Facts about Africa (700 Interesting and Random Facts)

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As a Black African born in Nigeria, Africa. I have always had a strong interest in things about Africa especially facts about Africa.

Africa is the cradle of humanity. There is a lot of archaeological evidence that supports the fact that Africa is the cradle of humanity.

The fact that Africa is where all human being originates from makes Africa have a lot of interesting and amazing facts.

There are archaeological and fossil evidence from Afar Triangle in East Africa which suggest Africa is the Cradle of Humankind.

My interest in facts about Africa on the various subject led me to compile these facts from various source and put them in a book.

700 Amazing facts about Africa is available on all Amazon marketplace.


Below are some of the facts that make 700 facts about Africa an interesting read.

Extract from 700 Facts about Africa

General Africa Facts

  1. Africa is a vast continent, with 54 countries. Although some confuse the entire continent with being a single country. 
  2. Africa is the second-largest continent in the world. The largest being Asia, of course.
  3. Africa is home to over 1 billion people – half of which are younger than 25.
  4. More than 1500 languages are spoken across the continent. 
  5. Population: 1,415,045,928.
  6. Land area: 30,370,000 km2 (11,730,000 square miles).
  7. Most spoken languages in Africa are Arabic, English, Swahili, Amharic, French, Yoruba, Oromo, Hausa, Igbo and Zulu.
  8. Islam and Christianity are the two most common religions in Africa.
  9. The smallest country in Africa is the Seychelles, which is also an island. 
  10. Algeria is the largest country by area with 2,381,741 square kilometres. It’s the 10th largest country in the world.
  11. Time zones: From UTC-1 to UTC+4.
  12. The origin of the name “Africa” is greatly disputed by scholars. Most believe it stems from words used by the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans. Important words include the Egyptian word Afru-ika, meaning “Motherland”; the Greek word aphrike, meaning “without cold”; and the Latin word aprica, meaning “sunny.”

Interesting and Random Facts

  1. Nigeria has seen the most twins born in the world. This has earned the country the nickname “The Land of Twins”.
  2. Eighteen people from Africa have been awarded a Nobel prize. They come from Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
  3. Plastic packaging and non-biodegradable polythene bags are 100% banned in Rwanda. They’re not allowed in the country at all and all luggage are searched at the airport to make sure of this. 
  4. 90% of the world’s malaria cases originate in Africa. Thankfully this is only a problem in certain areas, and there are plenty of safe African countries to visit.
  5. One of the oldest universities in the world is in Timbuktu, Mali. By the 12th century Timbuktu was home to three universities. Over 25,000 students attended one of the Timbuktu universities in the 12th century.
  6. The Second Congo War claimed over 5.4 million lives and is the deadliest worldwide conflict since World War II.
  7. Almost 40% of adults in Africa are illiterate – two-thirds are women. Adult literacy rates are below 50% in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
  8. Over 25 million people are HIV-positive on the continent and over 17 million have died of the disease already.
  9. 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).
  10. The Pharaonic civilization of ancient Egypt is one of the world’s oldest and longest-lasting civilizations.
  11. The northern most point in Africa is Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia. The most southerly point is Cape Agulhas in South Africa.
  12. Rainfall variability is very high – from 0 mm/year in the Sahara to 9,500 mm/year near Mount Cameroon.
  13. Neo-colonialism is a real threat with over 1 million Chinese citizens on the African continent. Angola alone has a population of over 350,000 Chinese.
  14. Approximately 90% of all cases of malaria worldwide occur in Africa, accounting for 24% of all child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
  15. All of Africa was colonized by foreign powers during the “scramble for Africa”, except Ethiopia and Liberia.
  16. Before colonial rule, Africa comprised up to 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs.
  17. The famous singer Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar, a group of islands just off the coast of Tanzania. 
  18. Nigeria, with a 2013 estimated population of 174,507,539 is the most populous Black nation and the 7th most populated nation in the entire world, trailing after—from least to most—Pakistan, Brazil, Indonesia, USA, India and China (1.3bn).
  19. Libreville, Gabon is one of the most expensive city in the world to live in. Tokyo is the most expensive city.
  20. Nigeria, with 521 languages has the fourth-most in the world. This includes 510 living languages, two-second languages without native speakers and 9 extinct languages.
  21. The Portuguese reached Nigeria in 1472. In 1880 the British began conquering Nigeria’s south. The north was conquered by 1903.
  22. Yoruba tribe in Nigeria and their bloodlines worldwide have the highest rate of twinning (having twins) in the world.
  23. South Africa is 5 times the size of Japan and 3 times the size of Texas.
  24. Nigeria has more Muslims than Saudi Arabia
  25. The 2006 Census found Nigerians to be the highest educated ethnic or racial group in America.
  26. Nigeria’s population was just 16 million in 1911. It is projected to hit 444 million by 2050, surpassing the US and becoming the 4th largest in the world.
  27. The population of Lagos today is about more than the total population of all Eastern states combined.
  28. Benin Kingdom: The high quality and highly sophisticated bronze work of the Benin Kingdom dating as far back as the 13th century is a world wonder. Great works in iron, wood, ivory, and terra cotta products also highlight the empire’s history.
  29. Benin Kingdom: Lourenco Pinto, captain of a ship that carried missionaries to Warri in 1619, described Benin kingdom, ‘Great Benin where the king resides is larger than Lisbon, all the streets run straight and as far as the eyes can see….’
  30. Pretoria (SA’s capital city) was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius. He named it after his father, Andries Pretorius.
  31. French is spoken by more people in Africa than in France. And Portuguese is spoken by a larger number of people in Africa than in Portugal. 
  32. The largest annual Christian gathering in Africa is hosted by the Redeemed Christian Church of God and it is called the Holy Ghost Convention. This was in Nigeria.
  33. Nigerian immigrants in the US are one of the most educated
  34. Over 55% of Africa’s labour force working in food production with vast areas of arable and pastoral lands supporting agricultural economies.
  35. Africans are one of the biggest contributors to sculptural art. 
  36. Important climatic regions of agriculture in Africa include tropical wet, savannah, desert, Mediterranean, and highland.
  37. Africa has 135 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered across the continent.
  38. Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt (200+ pyramids). But the largest pyramid is actually found in Mexico!
  39. Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, is technically bigger than Hollywood.
  40. 100 million Africans have Facebook accounts.
  41. The movie Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, had many of its most dramatic scenes shot in Maputo, Mozambique. 
  42. The Western Cape of South Africa is home to the longest wine route in the world. Route 62 spans 850kms and boasts some superb wineries. 
  43. It’s considered rude to decline an offering of meat at meals in Morocco – vegetarians may have a hard time with this. 
  44. There’s an African beer brewed from bananas. This is widely made in East Africa and goes by various names in different countries.
  45. In rural markets in the province of Limpopo, Mopane worms can be found being sold as food. These are high in protein and the locals love them as a smoky snack.
  46. In countries like Morocco and Algeria, couscous is a popular dish served with meat and vegetables.
  47. In Western Africa, it is common for people to grow and eat cassava, maize, millet and plantains.
  48. People living in what is currently Swaziland were the world’s first miners. In the late 1960s a hematite mine was found in the Ngwenya mountain range along with 300,000 artifacts and stone-made mining tools that were later dated to be 43,000 years old!
  49. Egypt is the most popular tourist destination in Africa, attracting around 10 million visitors per year.
  50. The oldest known mathematical object is the Lebombo bone, which was discovered in the Lebombo Mountains of Swaziland. It dates to approximately 35,000 B.C.



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