… consists of about one fifth of the earth’s land area. Roughly one billion people live in 62 countries and territories and speak between 2,000 to 3,000 languages, with up to 8,000 dialects. The earliest humans lived here at least seven million years ago, as did the earliest modern humans, homo sapiens, about 200,000 years ago.
Long after those earliest humans originated in Africa, their European descendants, divided by language, religion, and state, returned by sea.
Over the course of four hundred years the Europeans staked claims and eventually divided control of the continent by drawing lines across the African map, lines that ran through desert, mountain, jungle, and tribe.
When the Europeans eventually returned control of the continent to the natives, they left behind their languages, their religions, and their carelessly drawn borders.