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Chapter 10 Africa and the International Community
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  1. Chapter 10Africa and the International Community

  2. Introduction • Modern day Africa faces many political and economic challenges • Illegitimate and corrupt rule has plagued most of the country • The continent struggles to find the recipe for economic development and growth but have made strides in the last few years • The continent still suffers from the legacy of colonialism • Africa owns about one-third of the world’s primary commodities

  3. African Geography • Size • Second largest continent • Stretches five thousand miles from North to South • Just under five thousand miles West to East • More than three times the size of the United States • Thought of in terms of North of the Saharan desert or Sub-Saharan • 45 countries make up sub-Saharan Africa • Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Nigeria make up the transition between North and Sub-Saharan

  4. Climate and Land Mass • Africa is rich in various topographies and climates • Home to some of the world’s largest and driest deserts, highest mountain peaks, and densest rain forests • The Congo River dominates the west central rain forests of equatorial Africa • The Nile River is the lifeblood of northeast Africa • East African landscape includes mountains, lakes, upland plateaus, and rich grasslands • The southern regions of Africa are a mix of deserts, hills, and plateaus

  5. Geographic Disadvantages • Africa has few natural harbors and navigable rivers to the interior making resource movement tough • Africa is generally very dry and the dry seasons last for six to seven months • Makes sustainable agriculture production difficult • Recurrent drought has plagued some of the central and eastern countries since the 1970’s making life difficult in these regions

  6. African Demography • Population Density • Africa is home to about 1 billion people, of which 750 million live in sub-Saharan Africa • Population density in much of the continent is low, people tend to cluster around large cities, coastlines, and areas of arable land • The World Bank estimates that 65% of Africans are employed in the agricultural sector • Low Life Expectancy and High Birth Rates • High infant mortality rates • ¼ of children in Sierra Leone die before the age of one • Despite high infant mortality rates, birth rates in most African countries are high

  7. Contested Borders • Most borders in Africa are the constructions of European imperialists of the 19th Century • Only 1/5 of Africa’s borders run across sparsely populated deserts, while many other boundaries divide ethnic groups • These divisions have been the reason for many disputes • Many historical lands and landmarks are not contained in present day states of nations as laid out by the imperial borders

  8. Cultural Diversity in Africa • No country has just one culture • Ethiopia has 76 ethnic groups and 286 languages • About 1500 identified African languages divided into five major groups: • Afro-Asiatic (from Sahara north to Mediteranean) • Niger-Congo (sub-Saharan) • Khoisan (southern) • Nilo-Saharan (North-Central) • Malagasy

  9. Africa in World History • African history is dominated by Western accounts • Until recently, historical accounts of the region before Europeans was left out of history • Ghana and Mali were of the great West African commercial states in the pre-modern period • Ethiopia and Zimbabwe in the south were flourishing agricultural and trading societies • Much history has been lost due to the slave trade

  10. The Slave Trade • Originally the Portuguese and Dutch were interested in gold and ivory • By the 18th century, the focus switched to slave trade • Over 12 million Africans enslaved and taken to the Western Hemisphere • More than 1 million more died • The slave trade coincided with the decline in African societies • Made it easier for the Europeans to invade

  11. The Slave Trade • By the 20th century, European nations had established formal control over the entire continent with the exception of Liberia and Ethiopia • The Berlin Conference (1884-1885) finalized imperial borders • Most of these borders exist today • Europeans improved many aspects of African life, but very few Africans reaped the benefits

  12. African Independence • The end of colonial rule began in the late 1950’s when Ghana became the first to gain independence in 1957 • By 1975 the era of European rule in Africa was over • The independence movement was peaceful except in countries with large amounts of Europeans • Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya (1952 to 1959) • Corruption of leaders has become a problem in many African states and was a problem during the Cold War • kleptocracy

  13. Political and Economic Development • In the 1980’s many African countries seemed to becoming democratic governments and growing economies • Ethnic conflict and civil war became a bigger priority • Freedom House ratings of the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa • 10 “free” • 23 “partly free” • 15 “not free”

  14. World Integration • World trade and technology has come a long way in the last several decades • Africa needs political stability before it can fully integrate into this improving global economy • Inequities in education levels and the distribution of wealth left by imperialists have left Africa with a stunted economy

  15. Africa in the Global Economy • Less connected than any other continent • Accounts for 1% of the world’s economic output and 2% of world trade • By the end of the 1950’s Ghana’s per capita GDP was equivalent to South Korea’s • Today, Ghana’s per capita GDP is $2500 while South Korea’s is $28,300 • 90% of people in Mozambique, Malawi, and Tanzania live on less than $2 per day

  16. Resources in Africa • Africa owns a large portion of the world’s raw minerals • 54% of world’s cobalt, 32% of its bauxite, 52% of its manganese, 81% of its chromium, and 84% of its platinum • This mineral wealth has been a main cause of conflict as civil wars occur to gain ownership of these materials

  17. Economic Aid to Africa • In the last 60 years, Africa has received about $1 trillion dollars in aid • Results: • Reduces incentives to reform economic and political policies • Budget deficits and debt increase • Decline in per capita GDP • Corrupt officials are a large problem • The African Union (AU) estimates that $150 billion lost annually due to corruption

  18. Explanations for Poor Economic Growth • Low education levels throughout the continent • 63% of African population is literate • 50% of sub-Saharan African women are literate • Somalia is worst at 25% • Damage done by colonial rule • Economic and political systems put in place not conducive to African way of life • Lack of infrastructure

  19. Demographic Issues • Very high average birthrates in African countries • 6.5 children per woman in Somalia • 4.9 children per woman in Rwanda • Very low average life expectancies in African countries • Average life expectancy in Africa is 56 years • AIDS, malaria, lack of clean water all reasons

  20. Nigeria • 6th largest oil producer in the world • Largest population in sub-Sahara • Very ethnically diverse, over 250 ethnic groups • Muslim Hausa and Fulani groups make up much of the north, Igbo make up the southeast, and Christian Yoruba make up the southwest • Civil unrest due to religious and ethnic differences • Life expectancy in Nigeria is only 47.6 years

  21. Democratic Republic of Congo • Comprises 1/13 of Africa’s landmass and possesses some of Africa’s most valuable natural resources • Gold, oil, diamonds, rubber, copper, zinc • Historically corrupt state • King Leopold II • Mobutu • Culturally diverse with over 200 ethnic groups and 75 different languages • GDP per capita of $300 and 70% live below the poverty line

  22. The Horn of Africa • These countries exemplify the struggles of many African countries in building nations inside imperial borders • Inconsistent support by the US left many countries unstable and unable to establish a political identity • Somalia is a prime example of the crippling effects of corruption and has become a breeding ground for terrorists

  23. Globalization in Africa • The US and Canada import 33% of sub-Saharan crude oil, China imports 33%, and Europe imports about 20% • Increased trade opportunities with US, Europe, India, and China • African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) gave 38 African countries duty-free access to US markets • Preferential trade agreements between Africa and Europe • China overtook US as largest trade partner in 2009 • AIDS and terrorist activity in East Africa has drawn the attention of the US