Early human civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Carthage emerged in North Africa.
Following a subsequent long and complex history of civilizations, migration and trade, Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages.
The last 400 years have witnessed an increasing European influence on the continent.
Starting in the 16th century, this was driven by trade, including the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, which created large African diaspora populations in the Americas.
In the late 19th century, European countries colonized almost all of Africa, extracting resources from the continent and exploiting local communities;
most present states in Africa emerged from a process of decolonisation in the 20th century.