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How many countries are there in Africa?

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According to the United Nations, Africa has fifty-four countries across 11.7 million square miles. The biggest country by area is Algeria and the biggest country by population is Nigeria.

The independence of two territories on the continent are a source of contention: Western Sahara and Somaliland. Western Sahara was a Spanish colony until 1975 when it was annexed by Morroco. Since then it has formed a dispute, and at times conflict, between the Moroccans and native Sahawaris. According to the BBC, some African countries recognize Western Sahara as The Saharan Arab Democratic Republic. Somaliland declared itself independent from Somalia after the break up of the Somalian dictatorship in 1991. Somaliland has its own currency and political system, but is not internationally recognized as its own country.

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