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Facts About Africa

Africa is the second largest continent on Earth. Despite the immense size, it is still considered an exotic location as these facts about Africa show.

Facts About Africa

From the Sahara Desert to Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa is continent of extremes. Some areas have tremendous natural resources while other areas are barren. There are a tremendous number of facts about Africa, but here are the basics.

  • Africa is the second biggest continent on Earth.
  • Africa is the second most populous content, home to roughly 12 percent of all humans or 840 million people.
  • Cairo is the largest city with over nine million inhabitants.
  • The largest country in Africa is Sudan.
  • The coastline of Africa is 18,950 miles long.
  • The longest river is the Nile with a length exceeding 4,150 miles.
  • The Nile is the longest river in the world.
  • Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and feeds the Nile.
  • Africa has eight percent of the world’s oil reserves.
  • Africa produces nearly 50 percent of the gold in the world.
  • Africa produces 50 percent of the diamonds in the world.
  • The largest mountain is Mount Kilimanjaro at over 19,317 thousand feet.
  • With over 11 million square miles of land, it accounts for 5.7 percent of the Earth surface and over 20 percent of the total land surface of the earth.
  • The Sahara Desert is the largest in the world.
  • The Sahara is more than 3.5 million square miles in size.
  • Africa was connected to South America millions of years ago before the tectonic plates moved away from each other.
  • Africa is currently moving slowly in a northeast direction.

  • The Romans termed the continent “Africa Terra”, which evolved into Africa.
  • Africa is the place where humans first existed.
  • Fossil remains show humans existed in Africa over 4 million years ago and perhaps as long as 7 million years.
  • The first recorded dominant civilization in Africa was the Egyptians in 3,300 B.C.
  • Egypt remained the dominant culture until 343 B.C.
  • Phoenicians established Carthage in the north around the 9th century B.C.
  • Romans conquered the Phoenicians in 146 BC and ruled much of North Africa until the 4th Century A.D.
  • Arabs put their mark on Africa starting in the seventh century A.D. and spread Islam throughout the country.
  • In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, European powers began to dominate and eventually colonize much of Africa.
  • In the mid to late twentieth century, most African nations gained independence.
  • Africa is currently considered the poorest continent on Earth.

Any way you cut it, Africa is a place of wonder. Where else can you find arid deserts, gorillas, diamonds, towering mountains and the tombs of Egyptian rulers? As these facts about Africa show, you can’t.

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