|Africa is the second-largest
continent after Asia. It is dominated by the Sahara
in the north and the Great Rift Valley in the east.
The Mediterranean climate of the extreme north and
south enables cultivation of grapes and other fruit.
A belt of tropical rainforest lies along the Equator,
while Africa's great tropical grasslands provide
grazing for herds of wild animals and domestic livestock.
A narrow strip of Egypt is watered by the world's
longest river, the Nile, which has sustained communities
from prehistoric times. The centre and south of
the continent are rich in minerals. Just over one-tenth
of the world's population lives in Africa - a wide
variety of peoples with their own distinctive languages
and cultures. Although Islam and Christianity are
widespread, many Africans adhere to their own local
customs and religious beliefs.