West Africa<br />Chapter 21<br />
Physical Geography<br />Section 1<br />
Landforms & Climate<br />Variety of climates, but not a variety of landforms<br />Plains & Highlands<br />Plains cover muc...
The Niger River<br />Most important in West Africa<br />Starts 150 miles from Atlantic Ocean & flows east & southward for ...
Climate & Vegetation<br />Region’s climates are zonal<br />4 Zones<br />The Sahara: largest desert; northernmost parts of ...
Resources<br />Variety of resources<br />Agricultural products, oil, and minerals<br />Agriculture<br />Climate of region ...
Section 2<br />History & Culture<br />
West Africa’s History<br />Much of early history based on archaeology & oral history (spoken information passed down from ...
Great Kingdoms<br />Artifacts suggest earliest trading towns developed into great kingdoms<br />Earliest kingdom of Ghana ...
The Slave Trade<br />1440s Portuguese explorers began sailing along the west coast of Africa<br />Europeans & Africans pro...
Colonial Era & Independence<br />1800s many European countries competed for colonies in West Africa<br />France claimed mo...
Culture<br />Culture reflects traditional African cultures, European culture, & Islam<br />People & Languages<br />100s of...
Religion<br />Many forms exist<br />Traditional Africans<br />Animism: belief that bodies of water, animals, trees, & othe...
Clothing, Families, & Homes<br />Clothing:<br />Mix of traditional & modern<br />Western-style; traditional robes, skirts,...
Challenges<br />Borders of West Africa ignored human geography<br />People had stronger ties to their ethnic group than to...
Section 3<br />West Africa Today<br />
Nigeria<br />2nd largest country in W. Africa<br />Africa’s largest population<br />On e of the strongest economies<br />P...
Nigeria <br />Economy<br />Rich natural resources<br />Oil accounts for 95% of export earnings<br />Good roads railroads h...
Senegal & Gambia<br />Odd borders of countries created by French & British<br />Gambia<br />Larger & richer<br />Similarit...
Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Cape Verde<br />Guinea & Guinea-Bissau are poor countries<br />Guinea natural resource: Bauxite...
Liberia & Sierra Leone<br />Liberia<br />Oldest republic<br />Home to freed slaves in 1820s<br />Freed slaves clashed w/ A...
Ghana & Cote d’lvoire<br />Ghana:<br />Named after African kingdom<br />Cote d’lvoire:<br />Former French colony, name mea...
Togo & Benin<br />Unstable gov’t<br />Periods of military rule<br />Fragile economies & violent politics<br />Poor countri...
Mauritania, Niger, & Chad<br />Mauritania<br />Once nomadic herders<br />Expand desert has moved herders into cities<br />...
Mali & Burkina Faso<br />Mali<br />40% covered by Sahara<br />Among world’s poorest countries<br />Some farmland along Nig...
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Chapter 21 blog notes

  1. 1. West Africa<br />Chapter 21<br />
  2. 2. Physical Geography<br />Section 1<br />
  3. 3. Landforms & Climate<br />Variety of climates, but not a variety of landforms<br />Plains & Highlands<br />Plains cover much of W. Africa<br />Coastal plain: home to cities<br />Interior plains: where few crops & animals are raised<br />Plains are vast w/ a few highland areas<br />SW has plateaus & cliffs<br />Tibesti Mt. in NE<br />
  4. 4. The Niger River<br />Most important in West Africa<br />Starts 150 miles from Atlantic Ocean & flows east & southward for 2,600 miles<br />Brings life-giving water to West Africa<br />People farm along its banks or fish in its waters<br />Important transportation route<br />Divides into network of channels, swamps, & lakes in areas (inland delta)<br />
  5. 5. Climate & Vegetation<br />Region’s climates are zonal<br />4 Zones<br />The Sahara: largest desert; northernmost parts of region; few to no people<br />Steppe Climate: the Sahel (strip of land that divides the desert from wetter areas) an area of dry grasslands; rain fall varies; overgrazing by animals, cutting of trees for firewood, & winds blowing away fertile soil causing death to many people & animals<br />The Savanna: good soil, thick grass, & scattered tall trees; dangerous tsetse fly lives here, caused sleeping sickness & death<br />The Coast & Forest: many of largest cities are here, wet, humid climate; plentiful rain supports rain forests; trees have been cut to back way for expanding populations; environmental damage is a serious problem<br />
  6. 6. Resources<br />Variety of resources<br />Agricultural products, oil, and minerals<br />Agriculture<br />Climate of region helps with growing crops<br />Mineral riches: diamonds, gold, iron ore, & manganese, & bauxite<br />Nigeria is a major exporter of oil<br />95% of exports<br />
  7. 7. Section 2<br />History & Culture<br />
  8. 8. West Africa’s History<br />Much of early history based on archaeology & oral history (spoken information passed down from person to person through generations<br />
  9. 9. Great Kingdoms<br />Artifacts suggest earliest trading towns developed into great kingdoms<br />Earliest kingdom of Ghana became rich and powerful by about A.D. 800<br />Empire of Mali replace Ghana<br />Mansa Musa famous king<br />Used wealth from trade to support artists and scholars<br />Songhai kingdom replaced the Mali kingdom<br />Timbuktu became a cultural center<br />Universities, mosques, & schools<br />W. African trade cities faded when Sahara trade decreased<br />Europeans began sailing along the west coast of Africa<br />
  10. 10. The Slave Trade<br />1440s Portuguese explorers began sailing along the west coast of Africa<br />Europeans & Africans profited from trade with each other for awhile<br />1600s the demand for labor in Europe’s American colonies changed everything<br />Enslaved Africans were sold to colonists<br />It was very profitable for traders<br />Slave trade devastated West African communities<br />Families were broken up<br />Many died on the voyage to America<br />Most who survived were sent to the West Indies or Brazil<br />Ended in 1800s; millions of African had been forced from their homes<br />
  11. 11. Colonial Era & Independence<br />1800s many European countries competed for colonies in West Africa<br />France claimed most the northwest, Britain, Germany, & Portugal seized the rest<br />Only tiny Liberia remained independent<br />Founded in 1820s by Americans as a home for free slaves; Sierra Leone (British colony) also became a home for freed slaves<br />Some Europeans moved to West Africa to run the colonies<br />They built roads, bridges, & railroads<br />Teachers & missionaries set up Christian churches and schools<br />After WWII Africans worked for independence<br />Most gained it during the 1950s & 1960s<br />Portugal gave up their colonies in 1974<br />
  12. 12. Culture<br />Culture reflects traditional African cultures, European culture, & Islam<br />People & Languages<br />100s of different ethnic groups<br />Some still live in traditional villages<br />Others mix in region’s cities<br />Colonial political borders separated ethnic groups<br />More loyal to ethnic group than country<br />French, English, or Portuguese are universal languages<br />
  13. 13. Religion<br />Many forms exist<br />Traditional Africans<br />Animism: belief that bodies of water, animals, trees, & other natural objects have spirits<br />Most common<br />Islam & Christianity<br />
  14. 14. Clothing, Families, & Homes<br />Clothing:<br />Mix of traditional & modern<br />Western-style; traditional robes, skirts, blouses<br />Homes:<br />Small and simple<br />In Sahel they are circular straw or mud huts<br />Families<br />Extended families live close together<br />
  15. 15. Challenges<br />Borders of West Africa ignored human geography<br />People had stronger ties to their ethnic group than to their new country<br />Few people were trained to run new governments<br />Dictators took control in many countries<br />Still trouble region today<br />Birthrates are high in West Africa<br />More and more people most make a living from the small amount of fertile land<br />Many are moving to already crowded cities, even though jobs are few<br />Countries also must find ways to educate more of their people, but many families can not afford to send their children to school<br />
  16. 16. Section 3<br />West Africa Today<br />
  17. 17. Nigeria<br />2nd largest country in W. Africa<br />Africa’s largest population<br />On e of the strongest economies<br />People & Gov’t<br />Many ethnic groups<br />Conflict has occurred (In 1960s Igbo tried to secede & bloody civil war followed)<br />Capital was chosen in low population density area to help avoid conflicts<br />Democratic gov’t today<br />
  18. 18. Nigeria <br />Economy<br />Rich natural resources<br />Oil accounts for 95% of export earnings<br />Good roads railroads have been built<br />Rich in resources but most people are poor<br />Causes:<br />High birthrate (can not produce enough food for population)<br />History of bad gov’t (corrupt official have enriched themselves)<br />
  19. 19. Senegal & Gambia<br />Odd borders of countries created by French & British<br />Gambia<br />Larger & richer<br />Similarities:<br />Peanuts are major crops<br />Tourism is important<br />Speak Wolof<br />Griots (story tellers) are important<br />
  20. 20. Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Cape Verde<br />Guinea & Guinea-Bissau are poor countries<br />Guinea natural resource: Bauxite<br />G-B: undeveloped mineral resources<br />Cape Verde<br />Volcanic islands in Atlantic<br />Has most stable democratic gov’t<br />Tourism forms main part of economy<br />
  21. 21. Liberia & Sierra Leone<br />Liberia<br />Oldest republic<br />Home to freed slaves in 1820s<br />Freed slaves clashed w/ Africans already living there; led to civil war which ended in 2003<br />Sierra Leone<br />Civil war from 1991-2002<br />Wrecked economy, killed thousands, & forced millions from their homes<br />Today<br />Trying to rebuild<br />Natural resources could help build up economies<br />Rubber, iron ore, & diamonds<br />
  22. 22. Ghana & Cote d’lvoire<br />Ghana:<br />Named after African kingdom<br />Cote d’lvoire:<br />Former French colony, name mean “Ivory coast”<br />Largest Christian church building in Africa<br />Rich natural resources<br />Gold, timber, cacao, & coffee<br />Economy hurt by civil war<br />
  23. 23. Togo & Benin<br />Unstable gov’t<br />Periods of military rule<br />Fragile economies & violent politics<br />Poor countries<br />People depend on farming & herding<br />Palm products, cacao, & coffee are main crops<br />
  24. 24. Mauritania, Niger, & Chad<br />Mauritania<br />Once nomadic herders<br />Expand desert has moved herders into cities<br />Very poor people<br />Farming & fishing are important<br />Corrupt gov’t & ethnic tensions between blacks & Arabs add to troubles<br />Niger<br />3% of land good for farming<br />Farmers grow staple food crops (millet & sorghum)<br />Crops destroyed by locusts & drought in 2000s<br />Caused widespread famine; international groups supplied aid<br />Chad<br />Land for farming<br />Lake Chad once had healthy fishing industry & supplied water<br />Drought has caused evaporation<br />Faced civil wars in 1990s<br />Oil recently discovered in 2004<br />
  25. 25.
  26. 26. Mali & Burkina Faso<br />Mali<br />40% covered by Sahara<br />Among world’s poorest countries<br />Some farmland along Niger River<br />People fish or farm<br />Cotton & gold are main exports<br />Fairly stable democratic gov’t has begun economic reform<br />Tourism is important<br />Burkina Faso<br />Poor country<br />Thin soil & few minerals<br />Few trees remain<br />Jobs in cities are scarce<br />Men often try to find work in other countries<br />When unrest disrupts work opportunities the economy suffers<br />

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