Many people underrate the size and true potential of Africa. Africa is the world's second largest continent, made up of 54 countries located on both its mainland and islands. The continent covers about 30.22 million km2 (11.67 million sq mi) of land area, and it is potentially the world's largest trade zone.
A graphic illustration of the continent's "true size" shows that Africa "contains the entirety of the USA, all of China, India, as well as Japan and pretty much all of Europe as well - all combined!"
Africa is a huge land mass with large deposits of natural resources, and a population surpassing 1 billion people. The continent is one of the most richly endowed with natural resources - including hydrocarbon fuels, metals, precious stones, forests, wildlife, fertile lands, and generous amounts of sunshine. Africa's resources and trade potential is still very largely untapped.
Africa's market is mostly segmented into smaller nation states, with some creating transnational and regional trading blocks. Africa's apex body the Africa Union, is pushing "to accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent".
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