Horn of Africa


The horn of africa is a
peninsula in Northeast Africa. It
juts hundreds of kilometres
into the Arabian Sea and lies
along the southern side of the
Gulf of Aden. The area is the
easternmost projection of the
African continent. Referred to
in ancient and medieval times
as Bilad al Barbar (“Land of the
Berbers”),the Horn of
Africa denotes the region
containing the countries of
Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia,and somalia.

It covers approximately
2,000,000 km² (770,000 sq mi)
and is inhabited by roughly
100 million people (Ethiopia:
85 million, Somalia: 9.3 million,
Eritrea: 5.2 million, and Djibouti:
0.86 million). Regional studies
on the Horn of Africa are
carried out, among others, in
the fields of Ethiopian Studies
as well as Somali Studies.

The Horn of Africa is almost
equidistant from the equator
and the Tropic of Cancer. It
consists chiefly of mountains
uplifted through the formation
of the Great Rift Valley, a fissure
in the Earth’s crust extending
from Turkey to Mozambique
and marking the separation of
the African and Arabian
tectonic plates. Mostly
mountainous, the region arose
through faults resulting from
the Rift Valley, with the highest
peaks in the Semien Mountains
of northwestern
Ethiopia.

Extensive glaciers once covered
the Simien and Bale Mountains
but melted at the beginning of
the Holocene. The mountains
descend in a huge escarpment
to the Red Sea and more
steadily to the Indian Ocean.
Socotra is a small island in the
Indian Ocean off the coast of
Somalia. Its size is 3,600 km²
(1,390 sq mi) and it is a
territory of Yemen, the
southernmost country on the
Arabian Peninsula.

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