Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Africa - Basic Facts

  1. Africa is the world’s second largest-continent in terms of land area. It has an area of around 11.7 million square miles or 30.37 million square kilometers. This means that Africa contains about a fifth of the world’s total landmass. Its size on most maps is altered to get it to fit into a map of the world, in reality, it’s bigger than the United States, China, India, Western Europe and Mexico combined.
  2. About 1.215 billion people live on the African continent, making up about 15% of the world’s population. A vast amount of languages are spoken by these people, with official estimates ranging from between 1500 to upwards of 2000. Arabic is the most widely spoken language on the continent, spoken by about 170 million people. Other common languages include English, which is spoken by 130 million people, Swahili (spoken by approximately 100 million people), and French (spoken by around 115 million people).
  3. There are 54 countries in Africa, according to the UN. This number fluctuates a bit depending on who you ask, and if certain non-self governing territories can be recognized as nations. Most of these borders for these countries were drawn during the “scramble for Africa” a period of colonialism which saw almost of all of Africa colonized by foreign powers except for what is now Liberia and Ethiopia.
  4. China is Africa’s biggest trade partner. Trade with China accounts for about $200 billion dollars a year for the entire continent.
  5. Over half, 55% of Africa’s labor force, is in the food production sector. There are large areas of land throughout the continent dedicated solely to agriculture. Unfortunately, some 90% of the soil in Africa isn’t usable for agriculture, leading to deforestation in attempts to clear land for farming.
  6. Many parts of Africa suffer from water scarcity and food scarcity issues. Around 300 million Africans must deal with water scarcity and about 240 million suffer from undernourishment.

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