THE circumstances that made Eastern and Southern Africa unique in the evolution of humans, if well understood, can form a crucial part in promoting Eastern Africa's tourist industry to rival Stonehenge of England or the Neander Valley of Germany.
First was the appearance of primates in Eastern Africa. The primates were a result of mutagenic occurrences that ended the age of monkeys (40m-25 million years ago) and created about 24 different species of primates, only four of which survive to this day: the chimpanzee, the gorilla, the pygmy chimpanzee and the olangutun.
These primates were totally absent in the Americas and in Western Asia, now called Europe. The absence of these primates in these regions cut the Americas and Western Asia from any forward process that led to humans. The primates lived a comfortable hunter-gatherer existence in the dense and wet forests of eastern and central Africa and parts of Asia.
The most dominant primate and the subject became the Chimpanzee. The chimpanzee had developed social and organisational skills that allowed it to live in colonies or settlements providing support for one another.
The chimpanzee is the wisest living mammal. Secondly, in 20 million years BC the tectonic plate underneath Eastern Africa moved again and
the lava shot up and piled up to create the Kenyan dome and the Ethiopian dome in the east, and the Rwenzori and Muhavura dome in the west. A big deep ditch was created stretching from the Jordan to Mozambique, the scar now called the rift valley.
After some period, the lava came tumbling down and filled the ditches between the two domes, filling in disproportionate amounts over this massive area. The result was the creation of grasslands, savannah, parklands, mountains, hills, rivers, crater lakes, breathtaking environment all the way from the Trans Jordan (including present day Israel) to Mozambique.
This splitting of the earth meant massive fossilisation of plant and animal life which were incinerated in a massive conflagration.
The rest of the forest cover was pushed out of Eastern Africa and retreated to the central Africa and in some countries like Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia it disappeared altogether and was buried in the belly of the earth.
Most of the trees and animalsthat were fossilised underneath this great East African rift valley systems became the many minerals of diamonds, gold, copper and oil. Thus in future no part of this rift valley will be found without oil because of the massive fossilisation of the dense forest and millions of animals.
Probably out of necessity to collect food and carry it over long distances to their children, the chimpanzee begins to use hands and eventually becomes a biped. Bipedalism is linked to tool making which increased the brains of the chimpanzee.
The chimpanzee does not look entirely like a human being and that is why scientists had suspected that there was another creature that existed between the chimpanzee and the first humans. They called it the missing link.
However our DNA is similar to that of the chimpanzee by 98%. A question is always asked, why don't the chimpanzees of today mutate into humans? Well, the conditions have changed; there is no earth-shaking environment for that to happen.
They can change into humans no more than a 60-year-old woman can give birth to her own son, but the fact that she cannot does not prove that she has never done so.
Secondly, these transformations took millions of years allowing mutations and responses. Modern humans have only been around for less than one hundred thousand years.