Everything You Need to Know About Africa

The African continent

There are many important things to know about Africa. First off, it's not a country; It's a continent made up of 54 countries. Secondly, Africa is the second largest continent in the world with a population of more than 1.2 billion. Also, Africa is not just a big safari as depicted in many films. In addition to safaris, jungles, and deserts, each African nation also has various metropolitan cities with thriving business and technology sectors.

Here are a few more facts about Africa that you should know about:

Geography/ History:

• Algeria claims the title as the largest country in Africa by size.

• The longest river in the world, the Nile (4,132 miles), is located in Africa.

• Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, is the biggest city on the continent with more than 21 million residents.

• The Sahara desert in Africa is the world's largest desert, and is bigger than the United States of America.

• About 30% of the Earth’s natural mineral resources can be found in Africa.

• Africa is not all desert as many people assume. There are many metropolitan cities, and it even snows at high elevations like on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

• All African nations were colonized by foreign powers except Ethiopia and Liberia.

• The continent is so big that you could fit the USA, China, India, Spain, France and Germany inside - and there would still be room to spare.

The People:

• In about 40 African countries, over 50% of the population is under the age of 20.

• More than 2,000 languages are spoken throughout the continent.

• Experts estimated that in 2050, the population in Africa will nearly double to around 2 billion people.

• While many Africans do speak English, the most popular language on the continent is Swahili, which is spoken by more than 100 million people.

• The second most spoken language is Amharic, which is the official language of Ethiopia spoken by more than 21 million people.

• Nigeria has the continent's largest population with nearly 200 million residents.

• More than 1 million Chinese people live in Africa. Angola alone has more than 350,000 Chinese residents.

• More than 10,000 African Americans live in Accra, the capital of Ghana.

Business/ Technology:

• Nigeria has Africa's largest economy. Next is, South Africa, Egypt, and then Algeria.

• Nigeria is the 4th largest oil exporter in the world, and Africa’s biggest oil producer with about 2.2 million barrels produced every day.

• The continent has several major airlines with international flights including: Ethiopian Airlines, EgyptAir, South African Airways, and Kenya Airways.

• China is Africa's biggest trading partner with more than $300 USD billion worth of trade annually, and 10,000 companies in Africa are Chinese-owned.

• The number of mobile internet subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa has quadrupled since the year 2010.

• There are now more than 250 mobile users, and 1/3 of them have a smart phone.

• Africa's two most profitable mineral resources are gold and diamonds.

• Agriculture is by far the single most important economic activity in Africa, providing employment for about 2/3 of the continent's working population.

• Microsoft, Facebook, and Google all have offices and/or hubs in Nigeria.