What role did Africa play in the origin of the human species?
The cradle of human civilization
Africa is widely known as the cradle of human civilisation. The theory goes first man was born in the continent we now know as Africa and then emigrated across the continent eventually reaching Europe. Firstly let me say that you cannot really say where 'first man' was found. This is because like all species we evolved very slowly over a very long time.
Some early fossils (Hominid) linked to our evolution can be found as long ago as the Paleocene period where Lizards were still dominant! However the simplest answer to your questions is the earliest DNA we classify as human (Homo heidelbergensis ) has been found in Africa. Those peoples slowly emigrated out of Africa and the peoples further evolved driven by natural factors such as hours of day light, heat etc.