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North Africa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


For the region of the African Union, see Regions of the African Union North.

countries making up North Africa

Population density of Africa (2000)

North Africa is a collective term for a group of Mediterranean countries situated


in the northern-most region of the African continent. The term "North Africa" has
no single accepted definition. It is sometimes defined as stretching from the
Atlantic shores of Morocco in the west, to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the
east. Others have limited it to the countries of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, a
region known by the French during colonial times as Afrique du Nord and by the
Arabs as the Maghreb (West). The most commonly accepted definition includes
Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, as well as Libya and Egypt. It is important to note
that the term North Africa, particularly when used in North Africa and the Middle
East, often refers only to the countries of the Maghreb and Libya. Egypt, due to
its greater Middle Eastern associations, is often considered separately.

The countries of North Africa share a common ethnic, cultural and linguistic
identity that is unique to this region. North west Africa has been inhabited by
Berbers since the beginning of recorded history, while the eastern part of North
Africa has been home to the Egyptians. Following the Muslim conquest in the seventh
century C.E., the region underwent a process of Arabization and Islamization that
has defined its cultural landscape ever since.

The distinction between North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa is historically and
ecologically significant because of the effective barrier created by the Sahara
Desert for much of modern history. From 3500 BC, following the abrupt
desertification of the Sahara due to gradual changes in the Earth's orbit, this
barrier has culturally separated the North from the rest of the continent.[1] As
the seafaring civilizations of the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Muslims and others
facilitated communication and migration across the Mediterranean Sea, the cultures
of North Africa became much more closely tied to Southwestern Asia and Europe than
Sub-Saharan Africa. The Islamic influence in the area is also significant, and
North Africa is a major part of the Muslim world.

Some researchers have postulated that North Africa rather than East Africa served
as the exit point for the modern humans who first trekked out of the continent in
the Out of Africa migration.[2][3][4]

Contents [hide]
1 Geography
2 Countries, territories and regions
3 People
4 Culture
5 History
5.1 Early history
5.2 Antiquity and ancient Rome
5.3 Arab conquest to modern times
6 Transport and industry
7 See also
8 Notes
9 External links
Geography[edit]
The Atlas Mountains extend across much of Morocco, northern Algeria and Tunisia,
are part of the fold mountain system that also runs through much of Southern
Europe. They recede to the south and east, becoming a steppe landscape before
meeting the Sahara desert, which covers more than 75 percent of the region. The
sediments of the Sahara overlie an ancient plateau of crystalline rock, some of
which is more than four billion years old.

North Africa, consisting of the Sahara and north, in the northern red climatic zone
and northwards
Sheltered valleys in the Atlas Mountains, the Nile Valley and Delta, and the
Mediterranean coast are the main sources of fertile farming land. A wide variety of
valuable crops including cereals, rice and cotton, and woods such as cedar and
cork, are grown. Typical Mediterranean crops, such as olives, figs, dates and
citrus fruits, also thrive in these areas. The Nile Valley is particularly fertile,
and most of the population in Egypt live close to the river. Elsewhere, irrigation
is essential to improve crop yields on the desert margins.

Countries, territories and regions[edit]


Countries and territories Area (2016)
(km) Population (2016) Density (2016)
(per km) Capital Total GDP (2016) [5] GDP per capita (2016) [6]
Currency Government Official languages
Algeria 2,381,740.00 40,606,052.00 17.05 Algiers $160,784
$15,026 Algerian dinar Presidential republic Arabic and Berber (both
official), French is commonly used
Egypt 1,001,450.00 95,688,681.00 96 Cairo $332,349 $12,554
Egyptian pound Semi-presidential republic Arabic
Libya 1,759,540.00 6,293,253.00 3.58 Tripoli $33,157 $8,678
Libyan dinar Provisional authority Arabic
Morocco 446,550.00
or 710,850 (including the disputed Western Sahara) 35,276,786.00 73.1 Rabat
$1103,615 $8,330 Moroccan dirham Constitutional monarchy Arabic and
Berber (both official), French is commonly used
Tunisia 163,610.00 11,403,248.00
63 Tunis $141,869 $11,634 Tunisian dinar Parliamentary republic
Arabic, French is commonly used.
Source:

The World Bank[7]


People[edit]
Main articles: North African Arabs, Arabs, Maghrebis, Berbers, and Nubians

Beduin women in Tunisia


The inhabitants of North Africa are roughly divided in a manner corres