The African continent is the third largest continent on the planet and has immense diversity, so it was divided into two Africas: Mediterranean Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
With an area of approximately 30.2 million square kilometers, Africa is the third largest continent on the planet. This great territory, inhabited by more than a billion people, presents great physical, ethnic, cultural and economic diversity. All of these elements contributed to a regional subdivision, which established Mediterranean Africa (also called Islamic or Northern Africa) and Sub-Saharan Africa.
This regionalization of the continent has the Sahara desert as a natural divider and human aspects, especially religion, as a cultural factor. Mediterranean Africa, located to the north of the Sahara desert, is composed of only five countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt), in addition to the territory of Western Sahara. Sub-Saharan Africa, on the other hand, comprises the entire area located south of the Sahara, corresponding to more than 75% of the continent.
The nations that make up Mediterranean Africa are bathed by the Mediterranean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean. They have physical and human characteristics similar to those of the nations of the Middle East. The climate is desert and most of the inhabitants are of Arab origin and followers of Islam. Despite having problems, this portion of the continent has the best socioeconomic indicators in Africa.
Agriculture in this region is developed in the vicinity of the River Nile and in the area called Maghreb. However, the main sources of revenue come from the production of oil, natural gas, in addition to several other ores: phosphate, gold, copper, etc. Tourism is another important economic activity in Mediterranean Africa, with emphasis on Egypt and Morocco, which receive millions of visitors annually.
With a mostly black population, Sub-Saharan Africa has great cultural diversity. Religious plurality is a characteristic of this continental portion, where there are Christians, Muslims (mainly in the Sahel region), Jews, in addition to various traditional beliefs. Different ethnic groups have their own dialects, dances and customs, a fact that contributes to Africa’s cultural wealth. However, in some countries, several armed conflicts are triggered by different ethnic groups.
Underground wealth drives mining. South Africa has large reserves of diamond, chromium, platinum, gold (the world’s largest producer), among other ores. Another highlight is the large production of oil and natural gas in sub-Saharan African countries. Tourism, promoted in several natural parks, is another important source of financial resources.
Despite this great mineral wealth, Sub-Saharan Africa presents several socioeconomic problems and international organizations are not developing effective policies to solve them. Hunger, for example, punishes most Africans, malnutrition rates are absurd in this region of the planet: Democratic Republic of Congo (76%), Somalia (72%), Burundi (63%), Sierra Leone (47%) .
According to data from the United Nations (UN), of the 33.4 million HIV carriers in the world, 22.4 million live in sub-Saharan Africa. About 1 in 3 adults in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe are infected. It is estimated that the population of these countries may be reduced by 25% by 2020, as a result of the disease. In addition to AIDS, malaria is also responsible for the death of several inhabitants – annually, one million Africans die from the disease.
Given this scenario, the Human Development Indices (HDI) of the nations that make up Sub-Saharan Africa are the worst on the planet, reflecting the low life expectancy and GDP per capita, in addition to the high rates of illiteracy and infant mortality.
African film is born of the fact that most African countries around 1960 gained independent status and thus the opportunity to manifest African culture and identity.
Film production systems are of the Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène baptized mégotage. The term refers to the slow bite-by-bite realization of the films due to the perpetual wait for raw films that affluent countries are discarding.
There is a clear difference in the cinematic commitment in the different parts of the continent. Along with Egypt, it is the French-speaking Maghreblands who account for the majority of African films. Also in sub-Saharan Africa, film production is dominated by the former French colonies, while the English- and Portuguese-speaking countries have to a lesser extent managed to assert themselves internationally.
In recent years South Africa has begun to assert itself on the international film scene – in 2005 won e.g. the Xhosa-speaking U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (Carmen in Khayelitsha) Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and Gavin Hood’s Tsotsi won the Oscar for best foreign language film.
One of the explanations for the dominance of the French-speaking countries is the regular financial and technical support to the film industry, which the French state has provided its previous holdings since 1963 through the Center National de la Cinématographie and the Ministère de la Coopération. The English-speaking countries, on the other hand, gave up all production of feature films in favor of documentaries and short films under government auspices.
Exceptions are Ghana and Nigeria, which have internationally acclaimed directors such as Kwah Paintsil Ansah and Ola Balogun. Nigeria hosted a film festival in 1992 and has a relatively large domestic production of cheaply produced video films and popular entertainment films rooted in the National Yoruba Theater.
The French support policy, which means, among other things, that manuscripts, development and editing must be approved in France, has been criticized for being of a neocolonial and patronizing nature. One of the main critics of this policy is the Fédération Panafricaine de Cinéastes (FEPACI). It is an idealistic association of national instructor organizations, formed in 1969. Its purpose is to fight the French-American monopoly on film distribution and screening in Africa.
One of the means is the nationalization of the film industry, another the financing of the national production by tax on foreign feature films. Burkina Faso (then Upper Volta) took the lead and clashed with the major French distribution companies COMACICO and SECMA by nationalizing film distribution and all six cinemas in 1970. Since then, Senegal and Mali also followed.
In 1969, FEPACI contributed to the formation of the Panafricain du Cinéma de Ouagadougou Festival (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso. It is largely FESPACO and the other major Pan-African film festival Journées Cinématographique de Carthage (JCC) in Tunisia that have created the interest that the Western world from the 1980’s began showing African films. Television stations such as the British Channel Four, the Franco-German Arte and the German ZDF have become important co-producers, just as the EU is increasingly supporting African films, and it has given a saltwater injection to the poor sector.
The production is hardly as sporadic as before – more and more African directors get the opportunity to try their hand at the film medium, and the individual directors get the opportunity to make more films and thus practice greater cinematic style security. However, the strong Western funding has also led filmmakers to appeal more to Western audiences than to their countrymen, and the films are mostly seen by Europeans and international festival goers, while ordinary Africans often prefer Indian singing games or American entertainment films.
The distribution of African films is sparse in Africa as well as in the rest of the world – there is often only one copy of each film. Cinemas are still a metropolitan phenomenon, although in many places attempts are being made to reach sparsely populated areas with the help of film buses and open-air performances.
The early African films are almost all dubbed with French or English and often have a semi-documentary approach. These are raw depictions of life in the big city or in the village, of the confrontation with the western world and of problems with superstition, taboos, etc. Many are characterized by a more or less militant showdown with the former colonial powers. This applies, for example, to the first feature film by a black African, Ousmane Sembène La noire de… (1966).
Filmmaker Inoussa Ousseini criticized 1970’s African films for being too influenced by European aesthetics and too far from the African audience; he became one of the proponents of an African film with roots in the continent’s narrative tradition. And in the 1980’s came a new generation of directors who increasingly tried to convey their own roots through the film medium, and who at the same time gave African film a full-fledged artistic expression.
Gaston Kaboré from Burkina Faso was the first with Wend Kuuni (1982), based on the simple life in the village. The new style, and with African dialogue, was followed by compatriot Idrissa Ouédraogo, who with films such as Yaaba (1988, The Witch), Tilaï (1990) and Samba Traoré (1992), has won several festival awards. The same goes for Souleymane Cissé from Mali, especially with the picturesque and magical tale Yeelen (1987).
The rhythm of these films is predominantly leisurely like life in an African village, while African culture in the big cities of the 1990’s is a mixture of handed down traditions and modern Western lifestyles. This was already visible in the Senegalese Djibril Diop Mambety’s (1945-98) two long feature films, Touki-Bouki (1972) and Hyènes (1992), but was given a new expression in the hectic clipping musical comedy of the Cameroonian Jean-Pierre Bekolo Quartier Mozart (1992, The Mozart district), which has won several international awards.
Although films based on the African tradition are still being made, more and more directors are distancing themselves from the cult of the specifically African that was dominant in the 1980’s. Instead, they deal with with emigration and with the own position of the filmmakers often living in Europe in relation to the Africa they portray – for example in the Mauritanian Abderrahmane Sissakos (b. 1961) two award-winning films La vie sur terre (1998) and Heremakono (2002).
In the 1970’s came Ousmane Sembènes tragi-comic Mandabi (1968, money order) on the bureaucracy in Africa as the first African film in Danish cinema distribution. Since then, more have been added, but they can be counted on two hands. On the other hand, more and more African films are shown at the Danish film festivals – especially the Night Film Festival.
Are you planning to attend an African college? Then, you have come to the right place! We have carefully reviewed each of 4-year colleges and universities in the continent of Africa and the following are the top 50 public and private programs listed by rank scores. The following colleges and universities in South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, and other countries in Africa (refer to Countryaah.com for a full list of African nations) have been many times ranked by education experts based on their academic excellence and employment statistics. Please note that all universities were reviewed yearly based on their academic reputations, research ability and graduate performance.
#1 University of Cape Town – South Africa, Cape Town
#2 University of Witwatersrand – South Africa, Johannesburg
#3 Stellenbosch University – South Africa, Stellenbosch
#4 University of KwaZulu Natal – South Africa, Durban
#5 University of Johannesburg – South Africa, Johannesburg
#6 Cairo University – Egypt, Giza
#7 University of Pretoria – South Africa, Hatfield
#8 University of Casablanca Hassan 2 – Morocco Casablanca, Morocco
#9 Makerere University – Uganda, Kampala
#10 Addis Ababa University – Ethiopia, Addis Ababa
#11 North West University – South Africa – South Africa, Potchefstroom
#12 Mansoura University – Egypt, Mansoura
#13 Ain Shams University – Egypt, Cairo
#14 Kwame Nkrumah University Science & Technology – Ghana, Kumasi
#15 Mohammed V University – Morocco, Rabat
#16 University of the Western Cape – South Africa Belville
#17 University of Ibadan – Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State
#18 University of Marrakech Cadi Ayyad – Morocco, Marrakech, Morocco
#19 Alexandria University – Egypt, Alexandria
#20 University of Nairobi – Kenya, Nairobi
#21 Universite de Tunis-El-Manar – Tunisia, Tunis, Tunisia
#22 Assiut University – Egypt, Assiut
#23 Rhodes University – South Africa, Grahamstown
#24 University of Ghana – Ghana, Legon
#25 Suez Canal University – Egypt, Ismailia, Egypt
#26 Beni-Suef University – Egypt, Beni Suef, Egypt
#26 Universite de Sfax – Tunisia, Sfax
#26 University of South Africa – South Africa, Pretoria
#29 University of the Free State – South Africa, Bloemfontein
#30 University of Yaounde I – Cameroon, Yaounde
#31 University of Malawi – Malawi, Zomba
#32 Zagazig University – Egypt, Zagazig
#33 Helwan University – Egypt, Helwan
#34 Tanta University – Egypt, Tanta, Egypt
#35 Al Azhar University – Egypt, Cairo
#36 Tshwane University of Technology – South Africa, Pretoria
#37 Benha University – Egypt, Benha, Qalubiya Governorate
#38 Universite de Monastir – Tunisia, Monastir
#39 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University – South Africa, Port Elizabeth
#39 Universite de Carthage – Tunisia, Tunis, Tunisia
#41 Minia University – Egypt, Minya, Menia Governorate
#42 Menofia University – Egypt, Shebin El Koum
#43 University of Nigeria – Nigeria, Nsukka
#44 British University in Egypt – Egypt, El Sherouk
#45 Fayoum University – Egypt, Al Fayoum
#46 Muhimbili University of Health & Allied Sciences – Tanzania, Dar es Salaam
#47 Université Djillali Liabes – Algeria, Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria
#48 Universite Mohammed Premier – Morocco, Oujda, Morocco
#49 University of Gondar – Ethiopia, Gondar
#50 University of Lagos – Nigeria, Lagos
Should you be interested in slangs or acronyms about Africa, you can follow AbbreviationFinder to see associations, fund, government or NGOs containing the location of Africa.