The continent of Africa is divided into five major regions -- one for each cardinal direction. The five distinct regions of Africa include North Africa, South Africa, East Africa, West Africa, and Central Africa. Today, we are going to focus our attention on the countries that comprise North Africa. Africa is quite the massive landmass, so breaking the country down into five regions makes it simpler for countries to be referred to as part of X region, Y region, or Z region of Africa as opposed to simply saying the country is in Africa.
In this article, we will give you a bit of background information for a few of the countries that are considered part of Africa’s northernmost region. North Africa is not defined as comprising the same countries from one source to another. There is sometimes a slight differences in the countries that various organizations list as being part of North America simple due to the fact that all of the countries in Africa fit together like a puzzle. This is to say that it is not easy to identify a direct dividing line between northern, southern, central, eastern, and western regions of Africa.
If you find that some articles include Central African countries or a few Western and Eastern countries in the mix, just know that it's due to the lack of precise clarification regarding the regions of Africa. There are a handful of water sources that flow through the region of North Africa, as well as bodies of water that surround the coastlines of many North African countries as well. The Atlantic Ocean is west of North Africa, and both the Red Sea and the Suez Canal are east of the region.
In total, it is widely accepted that North Africa contains a total of twelve rivers. These winding water sources include the following rivers: Atbarah, Bahr el Zeraf, the Blue Nile, the Bou Regreg, Chelif, Didessa, Draa, Moulouya, Nile, Er-Rbia, Sebou, and White Nile. In this article, North Africa is defined as including a total of seven countries. These countries are Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara. Instead of going neck deep into all seven, let’s focus on three of the countries in North Africa. We’ll start with Algeria, talk a bit about Morocco, and tell you all the details there are to know about the Western Sahara.
Located in the northernmost part of North Africa, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is also situated in a part of Africa called the Maghreb Region, which is way of separating the countries of North Africa even furthermore. The capital city of Algeria is Algiers, which has GPS coordinates of 36°42′ N and 3°13′ E. Algeria encompasses a total of 919,595 square miles. Approximately 42,579,496 people live in Algeria to date, which makes the North African country’s population density just about 47 people per square mile of area. Algeria is not only the largest African country across all five regions, but Algeria also happens to be the biggest Arab country across the planet. Compared to every country on a global scale, Algeria ranks in the top ten, securing the title of the tenth largest country in the world. The nine countries that come before Algeria on this list include Russia, Canada, China, the United States, Brazil, Australia, India, Argentina, and Kazakhstan.
Within Algeria, the country is broken up into separate empires, of which there are currently twenty. Tribes and dynasties are still very prevalent in Africa, and people who share bloodlines tend to live together in what you might refer to as communities. The majority of Algeria’s various dynasties migrated to the country and set up their respective empires after relocating to this North African country, but the one group that has always inhabited Algeria is the Berbers. They are on par with Native Americans in the United States, seeing as Berbers are the indigenous people of Algeria. The nineteen other empires that are prominent in Algeria are Abbasids, Aghlabids, Almohads, Almoravids, Byzantines, Carthaginians, Fatimids, French Colonials, Hammadids, Idrisids, Numidians, Ottomans, Phoenicians, Romans, Rustamids, Spaniards, Umayyads, Candals, and Zirids.
The North African country of Morocco is situated along the upper northwestern corner of Africa, and as a coastal country, Morocco has direct access to the North Atlantic Ocean, the Strait of Gibraltar, and a slight percentage of the Mediterranean Sea. The Western Sahara borders the southwestern part of Morocco, while Algeria is to the east of the North African country. The European nations of Spain and Portugal are a brief moment away from Morocco by way of water transportation, and Morocco is also in very close proximity to the Canary Islands and the Madeira Islands.
The capital city of Morocco is Rabat, and it is a coastal city, at that. Despite being the capital, Rabat is not the largest city. That title is left to the Moroccan metropolis of Casablanca. Called the Kingdom of Morocco officially, this North African country is the same as Algeria in the sense that it is also within the boundaries of the Maghreb region of Africa. The most commonly spoken languages, aside from the country’s official languages of Berber and Arabic, include French, Spanish, and English. When you come to realize that Morocco’s population is nearly entirely made up of Arabic people and the indigenous tribes of Berbers, it makes sense as to why Arabic and Berber are the country’s officially recognized languages.
Roughly 36,569,350 people live in Morocco. The country comprises a total area of 172,317 square miles, which amounts to a population density of about two hundred thirteen people for every square mile of Moroccan land. The North African country is recognized as the largest country in the world based on the number of people who call Morocco their home, trailing right behind Poland, Canada, and Afghanistan, in that order.
The Western Sahara
Situated along the coastline of northwestern Africa, the Western Sahara has a beautiful scenic view of the North Atlantic Ocean. Morocco lies to the north of the Western Sahara and Mauritania shares the country’s southernmost border. The fellow North African country of Algeria barely touches Morocco, sharing a very small portion of the northeastern Algerian border. The Western Sahara ranks as the one hundred seventieth largest country on Earth when looking solely at the country’s population. As of 2019, it is estimated that the Western Sahara has a population of 580,230 people, which falls below 0.01% of the global population. With a population density of six people, the ratio of land to residents is very comfortable. The total area of the country is about 102,703 square miles.