Physical characteristics and biomes:

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1 Physical characteristics and biomes: Sahel region, bordering Sahara Characteristics Area suffers from lack of rainfall, over grazing, which causes loss of vegetation and loss of inhabitable areas causing desertification Key Rivers in the west are the Niger and the Congo Central Africa- Tropical rainforest along the equator 1

2 Physical characteristics and East Africa- biomes: cont- The Great Rift Valley a series of geological faults is divided in Western and Eastern branches by tectonic forces. Lakes have formed in the rifts Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, Lake Turkana Lake Victoria- Africa s largest lake. Nile River- World s longest river (4100 miles long) 2

3 Physical characteristics and South Africa biomes: cont- Escarpment (A steep cliff face) separates plain from plateau; includes Drakensberg range (The major mountain range of South Africa) desert biomes Namib- Considered the oldest desert in the world (55 million years). The Climatic forces of limited rainfall are the biggest influence over the area. Zambezi River Victoria Falls Madagascar tropical rainforest biome, with many species Biodiversity- large collection of different types of animals and insects. 3

4 Climates : tropical wet and dry south of Sahel; open grasslands; once home to many large animals (zebras, elephants) tropical humid near equator; dense forest; many birds and insects, primates Primary influence on weather is latitude and wind systems 4

5 History : Berbers- North African nomadic culture still preserving customs today Pre-colonial West Africa: this era saw the rise of great empires, including Ghana and Mali Often conquered smaller kingdoms and sold them into slavery. European contact began in the late 1400s with the slave trade. East Africa Arab traders built coastal ports; Swahili language developed (Mix of tribal lang. and Arab) late 1800s Colonial territorial claims and ethnicity responsible for borders 5

6 History : South Africa- Portuguese were the first to arrive Boer War ( ) between British and Dutch settlers Caused by attempts to control mineral wealth European control of the South leads to apartheid laws that eventually end by the election of Nelson Mandela in 1994 In general, Europeans saw Africans as less developed, so they dominated their lands and mineral wealth 6

7 Cultural Characteristics : Sub-Saharan Africa is different from North Africa in a variety of ways: much larger variety of languages are used Much larger variety of religions are practiced Ex- Animism: the worship of the environment and Animal spirits/ popular in Central Africa Many different levels of development and diversity in biomes which characterizes economies dependent on the land. Ethnic divisions responsible for borders 7

8 Cultural Characteristics : Central Africa The Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda- uses over 700 ethnic languages. Social groups Hutu, Tutsi, and Bantu Languages also have European and Arab influence- English, French, Swahili All groups use a varying combination of Christianity, Islam, and, African spirit religions. Bottom line is that the area has been influenced by a large variety of cultures, languages, and religions 8

9 Cultural Characteristics : Central African Rain forest people- a picture of human adaptation and modification, using the forest for food, medicine, and home construction South Africa Heavy influence from British and Dutch colonial ties. The most Economically developed Huge cities like Johannesburg linked to mineral wealth, agriculture and manufacturing Still showing evidence of the apartheid era (Aparthied- Separate-ness for whites) Whites are very wealthy compared to black South Africans 9

10 Economic Development : Sub-Saharan Cultures are typically underdeveloped and are most often involved in primary economic activities Women in rural areas are often involved in subsistence agriculture Central African forest industry developing in the Congo river basin due to climatic conditions facilitating more trees. The need for survival causes many to migrate to Urban areas due to more opportunities. Cities expected to double in population in near future. However, migration to the North is limited by the Sahara 10

11 Economic Development : Europeans are largely responsible for developing the strongest economic regions due to entrepreneurs investing in: Oil and Natural gas in the West (Niger) Gold and precious metals in the South (Angola, South Africa) Fresh Water and arable land in the East (Kenya, Tanzania) Typically Africa was too vast to cross but European development in transportation infrastructure such as railroads has made it more open to tourists and trading. 11

12 Challenges : Civil war, genocide, and corruption in Govt. Ex- Darfur Sudan- millions killed due to Govt. militia fighters Sudanese Govt. investigated but found innocent due to lack of intent People in the South voted on referendum for southern independence creating south Sudan in Factions in South Sudan committing atrocities due unwillingness to trust and compromise with one another. 12

13 Challenges : Sub-Saharan subsistence farmers will have to survive on less due to droughts, famine, and desert expansion. East African droughts have forced a more reliance on imports, which strains their budget by causing greater debt. Massive migration created by disease, conflicts and famine HIV- in some places 1 of every 3 people have HIV Leading scientists believe the only approach is a unified effort 13

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