Africa, the second largest and the second-most populous continent on the planet has a history that goes way back. The first humans are believed to have evolved on this continent. The continent is blessed with an abundance of both natural and human resources and is constantly growing stronger every day despite the obvious gap in development when compared to most other continents. We take a look at all the 54 countries as well as their capitals currently making up the continent. A brief history, as well as important events that have shaped the continent, are also discussed.


Map Of Africa With Countries And Capitals Labeled
Map Of Africa With Countries And Capitals Labeled


Nations Of Africa Map Countries And Capitals Outline


Africa has been credited by several scientific researchers as the cradle of the evolution of mankind. It is believed that ape-like creatures walking upright on two feet roamed these lands about 4 million years ago. Subsequently, evolution over millions of years gave rise to the present form of humans, Homo sapiens as we are called scientifically. The first creatures to be classified as part of the human species evolved about 2 million years ago and developed a technology based on sharp tools of flint. This technology is what is now described as the stone age.

From about a million years ago, the human species began to explore northwards out of Africa beginning the process of colonization of the entire planet. Towards the end of the Stone Age, humans living in Africa then began to produce some of the earliest and most significant pieces of prehistoric art. Paintings on stone slabs found in present-day Namibia date to as far back as 30,000 years ago. Rock and Cave paintings are also reported from all over the continent. There are paintings credited to the San people in Southern Africa and some that are as old as 8000 BC credited to people living in what is now called Sahara. The Sahara is also the site of the earliest new Stone Age or what is called the Neolithic culture to have been discovered in Africa.

A DAMP SAHARA: 8000 – 3000 BC

The region now known as the Sahara during this period supported a wide range of animals from elephants to giraffes to rhinoceros as well as the Hippocampus and even fishes. The Sahara landscape during this period was friendly and allowed Neolithic communities to move away from hunting and fruit gathering to a partly settled way of life with cattle herding. Paintings from the period indicate that dogs had been domesticated and were sometimes used in hunting.

Paintings also suggested that people that lived in this era wore woven materials as well as animal skins. Remains from their settlements showed that these people were skillful potters. At about 3000 BC, a climatic change transformed the Sahara into a desert. This change brought an end to the first settled culture known in the history of Africa. This transformation turned the Sahara into an almost impenetrable barrier that separates the Mediterranean coast and North Africa from the rest of the continent. Around the same time, North Africa became the site of one of the first civilizations known to man. There may be a connection between this and the migration eastwards of the Sahara people but no archeological evidence has been found as of yet to back this up.

Still On The Map Of Africa With Countries And Capitals labeled


Egypt in North Africa is known to be where one of the earliest civilizations known to man was developed. The country’s natural links are in a northeasterly direction, following the Fertile Crescent up into western Asia. Also, Ethiopia the only other early civilization of northeast Africa is mostly influenced by Arabia, which was just across the Red Sea. These two regions, Egypt and Ethiopia, flanked by desert to the west and equatorial jungle to the south, evolved at first independent of other parts of the African continent.


Most of the area of Southern Africa was occupied by tribes known as Khoisan. These people were known for their language which had a unique click in its repertoire of sounds. The Khoisans were divided into the San who was until recently called the Bushmen and the Khoikhoi was known as Hottentots until recently as well. In central Africa, the tropical forests were occupied largely by the Pygmies who were known for their short height. They had an average height of about 4’9” or less than 1.5m. But then, the Africans who eventually dominated most of sub-Saharan Africa are tribes from the North, speaking Bantu languages.

The Bantu languages probably take their roots from regions known today as Nigeria and Cameroon. This area of Western Africa bordering the Gulf of Guinea is also credited with some other early developments in the history of Africa. Iron smelting is known to have taken place in this area as well as some areas in a strip below the Sahara by the middle of the 1st millennium BC.

The Non-culture, a very fascinating but still mysterious culture that lasted from the 5th century BC to the 2nd century AD produced magnificent pottery figures that represent the beginning of a recognizable African sculptural tradition. It is believed that around this same 1st millennium BX, tribes speaking the Bantu languages began moving Southwards. They gradually pushed the Khoisan further ahead in a process that eventually made the Bantu owners of nearly all the southern areas of the continent. In the regions south of the desert, the first great kingdoms of sub-Saharan. Africa became established during the 1st millennium AD.


A number of powerful kingdoms were established all over West Africa for a millennium. These kingdoms were known for their great wealth accumulated from trade rather than conquest. Rulers of these great kingdoms only engaged rulers of smaller kingdoms in wars so as to subjugate them. This allows the more powerful king to control more trade routes and accumulate more wealth. The Kingdom of Ghana was the dominant kingdom of West Africa for a very long period spanning from the 8th century to the 13th. Africa is noted to be the first region into which Islam is carried by merchants rather than armies. It was spread down the well-established trade routes of the east coast, in which the coastal towns of the Red Sea played a major part. The spread of Islam down south in Africa started around the 8th century.


The 16th century saw the arrival of foreigners on the coasts of Africa in search of plunder or trade. In the North, two of the most powerful Mediterranean nations fought to gain control. The Barbary coast which stretches from Algeria to modern Libya was disputed between the Turks and the Spanish with the former prevailing. The rest of Africa from Morocco down to the Cape and up the east coast attracted European interest that was started by the Portuguese.

The Portuguese came with the intent to sail around the continent to the spice markets of the east but eventually, they developed a trading interest and a lasting presence on the Continent. On the west coast, their interest in the slave trade led to the establishment of Portuguese settlements in both Guinea and Angola.

On the east coast, their interest was in Mozambique and the Zambezi River through the news of a local ruler, the Munhumutapa who was known to be fabulously rich in gold. The Portuguese roamed the African continent unchallenged by any other European nation until the 17th century when the Dutch and the British arrived. These foreigners established colonies in Africa and ruled all over the continent. The arrival of these foreigners boosted commerce and also the introduction of Christianity religion to the continent. This further escalated the slave trade and it is estimated that over 10 million Africans were exported to other lands. Colonization led to the redrawing of the boundaries of African nations by the Europeans who shared Africa amongst themselves. Eventually, by 1959, African nations began to gain independence, and the rule was returned back to Africans.

Interesting Facts About African Map

  • Africa is known to be the second-largest continent on earth behind Asia. It covers approximately 11.7 million square miles.
  • The continent straddles the equator and is the only known continent to extend from the northern temperate zone to the southern temperate zone.
  • Africa is also the hottest of all the continents on earth.
  • Algeria is Africa’s largest country currently
  • The youngest country on the planet in South Sudan which is located in North Africa
  • On the map of Africa countries and capitals, the continent covers 6 percent of the total surface of the planet and about 20.4 percent of the total land area.
  • Cairo is the largest city on the African continent
  • Long before the arrival of humans, Africa used to joined to the other continents in a massive continent called Pangaea. This large continent broke apart shaping the world as we currently know it.
  • It is believed the continent got its name from the ancient Romans. After defeating the ancient northern African city of Carthage, the Romans founded a province there which they named Africa. The name was derived from the Afri tribe that inhabited the area.
  • Dallol is located in Northern Ethiopia is known to have the world’s hottest average temperature. The average temperature in this area is put at 93 degrees Fahrenheit (33.89 degrees Celsius).
  • The continent of Africa is full of dangerous animals that account for the death of thousands of humans yearly. Mosquitos account for a large percentage of these deaths. Other deadly animals such as the hippopotamus, the deadliest mammal on earth, and the Puff Adder, the most dangerous snake on the planet.
  • The largest land animal on the planet is the African elephant.
  • Also, the world’s tallest animal, the giraffe, is found in Africa.
  • The fastest animal living on land is the cheetah. It lives in Africa.
  • The Nile crocodile is the world’s largest reptile.
  • The world’s largest primate, the gorilla lives in Africa.
  • The largest frog in the world called the goliath frog (also known as the goliath bullfrog) lives in Africa. It can be found in the central African countries of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. This species of frog can grow to lengths of over 1 foot (30.5 centimeters).
  • Twenty-five percent of all bird species on the planet live in Africa
  • The African continent has the second-highest population in the world behind Asia. The population is put at about one billion people.
  • It is estimated that close to two thousand languages are spoken in Africa.
  • The most practiced religion in Africa is Islam, followed by Christianity.
  • The population of Africa is approximately 14.72% of the world’s population.
  • The oldest human fossils ever were found in Ethiopia. They are estimated to be about 200,000 years old.



This article has given a brief summary of the history of Africa as well as some interesting facts about this beautiful continent.

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