Interesting facts about Africa
August 5, 2009 | In: Geography Facts
Four-fifths of Africa, the world’s second largest continent, is made up of desert and grasslands. Less than a fifth is forest, and because of population growth, it is less forested every day.
At the north edge of Africa is the vast Sahara, the largest desert in the world, covering about two-fifths of the continent.
Africa is home to Egypt, one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, estimated to be about 5,000 years old. And though not as much is known about them, great civilizations have also flourished in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Africa is made up of more than 11 million square miles, or 17.9 percent of the earth’s land surface. With about 661 million people, it is second in terms of population, but far behind Asia‘s total of 3.1 billion people.
Among Africa’s population live some of the shortest people ever born. At the same time some African natives are amongst the tallest in the world.
Currently, Africa is one of the most troubled areas of the world, facing poverty, disease, warfare and environmental decline.
In South Africa, for example, there are divisions between whites and blacks and between blacks and blacks. Much of the tribal violence throughout Africa was caused by how colonial governments divided the continent, often paying little attention to ethnic boundaries
Only three countries in the world are bigger than the Sahara Desert – Russia, Canada and China.
Guinea Bissau has the highest fertility rate (births per women) ; Mauritius and Seychelles have the lowest .
The smallest African country is The Seychelles covering an area of 453 sq km.
At least 25 million people in Africa are HIV positive.
Africa is the oldest inhabited region on Earth.
The only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace prize winners is in Soweto. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both have houses in Vilakazi Street in Soweto.
There are over 1,000 different languages in Africa.
Botswana is rich in mineral resources such as copper, silver, nickel and diamonds. Since 1970, South Africa, Brazil, Russia and Botswana are the world’s largest producers of diamonds.
In Sierra Leone alone, 2,000 out of 100,000 women die during live birth. However, this figure goes down to 15 women in Mauritius.