Unit 4 Sub-Saharan Africa
-West and Central Africa
-East Africa
-Southern Africa
Early History
West & Central
 earliest documented kingdoms:
 began around 800 A.D.
 gained economic strength by est.
systems of trade between the
peoples of the arid north and
those in the tropical rainforests of
the Congo basin.
 These Kingdoms included:
 Ghana Empire about 1050 A.D.
 Mali Empire about 1337 A.D.
 Songhai Empire about 1500 A.D.
 The City of Tombouctou: a major
intersection for trade from.
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Early History
West & Central Africa
 The early kingdoms of
West Africa traded
 gold, cloth, and slaves,
 cultural elements
 exotic foods
 the Islamic faith
 The peoples of the
tropical rainforests
 less interaction with these
trade networks
Early History
East Africa
 East African cultures
 oral histories: passed from
one generation to another,
little evidence remains of
their existence.
 The earliest documented
 The Kush Kingdom, which
ruled the middle Nile River
Valley (modern-day Sudan)
Early History
East Africa
By 350 A.D., the
Kush had been
conquered by the
Aksum Empire
trade center (now
The kings of Aksum
adopted Christianity
Around 500 A.D.
 Arab traders began sailing along Africa’s east
Est. ports for the trade
The language
derived from the original languages of the African
coast combined with Arabic.
Trade routes have taken the language as far west as
the Congo
Early History
Southern Africa
 Bantu peoples
 Hunter-gatherers
 animal herders
 migrated to Southern
Africa around A.D. 100.
 raised crops
 beans and sorghum, and
herded cattle, goats and
 knew how to make iron
tools Great Zimbabwe.
 Great Zimbabwe empire
European Contact &
West & Central Africa
 Europeans arrived on
the west coast of Africa
around the late 1400s.
 explorers were in search
of a water route to Asia
 Stayed for gold trade
 rarely ventured beyond the
coastal areas because of
 thick jungles,
 tropical diseases,
 few navigable rivers
 natural harbors.
European Contact &
West & Central
 1500s, demand for slaves
 focus of trade from gold to
 Europeans supplied guns to
the coastal tribes of West
 Between 1500 and 1800,
approximately 10 million
Africans were taken to the
Americas as slaves. (now
Senegal and Angola.)
European Contact & Colonization
West & Central Africa
 1800s European industrialization
 minerals
 tropical farm products
 climates and rich soils of West
Africa were perfect for growing
products such as:
 Cocoa
 Peanuts
 Rubber
 European countries:
 sought political control
 led to a period of colonization:
lasted for almost 100 years.
West & Central Africa
 1976 all of Africa’s countries in this
region were independent.
 Colonization affected the region
 Commercial economies est. by
Europeans , left many Africans
dependent on
low wages,
high illiteracy rate.
rival ethnic groups are left to fight
for power in newly independent
countries, causing serious political
rivalries in the region.
European Contact & Colonization
East Africa
 1500s the Portuguese built the first
European forts along the coast of East
 mid-1800s European and American
explorers, missionaries and traders
began to venture into the harsh
 in search of precious minerals and
 During the colonization period
Europeans drew colonial boundaries
without giving thought to human or
physical geography.
 boundaries divided ethnic groups and
grouped traditional enemies.
 brought about conflicts that still
haunt the region today.
European Contact & Colonization
East Africa
 Europeans colonized much
of East Africa
 the exception of Ethiopia
 built cities, hospitals, ports,
roads, and schools in the
 exports included cash crops
such as coffee, cotton, tea,
and sisal.
 Europeans educated
 led independence
 gained their independence
during the 1950s and 60s.
East Africa
East African cultures have given the world a rich heritage
architecture, art, folk tales, and music.
rich religious history based on traditional animist, Islamic, and
Christian beliefs.
organized into three linguistic groups:
The Nilotic Peoples are primarily herders from the Nile River
area on the plains of Sudan.
The Cushiatic speakers live primarily between the Ethiopian
highlands and the coast of Somalia.
The Bantu Speakers live farther south and include the Kikuyu
of Kenya and the Hutu of Rwanda.
European Contact & Colonization
Southern Africa
 In their search for a water route
to Asia, Portuguese sailors began
exploring the southern African
coast in the late 1400s. They began
setting up small supply bases
along the coast for Asian bound
 In 1652, the Dutch set up a small
farming settlement at the Cape of
Good Hope. They were joined by
French and Germans and became
known as the Boers. These
Europeans began to consider
Africa their home and called
themselves Afrikaners. In time
they developed their own
language called Afrikaans.
European Contact & Colonization
Southern Africa
 In the 1800s Great Britain
took over the Cape and
forced the Afrikaners
inland to escape British
 The discovery of diamonds
and gold
 led to a mass immigration of
Europeans into the area
 massive conflicts between
the British and Afrikaners
for control of the region.
European Contact & Colonization
Southern Africa
 African independence
 led to independence for most of
Southern Africa by 1980
 conflicts continued in areas such
as Mozambique and Angola.
 Worst of these conflicts took
place in South Africa
 b/w the Afrikaners and Native
 Apartheid: a system of
segregation laws.
 These laws were initiated by a
white minority government to
rule over the native peoples of
the region.
South Africa Today
In 1990, South African government
countries began placing economic
Leading this movement to end
apartheid was the African National
Congress (ANC) which was
established in 1912.
began disassembling the apartheid
freed the ANC’s imprisoned leader
Nelson Mandela.
1994 South Africa held its first
elections open to all citizens.
Nelson Mandela was elected the
first black president of South

Unit 4 Sub-Saharan Africa