Africa is a continent in which the equator runs through it. It is a large continent that has many different countries in it. Even though this seems like a simple research question, it is rather difficult. Some places are not considered countries, but it would depend on who you asked. Two organizations that keep track of this do not recognize certain areas. Also, events in history change the number of countries because some places are owned by another country. Then they might fight this country to gain their independence. Then they will become their own country.
Events like this change the statistics. Currently, there are 55 countries that are recognized either by one organization or the other. These organizations include the African Union and the United Nations.