Africa south of the sahara
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Africa South of the Sahara. Background Factors Africa south of Sahara was cradle of human species poorest of the nine major world regions with 10% of world’s population but only 1 % of GDP least integrated into world economic system economically falling farther behind rest of world

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Africa South of the Sahara

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Africa south of the sahara

Africa South of the Sahara

  • Background Factors

    • Africa south of Sahara was cradle of human species

    • poorest of the nine major world regions with 10% of world’s population but only 1 % of GDP

    • least integrated into world economic system

    • economically falling farther behind rest of world

    • diverse ethnic identification based on tribal loyalties, culture, language, etc.

    • tribal identifications do not always coincide with state boundaries

Africa south of the sahara

  • tribal loyalties today often stronger than loyalty to one’s country

  • conflicts between tribal customs and and new ways of life based on education, exposure to media, and urbanization

  • in medieval times, Muslim traders penetrated Sahara desert and brought Islam to northern tier of countries

  • Muslim push displaced indigenous tribes, causing them to move to the south

  • slave trade begun by Arabs and supplemented by Europeans looking for plantation labor for new world

  • 11-12 million Africans kidnapped as slaves to work in New World; most died in transit

Africa south of the sahara

  • Christian influence in Africa, particularly Coptic Church in Ethiopia from first century AD

  • Roman Catholic priests came with Portuguese, Spanish, French and Belgian traders, built schools and hospitals, and provided education

  • Importance of the Treaty of Berlin 1884 which divided Africa up among the European powers.

  • All boundaries were artificial creations

  • Peoples divided, unified regions ripped apart, hostile populations thrown together

  • Colonialism had a single major objective which was exploitation of these countries

Africa south of the sahara

  • Differences in political rule apparent

  • British and French encouraged Europeans to settle permanently, made investments in roads, railroads, civil service, hospitals, schools

  • British ruled indirectly leaving indigenous power structures in place

  • French tried to culturally assimilate elites into French culture

  • Belgians and Portuguese exploited their colonies and provided few investments, no preparation for independence, unenlightened rulers

  • future of many African states dependent on reconciling tribal, ethnic, and religious differences

Africa south of the sahara

  • African Population Problems

    • 640 million people in Africa

    • 45% of Africans live in poverty

    • rate of population growth high 2 ½-3% / year

    • African is most rural region of the world with 65-85% of people living in rural areas

    • world’s youngest population with 50% under 15 years of age

    • Population increases faster than increases in food production

Africa south of the sahara

  • Impact of AIDS in Africa

    • 70% of all HIV/AIDS cases in Africa

    • Southern Africa particularly hard hit with 20-30 of population infected by AIDS

    • Botswana and Zimbabwe have 1/3 of adults infected by AIDS

    • largest number of cases in South Africa

    • Number of new cases declining

    • Infection particularly high among educated strata of society- professionals, teachers, civil servants, truckers, merchants

    • Fighting AIDS– role of health education and availability of drugs

Africa south of the sahara

HIV AIDS in Africa

Africa south of the sahara

  • Natural Environment

    • most of Africa is a series of plateaus of varying elevations “plateau continent” punctuated by several large basins, i.e. Djouf Basin, Chad Basin, Sudan Basin, Zaire Basin, and Kalahari Basin

    • river systems traverse many of these plateaus

    • major rivers include: Niger River (Nigeria); Congo or Zaire River(Democratic Rep of Congo); Zambezi River (Mozambique); Nile River (Sudan and Egypt); Limpopo (South Africa/Mozambique/ Botswana) and Orange (South Africa)

Africa south of the sahara

  • lowland plains around coasts

  • mountainous areas found in (1) Ethiopia; (2) East African lakes; (3) eastern and southern parts of South Africa.

  • highest mountains near Lake Victoria, i.e. Kilimanjaro (19K) and Kirinyaga (Mt.. Kenya) (17K)

  • Great Rift Valley from Mozambique to Red Sea

  • African rivers rise in the interior uplands and descend to the sea abruptly.

  • rapids block inland water travel but provide good potential for hydroelectric

Africa south of the sahara

  • Tropical Climates

    • most of region lies within low latitudes and has a tropical climate

    • continent bisected by the equator

    • types of climate include:

      • tropical rain forest

        • near equator

        • from Gulf of Guinea to highlands of East Africa

        • includes southern Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, south Cameroon, and north Congo basin

      • tropical savanna

        • extensive areas of Africa with wet and dry season

        • dry forest or scrub intermixed with tall grasses

Africa south of the sahara

  • steppe and desert

    • southern border of Sahara known as Sahel was once steppe, but Sahara is creeping southward. Multi-year drought in 70’s

    • desertification is problem for region

  • Mediterranean climate

    • northwest African and southwestern tip near Cape Town

    • rainy winters and dry summers

  • humid subtropical

    • high interior grasslands of South Africa also known as High Veld

    • well marked dry season

    • found in Natal province in South Africa

Africa south of the sahara

Africa: Vegetation Map

Africa south of the sahara

Africa: Rainfall

Africa south of the sahara

  • Water Resources

    • total precipitation large but poorly distributed

    • wide fluctuations in rainfall in many parts of Africa

    • need for more control over water, i.e. irrigation projects, converting marshes and swamps to rice fields or other productive uses, development of dams to control floods, provide hydroelectric power

    • most villagers (women) carry water by hand from streams or shallow wells

Africa south of the sahara

  • Problems of African Development

    • considerable variety of environments and potential wealth

    • drought a persistent problem in most states

    • great poverty of most countries with low GNP rates, high infant mortality, high rates of disease

    • lack of education hampers development

    • high percentage of rural dwellers

    • relatively unproductive agriculture

    • per capital food output has declined or remained stationary since independence

Africa south of the sahara

  • economies underindustrialized and dependent on few primary products

  • heavy debts to foreign lenders

  • authoritarian governments the rule rather than the exception

  • serious political instability in many countries

  • poor transportation is a bottleneck to development

Africa south of the sahara

  • Regions

    • West Africa

      • countries of western coast and Sahara margin from Senegal and Mauritania to Nigeria and Niger

      • includes Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria

    • Equatorial Africa

      • central Africa focusing on Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Gabon, Cameroons, Central African Republic, southern part of Chad and Sudan

Africa south of the sahara

  • East Africa

    • Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Highland Ethiopia

  • Southern Africa

    • extends from southern border of Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo to Cape of Good Hope

    • includes Angola, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho

Africa south of the sahara

  • West Africa

    • West Africa has more links with world economy

    • long coastline led to penetration by Europeans in search of slaves, gold, and ivory

    • plantations established by British and French to produce cocoa and palm oil

    • more educated civil service, more economically advanced at time of independence

    • Nigeria largest and most populous country with 100 million people

    • very high birth rates with death rates falling

Africa south of the sahara

  • most large cities began as colonial ports, i.e. Lagos, Nigeria (3 mil); Abidjan, Ivory Coast (3 mil); Dakar, Senegal (2 mil); Accra, Ghana (2 mil); Freetown, Sierre Leone (.8 mil); Monrovia, Liberia (.5 mil); Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (.5 mil)

  • Britain, France, and Germany raced each other to colonize Africa in 19th C

  • English and French remain the official and commercial languages of many former colonies

  • agriculture remains source of employment for 50%-80% of the people

Africa south of the sahara

  • major producer of palm oil, cacao, rubber, tropical fruits, rice and coffee

  • Liberia became major producer of rubber following establishment of plantations by Firestone Rubber Co. in 1920’s; Ivory Coast also a major rubber producer

  • Nigeria a major oil producer with 90% of exports based on petroleum

  • oil income in Nigeria used to built major infrastructure projects, neglect of agriculture with the result that living standards in Nigeria now lower than before oil boom

Africa south of the sahara

  • limited manufacturing in West Africa

  • mainly import substitution products like soft drinks, household products, and processing of agricultural products

  • production of “pagne” cloth (brightly colored cloth used to make women’s dresses) in Ivory Coast is a growth industry

  • high government employment in most West African states

  • political leadership problems in most West African states with one party states or military rulers

Africa south of the sahara

  • Nigeria

    • Background

      • most populous country in Africa with 127 million

      • brought under British rule in 1906 (Britain followed policy of indirect rule in Nigeria)

      • independence in 1960 with democratic system

      • 250 different ethnic groups in Nigeria with largest being Hausa-Faulani in north with 75%; Yorba in the southwest, and Ibo in southeast

      • tension between major ethnic groups led to bloody civil war in 1965; Biafrian independence sought

      • military rule off and on since 1969; human rights abuses

      • English the official language; Hausa used in trade

Africa south of the sahara


Africa south of the sahara

  • Regions

    • coast composed of mangrove swamps, lagoons, and shallow rivers

    • Niger delta spreads 60 miles inland

    • forested belt rises to Jos Plateau

    • savanna in interior which becomes an arid desert in north

  • Climate

    • equatorial maritime climate along coast with high humidity and heavy rain

    • north has dry conditions, dusty winds from Sahara

  • Religion

    • 50% Muslim especially in north

    • 34% Christian (Catholic, Methodist, Anglican)

Africa south of the sahara

  • economy

    • predominately agricultural country producing its own food (sorghum, millet, maize, rice, yams) and exporting cacao, palm oil, beans, and rubber

    • 90% of exports by value consist of oil

    • Nigerian oil of low sulfur, high quality, high demand

    • country too heavily dependent on oil revenue, low demand for oil in 90’s hurt economy

    • largest deposits of natural gas in Africa

Africa south of the sahara

  • political problems

    • restructuring of Nigerian federation several times since 1964.

    • fragmentation of the political system, lack of trust among ethnic groups

    • military has dominated politics for 25 years, lost its perspective, too corrupt

    • civilians not organized sufficiently to challenge military rule

    • presidential elections in 1993 nullified by the military, promised reform not delivered

    • threat of fundamentalist Islam in north

    • recent elections in 1999 reestablished democratic rule

Africa south of the sahara

  • Equatorial Africa

    • heart of Africa with equatorial climate, dense rain forest, isolated from world

    • some of poorest countries in Africa but with potentially large natural resources

    • Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire) largest country in equatorial Africa with 40% of land area and 50% of people of region

    • Burundi, Rwanda, Chad, and Central African Republic are landlocked, produce few commercial goods, and have difficulty communicating with outside world

Africa south of the sahara

Equatorial Africa

Africa south of the sahara

  • large rural populations with some urbanization due more to civil strife than search for jobs

  • largest urban areas former colonial trading centers like Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo ( 4 mil); Yaounde, Cameroon (1 mil); N'djamena, Chad ( .2 mil); Brazzaville, Congo (.8 mil); Libreville, Gabon (.3 mil)

  • rapid population growth of region with population growth outstripping economic growth and food production

  • tensions between Tutsi and Hutus in Rwanda and Burundi at independence in 1962

Africa south of the sahara

  • majority Hutus took control in Rwanda, but minority Tutsis in charge in Burundi

  • death of presidents in both countries in air crash set off tribal war as Hutus massacred Tutsis, and Tutsis responded with armed rebellion

  • 2.5 million people either killed or fled to Democratic Republic of Congo in conflicts

  • tensions between Muslim northerners in Chad backed by Libya and Christian southerners erupted in open warfare in 1980’s

  • civil war in Democratic Republic of Congo led to ouster of Joseph Mobutu and replacement by Laurent Kabila

Africa south of the sahara

  • most people are subsistence farmers who grow root crops, fruits, vegetables

  • cattle farming restricted by tsetse fly

  • timber production of mahogany and ebony wood from Cameron and Congo

  • Democratic Republic of Congo one of world’s largest producer of copper

  • Democratic Republic of Congo also mines diamonds, cobalt and produces some oil

  • Gabon possesses large unexploited iron ore deposits

  • hydroelectric potential of Zaire Basin needed for further economic development of region

Africa south of the sahara

  • East Africa

    • landscapes of high plateaus cut by rift valleys

    • less water resources than other African areas and fewer mineral resources

    • Ethiopia only African country south of Sahara never colonized

    • most inland areas not developed with few links to coastal area

    • countries among the poorest in Africa

    • Ethiopia ruled by monarchy established in 2 AD until communist revolution in 1974; communists overthrown in 1991

Africa south of the sahara

  • Ethiopia’s troubled history, rebel groups

  • Eritrea gained independence in 1993 after a 30 yrs war with Ethiopia

  • Uganda’s prosperity destroyed by civil war in 60’s followed by harsh dictatorship under Idi Amin

  • Kenya and Tanzania fortunate to have avoided civil strife but have had to deal with refugees from Rwanda and Burundi

  • rapid population growth with high birth rates and low death rates

  • most countries predominantly rural with 25% of people living in cities

Africa south of the sahara

  • main cities of East Africa are: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2.5 mil); Nairobi, Kenya (2.5 mil); Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (1.2 mil); Kampala, Uganda (.5); Mombasa, Kenya (.7 mil)

  • rural to urban migration growing fast

  • cultural divide between northern Ethiopians who claim ancestry from King Solomon and Queen of Sheba who converted to Coptic Christian Church and Muslim peoples who established coastal settlements in Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia and became part of Ottoman Empire in 16th C

Africa south of the sahara

  • Britain involved in slave trade run out of Zanzibar by sultans of Oman and Muscat

  • in 1886 Britain annexed Kenya and Uganda and built railroad from Mombasa to Lake Victoria. British settlers encouraged to move to Kenyan highlands

  • Germans settled in East Africa to engage in tea and coffee production but lost Tanganyika to British after WW I.

  • most East African countries rely on agriculture, earn foreign exchange by agricultural exports

  • coffee constitutes 90% of Ethiopian exports

  • coffee, tea, and tobacco constitute 90% of Uganda’s exports

Africa south of the sahara

  • coffee, tea, sisal , cotton, cashews, and cloves are Tanzania’s major exports

  • price fluctuations can hurt earnings

  • cattle herding important in East Africa

  • famines in Ethiopia and Somalia in 1983-85 led to 500,000 millions deaths by starvation

  • Tanzanian approach to development emphasizes African socialism or communal farming. Less social stratification but low productivity

  • Kenya has made most economic progress of East African countries with some manufacturing, and center of UN activities

Africa south of the sahara

  • tourist industry important in Kenya and Tanzania to observe the largest herds of wild animals in the world.

  • migration of animals from Ngorongoro National Park and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya

  • growth of hotel and transportation industries to support this activity

  • Tanzanian government has resisted efforts to build large luxury hotels to serve tourists; tourism smaller in Tanzania as a result

Africa south of the sahara

  • Southern Africa

    • greatest potential of all African regions

    • largest amount of rail traffic in Africa

    • prospects of region tied to economic progress of South Africa

    • South Africa has 1/3 of southern Africa’s population but produced 75% of its GDP

    • South Africa is the engine of economic growth in region

    • export of minerals, farm products, and manufactured products from South Africa is great and its economy is linked to rest of the world

Africa south of the sahara

Southern Africa

Africa south of the sahara

  • Botswana, Malawi, and Zambia were hostile to apartheid policies (racial separation) of South Africa but maintained economic relations with RSA

  • Lesotho and Swaziland were encircled by RSA so had to maintain political relations with them

  • Namibia under occupation of RSA, fought a civil war with SWAPO until the UN brokered a deal that led to independence for Namibia in 1990 and removal of Cuban troops from Angola in 1988

  • South African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) was collection of southern African states opposed to apartheid that tried to promote economic development among them

Africa south of the sahara

  • South Africa now a welcomed partner of this group

  • environment of South Africa different from that of other African countries

  • RSA has warm mid latitude conditions with winter rains in the Cape and summer rains on southeastern coasts. Attractive environment for Europeans

  • natural vegetation is desert and savanna grasslands giving way to forests in higher elevations

  • population of southern Africa expanding rapidly

  • South Africa is only state with a sizable non-Black population (75% Black; 13% white; 4% Asian; and 8% mixed races)

Africa south of the sahara

  • largest cities of region include: Cape Town, RSA (3 mil); Johannesburg, RSA (2 mil); Durban and Pretoria, RSA (1.5 mil each); Port Elizabeth, RSA (.8 mil); Maputo, Mozambique (2.5 mil) Luanda, Angola (2.5 mil); Harare, Zimbabwe (1.5 mil); Lusaka, Zambia .7 mil)

  • unique history of South Africa

    • Dutch settlers arrived in Cape Town in 1652 and displaced indigenous African peoples (White tribe of Africa

    • separation from Netherlands led to distinctive culture (Boers) and language (Afrikaans)

    • British purchased Cape colonial from Dutch in 1814, demanded use of English, end to slavery, and protection for natives

Africa south of the sahara

  • Boers undertook the “Great Trek” northward to territory near Orange and Vaal River valleys. Established Orange Free State and Transvaal.

  • Displacement of more native peoples north of Limpopo R

  • Boers declared South Africa a Republic

  • discovery of gold and diamonds discovered in Transvaal in 1860’s and threat of Germans in South West Africa led to Boer War

  • UK established Union of South Africa as self-governing dominion in British Empire linking Cape, Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal in new political system

  • Afrikaans-speaking politicians established the National Party and promoted apartheid (separation of the races) with onerous racial legislation by 1948

Africa south of the sahara

  • African National Congress (ANC) under Nelson Mandela campaigned for freedom and equality for blacks

  • when democratic means of influencing the apartheid government fail, they turned to guerrilla war

  • Nelson Mandala jailed for 30 years on Robben Is

  • peaceful political protests led to brutal repression and deaths of prominent leaders like Steve Biko in 1977

  • diplomatic isolation of South Africa, economic sanctions, and domestic pressure led Nationalist Party leaders to the conclusion that South Africa must “adapt or die.”

  • free elections in 1994 led to first Black majority government under the leadership of President Nelson Mandela

Africa south of the sahara

Nelson Mandela

President of the Republic of South Africa

Africa south of the sahara

Steve Biko

Black political activist in the 60

Murdered in jail by the RSA Security Forces

Africa south of the sahara

  • Mozambique and Angola devastated by slave trade through 19th C

  • Portugal was one of least enlightened colonial rulers who provided few opportunities for schooling or social services

  • mineral resources in Angola and plantation crops in Mozambique provided motivation for colonial policy of Portuguese

  • bloody civil war in 1970’s led to independence for both countries

  • mining dominates economies of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe

Africa south of the sahara

  • RSA is world top producer of platinum used for aerospace and catalytic converters

  • RSA is major producer of goal and diamonds in Witswaterand

  • RSA produces a host of exotic minerals like chromium, manganese, vanadium used in specialty steels

  • Namibia is major producer of uranium, diamonds, zinc, copper

  • Zambian copper mines suffering from inefficiencies, lack of investment, inability to compete with more efficient producers like Chile

Africa south of the sahara

  • tourism is growing industry in South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe with Victoria Falls a major attraction

  • national parks in Zambia attract many tourists eager to see large animals

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