Q&A How many countries are there anyway?

Dear Mama,
I keep reading about countries in Africa which I’ve never even heard of! How many countries are there today in Africa, I’m lost!

Dear A,
Thanks for your question. I understand how you must feel and don’t worry; there are so many people who feel the same way. I even know some African men and women who read an article and ask themselves “Where is that?”, or “Is that what they are calling it now?” There are many nations which have kept the same borders since their independence; but have changed their names. One such example is Zimbabwe, which was known as Rhodesia until just after independence in the 1980’s… yes, I said 1980’s! And it isn’t even Africa’s youngest country.
And now, to answer your question: There are currently 54 countries in Africa. I’ll list them for you alphabetically below:
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire), Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Many of these are island nations which are off of the coast of the African continent itself; but are included in the count of “African nations”. Madagascar is one of those countries. Some are lesser known islands like the Seychelles, (which are absolutely beautiful by the way!).
And who knows? By the time you have learned them all, there may be a new country or two. After all, because of the history of the continent and how the lines were drawn by European colonists; many African peoples are struggling to redefine themselves and their borders. If you’d like to learn more about two such countries, you can research the history of Africa’s “newest” country: Eritrea (which became a nation officially in 1993). Or, you can research more on the Western Sahara, which might end up another country on the list of African nations. It is a former Spanish colony seeking independence; but currently split and partially controlled by neighboring Morocco.
Again, thanks for taking the time to ask your question. I hope that the New Year is off to a fabulous start for you and your whole family.


2 thoughts on “Q&A How many countries are there anyway?

  1. Pingback: Q&A How many countries are there anyway? « Mama Afrika's World | centralafrican

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