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71 Mind-Blowing Africa Facts You Must Learn

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A Brief Overview of Africa:

Africa is world’s second largest continent, and it is severely threatened by neocolonialism. The threat comes primarily from China because the continent has over 1 million Chinese citizens permanently living there. 350,000 Chinese neo colonists can be found in Angola alone.

Apart from the Chinese threat, Africa is riddled with many other problems. It is a land of extremes.

For example, the fluctuation of rainfall is quite great – ranging from 0 mm/year in the Sahara to 9,500 mm/year at Mount Cameroon in the Central African Republic.

Soils are unsuited for agriculture in over 90 percent of cases, with just 0.25 percent having moderate to low potential for sustainable farming.

Affecting the lives of nearly 300 million Africans, water shortage has a significant influence on their daily lives. Approximately 75 percent of Africans depend on groundwater as their major source of drinking water. The situation is worse as a result of global warming.

Because of the scarcity of groundwater, just 15 percent of the continent’s total renewable water resources are derived from this source. Groundwater reserves discovered in huge sedimentary basins in Libya, Algeria, and Chad may be sufficient to quench Africa’s rising thirst for the next several decades, according to recent studies.

According to some estimates, some landscapes lose more than 50 metric tonnes of soil per hectare each year as a result of neglect and desertification.

Nigeria is the world’s fourth-largest oil exporter and the continent’s largest oil producer, producing over 2.2 million barrels of crude oil per day on average. Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and South Africa are the top ten oil producers in terms of total exports (in the order mentioned).

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The continent has the world’s biggest deposits of precious metals, accounting for more than 40% of global gold deposits, more than 60% of global cobalt deposits, and more than 90% of global platinum deposits.

Now that you have a fair idea about Africa, read through some fascinating Africa facts.

Africa Facts that are Worth Knowing

1. Africa is the hottest continent on the planet and the second driest continent on the planet.

2. Africa has about 1.1 billion people, accounting for around 16 percent of the world’s total population. It is the second most populous continent in the world. With a total population of over 4.4 billion people, Asia accounts for about half of the world’s total population.

3. Women account for two-thirds of the continent’s illiterate population, which stands at 40%.

africa facts african boy

4. Over 25 million individuals in Africa are infected with HIV, and more than 17 million people have died as a result of the disease.

5. Africa accounts for 90 percent of all malaria cases worldwide.

6. In terms of bird species, Africa is home to more than a quarter of the world’s total.

7. When foreign powers invaded Africa during the “Scramble for Africa,” every country in Africa except Ethiopia and Liberia was colonized by foreigners. The “Scramble for Africa” took place between 1881 and 1914, during the time known as New Imperialism.

8. A vast freshwater lake in Africa, Lake Victoria ranks second in the world in terms of size only to Lake Titicaca.

9. The Pyramids of Giza are the most well-known structures in Egypt, but the Republic of Sudan has 223 pyramids of its own, which is more than double the number of pyramids in Egypt.

10. Women and children in Africa walk an average of 3.7 kilometers every day just to collect the water they require to survive.

11. Darwin was the first to propose that humans originated in Africa, and he did so in 1859. Although many individuals in the Western world were open to the idea for much of the twentieth century, discriminatory attitudes toward the continent kept many people from accepting it.

12. During a scientific expedition to Ethiopia in 1974, researchers uncovered the world’s oldest known human ancestor. After the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” which was playing in the expedition camp as they were excavating the 3.2-million-year-old skeleton, it was called “Lucy.”

13. Arab slave trade (also known as slavery in the East) kidnapped and shipped 18 million slaves from Africa between the 7th and 20th centuries, according to the International Slavery Index.

14. A number of ancient Greek tragedies and poems contain references to Ethiopia. Ethiopians are described as a “blameless race” and “among the noblest of men” by the Greek poet Homer in both the Odyssey and the Iliad.

15. Even though Africa is the second-largest continent on the planet, it has the shortest coastline among the seven continents due to the lack of projecting edges and bays in the continent’s natural landscape.

16. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, Barbary pirates abducted and sold nearly one million Europeans as slaves in North Africa.

17. Women often work 12 to 13 hours per week more than males in poor countries in Africa.

18. India, the United States, Europe, New Zealand, Argentina, and China could easily fit inside the African continent.

19. Distributed in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, the Goliath frog is the world’s largest frog.

20. Among the countries with the highest number of twin births is Benin, which is located in West Africa and has a rate of 27 twins for every 1,000 births. In the world, for every 1,000 births, there are 13.6 twins on average.

sand dunes africa

21. It is the largest hot desert on the planet, and, after Antarctica and the Arctic, it is the world’s third-biggest desert overall. It is a found in North Africa, Sahara Desert is somewhat larger in area than the United States of America.

22. When compared to women in North America, women in sub-Saharan Africa have a 230-fold higher risk of dying during childbirth or pregnancy.

23. Aardvark, chigger, banjo, cola, coffee, voodoo, chimpanzee, gumbo, jazz, jamboree, jumbo, safari, voodoo, impala, tango, yam, zombie, and zebra are just a few of the words that have African origins that are commonly heard in English. 

24. Because of its rich intellectual culture, scholars have dubbed the West African city of Timbuktu the “Paris of the Medieval World.” Many thousands of mediaeval manuscripts, including poetry by female poets, legal thoughts, and groundbreaking scientific conversations, can be found there.

25. People who live in Sub-Saharan Africa are undernourished in proportion roughly one in three.

26. With about 22 percent of the Earth’s total land area and 6 percent of the Earth’s total surface area, Africa is the second-largest continent in the planet.

27. Africa is the world’s poorest and most impoverished continent, according to the United Nations Development Programme. Approximately $.70 a day is all that the typical impoverished individual in Sub-Saharan Africa has to survive on.

28. In Africa, more than half of the population is under the age of 25, making it the world’s youngest continent by population age.

29. New York City has more Internet users than the whole continent of Africa combined.

30. The rate of deforestation in Africa is twice as high as the global average. There are only around 1-5 percent of primary forests left in Kenya and Zambia, according to UN estimates.

31. Some experts believe that Africa has over one thousand languages spoken, while some believe that it has more like two thousand languages.

32. Africa contains 54 sovereign nations, which is the most of any continent in the entire world.

33. In terms of tourism, Egypt is the most popular destination in Africa, with over 10 million tourists every year.

34. The cheetah, the lion, the Thomson’s gazelle, the wildebeest, are four of the world’s fastest land animals, and they all live in Africa. There is no other mammal that can run faster than 50 miles per hour apart from these four, and only one of those creatures can go faster than 70 miles per hour: the cheetah.

35. The Tunisian Sahara Desert served as the location for several scenes from the Star Wars films. Sand dunes are steadily engulfing the film sets, which is causing them to be destroyed.

african elephant

36. The African elephant, which can weigh between 6 and 7 tons and is the world’s biggest living land mammal, is found only in Africa.

37. According to the majority of etymologists, the term “Africa” comes from Afri, the term given to a group of people who lived in North Africa around Carthage during the third century B.C., and ‘ca’ is the Roman suffix which means “country” or “land.”

38. The name “Africa” was first used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to refer solely to the northern area of the continent. Aphrike is a Greek term that literally translates as “without cold.” The term Africa is derived from the Latin word for “sunny”.

39. Islam is the dominant religion in Africa at the moment, with Christianity a close second in terms of numbers. Approximately 85 percent of the continent’s population is adherents of these two faiths, with the other 15 percent belonging to nonreligious groups or practicing indigenous African faiths.

40. Among all of Africa’s animals, the hippopotamus is the deadliest.

41. Over 5.4 million people died during the Second Congo War (1998-2003). It was the bloodiest global warfare since World War II, with more than a million deaths.

42. Africa doesn’t have tigers. Tigers can be found in Asia only.

43. The use of flamethrowers attached to vehicles to deter automobile jacking is permitted in South Africa.

44. In Africa, Ethiopia is the only nation to have its own alphabet, which is known as Ethiopic. A total of 345 letters are included inside it.

45 The Witwatersrand region of South Africa is responsible for about half of all gold ever extracted in history.

46. Ancient Egyptian metropolis of Kahun was the world’s earliest planned metropolis, having been built thousands of years before the first European city was built.

47. Approximately 589 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity. This implies that 80 percent of the sub-Saharan African population must rely on non-renewable energy sources such as charcoal, wood, and dung to cook their meals.

48. The Lebombo bone, found in the Swaziland’s Lebombo Mountains, is the world’s earliest known mathematical item. Its origins are estimated to be 35,000 years ago.

49. A resident of Africa is the Nile crocodile, which is the world’s biggest reptile by body size and length.

50. The African Renaissance Monument, which was constructed by North Korean propagandist artists, is taller than the Statue of Liberty and is intended to stand until 3200 A.D. Because the monument shows a near-naked man holding a lady with an exposed breast, it has sparked controversy among the majority Muslim community (92 percent).

51. Africa is the continent with the most geographically central location on the planet. Because it is cut through by both the prime meridian (0 degrees longitude) and the equator (0 degrees latitude).

52. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with a population of 154.7 million people. This equates to 18 percent of Africa’s total population of over a billion people.

africa facts giraffe

53. Africa is home to the world’s tallest and biggest land mammals – the giraffe (tallest) and African elephant (biggest/largest).

54. Algeria is the largest nation in Africa in terms of land area.

55. Ethiopia is the hottest location on the planet, and it is located in Africa.

56. Despite being inhabited, the continent’s geography remained undiscovered for thousands of years, giving it the moniker “Dark Continent.” It was also called the Dark Continent because of the expected savagery in the interiors of the continent.

57. Due to the fact that the equator crosses through the heart of the Dark Continent, the region gets direct sunshine throughout the whole year.

58. The Victoria Falls, the biggest waterfall in Africa, is situated on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia and is the world’s one of most visited tourist destination. It boasts a height of 355 feet and a breadth of about a mile, making it one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world.

59. Over half of the world’s French-speaking population resides on this continent, according to official figures.

60. In Senegal, Africa, there is a pink lake.

61. Angola has a higher number of Portuguese speakers than Portugal.

62. The Nile River in Africa is the world’s longest river by length.

63. Nigeria’s Lagos is the country’s and the continent’s largest city. Lagos, with more than 22 million residents, is also one of the world’s most populous metropolitan areas, and it is expected to become the world’s most populous city by 2100, when it would have more than 100 million residents!

64. The Gambia is the smallest nation of African mainland.

65. Madagascar is the world’s fourth-largest island ranked behind Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo.

66. Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro is the Africa’s tallest mountain. Mount Kilimanjaro is comprised of three volcanic cones, the highest of which is known as ‘Kibo’, which means ‘King of the Mountains’. The highest peak, known as ‘Uhuru Peak,’ is 5,895 meters (19,340 feet) above sea level. The mountain is situated in Tanzania’s highlands, near the Kenyan border, and is a popular tourist destination. Although only accessible from the Tanzanian side, Mount Kilimanjaro can be viewed from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, which makes it a popular tourist destination.

67. Lake Victoria (which borders Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya) is the world’s second biggest freshwater lake and is also the biggest lake in Africa. Lake Superior located in North America is larger.

68. In Africa, there are more than 3,000 diverse indigenous communities, each with its own language and culture. They are all distinct in terms of language and culture.

69. Minerals such as gold, copper, oil, platinum, and diamonds, as well as agricultural products such as coffee, wheat, maize, and fruits, are the most important natural resources found in Africa.

70. Approximately 65 percent of all Africans are employed in the agriculture industry.

71. Savannah or grassland covers more than half of the African continent, which is a unique ecosystem.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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