It is very common to find people who think that Africa is a land of terror.
A continent that covers the hemispheres, Africa has been home to some of the world’s oldest civilizations, and some African countries are among the fast-growing countries on the planet.
Africa is a place that often seems to confuse expectations and challenge the convention, a place always full of surprises.
As evidence, Ethiopia, the country’s eastern continent is the fastest growing economy in the world, according to the World Bank.
Here are five realities about Africa that you may not know.
More than 25% of the world’s languages are spoken only in Africa
The number of languages spoken throughout the African continent is enormous. According to research, it is estimated between 500 and 2000 languages. These languages are considered official languages of the African Union. Nigeria alone has more than 500 living languages.
Africa has a much younger population than the rest of the world
Africa has more people aged less than 20 years than anywhere in the world. The continent’s population is expected to double to two billion by 2050. It also has the highest child dependency rate in the world, with 73 children under the age of 15 per 100 people of working age. At present, the estimated average age in sub-Saharan Africa is less than 19 years.
Africa accounts for about 30% of the Earth’s residual mineral resources
Africa remains a key territory on the global map. Rich in oil and natural resources, the continent holds a strategic position. It is the fastest growing region for foreign direct investment, and it accounts for about 30% of the remaining mineral resources on Earth.
This includes more than 40% of gold reserves and 90% of platinum reserves.
Nigeria is the fifth largest oil exporter in the world, ahead of Iraq and Kuwait, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Between 2011 and 2014, 700 million people became account holders in banks, financial institutions or mobile money service providers and the number of mobile “Unbanked” people fell.
12% of African adults have access to an account, compared with only 2% in the world.
In Kenya, the figure stands at 58%. On the continent, only one-third of adults have access to a traditional bank account.
Ethiopia is the world’s fastest growing economy in 2017
The World Bank’s 2017 World Economic Outlook report ranked Ethiopia as the fastest growing economy in the world by 2017.