> Population: 2.4 million
The name Namib translates as “vast place.” That’s appropriate since Namibia, a former German colony, is among the least-crowded nations on the planet.
> Population: 832,000
Residents of the island nation call their country Masiwa, meaning “the islands.” The name Comoros comes from the Arabic word “qumr,” meaning “the moon,” or “qamar,” meaning “whiteness.”
> Population: 2.1 million
Portuguese explorers came to the region on the west coast of Africa in the late 15th century. Gabon is derived from the Portuguese word for hooded cloak — “gabao” — because of the shape of the estuary of the Como River.
> Population: 29.8 million
The nation has been called Ghana since 1957. It takes its name from the king’s title, “ghana.”
35. Burkina Faso
> Population: 19.8 million
The nation jettisoned the name Upper Volta in 1984 and became Burkina Faso. The name fused linguistic elements from the country’s various languages: Burkina means “free man” in the MoorÃ© language, and Faso means “land” in Dyula.