25 Interesting Facts That You Might Not Know About Africa

Posted by , Updated on February 11, 2014

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Africa is a continent of extremes. It’s extremely large, extremely dry, extremely poor, and extremely young. In fact, over half the continent is under the age of 25. Read on to find out 25 interesting facts that you might not know about Africa.

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25

All of Africa was colonized by foreign powers during the “scramble for Africa”, except Ethiopia and Liberia.

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24

There are 54 countries and one “non-self governing territory”, the Western Sahara, in Africa.

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23

Before colonial rule Africa comprised up to 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs.

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22

Arabic is spoken by 170 million people on the continent, followed in popularity by English (130 million), Swahili (100), French (115), Berber (50), Hausa (50), Portuguese (20) and Spanish (10).

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21

Over 25% of all languages are spoken only in Africa with over 2,000 recognised languages spoken on the continent.

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20

Africa is the second most populous continent with about 1.1 billion people or 16% of the world’s population.

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19

Over 50% of Africans are under the age of 25.

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18

The continent’s population will more than double to 2.3 billion people by 2050.

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17

Africa is the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped continent with a continental GDP that accounts for just 2.4% of global GDP.

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16

Almost 40% of adults in Africa are illiterate

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15

The Second Congo War claimed over 5.4 million lives and is the deadliest worldwide conflict since World War II.

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14

There are fewer people with internet connections in Africa than there are in just New York City.

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13

The Sahara is the largest desert in the world and is bigger than the continental USA.

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12

Africa is the world’s second driest continent (after Australia).

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11

There are over 1 million Chinese citizens on the African continent. Angola alone has a population of over 350,000 Chinese.

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10

Deforestation rates in Africa are twice the average for the rest of the world with more than four million hectares of primary forest disappearing every year.

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9

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and the second-largest freshwater lake in the world.

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8

Megafauna like giraffe, zebra, gorilla, hippopotamus, chimpanzee and wildebeest are unique to the continent and only found here.

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7

Lake Malawi has more fish species than any other freshwater system on earth.

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6

Africa has over 85% of the world’s elephants and over 99% of the remaining lions are on the African continent.

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5

The Nile River is the longest river in the world with a total length of 6,650 kilometres.

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4

The Serengeti (Tanzania) hosts the world’s largest wildlife migration on Earth with over 750,000 zebra marching ahead of 1.2 million wildebeest as they cross this amazing landscape.

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3

Africa has over 25% of the world’s bird species.

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2

Over 1,270 large dams have been built along the continent’s many rivers.

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1

Over 90% of soils are unsuitable for agriculture and only 0.25% has moderate to low potential for sustainable farming.

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