Nigeria the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean; the federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular country. Nigeria has been home to states over the millennia; the modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures while practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms. Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960, it experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970. It thereafter alternated between democratically elected civilian governments and military dictatorships until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the 2011 presidential election considered the first to be reasonably free and fair.
Nigeria is referred to as the "Giant of Africa", owing to its large population and economy. With 186 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has the third-largest youth population in the world, after India and China, with more than 90 million of its population under age 18; the country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by 250 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa and Yoruba. The official language is English. Nigeria is divided in half between Christians, who live in the southern part of the country, Muslims, who live in the north. A minority of the population practice religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities; as of 2015, Nigeria is the world's 20th largest economy, worth more than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively. It overtook South Africa to become Africa's largest economy in 2014.
The 2013 debt-to-GDP ratio was 11 percent. Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank. However, it has a "low" Human Development Index, ranking 152nd in the world. Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are seen as the globe's next "BRIC-like" economies, it is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies set to become among the biggest in the world. Nigeria is a founding member of the African Union and a member of many other international organizations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and OPEC; the name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who married Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator; the origin of the name Niger, which applied only to the middle reaches of the Niger River, is uncertain. The word is an alteration of the Tuareg name egerew n-igerewen used by inhabitants along the middle reaches of the river around Timbuktu prior to 19th-century European colonialism.
The Nok civilisation of Northern Nigeria flourished between 500 BC and AD 200, producing life-sized terracotta figures that are some of the earliest known sculptures in Sub-Saharan Africa. Further north, the cities Kano and Katsina have a recorded history dating to around 999 AD. Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem–Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa; the Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people consolidated in the 10th century and continued until it lost its sovereignty to the British in 1911. Nri was ruled by the Eze Nri, the city of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture. Nri and Aguleri, where the Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umeuri clan. Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri. In West Africa, the oldest bronzes made using the lost-wax process were from Igbo-Ukwu, a city under Nri influence; the Yoruba kingdoms of Ife and Oyo in southwestern Nigeria became prominent in the 12th and 14th centuries, respectively.
The oldest signs of human settlement at Ife's current site date back to the 9th century, its material culture includes terracotta and bronze figures. Oyo, at its territorial zenith in the late 17th to early 18th centuries, extended its influence from western Nigeria to modern-day Togo; the Edo's Benin Empire is located in southwestern Nigeria. Benin's power lasted between the 19th centuries, their dominance reached further. At the beginning of the 19th century, Usman dan Fodio directed a successful jihad and created and led the centralised Fulani Empire; the territory controlled by the resultant state included much of modern-day northern and central Nigeria. For centuries, various peoples in modern-day Nigeria traded overland with traders from North Africa. Cities in the area became regional centres in a broad network of trade routes that spanned western and northern Africa. In the 16th century, Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin significant, direct trade with peoples of modern-day Nigeria, at the port they named Lago
Transport in Botswana
Transportation in Botswana is provided by internal and extensive network of railways, ferry services and air routes that criss-cross the country. All passenger services were discontinued in 2009, with the only remaining service being an international link to Zimbabwe from Francistown. Freight trains still operate. Passenger service was expected to resume in late 2015. Passenger services were re-introduced in March 2016. Over half of BRs freight traffic is in coal and intermodal freight, it ships automative parts and assembled automobiles, fertilizers, other chemicals, soda ash, forest products and other types of the commodities. Botswana Railways run 2 nightly passenger trains, one from Lobatse to Francistown, the other from Francistown to Lobatse, with stops in Gaborone, Mahalapye and Serule; the passenger train is termed the "BR Express". In Botswana, the "BR Express" has a commuter train between Gaborone; the train is scheduled to arrive at Gaborone 0649 hrs. This train return to Lobatse in well departing in Gaborone at 1800 hrs.
Arrival time at Lobatse is 1934hrs. The train stops at Otse and Commerce Park Halt; the BR decided from the beginning that it would operate its own sleeping cars. Bigger - sized berths and more comfortable surroundings were built. Providing and operating their own cars allowed better control of the service provided as well as revenue received, although profit was never a direct result of providing food to passengers. Rather, it was for those who could afford to travel great distances expected such facilities and favourable opinion would - well attracting others to Botswana and the BR's trains. Diesel locomotives As of March 2009 8 General Electric UM 22C diesel-electric locomotive, 1982. 20 General Motors Model GT22LC-2 diesel-electric locomotive, 1986. 10 General Electric UI5C diesel-electric locomotive, 1990.8 new gt142aces delivered in 2017 from emd. total: 888 km number of stations: 13 standard gauge: 1,067 mm cape gauge. Existing South Africa-yes- same gauge 1,067 mm Zimbabwe-yes- same gauge 1,067 mm Currently under construction Zambia- being built at Kazungula Bridge in Kazungula.
Proposed Namibia Mozambique As of 1996, Botswana has 10,217 km of highway. Roads; the following classes of traffic are not allowed on Botswana motorways: Learner drivers Slow vehicles. Invaild carriages Pedestrians Pedal-cycles Vehicles under 50cc AnimalsRules for driving on motorways include the following: The keep-left rule applies unless overtaking No stopping at any time No reversing No hitchhicking Only vehicles that travel faster than 80 km/h may use the outside lane No driving on the hard-shoulderThe general motorway speed limit is 120 km/h. Traditionally, road signs in Botswana used blue backgrounds rather than the yellow, white, or orange that the rest of the world uses on traffic warning signs. In the early 2010s, officials announced plans to begin phasing out the distinctive blue signs in favor of more typical signs in order to be more in line with the neighboring Southern African Development Community member states. Existing Thapama Interchange at the junction of A1 / Blue Jacket Street and A3 in Francistown.
Under construction Boatle Interchange in Boatle, its map plan it's done, the tendering of the project, it's done and the groundbreaking or construction has commenced. Proposed The Government of Botswana is committed to build three interchanges along K. T Motsete Drive in Gaborone. In most parts of Botswana, there are many taxiscabs of various styles. Botswana has no limitation in taxicab design, so each taxiscab company adopts their own design. Minibus Taxis is known as Kombi are the predominant form of transport for people in urban areas of Botswana and of them they're found within cities, major villages and least populated areas, they have their own minibus station within that particular area, they only transport people within that specific area, all of them they have different routes. This is due to their affordability to the public. Most minibus taxis they do not have depart time that's allocated by the state and of them they have 15 seaters. They're owned by many minibus owners. Coach buses are used for longer-distance services within and outside Botswana.
They're operated by private companies and they're the only ones that have depart time that's allocated by the ministry of transport. All couch buses have different time for depart and they have different routes, they have their couch bus stations all over Botswana. In 2004 there were an estimated 85 airports; the country's main international airport is Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone. The government-owned Air Botswana operates scheduled flights to Francistown, Gaborone and Selebi-Phikwe. There is international service to South Africa. A new international airport near Gaborone was opened in 1984. Air passengers arriving to and departing from Botswana during 2003
Malabo is the capital of Equatorial Guinea and the province of Bioko Norte. It is located on the north coast of the island of Bioko known by the Bubis, its indigenous inhabitants, as Etulá, as Fernando Pó by the Europeans; the city has a population of 187,302 inhabitants. Spanish of the country as well. Spanish is the most-spoken language and the only one used, except some French and Portuguese. Malabo is the oldest city in Equatorial Guinea. Many buildings in the city are built in a colonial style, dating from the times of Spanish rule, coexisting with modern buildings built since independence; the downtown streets have a square design, with pedestrian areas. This phenomenon causes a feeling of architecture attenuated by the low height of buildings in a combination of architectural Westernization and Africanism. Ciudad de la Paz is a planned city under construction in mainland Equatorial Guinea, designed to replace Malabo as the capital; the institutions of governance of Equatorial Guinea began the process of locating to Oyala in February 2017.
In 1472, in an attempt to find a new route to India, the Portuguese navigator Fernão do Pó, encountered the island of Bioko, which he called "Formosa". The island was named after its discoverer, Fernando Pó. At the beginning of the 16th century in 1507, the Portuguese Ramos de Esquivel made a first attempt at colonization on the island of Fernando Pó, he established a factory in Concepción and developed plantations of sugarcane, but the hostility of the insular Bubi people and diseases ended this experience quickly. With the treaties of San Ildefonso in 1777 and El Pardo in 1778, during the reign of the Spanish King Carlos III the Portuguese gave to the Spanish island of Fernando Pó, Annobón and the right to conduct trade in the mainland, an area of influence of 800 000 km2 in Africa, in exchange for the Colonia del Sacramento in the River Plate and the Santa Catalina Island off the Brazilian coast; the area stretching from the Niger Delta to the mouth of Ogüé River -in the current Gabon- and included, besides the islands of Fernando Pó and Annobon, the islets of Corisco and Elobeyes.
Failed its various unsuccessful attempts to colonize these lands, Spain for its internal problems, lost interest in Spanish Guinea in 1827 and authorized the British use the island as a base for the work of suppression of the slave trade. In 1821, the British captain Nelly approached the island of Fernando Pó, he found it abandoned and founded the establishments of Melville Bay and "San Carlos". Some years another British captain, William Fitzwilliam Owen, decided to colonize the island and in the north of it -on the site of the present capital- erected a base for British ships hunting European dealers in slaves, thus arose, on 25 December 1827, Port Clarence on the ruins of a previous Portuguese settlement. The name was chosen in honor of the Duke of Clarence, who became King William IV; the Bubis indigenous to the island called it "Ripotó. The population of the capital was increased by the arrival of slaves freed by the British; these freedmen were settled in Port Clarence before the establishment of Sierra Leone as a colony for freed slaves.
The descendants of these freed slaves remained on the island. They joined other migrants who arrived as free workers from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Benin and Cameroon, became the population group called Creole or fernandinos, whose language was a Pidgin Bantu-English with some Spanish elements. During the British period, the British consul automatically became the governor of the colony, including Governor John Beecroft, a British mulatto sailor who modernized the capital, whose work was recognized by Spain with a monument in Punta Fernanda. In 1844, when Queen Isabel II of Spain ruled after the regency of her mother Maria Cristina and Baldomero Espartero, in an attempt to modernize Spain and rescue its heritage, Spain let the UK know its desire to regain control of the colony and thus the island, it took another decade to implement this direct control. The capital had more dynamic and Protestant religious missions which were successful. Both factors helped to change the attitude of Spain, in addition to internal reasons alluded.
Spain again took control of the island in 1855 and the capital, Port Clarence, was renamed Santa Isabel, in honor of Queen Isabel II. The capital of the island of Fernando Pó became the capital of Equatorial Guinea, its present name was given to the town in 1973 as part of the campaign of President Macías Nguema to replace place names of European origin with African names, in this case honoring Malabo Lopelo Melaka, the last Bubi king. Malabo, the son of King Moka, surrendered to the Spaniards, his uncle Sas Ebuera, head of the Bubi warriors, claimed to represent legitimate Bubi rule and continued resisting, confronting the Spanish in 1898. After the Spanish killed Sas Ebuera, Malabo did with no authority. Bubi clans and settlements were slow to accept Spanish sovereignty over the island, the full conquest and pacification of the island was not achieved until 1912. During the so-called Reign of Terror of Macías Nguema, the dictator suppressed much of the intelligentsia of the country, initiating the process of taking over the positions of the public administration by part of the natives of Mongomo and clan Esangui.
Many city residents had to leave. In the last years of his mandate a fifth of the population fled. At that time, Equatorial Guinea received money from the Soviet Union in return fo
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Transport in Lesotho
This article concerns systems of transport in Lesotho. As a landlocked country, Lesotho has no seaports or harbours, but does have road, air transport, limited rail infrastructure. Prior to Lesotho's independence in 1966, the only paved road in the country was the Kingsway in the capital, between the Mejametalana Airport and the Royal Palace. Since the early 1970s, the road infrastructure has been developed. In 1999, Lesotho had a road network measuring at 5,940 kilometres in length, of which 1,087 kilometres were paved; the most weight has been given to connecting the district centres, but the roads within central Lesotho have been improved, as part of the construction needs of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The only railway line in Lesotho is the Maseru branch line, which connects the capital city Maseru to the Bloemfontein–Bethlehem line in the railway network of South Africa; the final 1.6 kilometres of this line, which opened on 18 December 1905, lies within the borders of Lesotho, running from the border bridge on the Mohokare River through the northern industrial district of Maseru to that city's station, the only railway station in the country.
As of 2008, there have been talks of building new railways to connect Lesotho to Durban and Port Elizabeth. There are a total of 28 airports in Lesotho; the only international airport is the Moshoeshoe I International Airport in Mazenod, a short distance southeast from Maseru. The main runway of the Moshoeshoe Airport is the only one with a runway longer than 1,523 meters. Of the other airports, one has a paved runway between 914 and 1,523 meters in length and one a paved runway with a length of under 914 meters. Four of the airports have unpaved runways of between 914 and 1,523 meters in length, the others have unpaved runways of less than 914 meters. All of the classifications are made by the length of the longest runway on an airport. Lesotho is landlocked and dependent on South Africa for sea transport; the nearest major port and the transshipping point for the country is Durban. Due to delays out of Durban more companies have been using the Port Elizabeth facilities that are 2 hours farther south.
Inland water transport is limited to small ferry boats at river crossings, the Government of Lesotho operates boats at major crossings. The main intermediate means of transport in use are wheelbarrows and work animals. Wheelbarrows are widespread in the urban and rural areas and are used by women and men to transport food aid, grains for milling, water containers, building materials; the importance of wheelbarrows for water collection is being reduced by the provision of water taps. Common in both highland and lowland areas are two-wheeled ‘scotch carts' with pneumatic tyres, they used to be pulled by oxen, but in recent years there has been an increasing tendency to use cows, as farmers do not own oxen. The carts vary in design, some being made with old pickup bodies, some made using old axles, many being purpose-made to standard designs by small workshops in Lesotho or South Africa. Most are painted red. Discussion with workshops producing carts suggest the main problem is obtaining suitable wheels and axles, as well as other raw materials, that can be afforded by their clients.
Basotho ponies are important in the highlands for riding. Ponies are sometimes used as pack animals to carry goods, but this is uncommon. Donkeys, on the other hand are used as pack animals in all parts of the county. Donkeys are quite ridden by young men and without a saddle, it is quite common for women to ride ponies, but few women ride donkeys. A few people, notably older men, ride donkeys fitted with saddles. Mules are uncommon, may be used for riding or pack transport; the use of ponies and donkeys to pull carts is low. Few two-wheeled donkey carts or horse carts, although such carts are common in other countries in southern, eastern and northern Africa. In at least two urban areas a small number of transport entrepreneurs use carts or wagons with pneumatic tyres pulled by single ponies. In Mafeteng, the transporters use two-wheel carts, while in Maputsoe, the transporters use four-wheel wagons; the numbers of bicycles and motorcycles in use is low. The per-capita ownership of motorcycles in Lesotho, bicycles, may be among the lowest in the world.
The small number of people who do use bicycles tend to be children and young men for recreation although some use them for inter-village travel. A few people use bicycles for sport, some South Africans and other tourists travel through the highlands on bicycles. A small number of transport entrepreneurs use bicycles to gain a livelihood
Bata, Equatorial Guinea
Bata is a port city in the Litoral province of Equatorial Guinea. With a 2005 estimated population of 173,046, it is the largest city in Equatorial Guinea, it lies on the Atlantic Ocean coast of Río Muni. Bata was capital of Equatorial Guinea and is a transport hub and port, from which ferries sail to Malabo and Douala, while fliers can land at Bata Airport. Bata is known for its nightlife and market. Bata has one of the deepest seaports in the region. Despite this, Bata has no natural harbor and a jetty was built to facilitate offshore handling of ships' cargoes; the principal exports are coffee. The international airport at Bata Airport has flights to several cities, including the capital, Malabo and to Libreville in Gabon. Bata, like Malabo, contains some of the country's best hotels including the Hotel Panafrica, overlooking the beach. After the anti-Spanish riots of 1968, the European population declined in Bata, severe economic stagnation affected Bata in the 1970s and early 1980s; the recent oil boom of the country in the late 1980s and 1990s has boosted the development of the city.
Bata, like most of Equatorial Guinea, has a tropical monsoon climate. It is much less gloomy than Malabo, has its dry season in the opposite months to insular Equatorial Guinea but in the same months as neighbouring Gabon due to the Benguela Current. There is a minor depression in rainfall between December and February when the Intertropical Convergence Zone its at its most southerly, unlike the true dry season in July and August, this is accompanied by increased sunshine; the rainiest months are April, May and November, when monthly totals of 300 millimetres or 12 inches are typical, although October averages as much as 457 millimetres or 18.0 inches. The Colegio Nacional Enrique Nvó Okenve has campuses here and in Malabo; the Colegio Español, a Spanish international school, is the city's sole international school. The Catholic cathedral of St. James and Our Lady of the Pillar stands in the city. Bata Airport is located north of Bata. Regina Mañe Ela and opposition campaigner Media related to Bata at Wikimedia Commons
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well