Africa Today: Culture, Economics, Religion, Security

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Today, less than fifteen thousand remain in the region, almost all in Morocco and Tunisia, and are mostly part of a French-speaking urban elite. See Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries. Due to the recent African origin of modern humans , the history of Prehistoric North Africa is important to the understanding of pre-hominid and early modern human history in Africa.

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According to study author Jean-Jacques Hublin, "The idea is that early Homo sapiens dispersed around the continent and elements of human modernity appeared in different places, and so different parts of Africa contributed to the emergence of what we call modern humans today. The rise of modern humans may thus have taken place on a continental scale rather than being confined to a particular corner of Africa.

The cave paintings found at Tassili n'Ajjer, north of Tamanrasset, Algeria, and at other locations depict vibrant and vivid scenes of everyday life in central North Africa during the Neolithic Subpluvial period about to BCE. Some parts of North Africa began to participate in the Neolithic revolution in the 6th millennium BCE, just before the rapid desertification of the Sahara around B. While Egypt due to the early civilizations of Ancient Egypt entered historicity by the Bronze Age, the Maghreb remained in the prehistoric period longer.

The most notable nations of antiquity in western North Africa are Carthage and Numidia.

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The Phoenicians from the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea colonized much of North Africa including Carthage and parts of present-day Morocco to the northwest including Chellah , Essaouira and Volubilis [31]. The Carthaginians were of Phoenician origin, with the Roman myth of their origin being that Dido , a Phoenician princess, was granted land by a local ruler based on how much land she could cover with a piece of cowhide.

She ingeniously devised a method to extend the cowhide to a high proportion, thus gaining a large territory.

She was also rejected by the Trojan prince Aeneas according to Virgil , thus creating a historical enmity between Carthage and Rome , as Aeneas would eventually lay the foundations for Rome. Ancient Carthage was a commercial power and had a strong navy, but relied on mercenaries for land soldiers. The Carthaginians developed an empire in the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily , the latter being the cause of the First Punic War with the rising power of the Roman Republic.

Over a hundred years and more, all Carthaginian territory was eventually conquered by the Romans during the three Punic Wars , resulting in the Carthaginian North African territories becoming the Roman province of Africa in B.

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The loss of North Africa is considered a pinnacle point in the fall of the Western Roman Empire as Africa had previously been an important grain province that maintained Roman prosperity and feed the growing Imperial capital city and surrounding Italian provinces despite the barbarian incursions, and the wealth required to recruit and maintain new legions and armies.

The issue of regaining North Africa became paramount to the Western Empire, but was frustrated by Vandal victories. The focus of Roman energy had to be on the emerging threat of the Huns moving in from central Asia behind the Germanic barbarians. This perhaps marks the point of terminal decline for the Western Roman Empire. Trade routes between Europe and North Africa remained intact until the coming of Islam with invading Arabs from the east in the Seventh century sweeping into the Eastern Roman Empire now known by modern historians as the Byzantine Empire.

Some Berbers were Christians and members of the Early African Church already for several hundred years but evolved their own Donatist doctrine , [34] some were Berber Jews , and some adhered to traditional Berber religion. The early Muslim conquests moving north and west out of Arabia after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in A. By , most of North Africa had come under Muslim rule. Indigenous Berbers subsequently started to form their own polities in response in places such as Fez and Sijilmasa.

In the Eleventh century, a reformist movement made up of members that called themselves the Almoravid dynasty expanded south into Sub-Saharan Africa.

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North Africa's populous and flourishing civilization collapsed after exhausting its resources in internal fighting and suffering devastation from the invasion of the Banu Sulaym and Banu Hilal. Ibn Khaldun noted that the lands ravaged by Banu Hilal invaders had become completely arid desert.

After the Middle Ages the area was loosely under the control of the Turks with their Ottoman Empire , except Morocco in the far northwest. After battling and expelling the Muslim "Moors" from the Iberian peninsula at the end of the 15th century, The Spanish and their growing empire conquered several coastal cities between the 16th and 18th centuries which remained under the control of the Kingdom of Spain. After the 19th century, the later imperial and colonial presence of France , along with the United Kingdom and its far-flung British Empire , plus Spain and the Spanish Empire and finally Italy after its campaign of unification during the s left the entirety of the region under one form of European occupation.

In World War II in North Africa from to the area was the setting for the North African Campaign with first the attacks from the Italians under Mussolini in Libya against the British in Egypt, and after they became bogged down, then being reinforced by their allies with Nazi Germans with their " Afrika Korps ". The "Operation Torch" invasion by the Americans in November on the northwest coasts of the continent and the renewed drive from the east by the British after their October victory over the German General Erwin Rommel at Battle of El Alamein overwhelmed the Axis armies to retreat along the coast eventually surrender in Tunisia in During the s and s all of the North African states and colonies gained independence and entrance into the United Nations.

There still remains today a dispute over Western Sahara former Spanish colony between neighboring Morocco and the Algerian -backed Polisario Front. In — massive protests known as the "Arab Spring" swept the region leading to the overthrow of the governments in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as civil war in Libya. Large protests also occurred in Algeria and Morocco to a lesser extent. Many hundreds died in the uprisings. This uprising is commonly referred to as the "Arab spring" [37].

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The economies of Algeria and Libya were transformed by the discovery of oil and natural gas reserves in the deserts. Morocco 's major exports are phosphates and agricultural produce, and as in Egypt and Tunisia , the tourist industry is essential to the economy. Egypt has the most varied industrial base, importing technology to develop electronics and engineering industries, and maintaining the reputation of its high-quality cotton textiles. Oil rigs are scattered throughout the deserts of Libya and Algeria.

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Libyan oil is especially prized because of its low sulfur content, which means it produces much less pollution than other fuel oils. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Northernmost region of Africa. Sovereign states 5. Other territories 3. Unrecognized states 1. Sahrawi Republic [3].

go here This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Culture of North Africa. Main article: History of North Africa. Main article: Prehistoric North Africa. This section needs additional citations for verification.

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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Geography portal Africa portal. Macmillan Reference USA. Retrieved 10 August Bossard, Laurent. Tarikh es soudan in Arabic. Paris E. Nordic Journal of African Studies. Bibcode : Sci The American Journal of Human Genetics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Bibcode : PNAS.. Retrieved 30 December International Monetary Fund. Database updated on 12 April Accessed on 14 April Retrieved 10 February The World Bank. The Encyclopedia of Christianity: J-O. Eerdmans Publishing. The Guardian.