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Africa is the second largest continent after Eurasia. Its area covers 29.2 million square kilometers and 30.2 million square kilometers along with the islands that lay off its coast. As of 2011, more than 1 billion people live in Africa. In the west, Africa is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, in the north — by the Mediterranean Sea, in the east and north-east — by the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. There are 54 fully recognized sovereign states located on the continent of Africa, 2 partially recognized states, and 9 non-sovereign territories including 2 external dependencies. All countries, except South Africa, are developing countries. The majority of countries in Africa are the poorest countries in the world.

Africa is the continent of a compact form with weak vertical and horizontal ruggedness of the surface. Banks are mostly mountainous and have small convenient bays and harbors. The Gulf of Guinea is the largest of the bays. Geographical position of Africa differs from other continents as it is almost symmetric with the equator. Africa is almost entirely located between the tropics. A special feature of geographical position in the configuration of Africa is unequal land area to the south and north of the equator. It is important in manifestation of zoning landscapes. The northern part is more than two times wider than the south one. Water resources in Africa are very unequally distributed. Forests cover around 10% of the territory, but due to overexploitation their area is rapidly declining.

In contrast to Africa, Asia is the largest part of the world. Its area is around 44.6 million square kilometers or about 30% of all land in the world. Asia and Africa are joined by the Isthmus of Suez. Asia is separated from North America by the Bering Strait. It is washed by the North Arctic, Pacific, and Indian oceans with their marginal seas, and by inland seas of the Atlantic Ocean. Asia is much elongated from north to south: from Cape Chelyuskin on the Taymyr Peninsula to Cape Tanjung Piai on the Malay Peninsula. Such position has led to the presence of all geographical zones of the northern hemisphere and a clear manifestation of geographical zoning. There are several large deserts within Asia as well as one of the wettest places on the planet, located in India. In comparison to Africa, there are 48 recognized and 6 partially recognized states along with 6 dependent territories in Asia. However, most of the world population — almost 4 billion people — lives in Asia.

Climate of Asia is extremely diverse. In the north it is extremely cold, in the south it is hot, in the east and south-east it is mostly wet, and in the central areas the climate is dry. The underlying cause of such diverse climate is uneven supply of solar radiation on the surface, which is associated with location of the Asia territory in all geographical zones of the northern hemisphere. In contrast to Asia, climate of Africa is hot. It is the hottest continent in the world. Africa is located mainly in the equatorial and tropical latitudes, so it receives a significant amount of solar radiation. The average annual temperature in Africa exceeds 20 %u2070C.

The territory of Asia is much extended from west to east. Asia’s coasts are very indented. Asia is also a part of the world with rich and diverse natural resources. Africa, the same as Asia, has big mines of minerals. Africa and Asia, in fact, constitute a single land mass of the eastern hemisphere which is separated from the other continents by vast expanses of oceans. Therefore, the flora and fauna of North Africa and West Asia have many common species. However, there are some animals in Asia that cannot be found anywhere else: koala, panda, and monitor lizard. Generally, both Africa and Asia are very different and diverse continents, each with its unique culture and history.

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