Reacquaint Yourself With 7 Things About Africa

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Reacquaint Yourself With 7 Things About Africa

1. Africa is not a country

Oftentimes, people refer to africa as a country saying “countries like India, Africa,...”, but Africa is actually a continent with 54 sovereign states and countries, with a disputed territory in the Western Sahara. Africa is a continent south of Europe, between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Africa is also the world’s second largest and second most populous continent after Asia.


2. Africa is the second largest continent on earth

Africa is also the world’s second largest and second most populous continent on the planet after Asia. It has an area of 30,370,000 square kilometers or 11,730,000 square miles, with Algeria as the largest African country at 2,381,741 square kilometers or 919,595, square miles and second is Democratic Republic of Congo with 2,344,858 square kilometers or 905,355 square miles. Experts estimate that in 2050, there will be at least 2 billion living on the African continent.


3. Not all of Africa is poor, rural, and overpopulated

Life in Africa is diverse, with data shown according to the World Bank, life expectancy can range from 45 years in Sierra Leone, to 75 years in Libya and Tunisia. Children per family also range differently, with 1.4 children in Mauritius to 7.6 children in Niger. Population density ranges from 3 people per square kilometer in Namibia to 639 people in Mauritius. GDP per capita ranges from USD226 in Malawi to USD 11,695 in Libya. Cellphones per 1,000 people range from 35 in Eritrea to 1,359 in Seychelles. Famous actress, Charlize Theron born in Benoni, South Africa.


4. Africa once had empires and kingdoms

Among the most famous ancient kingdoms include Egypt, which existed from 3,150 to 332 BCE, considered part of both the African and Asian continent covering northeastern part of Africa and southwest corner of Asia. Cathage, capital of the ancient Carthaginian, empire of the Phoenician state, and known to have fought wars against Rome, was located in Tunisia, Africa. Other ancient kingdoms existed such as the Kush-Meroe in Sudan and Axum in Ethiopia. Famous states of the medieval era in African history were Mali and Great Zimbabwe, found to have archaeological finds of coins and treasures from around the world - showing that Africa also flourished wealthily and as a very powerful state before colonization.


5. Hippos kill more Africans than lions, sharks, and crocodiles combined

Among the fiercest animals such as lions, sharks, and crocodiles, these are automatically thought as the animals contributing to the most deaths in Africa, and the world. In reality, more deaths occur from Hippo encounters than the 3 predators combined. That is because, Hippos are semi-aquatic mammals that can roam both land and bodies of water and are considered the second largest animal on Earth.


6. Almost every country in Africa Speaks English, French, Portuguese, or Arabic (aside from Ethiopia), and total of 1,000 spoken languages

Famous ancient kingdoms passed down languages to the African nation, with Arabic spoken in northern and western Africa. After this, and between 1885 and 1914, when most of Africa was colonized by Europe (except for Liberia and Ethiopia), the colonizers influenced language in the area, bringing several new European languages. Among the countries that had not yet been colonized, Liberia, in 1847, soon adapted the language of its African-American settlers, with English introduced as its official language. Ethiopia, the only area not colonized Africa (although briefly by Italy), named its official language as Amharic, with majority of students studying English as a foreign language in their school.


7. Africa has more women Presidents than the United States

A misconception about Africa is that the country is in poverty, war-torn, with little regard for the female gender. However, female oppression is not prevalent in all areas throughout the nation. Some countries may not have equal women’s rights, but are at least respected by men. Other countries have females surpassing the males in all aspects of society, with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf serving as President since 2006 and serving in the Central African Republic. In addition, Catherine Samba-Panza was elected acting President leading the 2015 elections. Previous female heads of state include Joyce Banda as the Malawi President, Sylvie Kinigi as acting President of Burundi, and Rose Francine Ragombe as acting President of Gabon.





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