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Why is there such wide ethnic diversity within African nations?

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Quick Answer

Africa has a wide ethnic diversity due to the long history of colonialism on the continent. Many European countries have colonized Africa throughout the centuries, resulting in a huge amount of ethnic diversity still prevalent in modern society.

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Full Answer

The 20 most ethnically diverse countries in the world are all on the African continent. Part of the reason is that the European people who colonized Africa divided up the territory, regardless of those who already lived there. The emerging African countries had borders based, not on ethnic distinctions, but convenience. This resulted in homogeneous ethnic groups being carved up into different countries and different ethnic groups.

Uganda and Kenya are African countries with the most ethnic diversity. Uganda contains at least 40 distinct ethnicities, among which are the Baganda, Basoga and Bayankore, according to MailOnline. Kenya has more than 70 ethnic groups. It contains a huge amount of Asians and Arabs. There are also dozens of indigenous people, such as the Masai, Samburu and Turkana. The Masai, though well-known and native to the area for the last 1,000 years, make up only 2 percent of the population. The Luo, Kikuyu, Kamba, Luhya and Kalenjin are the most populous ethnic groups, making up 70 percent of the population.

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