Society

How Many Countries Are There In Africa?

Different sources quote Africa, the world's second largest continent, as having either 54 to 56 countries.

Different sources quote Africa as having either 54 to 56 countries. There are 54 recognized states, and two states whose independence is disputed (Western Sahara and Somaliland).

Africa is the second largest continent in the world, both by land area and population. By land area, Algeria is the largest country on the continent. By population, Nigeria is the largest. Africa has a rich diversity of languages and ethnicities with an estimated 1250-3000 languages spoken across the continent. Some of Africa's largest cities include Cairo, Khartoum, Accra, Johannesburg, Casablanca, Lagos, Nairobi, and Algiers.

Geography

The continent occupies nearly 11.7 million square miles, encompassing the adjacent islands as well. The Mediterranean Sea separates Africa and Europe while the Isthmus of Suez joins Africa and Asia. Africa is surrounded by the Red Sea and the Suez Canal to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and finally the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The distance between the most southerly point at Cape Agulhas and the most northerly point at Ras ben Sakka, Tunisia is an estimated 5,000 miles. The distance between the most easternly points at Ras Fun, Somalia to the most westerly projection in Cape Verde is approximately 4,600 miles. The continent straddles the equator, and it is home to multiple climate areas.

History

Anthropologists have unearthed numerous fossils as well as other evidence which suggest that the continent has been inhabited as far back as seven million years ago BP (Before Present). Africa became home to communities of hunter-gatherers an estimated 150,000 to 100,000 years BP. The domestication of animals, agriculture, and ironworking all facilitated settlement in various parts of the continent. Africa was the cradle of such civilizations as the Pharaonic civilization in medieval Egypt. The Romans and Greeks were the first Europeans to explore Africa. Christianity entered Africa through Egypt from Judaea while the Arab expansion into Egypt in the 7th century introduced Islam to the continent. Before colonization, Africa was home to about 10,000 different polities and states. Slavery was also practiced in Africa from the 7th century all the way to the 20th century. The late 19th century saw European powers scramble for various regions in Africa and only Liberia and Ethiopia were spared of colonialism. After the Second World War, colonial territories began agitating for independence. Most of the sovereign nations in Africa today have borders which were drawn up by their former colonial powers.

Ecology and Biodiversity of Africa

More than 3,000 protected areas,198 marine protected areas as well as biosphere and wetlands reserves have been established on the continent. Africa is known for harboring populations of wild animals ranging from giraffes, lions, camels, snakes, buffalo, crocodiles, cheetahs, and elephants. The rich biodiversity is under threat from civil conflicts, increasing population, habitat destruction, lack of adequate protection, poaching, soil degradation, and clearing of forests.

The Countries of Africa

´╗┐CountryPopulation
Algeria33,333,267
Angola25,789,024
Benin8,439,000
Botswana1,839,833
Burkina Faso13,228,000
Burundi7,548,000
Cameroon17,795,000
Cape Verde420,979
Central African Republic4,216,666
Chad10,146,000
Comoros798,000
Democratic Republic of the Congo75,507,308
Republic of the Congo4,012,809
Djibouti906,000
Egypt90,850,000
Equatorial Guinea504,000
Eritrea5,880,000
Ethiopia99,465,819
Gabon1,384,000
Gambia1,517,000
Ghana23,000,000
Guinea10,057,975
Guinea-Bissau1,586,000
Ivory Coast17,654,843
Kenya34,707,817
Lesotho2,067,000
Liberia4,128,572
Libya6,036,914
Madagascar18,606,000
Malawi12,884,000
Mali13,518,000
Mauritania3,069,000
Mauritius1,219,220
Morocco35,757,175
Mozambique20,366,795
Namibia2,031,000
Niger13,957,000
Nigeria174,507,539
Rwanda7,600,000
Sao Tome and Principe183,176
Senegal11,658,000
Seychelles80,654
Sierra Leone6,144,562
Somalia10,532,017
Somaliland*4,500,000
South Africa52,981,991
South Sudan8,260,490
Sudan36,787,012
Swaziland1,032,000
Tanzania44,929,002
Togo7,154,237
Tunisia10,102,000
Uganda27,616,000
Zambia14,668,000
Zimbabwe13,010,000

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