Are you looking for facts about Africa? There are so many amazing countries to visit, animals to view, unique cultures to learn about, and a range of interesting activities to participate in that it’s almost impossible to choose just one. I know it sounds absurd, but there’s nothing quite like Africa. Below are 11 facts you should know about Africa and its people:
1. Africa is made up of 54 countries
Africa is the world’s second-largest continent, with more countries than Asia, the world’s largest continent. In alphabetical order, the countries in Africa are as follows: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Reunion, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome & Principe, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
2. Arabic is the most spoken language
This is an interesting fact about Africa that may surprise you. There are many distinct languages spoken in Africa due to the 54 countries that make up the continent. However, Arabic (spoken by 170 million people) is the most widely spoken language in the country, followed by English (spoken by 130 million people), Swahili, French, Bereber, Hausa, and Portuguese. There are also a variety of languages spoken here, many of which you are unlikely to have heard of.
3. Africa is home to about a quarter of the world’s languages
Around 2,000 languages are thought to be spoken on the continent. The African Union considers all of them to be official languages. There are around 500 surviving languages in Nigeria alone. Africans are substantially younger than the rest of the world’s population.
4. In comparison to a global median age of 30, more than half of Africans are under the age of 20
In comparison to a global median age of 30, more than half of Africans are under the age of 20
Africa has the highest child-dependency rate in the world, with 73 children under the age of 15 for every 100 working-age persons. This is approximately twice as much as the global average.
5. Africa is home to more than half of the world’s mobile money accounts
Only 2% of adults in the rest of the world have access to one, compared to 12 percent in Africa. In Kenya, the percentage is 58 percent. Only a third of persons on the continent have access to a standard bank account.
6. Africa holds over 30% of the world’s remaining mineral resources
Over 40% of gold reserves and 90% of platinum reserves are in this category. According to the CIA World Factbook, Nigeria is the world’s fifth-greatest oil exporter, ahead of Iraq and Kuwait.
7. It all started in Africa
Yes, humans originated in Africa, according to the evidence. Particularly in East Africa. 200,000-year-old human remains, to be precise. That’s correct, thousands of years ago, early Homo sapiens (that’s modern humans to you and me) were discovered in Ethiopia.
8. Africa has approximately 90% of all malaria cases in the world
Malaria is a potentially deadly disease, as you are surely aware, especially in Africa. Every day, almost 3,000 children die from Malaria in Africa, which accounts for 90% of all Malaria cases worldwide. We urge anybody who can to donate to Malaria No More, Christian Aid, UNICEF, or the Against Malaria Foundation to help save children in need of medical care.
This is a terrible sickness that is difficult to combat when the country is so impoverished, so any assistance that the Western world can provide is critical.
9. Africa is the hottest continent in the world
Africa, as you are surely aware, has a very hot climate and is regarded as the hottest continent on the planet. Around 60% of the area is arid and desert, and the Sahara is the world’s largest desert, with temperatures regularly exceeding 100°F (or 40°C).
However, while the highest recorded temperature on Earth was once in Africa, at 136.4°F (58°C) in El Azizia, Libya, the continent also has the coldest temperate on the planet, with temperatures as low as 11°F (23.9 °C) in Ifrane, Morocco. This just goes to demonstrate how diverse the African countries are, and the variances don’t stop at the temperature!
10. The African continent was hard hit by decolonization
From the early 1960s until the 1980s, many African countries were “made” independent. Many of these countries had never existed previously, with European powers defining their borders. There was a lot of craziness as a result of this. There were more than 70 coups and 13 presidential assassinations across the continent during this time. Border, territorial, ethnic, and political conflicts were – and continue to be – a typical occurrence.
11. Animals are well-known in Africa
This is a self-evident fact about Africa, but that does not make it any less true. It’s one of the most bio-diverse areas on the planet, with vast populations of amazing wildlife. Safari creatures to look out for include lions, hyenas, cheetahs, giraffes, elephants, and camels. Then there’s the matter of snakes. Gorillas that live in the mountains. Crocodiles. Insects and amphibians of all kinds. Don’t forget about the wildebeest migration, which numbers in the millions. Hippos were overlooked. And rhinoceroses. It’s an untamed continent.