Can you answer this trivia question?

March 13, 2014 | Janie

Recently I was playing a game of trivia and this question came up:

“Which African country is the largest in area?”

One member of our team thought it might be Sudan. I thought it might be the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We were both wrong. This was a little embarrassing because I had actually been trying to learn the countries of Africa. I decided not to reveal that fact.

But, if you guessed Algeria, then you are…right!

I also once read an article in the Star Tribune about an African professor at the U of M who wanted to buy a pair of shoes. The young woman helping him asked if the professor was from Africa. When she found out that he was in fact African, she then wanted to know which country in Africa he called home. He said, “You tell me.” But the clerk could not name one African country!

How is your African geography IQ? If you’d like it to improve, here’s a challenge for both of us: let’s learn all the countries of Africa! Are you game?

Here’s a map of Africa. Print it out.

And here’s a blank map. Print it out.

Study the first one and then test your memory with the second one by filling in the blank countries.

Repeat the above steps as often as needed.

Pretty soon, whenever we hear an African country mentioned in conversation or on the news (or in a game of trivia!), we are going to know exactly where it is. Maybe we can retain the location of even those itty-bitty countries.

And that is going to feel very good.


  • Steve Fredlund

    Ha, great idea Janie. I remember trying to learn a number of these countries… I was amazed at how few I could locate, but even more amazed at how many I had never even heard of. There are some tremendous resources available that help uncover the history of African countries if you are interested, but even just starting to understand the names & locations can help immensely as we engage in our world. Thank you Janie for championing Africa!!!