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Africa also varies greatly with regard to environments, economics, historical ties and government systems.However, most present states in Africa originate from a process of decolonisation in the 20th century.
The first Roman emperor native to North Africa was Septimius Severus, born in Leptis Magna in present-day Libya—his mother was Italian Roman and his father was Punic.
Other etymological hypotheses have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa": During the mid-20th century, anthropologists discovered many fossils and evidence of human occupation perhaps as early as 7 million years ago (BP=before present).
Fossil remains of several species of early apelike humans thought to have evolved into modern man, such as Australopithecus afarensis (radiometrically dated to approximately 3.9–3.0 million years BP, These first modern humans left Africa and populated the rest of the globe during the Out of Africa II migration dated to approximately 50,000 years BP, exiting the continent either across Bab-el-Mandeb over the Red Sea, Other migrations of modern humans within the African continent have been dated to that time, with evidence of early human settlement found in Southern Africa, Southeast Africa, North Africa, and the Sahara.
In the Sahara-Nile complex, people domesticated many animals, including the donkey and a small screw-horned goat which was common from Algeria to Nubia.
Around 4000 BC, the Saharan climate started to become drier at an exceedingly fast pace.
In the early 7th century, the newly formed Arabian Islamic Caliphate expanded into Egypt, and then into North Africa.
In a short while, the local Berber elite had been integrated into Muslim Arab tribes.
people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population.
The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.
The domestication of cattle in Africa preceded agriculture and seems to have existed alongside hunter-gatherer cultures.
It is speculated that by 6000 BC, cattle were domesticated in North Africa.
Around 3500 BC, due to a tilt in the earth's orbit, the Sahara experienced a period of rapid desertification.