Africa is considered to be the second most populous continent in the world, and equally second largest only behind Asia in terms of the total number of areas covered. There are about 54 countries in Africa that are registered under the United Nations, and 8 territories. Africa has the youngest average population compared to all other continents, with Algeria boasting the highest in terms of land area, while Nigeria is the largest in terms of population. All you need to know about the countries in Africa have been properly documented for you here.
The continent has about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles), and covers up to 6% of the Earth’s total surface in total. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean. The Mediterranean is located to the North, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the Northeast, the Indian to the Southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The majority of countries in Africa are in the Northern Hemisphere, while substantial portion are in the Southern Hemisphere.
Africa is a continent with a lot of ethnic groups, cultures and languages. Dating back in the 19th Century, some of the European countries colonized almost all the countries in Africa before they gained independence. Currently, Africa now has an association called the African Union, which has it headquarter in Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia.
The most visited cities by tourists are Cape Town, Cairo, and Tunis. These travel destinations are popular among those who are seeking for vibrant colors, ancient monuments, natural attractions, and exotic wildlife along with beautiful beaches. Less known, but also very exciting, are such capitals like Nairobi, Dakar, Port Louis, and Antananarivo. As less economically developed, many countries of this continent have the lowest level of life quality in the world.
List of Countries in Africa
Africa has about 54 countries according to the United Nations figure. Although there are four extra countries but they’re not under United Nations because they’ve not fully gained their independence, and will not be included here.
According to the list, we’re going to arrange it in sequence; based on population, sub-region, and their capitals.
According to Population
Based on the population, we’re going to start the list from the highest down to the lowest.
|36 37||Congo Liberia||5,518,087 5,057,681|
|38||Central African Republic||4,829,767|
|53||Sao Tome & Principe||219,159|
According to sub-regions
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
- Saint Helena
- Sierra Leone
- Sao Tome and Principe
- South Africa
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- South Sudan
- Western Sahara
According to capitals
All capital cities in Africa listed by country
|Central African Republic||Bangui|
|Côte d’ Ivoire||Yamoussoukro|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Kinshasa|
|Republic of the Congo||Brazzaville|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||São Tomé|
|South Africa||Cape Town, Pretoria & Bloemfontein|
Note: Currently, there are about four other countries been created; Reunion, Western Sahara, Mayotte, and Saint Helena. Although why they are not yet fully included to make it 58 countries in total is because they’re still partially dependent on European countries like France and England.
A Brief History
According to history, Africa is considered to be the oldest inhibitory territory on Earth, with human species originating from the continent. The historical record opens in Northern Africa with the rise of literacy in the Pharaonic civilization of Ancient Egypt, One of the world’s earliest and longest-lasting civilizations. The Sahara region is considered as one of the best fertile valley, experiencing a period of rapid desertification.
Around 4000 BC, the Saharan climate started to become drier at an exceedingly fast pace. This climate change caused lakes and rivers to shrink significantly and caused increasing desertification. This, in turn, decreased the amount of land conducive to settlements and helped to cause migrations of farming communities to the more tropical climate of West Africa.
A major climatic recession occurred, lessening the heavy and persistent rains in Central and Eastern Africa. Since this time, dry conditions have prevailed in Eastern Africa and, increasingly during the last 200 years, in Ethiopia. The domestication of cattle in Africa preceded agriculture and seems to have existed alongside hunter-gatherer cultures. It is speculated that by 6000 BC, cattle were domesticated in North Africa. In the Sahara-Nile complex, people domesticated many animals, including the donkey and a small screw-horned goat which was common from Algeria to Nubia.
By the first millennium BC, iron-working had been introduced in Northern Africa and around that time also became established in parts of sub-Saharan Africa either through independent invention there or diffusion from the northand by 500 BC, metalworking began to become commonplace in West Africa. Iron-working was fully established by roughly 500 BC in many areas of East and West Africa, although other regions didn’t begin iron-working until the early centuries AD. Copper objects from Egypt, North Africa, Nubia, and Ethiopia dating from around 500 BC have been excavated in West Africa, suggesting that Trans-Saharan trade networks had been established by this date.
In 332 BC, European exploration began with Ancient Greeks and Romans when Alexandria the Great was welcomed in Egypt as a liberator. According to history, he was the one that founded Alexandria in Egypt. The first Roman emperor native to North Africa was Septimius Severus, born in Leptis Magna in present-day Libya, whose mother was an Italian Roman and his father was Punic. Following the conquest of North Africa’s Mediterranean coastline by the Roman Empire, the area was integrated economically and culturally into the Roman system. Roman settlement occurred in modern Tunisia and elsewhere along the coast.
Christianity spread across these areas at an early date, from Judaea via Egypt and beyond the borders of the Roman world into Nubia by AD 340 at the latest, which has become the state religion of the Aksumite Empire. In the early 7th century, the newly formed Arabian Islamic Caliphate expanded into Egypt, and then into North Africa. In a short while, the local Berber elite had been integrated into Muslim Arab tribes. When the Umayyad capital Damascus fell in the 8th century, the Islamic centre of the Mediterranean shifted from Syria to Qayrawan in North Africa. Islamic North Africa had become diverse, and a hub for mystics, scholars, jurists, and philosophers. During the above-mentioned period, Islam spread to sub-Saharan Africa, mainly through trade routes and migration
Coming down to West Africa, inhabitants there fished and grew millet. It has been found Augustin Holl that the Soninke of the Mandé peoples were likely responsible for constructing such settlements. Around 300 BC the region became more desiccated and the settlements began to decline, most likely relocating to Koumbi Saleh. Architectural evidence and the comparison of pottery styles suggest that Dhar Tichitt was related to the subsequent Ghana Empire. Djenné-Djenno (in present-day Mali) was settled around 300 BC, and the town grew to house a sizable Iron Age population, as evidenced by crowded cemeteries. Living structures were made of sun-dried mud. By 250 BC Djenné-Djenno had become a large, thriving market town.
Farther south, in central Nigeria, around 1,000 BC, the Nok culture developed on the Jos Plateau, which was a highly centralized community. The Nok people produced lifelike representations in terracotta, including human heads and human figures, elephants, and other animals. By 500 BC they were smelting iron. By 200 AD the Nok culture had vanished. Based on stylistic similarities with the Nok terracottas, the bronze figurines of the Yoruba kingdom of Ife and those of the Bini kingdom of Benin is believed to be continuations of the earlier Nok culture.
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