Africa has 54 recognized states, as of 2014, the largest of which is Algeria. These 54 state are also referred to as countries, but Africa is also comprised of another 10 territories controlled by the colonial powers.
Fifty-three of the recognized states are part of the African Union, which was established in 2001. Morocco is not part of the African Union. Africa is the second-largest continent and is home to more than one billion people. The continent exists on both sides of the equator, meaning it has a variety or climates from dry, desert areas to mountain and lush rain forests.