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  2. 2. BASIC INFORMATION  2nd Largest Continent covering 11.6 million square miles.  Boundaries  Mediterranean Sea, Suez Canal and Red Sea to the North.  Atlantic Ocean to the West.  Indian Ocean to the East.
  3. 3. BASIC INFORMATION  Africa can be divided into two based on culture and climate:  North Africa and Africa south of the Sahara. Arid North Africa includes Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, all of which are climatically and culturally similar to the Middle East.  South if them is a semiarid zone stretches across much of South Africa.
  4. 4. I. Physical Features A. Africa consists of a number of plateaus, dissected in the east by the Rift Valley. 1. Volcanic eruptions and elongated lakes and valleys are found along this rift. 2. The Atlas Mountains in the northwest of the continent are the only geologically recent mountains in Africa. 3. Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak.
  5. 5. B. Africa has several long rivers; 1. The Nile – 4,160 miles long. It arises in the Kenyan highlands, flows north and disgorges in the Mediterranean. 2. The Congo Basin – 2,880 miles. 3. Zambeze – 1,700 miles. 4. Niger - 2,150 miles.
  6. 6. II. Climate and Vegetation A. Africa is a continent of climatic contrasts. 1. North Africa contains the world’s largest hot desert, the Sahara. a. Drought and fire resistant shrubs and grasses are found there. 2. To its north lie narrow zones along the Mediterranean coast with cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers.
  7. 7. B. On the southern border of the Sahara lies the Sahel, consisting of thorny woodlands and grasslands with scattered trees. 1. Rainfall is generally low and variable. 2. The area is prone to severe droughts, such as those in the 1980s in Ethiopia and 1990s in Somalia. a. Injudicious cattle herding and grain farming contributed to desertification.
  8. 8. C. In central and west Africa, equatorial and tropical conditions prevail, with annual rainfall exceeding 50 inches per year. 1. Forests and woodlands cover large areas. a. The forests are layered shrubs and mosses at lower layers and large tree canopies at higher layers. b. Each layer possesses abundant and distant wildlife. 2. East Africa has a monsoon climate, and its forests are less dense. a. In areas of lesser rainfall (15 inches), thorny woodlands and grasslands occur. 3. The forests of Africa harbor chimpanzees and gorillas, and their bird life is abundant.
  9. 9. D. The vegetation of the semiarid lands of the southernmost part of Africa, notably around the borders of the Kalahari Desert, consists of thorny scrub and grasslands. 1. A greater variety of plants occurs in the wetter coastal and upland areas of the southeast parts of South Africa. D. Africa’s savannas possess among the richest and most diverse animal populations of the world. 1. Zebras, antelopes, giraffes, elephants, rhinoceros, and wildebeest roam in herds, preyed upon by carnivores such as lions, tigers , leopards, hyenas, jackals, and foxes. 2. Bird life includes ostriches and raptors such as eagles and hawks.
  10. 10. F. Large-scale hunting of wildlife, begun during the colonial era, has had a major impact on Africa’s animals. 1. The most notable example has been the quest for ivory. a. World bans on the trading of ivory have reduced the threat to elephant populations. 2. Other threatened species are white and black hippopotamus, the black wildebeest and some types of zebras.
  11. 11. G. Island off the African coast also have their distinct plant and animal species. 1. Notably the lemurs in Madagascar, and the seas are also rich in animal life, including whales, seals, dugongs, and manatees.
  12. 12. III. Population A. From being the apparent origin of the human species, Africa’s population has grown to 922 million people (2007). 1. The high rate of population increase between 1985 and 1990 of 3% put pressure on resources and food supplies. a. Currently the growth rate has fallen to 2.3%. 2. Life expectancies are low in comparison with other continents; a. 51.7 years for males. b. 53.8 years for females.
  13. 13. B. In arid North Africa, populations are concentrated along the Mediterranean. 1. In Egypt, 90% of the country’s population lives along the banks of the Nile River and on its delta. 2. In humid tropical Africa, populations are more dispersed.
  14. 14. C. A lack of employment in rural areas during the 20th century has caused a drift to the cities, resulting in fringe urban settlements with poor facilities. 1. In 2005, an estimated 39.7% of Africa’s people lived in urban areas.
  15. 15. IV. Agriculture A. More than 60% of Africa’s people depend upon agriculture for their livelihood. 1. Farming is mostly of the subsistence variety. a. The Hausa people of the W. African savannas grow grains and herd animals. b. The Tuareg people in the Sahara practice pastoralism.
  16. 16. B. Rice, maize, and wheat are grown in several parts of Africa, either where rainfall is adequate or through the use of irrigation. 1. Fruits and vegetables are also grown. a. Bananas and mangoes in humid tropical areas. b. Date palms in arid areas. c. Citrus fruits, grapes, and olives in areas with a Mediterranean climate.
  17. 17. C. Plantation agriculture and large-scale farming were established by Europeans in tropical humid Africa and southern Africa. 1. The plantations provide some countries with their main export earnings; a. Tea and coffee in Burundi and Rwanda/ b. Peanuts in Senegal. c. Tobacco in Malawi C. Prolonged droughts in several parts of Africa, especially in the semiarid Sahel, have severely affected food production. 1. Agricultural production has also been disrupted by civil wars and wars between neighboring countries.
  18. 18. E. In the countries of the Guild of Guinea, tropical forests are logged for valuable timbers including mahogany, but forest depletion destroys animal habitats and may affect the global climate.
  19. 19. V. Industrialization A. Mineral-rich Africa exports most of the minerals it extracts. 1. Examples of some minerals a. Algeria, Libya, and Nigeria are major petroleum producers. b. Natural Gas occurs in Algeria, Libya, and Egypt. c. Copper and Zinc in Southern Africa. d. Lead in the Congo. e. Iron Ore in South Africa and Zimbabwe. f. Nickel in Botswana and South Africa. 2. Precious Metals a. South Africa is a major producer of gold and platinum. b. Diamonds are mined in Namibia, South Africa, the Congo and Angola.
  20. 20. B. Several African countries obtain more than half their export earnings from a single commodity; 1. Libya, Nigeria, Gabon, Angola, and Egypt from petroleum. 2. Guinea from bauxite (aluminum ore). 3. South Africa, with its diversified economy, depends on gold for 40% of its export earnings. B. Despite the continent’s natural resources, there are no developed countries in Africa. 1. A large proportion of African countries have low indicators for nutrition, education health, and life expectancy. a. The U.N. has designated these as the world’s least developed nations. 2. Somalia and the Sudan , are not self-sufficient in food production and have during drought and war desperately needed food and aid.
  21. 21. D. Relatively few African countries have developed significant manufacturing industries. 1. The major exception is South Africa, which now exports machinery and other equipment. 2. During the years of apartheid, however, their racially-based separate development policy created a wide gulf in living standards between black and white populations.
  22. 22. VI. Languages A. A large number of languages are spoken in Africa. 1. Many such as Tigre and Chadic in NE Africa are restricted to small tribal groups. 2. Zulu is spoken by a large group in South Africa. 3. Arabic is the main language of North Africa and the adjoining countries just south of the Sahara. a. Other common languages include; Swahili, Hausa, and Malagasy. B. During the colonial period, several European languages became official languages in carious parts of Africa. 1. French , Portuguese, and English are still spoken over large areas. 2. These languages allow communication between tribal groups which speak different languages.
  23. 23. VII.Boundary disputes and Wars A. From the 16th Century onward, Africa was overrun by colonial powers including France, Britain, Portugal, Spain, and Germany. 1. The colonists had great impact in the areas of language, law, and education. 2. The current borders of the nations of Africa were determined during colonial times. a. These borders would often cut across tribal areas, separating member of the same ethnic group while brining together traditionally antagonistic tribes. i. The Somalis for instance found themselves in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
  24. 24. B. Following decolonization, several tribal conflicts have erupted. 1. Genocide of Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda in 1994. Nigeria had a period of insurrection when its southern part seceded to form a short-lived Republic of Biafra. 2. Civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 1999 and 2003 killed around 2.5 million people. 3. The Zulu of South Africa continues to demand for greater autonomy.
  25. 25. MAP OF AFRICA