Tanzania the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania; the first humans known lived in Pliocene Tanzania 6 million years ago. The genus Australopithecus ranged all over Africa 4-2 million years ago. Following the rise of Homo erectus 1.8 million years ago, mankind spread all over the Old World, in the New World and Australia under the species Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens overtook Africa and absorbed the older archaic species and subspecies of humanity. One of the oldest known ethnic groups still existing, the Hadzabe, appears to have originated in Tanzania, their oral history recalls ancestors who were tall and were the first to use fire and lived in caves, much like Homo erectus or Homo heidelbergensis who lived in the same region before them. In the Stone and Bronze Age, prehistoric migrations into Tanzania included Southern Cushitic speakers who moved south from present-day Ethiopia.
These movements took place at about the same time as the settlement of the Mashariki Bantu from West Africa in the Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika areas. They subsequently migrated across the rest of Tanzania between 1,700 years ago. European colonialism began in mainland Tanzania during the late 19th century when Germany formed German East Africa, which gave way to British rule following World War I; the mainland was governed as Tanganyika, with the Zanzibar Archipelago remaining a separate colonial jurisdiction. Following their respective independence in 1961 and 1963, the two entities merged in April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania; the United Nations estimated Tanzania's 2016 population at 55.57 million. The population is composed of several ethnic and religious groups; the sovereign state of Tanzania is a presidential constitutional republic and since 1996 its official capital city has been Dodoma where the president's office, the National Assembly, some government ministries are located.
Dar es Salaam, the former capital, retains most government offices and is the country's largest city, principal port, leading commercial centre. Tanzania is a de facto one-party state with the democratic socialist Chama Cha Mapinduzi party in power. Tanzania is densely forested in the north-east, where Mount Kilimanjaro is located. Three of Africa's Great Lakes are within Tanzania. To the north and west lie Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, Lake Tanganyika, the continent's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish. To the south lies Lake Malawi; the eastern shore is humid, with the Zanzibar Archipelago just offshore. The Menai Bay Conservation Area is Zanzibar's largest marine protected area; the Kalambo Falls, located on the Kalambo River at the Zambian border, is the second highest uninterrupted waterfall in Africa. Over 100 different languages are spoken in Tanzania, making it the most linguistically diverse country in East Africa; the country does not have a de jure official language.
Swahili is used in parliamentary debate, in the lower courts, as a medium of instruction in primary school. English is used in foreign trade, in diplomacy, in higher courts, as a medium of instruction in secondary and higher education, although the Tanzanian government is planning to discontinue English as a language of instruction altogether. 10 percent of Tanzanians speak Swahili as a first language, up to 90 percent speak it as a second language. The name "Tanzania" was created as a clipped compound of the names of the two states that unified to create the country: Tanganyika and Zanzibar, it comprises the first three letters of the two states, "Tan" and "Zan" as well as the only two vowels in the names of two states, "I" and "a" to form Tanzania. The name "Tanganyika" is derived from the Swahili words tanga and nyika, creating the phrase "sail in the wilderness", it is sometimes understood as a reference to Lake Tanganyika. The name of Zanzibar comes from "zenji", the name for a local people, the Arabic word "barr", which means coast or shore.
The indigenous populations of eastern Africa are thought to be the linguistically isolated Hadza and Sandawe hunter-gatherers of Tanzania. The first wave of migration was by Southern Cushitic speakers who moved south from Ethiopia and Somalia into Tanzania, they are ancestral to the Iraqw and Burunge. Based on linguistic evidence, there may have been two movements into Tanzania of Eastern Cushitic people at about 4,000 and 2,000 years ago, originating from north of Lake Turkana. Archaeological evidence supports the conclusion that Southern Nilotes, including the Datoog, moved south from the present-day South Sudan / Ethiopia border region into central northern Tanzania between 2,900 and 2,400 years ago; these movements took place at the same time as the settlement of the iron-making Mashariki Bantu from West Africa in the Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika areas. They brought with them the west African planting tradition and the p
Namibia the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of the Zambezi River separates the two countries. Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence, its capital and largest city is Windhoek, it is a member state of the United Nations, the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations. Namibia, the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, was inhabited since early times by the San and Nama peoples. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu peoples arrived as part of the Bantu expansion. Since the Bantu groups, the largest being the Ovambo, have dominated the population of the country. In 1878, the Cape of Good Hope a British colony, had annexed the port of Walvis Bay and the offshore Penguin Islands. In 1884 the German Empire established rule over most of the territory as a protectorate.
It began to develop infrastructure and farming and maintained this German colony until 1915, when South African forces defeated its military. In 1920, after the end of World War I, the League of Nations mandated the country to the United Kingdom, under administration by South Africa, it imposed its laws, including racial rules. From 1948, with the National Party elected to power, South Africa applied apartheid to what was known as South West Africa. In the 20th century and demands for political representation by native African political activists seeking independence resulted in the UN assuming direct responsibility over the territory in 1966, but South Africa maintained de facto rule. In 1973 the UN recognised the South West Africa People's Organisation as the official representative of the Namibian people. Following continued guerrilla warfare, South Africa installed an interim administration in Namibia in 1985. Namibia obtained full independence from South Africa in 1990. However, Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands remained under South African control until 1994.
Namibia has a population of a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy. Agriculture, herding and the mining industry – including mining for gem diamonds, gold and base metals – form the basis of its economy; the large, arid Namib Desert has resulted in Namibia being overall one of the least densely populated countries in the world. The name of the country is derived from the Namib Desert, considered to be the oldest desert in the world; the name Namib itself is of Nama origin and means "vast place". Before its independence in 1990, the area was known first as German South-West Africa as South-West Africa, reflecting the colonial occupation by the Germans and the South Africans; the dry lands of Namibia have been inhabited since early times by San and Nama. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu people began to arrive during the Bantu expansion from central Africa. From the late 18th century onward, Oorlam people from Cape Colony crossed the Orange River and moved into the area that today is southern Namibia.
Their encounters with the nomadic Nama tribes were peaceful. They received the missionaries accompanying the Oorlam well, granting them the right to use waterholes and grazing against an annual payment. On their way further north, the Oorlam encountered clans of the Herero at Windhoek and Okahandja, who resisted their encroachment; the Nama-Herero War broke out in 1880, with hostilities ebbing only after the German Empire deployed troops to the contested places and cemented the status quo among the Nama and Herero. The first Europeans to disembark and explore the region were the Portuguese navigators Diogo Cão in 1485 and Bartolomeu Dias in 1486, but the Portuguese did not try to claim the area. Like most of interior Sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia was not extensively explored by Europeans until the 19th century. At that time traders and settlers came principally from Sweden. In the late 19th century, Dorsland Trekkers crossed the area on their way from the Transvaal to Angola; some of them settled in Namibia instead of continuing their journey.
Namibia became a German colony in 1884 under Otto von Bismarck to forestall perceived British encroachment and was known as German South West Africa. The Palgrave Commission by the British governor in Cape Town determined that only the natural deep-water harbor of Walvis Bay was worth occupying and thus annexed it to the Cape province of British South Africa. From 1904 to 1907, the Herero and the Namaqua took up arms against brutal German colonialism. In calculated punitive action by the German occupiers, government officials ordered extinction of the natives in the Herero and Namaqua genocide. In what has been called the "first genocide of the 20th century", the Germans systematically killed 10,000 Nama and 65,000 Herero; the survivors, when released from detention, were subjected to a policy of dispossession, forced labor, racial segregation, and
United Nations Trusteeship Council
The United Nations Trusteeship Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, established to help ensure that trust territories were administered in the best interests of their inhabitants and of international peace and security. The trust territories—most of them former mandates of the League of Nations or territories taken from nations defeated at the end of World War II—have all now attained self-government or independence, either as separate nations or by joining neighbouring independent countries; the last was Palau part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which became a member state of the United Nations in December 1994. Provisions to form a new UN agency to oversee the decolonization of dependent territories from colonial times was made at the San Francisco Conference in 1945 and were specified Chapter 12 of the Charter of the United Nations; those dependent territories were to be placed under the international trusteeship system created by the United Nations Charter as a successor to the League of Nations mandate system.
Eleven territories were placed under trusteeship: seven in Africa and four in Oceania. Ten of the trust territories had been League of Nations mandates. In order to implement the provisions on the trusteeship system, the General Assembly passed resolution 64 on Dec. 14, 1946, which provided for the establishing of the United Nations Trusteeship Council. The Trusteeship Council held its first session in March 1947. In March 1948, the United States proposed that the territory of Mandatory Palestine be placed under UN Trusteeship with the termination of the British Mandate in May 1948. However, the US did not make an effort to implement this proposal, which became moot with the declaration of the State of Israel. Under the Charter, the Trusteeship Council was to consist of an equal number of United Nations Member States administering trust territories and non-administering states. Thus, the Council was to consist of all U. N. members administering trust territories, the five permanent members of the Security Council, as many other non-administering members as needed to equalize the number of administering and non-administering members, elected by the United Nations General Assembly for renewable three-year terms.
Over time, as trust territories attained independence, the size and workload of the Trusteeship Council was reduced. The Trusteeship Council came to include only the five permanent Security Council members, as the only country administering a Trust Territory was a permanent member. With the independence of Palau part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, in 1994, there presently are no trust territories, leaving the Trusteeship Council without responsibilities; the Trusteeship Council was not assigned responsibility for colonial territories outside the trusteeship system, although the Charter did establish the principle that member states were to administer such territories in conformity with the best interests of their inhabitants. Its mission fulfilled, the Trusteeship Council suspended its operation on 1st of November 1994, although under the United Nations Charter it continues to exist on paper, its future role and existence remains uncertain; the Trusteeship Council is headed by Anne Gueguen, with Jonathan Guy Allen as vice-president, although the sole current duty of these officers is to meet with the heads of other UN agencies on occasion.
According to the United Nations website: By a resolution adopted on 25th of May 1994, the Council amended its rules of procedure to drop the obligation to meet annually and agreed to meet as occasion required -- by its decision or the decision of its President, or at the request of a majority of its members or the General Assembly or the Security Council. The chamber itself is still used for other purposes. Following a three-year refurbishment, restoring its original design by Danish architect, Finn Juhl, the chamber was re-opened in 2013; the formal elimination of the Trusteeship Council would require the revision of the UN Charter, why it has not been pursued. Other functions for the Trusteeship Council have been considered; the Commission on Global Governance's 1995 report recommends an expansion of the trusteeship council. Their theory is that an international regulatory body is needed to protect environmental integrity and the global commons on the two-thirds of the world's surface, outside national jurisdictions.
However, in March 2005, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan proposed a sweeping reform of the United Nations, including an expansion of the Security Council. As this restructuring would involve significant changes to the UN charter, Annan proposed the complete elimination of the Trusteeship Council as part of these reforms. United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories American trusteeship proposal for Palestine Homepage of the UN Trusteeship Council UN Decolonization page
Burundi the Republic of Burundi, is a landlocked country amid the African Great Lakes region where East and Central Africa converge. The capital is Gitega, having moved from Bujumbura in February 2019; the southwestern border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika. The Twa and Tutsi peoples have lived in Burundi for at least 500 years. For more than 200 of those years, Burundi was an independent kingdom, until the beginning of the 20th century, when Germany colonised the region. After the First World War and Germany's defeat, it ceded the territory to Belgium. Both Germans and Belgians ruled Rwanda as a European colony known as Ruanda-Urundi. Despite common misconceptions and Rwanda had never been under common rule until the time of European colonisation. Burundi gained independence in 1962 and had a monarchy, but a series of assassinations, coups and a general climate of regional instability culminated in the establishment of a republic and one-party state in 1966. Bouts of ethnic cleansing and two civil wars and genocides during the 1970s and again in the 1990s left the country undeveloped and its population as one of the world's poorest.
The presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, both Hutus, died together when their aeroplane was shot down in April 1994. 2015 witnessed large-scale political strife as President Pierre Nkurunziza opted to run for a third term in office, a coup attempt failed and the country's parliamentary and presidential elections were broadly criticised by members of the international community. The sovereign state of Burundi political system is that of a presidential representative democratic republic based upon a multi-party state; the President of Burundi is the head of head of government. There are 21 registered parties in Burundi. On 13 March 1992, Tutsi coup leader Pierre Buyoya established a constitution, which provided for a multi-party political process and reflected multi-party competition. Six years on 6 June 1998, the constitution was changed, broadening National Assembly's seats and making provisions for two vice-presidents; because of the Arusha Accord, Burundi enacted a transitional government in 2000.
In October 2016, Burundi informed the UN of its intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. Burundi remains an overwhelmingly rural society, with just 13% of the population living in urban areas in 2013; the population density of around 315 people per square kilometre is the second highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. 85% of the population are of Hutu ethnic origin, 15% are Tutsi, fewer than 1% are indigenous Twa. The official languages of Burundi are Kirundi and English, Kirundi being recognised as the sole national language. One of the smallest countries in Africa, Burundi has an equatorial climate. Burundi is a part of the western extension of the East African Rift; the country lies on a rolling plateau in the centre of Africa. The highest peak, Mount Heha at 2,685 m, lies to the southeast of Bujumbura; the most distant source of the River Nile is the Ruvyironza River in the Bururi Province of Burundi, the Nile is linked from Lake Victoria to its headwaters via the Kagera River to the Ruvyironza River.
Another major lake is Lake Tanganyika, located in much of Burundi's southwestern corner. There are two national parks, Kibira National Park to the northwest, Ruvubu National Park to the northeast. Both were established in 1982 to conserve wildlife populations. Burundi's lands are agricultural or pasture. Settlement by rural populations has led to soil erosion and habitat loss. Deforestation of the entire country is completely due to overpopulation, with a mere 600 km2 remaining and an ongoing loss of about 9% per annum. In addition to poverty, Burundians have to deal with corruption, weak infrastructure, poor access to health and education services, hunger. Burundi is densely populated and has had substantial emigration as young people seek opportunities elsewhere; the World Happiness Report 2018 ranked Burundi as the world's least happy nation with a rank of 156. Burundi is one of the few countries in Africa, along with its neighbour Rwanda among others, to be a direct territorial continuation of a pre-colonial era African state.
The early history of Burundi, the role and nature of the country's three dominant ethnic groups. However, it is important to note that the nature of culture and ethnic groups is always fluid and changing. While the groups might have migrated to the area at different times and as distinctly different ethnic groups, the current distinctions are contemporary socio-cultural constructs; the different ethnic groups lived together in relative peace. The first conflicts between ethnic groups can be dated back to the 17th century, when land was becoming more scarce because of the continuous growth in population; the first evidence of the Burundian state dates back to the late 16th century where it emerged on the eastern foothills. Over the following centuries it expanded; the Kingdom of Burundi, or Urundi, in the Great Lakes region was a polity ruled by a traditional monarch with several princes beneath him. The king, known as the mwami headed a princely aristocracy which owned most of the land and required a tribute, or tax, from
Palau the Republic of Palau, is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. The country contains 340 islands, forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia, has an area of 466 square kilometers; the most populous island is Koror. The capital Ngerulmud is located in Melekeok State. Palau shares maritime boundaries with the Philippines and the Federated States of Micronesia; the country was settled 3,000 years ago by migrants from Insular Southeast Asia. The islands were first explored by Europeans in the 16th century, were made part of the Spanish East Indies in 1574. Following Spain's defeat in the Spanish–American War in 1898, the islands were sold to Imperial Germany in 1899 under the terms of the German–Spanish Treaty, where they were administered as part of German New Guinea, although the islands were represented in the Malolos Congress of the revolutionary First Philippine Republic; the Imperial Japanese Navy conquered Palau during World War I, the islands were made a part of the Japanese-ruled South Pacific Mandate by the League of Nations.
During World War II, including the major Battle of Peleliu, were fought between American and Japanese troops as part of the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign. Along with other Pacific Islands, Palau was made a part of the United States-governed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1947. Having voted against joining the Federated States of Micronesia in 1979, the islands gained full sovereignty in 1994 under a Compact of Free Association with the United States. Politically, Palau is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, which provides defense and access to social services. Legislative power is concentrated in the bicameral Palau National Congress. Palau's economy is based on tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing, with a significant portion of gross national product derived from foreign aid; the country uses the United States dollar as its currency. The islands' culture mixes Micronesian, Melanesian and Western elements. Ethnic Palauans, the majority of the population, are of mixed Micronesian and Austronesian descent.
A smaller proportion of the population is descended from Filipino settlers. The country's two official languages are Palauan and English, with Japanese and Tobian recognized as regional languages; the name for the islands in the Palauan language, Belau derives from either the Palauan word for "village", beluu, or from aibebelau, relating to a creation myth. The name "Palau" entered the English language via the German Palau. An archaic name for the islands in English was the "Pelew Islands". Palau is unrelated to Pulau, a Malay word meaning "island" found in a number of place names in the region. Palau was settled between the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE, most from Indonesia or the Philippines. Sonsorol, part of the Southwest Islands, an island chain 600 kilometers from the main island chain of Palau, was sighted by Europeans as early as 1522, when the Spanish mission of the Trinidad, the flagship of Ferdinand Magellan's voyage of circumnavigation, sighted two small islands around the 5th parallel north, naming them "San Juan".
After the conquest of the Philippines in 1565 by the Spanish Empire, the archipelago of Palau became part of the territory of the Captaincy General of the Philippines, established in 1574 as part of the Spanish East Indies with the capital based in the colonial centre in Manila. However, the Spanish presence only began to express with evangelization, began at the end of the 17th century, its dominance began to take shape in the 18th century; the conscious discovery of Palau came a century in 1697 when a group of Palauans were shipwrecked on the Philippine island of Samar to the northwest. They were interviewed by the Czech missionary Paul Klein on 28 December 1696. Klein was able to draw the first map of Palau based on the Palauans' representation of their home islands that they made with an arrangement of 87 pebbles on the beach. Klein reported his findings to the Jesuit Superior General in a letter sent in June 1697, equaling to the discovery of Palau; this map and the letter caused a vast interest in the new islands.
Another letter written by Fr. Andrés Serrano was sent to Europe in 1705 copying the information given by Klein; the letters resulted in three unsuccessful Jesuit attempts to travel to Palau from Spanish Philippines in 1700, 1708 and 1709. The islands were first visited by the Jesuit expedition led by Francisco Padilla on 30 November 1710; the expedition ended with the stranding of the two priests, Jacques Du Beron and Joseph Cortyl, on the coast of Sonsorol, because the mother ship Santísima Trinidad was driven to Mindanao by a storm. Another ship was sent from Guam in 1711 to save them only to capsize, causing the death of three more Jesuit priests; the failure of these missions gave Palau the original Spanish name Islas Encantadas. Despite these early misfortunes, the Spanish Empire came to dominate the islands. British traders became prominent visitors to Palau in the 18th century, followed by expanding Spanish influence in the 19th century. Palau, under the name Palaos, was included in the Malolos Congress, the first revolutionary congress in the Philippines which aimed to become independent from colonialists.
Palau, at the time, was part of the Philippines. Palau had one appointed member to the Congress, becoming the only gr
Italian Somaliland, sometimes referred to as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy in present-day northeastern and southern Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Majeerteen Sultanate and the Sultanate of Hobyo, the territory was acquired in the 1880s by Italy through various treaties. In 1936, the region was integrated into Italian East Africa as part of the Italian Empire; this would last until 1941, during World War II. Italian Somaliland came under British military administration until 1949, when it became a United Nations trusteeship, the Trust Territory of Somaliland under Italian administration. On July 1, 1960, the Trust Territory of Somaliland united as scheduled with the former British Somaliland protectorate to form the Somali Republic; the late 19th century had a huge impact on developments occurring in the Horn of Africa. The European powers first gained a foothold in Somalia through the signing of various pacts and agreements with the Somali Sultans that controlled the region, such as Yusuf Ali Kenadid, Boqor Osman Mahamuud and Mohamoud Ali Shire.
At the end of the 19th century, a growing social-political movement developed within Italy to start expanding its influence, since many other European countries had been doing so, leaving Italy behind. Italy had a huge shortage of capital and other serious economic problems, it is argued by some historians that Italy had a minor interest in the mutton and livestock that were plentiful in Somalia, though whatever designs Italy may have had on the resource-challenged Somali landscape were undoubtedly subordinate to its interest in the region's ports and the waters and lands to which they provided access. Cesare Correnti organized an expedition under the Società Geografica Italiana in 1876; the next year, the travel journal "L’Esploratore" was established by Manfredo Camperio. The "Società di Esplorazioni Commerciali in Africa" was created in 1879, with the Italian Industrial Establishment involved as well; the "Club Africano", which three years became the "Società Africana D’Italia", was established in Somalia in 1880.
In late 1888, Sultan Yusuf Ali Kenadid entered into a treaty with the Italians, making his Sultanate of Hobyo an Italian protectorate. His rival Boqor Osman Mahamuud was to sign a similar agreement vis-a-vis his own Majeerteen Sultanate the following year. Both rulers had entered into the protectorate treaties to advance their own expansionist goals, with Sultan Kenadid looking to use Italy's support in his ongoing power struggle with Boqor Osman over the Majeerteen Sultanate, as well as in a separate conflict with the Hiraab Sultanate over an area to the north of Warsheikh. In signing the agreements, the rulers hoped to exploit the rival objectives of the European imperial powers so as to more assure the continued independence of their territories; the Italians, for their part, were interested in the arid territory because of its ports, the latter of which could grant them access to the strategically important Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden. The terms of each treaty specified that Italy was to steer clear of any interference in the Sultanates' respective administrations.
In return for Italian arms and an annual subsidy, the Sultans conceded to a minimum of oversight and economic concessions. The Italians agreed to dispatch a few ambassadors to promote both the Sultanates' and their own interests; the new protectorates were thereafter managed by Vincenzo Filonardi through a chartered company. An Anglo-Italian border protocol was signed on 5 May 1894, followed by an agreement in 1906 between Cavalier Pestalozza and General Swaine acknowledging that Baran fell under the Majeerteen Sultanate's administration; the last piece of land acquired by Italy in Somalia in order to form Italian Somaliland was the Jubaland region. Britain ceded the territory in 1925 as a reward for the Italians having joined the Allies in World War I; the British retained control of the southern half of the partitioned Jubaland territory, called the Northern Frontier District. In January 1887 Italian troops from Somalia fought a battle against Ras Alula Engida’s militia in Dogali, where they lost 500 troops.
The Prime Minister, Agostino Depretis, resigned because of this defeat in July 1887. Francesco Crispi replaced him as Prime Minister. On May 2, 1889, the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II and Italy signed a peace treaty. Italy gained control of the ports of the Benadir coastal area with the concession of a small strip of land on the coast from the Sultan of Zanzibar, over the following decades, Italian settlement was encouraged. In 1905, Italy assumed the responsibility of creating a colony in southern Somalia, after several failed attempts, following revelations that the Benadir Company had tolerated or collaborated in the perpetuation of the slave trade; the administrative regulator was Governor Mercantelli, with the six subdivisions of Brava, Lugh, Itala and Jumbo. On April 5, 1908 the Italian Parliament enacted a basic law to unite all of the parts of southern Somalia into an area called "Somalia Italiana"; the colonial power was divided between the Parliament, the metropolitan government, the colonial government.
The power of the colonial government was the only power, changed. The civil governor controlled export rights, regulated the rate of exchange, raised or lowered native taxes, administered all civil services and matters relating to hunting and conservation; the governor was in control of the police force, while nominating local residents and mi
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