THIS BOOK is intended to provide readers with basic information about African countries which include a few
island nations on the Indian Ocean and on the Atlantic.
Africa is the second the largest continent after Asia. It has 53 countries. Most of them are predominantly
black. They constitute what is generally known as sub-Saharan Africa, a region south of the Sahara desert.
North Africa is predominantly Arab with strong historical, cultural and religious ties to the Middle East
of which it is often considered to be an integral part. Although Arabs originated from the Middle East, especially the Arabian
peninsula, they live mostly outside their original homeland. North Africa has the largest Arab population in the world. Also,
most of the Arab land is in Africa, not in the Middle East.
The African continent has a population of about 800 million people. About 70 percent of them are black. The
rest are mostly Arab together with significant numbers of people of European and Asian descent.