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people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population.
Around 4000 BC, the Saharan climate started to become drier at an exceedingly fast pace.The later Muslim kingdom of Ifriqiya, located in modern-day Tunisia, also preserved a form of the name.According to the Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while "Asia" was used to refer to Anatolia and lands to the east.A major climatic recession occurred, lessening the heavy and persistent rains in Central and Eastern Africa.Since this time, dry conditions have prevailed in Eastern Africa and, increasingly during the last 200 years, in Ethiopia.The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
Africa's average population is the youngest amongst all the continents; Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, and Nigeria is its largest by population. ergaster—with the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) found in Ethiopia being dated to circa 200,000 years ago.
Around 3500 BC, due to a tilt in the earth's orbit, the Sahara experienced a period of rapid desertification.
The population trekked out of the Sahara region towards the Nile Valley below the Second Cataract where they made permanent or semi-permanent settlements.
Africa, particularly central Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors, as well as later ones that have been dated to around seven million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages.
In the late 19th century European countries colonised almost all of Africa.
A definite line was drawn between the two continents by the geographer Ptolemy (85–165 AD), indicating Alexandria along the Prime Meridian and making the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa.