March 28, 2014

Mind-blowing facts about Africa

As the title says, this article will cover mind-blowing facts about Africa. If you are interested in learning about mind-blowing facts about China, click here.

  • Over 1000 languages are spoken in Africa (40 of which have more than one million speakers)
  • Africa's collective GDP is $1.6 trillion, roughly equal to that of Brazil or Russia. South Africa and Nigeria are largest and contribute with 50% of Africa's total GDP
  • Seven of the world's ten fastest growing economies are projected to be in Africa between 2011 and 2015
  • Excluding the bottom 20% of Africa countries, Africa's average level of corruption is approximately equal to the average level of corruption in the BRIC countries
  • Africa has 10% of the world's oil reserves, 40% of its gold, 80-90% of its chromium and platinum group metals, 60% of the world's uncultivated arable land. But commodities is just 16% of GDP
  • 42 African countries have qualified for the debt relief plans initiated by the World Bank and IMF in 1999
  • Unemployed workers in Portugal have begun to move to the former Portuguese colonies Angola and Mozambique
  • High optimism about the future. 2/3 believes their life will improve in the coming five years
  • Number of African children who go to school grew with 50% between 2000 and 2008. 80 percent in Tanzania can read and write. 75% of those who finished elementary school also get a higher education
  • 25 of 53 countries are considered to be democracies and 22 have held recognized elections
  • Number of coups have decreased by 50%. If a coup occurs, it will be solved faster than ever before due to EU and the African Union
  • 19 countries south of Sahara have their own stock market
  • 300 million Africans are considered to be part of the global middle class (can spend $10-$100 per day)
  • Several Africans have 2-3 mobile phones because it's cheaper to call to the same operator
  • 20% have a bank account, but 70% have a mobile phone, so Africans have no need for a bank account. 70% of the people in Kenya are using mobile bank services (such as M-Pesa) - the same number in China is 3% and 5% in India. If you need cash, there are trucks that drive around to the villages with cash machines on their back. It was estimated that in 2015, 350 million will have access to mobile bank services - the same number in 2007 was almost 0%
  • The reason why mobile phones are more popular that computers is because of the low reliability of electricity. Before an election in Nigeria, the number one request was more reliable electricity
  • If you pay $2 per year, you will get a health insurance in Rwanda. The goal in Rwanda is that at least 50% will give birth in a health clinic. Birth control bills are included in this health insurance, so the number of children have decreased
  • Poverty in Africa decreases by 1% per year
  • Joyce Banda, the President of Malawi since 2012, realized that her predecessor had 45 limousines, 7 bikes, and several private jets. She sold everything except 4 cars and 1 private jet, and she reduced her salary by 30 percent
  • A refugee, who had fled from Liberia when she was young and now returned, explained how Liberia now was like a white canvas. Of the 1.1 million who between 2000 and 2007 emigrated from Ghana, only 153,000 didn't move back to the country
  • 85% of all Africans have never flown in an airplane and 60% work within the agricultural sector
  • 12% of all trades is between countries in Africa
  • China has invested $2 billion to establish an industrial zone outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Hualian Group, a Chinese retailer, will recruit 100,000 Ethiopians within the coming 10 years. They chose Ethiopia because of the low costs and supply of cattle for production of leather
  • Nigerians have begun to recruit craftsmen from Poland and Baltics to help them build buildings
  • It's common among Africans to argue that 50 years of aid from western countries has been a waste of money
  • African politicians and businessmen prefer to work with Chinese - not Europeans - because the Chinese begin immediately while Europeans "discuss for two years" before they begin. More than 1 million Chinese live in Africa. But China are not in Africa to just "steal" commodities - they have built roads, schools, railways, hospitals, and sun-powered traffic lights. China has more peacekeepers in Africa than any other country 
  • Members of the parliament in Nigeria have a higher salary than Barack Obama
  • Have begun to question female circumcision

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