Sub-Saharan Africa
Introduction
 Cultural
complexity
 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
Plateaus
 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
range
 Volcanic
mountains in southern half of the Great Rift
Valley (eg. Killimanjaro, Mount Kenya)
 created in divergent plate boundary
Divergent plate boundary
Ridge
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
Watersheds
 Congo
River (or Zaire)
 The
Second largest river
 Bndry. betw. Rep. of Congo and Demo. Rep. of Congo
 Nile
River
 The
Longest river
 Lifeblood of Egypt, Sudan
 Connects between North and Sub-Saharan Africa
Watersheds
 Niger
River
 Critical
source of water for the arid countries
 Mali, Niger, Nigeria
 Historic
 Zambezi
 Major
city – Tombouctou (11th century)
River
supplier of commercial energy
 Kariba
 Angola,
Res, Cabora Bassa Res.
Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique
Soils
 Relatively
infertile
 can’t support intensive agriculture
 Soil
fertility explains patterns of settlement
 Rift
valley
 Rwanda,
 Nigeria
Brundi, Ethiopia, Kenya
Mostly tropical climates
(Af, Aw, BSh, BWh)
except for South Africa
Climate
Tropical forests (Af)
 Warm
to hot temperature;
year-round precipitation
 Relatively
intact (cf. SE
Asia, Latin America)
 Low
population
 Oil exports
 Political chaos
Savannas (Aw)
 Wrapped
around rain forest
 Mixture of trees and tall
grasses
 Critical habitat for large
fauna
 Eg.
Masai Mara Nat’l Park,
Kenya
Deserts
 Sahara
Desert, Namib Desert, Kalahari Desert
Midlatitude climates
 South Africa
 Southwestern
 Mediterranean
climate (Csb)
 wine production
 Eastern
coast
 subtropical
climate (Cfa)
Highland
 Exhibits
 Montane
 Rift
altitudinal zonation
zones
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
(1968-74)
 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
fluctuation
Deforestation
 Often
occurs in Savanna rather than rain forest
 shortage of biofuel; Green Belt Movement
Deforestation
 Central Africa’s
 Deforested
Ituri rain forest
for logging
 Madagascar’s
eastern rain
forest
 endangered biodiversity
Lemur
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
#
density
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
rivalries
 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
 AIDS
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
homelands
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,
Tanzania
 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

Lagos
 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
Religion
 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,
southward
spread from
Sahel
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
participated
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
Africa

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

Refugees
People who flee their state because of a well-found fear of
persecution based on race, ethnicity, religion, or political
orientation
 3 million Africans (2000)


Internally displaced persons
People who flee from conflict but still reside in their country of
origin
 13 million Africans (2000)

Ethnic conflicts
 Rwanda
(1994)
 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
power
 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
soil
 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,
Mozambique…
South Africa
 Largest
economy in Sub-Saharan Africa
 Well-developed, well-balanced industrial economy
 Healthy agricultural sector
 World’s mining superpowers
 Gold
 Worst
production
distributions of income in the world
Oil and mineral producers
 Oil
 Nigeria,
Gabon, Cameron
 Republic of Congo
 Equatorial Guinea
 Mineral
resources
 Diamond
- Namibia, Botswana
Leaders of ECOWAS

Nigeria
Second largest economy
 Oil money  urban growth


Ivory Coast, Senegal
Commercial centers
 Economic downturn in the 1980s


Ghana
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

Sahel


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
Etc.

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
economies
 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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