9 Things you didn’t know about Africa


Here's 9 things you didn’t know about Africa. Originally published in TAP Issue six 

  1. Coffee – The coffee plant, which was discovered in Ethiopia in the 11th Century, is the world’s second most traded commodity today according to the global exchange organization.
  2. Education– Founded in 982CE and one of the first established universities in the world, the University of Timbuktu with its three schools attracted elite students from all across the Arabia and Europe. Before Harvard and the likes, Timbuktu was a centre of academic Excellency.
  3. Wealthiest human – Modern estimations credit Musa with a net worth of 400 Billion dollars making him the wealthiest man in recorded history. He is also known to have been the only single human to influence the price of gold.
  4. Medicine – The Egyptians (Imhotep)– not the ancient Greeks (Hippocrates) were the true fathers of medicine. Studies have found that Egyptians were practicing medicine some 1000 years before Hippocrates was born and Imhotep is credited as being the true father of medicine. Even Hippocrates, the noted father of modern medicine was an avid follower of Imhotep’s work.
  5. Youth – 65% of Africa’s 1 billion residents are under 35 making Africa the most youthful continent in the world. By 2020, 3/4 people on the continent will be under 20. Africa’s population is also going to double by 2050 and by the end of this century, 40% of all humans will be Africans
  6. Future of food – With the expected food scarcity in the future, Africa is expected to play a major role in feeding the world as 60% of all arable land in the world are in Africa
  7. Future of water – By 2050, as the world population continues to grow, water will be such a scarce resource that some academics are predicting a world war over fresh water. It is in this sense that we note that the three Eastern African lakes of Victoria, Tanganyika and Malawi hold 30% of all the fresh water the world has.
  8. Diaspora – The approximate 30 million African diaspora sends over 54 Billion dollars (formally) back home in the form of remittances. This amount is double the foreign aid money that the continent receives. Since over 75% of Diaspora remittance is informal, the total diaspora remittance is estimated to be around $160 billion
  9. Price of corruption - The African development bank notes that Africa loses about $148 Billion a year due to corruption and another $60 billion annually in terms of elicit capture flow


Things you didn’t know about Africa

Originally published in TAP Magazine issue 6. Available for free here