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Cultural Geography of Africa South of the Sahara

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1 Cultural Geography of Africa South of the Sahara
Chapters 21 and 22: Cultural Geography of Africa South of the Sahara

2 Sahel: Population Patterns
Sahel extends from Senegal to Sudan. Includes Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania. 100 ethnic groups in Chad alone. Influenced by Arab, European, and indigenous African cultures. Mande people of Senegal and Mali, Wolof of Senegal, and Hausa of Niger. Huasa -traders along caravan routes and then settled into farming. Fulani raise dairy cattle and are world’s largest ethnic group of nomadic herders. Strongest advocates of Islam. Berbers survived and maintained culture even after Arab invasion. Arab influence is strong. Not typical Muslims. Arabic is not major religion but majority have adopted religion. Also follow traditional African religious practices. Average population density is 103 people. Not even. Sudan is highest along Nile River. Urbanization is influenced by economic need. Desertification and deforestation has caused migration. Average level of urbanization is 32%.

3 Sahel- History and Government
When climate was wet and mild developed agriculture but then climate became hotter and drier. Most people migrated away. Nile River Valley gave way to the Egyptian civilization. Spread their culture but when they faded other cultures rose. Kush kingdom- Sudan. Rose to take their place until they were defeated. Mali Empire and Songhai grew rich from the gold for salt trade. Europeans began trading with the Africans in the 1200s. Traded for African gold and slaves. 1800s saw area as source of raw materials and potential market for finished goods. Laid claim to the territory. Ignored objections and set boundaries that crossed ethnic lines leading to conflict. Mid 1900s started working for their independence. Have challenges left over from colonial times. Adopted old colonial boundaries and had problems with ethnic rivalries. Sudan- two distinct parts. Muslim in the north and favor Islamic centered governments. South is rural and focused on subsistence so they want secular government. Darfur- western region. Holds 1.8 million displaced people. Conflict between agrarian non-Arab black African Muslims and government backed militias. Deaths of tens of thousands and refugee camps.

4 Sahel- Culture African art has many forms- ritual masks, drum music to folk tales. Literature is mostly in northern Africa. Oral tradition is very strong and many stories are spread that way. Strong family ties. Patriarchal- male dominated. Families organized into clans. Cities have the nuclear families. African language groups- Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan, and Congo- Kordofanian. French is also widely spoken. Islam is predominate but there is some Christianity practiced. Indigenous religious practices still exist in many places. School enrollment rates and literacy rates are very low. Very few children go to school. Families are too poor and the children need to work to provide for their families. Poverty key to health care access. Major health concerns are high mortality rates and infectious diseases. Lack health care during pregnancy so infant mortality rates are high. Lack of adequate sanitation also a problem.

5 East Africa- Population Patterns
Many languages, belief systems, and ways of life intersected blurring the lines between cultures. Bantu make up most of Uganda and Tanzania. Hutu are dominate in Rwanda and Burundi. Uneven distribution because of climate and land. Desert, steppe, and highlands. Tanzania varies from City dwellers, nomads and farmers. Urban centers along the rivers. Soaring populations and economic challenges have made it hard to feed the people. Agriculture main economic activity but they are not producing enough. Government made problem worse. Push to export cash crop to raise national income but still not giving enough food to people. Droughts and poor farming practices have made situation worse.

6 East Africa- History and Government
Considered origin of all humankind. Remains dating back 3.2 million years in Ethiopia. 2.6 million years old in Kenya. Traders. Location along Red Sea meant they traded with Arabians, Asian and Mediterranean Seas. Axum kingdom in Ethiopia dominated trade. Djibouti was the first country to adopt Islam. Europeans came in 1400s bringing Catholicism with them. Decline of Arabian dominance. Hostility towards Christians and Europeans. David Livingstone- first European to really explore Africa. 40 years later Africa was carved up by the Europeans. Changed the economies of this area along with the power structure. Started getting independence in 1960s. Faced internal conflict. Uganda- 1970s dictator caused social disintegration, human rights violations, and economic decline. Rwandan Genocide in 1994 caused by Tutsi people power over Hutu peoples. Collapse of governments from warring factions, famine and drought weakened countries. International attempts at peacekeeping failed as well. Violence and instability were still very common.

7 East Africa- Culture Languages fit into three major language groups: Congo-Kordofanian, Nilo- Saharan, and Afro-Asiatic. Because of European colonization English and French serve as a lingua franca, or common language. Arabic is also common in some countries because of Islam being introduced through trade. Further south more indigenous languages and religions are common. Most people are Christian or Muslim. Education varies. Higher literacy rates in urban areas % depending on where you live. Small percent finishes a secondary education. Despite advances in health care problems still exist. Poor nutrition, famine, overpopulation, and inability to cure common diseases the cause. AIDS is rampant. Drugs to control it are too expensive for the people or the governments. Cut average life expectancy. Way of life varies drastically. Rural farming to plantations to factories and office jobs. Housing also varies from high rise apartments to thatched huts.

8 West Africa- Population Patterns
Diverse ethnic groups. Some have lived there for centuries and others have recently migrated. Some groups cross borders but they are divided by colonial made borders. Yoruba is one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. Language is part of the Congo-Kordofanian group of languages. Niger- huge population growth leading to competition between herders and farmers for natural resources. Distribution uneven because of wide range of climates. Coast and river plains. Rate of urbanization is the fastest in the world. Moving because of depleted natural resources. Population growth has caused cities to grow out into the countryside. Most still live in rural areas.

9 West Africa- History and Government
700s trading empires sprang up. Ghana and Mali are remnants of these ancient empires. Ghana got rich trading gold for salt which was highly valued to preserve food. Had plenty gold. 1400s Europeans had settled trading posts. Traded gold and slaves. Slave trade was old and profitable by the time the Europeans got there. Increased with the Europeans. 1914 Nigeria founded by the British. Many ethnic groups live there. In the north based on Islam and in the south on Christianity erupted in civil war after they gained their independence.

10 West Africa- Culture Hundreds of languages spoken. 250 alone in Nigeria. English, French and Arabic are commonly spoken. Yoruba used in every day life. Taught in schools, even colleges. Religion plays a role in every day life as well. Islam and Christianity primary religions. Also native religions. Mostly peaceful but sometimes they have conflict. Free universal education is inconsistent. Literacy rates from 19-75%. Health care is limited and uneven. High infant mortality rates per 1,000 children. Niger. Poor health conditions and inadequate nutrition have contributed to high death rates.

11 Central Africa- Population Patterns
Mostly rural. Large scale farming difficult because of the dense growth of natural vegetation. Most people subsistence farm or raise cattle. 250 ethnic groups exist in Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cameroon. Each ethnic group in Central Africa has its own language. One of the least densely populated regions on continent. Gabon has so few people they have a labor shortage. Most densely areas of Central Africa are in the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

12 Central Africa- History and Government
10,000 years people lived there but settling did not happen until the 600s. Bantu settled most of the area including kingdoms of Congo, Luba, and Luanda, and current states of Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Europeans came and established slave trade in the area. Millions were taken as slaves and more died along the passage to the New World. Major setback to the societies they left behind. 1800s is when major colonization happened. Malaria a major obstacle to settlement. French controlled most of Republic of Congo. Treaties with the local leaders to protect them from the Belgians. Changed economy to resource extraction and growing cash crops. By 1900s small revolts happening. Europeans promoted their culture, weakened traditional African culture, and treated them harshly. Village life replaced by huge plantations and cash crops. After WWII rebellion against colonial rule became more common. After independence most of the countries experienced instability, violations of human rights, and ethnic conflict. Abundant resources have helped countries become stable.

13 Central Africa- Culture
Hundreds of languages. 700 local languages in Democratic Republic of Congo alone. French widely spoken. Pidgin- simplified speech used among people who speak different languages. Traditional religions are numerous and diverse. Profess a belief in the existence of a supreme being and ranked deities. Nature spirits and ancestor worship. Because of European influence various forms of Christianity are practiced in this are. Divisions of labor between women and men depending on whether they farm or raise livestock. Multiple generations live in the same houses. Violent conflicts and economic problems makes education difficult % literacy rates. Lack of drinking water, shortage of vaccines for curable diseases, and AIDS primary health concerns.

14 Southern Africa- Population Patterns
Members of ethnic groups share the same basic language and religion. Some cross political boundaries like the Sena in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Since colonial rule tension between races in southern Africa have dominated areas. Apartheid in South Africa. Density varies. Namibia has 6 people per square mile while Lesotho has 154 per square mile. Many peoples are leaving the traditional farming lifestyle and moving to the cities to work in the gold and diamond mines. The spread of AIDS has kept the population low. 70% of the 36 million people that have HIV live in this region. Loss of caregivers for children, shortage of labor supply, businesses close, adults die in prime of their lives.

15 Southern Africa- History and Government
Cultures dating back 1 million years. Zulu culture is one of the oldest. Descendants of the Bantu people. 600s people of Madagascar trading with Europeans. Arabs and Europeans settled this area for economic reasons. Trading posts and highly complex colonies. Portuguese controlled Angola and was big in the slave trade. People of Africa did not benefit from these changes. Mid-1900s resistance to colonial rule was growing. In some cases governments were overthrown. Most were ripped apart by conflict after independence. A few have been able to stabilize themselves. No one left to run the governments or the businesses. Civil wars caused influxes of refugees into other countries. Apartheid in South Africa. Led to revolution. Finally had an end to apartheid in 1994.

16 Southern Africa- Culture
Indo-European languages like French, English and Afrikaans exist here. Afrikaans is a combination of several languages. Christianity is most common religion along with traditional native religion. AIDS a major concern. A child in Zimbabwe more likely to die of AIDS than any other cause. Treatments are too expensive for most people so it goes untreated.

17 The Economy Faming major economic activity. 2/3rds of population involved in some type of farming. Single crop and multi-crop farming. Most are subsistence farming. When they have extra they sell it. Variety of methods used for farming. Pastoralism (raising livestock), shifting cultivation (crop rotation), slash and burn farming, sedentary (permanent settlements) and commercial farming (large scale farming for profit). European colonization helped along the commercial farming aspect. Reliance on one crop is risky for an economy. Problem with commercial farming also comes from the large plantations taking the best land and leaving the rest of the farmers with land too poor to yield good crops. Overgrazing, overworked soil, and lack of technology make farming difficult. Erosion and desertification. Not enough food to feed the people. Conservation farming becoming popular to try and reverse the effects of over farming.

18 The Economy Logging causes serious problems but is a small part of their overall economy. Commercial fishing is also not a major part of the economy of this area. Mining, despite the dangers, is a major part of the economy. Witwatersrand, gold deposit 300 miles long, makes South Africa the world’s largest producer of gold. Leader in production of gems and industrial diamonds. Richest country. Most owned by foreigners and white South Africans. Economy is unbalanced because of uneven mineral resource distribution. Many people do not benefit equally. Starting to industrialize but the process is slow. Still not a huge money maker but it is growing. Lack of skilled workers, power shortages, and political conflicts are obstacles to be faced.

19 The Economy Transportation and communication is vital to trade and the growth of industry but it is hard to create and maintain them. Railroads a priority in Nigeria- wants to link all of their railroads together. Roads important in Uganda who wants to repair the Trans-African highway. Trans-Sahara Highway opened in 2003. Relied on radio with state run stations. Not as many tv’s outside of the cities. Too expensive. Low literacy rates hinder communication growth. Telephone service limited in rural areas. Mobile phones have tripled. Most trade happens between Japan and the U.S. although China is increasing their influence. Debt is a major problem. The G8 members cancelled the debt of the 18 poorest African nations.

20 People and their Environment
Fighting just for survival. Poverty and hunger the biggest dangers. Drought and human activities contributed to scarcity of food. 31 million are in danger of starvation. Once upon a time this part of the world could sustain life. As the climate changed and became drier farming became more difficult and the desert took over more and more land. Carry capacity (number of people an area of land can support) declined. Droughts are more severe and have turned farmland into wastelands these have killed off crops and livestock putting the lives of millions in danger. War a major contributor to hunger and malnutrition. Halts economic growth and caused widespread starvation. Refugee populations strain already short food supplies in other countries. Civil war in Somalia which hasn’t had a government since 1991 has endangered lives of 2 million people. Sudan has also been subject to violence which has caused food shortages. Peace is crucial to solving the hunger problem.

21 People and their Environment
12 million acres of tropical rain forests are disappearing each year. Ivory Coast and Madagascar have lost 90% of their forests. Reserves created to protect tropical forests. Deforestation destroys animal habitats. Hundreds of animals in danger of extinction. Hunting has been a major contributor to this as well. 600,000 elephants left because of poaching. 1930 home to 5-10 million elephants. Last century they were hunted for meat, for sport and for their ivory. 80,000 a year were shot during the 1970s when the price of ivory went up. Have been trying to find ways to reverse negative effects of the past as well as prevent future problems. Game reserves. New ranching laws. Ecotourism a big business in this area.

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