Blog: Geography 7th Class 27/10/20

You have been studying Africa but we haven’t had much chance to do so in English before we went into this current lock down. Let us take the chance to get to know Africa in English. There is a lot to learn about Africa, it is a very interesting continent rich in history, culture and traditions. What do you know about Africa? Hopefully by reading this you will learn something new. The following are some interesting facts about Africa adapted from National Geographic.

  • In Africa there are 54 countries and one “non-self governing territory”, the Western Sahara.
  • All of Africa was colonised by foreign powers during the “scramble for Africa”, except Ethiopia and Liberia.
  • Before colonial rule Africa there were up to 10,000 different states and independent groups with their own languages and customs.
  • 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 2000 languages are spoken in Africa.
  • Africa is the continent with the second biggest population with about 1.1 billion people or 16% of the world’s population. Over 50% of Africans are under the age of 25.
  • The 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.
  • 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.
  • Approximately 90% of all cases of malaria worldwide occur in Africa, accounting for 24% of all child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Africa is the world’s second largest continent covering about over 30 million square kilometres
  • 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 dry-lands 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..
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (not enough food).
  • Water scarcity (not enough water) 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.
  • Some landscapes are estimated to lose over 50 metric tonnes of soil per hectare per year due to neglect and desertification (the deserts are getting bigger).
  • Deforestation is a huge problem in Africa.
  • Africa has eight of the 11 major animal and plant groups.
  • It has the largest-remaining populations of lion, elephant, rhinoceros, cheetah, hyena, leopard and hundreds of other species.
  • Megafauna (big or important animals) 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.
  • 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.
  • There are over 3,000 protected areas in Africa for animals and fish.
  • 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.

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