Africa (orthographic projection).svg
Area30,370,000 km2 (11,730,000 sq mi)  (2nd)
Population1,225,080,510[1] (2016; 2nd)
Population density36.4/km2 (94/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)$2.45 trillion (2019; 5th)[2]
GDP (PPP)$7.16 trillion (2019; 5th)[2]
GDP per capita$1,930 (2019; 6th)[2]
Countries54 (and 2 disputed)
Languages1250–3000 native languages
Time zonesUTC-1 to UTC+4
Largest citiesLargest Urban Areas:

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area.[3] With1.2 billion people[1] as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition.[4] The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Africa's average population is the youngest amongst all the continents;[5][6] the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide median age was 30.4.[7] Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, and Nigeria is its largest by population. Africa, particularly central Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors as well as later ones that have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster—the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human), found in Ethiopia, date to circa 200,000 years ago.[8] Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.[9]

Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century, European countries colonised almost all of Africa; most present states in Africa emerged from a process of decolonisation in the 20th century. African nations cooperate through the establishment of the African Union, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa.


Statue representing Africa at Palazzo Ferreria, in Valletta, Malta

Afri was a Latin name used to refer to the inhabitants of then-known northern Africa to the west of the Nile river, and in its widest sense referred to all lands south of the Mediterranean (Ancient Libya).[10][11] This name seems to have originally referred to a native Libyan tribe, an ancestor of modern Berbers; see Terence for discussion. The name had usually been connected with the Phoenician word ʿafar meaning "dust",[12] but a 1981 hypothesis[13] has asserted that it stems from the Berber word ifri (plural ifran) meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers.[14] The same word[14] may be found in the name of the Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania, a Berber tribe originally from Yafran (also known as Ifrane) in northwestern Libya.[15]

Under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of the province it then named Africa Proconsularis, following its defeat of the Carthaginians in the Third Punic War in 146 BC, which also included the coastal part of modern Libya.[16] The Latin suffix -ica can sometimes be used to denote a land (e.g., in Celtica from Celtae, as used by Julius Caesar). The later Muslim region of Ifriqiya, following its conquest of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire's Exarchatus Africae, also preserved a form of the name.

According to the Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while "Asia" was used to refer to Anatolia and lands to the east. A definite line was drawn between the two continents by the geographer Ptolemy (85–165 AD), indicating Alexandria along the Prime Meridian and making the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa. As Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of "Africa" expanded with their knowledge.

Other etymological hypotheses have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa":

  • The 1st-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (Ant. 1.15) asserted that it was named for Epher, grandson of Abraham according to Gen. 25:4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya.
  • Isidore of Seville in his 7th-century Etymologiae XIV.5.2. suggests "Africa comes from the Latin aprica, meaning "sunny".
  • Massey, in 1881, stated that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, meaning "to turn toward the opening of the Ka." The Ka is the energetic double of every person and the "opening of the Ka" refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa would be, for the Egyptians, "the birthplace."[17]
  • Michèle Fruyt in 1976 proposed[18] linking the Latin word with africus "south wind", which would be of Umbrian origin and mean originally "rainy wind".
  • Robert R. Stieglitz of Rutgers University in 1984 proposed: "The name Africa, derived from the Latin *Aphir-ic-a, is cognate to Hebrew Ophir."[19]
  • Ibn Khallikan and some other historians claim that the name of Africa came from a Himyarite king called Afrikin ibn Kais ibn Saifi also called "Afrikus son of Abrahah" who subdued Ifriqiya.[20][21][22]
Other Languages
Acèh: Afrika
Адыгэбзэ: Африкэ
адыгабзэ: Африкэ
Afrikaans: Afrika
Akan: Afrika
Alemannisch: Afrika
አማርኛ: አፍሪቃ
Ænglisc: Affrica
Аҧсшәа: Африка
العربية: أفريقيا
aragonés: Africa
ܐܪܡܝܐ: ܐܦܪܝܩܐ
armãneashti: Africa
arpetan: Africa
অসমীয়া: আফ্ৰিকা
asturianu: África
Avañe'ẽ: Áfrika
авар: Африка
Aymar aru: Aphrika
azərbaycanca: Afrika
تۆرکجه: آفریقا
bamanankan: Afrika
বাংলা: আফ্রিকা
Bahasa Banjar: Aprika
Bân-lâm-gú: Hui-chiu
Basa Banyumasan: Afrika
башҡортса: Африка
беларуская: Афрыка
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Афрыка
भोजपुरी: अफिरका
Bikol Central: Aprika
Bislama: Afrika
български: Африка
Boarisch: Afrika
བོད་ཡིག: ཨ་ཧྥེ་རི་ཁ།
bosanski: Afrika
brezhoneg: Afrika
буряад: Африка
català: Àfrica
Чӑвашла: Африка
Cebuano: Aprika
čeština: Afrika
Chi-Chewa: Africa
chiShona: Africa
corsu: Africa
Cymraeg: Affrica
dansk: Afrika
davvisámegiella: Afrihká
Deitsch: Afrikaa
Deutsch: Afrika
dolnoserbski: Afrika
डोटेली: अफ्रिका
ཇོང་ཁ: ཨཕ་རི་ཀ་
eesti: Aafrika
Ελληνικά: Αφρική
español: África
Esperanto: Afriko
estremeñu: África
euskara: Afrika
فارسی: آفریقا
Fiji Hindi: Africa
føroyskt: Afrika
français: Afrique
Frysk: Afrika
Fulfulde: Afirik
furlan: Afriche
Gaeilge: An Afraic
Gaelg: Yn Affrick
Gagauz: Afrika
Gàidhlig: Afraga
galego: África
ГӀалгӀай: Африка
贛語: 非洲
Gĩkũyũ: Abĩrika
گیلکی: آفریقا
ગુજરાતી: આફ્રિકા
𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌹𐍃𐌺: 𐌰𐍆𐍂𐌹𐌺𐌰
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: आफ्रिका खंड
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Fî-chû
хальмг: Априк
한국어: 아프리카
Hausa: Afirka
Hawaiʻi: ʻApelika
հայերեն: Աֆրիկա
Արեւմտահայերէն: Ափրիկէ
हिन्दी: अफ़्रीका
hornjoserbsce: Afrika
hrvatski: Afrika
Ido: Afrika
Igbo: Eluàlà
Ilokano: Aprika
Bahasa Indonesia: Afrika
interlingua: Africa
Interlingue: Africa
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ/inuktitut: ᐊᑉᕆᖄ
Ирон: Африкæ
isiXhosa: I-Afrika
isiZulu: IAfrika
íslenska: Afríka
italiano: Africa
עברית: אפריקה
Jawa: Afrika
kalaallisut: Afrika
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಆಫ್ರಿಕಾ
Kapampangan: Aprika
къарачай-малкъар: Африка
ქართული: აფრიკა
कॉशुर / کٲشُر: اَفریٖقہ
kaszëbsczi: Afrika
қазақша: Африка
kernowek: Afrika
Kinyarwanda: Afurika
Kirundi: Bufirika
Kiswahili: Afrika
коми: Африка
Kongo: Afelika
Kreyòl ayisyen: Afrik
kurdî: Afrîka
Кыргызча: Африка
кырык мары: Африка
Ladino: Afrika
لۊری شومالی: آفریقا
latgaļu: Afrika
Latina: Africa
latviešu: Āfrika
Lëtzebuergesch: Afrika
лезги: Африка
lietuvių: Afrika
Ligure: Africa
Limburgs: Afrika
lingála: Afríka
Lingua Franca Nova: Africa
Livvinkarjala: Afriekku
la .lojban.: frikytu'a
Luganda: Afirika
lumbaart: Africa
magyar: Afrika
मैथिली: अफ्रिका
македонски: Африка
Malagasy: Afrika
മലയാളം: ആഫ്രിക്ക
Malti: Afrika
Māori: Āwherika
मराठी: आफ्रिका
მარგალური: აფრიკა
مصرى: افريقيا
مازِرونی: آفریقا
Bahasa Melayu: Afrika
Minangkabau: Afrika
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Hĭ-ciŭ
Mirandés: África
мокшень: Африк
монгол: Африк
မြန်မာဘာသာ: အာဖရိက
Nāhuatl: Africa
Dorerin Naoero: Aprika
Nederlands: Afrika
Nedersaksies: Afrika
नेपाली: अफ्रिका
नेपाल भाषा: अफ्रिका
日本語: アフリカ
Napulitano: Africa
нохчийн: Африка
Nordfriisk: Afrikoo
Norfuk / Pitkern: Afreka
norsk: Afrika
norsk nynorsk: Afrika
Nouormand: Afrique
Novial: Afrika
occitan: Africa
олык марий: Африка
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ଆଫ୍ରିକା
Oromoo: Afrikaa
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Afrika
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਅਫ਼ਰੀਕਾ
Pangasinan: Afrika
پنجابی: افریقا
Papiamentu: Afrika
پښتو: افريقا
Patois: Afrika
Перем Коми: Африка
ភាសាខ្មែរ: អាហ្វ្រិក
Picard: Afrike
Piemontèis: Àfrica
Tok Pisin: Aprika
Plattdüütsch: Afrika
polski: Afryka
Ποντιακά: Αφρικήν
português: África
Qaraqalpaqsha: Afrika
qırımtatarca: Afrika
reo tahiti: ’Afirita
română: Africa
romani čhib: Afrika
rumantsch: Africa
Runa Simi: Aphrika
русиньскый: Африка
русский: Африка
саха тыла: Африка
ᱥᱟᱱᱛᱟᱲᱤ: ᱟᱯᱷᱨᱤᱠᱟ
Gagana Samoa: Aferika
संस्कृतम्: आफ्रिकाखण्डः
Sängö: Afrîka
sardu: Àfrica
Scots: Africae
Seeltersk: Afrikoa
Sesotho: Afrika
Sesotho sa Leboa: Afrika
Setswana: Aferika
shqip: Afrika
sicilianu: Àfrica
Simple English: Africa
سنڌي: آفريڪا
SiSwati: Í-Afríka
slovenčina: Afrika
slovenščina: Afrika
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Афрїка
ślůnski: Afrika
Soomaaliga: Afrika
کوردی: ئەفریقا
Sranantongo: Afrka
српски / srpski: Африка
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Afrika
Basa Sunda: Afrika
suomi: Afrikka
svenska: Afrika
Tagalog: Aprika
Taqbaylit: Tafrikt
tarandíne: Afriche
татарча/tatarça: Африка
తెలుగు: ఆఫ్రికా
tetun: Áfrika
тоҷикӣ: Африқо
lea faka-Tonga: ʻAfelika
Tsetsêhestâhese: Mo'hetaneho'e
Tshivenda: Afurika
ತುಳು: ಆಫ್ರಿಕಾ
Türkçe: Afrika
Türkmençe: Afrika
тыва дыл: Африка
Thuɔŋjäŋ: Apirïka
удмурт: Африка
українська: Африка
اردو: افریقا
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئافرىقا
Vahcuengh: Feihcouh
vèneto: Àfrica
vepsän kel’: Afrik
Tiếng Việt: Châu Phi
Volapük: Frikop
Võro: Afriga
walon: Afrike
West-Vlams: Afrika
Winaray: Aprika
Wolof: Afrig
吴语: 非洲
Xitsonga: Afrika
ייִדיש: אפריקע
Yorùbá: Áfríkà
粵語: 非洲
Zazaki: Afrika
Zeêuws: Afrika
žemaitėška: Afrėka
中文: 非洲