Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia. Located to the south of Europe and to the east of the Atlantic Ocean, it is bounded to the north by the Mediterranean Sea, to the northeast by the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea, and to the southeast by the Indian Ocean. With 54 sovereign countries, numerous territories, and two de facto independent states with limited recognition, Africa's vast landmass covers approximately 30.3 million square kilometers (11.7 million square miles), accounting for about 20% of the Earth's total land area.

As of my last update, Africa's population was estimated to be around 1.3 billion people, making up about 16% of the world's human population. This diverse continent is home to a wide array of ethnicities, cultures, languages, and religions. The African continent features a variety of landscapes, including the world's largest desert (the Sahara), dense jungle regions, vast savannahs, and numerous rivers and lakes. The Nile River, the longest river in the world, runs through 11 countries in northeastern Africa.

Africa's biodiversity is equally impressive, hosting a significant proportion of the world's animal, bird, and plant species. This rich diversity extends to climates ranging from tropical to subarctic on its highest peaks. The continent's history is deep and complex, featuring some of the earliest recorded civilizations, significant movements of people, and pivotal roles in global trade networks.

Economically, Africa is rich in resources, being a major supplier of precious metals, minerals, and oil to the world. Despite its abundant natural resources, the continent faces challenges including poverty, disease, political instability, and the effects of climate change. However, Africa also shows great potential for growth and development, with a young and rapidly urbanizing population, improving access to education and health services, and increasing integration into the global economy.

In recent years, initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable development, democracy, and regional integration have gained momentum, contributing to a more optimistic outlook for Africa's future.

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