What Are the Five Regions of Africa?

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The five regions of Africa are Northern Africa, Western Africa, Middle (Central) Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa. Each individual region is categorized directionally, by cardinal (compass) direction.

Northern Africa, which lies north of the Sahara and runs along the Mediterranean coast, includes Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara. Western Africa is the portion roughly west of 10 degrees east longitude, excluding Northern Africa and the Maghreb. Western Africa includes Benin, Burkina, Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Middle (Central) Africa is the large center region of Africa that either does not fall squarely into any other section or only partially does so. Central Africa includes Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, São Tomé and Príncipe. Eastern Africa stretches from the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa to Mozambique and includes Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Finally, Southern Africa is south of -10 degrees latitude and includes Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.

Another method, called the physiographic approach, divides Africa into nine different regions based on features such as landforms, climatic regions or vegetation types.