Africa is not a country; it is the second largest of the earth’s seven continents covering approximately twenty-three percent of the world’s total land area and containing almost thirteen percent of the world’s population. The continent straddles the equator and most of its area lies within the tropics. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, the Indian Ocean and Red Sea on the east, and the Mediterranean Sea on the north. In the northeastern corner of the continent, Africa is connected to Asia by the Sinai Peninsula.
Together with its adjacent islands, the continent covers approximately 30,330,000sq km (11,699,900sq mi). Africa stretches 8,050km (4,970mi) from its northernmost point, Cape Blanc (Ra’s al Abyad) in Tunisia, to its southernmost tip, Cape Agulhas in South Africa. The maximum width of the continent, measured from the tip of Cape Vert in Senegal, in the west, to Raas Xaafuun (Ras Hafun) in Somalia, in the east, is about 7,560km (4,700mi). The highest point on the continent is perpetually snowcapped Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m/19,340ft) in Tanzania; the lowest is Lake Assal (153m/502ft below sea level) in Djibouti. Africa’s coastline, characterized by few indentations has a total length of about 30,490km (18,950mi).
The main islands associated with Africa; with a combined area of 621,600sq km (240,000 sq mi) are Madagascar, Zanzibar, Pemba, Mauritius, Reunion, the Seychelles and the Comoro Islands in the Indian Ocean; Sao Tome, Principe and Bioko in the Gulf of Guinea; St Helena, Ascension and the Bijagos Islands in the Atlantic; and the Cape Verde Islands, the Canary Islands, and the Madeira islands in the North Atlantic. Although considered geographically part Africa, St Helena, Ascension, the Bijagos Islands, the Canary Islands, and the Madeira Islands have very little, if any, economic, political or cultural links with the continent. Their ties are rather with western Europe: St Helena, and Ascension are dependencies of the United Kingdom; the Canary and Madeira islands are an integral part of metropolitan Spain and Portugal respectively.
Altogether the continent has fifty-four sovereign nations, (entirely different from fifty-four states), and over one thousand languages and dialects. The population of the continent is estimated to be eight hundred million – almost three times the population of the United States. Because of its contributions to what is now know as modern civilization, this great continent is still referred to as the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of humanity, thousands of years after that era.
Indeed everything about the resilience and creativity of the people, the picturesque landscape and the endless opportunities in tourism, commerce and art make it a must see continent in this twenty first century.
African Union (AU)
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Economic Community of Central African States
The East African Community (EAC)
The Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD)
The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU)
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA)
LIST OF AFRICAN COUNTRIES