Africa is the world's second largest continent and the second most populous continent as well. Covering an area of 11,668,599 sq miles, Africa has 54 countries including Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Mali, Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa and more. The continent is bordered by the South Atlantic Ocean to the south west and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. The Africa Map also points out the significant landforms including the Sahara Desert region, the Great Rift Valley, the Libyan Desert and the Kalahari Desert. Among the many rivers that flow across the continent, River Nile is very significant. Other important rivers are River Congo, River Orange and River Ubangi.
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Over one billion people inhabit Africa. Over 2,000 languages are spoken in Africa (according to UNESCO), and you'd be hard pressed to find a more ethnically diverse land.
The earliest history of Africa goes back millennia, when early life-forms roamed the Earth. It was only around 3300 BC that ancient civilizations, like that of Egypt came into existence. Most of the northern African coastline was also under the control of Roman Empire during its heyday. Islam started to expand in the continent by about seventh century AD and to this day remains a major religion in Africa.
In the last 200 years, Africa saw a dark period of colonization and the slave trade, when most of the continent was a colony of one empire or the other. The European powers, who managed to remain in control for much of the time were significantly weakened during World War II, after which there was a wave of independence movements among the African countries.
Although the availability of natural resources is enviable, many African countries suffer from famines, epidemics, civil wars and ethnic conflicts. Nations like Egypt have done well, but most others remain extremely poor and some are even considered failed states.
Agriculture and mining are the largest sectors of the economy of many countries in Africa. Agriculture alone employs about 60 percent of the continent's workforce. Gold, diamond and copper are among the various minerals exported. Manufacturing also holds importance in the continent, with developed nations like Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia employing about 15 percent of their population in manufacturing.
Last Updated : January 28, 2014
The African continent is famous for its wildlife and rich natural resources. It is the second largest and the second most populous continent in the world. This biodiverse land is home to the largest waterfall, desert, and green canyon in the world.
- Largest African Countries by Area
- Smallest African Countries by Area
- Africa Power Station Map
- Africa Energy Resource Map
- African Countries with Highest Urban Population
- African Countries with Lowest Urban Population
- African Countries with Highest Literacy Rate
- African Countries by Birth Rate
- African Countries by Death Rate
- Africa Metal Processing Centers Map
- World Globe Map - Africa Centric
- Ebola Outbreak in Africa
Facts about Africa
Area11.67 million sq miles
Countries54 and 2 disputed
Highest Point Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 metres, 19,341 feet) above from sea level
Lowest PointLake Assal (Djibouti) (155 metres 509 feet)
Major ReligionsChristianity, Islam, Yoruba, Serer and Igbo
Major LanguagesAfroasiatic, Nilo-Saharan, Niger-Congo, Khoe-san, Austronesian