This article will examine 10 interesting facts about Africa that will amaze you. You may have thought you knew a lot about this fascinating continent on the other side. However, these facts will help change, broaden your perception, and open your eyes to what is truly happening in Africa today.
Before we get started, though, we must note that Africa is a vast continent, and each country has its unique history, culture, and challenges. So while the following facts may be true for a particular country or region in Africa, they may not be accurate for all of Africa.
10 Interesting Facts About Africa That Will Amaze You
The following are the top 10 interesting facts about Africa:
1. Africa Has a Large Population
Africa is the second most populous continent after Asia, with over 1.1 billion people. This accounts for approximately 15% of the world’s total population. The large population is due to high birth rates and improved life expectancy in many African countries. Africa’s population is expected to continue growing rapidly in the coming decades.
2. Low Life Expectancy in Some Parts
While Africa has seen improvements in life expectancy, some regions still lag. In sub-Saharan nations like Sierra Leone, Chad, and Central African Republic, the average life expectancy at birth is only in the low to mid-50s. This is mainly due to high rates of infant and child mortality from preventable diseases, malnutrition, and lack of access to healthcare. AIDS has also lowered life expectancy in many nations. Addressing poverty, improving healthcare access, and increasing vaccination rates could significantly improve life expectancy.
3. Very Young Population
Africa has the youngest population of any continent. Over 60% of Africans are under the age of 25. The median age across the continent is only about 19 years old. Rapid population growth and improved child survival rates have led to many children and adolescents. This youth bulge presents challenges for education, employment, healthcare and more – but also great potential if these young people can be supported.
4. Home to 54 Diverse Countries
Africa is made up of 54 fully recognized sovereign nations. These countries have diverse geography, history, languages, ethnicities, cultures, and politics. The five most populous African countries are Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Africa. Despite their diversity, African nations share some common experiences like colonialism, challenges of poverty and governance, and hopes for the future.
5. Over 16% of the World’s Population
With over 1.1 billion people, Africa contains over 16% of the global population. It is second only to Asia in total population. Africa’s share of the world population is expected to grow to about 40% by 2100. This is because fertility rates remain higher in Africa than in most other regions. Ensuring food security, infrastructure development, and employment for Africa’s booming population remains an enormous challenge.
6. Extremely Diverse Linguistically
With over 1,000 indigenous languages, Africa is the most linguistically diverse continent. This includes major language families like Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan, Niger-Congo and Khoisan. Many Africans also speak languages inherited from colonialism, including English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. This language diversity reflects Africa’s ethnic diversity and challenges national cohesion and education.
7. Can Be Divided into Subregions
Africa can be divided into several distinct subregions. The Maghreb, or North Africa, includes the Sahara and countries bordering the Mediterranean like Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. The Sahel is the transition zone below the Sahara, including countries like Mali, Niger and Chad.
West Africa contains countries along the Atlantic, including Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast. East Africa includes nations like Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda. Central Africa has rainforests and countries like Congo. Finally, Southern Africa includes South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and others.
8. North Africa Closely Tied to the Middle East
The countries of North Africa have close economic and cultural ties to the Middle East. These nations, including Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, are largely Arabic-speaking and Muslim. They have historically been tied to Middle Eastern empires and trade networks. Today, they maintain close ties through membership in institutions like the Arab League. So, while they are part of the African continent, they are also closely linked to the Middle East.
9. Iconic Natural Landscapes
Some of Africa’s natural landmarks, like Mount Kilimanjaro and Victoria Falls, are truly iconic. Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, rising 19,300 feet. Victoria Falls is one of the world’s largest waterfalls with breathtaking views. Africa is also home to great rift valleys, expansive savannas, the lush Okavango Delta and the vast Sahara – the world’s largest desert. Animals like elephants, zebras, and gorillas contribute to incredible wildlife viewing.
These stunning natural landscapes make Africa a top global tourist destination.
Read Also: Top 10 Most Famous Landmarks in Kenya
10. Diverse Wildlife
Africa is renowned for its exotic wildlife. Iconic savanna animals like lions, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, elephants and rhinos only occur naturally on this continent. Africa also hosts unique animals like meerkats, hippos and giant tortoises. Even chimpanzees and gorillas, Africa’s great apes, are only found in African forests. For wildlife lovers, a safari in Africa is the trip of a lifetime. Preserving these irreplaceable animals and ecosystems remains an urgent priority.
Despite its many challenges, Africa is a continent full of hope and opportunity. Many success stories from Africa show that hard work and dedication make anything possible.
I hope this article has opened your eyes to some of the most interesting facts about Africa. Not only is this continent full of natural beauty, but it is also full of culture and history. When you look at Africa in its entirety, you see that it truly is a unique place, unlike any other in the world.