When you listen to the western media, you sometimes hear things like: ‘China, Britain, Italy and Africa.’ The generalisation of Africa in 2017 is almost as amusing as it is annoying, this generalisation is made of out ignorance.
I’ve watched YouTube videos with Nigerian comedians stopping random people on the streets of New York to ask them whether or not they thought of Africa as a country. 70% of them thought of Africa as a country, 20% were not sure if Africa is a country or not, and only the last 10% knew for a fact that Africa is a country.
Then there are people who knew countries like Nigeria and Angola but still weren’t quite sure if they are countries or what their relationship with Africa is. Who is to blame? The education system or the media?
In 2017, the internet has made it quite easy to communicate, seeing a street in London is only a Google search away. This decade has also seen a spike in books with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie being a front-runner in telling Nigerian stories the Nigerian way.
To get your facts straight, here are facts about Africa.
1. Africa is one of seven continents of the world, with the others being Asia, Antarctica, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.
2. It is the second largest continent and most populous continent in the world – the first is Asia.
3. Africa covers 26.4% of Earth’s (both land and water) surface area.
4.There are 54 countries in Africa, 3000 ethnic groups, and 2000 languages – and no, we all don’t speak Afrikaan.
5. Northern Africa has Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria among others. In Eastern Africa there are Burundi, Kenya, Madagascar and Malawi among others. Central Africa has Chad, Angola and Gabon among others. In Southern Africa there are South Africa – this is the country and it doesn’t make up the whole Southern region of Africa – Lesotho and Namibia among others. In Western Africa there are Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Liberia among others.
6. Unlike what you might have learned, we don’t all live in mud houses. Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, Egypt’s Nassef Sawiris and South Africa’s Christoffel Wiese are some of the richest men in the world.
Thinking Africa as a country would be thinking wrong.