• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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7 fascinating contributions from Africa to the world

7 fascinating contributions from Africa to the world

Africa, a continent of vibrant cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and resilient people, has a rich history that spans thousands of years. Africa has been home to some achievement and innovation that has shaped human history in profound ways. Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks, Africa continues to be a source of inspiration and creativity, with a diverse array of cultures, languages, and traditions that are a testament to the boundless potential of the human spirit.

Africa’s innovative spirit has led to countless breakthroughs and discoveries that have transformed the world. From the development of writing and mathematics to the creation of stunning works of art and literature, Africans have consistently pushed the boundaries of human knowledge and creativity. Today, the continent is home to a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs who are using technology, science, and art to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Here are 7 fascinating contributions from Africa that showcase the continent’s remarkable achievements in science, technology, art, and beyond.

The Ishango Bone

Long before Western mathematicians gained recognition, Africans were already at the forefront of arithmetic innovation. The Ishango Bone, discovered on the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo border, serves as the world’s oldest mathematical artifact. Carved from a baboon fibula, it contains notches believed to represent fundamental arithmetic concepts like doubling and prime numbers. These remarkable findings, alongside the Lebombo bone from Swaziland, challenge the Eurocentric view of mathematics, highlighting Africa’s profound early mathematical contributions.


Jazz, embraced globally, finds its heartbeat in African musical traditions, often described as inherently African in origin. This genre embraces polyrhythms, where g multiple rhythms are blended into one harmonious melody. These intricate rhythmic structures trace their roots back to African music, underscoring the profound impact of African culture on shaping jazz into the dynamic and diverse genre it is today.

Shea butter

Shea butter, hailed as “nature’s miracle beauty balm,” has become a prevalent ingredient in skincare products globally. Extracted from the nuts of the indigenous African Vitellaria tree, commonly known as the “Shea tree,” this rich, moisturizing butter has found its way into soaps, lip balms, lotions, and shaving creams. Its origins trace back to 19 countries across West Africa and parts of East Africa, from Senegal to Sudan. Legend has it that even Cleopatra, renowned for her beauty, valued this butter during her reign, recognizing its skincare benefits. Today, shea butter stands as a testament to Africa’s natural abundance, enriching skincare routines worldwide with its nourishing properties.


Coffee, a worldwide beverage, has its roots in Ethiopia, where it grows freely. Historical records suggest its consumption dates back to the 10th century, with nomadic communities reportedly eating coffee berries, laying the groundwork for what would become a cherished global morning tradition. From Italy’s short and strong espresso to America’s indulgent concoctions loaded with syrups and whipped cream, coffee’s journey from its Ethiopian origins has evolved into a diverse array of caffeinated delights enjoyed by millions around the world.


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) stands as a powerhouse in the global tech industry, with nearly half of the world’s reserves of cobaltoan spinel—a crucial mineral for rechargeable phone batteries. This abundant mineral wealth emphasizes the DRC’s pivotal role in supplying key components essential for modern technology. Additionally, the DRC’s vast mineral resources, including cobalt, copper, diamonds, tantalum, and tin, solidify its position as one of the world’s largest producers in the mining sector.

Steel production

Centuries before Europeans honed the art of steelmaking, communities residing along Lake Victoria’s shores in East Africa had already mastered the craft of producing carbon steel. Employing innovative techniques with preheated forced draft furnaces, these societies pioneered steel production long before it reached Europe in the 19th century, affirming their remarkable metallurgical prowess.

Medical innovation

South Africa continues to lead the way in medical innovation. In 1967, the country made history with the world’s first successful heart transplant. Fast forward to 2015, another milestone was reached as South African surgeons conducted the world’s first male organ transplant. This groundbreaking nine-hour surgery, performed on a 21-year-old patient, allowed him to regain sexual function. The success of the procedure was underscored when the patient’s partner became pregnant, highlighting South Africa’s pioneering role in advancing medical science.