50 Things You Didn’t Know About Africa

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  • The economies of South Africa and Nigeria comprised 56% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA’s) GDP.
  • In Liberia, nearly almost no one has internet access (0.03 per 100); there are 34 in every 100 people in Seychelles.
  • It takes 7 days to start a business in Madagascar and Mauritius, and 233 days in Guinea Bissau.
  • Nigeria has the largest population (145 million); Seychelles has the smallest (0.1 million).
  • South Africa has 84 mobile phones per 100 people; Ethiopia has 1 per 100 people.
  • 17.5 per 100 people are mobile telephone subscribers in SSA, while 1.6 per 100 are fixed line subscribers.
  • Uganda has the highest dependency ratio (ratio of people younger than 15 or older than 64 to the working age population) (1.1); Mauritius has the lowest (0.4).
  • Before the age of 24, most female youth have already been married, but in many countries they get married even earlier: In Mozambique, 47% of females were already married before the age of 19; in Chad 49%; in Guinea, 46%; in Mali, 50%; in Sierra Leone, 46%; and in Niger, 62%.
  • Parenthood starts very early. In 2003 in Mozambique, 58% of females in the age range of 15–24 had already given birth at least once, and 18% of males at this age were fathers. These figures are respectively 57% and 17% in Malawi (2004); 57% and 7% in Niger (2006); 53% and 10% in Chad (2004); 47% and 15% in Uganda (2006); and 47% and 17% in Gabon (2000).
  • Since 2000 Rwanda has made the greatest gains in life expectancy—about 5 years; in Lesotho life expectancy has decreased by about 6 years.
  • In Sierra Leone 2,000 women die for every 100,000 live births; in Mauritius 15 die per 100,000 live births.
  • Youth make up 36.9% of the working-age population, but 59.5% of the total unemployed, which is much higher than the world’s average for 2005 (43.7%)
  • Guinea Bissau has the highest fertility rate (births per women) (7.1); Mauritius and Seychelles have the lowest (2.0).

Read the entire list at the World Bank Africa Development Indicators, 2008.