10 Smallest countries in Africa

Africa is the second biggest continent in the world, having a size of over 30 million km2. The continent also has the most nations in the world than any other continent. Africa has had its fair share of ups and downs.

Nonetheless, the continent has pulled through the most difficult times. One particular difficulty faced on the continent is that faced by smaller nations. With more than 10% of the area surface of the continent shared by a few countries, these smaller nations must take the extra steps to protect their territories and maintain the scarce allocation of land to their citizens. 

This article brings the 10 smallest nations in Africa by land area.

Recommended: Sub-Saharan Africa: Countries, population and economy

Africa’s smallest countries by area

RankCountryLand Area
1.Seychelles460 km2 
2.Sao Tome and Principe960 km2
3.Comoros1,862 km2
4.Mauritius2,040 km2
5.Cabo Verde4,030 km2 
6.The Gambia11,300 Km2
7.Eswatini17,360 km2
8.Djibouti23,200 km2
9.Rwanda26,340 km2
10.Burundi27,830 km2

1. Seychelles

Land area: 460 km2 

Seychelles is the smallest country on the African continent with a population of over 100 thousand people. The country is a small island nation located on the west of the Indian ocean. The country is a group of Islands totalling over 100 Islands with a shoreline of 1,200 km and a sea area of over a million square kilometres. 

Seychelles is also the richest country on the continent. The country is a hot spot for tourist visits in Africa, tourism also contributes the highest to its GDP.

2. Sao Tome and Principe

Land area: 960 km2

Sao Tome and Principe is the second smallest country on the African continent by land mass. The country is a group of two islands Sao Tome, which is the largest of the two measuring over 80% of the entire country and Principe which accounts for less than 20% of the Island nation’s area. 

The country is a central African nation situated on the equator close to the Gulf of Guinea. The two islands are separated over 80 miles apart. The country also shares the Atlantic marine surface with Equitorial Guinea and Gabon.

3. Comoros

Land area: 1,862 km2

Comoros is a country situated in the far east of Africa. The country measures 1,862 km and has a population of over 800,000 people as of the end of 2022. Comoros has a median population of 15 years, making a majority of the population young.

The country has a population density of 449.40 km2 and is the 28th most densely populated country in the world with at least 275 people per square mile. 

The country is situated off the African coast in the Indian Ocean and is closest to Mozambique and Madagascar. 

Also read: 10 Most developed countries in Africa

4. Mauritius

Land area: 2,040 km2

Mauritius is one of Africa’s wealthiest cities with a strong financial centre and a standard development index according to continental rankings. The Mauritius population is over a million people.

The country is another popular tourist destination attracting thousands of visitors annually. Mauritius has a population density of 636.99 km2 and is the 16th most densely populated country in the world with over 400 persons per square mile.

The country lies west of the Indian Ocean and has a medium age of 60, with over 90% of its population being over 18 years.

5. Cabo Verde

Land area: 4,030 km2 

Cabo Verde is a small island nation in the far west of Africa. The country’s economy is largely influenced by tourism. The country has a population of 595,177 people as of 2021. the country has a low population density being the 85th most densely populated nation on earth with 124 persons per square kilometre. 

Just like Mauritius, Cabo Verde has a relatively old population with more than 90% of the entire country being above the age of 18. The Island lies in the east of the Atlantic Ocean and is neighboured by west Africa which is 350 miles apart from it. 

6. The Gambia

Land area: 11,300 Km2

The Gambia is the second smallest country in west Africa after Cape Verde. The country is also the smallest on the African mainland. The country has a population of over 2.5 million people and is the 50th most densely populated country in the world with a 253.16 km2 density and having 176 people per square kilometre. The country is covered by Senegal and has a small bite of its shoreline at the Atlantic. 

The Gambia is also one of the poorest nations in Africa having over 30% of its population living on less than a Dollar a day.

Also read: 10 Largest economies in Africa

7. Eswatini

Land area: 17,360 km2

Eswatini is a country located in the southern part of Africa. The country has a population of over one million people and a population density of 69.20 km2 being the 144th most densely populated country in the world. 

The country is currently battling to maintain its falling population growth. The country has a very low life expectancy with a 26% HIV/AIDS epidemic prevalence impacting the country’s efforts. Eswatini also battles soil degradation, deforestation and other challenges.

8. Djibouti

Land area: 23,200 km2

Djibouti has a population of over one million with a density of 48.31 km2 making it the 162nd most densely populated country in the world. The country is situated on the horn of Africa and is bordered by Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea. Its capital Djibouti is home to over 40% of the country’s entire population. 

Djibouti is home to several foreign military bases, including the United States, France, Britain and others. The country battles poverty having a majority of its citizens living on less than a Dollar a day. Over 90% of Djibouti’s population adheres to the Muslim religion.

9. Rwanda

Land area: 26,340 km2

Rwanda is the most populated small nation on the list having a large population of close to 14 million people.

With high fertility rates, the country’s population is expected to reach over 20 million by 2030. Rwanda is the 21st most densely populated country with a 523.07 km2 area.

10. Burundi

Land area: 27,830 km2

Burundi is the second largest nation by population on the list after Rwanda, having a population of over 13 million.

The country is one of the world’s poorest country in the world with more than a quarter of the nation living in poverty. The country has a population density of 463.09 km2 making it the 26th most densely populated country in the world.

Conclusion

Africa is a country with great opportunities, nonetheless, the continent has some of the largest nations by land mass and some of the world’s smallest. The list above offers the world’s smallest nations by land mass. Nigeria has a land mass of 923,768 and is therefore one of the largest nations in Africa.

Recommended: Top 10 biggest banks in Africa

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Richard Okoroafor

Richard Okoroafor

Richard is a brilliant legal content writer who doubles as a finance lawyer. He brings his wealth of legal knowledge in corporate commercial transactions to bear, offering the best value that exceeds expectations.

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