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Only April Fools Think Africa Is A Country!

Leif Parsons for NPR

In a brilliant April Fools' day spoof, the Washington Post declared, "Weary professors give up, concede that Africa is a country."

The authors are professors who focus on African countries: Laura Seay at Colby College, and Kim Yi Dionne, who's at Smith College.

"It doesn't matter how many map quizzes I give or how often I interrupt students to ask them to be specific about the amazing pictures from their volunteer trip to 'Africa,' things are never going to change," wrote Dionne in the article. "I might as well give up."

Professors Seay and Dionne, we at Goats and Soda feel your pain!

When contributor Anders Kelto wrote a story about things U.S. students didn't learn about Africa but should, the No. 1 item on his list was:

Africa is not a country. Please, please, please get this right. There are 54 countries and one "non-self-governing territory" (Western Sahara) in Africa. South Africa is a country, not the southern part of a country called "Africa." Similarly, West Africa and East Africa are regions of the continent, each containing many countries. In fact, there is a popular culture and media analysis website that takes its name from the common misconception that Africa is a country.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Marc Silver
Marc Silver, who edits NPR's global health blog, has been a reporter and editor for the Baltimore Jewish Times, U.S. News & World Report and National Geographic. He is the author of Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) During Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond and co-author, with his daughter, Maya Silver, of My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks: Real-Life Advice From Real-Life Teens. The NPR story he co-wrote with Rebecca Davis and Viola Kosome -- 'No Sex For Fish' — won a Sigma Delta Chi award for online reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.
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