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Africa

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Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30,300,000 km˛ (11,700,000 mi˛) including adjacent islands, it covers 5.9% of the Earth's total surface area, and 20.3% of the total land area. With more than 840,000,000 people (as of 2005) in 61 territories, it accounts for more than 12% of the world's human population.

Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30,221,532 km˛ (11,668,545 mi˛) including adjacent islands, it covers 6.0% of the Earth's total surface area, and 20.4% of the total land area.[1] With more than 890,000,000 people (as of 2005) in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14% of the world's human population.

The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea 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. Because of the lack of natural regular precipitation and irrigation, as well as virtually no glaciers or mountain aquifer systems there is no natural moderating effect on the climate except near the coasts.

Although European speculation about the nature of Africa south of Sahara (Aethiopia) dates back more than two millennia, Africa is generally assumed to be the continent longest inhabited by human beings.

Geography of Africa

Africa is the largest of the three great southward projections from the main mass of the Earth's exposed surface. Separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea, it is joined to Asia at its northeast extremity by the Isthmus of Suez (transected by the Suez Canal), 130 km (80 miles) wide. (Geopolitically, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula east of the Suez Canal is often considered part of Africa, as well.[1][2]) From the most northerly point, Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia (37°21' N), to the most southerly point, Cape Agulhas in South Africa (34°51'15" S), is a distance of approximately 8,000 km (5,000 miles); from Cape Verde, 17°33'22" W, the westernmost point, to Ras Hafun in Somalia, 51°27'52" E, the most easterly projection, is a distance of approximately 7,400 km (4,600 miles). The coastline is 26,000 km (16,100 miles) long, and the absence of deep indentations of the shore is illustrated by the fact that Europe, which covers only 10,400,000 km˛ (4,010,000 square miles) - about a third of the surface of Africa - has a coastline of 32,000 km (19,800 miles).

Africa's largest country is Sudan, and its smallest country is the Seychelles, an archipelago off the east coast. The smallest nation on the continental mainland is The Gambia.

Information provided by Wikipedia

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