Africa is distinctly one of unique and amazing continent from among all seven continents. Having intricate political culture in many areas, breathtaking tourists destinations, rich cultures, diversity, heritage and above all a wealth of natural resources all make Africa really an awesome continent in the world. Here are few of the most amazing and interesting facts about Africa.
In terms of population and geographical area Africa is the second largest continent in the world. According to the statistics of 2009, about 14.7 % of the worlds’ population is living in Africa.
Having a total area of about 30.37 million square Km, Africa is at 5th number in terms of total landmass, thus making it bigger than China, USA, Mexico, India and huge chunk of Europe combined.
Over 1500 different languages are spoken in Africa by population of almost 1 billion people. Another amazing thing is that; almost one in every four of the world’s language are spoken only in Africa.
Despite Africa being the second-largest continent in the world, it has the shortest coastline. This is due to the many bays and edges that extend out of the coastline.
World civilization began in Africa. The Pharaonic civilization of ancient Egypt is the oldest literate civilization. According to historical records, the Egyptian state dates back to about 3300 B.C.
Islam is the dominant religion in Africa. Christianity is the second. Arabic is also the most widely-spoken language in Africa. About 38% of all Christians are projected to be living in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by 2050.
Africa is the most centrally located continent in the world. Both the prime meridian (0 degrees longitude), and the equator (0 degrees latitude) cut across it. The shortest distance between Africa and Europe is only 8.9 miles (14.3 kilometers) of ocean.
South Africa has the highest GDP (($182 billion) in Africa. Guinea Bissau has the lowest at $230 million. 21 percent of SSA nations have one or two products accounting for their total exports. Most of these exports are in form of agricultural produce. About 41 percent of children in Africa aged between 5-1 years are actively involved in child labor. In Africa, just like in Asia, people have to walk an average of 3.7 miles daily to fetch water for various uses.
Africa’s Nile River is the world’s longest river. It has a total length of 6,650 kilometers (4,132 miles) and cuts across 11 countries. It drains into the Mediterranean Sea from Africa’s Northeastern edge.
The largest island in Africa, located in the Indian Ocean (off Africa’s East Coast) is Madagascar. It is also the fourth largest in the world. The highest point in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It rises 5895 meters (19,340 feet) above sea level.
Both the world’s tallest and largest land animals both come from Africa. They are the giraffe and African elephant, respectively. The giraffe is already extinct in at least 7 African nations. The hippopotamus is Africa’s deadliest animal. It kills more people in Africa than do crocodiles and lions combined.
In Swaziland, Africa, one in every four adults is HIV positive. To date, over 17 million people in SSA have succumbed to AIDS. Estimates put the current number of HIV infection in Africa at 25 million people. 16 countries in Africa record higher rates of vaccination than the U.S. alone.
According to the World Bank, Seychelles had a 92 percent women literacy rate in 2010. Chad’s equivalent was 13 percent while Niger’s was 15 percent. As of 2010, it took 216 days to complete each procedure required to start a business in Guinea-Bissau. In Rwanda, the same took only 3 days. Only 24 percent of SSA’s rural population has access to standard sanitation. This is in comparison to 42 percent of the urban population with access to the same.
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