Africa covers an area of around 30.3 million km², which corresponds to around 22% of the earth’s land area.
Around 1.1 billion people live on the continent in 54 independent states, with the continent having the highest population growth of all continents.
The smallest country on the continent, with an area of 11,295 square kilometers Gambia, and the largest was up to the independence of South Sudan of Sudan km² with an area of 2,505,813. Since then, Algeria has been the largest country in Africa with an area of 2,381,741 km² – closely followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo with an area of 2,344,885 km².
The densely populated state is Nigeria with over 186 million residents.
The largest island on the continent is Madagascar, which has an area of 587,041 km². After Indonesia, Madagascar is the second largest island nation in the world.
The longest river on the continent is the Nile with a length of over 6,500 km, the highest mountain is Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with a height of 5,895 m and the largest lake on the continent is Lake Victoria with an area of 68,000 km².
The Sahara is 9 million square kilometers, the largest dry desert in the world.
Africa is considered the cradle of humanity. The oldest traces of Homo erectus (1.5 million years old) were found here, followed by Homo sapiens about 250,000 years ago.
The continent exports around 70% of the world market share in cocoa, 50% in diamonds, 25% in gold and around 10% in oil. Other export items are coffee, fruits such as bananas, citrus fruits and others – as well as numerous tropical woods. South Africa’s share of global coal production is around 6% after China, the USA, India and Australia.
From July 9-11, 2002, a conference on the establishment of the African Union (AU) took place in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. With the exception of Morocco, all African countries now belong to this union with its headquarters in Addis Ababa/Ethiopia. It is the successor organization to the OAU, which was founded on May 25, 1963, to which it has more rights.
From November 15, 1884 to February 26, 1885, a conference of 14 heads of state took place in Berlin at the invitation of Chancellor von Bismarck, in which, among other things, the division of Africa among the colonial powers was decided. The effects of this conference – known as the Congo Conference or the Berlin Conference, can still be felt today.
The population figures of the countries listed are mostly extrapolations and estimates and therefore only a rough guide. In addition, they are changing as a result of refugee movements.
In providing this information, we relied on the Foreign Office in Berlin and information from the embassies.
|Country||Area in km²||Population in millions||Capital|
|Benin||112,622||12||Porto Novo (seat of government in Cotonou)|
|Democratic Republic of Congo||2,345,410||85||Kinshasa|
|Ivory Coast||322,461||26||Yamoussoukro, reg. Seat: Abidjan|
|Nigeria||923,768||214||since December 12, 1991 Abuja|
|Republic of the Congo||342,000||5.5||Brazzaville|
|Sao Tome and Principe||1,001||0.210||Sao Tome|
|South Sudan||619,000-644,000||12.9||Juba (Juba)|
|Swazila||17,364||1.2||Mbabane (seat of government in Lobamba)|
|Tanzania||945.087||59||Dodoma (seat of government in Dar es Salaam)|
|Central African Republic||622.984||4.8||Bangui|
Here are brief introduction for each country in Africa:
- Egypt: Egypt is best known as the land of the pharaohs and pyramids. In the wake of the “Arab Spring”, the first demonstrations began in January 2011, leading to the resignation of Egyptian President Mubarak and the formation of a military council.
- Equatorial Guinea: In 1963, its total independence (of the country got its internal autonomy and then on October 12, 1968 Spain).
- Ethiopia: Former Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974.
- Algeria: After a gruesome and bloody eight-year war, the country gained independence from France in the Treaty of Evian (Évian-les-Bains / France) in 1962. After the separation of South Sudan from Sudan, Algeria is the country with the largest area in Africa.
- Angola: The country gained independence (from Portugal) on November 11, 1975.
But shortly afterwards, a civil war that lasted until 2002 broke out, mainly between the former liberation movements MPLA, UNITA and FNLA.
Up to 50,000 Cuban soldiers temporarily supported the Marxist MPLA.
- Benin: Until 1975 the country was called Dahomey. As early as August 1, 1960, what was then Dahomey gained its independence (from France).
- Botswana: The country, located in southern Africa and with no access to the sea, gained political independence (from Great Britain) on September 30, 1966.
- Burkina Faso: The very poor but relatively peaceful country gained independence (from France) on August 5th, 1960.
- Burundi: From 1885 to 1918 it was part of German East Africa. It later fell to Belgium, from which it gained independence on July 1, 1962:
- Democratic Republic of Congo: The former Zaire became independent on June 30, 1960 (from Belgium)
- Djibouti: The country achieved its independence on June 27, 1977, after it had already been granted extensive self-government by France in 1972.
- Ivory Coast: The country gained full independence (from France) on August 7, 1960.
- Eritrea: After around 30 years of civil war, Eritrea declared its independence on May 24, 1993 and thus separated from its dependence on Ethiopia.
- Gabon: The country, located on the Atlantic Ocean, gained its independence (from France) on August 17, 1960.
- Gambia: Gambia is the smallest country in terms of area on the African continent (excluding the island states). The country on the Atlantic Ocean achieved its political independence on February 18, 1965 (from
Great Britain), it is completely surrounded by Senegal (except for the coast).
- Ghana: The country has an approximately 540 km long coast to the Atlantic. It became independent on March 6, 1957 and at the same time a member of the Commonwealth.
- Guinea: The country on the Atlantic Ocean achieved its political independence (from France) on October 2, 1958. The first president was Sékou Touré (1922-1984 in the USA).
- Guinea-Bissau: The country on the Atlantic Ocean declared its independence from Portugal on September 24, 1973, which was then recognized on September 10, 1974.
- Cameroon: This Central African country, located on the Atlantic Ocean, gained political sovereignty (from France) on January 1st, 1960.
- Cape Verde: The island state in the central Atlantic consists of nine inhabited islands.
- Kenya: This East African seaside country achieved political independence (from Great Britain) on December 12, 1963. There are numerous national parks in the country.
- Comoros: The Comoros, located in the Indian Ocean between Mozambique and Madagascar, comprise three of the four main islands of the Comoros Archipelago.
- Lesotho: The Kingdom of Lesotho is an enclave in the territory of South Africa. The country achieved its political independence on October 4, 1966 (from Great Britain).
- Liberia: The country on the Atlantic Ocean is the second longest independent country in Africa. It became a sovereign state on July 26, 1847.
- Libya: The country has been effectively ruled by Muammar al-Gaddafi since 1969. Demonstrations against his rule began in February 2011. Gaddafi was shot dead on February 15, 2011. A national transitional council was established.
- Madagascar: After Indonesia, Madagascar is the second largest island in terms of area state of the earth. It is located off the east coast of Mozambique in the Indian Ocean.
- Malawi: Malawi is a landlocked country in Southeast Africa. On July 6, 1964, the country gained political independence from Great Britain.
- Mali: Mali is a landlocked country, about half of which consists of desert (Sahara). It is one of the poorest countries in the world. Nevertheless, the coexistence of people is very peaceful. On September 22nd, 1960 the country gained independence (from France).
- Morocco: Kingdom in the northwest of the continent.
- Mauritania: Islamic Presidential Republic. Since independence in 1960 (from France) alternating military regimes in power, currently a “Military Council for Justice and Democracy” rules, which wants to hold elections soon.
- Mauritius: Mauritius is located east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
- Mozambique: The country is located in Southeast Africa on the Indian Ocean. On June 25, 1975, it gained political independence (from Portugal).
- Namibia: The former German South West Africa, known among other things from the genocide of the Hereros in 1904 by German colonial troops.
- Niger: The country is a landlocked country in northern Africa. It borders Algeria and Libya to the north. The country is one of the least developed countries in the world. The country achieved its political independence on August 3, 1960 (from France).
- Nigeria: The oil country in West Africa with Christian and Muslim residents. Independent since October 1st, 1960
- Republic of the Congo: The Republic of the Congo gained independence (from France) on August 15, 1960.
- Rwanda: Here, in 1994, nearly 800,000 Tutsis were murdered by Hutum militias without UN intervention.
- Zambia: The country in southern Africa achieved its political independence (from Great Britain) on October 24, 1864.
- Sao Tome and Principe: The island nation is located in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Africa. Sao Tomé is named after Saint Thomas. Principé is the Prince’s island.
- Senegal: The country on the Atlantic coast surrounds Gambia. It became politically independent (from France) on August 20, 1960
- Seychelles: The Seychelles are an island nation in the Indian Ocean.
- Sierra Leone: The country is one of the least developed countries in the world. It is located on the Atlantic Ocean in northern Africa. The country gained its political independence on April 27, 1961 (from Great Britain).
- Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe is the former Rhodesia. The former freedom fighter Robert Gabriel Mugabe (born 1924) has been president since 1987 and is in the process of ruining the country economically, politically and morally.
- Somalia: Known from the storming of the hijacked Lufthansa plane “Landshut” in Mogadishu in 1977 by the GSG 9 border guard.
- South Africa: Apartheid was abolished in 1994 and Nelson Mandela was elected President on May 9th of that year.
- Sudan: The former country with the largest area in Africa is located in Northeast Africa on the Red Sea. After South Sudan’s independence on July 9, 2011, he had to cede this top position to Algeria.
- South Sudan: On July 9, 2011, as a result of the referendum of 9 January 2011, South Sudan achieved 2011 until January 16 its independence from Sudan.
- Swaziland: The absolutist Kingdom of Swaziland achieved political independence (from Great Britain) on September 6, 1968.
- Tanzania: Here you will find the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro, and the famous Serengeti National Park with an area of 14,763 km2.
- Togo: From 1884 to 1914 the area was a German protected area as a Togoland. On April 27, 1960 the country gained its political independence (from France).
- Chad: This state, located in the middle of Africa and bordering Libya in the north, received its political independence (from France) on August 11, 1960.
- Tunisia: In the country is the former Carthage (near today’s Tunis), which was founded in 146 BC. Was completely destroyed by the Romans. In December 2010 the Jasmine Revolution began in Tunisia. Head of State Ben Ali left the country on January 14, 2011. Prime Minister Ghannouchi formed a transitional government three days later.
- Uganda: The country’s most famous politician is without a doubt Idi Amin (1924-2003). After he had put himself to power in 1971, he had around 300,000 people murdered, sometimes under barbaric circumstances. In 1979, after Ugandans in exile and Tanzanian troops had conquered the country, he fled via Iraq to Saudi Arabia, where he died in a comfortable villa on August 16, 2003.
- Central African Republic: On August 13, 1962, the country gained full sovereignty (from France).
Islands and island countries
|Canaries (politically belong to Spain)||Area: 7,447 km2,
population: 1.9 million,
administrative headquarters: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria administers the eastern islands of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. From Santa Cruz de Tenerife the western islands of Tenerife, La Palma and El Hierro.
|Cape Verde||Capital: Praia, area: 4,033 km2, residents: 418,000.|
|Comoros||Capital: Moroni, area: 1,862 km2, population: 715,000|
|Madagascar||Capital: Antananarivo, area: 587,041 km2, population: 17 million.|
|Mauritius||Capital: Port Louis, area: 2,040 km2, population: 1.2 million|
|Réunion, belongs to France||Capital: Saint Denis, area: 2,517 km2, population: 767,000|
|Sankt Helena, belongs to Great Britain||Main town: Jamestown., Area: 414 km2, population: 7500|
|Seychelles||Capital: Victoria, area: 455 km2, population: 82,000|
|Madeira in the Atlantic, belongs to Portugal||Capital: Funchal, area: 794 km2, population: 270,000|
|Mayotte, belong to France||Capital: Mamoutzou, area: 374 km2, population: 186,000|
The CFA Franc or Franc CFA (FCFA) is the official currency of the 14 African countries that were formerly colonies of France. In colonial times, the abbreviation stood for Colonies Francaise d’Afrique. Today the abbreviation stands for Franc de la Communanté Financiére d’Afrique in the countries of the UEMOA. In the countries of CEMAC, the same abbreviation stands for Franc de la Coopération Financiére en Afrique Central. The UEMOA (Union économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine) is the abbreviation for the West African Economic and Monetary Union, to which the following countries belong:
- Burkina Faso
- Ivory Coast
The CEMAC (Communauté économique et monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale) is the abbreviation for the Central African Economic and Monetary Union. The following six countries belong to it:
- Equatorial Guinea
- Republic of the Congo
- Central African Republic
The CFA franc is firmly linked to the euro, but the values are different for the XAF and XOF. The following applies to the XOF in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) area:
€ 1 = 655,957 CFA francs
For the XAF in the area of the CEMAC, i.e. in the Central African Economic and Monetary Union, the fixed exchange rate applies:
1 € = 682,671 CFA francs