Africa • Africa is the second largest continent, making up around 20% of the earth’s land mass. • Africa is the second-most populous continent with a population of over a billion people. • Poverty and political instability have long been problems for many of the countries of Africa.
Saharan Africa • Northern Africa is called Saharan Africa because it is physically dominated by the Sahara Desert. • The Sahara Desert is the largest in the world, covering around 3 million square miles with around 80,000 miles of oases. • An oasis is a fertile patch of land within a desert usually created where an underground river rises to the earth’s surface. • The temperatures range from around 130° in the day and 30° at night.
The Nile River • The Nile River is the longest river in the world – 4,145 miles long. • Annual flooding along the Nile created a fertile delta in the country of Egypt. • Over 90% of Egypt’s population lives within eyesight of the Nile River Delta. • The Aswan High Dam now controls flooding on the Nile and has led to an increase in Egypt’s agriculture.
Sub-Saharan Africa • Sub-Saharan Africa consists of more than 40 countries whose combined populations compromises more than 70% of Africa’s total population. • Sub-Saharan Africa has one-tenth of the world’s population who speak one-third of the world’s known languages. • Poverty and political instability are serious problems in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Physical Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa • Large portions of Sub-Saharan Africa are covered with savannas – natural grasslands found in tropical regions. • Along the equator there are regions of tropical rain forests. • The Great Rift Valley – a deep, trench-like valley with steep walls – stretches from Mozambique to Ethiopia. • Many volcanoes are found along the edges of the Great Rift Valley, including Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is Africa’s highest point at 19,340 feet.
Northern Africa 1. Northern Africa consists of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. • These countries (except for Egypt) cover an area known as the Maghreb, which is an Arab word used to describe the countries that share the Atlas Mountains and the small coastal plains along the Mediterranean Sea. • Culturally, these countries are more similar to the Middle East than the rest of Africa because they were conquered by Arab Muslims. • The original inhabitants of the region were the Berbers, who were nomadic herders that depended on the fertile valleys and oases of the region for survival.
Egypt • Egypt is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. • Tourism is important to Egypt, with many people coming to see the pyramids, which were built as tombs for the early pharaohs of Egypt. • Also important to Egypt is the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf of Suez.
Western Africa • The countries of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria make up the region known as Western Africa.
The Sahel • Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and the Sudan are called the Sahel Countries. • The Sahel is a large area of savannas that separate the Sahara Desert from the tropical forests of Africa. • The Sahel is considered a transition zone because: • Rainfall increases from less than 5 inches a year to more than 50 inches a year. • The population becomes less Arabic and more African. • The Islamic religion is replaced by Christianity or smaller, tribal religions.
The Lost Boys of the Sudan • During the 1980’s, a civil war broke out in southern Sudan. • Around 20,000 boys between the ages of 7 and 17 fled the area, fearing execution or of being forced into the army. • Travelling thousands of miles through dangerous lands, the survivors eventually ended up in a refugee camps in Kenya and Ethopia.
Central Africa • Central Africa consists of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. • Much of this region lies along the equator and is covered in tropical rain forests. • The region is sparsely populated and largely rural – many people in this region survive as subsistence farmers.
The Bantu • The Bantu are a group of people who migrated from Central Africa into Western and Southern Africa. • There are around 60 million Bantu but they are known more for their language than their ethnicity. • There are around 400 closely related Bantu languages – Swahili is the largest.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo • In 1965, Joseph Mobutu seized control of the country known as the Belgian Congo and changed its name to Zaire. • Mobutu’s rule was extremely harsh and corrupt and in 1997 he was overthrown but a civil war broke out soon after between the various ethnic groups of the country. • Neighboring countries sent troops in to bring things under control but ended up fighting each other over the resources of the area. • Today, the United Nations is still working to bring peace to the region – millions have died over the years, mainly due to disease and famine.
Eastern Africa • Eastern Africa consists of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. • This region is referred to as the Horn of Africa. • A few of these countries are relatively stable, but political instability and civil war are quite common in the region, mainly due to ethnic disputes. • Extreme poverty and famine are also serious problems.
Lake Victoria • Lake Victoria is located in Eastern Africa. • It is the largest lake in Africa and the third largest lake in the world. • The area around Lake Victoria is one of Africa’s most populated regions (over 500 people per square mile).
Victoria Falls • Victoria Falls is located in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. • Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.
Rwanda and Burundi • An ethnocracy is a government in which one ethnic group rules over others. • In Rwanda, 80% of the population are Hutu and they controlled the government until a civil war broke out in the 1990’s between them and the Tutsi. • In Burundi, the Tutsi control the government, even though they make less than 20% of the population.
South Africa • South Africa consists of Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Madagascar. 2. The southern tip of Africa is known as the Cape of Good Hope.
Tugela Falls • Tugela Falls, at 3,110 feet, is the highest waterfall in Africa. • It is the second highest waterfall in the world.
South Africa • With the exception of the country of South Africa, this region is one of the poorest of Africa. • Droughts and diseases are serious problems within the region. • These problems have led to a great deal of political instability and conflict.
The Afrikaners • In the late 1600’s, Dutch colonists settled Cape Town in South Africa. • They slowly moved northward into the interior, developing farms. • In the late 1800’s, diamonds were discovered in the region, leading to large numbers of Europeans moving into the area
Homelands/Apartheid • In order to control the large black population of South Africa, the government created homelands. • These areas made up about 14% of the country’s land but 75% of the population was forced to live there. • Each ethnicity/tribe had their own homeland and weren’t allowed out of it unless they had a pass from the government. • This system of separation became known as apartheid – “apartness”.
The African National Congress • The ANC was formed to protest apartheid. • Its leader was Nelson Mandela. • The S. African government banned the party and threw Mandela in jail for life. • In 1994, when free elections were finally held, Mandela was elected president of South Africa.