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Does Africa Lies West or East of the Prime Meridian? [An Investigation]

Greenwich-Meridian

Every point has a geographic identity called the Latitude and Longitude. Lines of Latitude run from East to West (take it as a line which run from left to right) while lines of Longitude run from North to South (take it as a line which run from up to down). The Prime Meridian is a special North-South line used to measure Eastern and Western Meridians. The earth’s prime meridian is point where the longitude is defined as zero degrees.

It was internationally agreed that this point runs through Greenwich in England, and of course, this is considered the official prime meridian.

In this post, we are going to discover basic facts about the Prime Meridian especially as it relates to Africa. However, to answer the question of whether Africa lies East or West of the Prime Meridian…some parts of Africa like Ghana and Mali lies West of the Prime Meridian while places like Algeria, Togo and Burkina Faso lies East of the Prime meridian.

What is the prime meridian and why is it important?

The prime meridian is the point where the lines of longitude begin. The prime meridian separates the Western hemisphere from the eastern hemisphere at 180 degrees.

The prime meridian is not a static point on the earth’s surface. Any line along the 0-degree longitude can be chosen to serve as the prime meridian. Each country publishes its maps based on the longitude of the meridians passing through each of these countries.

However, in 1884, more than 25 countries met and agreed to adopt the royal observatory in England as the standard meridian or reference meridian, since then, the Royal Observatory meridian has become the globally accepted standard meridian.

Importance of the Prime Meridian

  • The primes meridian helps to measure the distance between two points on the earth’s surface.
  • The prime meridian helps in establishing the international dateline.
  • The prime meridian helps to separate the Earth into various hemispheres.
  • It is used to calculate time using the Universal Coordinated Time (UTC).

Does most of Africa lies east or west of the prime meridian

Africa meridian

The prime meridian crosses Africa through the coast near Accra in Ghana.

Most of Africa lies east of the prime meridian and west of the international dateline. The eastern hemisphere refers to areas of the earth east of the prime meridian, and west of the international dateline.  The prime meridian divides the globe into the eastern and western hemispheres, these divisions have increasingly become a means of political identity.

Although most of Africa lie East of the prime meridian, a good portion of it is also in the western hemisphere. Overall however, we can conclude that Africa lies East of the Prime Meridian.

Is London east or west of the prime meridian

countries that lie on the prime merdian
London, Spain, Mali, France lie on the Prime Meridian.

London is neither east nor west of the prime meridian, it lies exactly on the Greenwich meridian. Greenwich, a small fishing village was chosen during the meridian conference of 1884 to serve as the global meridian standard. There London is located at point 0 of the Greenwich meridian.

Greenwich is an area that is located on the Southern bank of the Thames River, an area in of South East London. Since Greenwich is in London, we can conclude that the Prime Meridian passes through London, not East,  not West, but Right through London.

What countries are west of the prime meridian

The western part of the meridian is a geographic term to identify earth’s division by the line of the prime meridian. The Western meridian is used to describe both sea and lands surface of the earth that lies from 0 to 180 W of the prime meridian. All of North America, South America as well as parts of Asia, Africa, Russia, Antarctica, lie in the western hemisphere.

Is Egypt east or west of the prime meridian

Egypt lies at both the East and West of the Greenwich Meridian which is also referred to as the standard or reference meridian.

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John Aina has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. John is happiest when he is on a bike and is also interested in Solar technology.
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    Does Africa Lies West or East of the Prime Meridian? [An Investigation]

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