Chp 18: Physical
Geography of Africa
Take Five…
 Complete the Skill Builder questions on
pg 415
Landforms of The African
 Plateau over most of the continent
 1,000 feet above sea level
 “plateau continent”
 Water Basins (depressions)
 625 miles wide
 5,000 feet deep
 Ex: Chad, Sudan, Congo, & Djouf Basins
 Rivers
 Nile=Longest river in the world
 4,000 miles
 Provides Irrigation waters
 95% of water resource for Egypt
Nile River
Valleys, Mountains, & Lakes
(Oh My…)
 Rift Valleys—caused by continental separation
Lake Tanganyika—longest freshwater lake in the
Lake Victoria—world’s 2nd largest freshwater lake
 Volcanic mountains
Mount Kenya
Mount Kilimanjaro--Africa’s Highest Mtn.
 Escarpment—steep slope with plateau on top
The Great Escarpment in Southern Africa
Africa’s Natural Resources
 Rich mineral resources
Gold (30% of world’s resources); Platinum (80%)
Cobalt; Copper; Diamonds; Chromium (used in
production of stainless steel)
Oil—Libya, Nigeria, Algeria (world’s leading
petroleum countries); Angola & Gabon also rich in
oil resources
 Is not rich in economic development
Exploited by European imperialist countries
Africa slow to develop infrastructure and industries
Gold Production
African Climate and Vegetation
 Deserts
 Kalahari
 Namib
 Sahara=largest desert in the world
 3,000 miles
 Temperatures over 100 during the day and freezing
at night
 Only 2 million Africans live here
 Aquifers=underground water resources
 Oasis
 Tropics of Africa?
 90% of continent lies between the Tropics of Cancer
and Capricorn
Native Peoples of the Sahara
Oasis in Kenya
Rainfall in Africa
 Mediterranean climates in Northern and
Southern Africa
Rainfall N =(Dec & Jan) & S = (June & July)
 East Africa
 Periodic droughts
 Central Africa
 Rainforest=throughout the year
 ½ of Africa is the tropical savannah w/ 2 rainy
seasons each year
 Western Africa
 Adequate rainfall
 Tropical grasslands cover the majority of African
Serengeti Plain
 Rainforest in the Central regions of Africa
Congo Basin
Variety of plant and animal life
Problems with slash/burn techniques
 ½ of original rainforest destroyed
Serengeti Plain
Congo Basin
Interesting and Unusual Plant
and Animal Life in Africa
 Desertification of the Sahel
 Overgrazing
of livestock
 Farming and increased soil erosion
 Wind erosion
 Drilling for water leads to increased levels of
salt which prevents growth
 Increased population
 Destroying
forests and rainforests
 Oil Resources in Nigeria
 World’s 6th largest oil exporter
 Nigeria borrowed money against oil
profits for internal improvements
 Oil prices dropped leaving Nigeria in
debt to foreign countries
Effects of Nigerian Oil Industry
 Mismanagement of money, corruption of
government officials and decline of oil prices
has injured the Nigerian economy
 400+ oil spills
 Bandits sabotaging oil pipelines with consent of
the government
 New leadership-President Olusegun Obasanjo
(1999) pledged to fire corrupt government
employees and clean up corruption and
Controlling the Nile River
 Periods of drought/flooding
 Flooding provided silt for fertile soils
along the banks of the Nile—but also
destroyed homes/farms etc
 Egyptians tried canals and dams to stop
the environmental problem
 Aswan High Dam (1970)
Created Lake Nasser—300 mile lake
Regulates water flow to farming regions
Aswan Dam
Aswan High Dam
Aswan High Dam
Lake Nasser
Problems associated with the
Aswan Dam
 Relocation of Nubian population
 Relocation of artifacts from the Temple Abu
Destruction of some Egyptian artifacts
Decreased fertility without seasonal floods
Drains installed to flush out the salt deposits
which would have naturally been removed with
seasonal flooding
Increased in mosquito born diseases (malaria)
Evaporation of Lake Nasser
Temple of Abu Simbel
Chp 19: From Human
Beginnings to New Nations
 East Africa
 North Africa
 West Africa
 Central Africa
 Southern Africa
East Africa
 “cradle of humanity”
Evidence of humanoids from 2 mill years
 Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia,
Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia,
Tanzania, and Uganda
Northern Africa
East African Trade
 100s AD-Trade along the Red Sea &
Indian Ocean-Aksum (Ethiopia)
 Center for Christianity
 Taking advantage of Monsoon winds
 600s AD-Kilwa (Tanzania) emerges as a
new trading center with middle east
 East Africa= cultural crossroads
Colonization and Imperialism
 Europe interested in rich natural
 Berlin Conference 1884-1885
Dividing Africa among European rulers
African chiefs were not invited
European country must illustrate and
maintain control in a region
Division without regard to cultural, ethnical
or any other African considerations
 By 1914 only Liberia & Ethiopia was free
from European control
U.S. in Liberia
Ethiopia defeated the Italians in 1896
Problems associated with
ending colonization
 Political instability
 Economic hardship
 Ethnical disputes
Ex: Rwanda’s Civil War in 1990
East African Economies
 Farming
70% rural
Cash crops: coffee, tea, sugar
Dependent on world market
 Tourism
Wildlife parks
Game reserves
Kenyan Wildlife Reserve
Maintaining East African
 160 different ethnic groups
2 largest ethnic groups
 Masai
Mainly traditional farmers
 Kikuyu
Farmers as well as urban workers
The Mau Mau
How East Africans Cope with
the AIDS Pandemic
 HIV infections
 Spread of the disease
 Tradition vs modern
 Economy
 Population decline
 Orphans
North Africa
 Countries of North Africa: Algeria, Egypt,
Libya, Morocco, Sudan & Tunisia
 Life along the Nile river
The “gift of the Nile”
Seasonal floods
Prosperous agriculture
Egyptian Pharaohs
 3300 BC earliest Egyptian civilizations
 3100 BC unification of Egypt
 Artifacts and gains from Egyptians
Advances in Medicine
The Sphinx
Islam in North Africa
 Fall of the Egyptians to the Romans/
Byzantine Empire
 Northern African invaded numerous
 By 632 AD Muslims spread Islam to
Northern Africa
 750 AD Muslims controlled most of N.
Economies of Northern Africa
 Agriculture
 Cash crops
 Mining
 Oil
Algeria= major export
Libya 99% of exports
Labor shortages
African Souks
 Souks
 Protest music
Rai—Algerian resentment toward French
Banning and criticizing rai
Women in Northern Africa
 Slow to have reforms for women
 Polygamy
 Tunisia
7% parliament
9 % business owners
West Africa
 Countries of Western Africa: Benin,
Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Cote
d’Ivorie, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea,
Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania,
Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierre Leone,
and Togo
West Africa
The importance of trade
 Location, location, location
200 AD trade between West Africa and the
Gold for salt trade
Good ports, open to European traders by
Stateless societies
 Many African states lived as extended
family clan groups without official
leadership other than the patriarch of the
 Blood money
 Polygamy
 Polytheistic
Economies of West Africa
 Exports
Gold, diamonds, magnesium & bauxite
 Dependent upon world market
 Sierra Leone
One of the worst economic countries in
West Africa
Civil war, instable governments and
uneducated population
Culture of West Africa
 Asasia-cloth historically created for
royalty by the Ashanti people of Ghana
 Benin bronzes
 Music
Elements of jazz, blues,
 Kora=cross between the a
lute and a harp
Benin Bronze Works
Central Africa
 Countries of Central Africa: Cameroon,
Central African Republic, Dem. Rep. of
Congo, Rep. of Congo, Equatorial
Guinea, Gabon and Sao Tome and
European colonization
 Begin in Central Africa
 Importance of the slave trade
 Willingness of African leaders to trade
 Portuguese island of Sao Tome
The “Gold Coast”
 The slave trade
Competing tribes selling prisoners of war
to Europeans
 Portuguese and Dutch
 The middle passage
 Tight and loose packing
 Fear of depopulation
Triangle Trade Routes
Middle Passage
Tight Packing
European Colonization
 Role of King Leopold II of Belgium
 Rubber workers and beginning of
European colonization within the interior
 Central Africa colonized primarily by
Belgium and France
 Independence in the 1960’s
Central African Culture
 Reflections
against colonization and retaining
African culture
Ex: Congolese—culture above the West
Picasso—Fang sculpture
Central African Education
 Focusing on education to improve
 Less than ½ 16-20 year olds in SubSaharan Africa attend school
 Language barriers (700+ languages
 Shortage of teachers
 Hopeful for the future
Southern Africa
 Countries of Southern Africa: Angola,
Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho,
Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius,
Mozambique, Namibia, S. Africa,
Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Mutapa Empire
 Mwene Mutapa
 Economy based on Gold trade
 Portuguese colonization
Imperialism and Colonization
 South Africa
The Zulu
Dutch colonization (1600’s)
 Boer’s-Dutch
British imperialism
 Defeat
the Zulu
 Defeat the Boers
KhoiKhoi and San People of
South Africa
 White minority controlled government,
economy, everything
 75% black majority controlled nothing
 Separation of the races
 Nelson Mandela
Jailed from 1964-1982
House arrest from 1982-1990
Elected President in democratic election of
Nelson Mandela
Economies of Southern Africa
 Sanctions during Apartheid
 Gaps between the rich and poor—based
on race and ethnicity
Ex: Botswana
resources (3rd largest diamond
 Mismanagement of money
 Lack of agricultural goods
 Unequal distribution of wealth
 Valuable
Affects of AIDS in Southern
 25% of all adults infected in Zimbabwe
and Botswana
 Reduction of labor
 Orphans
Chp 20 Today’s Issues
 Africa after colonization
Political instability
Economic uncertainty
Lack of education in some areas
Tribal warfare (Civil war)
Mismanagement of resources
Lacking infrastructure & technology
Reducing debt and raising
standard of living
 Debt forgiveness
 Regional cooperation to promote trade
Ex: Economic Community of West African
 Cash crops to diversification
 Education
 Cholera
 Malaria
 Sleeping Sickness
 Smallpox
 Tuberculosis
 Ebola virus
Why so proliferate?
 Lack of clean drinking water
 Mosquitoes—no netting
 Lack of education
 Lack of medicine
 Lack of doctors
 World financial assistance
 World government agencies
Global Fund for Children’s Vaccines
Peace Corps
 Education
 Public health
 Private charity

Chp 18: Physical Geography of Africa