (via India and East Africa) two millennia ago.