The story behind the shape and size of Africa is an interesting one. The continent has been shaped by multi-generational migration, tribe formations, kingships and chiefdoms.
The distinct pattern of today’s Africa dates back to an 1884 Conference in Berlin, dubbed the Scramble for Africa. The conference is responsible for most of the borderlines which form African countries today, as it laid the game rules for the colonisation of Africa by European imperialists.
More than a century after that conference, geopolitics is still changing the shape of countries, with Morocco represented differently on different maps, the ongoing call for self-actualisation of Somaliland and the AU recognition of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
Perhaps the most recent and significant change happened on the 9th of July 2011, when Africa birthed what still remains the youngest country in the world, South Sudan. This not only increased the number of countries in Africa, but it also removed Sudan at the top of the list of the biggest country in Africa, by land area.
Here is the latest list, we wait and see if it will ever change again in our lifetime.
1. Algeria (2,381,741 km2)
2. DRC (2,344,858 km2)
3. Sudan (1,861,484 km2)
4. Libya (1,759,540 km2)
5. Chad (1,284,000 km2)
6. Niger (1,267,000 km2)
7. Angola (1,246,700 km2)
8. Mali (1,240,192 km2)
9. South Africa (1,221,037 km2)
10. Ethiopia (1,104,300 km2)
Any surprises on this list? Is it how you expected it? Leave a comment below with your thoughts…