Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million kmÂ² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area. With a billion people (as of 2009) in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14.8% of the World's population.
Today, Africa contains 53 independent and sovereign countries, most of which still have the borders drawn during the era of European colonialism. Since colonialism, African states have frequently been hampered by instability, corruption and violence.
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