How Many Countries Are On the African Continent and Where Did the Name Africa Come From?

Africa has 54 independent countries, 48 in sub-Saharan Africa and six in North Africa, as well as several territories and other political units.

These include eight territories under French rule, one British island territory (St. Helena), one Norwegian territory (Bouvet Island), one Australian territory (Heard Island and McDonald Islands), and one Spanish territory (the Canary Islands).

Afri was the name of several groups of people who lived in North Africa near Carthage.

The name comes from a Berber word “ifri” or “Ifran” which means “cave”, in reference to cave dwellers.

Some etymologists believe that the word Africa comes from the Latin word “africus”, meaning “south wind”.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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