Africa human geography
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Africa – Human Geography. Regions. Africa’s has five subregions East Africa, North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa. East Africa. East Africa is also known as the “cradle of humanity” , because historically this is where many civilizations began.

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Africa – Human Geography

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Africa human geography

Africa – Human Geography



  • Africa’s has five subregions East Africa, North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa.

East africa

East Africa

  • East Africa is also known as the “cradle of humanity”, because historically this is where many civilizations began.

  • East Africa was successful because it has so much coastline.

North africa

North Africa

  • Due to its prime trading location North Africa has been invaded many times over the centuries.

Africa human geography

  • South Africa is the most ethnically diverse region of Africa.





  • In the Olduvai Gorge (East Africa), fossils were found of the first humanoids to make stone tools.

  • Lucy the one of oldest and most complete humanoid skeletons was found in Ethiopia (East Africa).



  • Aksumarrived in Ethiopia in 100 AD. It was a powerful tradingempire. (East Africa)

  • Bantu Migration was a massive movement to South Africa around 2000B.C. by the Bantu people. (North to South Africa)



  • Great Zimbabwe was created by the Shona a group of bantu-speaking people. It thrived off of gold-trading, but was abandoned around 1450. (Southern Africa)

  • Mutapa Empire – legend says that a man named Mutota left Great Zimbabwe and settled in the north. This became a new empire to replace the Great Zimbabwe. By Mutota’s death the empire stretched through most of present-day Zimbabwe. By the 1500s however the Portuguese had arrived and begun encroaching.



  • Carthage – ancient and powerful civilization that controlled trade on the Mediterranean. (North Africa)

  • Egypt is the most famous of the ancient African Civilizations. People settled there because of the Nile River’s predictable flooding. (North Africa)

Fun fact king tut is in houston

Fun Fact: King Tut is in Houston

Africa human geography

  • Stateless society is a society where people rely on family lineages to govern themselves, rather than an elected government or a monarch. Members work through their differences to cooperate and share power.

  • Africa prior to European control had hundreds of ethnic groups with hundreds of languages.

Slave trade

Slave Trade

  • Sao Tome island was the first established slave trade with Europeans. It was established by the Portuguese in the 1400s.

  • Goree Island was one of the largest slave trade points in the world. (West Africa)

  • There were three trading empires in West Africa. Ghana, Mali, and Songhai locations in the Sahara allowed them to prosper from trade.

Slave trade1

Slave Trade

  • Many African Kingdoms participated in the slave trade. They already had established slave trading with the Arabs. However, the European slave trade was on a much larger scale that transported millions. (Central Africa)

  • Europeans wanted slaves for their plantations.



  • Central Africa was colonized during the 19th and 20th centuries. King Leopold II of Belgium wanted the Congo. By 1884, Belgium controlled most of the area around the Congo River. This expansion into Central Africa led to the Berlin Conference.

  • Berlin Conference – (1884 – 1885) was held so that many nations in Europe could slice up Africa. European nations wanted African resources. The conference set up divisions based on European wishes not African realities.

Berlin conference

Berlin Conference



  • Only country to not be colonized was Ethiopia.

  • Colonies used the land to grow coffee, tea, and sugar.



  • In Southern Africa, Europeans had to fight with many native ethnic groups over control of the region. However, when the British defeated the Zulu they gained control.

  • Boers , Dutch farmers, fought the British for control in the 1890s. This was called the Boer War. The Union of South Africa was formed by the British after they won.

Effects of colonialism

Effects of Colonialism

  • Most Central African countries gained independence in the 1960s.

  • After independence Africa still had the borders created by Europeans. Traditional African government was gone and enemy groups were placed together.

  • Europeans had forced many African states to switch from a stateless society to centralized government.

  • With colonial governments gone corrupt and inexperienced leaders were unable to meet the needs of such a varied population.

Effects of colonialism1

Effects of Colonialism

  • The White minority in South Africa created a policy of apartheid, complete separation of the races.

Modern africa

Modern Africa



  • Farming has been the traditional economy. (East Africa)

  • Urbanization: People are moving to the cities looking for better job opportunities.

  • Tourism is an important part of growing the economy. Most people are coming for an adventure. Wildlife parks are protected, but some people are still farming close to the edge of the preserves. (East Africa)



  • Oil is Algeria’s main export. Oil is also 99% of Libya’s exports. Together, Libya and Algeria supply most of the European Union (EU) with oil and gas. (North Africa)

  • There is little infrastructure in Central Africa. Most countries are using the exportation of their raw materials to support the economy. (Central Africa)



  • Colonization caused economies in Central Africa to remain undeveloped. Raw materials were taken, but no systems were built to support the economy.

  • Mobutu Sese Seko was the leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1967 to 1997. He caused further damage to the infrastructure of the country with his corrupt practices.



  • “one-commodity” countries are countries that rely heavily on one or two resources to support their economy.



  • Central Africa is trying use education to pull their economy up. However, they do not yet have a way to supply all of their children with an adequate education. There is a shortage of teachers, high dropout rate, and a shortage of secondary schools.

  • There are also more than 700 languages spoken in Central Africa. Most countries are starting to build new universities and training centers.

  • Movements to teach about healthcare are also picking up.



  • Masai – in Kenya and Tanzania. (East Africa)

  • Kikuyu – largest ethnic group in Kenya. They live around Mount Kenya. (East Africa)

  • Ashanti, live in Ghana, are known for hand made cloth. (West Africa)



  • Even through the 1900s, Central African art promoted colonial attitudes. After independence, these countries wanted to develop their own style of art. Many countries banned western influences in their arts.

  • The Fang sculptures inspired Picasso who started to use African influences in his art. (Central Africa)



  • Souk is a type of marketplace common in North Africa. (North Africa)

  • Rai is type of Algerian music used to protest at different times in history. (North Africa)

  • Traditionally women had very restricted roles, but there are being changes made. (North Africa)



  • Decades of strife lead to genocide in Burundi, Rwanda, and Darfur. (East Africa)

  • Zimbabwe is dealing with racial strife over the uneven distribution of land. (Southern Africa)



  • Apartheid was created in 1948 by the white minority in South Africa. It was a segregation policy.

  • There was to be no interracial interaction. This included public facilities. Ex: Schools, Hospitals, and neighborhoods

  • Land and wealth were also unequally distributed.

  • South Africa suffered economically because many countries had sanctions against them due to the apartheid policy.

Nelson mandela

Nelson Mandela

  • Nelson Mandela was a leader in the African National Congress, an anti-apartheid organization. He was arrested and jailed for his part in the anti-apartheid movement. He was in prison from 1964-1990.

  • Apartheid ended with the election of F. W. de Klerk. He worked against apartheid and after his term Nelson Mandela was elected. He was the first black President of South Africa. A new constitution with more equal rights for all was passed in 1996.



  • Is a small area of Sudan where groups have existed in stateless societies. Yet, recent drought conditions, caused partially by desertification, has caused tensions between groups to escalate.

  • This led to an outbreak of violence. Two groups from the region protested the government. The President, Omar al Bashir and the government sent in Janjaweed forces.

  • The Janjaweed started to systematically kill people in the region. This included civilians previously not involved. It is considered genocide.

  • Today Omar al Bashir has been declared a war criminal by the International Criminal Court, ICC.

Current issues

Current Issues

  • Health care – AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a pandemic or uncontrolled disease outbreak. Famine is also a serious issue. (East Africa)

  • By 1999, the countries most affected by AIDS were in southern Africa.

  • Cholera, malaria, and tuberculosis are also serious health issues faced in Africa.

Current issues1

Current Issues

  • UNAIDS is a special branch of the UN dedicated to fighting AIDS. Uganda and Senegal have reduced the spread of HIV.

  • Apartheid has caused there to be a serious division in lifestyle and opportunity. (Southern Africa)

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