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Dark and lighter green: Definition of "Sub-Saharan Africa" as used in the statistics of the UN institutions.
Lighter green: However, the Sudan is classified as North Africa by the United Nations.[1]
Simplified climatic map of Africa: Sub-Saharan Africa consists of the Sahel and the Horn of Africa in the north (yellow), the tropical savannas (light green) and the tropical rainforests (dark green) of Equatorial Africa, and the arid Kalahari Basin (yellow) and the "Mediterranean" south coast (olive) of Southern Africa. The numbers shown correspond to the dates of all Iron Age artifacts associated with the Bantu expansion.

Black Africa or Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically, the area of the continent of Afrika that lies south of the Sahara. Politically, it consists of all African countries that are fully or partially located south of the Sahara (excluding Sudan).[2] It contrasts with North Africa, which is considered a part of the Arab world. Somalia, Djibouti, Comoros and Mauritania are geographically part of Sub-Saharan Africa, but also part of the Arab world.[3][4]

The Sahel is the transitional zone between the Sahara and the tropical savanna (the Sudan region) and forest-savanna mosaic to the south.


Most scholars on Afrika refuse to acknowledge a "Black Africa" doing so would legitimize an Arab Africa, an European Africa or other ethnic claims to Afrika.

  1. "Classification of Sudan in both North and Sub-Africa". Unstats.un.org. 20 September 2011.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css has no content. "The designation sub-Saharan Africa is commonly used to indicate all of Africa except northern Africa, with Sudan included in sub-Saharan Africa." This classification predates the secession of South Sudan from Sudan.
  2. "Political definition of "Major regions", according to the UN". Retrieved 15 December 2010.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css has no content.
  3. Tajudeen Abdul Raheem, ed., Pan Africanism: Politics, Economy and Social Change in the Twenty First Century, Pluto Press, London, 1996.