Africa is a large plateau with escarpments on the edges. Africa is a large plateau with escarpments on the edges



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Africa is a large plateau with escarpments on the edges.

  • Africa is a large plateau with escarpments on the edges.

  • An escarpment is similar to a cliff although not as steep.

  • Africa has a smooth coastline with few natural harbors.







Divergent plate activity formed the Great Rift Valley in East Africa.

  • Divergent plate activity formed the Great Rift Valley in East Africa.

  • In some areas the Great Rift Valley is hundreds of miles wide.

  • Rift valleys extend from The Red Sea to South Africa.







The African Great Lakes were formed in the bottom of rift valleys.

  • The African Great Lakes were formed in the bottom of rift valleys.



Sub-Saharan Africa does not have large mountain ranges, but there are several tall mountains that are volcanoes.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa does not have large mountain ranges, but there are several tall mountains that are volcanoes.

  • The tallest mountain is Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania at 19,341 feet.

  • The second tallest mountain is Mt. Kenya at 17,058 feet.





Sub-Saharan Africa has several major rivers:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa has several major rivers:

  • Niger River

  • Congo River

  • Zambezi River

  • Orange River

















The rivers in Sub-Saharan Africa are difficult to navigate because they have many waterfalls and rapids.

  • The rivers in Sub-Saharan Africa are difficult to navigate because they have many waterfalls and rapids.



Most of Africa is in the low latitudes. The equator divides Africa in half so the continent has similar climates north and south of the equator.

  • Most of Africa is in the low latitudes. The equator divides Africa in half so the continent has similar climates north and south of the equator.

  • Africa has tropical wet and tropical wet and dry climates near the equator.



There are two deserts in southern Africa, the Namib and the Kalihari.

  • There are two deserts in southern Africa, the Namib and the Kalihari.





Rainforests grow in the tropical wet climates in Africa. Most of the rainforest is located in central Africa in the Congo.

  • Rainforests grow in the tropical wet climates in Africa. Most of the rainforest is located in central Africa in the Congo.

  • The soil in the rainforest has limited fertility and this area is being deforested by slash and burn farming.









Savanna is a type of grassland located in tropical wet and dry climates.

  • Savanna is a type of grassland located in tropical wet and dry climates.

  • Most of the savanna in Africa is located in east Africa in Kenya or Tanzania.

  • Steppe is a dry grassland located on the edges of the deserts.





Africa has large national parks and nature preserves.

  • Africa has large national parks and nature preserves.



Africa is rich in mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, and alloys.

  • Africa is rich in mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, and alloys.

  • Timber is limited to countries with tropical rainforests.

  • Countries on the coast have fish.

  • Some countries have large amounts of arable land.















Some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa export oil such as Nigeria, Gabon, and Angola.

  • Some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa export oil such as Nigeria, Gabon, and Angola.

  • Nigeria is a member of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.







A large percentage of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa is engaged in agriculture.

  • A large percentage of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa is engaged in agriculture.

  • Subsistence Farming - People have small farms and grow just enough food to live.

  • Slash and Burn Farming - This method of farming is used in the rainforest.







Sub-Saharan Africa does have plantation farming, which are large farms that employ many people. These farms grow cash crops such as:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa does have plantation farming, which are large farms that employ many people. These farms grow cash crops such as:

  • Tea

  • Cocoa

  • Palm Oil













A nomad is someone without a permanent home. A nomadic herder has herds of animals such as goats, sheep, or cattle.

  • A nomad is someone without a permanent home. A nomadic herder has herds of animals such as goats, sheep, or cattle.

  • There are many nomadic herders in Africa who live on the fringes of the deserts or in tropical wet and dry climates.



Most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are developing so they have:

  • Most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are developing so they have:

  • Low per capita GDP

  • Low life expectancy

  • High population growth rate

  • High infant mortality

  • Large percentage of population under 15

  • Low literacy rates



South Africa is now considered developed, however, there is a large disparity of income. The rich people live in gated neighborhoods with armed guards in the modern city cores. There are many shantytowns or squatter settlements on the fringes of the modern cities.

  • South Africa is now considered developed, however, there is a large disparity of income. The rich people live in gated neighborhoods with armed guards in the modern city cores. There are many shantytowns or squatter settlements on the fringes of the modern cities.





Africa has substantial mineral wealth but the countries have a wide range of per capita incomes for several reasons:

  • Africa has substantial mineral wealth but the countries have a wide range of per capita incomes for several reasons:

  • Lack of modern infrastructure

  • Corrupt governments

  • Civil wars

  • Colonization

  • Large number of landlocked states

  • Environmental problems such as desertification and droughts





One of the biggest reasons why Africa is poor is that population growth is high. African countries cannot expand their economies fast enough to create enough jobs for young and unskilled workers.

  • One of the biggest reasons why Africa is poor is that population growth is high. African countries cannot expand their economies fast enough to create enough jobs for young and unskilled workers.



Africa was colonized by European countries in the 19th century. African countries did not gain independence until after the 1950s.

  • Africa was colonized by European countries in the 19th century. African countries did not gain independence until after the 1950s.

  • European countries extracted mineral wealth from Africa but they did not invest heavily in the infrastructure or education programs.





When European countries colonized Africa they drew lines on maps to make countries. These countries combined ethnic groups that were traditional enemies. Therefore, many modern African countries have experienced ethnic conflicts.

  • When European countries colonized Africa they drew lines on maps to make countries. These countries combined ethnic groups that were traditional enemies. Therefore, many modern African countries have experienced ethnic conflicts.



The following countries have experienced major ethnic or religious conflicts:

  • The following countries have experienced major ethnic or religious conflicts:

  • Rwanda

  • Sudan

  • Nigeria

  • South Africa (Between white and black South Africans)





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