The 10 Smallest Countries In Africa

  • All the top 5 smallest African nations are island nations.
  • Seychelles is the smallest country in Africa.

Africa’s Boundaries

The second largest continent in the world, Africa, encompasses 54 sovereign countries within its boundaries. The continent occupies a total area of 30.3 million square km accounting for 20.4% of the world’s land area. The Mediterranean Sea washes the shores of Africa to the north, the Atlantic Ocean lies to the west of the country and the Indian Ocean to the southeast. To the northeast of Africa is the Suez Canal and the Red Sea.

The Five Smallest African Nations By Size

All of the five smallest African nations are island nations. These include the Seychelles, São Tomé and Príncipe, Mauritius, Comoros, and Cape Verde. The smallest nation in continental mainland of Africa is The Gambia.

The smallest nations of Africa are also some of the least populated African countries. Seychelles, the smallest country by area (451 square km), is also the least populated sovereign African nation with a population of about 94,228 people. The second smallest African nation, São Tomé and Príncipe cover an area of 964 square km and it is also the continent’s second least populated nation. It houses 192,993 people, as of 2013.

Some of the smallest countries in Africa are also some of the richest nations of the continent in terms of GDP per capita. Seychelles and Mauritius both feature in the list of 10 Richest Countries of Africa. In fact, these countries rank second and third among the African countries in terms of GDP per capita.

1. Seychelles – 451 km2

Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean and a major tourist destination. Victoria is the capital city of this island nation. The capital is located about 1,500 km away from mainland Africa. Comoros, Madagascar, and Mauritius are some of the island nations of Africa located in the Indian Ocean near Seychelles. The nation occupies an area of 451 square km.

2. São Tomé and Príncipe – 964 km2

The second smallest country in Africa, São Tomé and Príncipe, is located in the Gulf of Guinea. São Tomé and Príncipe are the two main islands of the archipelago. The islands are located at a distance of about 250 and 225 km off the coast of Gabon in mainland Central Africa. The country has an area of 964 square km.

3. Mauritius – 2,040 km2

The island nation of Mauritius is a major tourist destination. It is located in the Indian Ocean where it occupies a total area of 2,040 square km. Mauritius’ territory includes the Mascarene Islands of Rodrigues and Mauritius and other outer islands. Port Louis is the capital of the country.

4. Comoros – 2,235 km2

Comoros is an archipelago and a sovereign African nation located in the Indian Ocean. The archipelago is located between the African island nation of Madagascar and the African mainland nation of Mozambique. Comoros occupies an area of 2,235 square km and features three main island and numerous smaller island.

5. Cape Verde – 4,033 km2

The nation of Cape Verge is an archipelago with 10 islands of volcanic origin. The archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean at a distance of about 570 km to the west of Senegal’s Cape Verde Peninsula on mainland Africa. The island nation covers an area of 4,033 square km, making it the fifth smallest nation in Africa.

6. Gambia – 10,380 km2

Senegal surrounds the Gambia apart from its Atlantic Ocean coast. Almost of its population of 1,900,000 lives below the international poverty line hence one of the poorest and smallest countries in Africa and is the smallest mainland country in the continent. The country’s long-serving president was replaced at the beginning of 2017. The citizens can only hope that the new president will govern and steer the country to a better future for all of them.

7. Swaziland – 17,364 km2

Swaziland’s neighbors are Mozambique and South Africa. It is a monarchy, with King Mswati III as the ruler. Much of the population enjoy a lower-middle income of nearly $10,000 per person. The country’s economy relies on manufacturing and services, with agriculture and mining only constituting 13% of the economy. It is affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with approximately 25% of the adult population being infected.

8. Djibouti – 23,200 km2

The country is in the Horn of Africa next to the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea with Somalia Eritrea and Ethiopia as neighbors. The population is mostly Islamic and use two official languages: Arabic and French. Services are the main GDP contributors to the economy making up more than half of the total GDP. The economy of the Eighth Smallest Countries in Africa is growing rapidly despite the lack of natural resources and inadequate rainfall. The country still has a lot to do with an average income of just $3,351 in 2016.

9. Rwanda – 26,798 km2

Rwanda is a landlocked country in Africa. Despite its small size, it has approximately 11 million inhabitants. The tiny is one of the most densely populated countries in the continent. About 2 million people became refugees in 1994 due to the genocide.

The country remains one of the poorest countries in Africa. However, it has recovered remarkably from this black page in its history. One of the fastest growing sectors in the country is tourism as it is seen as a safe country despite its dark past. The highlight of tourism is spotting mountain gorillas in their habitat.

10. Burundi – 27,830 km2

The Central African nation of Burundi is bordered by Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Other than being one of the top ten smallest countries in Africa, it is one of the least developed countries in Africa with an income of just $818 per person annually.

Much of the population works in agriculture, and more than half lives below the poverty line. Only 2% of the population can access bank, and there is almost no telecommunication. Of the total arable land, just 600 square kilometers of forest remains in the country, and it is rapidly reducing because of clearcutting for agriculture. In 2016 Burundi was named the saddest nation in the world because of poverty, hunger, corruption, low health and education services.

 

Which Are The 10 Smallest Countries Of Africa By Size?

Rank Country Area
1 Seychelles 451 km2
2 São Tomé and Príncipe 964 km2
3 Mauritius 2,040 km2
4 Comoros 2,235 km2
5 Cape Verde 4,033 km2
6 Gambia 10,380 km2
7 Swaziland 17,364 km2
8 Djibouti 23,200 km2
9 Rwanda 26,798 km2
10 Burundi 27,830 km2

Read also the largest African Countries by Size

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