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 is one of the few continents that is mostly defined simply by the bodies of water which surround it.Africa is bordered to the West by the Atlantic Ocean. To the East you will find the boundary set by the Indian Ocean. To the South, the Southern Ocean gives Africa is “V” shape. To the North, the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea define its boundaries.
Numbers of Countries
Different sources quote Africa as having either 54 to 56 countries. The variation is a result of disputed territories and inconsistencies around the inclusion of island nations off the coast of Africa. The African Union recognizes 54 countries while the United Nations recognizes 54 as well. They, unfortunately, do not recognize the same 54 nations. Both the United Nations and the African Union have slight variations in their inclusions of countries. For example, Morocco is part of the United Nations but not a member of the African Union. The recently created region of Western Sahara is recognized by the African Union but not by the United Nations.
Africa is commonly divided into five regions or subregions , four of which are in sub-saharan Africa. The five UN subregion are: