Interesting Facts About Africa

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All eyes are set on Africa this month following the premier of one of the most anticipated movies: The Black Panther. As we join in the funfare, here are interesting facts about Africa you probably didn’t know of. Enjoy.

  • Idi Amin proposed to The Queen of England

The current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II has some quite interesting ties with East Africa. In 1952, she was on Safari in Kenya, staying at the Treetops Hotel in Mount Kenya, when her dad passed away, and she became Queen.

Queen Elizabeth II and East Africa would then make headlines again in 1975 when Idi Amin Dada Proposed to her. Now, Idi Amin was known to be a fearless and very daring man. He proposed to Queen Elizabeth and offered to lead the Commonwealth with her if she agreed. Of course she did not! 🙂


The ballsy Idi Amin Dada

  •  Ethiopia was the only country in Africa to defeat the European Colonial Power.

The historical Battle of Adwa happened on March 1st 1896. The battle involved Italian Imperial Forces verses the Ethiopian Army. The Ethiopian Army was composed of Ethiopian nationals who gathered from around the country to defend their land.

The Battle of Adwa was an aftermath of both states trying to get full control of the region (Italy trying to make Ethiopia, then Abyssinia, its protectorate and Abyssinia refusing to cede). In 1983, Menelik II denounced the Treaty of Wichale. This move acted as a catalyst for the battle of Adwa where the Ethiopians won by a landslide.

To date, Ethiopians still remember the Battle of Adwa feverently. March 2nd has been marked as a National Holiday known as the Adwa Victory Day. One of Ethiopia’s most important historical sites, Taitu Hotel, also is historically linked to the Battle of Adowa. This hotel, apart from being the nation’s first hotel, was named after Empress Taitu. Empress Taitu was wife to Menelik II. It is said that she is the one behind her husband’s denunciation of the Wichale Treaty. Art, photography, and film about the battle are still being documented to date.

Ethiopian Painting depicting the Battle of Adowa.

  • Kenya was the first country in Africa to hold repeat elections.

This is one of the most current facts about Africa. August 2017 was a historical month for Kenya. Weeks after the country held its elections, The Kenyan Supreme Court nullified the results citing irregularities. ‘The ruling displayed judicial independence on a continent where courts often come under intense pressure from political leaders’, political analysts said.
Kenya entered the list of four countries in the world, and the first in Africa, to ever hold repeat elections. The repeat elections were then held on October 26th 2017, though they recorded a pretty low turnout.

  • The University of Al Quaraouiyine in Morocco is the Oldest University in the World

According the Guinness Book of Records and UNESCO, The University of Al Quaraouiyine is oldest university not only Africa, but also the world. Don’t get me wrong though, Al Quaraouiyine is not the first institution of higher learning, but it’s the oldest existing and continually operating degree granting institution in the world.

The University of Al-Karaouine was founded in 970 AD. Another interesting fact about this university is that it was founded by a woman. Despite being founded by a woman, the university did not admit any women until the 20th Century.  Make sure to visit this university located in Fes, Morocco next time you travel to Morocco.

Do you know of any other interesting facts about Africa? Kindly share with us as we continue learning about this amazing continent.

The Oldest Serving University in Africa.

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