Monday, 15 August 2016

What is Africa: A Continent or a Country?

A couple of weeks ago, a dear friend asked me this question: "Hey Buddy! So what is the capital city of Africa?", and that got me thinking. Upon a little research, I realized that most people especially those who have not been to Africa do hold this view of Africa. As a result I decided to write this piece to answer this question. Best to my knowledge, it is countries that have capital cities.

The African continent showing the colourful flags of each country

Africa, just as Europe and Asia, is a continent consisting of over 54 countries: Yes 54 countriesEach of these countries have their own capital cities as well. She is the second largest and the second most populated continent on the planet earth. It is a continent of over 2000 spoken languages. 
Before I even talk about the countries and their capital cities, I will like to mention that Africa is sub - divided into 5 regions. These are West Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa and Central Africa. As an example, I will mention some countries in each of these regions and their respective capitals.

Below are each regions, some countries that are located in them and the country’s capital city.
                West Africa
Country                         Capital city
Ghana                                     Accra
Nigeria                                    Abuja
La Cote d’ivoire                     Abidjan
Sierra Leonne                         Freetown
Liberia                                    Monrovia                  

                    East Africa
Country                          Capital City
Kenya                                      Nairobi
Tanzania                                  Mbabane
Ethiopia                                   Addis Ababa
Uganda                                    Kampala

                    North Africa
Country                           Capital city
Egypt                                        Cairo
Morocco                                   Rabat
Algeria                                      Algiers
Libya                                        Tripoli

                     Southern Africa
Country                            Capital city
South Africa                              Durban/ Pretoria
Zambia                                      Lusaka
Zimbabwe                                 Harare

                     Central Africa
Country                               Capital city
Cameroon                                          Yaoundé
Central African Republic                   Bangui
Democratic Republic of Congo         Kinshasa
Chad                                                   N’Djamena
Rwanda                                              Kigali

Of course there are many more countries but cannot list all here because the few listed here cleared the point that Africa is a continent and continents do not have capital cities rather they have countries within them. But each of these countries of course as illustrated above do have capital cities just like Berlin being Germany’s capital city and Paris, France’s capital city.
Come to think of it, should each continent have a capital city, which city in which country will that be?
Let us think about that.
As bonus, Africa is very diverse when it comes to language. There exist thousands of local languages. Some of these are Akan language (Twi), Ewe, Igbo, Hausa, Fula, Tonga, Amharic, Lingala ...languages.
Due to the colonial rule most African nations experienced, most of them adopted "official languages" mostly from Europe. Some of these languages are English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, German etc.
For example Ghana speaks English. So does Sierra Leonne, Gambia and Kenya. For French speakers Cote d'ivoire, Djibouti, Madagascar are just examples. Sudan and Egypt are predominantly Arabic speaking nations. Cameroon is even bilingual i.e. they speak both English and French (two languages) whilst Angola speaks Portuguese.


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