Considered by scientists to be the origin of mankind, Africa is a continent of 54 independent countries and a population in excess of 1.3 billion people. The continent has a rich mix of ethnic groups and cultures which number in the thousands. Typically each ethnic group has its own language and culture. The countries of Africa also has diverse cultures, economies and history. It is said, the people of Africa have more physical variations than any other continent.
Africa’s scenic beauty and variety is quite stunning, it is home to vast deserts, tropical rain forests, rugged mountains and fertile grasslands. It is abundant in flora and fauna unsurpassed by any other continent. An ever-increasing number of tourists from around the globe are drawn to this incredible continent every year to experience its wonders.
However, despite its natural wealth and beauty, Africa is home to some of the least developed countries in the world. According to United Nations a substantial size of Africa’s population survives on less than $2 a day, while disease and famine kills millions annually (UN, 2019).
Recent economic projections show that Africa has a steadily growing population which is heading towards a population of 2 billion. Economist project that Africa’s 1.1bn workforce will grow to be the world’s largest by 2040. In the short term, economic projections shows that Africa will attain a collective GDP of $2.6 trillion by 2020 ($1720 GDP per capita) and $1.4 trillion in consumer spending (World Bank, 2019). It is also projected Africa will have 500 million new middle class consumers (ibid).
Africa as a continent has, on average, grown its economy by at 5% per annum over the last decade (AfDB, 2019). Nigeria is the biggest economy in terms of nominal GDP (expected to be $500 billion, by the end of 2019) followed by South Africa (expected to be $405 billion by the end of 2019).The economy of Africa is majorly driven by trade, industry, agriculture, and human resources.
|Continent Size||Second largest continent in the World|
|Continental area||30.37 million km²|
|Estimated population||1.3 billion people|
|Largest City||Lagos, Nigeria, 21 million people|
|Largest Country||Algeria – 2.382 million km²|
|Largest Lake||Victoria, 68,800 km²|
|Tallest Mountain||Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, 5,895 km|
|Largest waterfall||Victoria falls, Zimbabwe|
|World’s largest island||Madagascar|
|World’s hottest locality||Dallol, Ethiopia (average 34°C)|
|Longest River||Nile river, 6,650 km|
|World’s fastest animal||Cheetah, recorded 120.7 km/h|
|World’s largest land animal||African elephant|
|Worlds tallest animal||Giraffe|
|World’s largest reptile||The Nile crocodile|
|World’s largest frog||Goliath frog, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea|
|World’s largest desert||Sahara Desert, size of the USA|
|World’s oldest desert||Namib Desert, Namibia, 55–80 million years|
|World’s shortest people||Pygmies, Congo basin (average height 1.4 m)|
|Number of tribes||There is an estimated 3,000 tribes in Africa|
|Biggest tribe||The Arab tribe (population- 100 million)|
|Number of languages||Over 2100 languages spoken|
|Most popular language||Swahili – spoken by at least 150 million|
|Major Religions||Christianity, Islam, and Traditional|
|Average life expectancy||61 years old|
The interactive map below is taken from OurWorldinData website. It shows the Annual Gross domestic product (GDP) of all the world’s nations. GDP is the market value of all final goods and services from a nation in a given year. From the graph we see that all African countries have recorded positive GDP growth year on year.