Tolu Ogunlesi at 3 Quarks Daily wrote a fascinating piece yesterday called, “Five Things You Didn’t Know About Africa.” It’s short… and worth a read. Here’s a snippet:
Ever heard of the Rift Valley? It’s the place in East Africa where scientists tell us humans first learned to walk on two feet, and from where the humans who today occupy other parts of the world commenced their wandering… In it J.M. Ledgard writes: “According to potassium-argon dating, hominids lived here for 900,000 years. They made handaxes which they used to butcher the hippos, zebras and baboons they hunted and scavenged…
Ledgard goes on to declare: “We are all Africans. We originated in Africa. That is proved by the continent’s rich genetic inheritance. Africans are more diverse than the rest of humanity put together, because they are drawn from the pool of humans who did not leave…”
Africa is indeed the world’s past. In its darkest recesses lies overwhelming shame – the shame of slavery, of colonialism, of neocolonialism – fueling the guilt of the world.
But Africa is also the future. Ask China.
Ask Europe in a few decades, when its streets will teem with pensioners, beneath whose combined weight economies will totter; when it’d be easier to find a mosquito in Germany, than a teenage German.
55 percent of the world’s cobalt is in Africa, as are 15 percent of the world’s arable land, 16 percent of its gold, 89 percent of its platinum, and a sixth of its population. Add China and India and Western Europe, the resulting landmass would still be smaller than Africa.