Questions tagged [africa]

Africa is the continent on which the human species probably originated. It fostered some of the earliest known civilizations, and contains a vast array of cultures to this day.

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Why is Nigeria so populated? [closed]

Nigeria is the 7th most populated country in the world, but I have no idea why. What are some geographic/historical reasons why this might be? Compared to other countries in Africa with roughly the ...
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Did the slave trade from Africa to the Middle East decline during the 20th century?

From reading Wikipedia, it's not clear how much the slave trade to the middle east from Africa declined, or when. If it declined, did that coincide with 1) the turn of the century, when almost all of ...
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Was there a trade link between the medieval Hungarian Kingdom and the Mali Empire?

This is very much a cold question as I have found no writings on any link. However, I do know that there was West African and European trade links long before colonialism and quite a bit of Mali gold ...
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How many vehicles were involved in Operation Gothic Serpent (Mogadishu, October 3-4, 1993)?

I wanted to know how many vehicles (include their model and which country used it), aircraft and infantry were deployed in Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu in October 1993. Specific numbers of: ...
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What is the backstory behind the White Sun of Angola?

I was reading some history of Angola and came across this symbol, for which the filename was "White Sun of Angola". I was unable to find anything that explains its origin with some simple google ...
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What was the contemporary German public opinion on the Herero Genocide?

The genocide took place during 1904-1907, organized by General von Trotha. Wikipedia says: Von Trotha's methods caused a public outcry which led the Imperial Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow to ask ...
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Has Morocco ever claimed ownership of the Canary and Madeira islands?

Has Morocco ever claimed ownership of the Canary and Madeira islands? If no, then why not? How about the island countries Cabo Verde and São Tomé and their African continental neighbours?
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Was Mansa Musa's gold as serious an inflationary problem in Mamluk Egypt as is portrayed, and, if so, how did the Mamluks recover from it?

There are numerous sources claiming that Mansa Musa, King of Mali, was one of the richest people alive (#1, #2). Essentially, these claim that Musa was one of the richest people in the history of the ...
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When was the first confirmed circumnavigation of Africa?

There has been debate over the years about whether the Phoenicians and Egyptians circumnavigated Africa. An expedition beginning in 2008 set out to prove just that, with a Phoenician-inspired ship. ...
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How much contact did Sub-Saharan Africa actually have with the rest of the world since the beginning of civilization?

The book 'Guns, germs and steel' introduced me to the fact that the Sahara desert actually isolated Sub-Saharan Africa from the developments elsewhere since the beginning of civilization until ...
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Was the Kingdom of Nri truly pacifistic?

I have been reading about the Kingdom of Nri, a political entity that lasted from Medieval times to 1911. It was apparently pacifistic and saw violence as an abomination on Earth. However, it is ...
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Why did Ethiopia not fight with Eritrea over coastal territory when giving them independence?

To me, it is kind of crazy to me that Ethiopia wouldn't just take a slither of Eritrea to connect them to the coast. They were bigger and could easily have done it when giving Eritreans their ...
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What was Africa's political system like before European imperialism? [closed]

During the Scramble of Africa (1881 - 1914), Europeans basically controlled the entire content. They also implemented their own form of government and culture in many of these places. However, what ...
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How have African countries kept the boundaries divided by colonists and countries unified for decades, despite the many ethnical groups and conflicts?

How have sub-Saharan African countries generally kept the boundaries divided by the previous colonists and kept countries unified for decades, despite the many ethnical groups and conflicts between ...
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How did the Belgians issue ID cards with ethnicity to women in Ruanda-Urundi?

I've read about how the Belgians issued ID cards to the inhabitants of their colony Ruanda-Urundi (later independent under the names of Rwanda and Burundi): Indeed, the Belgian colonists ...
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What was the military background of the Irish company at the Siege of Jadotville?

During the Siege of Jadotville, the Irish "A" company under Quinlan's command and UN mandate seems to have fought pretty well. It is especially mentioned in the linked article a good capacity in ...
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What do we know about the location of Islamic schools in pre-colonial Africa?

There is much research in history and social science on how Christian missionary schools changed the formation of human capital in Africa, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. However, I find very little ...
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How was Sahara desert formed?

According to U-Like C.B.S.E CCE Sample Papers with Solutions and Model Test Papers for Revision in SOCIAL SCIENCE, the Sahara desert resulted from overgrazing by herbivores. This happened because the ...
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What was Rhodesia like before independence? [closed]

I have heard a lot about Robert Mugabe in my time, and he mostly seemed like a good example of how not to run a country. Now that he's died, I'm seeing a lot of articles talking about his supposed "...
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Why didn't Britain or any other European power colonize Abyssinia/Ethiopia before 1936?

It is well mentioned while reading books on Africa or, the colonization or “scramble” for Africa, that two countries, Liberia and Ethiopia/Abyssinia, had retained their sovereignty as independent ...
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Were does Tifinagh come from?

Because all of my knowledge of Tifinagh came from the Wikipedia article, I was quite puzzled to read this blog. For those of you that just don't bother checking, the author describes the different ...
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How long would it take to travel from England to western Africa in the late 1890's?

I am trying to do some research for a book I am planning to write, and I would like to know how long it would take for a troop transport ship to travel from England to the Gold Coast region of Africa. ...
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What was the flower of Empress Taytu?

Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia. Its name means "New Flower" in Amharic (አዲስ አበባ), and the tale of how it got its name is told thus: The location of Addis Ababa was chosen by the Empress ...
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Why did Kabila discard the name and flag of Zaire?

Early in Mobutu's long spell in power he instituted a policy of Authenticité, promoting African names over colonial ones. As part of that policy the name of the country was changed from Congo to Zaire....
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Why did ZANU (instead of ZAPU) come to power after the Rhodesian Bush War?

Given recent events in Zimbabwe I am curious about the country's origins, and have been reading various articles on Wikipedia. Principally this on the Rhodesian Bush War. I would like to know why ...
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Demonym for someone from the kingdom of D'mt

D'mt is a little-studied kingdom which lasted from the 10th to 5th centuries BC, in Eritrea and Ethiopia. For further information, you can look here and just about nowhere else. The civilization is ...
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Do we know anything in detail about the effect of the black death on Sub-Saharan Africa?

When I was in school 20-odd years ago, historians were still unsure about whether or not the black death traveled through Sub-Saharan Africa to any large degree, in large part because the vector (...
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Approximately how much travel time was saved by the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869?

Understanding that there were a few variables involved, approximately how much travel time was saved by no longer having to travel around Africa after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869?
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What was Yugoslavia doing in the Angolan Civil War?

I was looking through Wikipedia (a mixed quality source) about the military history of Yugoslavia, when I noticed this odd listing of Yugoslavia as one of the combatants in the Angolan Civil War (1975-...
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Was the factional civil war that broke out in Angola after its independence in 1975 based on tribal rivalry?

Was the factional civil war that broke out in Angola after its independence from Portugal in 1975 primarily based on tribal rivalries. (with an ideological cover)?
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What became of the plan to partition Angola?

At the height of the war between UNITA rebels and the MPLA government of Angola there was - I recall - for a time a plan to fully partition Angola and create two countries. UNITA would have the ...
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Why was sugar cultivation more profitable in the Caribbean/Brazil than West Africa?

The Atlantic slave trade involved the large-scale deportation of West African slaves to sugar plantations on the other side of the Atlantic. Why was it more profitable to do that, rather than to ...
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Is there a correlation between the colonial power and the stability/success of the post colonial state?

Looking at the history of Ghana relative to many post-colonial African states, it appears to be quite a successful and stable nation-state, both politically and economically, compared to many other ...
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Was there trade among African empires?

I've been searching, without success so far on mainstream history media (mainly references given by teachers, references on Wikipedia and stuff like this) and have not found any evidences (or proofs ...
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Why did Mozambique join the British Commonwealth?

In short, the Commonwealth originated in the British Empire, as an association of Britain and its former colonies. Why did Mozambique (a former Portuguese colony) join?
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Is there any truth to the claim that freed slaves who moved to Liberia enslaved the local population?

This claim was made in a documentary I saw on youtube called 'The Cannibal Warlords of Liberia' at about 1:22, as well as on the blog BloggingWithoutMaps I can't find strong sources to back this ...
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What are the earliest written accounts of Sub-Saharan Africa from the outside?

I've been researching African ethnography recently, and this path has led me to looking for early accounts of Sub-Saharan Africa. That they come from non-residents likely goes without saying, but I ...
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Were Western (French, US or other) powers involved in the coup against Captain Sankara of Burkina Faso?

I have researched this head of state of Burkina Faso using different papers, wiki articles, programs and French DGSE books to form an opinion on this puzzling character. It seems Captain Thomas ...
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Why would the Rhodesians trust Blacks in their army?

I was reading about Rhodesia and found that there were Blacks serving in the Rhodesian military. The caption of this picture asserts that they were the majority of the millitary! I would have ...
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Are there records of US slaves who practiced Islam following their import from Africa?

Islam has historically been prevalent in many regions of Africa, such as in the Songhai Empire, which was based around Sharia law. It seems plausible to me that some Africans were practitioners of ...
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How did ululation originate and spread?

Ulu or Ululation is the sound produced by throated "OOO' sound combined with moving the tongue rapidly sideways. This is done only by women (I think). Its done in Bengal (India), Morroco (Africa) and ...
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Historically, have African nations had a higher proportion of coups than nations on other continents?

The president of the Central African Republic was recently ousted by rebel forces. According to atlanticwire there have been over 40 coups in the past 60 years. Do African nations have a higher ...
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Why was the area now known as Liberia chosen as the location for repatriation of African slaves in the US?

The American Colonization Society thought that colonizing Africa for the purpose of returning US slaves to Africa was the solution to slavery problems. Why, and how, did they come to decide that the ...
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Is Yam also known as Nubia?

Harkhuf, an Egyptian official, set out for a place called Yam, which a chronicle states was far south of Egyptian boundaries. But where exactly was Yam? Was Yam later called Nubia? Are Yam and Nubia ...
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When did “Africa” become the name of the whole continent?

I learned from wiki that Africa was the name of a Roman province during Roman times, and that the continent was divided into Libya, Egypt and Ethiopia. So when did Africa become the name of the ...
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Did Julius Caesar say: “Africa, I have grabbed you”?

Someone once told me that when Julius Caesar stepped off the boat onto the North African shore, he tripped and landed flat on his face, to which he then said (in an amazing comeback to onlookers ...
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What was the name of the region, Somalia, British Somalia or British Somaliland?

Somalia was created in 1960 by joining two regions: British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. References in Wikipedia keep toggling between British Somaliland and Italian Somalia, note the use of ...
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Did Africans defeat Europeans in battle between 1850 and 1950?

The battle of Adwa was fought between Italians and Ethiopians in northern Ethiopia in 1896. The Italians were defeated and it was the greatest victory for Africans. Were there any other battles where ...
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Is there evidence for the use of the solenarion in late Medieval Ethiopia?

Shihab al-Umari, an Arab historian of the 14th century, wrote much of what's know of Emperor of Ethiopia Amda Seyon I campaigns against the Muslim States, namely Awfat, Dawaru, Arababni, Hadya, ...