How Many Countries in Africa Are There? 54 or 55?

Africa has the largest amount of countries when you look at the world’s 7 continents.

How many countries in Africa do you ask?

How Many Countries in Africa Are There? 54 or 55?

Africa has the largest amount of countries when you look at the world’s 7 continents.

How many countries in Africa do you ask?

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

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How many countries in Africa
How many countries in Africa are there?

The correct answer is there are 54 countries in Africa. 

But you might come across a different number taking in some disputed African territories, most notably Western Sahara.

Also, a few years ago, the number was different as South Sudan was born, and this could change in the future.

Let’s look at some facts first.

How many countries in Africa are recognised by the UN?

There are 54 official countries in Africa, according to the UN. 

When you think about it, a quarter of all countries in the world are located in Africa.

Did you know there are 193 countries worldwide, according to the United Nations? We wrote a detailed blog about how many countries in the world.

At the beginning of 2022, we visited 53 countries of Africa after finally visiting Libya. Read more about our experience in Libya here.

Eritrea is our final country on the African continent, and we hope to visit in the next few months.

And did you know that the newest country in the world is also located in Africa? The Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest nation and Africa’s 54th country on 9 July 2011.

The richest country in Africa is Egypt. The largest country is Algeria. If you’re interested in visiting Algeria in the future, check out our detailed blogs on our Algeria Page.

What are the 54 countries in Africa in 2024?

 Algeria,  Angola,  Benin,  Botswana,  Burkina Faso,  Burundi,  Cameroon,  Cape Verde, The Central African Republic,  Chad,  Comoros, The Democratic Republic of Congo,  Djibouti,  Egypt,  Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea,  Eswatini (Swaziland),  Ethiopia,  Gabon, The Gambia,  Ghana,  Guinea,   Guinea-Bissau,  Ivory Coast,  Kenya,  Lesotho,  Liberia,  Libya,  Madagascar,  Malawi,  Mali,  Mauritania,  Mauritius,  Morocco,  Mozambique,  Namibia,  Niger,  Nigeria,  Republic of Congo,  Rwanda,  Sao Tome & Principe,  Senegal,  Seychelles,  Sierra Leone,  Somalia,  South Africa,  South Sudan,  Sudan,  Tanzania,  Togo,  Tunisia,  Uganda,  Zambia,  Zimbabwe

how many countries in africa map in hand
How many African countries are there?

How many African countries are part of the African Union?

If you check out the website of the African Union (AU) you will come across this: “The African Union or AU is made up of 55 Member States which represent all the countries on the African continent.”

Confused? Don’t be. According to African Union, there are 55 member states. The one country, Western Sahara (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic) is not recognised by the United Nations.

This brings us to the next point: how many countries in Africa are disputed territories?

Which countries in Africa are not recognised by other countries?

Defining a country can be difficult. While the UN recognises 54 countries in Africa, there are a few disputed territories as well as overseas territories that certainly feel like another country. 

Let’s talk about the disputed territories.

Is Western Sahara a country?

Western Sahara or Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)  is a disputed territory that has been claimed by both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Popular Front for the Liberation, known as the Polisario Front, which is an independent group based in neighbouring Algeria.

Some (African Union) consider it an independent state but not others (United Nations).

The UN considers it a disputed territory because only 39 of the UN countries recognise Western Sahara as an independent country.

By the way, this is the issue with UN-recognised countries. If only a few countries choose not to recognise a country, the country will never really be a country, according to the UN.

Perfect examples would be Taiwan and Kosovo – but recognised by the majority of the world, but not all, they are still on the list of disputed territories according to the UN. 

But back to Western Sahara. Once upon a time, this was a Spanish colony while neighbouring Morocco was claimed by France. It is believed that Western Sahara has as yet untapped offshore oil deposits and phosphate reserves.

Maybe this is the reason why this largely desert land is disputed.

It depends on who you ask how many countries in Africa are there, as the answer might be 55.

Is Somaliland a country?

Ever heard of Somaliland? No? Well, it is a self-declared state and an autonomous region of Somalia, which declared independence in 1991.

It has its own passports, money, and flag, so you would think this is a country, right? Well, if someone in Somaliland asks how many African countries are there, the number might just be 56.

However, Somaliland is not recognised by any country or international organisation as an independent country of Africa. We visited Somaliland and it was a really unique experience.

Read more about that here – Travel in Hargeisa Somaliland – Everything you need to know.

local transport from harar to hargeisa from Ethiopia to Somaliland
Crossing the border from Ethiopia to Somaliland

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Which island countries are in Africa?

There are 5 small countries in Africa and they are all island nations:

The smallest country in Africa is Seychelles. The other small island nations are São Tomé, Príncipe, Mauritius, Comoros, and Cape Verde. The largest island in Africa is Madagascar.

But there are also islands and overseas territories that belong to other countries in Europe. Territories of France (Reunion and Mayotte), Spain (Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla) Portugal (Azores, Madeira) and Itlay (Pelagie Islands).

And UK dependant territory Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

So how many countries in Africa are there? 54, 55 or 56? It’s up to you to decide. There might even be a new country in Africa as Ambazonia, a region in Cameroon that has previously pushed for independence.

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Why not learn more about how many countries are there in North America and how many countries are there in Europe?

Our most popular African posts are Madagascar in two weeks – the perfect itinerary, and the best 14 days itinerary for Tunisia

Want to learn more about the cuisine across the entire continent of Africa? Check out our delicious Food Map of Africa!

Africa Food Map of 54 African foods
Food Map of AFRICA – All 54 countries!

Travel Tips for Africa

We have many travel guides and tips for Africa – what a massive continent!

Have you ever wondered how many countries in Africa there are? 54 or 55? We cover them in depth in our ultimate Africa bucket list.

There is some delicious cuisine to be enjoyed across Africa, and these ten best African countries for food will inspire your food journey.

Check out how many of these 15 most popular foods you can taste.

If you’re wondering what they eat for breakfast in Africa, check out these 20 popular breakfast foods.

For food lovers, our Food Map of AFRICA lists the quintessential dish you need to eat in every nation!

It’s worth reading these 17 ESSENTIAL Things to know before travelling to West Africa, and our packing list for Africa may be helpful to you.

Don’t miss our recap of our travels across West Africa for even more helpful tips, and try these popular West African dishes; they’re fantastic!

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in Africa. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View eSIMs for individual countries in Africa, or consider a regional eSIM for Africa (which covers 36 countries)

If your travels in Africa are part of a much larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text Global eSIM. This eSIM has been a game-changer for us, and we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

If you want to travel with like-minded travellers, consider joining a group tour. View the best deals on group tours in Africa.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

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🎒 LuggageOsprey Farpoint 40L Backpack or Samsonite Luggage Range.

🛄 What to Pack: Don’t forget your Universal charger and a good power bank.  To help you pack the essentials, here is our ULTIMATE Packing List for all Travellers.

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Tasty Food Adventures

1 Comment. Leave new

  • This is Soooo Key – Thank You So Much for Traveling and Writing about all of these Wonderful Resources. I am visiting Africa soon and this IS KEY!!!

    Reply

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