a globe showing the continent of Africa.Licensed from iStockPhoto
Origin: Classical Latin ; from Africa (terra), African (land), feminine of Africus ; from Afer, an African
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Africa - Cultural Definition
- Africa has been the home of great civilizations, particularly in Egypt (see also Egypt), along the Mediterranean Sea. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, European nations colonized much of the continent (see colonialism). In the twentieth century, the colonies became independent countries.
- Africa south of the Sahara is sometimes called sub-Saharan Africa.
- Sub-Saharan Africa has been hit especially hard by HIV/AIDS, drastically decreasing the life expectancy of much of the population.