Africa. It is not a country.
For the millions of people (other than Africans) who realize it's not a country, it is not a homogenous mass of land. Every country is unique and in most countries, the uniqueness can be classified for regions, tribes etc.
The word does not refer to only sub-saharan Africa. It encompasses all 54 countries so yes North Africa and the islands are included. So no saying your friend travelled to African is not a clear picture at all. If I said,'I travelled to Central America' the next question will be (and logically too), well where exactly?! Why then do people nod knowingly when they hear someone travelled to Africa?
I don't know if it is just me but the way most people use that word really grates on my nerve. No I will not describe myself as African. Americans don't call themselves North Americans, Indians don't say 'Hi. My name is Sharukh Khan and I'm from Asia' so why should I?
Because I live on the continent does not mean I know everything about everywhere. I bet very few Mexicans know every detail about the history, political atmosphere, natural and mineral resources of Canada (and yea Mexico is considered North American). So no, I cannot tell you why the war in Congo is still raging (actually I can but I don't want to discuss it).
The situations in the countries vary from country to country so no Lupe, don't draw comparisons between Africa and New York (I still love you though).
Africa does not equal evil, strife, sorrow and/ poverty. If I wasn't too busy (lazy) I'd start a petition against calling killer bees 'Africanized' bees. If they were purely African, I wouldn't care (would probably be proud of them) but they are hybrids of African and European bees. It's either a petition or I make a couple of killer 'mistakes' myself and name them after each region, just for equality sake.
I understand why they do it. I really do. It's not completely their ignorant faults. I don't mind people classifying us as Africans, it's the fact that it's done only to us and often in direct comparison with other countries *the horror*