"I am African, not because I was born in Africa but because Africa is born in me."
- Kwame Nkrumah
1. Africa is the second largest continent in the world both in size and in population.
2. Africa is home to over 1 billion people who speak over 1,500 different languages. One of every four of the world’s languages is spoken only in Africa.
3. Despite Africa being the second-largest continent in the world, it has the shortest coastline. This is due to the many bays and edges that extend out of the coastline.
4. Africa’s total size is roughly 11.7 square miles, representing about one-fifth of the earth entire land mass.
5. World civilization began in Africa. The Paranoiac civilization of ancient Egypt is the oldest literate civilization. According to historical records, the Egyptian state dates back to about 3300 B.C.
6. Islam is the dominant religion in Africa. Christianity is the second.
7. Africa is the most centrally located continent in the world. Both the prime meridian (0 degrees longitude) and the equator (0 degrees latitude) cut across it.
8. Africa’s largest country is Sudan. It has a total area of 967, 940 square miles (2.5 million km2). The smallest country on the continent is The Seychelles, which is an island nation covering just 453 km2 (175 miles2).
9. Nigeria has the highest population in Africa and represents about 20 percent of the total African population. Recent statistics place its population at over 200 million people.
10. 21 percent of SSA nations have one or two products accounting for their total exports. Most of these exports are in the form of Agricultural Produce.
11. The shortest distance between Africa and Europe is only 8.9 miles (14.3 kilometers) of the ocean.
12. Africa’s River Nile is the longest river in the world. It has a total length of 6,650 kilometers (4,132 miles) and cuts across 11 countries. It drains into the Mediterranean Sea from Africa’s Northeastern edge.
13. The largest island in Africa, located in the Indian Ocean (off Africa’s East Coast) is Madagascar. It is also the fourth largest island in the world.
14. The Victoria Falls, located along the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Zambezi River is the fall’s main water source.
15. The largest lake in Africa is Lake Victoria. It is also the second-largest freshwater lake in the world spanning 26, 830 square miles.
16. Africa’s Sahara desert is the world’s largest hot desert covering 9.1 million km2. Of all the deserts in the world, it is the third largest after the Arctic (second) and Antarctic (largest) deserts.
17. The highest point in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It rises 5, 895 meters (19, 340 feet) above sea level.
18. Both the world’s tallest and largest land animals come from Africa. They are the giraffe and African elephant respectively.
19. The hippopotamus is Africa’s deadliest animal. It kills more people in Africa than crocodiles and lions combined.
20. 39 percent of children under the age of five years in Burundi are underweight.
21. The second Congo War, which began in 1998 and lasted until 2006 claimed the second-highest number of casualties (5.4 million lives) after World War II. The conflict involved eight African countries.
22. Witwatersrand, South Africa, produces almost half of all the gold mined in Africa.
23. More people speak French in Africa than those in France do.
24. A single tribe in Kenya called the “Kalenjin” produces most of the world’s fastest long-distance runners.
25. All of Africa’s nations were colonized by the Europeans except two; Ethiopia and Liberia. The former was an Orthodox Christian country, while the latter was established by African-American settlers from the United States, who previously served as slaved.
I hope you learned one or two new facts about Africa?
Header Image Credit: Volunteering Solutions