Currently, there are between 47 and 55 countries on the continent of Africa. The most accurate count of countries for the continent of Africa is 54. This includes all internationally recognized territories and states on the continent.
The variation is a result of disputed territories and inconsistencies around the inclusion of island nations off the coast of Africa. The African Union recognizes 54 countries while the United Nations recognizes 54 as well. They, unfortunately, do not recognize the same 54 nations. Both the United Nations and the African Union have slight variations in their inclusions of countries. For example, Morocco is part of the United Nations but not a member of the African Union. The recently created region of Western Sahara is recognized by the African Union but not by the United Nations.
Dividing Lines of Africa
The continent of Africa is bordered to the West by the Atlantic Ocean. To the East you will find the boundary set by the Indian Ocean. To the South, the Southern Ocean gives Africa is “V” shape. To the North, the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea define its boundaries. Africa is one of the few continents that is mostly defined simply by the bodies of water which surround it.
List of Countries in Africa
|African Country||Capital City||Population|
|Central African Republic||Bangui||4,900,413|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Kinshasa||77,267,269|
|Ivory Coast||Abidjan, Yamoussoukro||23,126,355|
|Republic of the Congo||Brazzaville||4,706,257|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||São Tomé||194,000|
|South Africa||Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Pretoria||5,495,724|
It may seem odd to have a to-be-determined count of countries on a continent, but in no way is the continent of Africa unique in this confusion.
Similar situations exist on the continent of Asia with Taiwan and on the continent of Europe with including the country of Kosovo.
Wondering where these countries are on a map? We recommend this Africa Map tool.