Africa is the world’s second largest and second most-populous continent. At about 30.3 million km including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth’s total surface area and 20.4% of its total land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos.
Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century European countries colonized almost all of Africa. Africa also varies greatly with regard to environments, economics, historical ties and government systems. However, most present states in Africa originate from a process of decolonisation in the 20th century. African nations have attempted to cooperate through the establishment of the African Union, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa.