20 August 2007

positive africa,what is africa?

The second largest continent in the world has an exotic ring to many people, but Africa is much more than wildlife and breathtaking nature. More important: Africa is much more than the images of famine and war we often see in the international media. Africa is not one country with a uniform culture. Africa is very rich diversity on culture, traditions, languages, history and ideas. Africa has much to offer to those who are ready to listen.
What is Africa?
A few thoughts to begin with...
Africa is the second largest continent in the world. The area of Africa can contain all of USA, China, India, New Zealand, Europe and a bit more. Around 748 million people live in Africa. That is only a bit more than live in Europe.
Africa is the cradle of human evolution. Contrary to what many believe, Africa has a history going much further back than the age of colonisation. Actually the African history goes further back than anywhere else in the world. Traces of humans in Eastern and Southern Africa are the oldest in the world. In 1988 scientific Mitochondria-research proved that every living human being origins from the same woman in Africa about 200.000 years ago!
Africa is the cradle of civilisation. Africa has an old and rich cultural heritage including very old civilisations in Egypt and Nubia, the Great Zimbabwe, Ashante kingdoms, Dogon people and other ancient tribes. Culture, civilisation and large cities were in Africa before ANY kind of foreign influence. Africa had the first university in the world.
Africa had religions long before Christianity and Islam came to the continent. The original religions are in many aspects social and cultural arrangements. Some rituals are very gentle or even poetic, and far less "primitive" than the dominating world religions.
Africa and many of its people has suffered a lot through times and still does in some places. The African people are strong and proud.
Africa offers many of the most beautiful places in the world. Including an overwhelming biodiversity of nature and animal life.
Africa consists of more than 50 different countries, with more than 1,500 different languages (not counting dialects). There are just as many different cultures.
Africa is far more than famine, diseases and war. Africa is a resource, not "a problem". We in the West and North are very busy exporting our ideas to Africa. We often forget to listen and learn.

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