Africa real sizeAfrica is much bigger than you think. In fact, it is larger than the USA, China, India, Japan and all of Europe combined! The problem is that the world isn’t flat, but the maps we use are, and it is really difficult to flatten a sphere into a square. This means that our traditional maps are distorted, with countries artificially enlarged the closer we get to the poles, giving the impression that Africa is about the same size as Greenland. However, Africa is in fact 14 times larger than Greenland.

Our traditional maps are relics of Euro-centric colonial days. They are simply representations of the world through the lens of their creator. Why is Europe normally in the centre? Why is north up, when there is no concept of up in space? South is associated with poverty and lack of development, and even our language is full of negative connotations for “down”, such as “down in the dumps”, while “up” has positive ones such as “on top of the world”, as pointed out by Africa Check.

The map shows how big Africa is. However, in the mental map of many non-Africans it occupies almost a single point, which probably contains features such as famine and disease; safari and animals; Nelson Mandela; the Lion King; genocide in Rwanda and Darfur and perhaps rape in the DR Congo; and Ebola.