Did you know that the West African Franc (WAF) is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo?
How about the fact that the most widely spoken language in Africa is Arabic?
Below are some fascinating facts about African countries:
• Petrol is cheaper than water.
• The Sahara desert covers 80% of the country.
• Home to the famous Djama El Dhazair mosque (3rd largest in the world) and houses the world's largest minaret.
• It is illegal to take their currency(Kwanza) out of the country.
• The country has a shortage of men. Men lost their lives during the civil war (from 1975 to 2002).
• Believed to be the origin of the dreadlock hairstyle.
• People wear winter jackets in summer to avoid extreme heat.
• Snakes are highly respected and admired. It is a sign of good luck to come across a snake.
• Due to superstitious voodoo, some communities believe that photography steals part of the soul.
• Water is highly valued. They even named their currency pula, meaning rain in Setswana.
• It is the oldest democratic state in Africa.
• It holds several world records: shortest border, largest salt pans and largest inland delta.
• The national anthem was composed by Thomas Sankara, the first president.
• They are known as the cowboys of Africa for their love for horses.
• Burkina Faso means land of honest people.
• Random morning runs and jogging is banned. You have to join a jogging club and register with the government.
• The capital city shifted from Bujumbura to Gitega in 2019.
• People in Burundi believe that 'planting' horns bring good luck.
• It is an archipelago (a group of islands).
• It is considered rude to eat in public without sharing food.
• There is an estimation of one goat for every two people.
Home to the world's largest from species - The Goliath.
The first country in Africa to reach the quarter-final in the FIFA world cup.
It has about 250 languages.
African Republic (CAR)
• One of the best places in the world for stargazing.
• Compasses don't work here. The country has one of the largest magnetic anomalies in the world (Bangui magnetic anomaly).
• The Bangui River Basin covers more than half of the country.
• It holds the best camel racing in the world in the Tibesti Mountains.
• It gets its name from Lake Chad which has shrunk by 95% since the 1960s.
• Are you a doctor? Go to Chad! For every 23600 people, there's one doctor available.
• Someone attempts a coup every two years.
• It is known as the 'perfume isles' due to its fragnant plant life, particularly the Ylang-Ylang flower.
• The closest neighbouring country is France.
• Home to the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, the last natural habitat on earth with no interference from humans or global warming.
• The rainforest covers 70% of the land.
• The only place you can find the Bonobos, a chimpanzee species considered closest to human beings.
• Music is the largest export.
• It shares a border with nine countries: Cono Brazaville, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Angola, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania.
• Kinshasa and Brazaville are the world's closest capital cities, separated by the River Congo(5km apart).
Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
• It is the world's largest exporter of cocoa.
• Home to the world's largest church: The Basilique Notre-Dame de la Paix (Basilica of Our Lady of Peace).
• It has two capital cities, Yamoussoukro and Abidjan.
• Djibouti city accounts for 76% of the country's population
• It has no permanent streams or rivers.
• It has the lowest points in Africa.
• Egyptians invented the 365 days calendar to predict the flooding of the River Nile.
• It has the world's oldest dress.
• Home to the world's largest dam: the Aswan high dam.
• It has one of the longest-serving presidents in the world. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been president since 1979.
• It is one of the only nations that do not have the capital on the mainland.
• The only African country with Spanish as the official language.