Africa, the birthplace of humanity, is largely unknown to most Americans. We will take a brief historical look at four cities—north, south, east, and west—in Africa, along with a bit of church history as it relates to the continent. And we will get a first glimpse at partnership as it is understood in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Africa is our homeland and yet many of us know little about it. Africa is a continent of 30,420,000 square kilometers. Its land mass equals that of the combined mass of China, India, Europe, Argentina, the United States, and New Zealand. In our unfamiliarity with the continent some of us speak of Africa as though it were one country. In fact it is home to fifty-four independent nations, including island nations. South of the Sahara there are forty-eight countries. Twenty-two of them have less than five million people. Half of the twenty-two have less than one million inhabitants. Altogether the continent of Africa has close to 800 million people. For comparison the country of India has just over one billion in population. Africa has over 1,000 languages and dialects.