Africa at a Glance
The dawn of mankind, the cradle of human civilization, an ancient land of myth, legends and mystery, Africa has now joined the march of modernity and globalization. From the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, to the grand emperors of Abyssinia and the legendary kings of Ethiopia, Africa has been home to a myriad cultures and to knowledge and wisdom that continues to resonate in the African ethos today.
Africa, comprising 53 countries, is the world's second largest continent both in terms of land area and population, after Asia. The continent, at about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, covers 6 per cent of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4 per cent of the total land area. It is home to a billion people that accounts for about 14.8 per cent 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