How Many Countries are Actually in Africa and Do the Islands Count?

How many countries are in Africa? What's the official number? Which islands are part of the continent are which ones are not? Here's the answer...

My People,

It is that time of the week when we satisfy curiosity about the world and learn something new. Before then, I’ve got news. Our second game at TVP Games is now available for pre-order. Fill in the Map (AFRICA) is a large puzzle for kids that helps them learn and discover the continent of Africa. We’ve got puzzles for more continents, countries and regions coming soon. For now, Fill in the Map is a JUMBO PUZZLE that’s as big as 2.5f x 2.5ft and contains all the African countries, capital cities, flags and the surrounding oceans. It is perfect for kids and kids at heart because to be honest, all of us should be discovering the world around us! If you pre-order this game now, you only need to pay $25 or £18 or 13,000 Naira or 31 CAD. It will be delivered to you in November, before the general public (of course, there’s FREE shipping). I’m so ecstatic about this new game and apart from being fun, it is a hands-on learning experience. Feel free to pre-order it for as many kids as you know and love!

Pre-Order Here:

Now, let’s find out how many actual countries we have in Africa.

There are 54 undisputed countries in Africa. That means there are 54 countries that are fully independent and recognized by most of the world. All the African countries that come to your mind are part of this list: Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Morocco are all part of this list. See all the countries in color below:

Yes, the islands are part of this country list…since the islands are on water but close to the African continental land mass, they are part of Africa. The 6 African island nations are (from West to East):

  • Cape Verde

  • São Tomé and Príncipe

  • Madagascar

  • Comoros

  • Seychelles

  • Mauritius

Now, why do some people say that there are 55 countries in Africa? The answer is simple and yet complicated. There is a country called Western Sahara that wants to break off from Morocco but which Morocco does not want to let go. Some of the country is ruled independently and the other part is ruled by Morocco. See the map below…sometimes, the dotted line is drawn to separate the two countries and sometimes, it is represented as one country of Morocco.

This means that, depending on who you’re speaking to and in what context, the answer is either 54 or 55 countries in Africa.

When listing out African countries, it is never correct to mention the islands that are territories of other NON-AFRICAN countries but are close to the continent of Africa. This map shows some of them including Saint Helena, Mayotte and Réunion. Because these countries are overseas territories of England (Saint Helena) and France (Mayotte and Réunion), we cannot call them African countries. If you notice in the full Map of Africa above, you’ll see that these territories are in grey not color. They are our neighbors, though.

We’ve included Western Sahara on our Fill in the Map large African puzzle for kids because more and more international countries have begun to recognize the sovereignty of the country, even though their autonomy is not complete.

Did you learn something new? Tell me in the comments or as an email. Also, when you pre-order the game now, let me know so that I can thank you personally.

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Love,
Funmi!