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Mark-Anthony Johnson: Is Africa splitting in two? column

Mark-Anthony Johnson: Is Africa splitting in two?

Is Africa splitting in Two? Really? Here's what to know: In the heart of East Africa, a seismic event is unfolding that could forever alter the continent's geographical landscape.

This dramatic phenomenon is not the plot of a science fiction novel but a real and ongoing process that may lead to the birth of a new ocean, reshaping Africa's boundaries over millions of years.

The Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley, which stretches from the Afar region down to Mozambique, offers breathtaking landscapes and is crucial for understanding the forces shaping our planet.

At the heart of this vast depression lies the East African Rift System (EARS), a zone where the African continent is slowly being torn apart. This site has attracted attention because a large crack recently made a sudden appearance in southwestern Kenya.

Understanding Plate Tectonics

Plate tectonics, the theory that explains the movement of the Earth's lithosphere, is central to understanding the division of the African continent.
The East African Rift System is a prime example of divergent tectonic plates pulling away from each other, with the African plate now appearing to be two separate entities — the Somalian tectonic plate and the larger Nubian tectonic plate — moving in opposite directions.

This tectonic activity not only contributes to the possible formation of Earth's sixth ocean but also reshapes the geography of East Africa, echoing the processes that once separated the vast protocontinent, Pangea, to form the Atlantic Ocean.

If the Nubian and Somali plates continue to drift, countries like Uganda and Zambia may have their own coastlines in the future.

Mark-Anthony Johnson is the CEO of JIC Holdings


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