Africa | Location, Position, Size And Political Division

Geographical Features: Africa, spanning from latitudes 37o N to 35oS and longitudes 17oW to 51oE, showcases a diverse range of geographical features. From the vast Sahara Desert in the north to the lush tropical rainforests near the equator, and from the majestic Atlas Mountains to the expansive savannas, Africa boasts a rich tapestry of landscapes […]

Geographical Features:

Africa, spanning from latitudes 37o N to 35oS and longitudes 17oW to 51oE, showcases a diverse range of geographical features. From the vast Sahara Desert in the north to the lush tropical rainforests near the equator, and from the majestic Atlas Mountains to the expansive savannas, Africa boasts a rich tapestry of landscapes and ecosystems.

 

Natural Boundaries:

The geographical location of Africa is defined by natural boundaries. The Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, and the Indian Ocean to the east contribute to its distinct positioning. Notably, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden form the northeastern border, demarcating the separation between Africa and Asia.

 

Continental Size:

Ranking as the second-largest continent globally, Africa occupies a quarter of the Earth’s landmass, following closely behind Asia. Its vast expanse covers approximately 30 million square kilometers, extending over 8000 kilometers from north to south and 7,500 kilometers from east to west.

 

Political Composition:

Africa is politically diverse, comprising around 48 mainland countries and various islands. Islands in the Indian Ocean, such as Madagascar, Zanzibar, Comoro, and Mauritius, contribute to the continent’s geopolitical makeup. Similarly, islands in the Atlantic Ocean, including Sao Tome, Cape Verde, Principe, Canary, and Equatorial Guinea, add to the intricate political divisions.

 

Landlocked Challenges:

Some African nations face unique challenges due to their landlocked status, lacking direct access to coastlines. Countries like Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Central Africa Republic, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Sudan encounter specific problems associated with their geographical position.

  1. High Freight Cost: Landlocked countries often experience higher freight costs for importing and exporting goods due to their dependence on neighboring coastal nations for transportation.
  2. Economic Dependence: The economic vitality of landlocked countries is closely tied to the policies and economic conditions of their coastal neighbors, making them susceptible to external influences.
  3. Political Dependence: Landlocked nations may find themselves politically dependent on their maritime neighbors for trade agreements, infrastructure development, and geopolitical stability.
  4. Insecurity of Goods: The absence of direct maritime access can lead to increased vulnerability and insecurity of goods during transportation, making landlocked nations reliant on secure transit routes.
  5. Political Instability: Landlocked countries may face heightened political instability, influenced by their reliance on external trade routes and geopolitical relationships, adding an additional layer of complexity to their governance and stability.

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