- Africa’s total size is roughly 11.7 square miles, representing about a fifth of the earth’s total landmass. This makes it larger than India, China, Mexica, and USA’s and a huge chunk of Europe combined.
- World civilization began in Africa. The Pharaonic civilization of ancient Egypt is the oldest literate civilization. According to historical records, the Egyptian state dates back to about 3300 B.C.
- Africa is the second-largest continent in the world both in size and population. As of 2009, about 14.7 percent of the world’s population resides in Africa. Africa is home to over 1 billion people who speak over 1,500 different languages. One in every four of the world’s language are spoken only in Africa.
- Islam is the dominant religion in Africa. Christianity is the second. Arabic is also the most widely-spoken language in Africa.
- 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.
- Nigeria has the highest population (154.7 million people) in Africa. This represents 18% of Africa’s total population.
- South Africa has the highest GDP (($182 billion) in Africa. Guinea Bissau has the lowest at $230 million.
- As of 2008, South Africa consumes the most electricity per person (4,759.5kW/h) in Africa. Ethiopia has the least consumption (42.3 kW/h).
- The shortest distance between Africa and Europe is only 8.9 miles (14.3 kilometers) of ocean.
- Africa’s Nile River is the world’s longest river. 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.
- The largest island in Africa, located in the Indian Ocean (off Africa’s East Coast) is Madagascar. It is also the fourth largest in the world.
- The largest lake in Africa is Lake Victoria. It is also the second-largest freshwater lake in the world, spanning 26,830 square miles.
- Africa’s Sahara desert is the world’s largest hot desert covering 9.1 million km2. Of the deserts of the world, it is the third largest after the Arctic (second largest) and Antarctic (largest) deserts.
- The highest point in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It rises 5895 meters (19,340 feet) above sea level.
- Both the world’s tallest and largest land animals both come from Africa. They are the giraffe and African elephant, respectively.
- Hippopotamus is Africa’s deadliest animal. It kills more people in Africa than do crocodiles and lions combined.
- About 41 percent of children in Africa aged between 5-1 years are actively involved in child labor.
- In Africa, just like in Asia, people have to walk an average of 3.7 miles daily to fetch water for various uses
- Over 90 percent of all malaria cases reported worldwide come from Africa. Every year, 3,000 children die from the disease.
- 16 countries in Africa record higher rates of vaccination than the U.S. alone.
- According to the World Bank, Seychelles had a 92 percent women literacy rate in 2010. Chad’s equivalent was 13 percent while Niger’s was 15 percent.
- Tanzania, Africa, has the world’s highest Albinism rates. In the country, Albino are hunted by witchdoctors to use their organs for rituals believed to heal diseases.
- Witwatersrand, South Africa, produces almost half of all the gold mined in Africa.
- More people speak French in Africa than do those in France.
- A single tribe in Kenya-called the “Kalenjin”-produces most of the world’s fastest long-distance runners.
- Egypt is Africa’s most popular tourist destination. The country receives over 10 million visitors every year. Cairo, Egypt’s capital city, is also Africa’s largest city.
- The national flag of Mozambique has the image of an AK-47 assault rifle embedded into it. It is the only national flag in the world featuring such a modern rifle.
- 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 slaves.
- Soccer and cricket are two of Africa’s most popular sports. They were both introduced during the colonial era.
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