Sub-Saharan Africa
 Cultural
 Language,
 The
religion, ethnicity, colonialism
world’s fastest growing region
 45%
 Low
of population is younger than 15 years old
economic output
 1%
of global output with 11% population
 Mounting debt  structural adjustment programs
Environmental Geography
Elevated landmass
Low Africa
Great Rift Valley
High Africa
Great Escarpment
 Escarpment
 Forms
when plateau abruptly ends (eg. falls)
 impedes river navigation  low connectivity in this region
 Great
Escarpment: refers to coastal escarpment in south
 narrow coastal plane  few human settlement in the coast
 Mountain
 Volcanic
mountains in southern half of the Great Rift
Valley (eg. Killimanjaro, Mount Kenya)
 created in divergent plate boundary
Divergent plate boundary
Rift Valley
The Rift Valley
In the Eastern Africa, this geological forces produce gash
along the boundary (eg. Lake Nyasa, Lake Tanganyika,
Lake Victoria)
 fertile soil, abundant water  dense settlement in eastern Africa
 Congo
River (or Zaire)
 The
Second largest river
 Bndry. betw. Rep. of Congo and Demo. Rep. of Congo
 Nile
 The
Longest river
 Lifeblood of Egypt, Sudan
 Connects between North and Sub-Saharan Africa
 Niger
 Critical
source of water for the arid countries
 Mali, Niger, Nigeria
 Historic
 Zambezi
 Major
city – Tombouctou (11th century)
supplier of commercial energy
 Kariba
 Angola,
Res, Cabora Bassa Res.
Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique
 Relatively
 can’t support intensive agriculture
 Soil
fertility explains patterns of settlement
 Rift
 Rwanda,
 Nigeria
Brundi, Ethiopia, Kenya
Mostly tropical climates
(Af, Aw, BSh, BWh)
except for South Africa
Tropical forests (Af)
 Warm
to hot temperature;
year-round precipitation
 Relatively
intact (cf. SE
Asia, Latin America)
 Low
 Oil exports
 Political chaos
Savannas (Aw)
 Wrapped
around rain forest
 Mixture of trees and tall
 Critical habitat for large
 Eg.
Masai Mara Nat’l Park,
 Sahara
Desert, Namib Desert, Kalahari Desert
Midlatitude climates
 South Africa
 Southwestern
 Mediterranean
climate (Csb)
 wine production
 Eastern
 subtropical
climate (Cfa)
 Exhibits
 Montane
 Rift
altitudinal zonation
Valley zone
 Drakensberg Range
Desertification in the Sahel
 Sahel
 Between
Sahara Desert and Savanna southward
 Transhumance
 Movement
of animals between wet-season and dry-season
pasture  adequate precipitation is essential for livelihood
 Drought
 Desert-like
condition began to move south
 Threaten the livelihoods of farmers and pastoralists
What causes the Sahelian drought?
 Human-induced
 Expansion
environmental degradation
of agriculture
loss of natural vegetation, declines in soil fertility
 eg. peanuts production during the French colonial rule
 Overgrazing
 Expansion
of animal production after WWII
 eg. wells digging to supply water
 Climatic
 Often
occurs in Savanna rather than rain forest
 shortage of biofuel; Green Belt Movement
 Central Africa’s
 Deforested
Ituri rain forest
for logging
 Madagascar’s
eastern rain
 endangered biodiversity
Wildlife conservation
 Diseases
kept people and livestock out of the areas
 Survival of wildlife
 Wildlife
reserves are in
 East Africa
(Kenya, Tanzania)
 Southern Africa (Zimbabwe)
 Poaching
(eg. ivory trade) is a problem
Population and Settlement
Overall, not densely populated
Similar to that of U.S.
Young population, large families
 population growth
  family planning policies in the 1980s
High child mortality, low life expectancy
 low access to basic health services
Population density
 Crude
population density
 Population
/ area
Even though SubSaharan Africa has low
 Physiological density
crude population
 # people per unit of arable land density, it has high
agricultural density
 Agricultural
farmers per unit of arable land
Family size
Large families are encouraged by
 Rural lifestyle
 Seen
 Ethnic
as a source of labor, and social security
 More
 High
number is affiliated with high political influence
child mortality rates
 Limited education to women
Family size
Recently growth rate has weaken due to
 Government policies
 Urbanization
Population concentration
 West Africa,
Highland East Africa
 Fertile soil, permanent agriculture
 Eastern
half of South Africa
 Urbanized
economy based on mining
 Forced relocation of black South Africans into eastern
Subsistence crops
tropical soils  shifting cultivation (or
swidden)  can’t support high population density
 Poor
 Staple
crops (millet, sorghum, corn, and tubers) all
over the region
 Yam
in West Africa (eg. Ibo: southeastern Nigeria)
 Irrigated rice in West Africa, and Madagascar
Plantation crops
 Coffee:
Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Brundi,
 Peanuts: Sahel
 Cotton: Sudan, Central African Republic
 Cocoa: Ghana, Ivory Coast
 Rubber: Liberia
 Palm oil: Nigeria
Herding and livestock
Extremely important in semiarid zones
Camel, goats in Sahara; cow father south of Sahara
Symbiotic relationships with neighboring farmers
Manure of stocks can fertilize the soil; exchanged for grain
 But often pastoralists independent of agriculture (eg. Masai)
Difficult environment for raising livestock because of
infestation of tsetse flies (eg. Central Africa)
Historic cities
Axum, Ethiopia (1st century)
Tombouctou, Gao in the Sahel (11th century)
Capital of ancient empire
Trans-Saharan trader centers
Zanzibar(Tanzania), Mombasar(Kenya) (12th century)
established by Arab traders
 Rooted in Swahili language
West African cities
Ibadan, Nigeria – settled by Yoruba (12th century)
 Lagos, Nigeria – 12 million, Yoruba
 Accra,
Ghana – settled by Ga (16th century)
 Colonial
administrative center in the late 1800s
 Division along income lines
South African cities
 Colonial
origin unlike that of west Africa
 eg.
Lusaka (Zambia), Harare(Zimbabwe), and
metropolitan areas in South Africa  rich minerals
 South Africa
 eg.
Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town
 Reflects the legacy of apartheid
Racial segregation in Cape Town
Cultural Coherence and Diversity
 No
institutionalized form of religion
 No widespread unified language
 Many
 Lacks
of African are multilingual
a history of widespread political union
 Common history of slavery and colonialism
African language groups
Can be divided into two types
(1) Associated with other parts of the world
Afro-Asiatic (North Africa, Ethiopia, Somali)  Islam
 Austronesian (Madacascar)  indonesian settlement
 Indo-European (French, English, Afrikaans)  colonialism
(2) Unique to the region
Nilo-Saharan (Southern Sudan, Sahel)
 Khoisan (Kalahari)
 Niger-Congo  Bantu migration
Bantu Migration
Swahili is the most widely spoken
Sub-Saharan language
 Combine
animist practices and ideas with their
observances of Christianity and Islam
Introduction of Christianity
A.D. 200 ~
Northern Ethiopia: Coptic form of Christianity
1600s ~
South Africa: European settlers and missionaries (1600s)
Dutch settlers
Mid 1800s ~
Former British colony – Protestant Christianity
 Former French, Belgian, Portuguese colony – Catholicism
 U.S. – Pentecostal, Evangelical, Mormon
Introduction of Islam
 1000
years ago
introduced to
Sahel from
North Africa
 Later,
spread from
Interaction between religious traditions
 Unlike
other regions, religion is not a source of
political conflict in the Sub-Saharan Africa with
the exception of Sudan
 Coexistence
 Nigeria:
Hausa (north) & Igbo, Yoruba (south)
 Eritrea: Half Christian, half Muslim
 Eastern coast: Eastern Islam & Hinterland Animist
 Conflict
 Sudan:
Muslims in north vs non-Muslims in south
African music tradition
trade  melding of African cultures with
Amerindian and European ones
 Slave
 eg.
Rumba, jazz, bossa nova, the blues, rock & roll
Congo’s Authenticity Movement
 Introduced
by President Motutu
 Subsidies to musical groups
 Franco’s
OK Jazz band: rumba + Congolese folk music
 Soukous: dance step & music style
 eg.
Papa Wemba
Music as political conscience
 Singer
Fela Kuti was voice of political conscience
for Nigerians struggling for democracy
 Lyrics critical of military government
Geopolitical Framework
 Long
duration of human settlement
 Ethnic conflicts after the colonial era
Indigenous kingdoms
Influenced by Egypt and Arabia
B.C. 2000 Nubia (northern Sudan)
 A.D. 200 Axum (northern Ethiopia, Eritrea)
The first Indigenous African states in the Sahel
Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Kanem-Bornu
City-states in the Gulf of Guinea
Ife/Oyo, Benin, Dahomey, Ashanti
 Later profit from the slave trade in the 16th, and 17th century
Early Sub-Saharan states and empires
European colonization
 Failed/limited
due to diseases until mid 1800s
 Portuguese
in Angola and Mozambique
 Dutch in South Africa
 Quinine
made colonization possible
 Scramble
 British
for Africa in the 1880s
seizure of Egypt (1882)
 Empire-building
Berlin Conference
 Gathering
of 13 countries in 1884 in which SubSaharan Africa was carved up and traded around
 No Africans
 Borders
drawn with disregard for African cultures
European colonization in 1913
Establishment of South Africa
Dutch settlement (1652~) in Cape Town
Became Afrikaner or Boer
 Slowly expanded towards north and east
 Developed social system based on racism
British seizure of Cape district (1806)
Afrikaner migration (1835-43?)
 Afrikaner establishment of two republics (1850s)
 British incorporated the Zulu (1900)
Establishment of South Africa
Establishment of South Africa
Boer War (1899-1902)
British-Afrikaner tension over mineral wealth in Transvaal
(South African Republic)
 The British annexed two republics to form the union of South
South Africa’s independence (1910)
 Afrikaner’s National Party gained control (1948)
Introduced apartheid
 Construction of black homelands by ethnic group
Establishment of South Africa
Establishment of South Africa
 Townships
 segregated
neighborhoods for nonwhites,
located on outskirts of cities
 Opposition
 Free
to apartheid during 1960s ~ 1980s
election (1994)
 Elimination of Homelands
Establishment of South Africa
Decolonization and independence
Beginning in 1957, smooth transition
Organization of African Unity (OAU) (1963)
Continent-wide organization
 Mediate disputes between neighbors
Former Portuguese colonies: Angola, Mozambique
 armed resistance
 Socialist-oriented rebel movement during Cold War
Enduring political conflict
 Lack
of institutional framework for independent
government; lack of higher education
 Difficult
to establish cohesive states because of
legacy of Berlin Conference
 European
colonial powers have drawn boundaries
without regard for cultural and political geographies
Enduring political conflict
People who flee their state because of a well-found fear of
persecution based on race, ethnicity, religion, or political
 3 million Africans (2000)
Internally displaced persons
People who flee from conflict but still reside in their country of
 13 million Africans (2000)
Ethnic conflicts
 Rwanda
 Democratic Republic of the Congo (1996)
 Liberia (1989-96)
 Sierra Leone (2000)
 Somalia (early 1990s)
Secessionist movements
 Republic
of Katanga (1960), Congo
 State of Biafra (1967), Nigeria
 Eritrea (1993), Ethiopia
 Province of Equatoria, Sudan
Postcolonial conflicts
Big man politics
Occurred when presidents refuse to let go of reigns of
 Military governments, one-party states, and presidentsfor-life are the norm
 Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia
 Corruption of political institutions
 Disproportionate spending on the military
 1990s saw growth in multi-party states and free elections
Economic and Social Development
Negative economic growth
Roots of African poverty –
environmental factors
 Infertile
 Erratic patterns of rainfall
 Paucity of navigable river
 Virulence of tropical diseases
Roots of African poverty – historical
and institutional factors
Slave trade  depopulation, flee into refuges
 Colonization
little investment in infra., rather interested in natural extraction
 Impedes internally dynamic economy
Failed development policies
economic nationalism  less competitive industries
Agricultural and food policies
low prices of crops  opted for subsistence agriculture
 Focus on export crops  failure to meet staple food needs
Corruption: kleptocracy
Links to the world economy
Major export & import : E.U., U.S.
Low connectivity
But expansion of mobile telephone
More aid than investment
Little foreign investment  too poor and unstable
Debt relief program
 Given
to countries that are determined to have
“unsustainable” debt burdens
 States
qualify for different levels of debt relief
provided they present a poverty reduction strategy
 Uganda, Tanzania,
South Africa
 Largest
economy in Sub-Saharan Africa
 Well-developed, well-balanced industrial economy
 Healthy agricultural sector
 World’s mining superpowers
 Gold
 Worst
distributions of income in the world
Oil and mineral producers
 Oil
 Nigeria,
Gabon, Cameron
 Republic of Congo
 Equatorial Guinea
 Mineral
 Diamond
- Namibia, Botswana
Leaders of ECOWAS
Second largest economy
 Oil money  urban growth
Ivory Coast, Senegal
Commercial centers
 Economic downturn in the 1980s
Economic recovery in the 1990s
 Debt relief negotiation (2001)
East Africa
 Kenya
 Good
infrastructure by African standars
 1 million foreign tourists
 Agricultural exports of coffee dominate economy
 Tanzania
form of socialism – Ujaama
 World’s largest per capital recipient of foreign aid
 Built African
Poorest states
Horn of Africa
Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia
Conflict-afflicted states
Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad
Burundi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Malawi, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, and Zambia
Low life expectancy
child mortality rate  paucity of health care
 Extreme poverty
 Environmental hazards (drought)
 Environmental and infectious diseases (malaria,
cholera, SIDS, and measles)
 High
Women and development
 Invisible
contributors to local and national
 Dominates informal sector which accounts for 30
to 50% of GDP
Status of women
 No
social liabilities
 cf.
South Asia, SW Asia, North Africa
 Discrimination
 Prevalence
polygamy, practice of “bride-price”, denial
of property inheritance
 Practice of female circumcision, or genital mutilation

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