Africa is an amazing continent. Learn about the continent of Africa below from these ten amazing and essential facts about Africa:
1) The East African Rift zone, which divides the Somalian and Nubian tectonic plates, is the location of several important discoveries of human ancestors by anthropologists. The discovery of the partial skeleton of “Lucy” in 1974 in Ethiopia sparked major research in the region.
2) If one divides the planet into seven continents, then Africa is the world’s second largest continent covering about 11,677,239 square miles (30,244,049 square km).
3) Africa is located to the south of Europe and southwest of Asia. It is connected to Asia via the Sinai Peninsula in northeastern Egypt. Africa lies both all four hemispheres of the Earth.
4) Africa is also the second most populous continent on Earth, with about 1.1 billion people. Africa’s population is growing faster than Asia’s population but Africa will not catch up to Asia’s population in the foreseeable future.
5) In addition to its high population growth rate, Africa also has the world’s lowest life expectancies. According to the World Population Data Sheet, the average life expectancy for citizens of Africa is 58 (59 years for males and 59 years for females.) Africa is home to the world’s highest rates of HIV/AIDS – 4.7% of females and 3.0% of males are infected.
6) With the possible exceptions of Ethiopia and Liberia, all of Africa was colonized by non-African countries. The United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Portugal all claimed to rule parts of Africa without the consent of the local population.
7) With 196 independent countries on Earth, Africa is home to more than a quarter of these countries. As of 2012, there are 54 fully independent countries on mainland Africa and its surrounding islands. All 54 countries are members of the United Nations.
8) Africa is fairly non-urbanized. Only 39% of Africa’s population lives in urban areas. Africa is home to only two megacities with a population greater than ten million: Cairo, Egypt and Lagos, Nigeria.
9) Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa. Located in Tanzania near the Kenyan border, this dormant volcano rises to an elevation of 19,341 feet (5,895 meters).
10) While the Sahara Desert is not the largest nor the driest desert on Earth, it is the most notable. The desert covers about one tenth of the land of Africa.
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