Monday, 15 August 2016

What is Africa: A Continent or a Country?

A couple of weeks ago, a dear friend asked me this question: "Hey Buddy! So what is the capital city of Africa?", and that got me thinking. Upon a little research, I realized that most people especially those who have not been to Africa do hold this view of Africa. As a result I decided to write this piece to answer this question. Best to my knowledge, it is countries that have capital cities.




The African continent showing the colourful flags of each country


Africa, just as Europe and Asia, is a continent consisting of over 54 countries: Yes 54 countriesEach of these countries have their own capital cities as well. She is the second largest and the second most populated continent on the planet earth. It is a continent of over 2000 spoken languages. 
Before I even talk about the countries and their capital cities, I will like to mention that Africa is sub - divided into 5 regions. These are West Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa and Central Africa. As an example, I will mention some countries in each of these regions and their respective capitals.

Below are each regions, some countries that are located in them and the country’s capital city.
                West Africa
Country                         Capital city
Ghana                                     Accra
Nigeria                                    Abuja
La Cote d’ivoire                     Abidjan
Sierra Leonne                         Freetown
Liberia                                    Monrovia                  
                                               

                    East Africa
Country                          Capital City
Kenya                                      Nairobi
Tanzania                                  Mbabane
Ethiopia                                   Addis Ababa
Uganda                                    Kampala


                    North Africa
Country                           Capital city
Egypt                                        Cairo
Morocco                                   Rabat
Algeria                                      Algiers
Libya                                        Tripoli


                     Southern Africa
Country                            Capital city
South Africa                              Durban/ Pretoria
Zambia                                      Lusaka
Zimbabwe                                 Harare


                     Central Africa
Country                               Capital city
Cameroon                                          Yaoundé
Central African Republic                   Bangui
Democratic Republic of Congo         Kinshasa
Chad                                                   N’Djamena
Rwanda                                              Kigali

Of course there are many more countries but cannot list all here because the few listed here cleared the point that Africa is a continent and continents do not have capital cities rather they have countries within them. But each of these countries of course as illustrated above do have capital cities just like Berlin being Germany’s capital city and Paris, France’s capital city.
Come to think of it, should each continent have a capital city, which city in which country will that be?
Let us think about that.
As bonus, Africa is very diverse when it comes to language. There exist thousands of local languages. Some of these are Akan language (Twi), Ewe, Igbo, Hausa, Fula, Tonga, Amharic, Lingala ...languages.
Due to the colonial rule most African nations experienced, most of them adopted "official languages" mostly from Europe. Some of these languages are English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, German etc.
For example Ghana speaks English. So does Sierra Leonne, Gambia and Kenya. For French speakers Cote d'ivoire, Djibouti, Madagascar are just examples. Sudan and Egypt are predominantly Arabic speaking nations. Cameroon is even bilingual i.e. they speak both English and French (two languages) whilst Angola speaks Portuguese.


THE AFRICAN CONTINENT AND ITS COUNTRIES












Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Now Olympics 2016 but what is the history behind the Olympics Games?


August 6 at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil the Summer Olympic games 2016 begins. A lot of games ranging from athletics, basketball, swimming, gymnastics, table tennis, football to weightlifting will be taking place. If you want to see your favourite or world renowned sports personalities, then Rio is the place to be this summer. But how did it all begin?
It is undoubtedly true that the ancient Greek played significant role in the development and civilization of our current world and so it came as no surprise that the root of the modern Olympics games is linked to the ancient Greeks.
In the 8th century the ancient Greeks started the Olympic Games and it was first held in Olympia, a city in Greece. This could probably influence the name of the modern game (Olympic Games). Just as it occurs every four years today, the same is true for the ancient Greek Olympic Games.
In 1894, the world governing body of the games, International Olympic Committee (IOC) was formed and since then it has been in operation. The IOC is the major decision making body which decides in which city the games can be held and played other roles.
Under the IOC, the first Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece in the year 1896 and it was a success. The second was in France. Since then the Olympics game continued till date.

Below are some countries and the year in which the summer Olympics Games were held.

Year
City
Country
1896
Athens
Greece
1900
Paris
France
1904
St. Louis
USA
1908
London
Great Britain
1912
Stockholm
Sweden
1920
Antwerp
Belgium
1924
Paris
France
1928
Amsterdam
Netherlands
1932
Los Angeles
USA
1936
Berlin
Germany
1948
London
Great Britain
1952
Helsinki
Finland
1956
Melbourne
Australia
1960
Rome
Italy
1964
Tokyo
Japan
1968
Mexico City
Mexico
1972
Munich
West Germany
1976
Montreal
Canada
1980
Moscow
Soviet Union
1984
Los Angeles
USA
1988
Seoul
South Korea
1992
Barcelona
Spain
1996
Atlanta
USA
2000
Sidney
Australia
2004
Athens
Greece
2008
Beijing
China
2012
London
Great Britain
2016
Rio de Janeiro
Brazil
2020
Tokyo
Japan

Just as any other institution, the Olympic Games also faced a lot of challenges. Due to world wars, the games were not held in 1916, 1940 and 1944. In the years 1980 and 1984, it was boycotted by large number of countries because of the cold war. Other challenges include doping, bribery and terrorist attacks especially in 1972.

Now not only the summer Olympics but winter Olympics: which is held in winter every two year after the summer Olympics, Paralympics (Olympics for people with disability) and youth Olympics/games (for teenagers), is organized.