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A rule of conduct or procedure established by custom, agreement, or authority. The body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by a political authority; a legal system: international law. The condition of social order and justice created by adherence to such a system: a breakdown of law and civilized behavior. A set of rules or principles dealing with a specific area of a legal system: tax law; criminal law. A piece of enacted legislation. What is Law?

Africa

Africa is the world's third-largest continent. At 11,608,000 sq. miles
(30,065,000 km2), it covers 20.3% of the total land area on Earth, and with
over 800 million human inhabitants it accounts for around one seventh of
Earth's human population.

The ancient Romans used the name Africa terra --- "land of the Afri"
(plural, or "Afer" singular) --- for the northern part of the continent,
corresponding to modern-day Tunisia. The origin of Afer may be the Arabic
afer, dust; the Afridi tribe, who dwelt in Northern Africa around the area
of Carthage; Greek aphrike, without cold; or Latin aprica, sunny.

History

Africa is home to the oldest inhabited territory on earth, and it is
believed the human race originated from what is now this continent.

For most of humanity's history, Africa had no nation states, and was instead
inhabited by many small, loosely associated tribal groups, kingdoms, and
families. In the 14th century European explorers arrived in Africa. By
bargaining with some local tribal leaders, Europeans were able to capture
millions of Africans, and export them for labour around the world in what
became known as the global slave trade. In the early 19th century the
European imperial powers staged a massive "scramble for Africa" and occupied
most of the continent, creating many colonial states. This occupation
continued until the conclusion of the Second World War, after which all
colonial states were gradually granted independence. Today, Africa is home
to over 30 independent countries, many of which still have borders drawn
during the era of European colonialism.

Politics

Since independence, African states have frequently been hampered by
instability, violence, and authoritarianism. Until recently, few nations in
Africa were able to sustain democratic governments, instead cycling through
a series of brutal coups and military dictatorships.

Border and territorial disputes have also been common, with the
European-imposed borders of many nations being widely contested through
armed conflicts.

Failed government policies have also resulted in many widespread famines,
and significant portions of Africa remain without enough food or water to
survive. The spread of dangerous diseases is also rampant, especially the
deadly AIDS virus.

Despite numerous hardships, there have been some signs the continent has
hope for the future. With international help, many African governments have
been able to turn their economies around, and some nations are showing
growth for the first time in decades. Democratic governments seem to be
spreading, and although still not the majority, more and more Africans are
living in freedom than ever before. Political associations such as the
African Union are also offering hope for greater co-operation and peace
between the continent's many countries.

Demographics

The population of Africa is almost entirely black. The nations of Zimbabwe
and South Africa maintain small, but significant white and Asian minorities
groups. Some northern countries, such as Egypt and Morocco, have Arabic
majorities.

Africa is home to a wide variety of different religious groups. Christianity
and Islam have a significant presence in many countries, while others retain
regionally unique tribal beliefs and customs.

Countries

Central Africa

   * Central African Republic
   * Chad
   * Democratic Republic of the Congo
   * Republic of the Congo

Eastern Africa

   * Burundi
   * Comoros
   * Djibouti
   * Eritrea
   * Ethiopia
   * Kenya
   * Seychelles
   * Rwanda
   * Somalia -- Somaliland -- Puntland
   * Tanzania
   * Uganda

Northern Africa (see also North Africa)

   * Algeria
   * Ceuta
   * Egypt
   * Libya
   * Mauritania
   * Melilla
   * Morocco
   * Sudan
   * Tunisia
   * Western Sahara

Southern Africa

   * Angola
   * Botswana
   * Lesotho
   * Madagascar
   * Malawi
   * Mauritius
   * Mozambique
   * Namibia
   * Reunion
   * Swaziland
   * South Africa
   * Zambia
   * Zimbabwe

Western Africa

   * Benin
   * Burkina Faso
   * Cameroon
   * Cape Verde
   * Cte d'Ivoire
   * Equatorial Guinea
   * Gabon
   * The Gambia
   * Ghana
   * Guinea-Bissau
   * Liberia
   * Mali
   * Niger
   * Nigeria
   * Sao Tome and Principe
   * Senegal
   * Sierra Leone
   * Togo

African Languages

Ecology of Africa

List of countries/dependencies by population density

     in inhabitants/km2.

Saint Helena, being closest to Africa, has been included.

Unlike the figures in the country articles, the figures in this table are
based on areas including inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers) and
may therefore be lower here.

             country               pop. dens.    area        population
                                    (/km2)      (km2)   (2002-07-01 est.)
 Mauritius                                588     2,040          1,200,206
 Mayotte (Fr.)                            457       374            170,879
 Reunion (Fr.)                            296     2,512            743,981
 Comoros                                  283     2,170            614,382
 Rwanda                                   281    26,338          7,398,074
 Burundi                                  229    27,830          6,373,002
 Seychelles                               176       455             80,098
 Sao Tome and Principe                    170     1,001            170,372
 Nigeria                                  141   923,768        129,934,911
 Gambia                                   129    11,300          1,455,842
 Uganda                                   105   236,040         24,699,073
 Cape Verde                               101     4,033            408,760
 Togo                                      93    56,785          5,285,501
 Malawi                                    90   118,480         10,701,824
 Ghana                                     85   239,460         20,244,154
 Sierra Leone                              78    71,740          5,614,743
 Lesotho                                   73    30,355          2,207,954
 Egypt                                     71  1,001,450        70,712,345
 Morocco (excluding Western
 Sahara)                                   70   446,550         31,167,783
 Swaziland                                 65    17,363          1,123,605
 Benin                                     60   112,620          6,787,625
 Ethiopia                                  60  1,127,127        67,673,031
 Tunisia                                   60   163,610           9815,644
 Senegal                                   54   196,190         10,589,571
 Kenya                                     53   582,650         31,138,735
 Cte d'Ivoire                             52   322,460         16,804,784
 Burkina Faso                              46   274,200         12,603,185
 Tanzania                                  39   945,087         37,187,939
 Guinea-Bissau                             37    36,120          1,345,479
 Eritrea                                   37   121,320          4,465,651
 South Africa                              36  1,219,912        43,647,658
 Cameroon                                  34   475,440         16,184,748
 Guinea                                    32   245,857          7,775,065
 Liberia                                   30   111,370          3,288,198
 Zimbabwe                                  29   390,580         11,376,676
 Madagascar                                28   587,040         16,473,477
 Mozambique                                24   801,590         19,607,519
 Democratic Republic of the Congo          24  2,345,410        55,225,478
 Djibouti                                  21    23,000            472,810
 Equatorial Guinea                         18    28,051            498,144
 Saint Helena (UK)                         18       410              7,317
 Sudan                                     15  2,505,810        37,090,298
 Algeria                                   14  2,381,740        32,277,942
 Zambia                                    13   752,614          9,959,037
 Somalia                                   12   637,657          7,753,310
 Mali                                     9.1  1,240,000        11,340,480
 Republic of the Congo                    8.7   342,000          2,958,448
 Angola                                   8.5  1,246,700        10,593,171
 Niger                                    8.4  1,267,000        10,639,744
 Chad                                     7.0  1,284,000         8,997,237
 Central African Republic                 5.8   622,984          3,642,739
 Gabon                                    4.6   267,667          1,233,353
 Libya                                    3.1  1,759,540         5,368,585
 Mauritania                               2.7  1,030,700         2,828,858
 Botswana                                 2.7   600,370          1,591,232
 Namibia                                  2.2   825,418          1,820,916
 Western Sahara (Morocco)                 1.0   266,000            256,177
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