North Africa is the most precisely defined multinational geographic unit in Africa. Their main determining factor is the Sahara desert, which in some places almost reaches the coast. Since the Arabian Plate or the Arabian Peninsula belongs geologically to Africa, it is geographically part of North Africa.
The cultural unit is mainly determined by Islam, the ethnic unit by Arabs, Moors and Berbers, in the southernmost area also Nubians, Amharen and black African ethnic groups.
The core states of North Africa include Morocco with the controversial Western Sahara, Algeria, Tunisia (small Maghreb), Libya (large Maghreb), Egypt and Sudan (only the north). Mauritania, Niger, Mali, Chad and Eritrea, on the other hand, are marginal zones and only relevant in the necessary contexts (e.g. geology, climate, ecology, Sahel zone).
The borders of the individual states were once drawn by the colonial powers with a ruler and take into account ethnic aspects or the traditions of the old African states, especially the Sub-Saharan (Bornu, Kanem, Songhay, Darfur, Tarkur, the Sultanate of Sannar, Kordofan or Nubia) no consideration, which is now causing conflicts everywhere from Sudan to Western Sahara, especially since the sometimes thousands of kilometers long borders (Algeria five and a half thousand km on land) mostly lead through deserts and their course is imprecise and can hardly be monitored. The offshore Canary Islands, which geologically no longer belong to the North African crystalline basal shield, but have arisen volcanically, belong to Spain, which also has two exclaves on the Moroccan coast with the port cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
Countries in Northern Africa
- South Sudan