Home Culture and History Africa’s original name and how it came to bear its current name

Africa’s original name and how it came to bear its current name


When the word Africa is introduced, many diverse ideas rush through people’s heads. Some may mistake it for a mirage glistening in the parched Sahara desert.

Africa's original name and how it came to bear its current name
Original Name of Africa

Others may see an ivory-tusked elephant in front of Mount Kilimanjaro’s snow-capped peaks. But have you ever paused to consider what Africa was once called? Did the continent originally go by an other name?

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Approximately 16% of the world’s population resides here. Do you ever wonder what the name of the continent was in the past, while knowing everything there is to know about it? Or was Asia the name of Africa? and a lot more questions of this nature? Well, the identity of the continent’s beginning is still unknown.

What was the previous name of Africa?

The Kemetic or Alkebulan history of Afrika leads one to believe that Alkebulan was once the name of the continent. The oldest and only word with indigenous roots is “alkebu-Ian.” Alkebulan refers to either the mother of humanity or the Garden of Eden.


In the latter half of the 17th century, the word Africa was first used. At first, it was restricted to the northernmost region of the continent. The continent had been colonized at that time, and the Europeans had slave-ruled over its inhabitants. They had a hand in the shift from Alkebulan to its current name.

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What is Africa’s alternate name?

The term Africa was given to the continent before Europeans decided to use it. Corphye, Ortegia, Libya, and Ethiopia are among them.

Other titles were the land of Ham, which refers to people with dark skin, the mother of mankind, the garden of Eden, the dark or black continent, the Kingdom in the Sky, and the land of Cush or Kesh, which alludes to the ancient Ethiopian Cushites.

What gives Africa its name?

There are numerous explanations on how this continent got its name. Nobody is certain of the source at the time this article was written. Thoughts on how this second-largest continent with the second-largest population came to bear its appropriate name are provided in the theories that follow.

1. Roman orthodoxy

According to some academics, the Romans invented the word. This school of thought holds that the Berber tribe living in the Carnage region, now known as Tunisia, inspired the Romans to name the new land they discovered next to the Mediterranean. The name of the tribe was Afri, and the Romans gave Africa the meaning “country of the Afri.”

2. Concept of weather

Some people think that the climate of the continent is where the term came from. This hypothesis claims that the name derives from the Greek word aphrike, which means “a land free from cold and fear.” Alternately, it might be a variant of the Phoenician word afar, which implies dust, or the Roman term aprica, which means sunshine.

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3. Theoretical geography

There is a theory that the name originated very far away. It was imported by Indian traders who crossed the Horn of Africa to reach the continent.

The Hindi term apara signifies following. Geographically speaking, this could refer to a location in the west.

4. Africus hypothesis

Another key hypothesis claims that the name of the continent comes from the Greek word Africus. In the second millennium BC, the Yemenite chieftain Africus attacked the northern region.

On his captured territory, he allegedly established and gave it the name Afrikyah. He commanded that the global continent be named after him in order to satisfy his unquenchable thirst for immortality.

5. Phoenician Theory

The name may have been derived from the Phoenician terms friqi and pharika, according to another school of thinking. When translated, the words refer to fruits and corns. The continent was supposedly named by the Phoenicians as the land of fruits and corns.

On the origin or significance of the name of the continent, there is either little or no clarity. Numerous academics have attempted to offer an explanation for the word’s origin, but none of them is conclusively true. However, Alkebulan was Africa’s original name.


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