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Getting to Know Africa: 50 Interesting Facts…

 Africa map www.mapsofworld.com

 

  • There are 54 countries and one “non-self governing territory”, the Western Sahara, in Africa.
  • All of Africa was colonized by foreign powers during the “scramble for Africa”, except Ethiopia and Liberia.
  • Before colonial rule Africa comprised up to 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs.
  • The Pharaonic civilization of ancient Egypt is one of the world’s oldest and longest-lasting civilizations.
  • African continent is the world’s oldest populated area.
  • 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).
  • Over 25% all languages are spoken only in Africa with over 2,000 recognised languages spoken on the continent.
  • Africa is the second most populous continent with about 1.1 billion people or 16% of the world’s population. Over 50% of Africans are under the age of 25.
  • The continent’s population will more than double to 2.3 billion people by 2050.
  • Africa is the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped continent with a continental GDP that accounts for just 2.4% of global GDP.
  •  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.
  • Over 25 million people are HIV-positive on the continent and over 17 million have died of the disease already.
  • The Second Congo War claimed over 5.4 million lives and is the deadliest worldwide conflict since World War II.
  • There are fewer people with internet connections in Africa than there are in just New York City.
  • Approximately 90% of all cases of malaria worldwide occur in Africa, accounting for 24% of all child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

A fishing village in Ghana is a bustle of activity as traders come and go... (Steve Boyes)
A fishing village in Ghana is a bustle of activity as traders come and go… (Steve Boyes)

 

  • Africa is the world’s second largest continent covering about over 30 million square kilometers
  • The Sahara is the largest desert in the world and is bigger than the continental USA.
  • Africa is the world’s hottest continent with deserts and drylands covering 60% of land surface area (e.g. Kalahari, Sahara and Namib).
  • Africa is the world’s second driest continent (after Australia).
  • Africa has approximately 30% of the earth’s remaining mineral resources.
  • Nigeria is fourth largest oil exporter in the world, and Africa’s biggest oil producer with about 2.2 million barrels produced every day. Top 10 oil producers in order of total exports: Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Gabon, South Africa.
  • The continent has the largest reserves of precious metals with over 40% of the gold reserves, over 60% of the cobalt, and 90% of the platinum reserves.

 

Every year the catch gets smaller and smaller. For better luck the flags have been getting brighter and more abundant. Today the fish are small and few due to exploitation by commercial fishing vessels. (Steve Boyes)
Every year the catch gets smaller and smaller. For better luck the flags have been getting brighter and more abundant. Today the fish are small and few due to exploitation by commercial fishing vessels. (Steve Boyes)
Boat taxis and fishermen waiting to depart for Ganvi Village with passengers... (Steve Boyes)
Boat taxis and fishermen waiting to depart for Ganvi Village with passengers… (Steve Boyes)

 

  • China is Africa’s top trade partner with Sino-African trade volumes now nearing $200 billion per year.
  • China’s direct investment in Africa exceeds $50 billion. Just look at the “Forum on China Africa Cooperation”.
  • Neocolonialism is a real threat with over 1 million Chinese citizens on the African continent. Angola alone has a population of over 350,000 Chinese.

 

Pigs walk around on top of 20m deep refuse piles at the water's edge in Freetown (Sierra Leone). Most people do not use money and prefer to barter for sachets of clean water, the most valuable commodity in Freetown. (Steve Boyes)
Pigs walk around on top of 20m deep refuse piles at the water’s edge in Freetown (Sierra Leone). Most people do not use money and prefer to barter for sachets of clean water, the most valuable commodity in Freetown. (Steve Boyes)

 

  • Over 55% of Africa’s labour force working in food production with vast areas of arable and pastoral lands supporting agricultural economies.
  • Over 90% of soils are unsuitable for agriculture and only 0.25% has moderate to low potential for sustainable farming.
  • Rainfall variability is very high - from 0 mm/year in the Sahara to 9,500 mm/year near Mount Cameroon.
  • Over 240 million Africans suffer from chronic undernourishment.

 

The streets of Porto Novo, the capital of Benin, are not paved, all cars are second-hand, and all taxis are motorbikes. (Steve Boyes)
The streets of Porto Novo, the capital of Benin, are not paved, all cars are second-hand, and all taxis are motorbikes. (Steve Boyes)

 

  • Water scarcity impacts the lives of over 300 million Africans, of whom approximately 75% of Africans rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. Global warming is aggravating the situation.
  • Limited groundwater represents only 15% of the continent’s total renewable water resources. New discoveries of groundwater reserves in large sedimentary basins in Libya, Algeria and Chad may slack Africa’s growing thirst for the next few decades…
  • Productivity of about 65% of the continent’s agricultural lands has declined significantly with vast tracts of land have been degraded by erosion, poor land management practices, mining and pollution over the last 50 years.
  • Some landscapes are estimated to lose over 50 metric tonnes of soil per hectare per year due to neglect and desertification.
  • Over 30% of Africa’s pastural land and almost 20% of all forests and woodlands are classified as moderately- or heavily-degraded.

 

Ladies waiting for a boat to take them back to the floating village of Ganvi in Benin. The water is polluted and the fish stocks are collapsing. Is there hope for communities like this? (Conrad Hennig)
Ladies waiting for a boat to take them back to the floating village of Ganvi in Benin. The water is polluted and the fish stocks are collapsing. Is there hope for communities like this? (Conrad Hennig)

 

  • 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. Countries like Kenya, malawi and Zambia have 1-5% of the primary forests remaining. Forests used to cover over 20% of Africa’s 30 million square kilometers with almost all currently being destroyed and degraded by commercial and subsistence logging, as well as land conversion to plantations, agriculture, mines, roads and settlements.
  • Some 60% of the tropical forests in the Congo Basin are considered commercially exploitable.
  • Six of the top ten countries with the largest annual net loss of forested area are in Africa.
  • Primary forests shrink by on average 40,000 square kilometres (or 0.6% of total remaining forest cover) each year with most significant losses in heavily-forested countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon.

 

Steve Boyes / Cape Parrot Project
Hala Village in the valleys below Hogsback Mountain where Cape parrots used to feed on yellowwood fruits, Celtis fruits, wild olives, and wild plums before they were chopped out by greedy colonists or burnt under communal land ownership. We have now planted thousands of indigenous fruit trees in “Cape Parrot Community Orchards” in several villages, fencing them off to protect them from livestock and paying local communities to care for them as the custodians of these forest plots. We have also launched a micro-nursery program that builds small tree nurseries for ten households in the village, which are stocked with yellowwood seedlings that must be grown up to planting size. These partnerships are all going from strength to strength. (Steve Boyes / Cape Parrot Project)

 

  • Over 1,270 large dams have been built along the continent’s many rivers.
  • Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and the second-largest freshwater lake in the world.
  • Africa has the most extensive biomass burning in the world, yet only emits about 4% of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Africa has eight of the 11 major biomes and the largest-remaining populations of lion, elephant, rhinoceros, cheetah, hyena, leopard and hundreds of other species.

 

Notch and sons, photographed by Ken Dyball.  “We had the choice of going to a cheetah mother and four little cubs or sitting with five very lazy, sleeping male lions. We picked the lions…. and it looked like they would sleep until dark. A strong wind came up so they all got to their feet. One of the sons was a bit aggresive towards Notch (the father on the right). The other three sons were by Notch’s side wanting to join in at anytime! This was a time of testing each other out: a few of them had some recent and deep puncture wounds. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya. (purenaturesafaris.com)
Notch and sons, photographed by Ken Dyball. “We had the choice of going to a cheetah mother and four little cubs or sitting with five very lazy, sleeping male lions. We picked the lions…. and it looked like they would sleep until dark. A strong wind came up so they all got to their feet. One of the sons was a bit aggresive towards Notch (the father on the right). The other three sons were by Notch’s side wanting to join in at anytime! This was a time of testing each other out: a few of them had some recent and deep puncture wounds. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya. (purenaturesafaris.com)

 

  • Megafauna like giraffe, zebra, gorilla, hippopotamus, chimpanzee and wildebeest are unique to the continent and only found here.
  • Lake Malawi has more fish species than any other freshwater system on earth.
  • The Nile River is the longest river in the world with a total length of 6,650 kilometres.
  • Africa has over 85% of the world’s elephants and over 99% of the remaining lions are on the African continent.
  • Eight of Conservation International’s 34 biodiversity hotspots are in Africa.
  • 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.
  • Thera are over 3,000 protected areas in Africa, including 198 Marine Protected Areas, 50 Biosphere Reserves, 129 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and 80 RAMSAR “Wetlands of International Importance”.
  • Africa is home to the world’s largest living land animal, the African elephant, which can weigh up to 7 tons.
  • Africa has over 25% of the world’s bird species.

 

Justin Klusener
NarinaTrogons are the most widespread and generalist in their habitat preferences of the three Apaloderma trogons. Their name is “Khoikhoi” in origin and is believed to come from the mistress of the French ornithologist, François Le Vaillant. They are distributed from Sierra Leone to Ethiopia, and E Africa to South Africa. (Justin Klusener)

 

Today there are few truly wild places left on the continent with 1.1 billion people and a global economy looking to Africa for the resources to sustain development into the next century. Technology is going to help, but, if we carry on our current trajectory, we will destroy our greatest work. The colossal monument that now stands in Dakar (Senegal) was named “The African Renaissance”, and depicts a handsome couple holding their baby to the sky to beckon the dawning of an African century. In 2010, then-President Wade of Senegal said the following at the opening ceremony: “It brings to life our common destiny. Africa has arrived in the 21st century standing tall and more ready than ever to take its destiny into its hands”.
"African Renaissance" is located near the airport in Dakar (Senegal) and stands 49m tall on the top of a 100m high hill. It is the tallest statue in the world outside of Eurasia. (Steve Boyes)
“African Renaissance” is located near the airport in Dakar (Senegal) and stands 49m tall on the top of a 100m high hill. It is the tallest statue in the world outside of Eurasia. (Steve Boyes)

Please watch this presentation, at the 2013 Explorer Symposium:

National Geographic Live! Steve Boyes: Reviving the Heart of Africa”

Comments

  1. courtney
    usa
    September 28, 4:21 pm

    Thx u for this

  2. courtney
    usa
    September 28, 4:18 pm

    This was good for my homework

  3. SANJANA
    india
    September 26, 12:28 pm

    THANK U !:) U HELPED IN MY PPT PRESENTATION ON AFRICA

  4. Daniel Okiror
    Kenya
    September 4, 1:08 am

    Tell me now eeh, is there nothing good about Africa??

  5. Noah Jackson
    August 26, 10:37 am

    Cool

  6. najaah
    ohio
    August 24, 2:55 pm

    this was very helpful for me

  7. ODEHYEEBA KAAKYIRE, CAPITAL TV-ACCRA
    Accra-Ghana
    August 11, 1:25 pm

    I am a journalist from Ghana and I want to learn a lot about Africa. Please, I strongly believe that things are not all that good in Africa, but, there are a lot of things too that we can boast ourselves with that you did not talk about at all.
    Secondly, it is a great lesson for our leaders to watch. We are saying that Africans are capable of managing our own affairs, is that how to manage affairs and are we doing it properly? Let us arise.
    But please, Nat Geo, do us favour small and let the world know that even though we are poor due to bad management, corruption and selfishness, AFRICA is the most blessed continent filled with every rich natural resources given to us by the creator of the universe. Talk of gold, manganese, bauxite, oil, timber, grass, iron, rich land, etc. I LOVE AFRICA. WO SE AKYI NNYE WO DE A, EHO ARA NA WOTAFERE. LONG LIVE AFRICA.

  8. ODEHYEEBA KAAKYIRE, CAPITAL TV-ACCRA
    Accra-Ghana
    August 11, 1:24 pm

    I am a journalist and I want to learn a lot about Africa. Please, I strongly believe that things are not all that good in Africa, but, there are a lot of things too that we can boast ourselves with that you did not talk about at all.
    Secondly, it is a great lesson for our leaders to watch. We are saying that Africans are capable of managing our own affairs, is that how to manage affairs and are we doing it properly? Let us arise.
    But please, Nat Geo, do us favour small and let the world know that even though we are poor due to bad management, corruption and selfishness, AFRICA is the most blessed continent filled with every rich natural resources given to us by the creator of the universe. Talk of gold, manganese, bauxite, oil, timber, grass, iron, rich land, etc. I LOVE AFRICA. WO SE AKYI NNYE WO DE A, EHO ARA NA WOTAFERE. LONG LIVE AFRICA.

  9. Justin
    June 27, 9:15 pm

    No talk of Africa’s growing economies or expanding middle classes? This is especially odd when dismissing Angola’s development for anti-Chinese sentiments.

    Also the statistic about internet access is false in the age of the smartphone and internet cafe.

    Finally, neo-colonialism isn’t a new threat from China, it’s been a practice by Western countries since African countries became independent.

  10. waweru
    kenya
    June 24, 6:54 am

    you westerners r the cause of problems we are having here in africa in the name of keeping peace why cant you leave us alone n our problems.

  11. jude scallon
    seattle usa
    June 17, 10:44 pm

    there is a misprint. the word there is misspelled thera.
    also Africa is actually the third driest continent after Antarctica and Australia.

  12. Prathamesh
    India
    June 11, 12:42 pm

    There might be such things that need to be improve. Bt on the positive side lies the great wildlife that attracts many people from the world. The great migration, landscapes and so many. Being a nature lover, in my opinion africa is simply beautiful and i wish to be there again and again.

  13. Sulaiman Momodu
    Liberia
    June 9, 5:09 am

    I am a Sierra Leonean journalist. Your photo of Freetown and the caption exposes your subjectivity and your deeply negative views of Africa. No sane person would believe what you publish that “most people do not use money and prefer to barter for sachets of clean water, the most valuable commodity in Freetown.” This is a shame to National Geographic. Disgraceful, really.

  14. melanie
    May 24, 7:37 am

    why do they say africa is the poorest continent. the act as if their continent is the best

  15. mmmhm
    USA
    May 15, 5:38 pm

    I HATE THIS ARTICLE!!!!!

  16. mmmhm
    USA
    May 15, 5:36 pm

    UH!!! I FIND THIS VERY,VERY,VERY,VERY,OFFENSIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS SOOOO NEGITIVE AND I SAY HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!! ARE YOU EVEN HUMAN OR HAVE FEELINGS OR DIGNITY!?!?!?!?!?!?! UGH!!!! YOU DIDNT EVEN TALK ALOT ABOUT ANIMALS!!!!!

  17. thapa
    USA
    May 11, 4:08 am

    it was very helpful for my projects

  18. Yah aria hernandez
    Texas
    April 9, 2:44 pm

    Yup

  19. World Peace
    USA
    April 5, 5:14 pm

    Steve,

    As I went through the facts I noticed that just about 30, if not 40, of them are negative. Africa already has a poor perception in the media and I believe that this article did noting short of fuel that perception. Could you not have touched on more positive facts? Talked more about the wildlife? Or culture? This article comes off as very ignorant.

  20. Nicole
    April 1, 7:08 pm

    We are studying about Africa in social studies and it is fun to learn about

  21. Shalom
    USA
    April 1, 3:00 pm

    How do people, ideas & goods get around.

  22. Kassandra
    Tyler Texas
    March 28, 1:49 pm

    Can u give more facts about animals

  23. NYAGO DAVID
    Kampala -Uganda
    March 17, 4:41 pm

    its good but we also need to know the positive side of Africa.

  24. troll
    troll
    March 12, 9:32 pm

    wow, truly, if Africa is the second driest continent and a desert, isn’t it amazing that the continent produces almost half of the world food? let us check our facts again.

  25. ERIC GATHAGE
    NAIROBI
    March 10, 7:01 am

    I am ashamed off national geographic and their posting of this article.
    Surely, you guys shoot more than 20% of your documentaries in this continent.
    Just for you to know, Africa is not a country, its a continent with 54 independent state countries, all democratic.
    Your facts may be true, but as much weight is put on the negative side of life on the continent, I will hold it so low.
    I come from Kenya and yes, we do have our challenges, but there is always a reason to smile everyday, as a new school is being developed somewhere, a new road is being built, a new police officer is being recruited.
    Seriously, Nat geo, you guys didn’t have anything else?

  26. Molly
    Indiana
    March 7, 12:14 pm

    Wow, that’s really cool, stuff I didn’t know. They really have a beautiful place.

  27. Sam
    China
    February 21, 8:33 am

    wow, truly, if Africa is the second driest continent and a desert, isn’t it amazing that the continent produces almost half of the world food? let us check our facts again.

  28. Mavacake
    Mumbai, india
    February 17, 11:09 am

    Interesting facts and amazing information for school research

  29. ayo
    lagos, nigeria
    February 10, 10:56 am

    Hmmmn, interesting…… But is there nothing good about this Africa…. Or any good thing to hope for in the nearest future??

  30. alexis
    school
    February 4, 2:37 pm

    it is easy to learn

  31. Jessi H
    January 28, 4:12 pm

    a lot of the comments are quite overly wrought on the pictures you used; for example more than half the streets in Porto Novo are paved. Also, in Sierra Leone where I lived only a few people in the slums actually barter with bags of water? They use money. That is just odd to say. Please avoid making Africa look like a ‘wild west’ jungle. It really is more developed than how some of the comments you shared try to exhibit it. It is not very professional.

  32. collins
    usa
    January 23, 5:14 pm

    i am from Canada, i am here to give my testimony how i was cured from hiv, i contacted my hiv through sharp object. a friend of my use blade to peel of her finger nails and drop it where she use it, so after she has left i did know what came unto me i looked at my nails, my nails were very long and i took the blade which she just used on her own nails to cut of my finger nails, as i was maintaining my names, i mistakenly injured myself. i did even bothered about it, so when i got to the hospital the next week when i was ill the doctor told me that i am hiv positive, i wondered where did i got it from so i remembered how i use my friend blade to cut off my hand so i feel so sad in my heart to the extent that i don’t even know what to do, so one day i was suffering the internet i met a testimony of a lady that all talk about how she was cured by a doctor called DROKOJE so i quickly emailed the doctor email, and he also replied to me an told me the requirements which i will provide and I do according to his command, he called me the next day that i should go for a test which i did to my own surprise i found that i was hiv negative. Thanks to him once more the great doctor that cured me DROKOJE so you can also emailed him at DROKOJE@GMAIL.COM OR +2348069652500

  33. Mr.durfee Class
    Benton harbor mi
    January 23, 8:28 am

    My class has been learning about Africa and this I very good research .

  34. Victor Ololo
    SA
    January 14, 1:26 pm

    The persistent classification of Africa by Europeans and Americans as the world’s poorest continent gotten up to my disliking. Our culture is our way of life, so you whites should have some respcts for our culture, not tagging it ‘poor’

  35. evan gaunt
    TN
    January 14, 10:48 am

    ermagerd this is sur interesting and cool :D

  36. Interesting facts
    December 21, 2013, 3:09 am

    Thanks, for sharing such a nice information, while writing a comment. These points is very useful, while we have to write comment for getting back-link.
    This is a very good article.

  37. Anthony Havens
    Misiones, Argentina
    December 20, 2013, 10:53 am

    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).

    Where are the 10 million Spanish speakers? Aside from the former Spanish Sahara (tiny population) the only other former Spanish colony is Equatorial Guinea with a population of about 500,000.

  38. Tony Bello
    Orlando, florida
    December 15, 2013, 1:53 am

    I agree Africa has its challenges. However, don’t you guys have anything good to report about Africa? The world’s poor perception about Africa has eaten so deep that we all believe that nothing good will ever come out of Africa. We have put them down for so long that they no longer believe I themselves

  39. ciara
    December 2, 2013, 12:26 pm

    woooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww

  40. tamsyn van gelderen
    Johannesburg South Africa
    November 27, 2013, 2:35 am

    Very interesting and many of the factoids quite shocking too – I agree with Christy Sims that Africans don’t manufacture goods themselves, preferring to buy from other countries and demand aid when they can! As a South African (albeit a white one) I wish the people of the continent would stand up for themselves and utilize the skills they actually have but don’t seem to believe – choosing to leave and go overseas to be recognised instead of demanding that recognition here and doing something. Fracking is currently something that frightens the living daylights out of me! The fact that we are such a dry continent and that so many people rely on groundwater supplies for their water, makes me shiver. Shell, BP (50 years of no clean up ops in Niger Delta is a good eg) won’t have any compunction buying people off their land for very little compensation or for bribing corrupt officials – result? NO WATER – particularly as very few seem to understand fracking and how it works. China our no 1? As Barbara Sweetman said – God and anyone else…help Africa!!! Thanks for sharing this tho – I enjoyed it very much. And below is the link to a very basic video that explains
    Fracking beautifully & simply – or watch Gaslands 11 – scary stuff!

  41. Samuel
    November 20, 2013, 2:37 pm

    This point “Over 240 million Africans suffer from chronic undernourishment” is silly: what we eat in Africa is much better than elsewhere, low fat and cholesterol, much more plant protein….

  42. Victoria
    Nigeria
    November 19, 2013, 4:17 pm

    Oh my! I’ve found so many useful content here. Even shared on my twitter @onechildafrica where I am working to inspire and promote Africa culture. Glad to have visited. Keep up the good work. Cheers!

  43. Just a high school kid passing through
    USA
    November 12, 2013, 9:15 pm

    I am doing a project for world geography, so thank you for all the help!!!

  44. Tony Reumerman
    Botswana
    November 12, 2013, 4:27 am

    Great article Steve!!!
    Very interesting indeed.
    It’s really worth publishing in other media/groups
    Cheers
    Tony

  45. mugel
    london
    November 11, 2013, 1:54 pm

    Waw that is a really helpful fact about Africa
    thank you very much

  46. allan griffiths
    MD USA
    November 7, 2013, 6:42 am

    Steve – nice article. I lived in Africa for years – long ago! About this comment – “area (e.g. Kalahari, Sahara and Namib).
    Africa is the world’s second driest continent (after Australia).”

    It is my understanding (and has been for many years ) that Antarctica is the driest continent? Have I been misled all this time? Source was NSF guys working out of Christchurch NZ etc. Thanks, Allan

  47. Nina Stavlund
    Canada
    November 6, 2013, 4:09 pm

    I’d like to believe, and I chose to believe, that Africa has a future. But, and there’s always a but, the mentality of the leaders and to some degree the people themselves must change. I learned a lot on my recent trip to Kenya, and I’m still processing everything I saw and experienced.

  48. Elisa
    November 5, 2013, 10:39 am

    Thank you for the interesting facts on Africa.

    If I understand correctly, there are 55 countries in Africa (54 are AU members + Morocco).

    In addition to the facts about HIV and Malaria, I thought you might be interested to know that the neglected tropical disease (NTD) burden in Africa is very high. It is estimated that 198 million people in Africa (or 26% of the total population) are infected with intestinal worms; 192 million people (or 25% of the population) are infected with schistosomiasis; 46-51 million people (or 6-9% of the population) are infected with lymphatic filariasis; 37 million people (or 5% of the population) are infected with onchocerciasis (also known as river blindness); and an estimated 30 million people (or 3% of the population) are infected with blinding trachoma. NTDs have a devastating impact on health, education and overall development.

  49. Aseem Kumar Kothiala
    Mumbai, India
    November 5, 2013, 7:42 am

    Have travelled across Africa from South Africa through to Sudan. Amazing culture and people.

  50. ATUHAIRE IMMACULATE
    Uganda
    November 4, 2013, 7:45 am

    This is a beatiful discovery, i am really humbled by this. People arond are really sympathetic not empathetic. if it means to cry for you they can and they are very hospitable.

  51. Ben
    Pinellas Park, Florida
    November 2, 2013, 6:17 pm

    I echo the sentiments of Chuck from Monrovia Liberia.
    Please look up the definition of “slake” vs. “slack” and correct this sentence:
    “New discoveries of groundwater reserves in large sedimentary basins in Libya, Algeria and Chad may slack Africa’s growing thirst for the next few decades…”

  52. Christy Sims
    Indianapolis, Indiana U.S.A. North America
    November 2, 2013, 1:07 pm

    The Pharaonic civilization of ancient Egypt is one of the world’s oldest and longest-lasting civilizations.
    African continent is the world’s oldest populated continent.
    Africa is the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped.

    I always marvel out these 2 facts about the continent of Africa: oldest civilization and most underdeveloped. Those two facts seem to contradict them selves for with age comes maturity.

    Why did knowledge not spread along the coastlines throughout the centuries? Why did they not come up with cars first to get them across the desert areas quicker? Why did they not come up with the Internet first, since so much of the land is desert? Why has each country not spread the wealth to the masses to create, generate, cultivate more knowledge and more wealth?

    How can so much ore production be leaving the continent and the masses not rise up in protest?

  53. Barbara Sweetman
    Ivory Coast/U.K.
    November 2, 2013, 6:43 am

    China’s record in good governance,environmental protection and justice are questionable. If China is to be the main influence in Africa in the future God help Africa is all I can say!

  54. Kay
    Dar es Salaam
    November 2, 2013, 12:47 am

    Thanks for this, but you lost me at the picture of the Dakar monument. Ask any Dakarois what s/he thinks of it, and you’ll find it’s quite thoroughly despised: for the huge amount of public money spent, for the fact that a Korean company and workers were brought in to build it, for the percentage that Wade gets of every entry fee, for the woman’s skimpy clothes, and more.

  55. Chuck
    Monrovia, Liberia
    November 1, 2013, 6:03 pm

    Wonderful and very enlightening set of facts! I learned a lot about this incredible continent and its people. Not to diminish the hard work of the author in any way, but this article needs to be edited for grammatical errors and the occasional missing word. PS – Great job replacing the outdated map!

  56. Steve Boyes
    November 1, 2013, 10:09 am

    My apologies. We have replaced the map of Africa.

  57. RHarnack
    USA
    November 1, 2013, 9:13 am

    Given that this is about Africa today, please use a current map showing South Sudan. It has been there since 2011.

  58. Glorious Nature
    USA
    October 31, 2013, 5:17 pm

    The wildlife is so beautiful……..what is remaining.

    “Science may have found a cure for most evils, but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.”

    Deaf/blind activist, Helen Keller, 1928