Countries In Africa: Full List of African Nations and Regions

How many countries are there in Africa? There are 54 countries in Africa. Africa is a very big continent that spans 30.3 million km2. Furthermore, the African Nations are grouped into 5 regions. These are Northern Africa, Western Africa, Central Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa. These regions are further subdivided into 54 countries and territories.

The largest country in Africa is Algeria while the smallest is Gabon (officially called the Gabonese Republic). When it comes to both size and population, Africa is second only to Asia. Africa has the most youthful population. In addition, it is the continent with the fastest growing population.

Niger, a country in West Africa, has the highest population growth in the world (in 2020) of 3.8%. The countries in Africa are also the most diverse in any continent. African nations are composed of over 3,000 tribes who speak over 1,000 languages! Moreover, each region of Africa has its own culture, and sub-cultures according to the tribes.

Africa, the second-most populated continent in the world, is estimated to have over 1.3 billion inhabitants who are spread over the 54 African countries. Nigeria, in West Africa, is the most populous nation in Africa. The least populated country in Africa is the island nation called Seychelles, that is located in the Indian Ocean near East Africa.

Countries In Africa: Full List of African Nations, Regions and Territories

The following is the full list of African nations and territories. They are arranged in alphabetical order.

  1. Algeria
  2. Angola
  3. Benin
  4. Botswana
  5. Burkina Faso
  6. Burundi
  7. Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)
  8. Cameroon
  9. Central African Republic
  10. Chad
  11. Comoros
  12. Congo-Brazzaville
  13. Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo-Kinshasa, formerly Zaire)
  14. Cote d’Ivoire
  15. Djibouti
  16. Egypt
  17. Equatorial Guinea
  18. Eritrea
  19. Eswatini (Swaziland)
  20. Ethiopia
  21. Gabon
  22. Gambia
  23. Ghana
  24. Guinea
  25. Guinea-Bissau
  26. Kenya
  27. Lesotho
  28. Liberia
  29. Libya
  30. Madagascar
  31. Malawi
  32. Mali
  33. Mauritania
  34. Mauritius
  35. Morocco
  36. Mozambique
  37. Namibia
  38. Niger
  39. Nigeria
  40. Rwanda
  41. Sao Tome and Principe
  42. Senegal
  43. Seychelles
  44. Sierra Leone
  45. Somalia
  46. South Africa
  47. South Sudan
  48. Sudan
  49. Tanzania
  50. Togo
  51. Tunisia
  52. Uganda
  53. Zambia
  54. Zimbabwe

Fun fact: South Sudan is the youngest country in the world. The East African nation gained independence from Sudan in 2011. Despite being an oil exporter, South Sudan is one of the poorest countries in Africa and the world.

Western Sahara in North Africa and the British Indian Ocean Territory near Tanzania in East Africa are two of the territories in Africa. There are two French territories in Africa too. These territories are small islands that are located close to Africa, hence their association with the continent. St. Helena island lies in the South Atlantic Ocean (West of Africa) while the two French territories are found in the Indian Ocean, near the East African island nation of Madagascar.

  • Saint Helena (British territory)
  • Réunion Island (French Territory)
  • Mayotte (French Territory)

Fun fact: Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest Island. The 3 bigger islands are the Danish territory of Greenland, New Guinea in Australia and Borneo, an Asian island.

North African Countries

There are 6 countries in Northern Africa, according to the UN, and one territory. Arabic is the most spoken language in North African countries. The countries of Northern Africa contribute about a third of Africa’s total GDP, and they are blessed with natural resources. Oil and natural gas are the biggest natural resources in Northern Africa.

The following is the list of North African countries and territories.

  1. Tunisia
  2. Egypt
  3. Libya
  4. Algeria
  5. Morocco
  6. Sudan
  7. Western Sahara (Territory)

Fun fact: Despite being the richest region in Africa, deserts occupy most of North Africa. The Sahara, the world’s largest hot desert, is located in North Africa. Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa while Egypt is North Africa’s biggest economy. Northern Africa is also home to the oldest country in Africa: Egypt!

Countries in West Africa

Countries in Africa
Tourism is one of the main economic activities in Africa

There are over 15 countries in West Africa. The region has produced some of the famous footballers in the world.

Another distinguishing feature of Western Africa nations is that several of them have French as a national language. This includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte, d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Guinea and Equatorial Guinea. All in all, French is spoken in over half of all African nations: 29 countries.

  1. Nigeria
  2. Ghana
  3. Senegal
  4. Mauritania
  5. Chad
  6. Benin
  7. Guinea
  8. Guinea Bissau
  9. Liberia
  10. Ivory Coast
  11. Mali
  12. Niger
  13. Togo
  14. Burkina Faso
  15. Gambia
  16. Sierra Leone
  17. Cape Verde
  18. Saint Helena (British territory)

Fun fact: West Africa is home to the richest and most populated country in Africa, Nigeria. Nigerians make up almost half of the total population in West Africa. Moreover, the country has over 250 ethnic groups who speak over 500 languages!

Number of Central African Countries

The following is a list of central African countries. Most of the nations in this region have huge deposits of minerals. These include diamonds, uranium, copper, gold and oil. Gabon, Angola and Equatorial Guinea are OPEC members who are also some of the biggest oil producers in the continent.

Central Africa is also the birthplace of one of the popular allergy-free dogs. This is the famous African barkless dog – the non-shedding Basenji. However, some of these Central African nations are sometimes regarded as being in East or Southern Africa.

  1. Cameroon
  2. Angola
  3. Central African Republic
  4. Chad
  5. Gabon
  6. Equatorial Guinea
  7. Congo
  8. Democratic Republic of Congo
  9. Sao Tome and Principe

Fun fact: Equatorial Guinea is the only Spanish speaking country in Africa. The small middle-African country is a leading exporter of oil and has one of the highest GDP per capita in Africa.

East African Countries List

There are 3 territories and over 15 countries in East Africa. Somalia is the easternmost country in Africa while Kenya is the biggest economy in East Africa. Agriculture is the main economic activity in this region. Tea, coffee, bananas and other fruits, vegetables, sisal, cotton and animal products are in plenty in East Africa.

Other major economic activities in Eastern Africa include fishing, financial services (such as M-Pesa) and tourism. The following is the list of East Africa countries and territories. Some of these countries are sometimes grouped under Central or Southern Africa.

  1. Kenya
  2. Uganda
  3. Tanzania
  4. Rwanda
  5. Somalia
  6. South Sudan
  7. Burundi
  8. Ethiopia
  9. Eritrea
  10. Madagascar
  11. Malawi
  12. Zimbabwe
  13. Mozambique
  14. Zambia
  15. Seychelles
  16. Djibouti
  17. Comoros
  18. Seychelles
  19. Mauritius
  20. Réunion Island (Territory)
  21. Mayotte (Territory)
  22. British Indian Ocean Territory

Mayotte and Réunion Island are French territories that are geographically located very close to Africa. The two are among the 5 overseas departments and regions of France. The other 3 regions are Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean Sea, and French Guiana in South America.

Fun fact: Swahili (Kiswahili) is the most-spoken language in East Africa. Other popular languages are English in Southern Africa, Arabic in Northern Africa, and French in West and Central Africa. These are only some of the over 1,500 languages spoken in Africa.

List of South African Countries

There are several countries in South Africa. The main economic activities here includes mining, tourism, forestry and livestock farming. Botswana and South Africa are leading exporters of minerals such as gold and diamonds. Other minerals found in the Southern end of Africa include platinum, chrome, vanadium and Manganese.

Some countries in Southern Africa are sometimes categorized under East and Central Africa. But the following nations are often grouped under the South African region.

  1. Angola
  2. Zambia
  3. Malawi
  4. Namibia
  5. Botswana
  6. Zimbabwe
  7. Mozambique
  8. Lesotho
  9. Eswatini (Swaziland)
  10. South Africa

Fun fact: South Africa is the biggest economy in Southern Africa. It is also the southernmost nation of Africa. There are two small landlocked countries that share borders with South Africa. Lesotho is completely encircled, while most of Swaziland is encircled, by South Africa.

African Countries and Capitals, Population and GDP

The following is a table of all African nations, their capital cities, population in 2019 and GDP per capita (2019). They are arranged in alphabetical order.

Country Capital City Population in Millions (2019) GDP per capita US$ (2019)
Algeria Algiers 43 3,948.3
Angola Luanda 31.8 2,973.6
Benin Porto-Novo 11.8 1,219.4
Botswana Gaborone 2.3 7,961.3
Burkina Faso Ouagadougou 20.3 774.8
Burundi Gitega 11.5 261.2
Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) Praia 0.55 3,603.8
Cameroon Yaounde 25.9 1,497.9
Central African Republic Bangui 4.7 467.9
Chad N’Djamena 15.9 709.5
Comoros Moroni 0.85 1,393.5
Congo-Brazzaville Brazzaville 5.38 2,011.1
Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa 86.8 545.2
Cote d’Ivoire Yamoussoukro 25.7 2,286.2
Djibouti Djibouti 0.97 3,408.8
Egypt Cairo 100 3,020.0
Equatorial Guinea Malabo 1.35 8,131.9
Eritrea Asmara 3.2 (2011) 642.5 (2011)
Eswatini (Swaziland) Mbabane 1.15 3,837.0
Ethiopia Addis Ababa 112 857.5
Gabon Libreville 2.17 7,667.4
Gambia Banjul 2.35 751.3
Ghana Accra 30 2,202.1
Guinea Conakry 12.8 1,064.1
Guinea-Bissau Bissau 1.9 697.8
Kenya Nairobi 52.5 1,816.5
Lesotho Maseru 2.1 1,157.5
Liberia Monrovia 4.9 621.9
Libya Tripoli 6.8 7,683.8
Madagascar Antananarivo 26.7 522.2
Malawi Lilongwe 18.6 411.6
Mali Bamako 19.6 890.7
Mauritania Nouakchott 4.5 1,677.9
Mauritius Port Louis 1.3 11,203.5
Morocco Rabat 36 3,204.1
Mozambique Maputo 30 491.8
Namibia Windhoek 2.5 4,957.5
Niger Niamey 23 554.6
Nigeria Abuja 201 2,229.9
Rwanda Kigali 12.6 801.7
Sao Tome and Principe Sao Tome 0.2 1,994.9
Senegal Dakar 16 1,446.8
Seychelles Victoria 0.098 17,401.7
Sierra Leone Freetown 7.8 504.5
Somalia Mogadishu 15 126.9 (1990)
South Africa Pretoria 58.5 6,001.4
South Sudan Juba 11 1,119.7 (2015)
Sudan Khartoum 42.8 441.5
Tanzania Dodoma 58 1,122.1
Togo Lome 8 675.5
Tunisia Tunis 11.7 3,317.5
Uganda Kampala 44 776.8
Zambia Lusaka 17.9 1,291.3
Zimbabwe Harare 14.6 1,464.0

More Interesting Facts about cities in Africa:

  1. The largest city and former capital of Tanzania is Dar es Salaam.
  2. Abidjan is the de facto capital of cote d’Ivoire. But the administrative/ political capital is Yamoussoukro
  3. The capital of Equatorial Guinea, Malabo, is located on the island of Bioko, away from the mainland.
  4. Bujumbura is the largest city and former capital of Burundi.
  5. Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco. But the capital is Rabat.
  6. Lagos is the former capital of Nigeria
  7. Nairobi city is the capital of Kenya, and one of the 47 counties in Kenya.
  8. Lilongwe is the capital of Malawi. But the economic capital is the city of Blantyre.
  9. Cairo and Lagos are the largest cities in Africa by size and population respectively.
  10. South Africa has 3 capital cities: These cities in South Africa are Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial) and Cape Town (legislative). But the largest city is Johannesburg.

These are all the African countries and regions. Contrary to what some foreigners assume, Africa is a continent – not a country. And it is a very big and vibrant continent. Lifestyles also vary greatly in this continent: from modern city life in the capital cities to pastoralism and small-scale agriculture in the villages.

Above all, Africans are proud of their cultures and traditions that are passed-on from one generation to the other. In Africa, it takes a village to raise a child.

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Frequently asked questions about countries in Africa (FAQ)

Africa is a large continent whose total land area is 30.37 million sq km. The continent is blessed with diverse people, vast deserts and sandy beaches. Africa has lush forests and mountains.

Moreover, there are multiple religions, diverse cultures, many climates and over 1,500 languages that are spoken in Africa.

However, many facts about Africa have been misunderstood - beginning with the fact that Africa is a continent and not a country. Here are some of the most asked questions about Africa and the 54 countries in Africa.

(Click to Expand)

There are 54 countries in Africa. These nations are broadly grouped into 5 regions. The regions in Africa are North, West, Central, East and Southern Africa. In addition to the 54 nations, there are 5 territories in Africa.
Algeria in North Africa is the largest country in Africa by land area. It is closely followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Libya.
Equatorial Guinea is the only Spanish speaking country in Africa. It is a West African nation.
Nigeria in West Africa is the richest country in Africa. However, the richest region of Africa is the North where oil is the main export commodity.
Africa is a continent that is made up of 54 sovereign nations and several territories.
French is mostly spoken in many nations in West, East and Central Africa. French speaking countries in Africa include:
  • Congo DRC
  • Congo-Brazzaville
  • Togo
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Cameroon
  • Guinea
  • Ivory Coast
  • Burundi
  • Niger
  • Mali
  • Burkina Faso
  • Senegal
  • Djibouti
  • Rwanda
  • Madagascar
  • Chad
  • Seychelles
  • Benin
These are the territories and the 54 countries in Africa. There are many nations in the African continent. But despite all the diversity in the huge continent, all Africans are known for their love of traditions and eagerness to welcome visitors.