In ancient times, states in Africa did not have clear boundaries. The division of the territory began mainly during the colonization of the continent by European states and ended only in the second half of the 20th century. The outlines of the borders, which are straight lines, recall the colonial past of Africa. The colonialists divided Africa not by the place of residence of peoples, but based on their interests.
The fact that Africa was a major supplier of raw materials and slaves is evidenced by the many names left over from the colonial period. So the coast of modern Ghana, from which gold was exported, was called the Gold Coast, part of Liberia – Pepper Coast. The State of Côte d’Ivoire until 1986 was called the Ivory Coast. The coast of the Gulf of Guinea was notoriously known as the Slave Coast, because the slave markets operated here.
In 1950, Africa had only four independent states: Egypt, Ethiopia, Liberia and South Africa. From the middle of XX century. The active liberation of African states from colonial slavery began. During 1960, which is called the “Year of Africa”, 17 countries of the mainland were liberated. Currently, in Africa, all 53 countries are sovereign. Dependent territories remained only on some islands.
The largest countries of the continent are the Sudia, Algeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On the territory of any of them could fit four such states as Ukraine. According to the population, Nigeria stands at 135 million. Nigeria is also the most multi-ethnic country in Africa: its territory is home to about 250 nationalities.
Most countries in Africa have extremely low levels of economic development and are at the bottom of the world economy. The population is usually engaged in unproductive agriculture: it grows oil palm, cocoa beans, peanuts, cotton, rubber trees, rice, corn, millet. In addition, people raise cattle, are engaged in the development of minerals and timber harvesting. Recently, the role of tourism business in the countries of North Africa has been growing. This type of activity is especially intensive in Egypt.
To the highly developed countries of the world is only South Africa located in the extreme south of the continent. The country is very rich in minerals. Here 62% of the world’s gold reserves are concentrated. They also extract coal, iron ore, chrome, manganese lead, zinc, titanium, platinum, uranium, diamonds. The country provides itself with metal, chemical products, produces cars. In agriculture, the breeding of cattle and sheep predominates. They grow wheat, corn, peanuts, sugar cane, tobacco, citrus fruits, grapes.