1-20 of 569 results  for:

  • Countries and Places x
Clear all

Article

Eric Bennett

The Egba leader Sodeke founded Abeokuta around 1830 as a settlement for a group of refugees from the collapse of the Oyo Kingdom. Abeokuta translates as “under the rocks,” or “refuge among rocks,” and refers to the city's location on the craggy east bank of the Ogun River. The early city comprised four Egba subgroups, the Ake, Gbagura, Oke-Ona, and Owu, each in a separate ward. (The Egba are themselves a subgroup of the Yoruba.) In the 1840s missionaries and freed Egba slaves introduced Christianity and secular European influences to Abeokuta. The subsequent arrival of Sierra Leone Creoles further diversified the town.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Abeokutans warred with the neighboring kingdom of Dahomey (in present-day Benin) and then with Ibadan. Abeokuta maintained an alliance with Great Britain during this war and the later Yoruba civil wars (1877–1893 Consequently when Great Britain asserted its control ...

Article

Elizabeth Heath

The cultural and economic center of the Côte d’Ivoire, Abidjan surrounds the Ébrié Lagoon on the Atlantic Ocean's Gulf of Guinea. Historians are not sure when people first inhabited the area, but modern settlement dates from the early sixteenth century. Later in the century the Ébrié people selected the area as the site for three fishing villages—Locodjo, Anoumabo, and Cocody. Portuguese traders explored the area for a brief period in the seventeenth century, but Europeans largely ignored it until French Colonial rule in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1903 the French chose the settlement as the endpoint for a railway connecting Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) to the coast, and a small town soon developed around the train station. The lack of a viable port, however, initially stifled the town's growth.

In 1934 shortly after the completion of the rail link to the Upper ...

Article

Eric Bennett

The town of Abuja was founded by the Hausa Zazzua dynasty and conquered by the Fulani during their early-eighteenth-century jihad (holy war). Abuja is also home to numerous smaller ethnic groups, making it one of the more ethnically “neutral” cities in Nigeria. The 2006 census set the population at 778,567.

Relative ethnic parity was one of several reasons that the Nigerian government chose Abuja as the capital. Other factors included its central location—almost exactly in the middle of the country—and its comfortable climate, low population density, and potential for expansion. Abuja is located on the grassy, rolling Chukuku Hills, at an elevation of 360 meters (1,180 feet).

Plans for Abuja's development were drafted in 1976, and construction, slowed by Nigeria's debt, took place over several years. In 1991 Abuja officially replaced congested Lagos as the capital The city s central zone contains government buildings including the National ...

Article

Article

Endowed with a fine harbor, which is almost entirely landlocked, and located in a setting of great natural beauty, Acapulco de Juárez is sometimes called the Riviera of Mexico It has luxury hotels gambling casinos and excellent beaches and is popular for winter vacations and deep sea fishing The ...

Article

David P. Johnson

The political, economic, and cultural center of Ghana, Accra occupies a flat, level plain on the Atlantic coast. Originally the site of several villages of the Ga people, Accra developed after the Europeans established three fortified trading posts in the vicinity. In 1650 the Dutch built Fort Crevecoeur, which was later renamed Ussher Fort. The Danes constructed Christiansborg Castle in 1661 at nearby Osu, while the British erected Fort James in 1673. Three towns, Danish Christiansborg (or Osu), the Dutch Accra (or Ussher Town), and the British Accra (or James Town), developed around the forts as trade increased. Gradually the entire area became known as Accra, a corruption of nkran, the Akan word for the black ants common in the area. Accra quickly became an important center in the gold and slave trades. During the eighteenth century traders from Asante traveled to Accra to deal with Ga ...

Article

Robert Fay

Addis Ababa is Ethiopia's political, commercial, manufacturing, and cultural center. Located at the approximate geographical center of Ethiopia, it is the hub of the country's highway network and contains its international airport and the inland terminus of its only railroad. Its manufacturing sector produces consumer goods and building materials. In addition, the city houses Addis Ababa University and other cultural institutions. Addis Ababa is also the headquarters of the Organization of African Unity (now called the African Union) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, both of which are located in Africa Hall.

While Emperor Menelik II was away on a military campaign in 1886 his wife Empress Taitu founded Addis Ababa Amharic for New Flower on the site of hot springs The center of the early city was the royal palace and the surrounding aristocratic residences and military encampments A French firm completed a railroad linking ...

Article

Article

Africa  

For information on

Countries of North Africa: See Algeria; Egypt; Ethiopia; Libya; Mauritania; Morocco; Sudan; Tunisia; Western Sahara.

Countries of West Africa: See Benin; Burkino Faso; Côte d'Ivoire; The Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mali; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Togo.

Countries of East Africa: See Burundi; Djibouti; Eritrea; Kenya; Malawi; Mauritius; Mozambique; Rwanda; Somalia; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania; Uganda.

Countries of central Africa: See Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo, Democratic Republic of the; Congo, Republic of the; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon.

Countries of southern Africa: See Angola; Botswana; Lesotho; Namibia; South Africa; Zambia; Zimbabwe.

Countries and territories that are islands ...

Article

For information on

Physical characteristics of the continent of Africa: See Climate of Africa; Geomorphology, African.

Rivers: See Congo River; Gambia River; Niger River; Nile River; Senegal River; Ubangi River; Zambezi River.

Deserts: See Drought and Desertification; Kalahari Desert ...

Article

Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch

In Africa, as elsewhere, urbanization was above all a spatial process, bringing, as geographer Akin Mabogunje has put it, relatively large numbers of people into a relatively small space. But it was also a social process that created ethnic, linguistic, professional, and class distinctions.

If one were to pick a single defining feature of urbanization, it would not be the use of writing (as historians of the West have proposed), but the fact that, in the economic space of a city, not all people make their living from agriculture. What results is a diverse population, and a society engaged in various forms of commerce with the outside world, including the exchange of manufactured goods for necessary foodstuffs.

The concept of the colonial city has been widely used for many years but is itself colonial in its Eurocentrism Its inventors most of them Westerners are heavily influenced by the urban model ...

Article

Paul Nugent

Informed writing about Africa and its people dates back to the era of the slave trade However most of these earlier accounts were written by travellers traders missionaries and consular officials whose methods were random by contemporary standards and who often had an axe to grind African Studies as ...

Article

For information on

Art and film: See Art in Latin America and the Caribbean

Brazil: Cinema, Black, in Brazil; Cinema Novo; Diegues; Grande Otelo; Samba, Candomblé, and Quilombo in Brazilian Cinema: An Interpretation.

Capoeira: See Capoeira; Mestre Bimba; Mestre Pastinha.

Carnival: See Carnivals in Latin America and the Caribbean; Afoxés/Blocos Afros; Filhos de Gandhi; Ilê Aiyê; Olodum; Samba Schools.

Music and dance: Berimbau; Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Music; Samba; Tia Ciata; Tropicália.

Musicians: See Benjor; Bola Sete;Brown; Cartola; Caymmi; Djavan; Donga; Garcia; Gil; Jesus; Moreira and Purim; Nascimento; Pandeiro; Pixinguinha; Science; Vasconcelos.

Language: See African Linguistic Influences on Brazilian Portuguese; Cafundó; Complexities of Ethnic and Racial Terminology in Latin America and the Caribbean ...

Article

Elizabeth Heath

Today an important tourist and commercial center at the edge of the Sahara, Agadez was once the center of the Agadez sultanate, a loose Tuareg confederacy. The town, whose original name may have been Takadest (Arabic for “place of congregation of visitors”), was founded in 1430 by Alissaoua, the sultan of Aãr, who made it his capital. In theory, Alissaoua ruled over the Tuareg; but because he was descended from the slave of an Ottoman ruler, he in fact had little status, and little power beyond the arbitration of disputes between clans. As a result, Agadez never became the capital of a centralized Tuareg kingdom.

Nevertheless, Agadez quickly attracted trans-Saharan trade caravans because of its central position between Tombouctou and Gao to the west, Zinder and the Hausa states to the south the Tibesti to the east and Tamanrasset and the Mediterranean to the north By the sixteenth ...

Article

Article

Article

Robert Fay

Occupying more than 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) of the Nile Delta's western edge on the Mediterranean Sea, the city of Alexandria is one of modern Egypt’s most important economic and industrial centers. A 2006 census put the city's population at 4.1 million. Now overshadowed by the Egyptian capital of Cairo, 183 kilometers (114 miles) away, Alexandria dates back more than 2,000 years, and was once considered the Western world's greatest city. Intending it to be a naval base and the capital of his Egyptian province, Alexander the Great founded Alexandria in 332 b.c.e. He entrusted its planning and construction to his personal architect, Dinocrates, and he left Egypt under the command of a general named Ptolemy Soter. But Alexander never saw his city completed, and when he died in 323 b.c.e., his empire disintegrated.

Ptolemy Soter built an empire based at Alexandria and under his ...

Article

Algeria  

Marian Aguiar

To many outside observers, Algeria has been a preeminent symbol of postcolonial independence, a nation that waged a highly visible war against a European colonial power, France, in the mid-twentieth century, and won an independent secular state. The electoral success during the early 1990s of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), considered by many to be an Islamic fundamentalist group, was all the more startling. This apparent inconsistency revealed a complexity that stems from the fact that Algeria spans the traditions of the Berber, Arab, and European worlds. For the people of Algeria, Islam has been central to the culture since the seventh century. Within its history are many other strands as well, including the uneasy integration of Berber-dominated territories, the experience of women at the forefront of the independence struggle, the socialist strategies of the newly independent state, and the capitalist vision of economic development that supplanted it.

Article

Marian Aguiar

Algiers was built through multiple conquests, and layers of different cultures can be found in its architecture and social character. Legend has it that the ancient city of Icosium, founded by twenty companions of Hercules, lies beneath the foundations of the modern city. Romans, Berbers, Vandals, Byzantines, and Arabs all left their mark on the site, but it was not until the mid-tenth century that the Berber emir Bulkkin, built the harbor town into an important North African trading center, al-Jaza'ir.

For several hundred years a series of Islamic Maghreb rulers claimed the city as their seat of power For the most part the region operated as an independent city state under dynastic rule but at several points al Jaza ir was governed by its own citizens During the early sixteenth century the city also became home to persecuted Andalusian Muslims or Moors and Jews displaced by Christian reconquests ...

Article

Khalid White

The history of Allensworth is distinctive in that it is the only town in California to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans. Allensworth was created as a place where African Americans could become self-sufficient and live free of racial discrimination.