In October 1977, Ali Maow Maalin was the last person to contract naturally occurring smallpox. He died thirty six years later while coordinating a polio vaccination drive.
In 1976 most African countries boycotted the Olympics because the games would not ban New Zealand.
Bir Tawil is a wedge of land between Egypt and Sudan. Neither wants to claim Bir Tawil: it is one of the only unclaimed territories in the world.
The pyramid of Amanishakheto stood for nearly two thousand years, until an Italian looter blew it up.
The French mercenary Bob Denard overthrew the government of the Comoros four times: in 1975, 1978, 1989, and 1995.
In 2017 Nigerian musician Femi Kuti set the world record for longest sustained saxophone note: fifty-one minutes and thirty-five seconds.
John Newton was a press-ganged sailor, a slave, a slave-ship captain, an Anglican priest, an abolitionist, and the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”
The Central African hairy frog can break its own bones and stick them through its skin as impromptu claws.
The Ishango bone, found in what is today part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and dating back 20,000 years, may contain some of the earliest evidence of mathematical thought.
From the 15th to the 19th century CE, the Akan used sets of ornate statues as a measurement system for weighing gold dust, but also encoding and reinforcing cultural knowledge at the same time.
In 1377 the Tunisian Arab historian Ibn Khaldun listed seven mistakes made by contemporary scholars, and then he made the same mistakes.
At the start of this year the largest free trade agreement in the world came into effect, with the goal of connecting the entire African continent.
In 1987 the army of Chad won a war against a more powerful Libyan force. The Libyans had tanks and aircraft; Chad had a fleet of Toyota pickup trucks.
Enrico Fermi switched on the first human-made nuclear reactor in 1942, but the first natural nuclear reactor on Earth occurred 1.7 billion years earlier.
In the 9th century CE, a town in what is now Nigeria produced the most masterful bronze artefacts in the world.
Clicks are used in several languages of southern and eastern Africa, most famously in Xhosa. The sounds make Xhosa songs and tongue twisters sound amazing.