Continent of AFRICA

  • Summary
  • Background


30,221,532 km² (11,668,599 mi²)
[second largest]

[second most populous]

Sovereign States
56 Countries

6 Time Zones
UTC-01 to UTC+04


Africa is the world’s second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia.

At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million mi²) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth’s total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area.

With over 1 billion people in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14% of the world’s human population.

It has 54 sovereign states, including Madagascar and various island groups.

Africa is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas. It is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.

Africa, particularly central Eastern Africa, is widely regarded by the scientific community to be the origin of humans — with the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) found in Ethiopia being dated to 200,000 years ago.