10 Facts About Africa You Should Know

Africa is a beautiful continent that is rich in cultural heritage, diversity and wildlife which makes it unique in the world.  Most people know Africa based on what they see in the media and those images are dominated by negative portrayals of the continent. Africa is a continent that continues to develop and increase its influence and impact on the world. A few facts that everyone should know about Africa:

  1.  Africa is the 2nd largest continent at 30 million square kilometers or 11.7 million square miles.  Africa is bigger than China, India, the continental U.S., and most of Europe combined. The Sahara alone is bigger than the continental USA.
  2.  Africa is the 'cradle of humankind'. Fossils found in Africa, show that human beings and their closest relatives the gorilla and chimpanzees were born and evolved in Africa. 
  3. Africa is the 2nd most populated continent in the world. There are 1.3 billion people in Africa, 17% of the world population. Over 50% of Africans are under the age of 25. The continent’s population is expected to  more than double to 2.3 billion people by 2050.
  4. Africa has 54 countries and about 3000 tribes.
  5. There are over 3000 languages spoken in Africa. Amharic, Arabic, English, French, Hausa, Oromo, Swahili and Yoruba are among the languages widely spoken.
  6. Africa has the largest populations of lion, elephant, rhinoceros, cheetah, hyena, leopard, and hundreds of other species. Giraffe, zebra, gorilla, hippopotamus, chimpanzee and wildebeest are unique to Africa and  not found in the wild on any other continent on Earth. Africa has over 25 percent of the world's bird species. 
  7. The majority of Africans practice Christianity or Islam. Most Africans also participate in traditional African religions. 
  8. Africa's GDP growth is above the world average at 4% but Africa's has significant opportunity for growth at 3% of global GDP versus 17% of global population. 
  9. Agriculture employs 65% of Africa’s labor force and accounts for 32 percent of the continent's gross domestic product.
  10. Africa has approximately 30% of the earth’s remaining mineral resources. Africa has the largest reserves of precious metals with over 40% of the gold reserves, over 60% of the cobalt, and 90% of the platinum reserves.