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.
 East Africa was successful because it
has so much coastline.
North Africa
Due to its prime trading
location North Africa has
been invaded many
times over the centuries.
South Africa is the most
ethnically diverse region of
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).
Aksum arrived in Ethiopia in
100 AD. It was a powerful
trading empire. (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 goldtrading, 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
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
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 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
 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
Only country to not be colonized was Ethiopia.
Colonies used the land to grow coffee, tea, and
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
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 Colonialism
The White minority in South Africa created a policy
of apartheid, complete separation of the races.
Modern Africa
Farming has been the traditional economy. (East
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
“one-commodity” countries are countries that rely
heavily on one or two resources to support their
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
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 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
Health care – AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency
Syndrome) is a pandemic or uncontrolled disease
outbreak. Famine is also a serious issue. (East
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 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)

Slide 1