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GEOG101: World Regional Geography

Unit 7: Sub-Saharan Africa   Sub-Saharan Africa includes the African countries south of the Sahara Desert.  This unit will also include many of the countries in the African Transition Zone, which cuts across the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, as part of the realm.  The realm can be further broken down into regional components: Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, and Southern Africa.  At the eastern end of the African Transition Zone is the Horn of Africa, which is often included in the region of East Africa.  Maps vary in terms of which countries are included in each region, but this general geographic breakdown is helpful in identifying country locations and characteristics.  Madagascar is a large island off the southeastern coast of Africa and is usually not included with the other regions because its geographic qualities and biodiversity are quite different from the mainland.

There is considerable variation in how the regions of Sub-Saharan Africa are delineated and identified on maps.  The debate is not about what regions are in Sub-Saharan Africa, but rather, which countries are to be included within each region.  Cultural geography vastly differs from country to country, and even amongst ethnic groups within countries.  The diversity in human geography is one of the most noteworthy dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The variety of ethnic groups, languages, and religious affiliations create a thriving sea of cultural diversity.

Globalization has allowed the once-remote regions of Sub-Saharan Africa to connect with the rest of the world.  Advancements in communication and transportation technology have created networks connecting Africa with global markets.  The political arena is dynamic: changes in political leadership through coups or military takeovers are common, as is authoritarian rule.  Bitter civil wars are a part of the region’s history, with violence and conflict continuing in some areas today, while other areas exhibit political stability and thriving economies.  However, Sub-Saharan Africa is still home to some of the poorest countries in the world.  Poverty is evident in the countryside and in the urban slums of the largest cities.   

Your exploration of Sub-Saharan Africa begins with the analysis of the physical characteristics that make up the region.  You will then discover which kingdoms and empires shaped the culture and people of present-day Africa, with a specific look at how colonialism impacted Sub-Saharan Africa.  As your journey through the regions of the world has shown us thus far, wherever one goes in the world, one cannot escape the cultural, political, and economic impact of European colonialism. 

Unit 7 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 14.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 7.1: 6.5 hours ☐    Activity: 1.5 hours

☐    Reading: 1.5 hours

☐    Lectures: 3.5 hours
 

☐    Subunit 7.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 7.3: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 7.4: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 7.5: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 7.6: 1.5 hours

Unit7 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Summarize the basic physical geography of Sub-Saharan Africa. - Identify the countries within Sub-Saharan Africa.  - Identify and explain the African Transition Zone. - Explain how early kingdoms flourished in Sub-Saharan Africa before the colonial era.  - Explain the impact of European colonialism in Africa and the significance of the Berlin Conference. - Explain how countries have transitioned from colonies to independent nations, including the many issues involved in this transition. - Explain how the core-periphery spatial relationship applies to Sub-Saharan Africa. - Explain the relationship between family size, urbanization rates, and income levels. - Describe the diversity of languages and religions in the realm.  - Explain the origins of some of the lingua francas of Sub-Saharan Africa. - Identify the areas of Sub-Saharan Africa that have experienced civil war or political conflict in recent years, and explain why these armed conflicts occurred. - Identify the geographical pattern of HIV infections in the realm.  - Discuss why it is difficult to contain and prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. - Explain why Sub-Saharan Africa has such great potential for economic development through tourism. - Summarize the main geographic aspects of each country in West Africa. - Explain how family size and economic activities are related to population growth in West Africa. - Outline the main economic activities of each country in West Africa and discuss how they are related to natural resources. - Explain how local culture and tradition remain evident in the daily lives of Central African people. - Discuss the role of women in Central Africa. - Outline the major armed conflicts in the Central African region and why they are occurring. - Explain the importance of the vibrant ecosystem of the East African region to potential economic activities. - Discuss the impact of the African Transition Zone in the Horn of Africa. - Discuss how and why the country of Somalia is divided into several political regions. - Summarize the major physical features of the Southern African region. - Compare and contrast mainland Africa and Madagascar. - Determine how ethnicity has played a role in the political situation of each country in the Southern African region. - Discuss apartheid’s effect on South Africa (culturally and economically).

7.1 Introducing the Realm   - Activity: Sheppard Software’s “Geography Games: Africa” Link: Sheppard Software’s “Geography Games: Africa” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on the link above to be taken to a website where you can test your geographic map skills.  Once at the website, click on the “Africa” icon.  Next, underneath the “Landscape” column, click on the “Play!” button for “Georegions L – Tutorial.”  When you feel comfortable with your regional knowledge of Africa, go back to the Africa game choices, and underneath the “Landscape” column, click on the “Play!” button for “Georegions G – Game.”  Your goal is to score at least a 70%.  Good luck!
 
Once you have successfully completed the Landscape quiz, go back to the Africa game choices, and underneath the “Landscape” column, click on the “Play!” button for “Rivers L – Tutorial.” Complete the Tutorial.  When you feel comfortable, go back to the Africa game choices, and underneath the “Landscape” column, click on the “Play!” button for “Rivers G – Game.”  Your goal is to score at least a 70%.  Good luck!
 
Once you have successfully completed the Rivers quiz, go back to the Africa game choices, and underneath the “Countries” column, click on the “Play!” button for “Level L – Tutorial.”  When you feel comfortable, go back to the Africa game choices, and underneath the “Countries” column, click on the “Play!” button for “Level 1 – Beginner.”  Your goal is to score at least a 70%.  Good luck!
 
This activity should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 7: Sub-Saharan Africa:” “Section 7.1: Introducing the Realm” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 7: Sub-Saharan Africa:” “Section 7.1: Introducing the Realm” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Section 7.1 in its entirety.  Before you begin the reading and lecture assignments for this subunit, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Then, answer these questions and keep these questions in mind as you read through the text and watch the lectures.  This reading assignment covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 7.1.1 through 7.1.4. 
     
    This reading provides an introduction to the physical, cultural, and economic characteristics of the nations of Sub-Sahara Africa, including the African Transition Zone.  In addition, the reading explores how early kingdoms flourished in Sub-Saharan Africa prior to the colonial era.  Finally, the reading analyzes the impact of European colonialism in Africa and the significance of the Berlin Conference.
     
    Reading and answering the associated Discussion and Study Questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: Binghamton University: Professor Mark Reisinger’s “World Regional Geography:” “Sub-Saharan Africa: Parts 1 and 2” Link: iTunes U: Binghamton University: Professor Mark Reisinger’s “World Regional Geography:” “Sub-Saharan Africa: Parts 1 and 2” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, locate the lectures titled “09Sub Saharan Africa Part 1” and “0010SubSaharan Africa Part 2,” and select “View in iTunes” for each to launch the lectures.  View both Parts 1 and 2 in their entirety for an introduction to the physical and cultural characteristics of Sub-Saharan Africa.
     
    Viewing these lectures and pausing to take notes should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: TED Talks: “Andrew Mwenda Takes a New Look at Africa” Link: TED Talks: “Andrew Mwenda Takes a New Look at Africa” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and watch this TED Talks lecture regarding what Andrew Mwenda believes are the opportunities for creating wealth and happiness throughout the African continent.

    Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use on the webpage displayed above.

  • Lecture: TED Talks: “Chris Abani on the Stories of Africa” Link: TED Talks: “Chris Abani on the Stories of Africa” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and watch this TED Talks lecture regarding Chris Abani’s search for the “heart” of Africa.

    Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use on the webpage displayed above.

7.1.1 Physical Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa    Note: This topic of this subunit is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.1.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Physical Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa.”   

7.1.2 Kingdoms, Empires, and the Slave Trade   Note: This topic of this subunit is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.1.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Kingdoms, Empires, and the Slave Trade.”   

7.1.3 Colonialism in the Sub-Saharan Africa   Note: This topic of this subunit is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.1.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Colonialism in the Sub-Saharan Africa.”  

7.1.4 From Colonialism to Independence   Note: This topic of this subunit is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.1.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “From Colonialism to Independence.”   

7.2 Human Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa   - Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 7: Sub-Saharan Africa:” “Section 7.2: Human Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 7: Sub-Saharan Africa:” “Section 7.2: Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Section 7.2 in its entirety.  Before you begin the reading and lecture assignments for this subunit, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Then, answer these questions and keep these questions in mind as you read through the text and watch the lectures.  This reading assignment covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 7.2.1 through 7.2.7.
 
This reading provides an in-depth analysis of the human geography characteristics of Sub-Saharan Africa.  In particular, the reading explores the relationship between family size, urbanization rates, and income levels as well as the diversity of languages and religions in the realm.  In addition, the reading identifies and explores the areas of Sub-Saharan Africa that have experienced civil war or political conflict in recent years.  Finally, we explore the geographical pattern of HIV infections in the realm and discuss why it is difficult to contain and prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.
 
Reading and answering the associated Discussion and Study Questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

7.2.1 Economic Geography   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Economic Geography.”

7.2.2 Incomes, Urbanization, and Family Size   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Incomes, Urbanization, and Family Size.”

7.2.3 Languages in Sub-Saharan Africa   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Languages in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

7.2.4 Religion in Sub-Saharan Africa   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Religion in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

7.2.5 Etnic Divisions and Civil Wars   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Ethnic Divisions and Civil Wars.”

7.2.6 HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

7.2.7 Tourism Potential   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Tourism Potential.”

7.3 Physical and Cultural Characteristics of West Africa   - Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 7: Sub-Saharan Africa:” “Section 7.3: West Africa” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 7: Sub-Saharan Africa:” “Section 7.3: West Africa” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Section 7.3 in its entirety.  Before you begin the reading and lecture assignments for this subunit, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Then, answer these questions and keep these questions in mind as you read through the text and watch the lectures.  This reading assignment covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 7.3.1 through 7.3.11. 
 
This reading provides an introduction to the physical, cultural, and economic characteristics of the nations of West Africa.  In addition, the reading explores how family size and economic activities are related to population growth in the region.
 
Reading and answering the associated Discussion and Study Questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

7.3.1 Niger   Note: This topic of is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Niger.”

7.3.2 Mali   Note: This topic of is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Mali.”

7.3.3 Mauritania, Senegal, and the Gambia   Note: This topic of is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading “Mauritania,” including the subsection “Senegal and the Gambia.”

7.3.4 Guinea-Bissau and Guinea   Note: This topic of is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Guinea-Bissau and Guinea.”

7.3.5 Sierra Leone   Note: This topic of is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Sierra Leone.”

7.3.6 Liberia   Note: This topic of is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Liberia.”

7.3.7 Ivory Coast   Note: This topic of is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Ivory Coast.”

7.3.8 Ghana   Note: This topic of is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Ghana.”

7.3.9 Burkina Faso (Formerly Upper Volta)   Note: This topic of is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Burkina Faso (Formerly Upper Volta).”

7.3.10 Togo and Benin   Note: This topic of is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Togo and Benin.”

7.3.11 Nigeria   Note: This topic of is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Nigeria.”

  • Lecture: TED Talks: “Franco Sacchi Tours Nigeria’s Booming Nollywood” Link: TED Talks: “Franco Sacchi Tours Nigeria’s Booming Nollywood” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and watch this TED Talks lecture regarding Nigeria’s booming film industry.

    Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use on the webpage displayed above.

7.4 Physical and Cultural Characteristis of Central Africa   - Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 7: Sub-Saharan Africa:” “Section 7.4: Central Africa” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 7: Sub-Saharan Africa:” “Section 7.4: Central Africa” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Section 7.4 in its entirety.  Before you begin the reading, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Answer these questions and keep them in mind as you read the text and complete your study of this resource.  This reading assignment covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 7.4.1 through 7.4.3. 
 
This reading provides an introduction to the physical, cultural, and economic characteristics of the nations of Central Africa.  In addition, the reading discusses the role of women in Central Africa as well as the major conflicts in the region and why they are occurring.
 
Reading and answering the associated Discussion and Study Questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

7.4.1 Central African Republics   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.4.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Central African Republics.”

7.4.2 Conflicts and Unrest in Central Africa States   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.4.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Conflicts and Unrest in Central Africa States.”

7.4.3 The Other Side of Life in Central Africa   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.4.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The Other Side of Life in Central Africa.”

7.4.4 The Role of Women   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.4.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The Role of Women.”

7.5 Physical and Cultural Characteristics of East Africa   - Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 7: Sub-Saharan Africa:” “Section 7.5: East Africa” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 7: Sub-Saharan Africa:” “Section 7.5: East Africa” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Section 7.6 in its entirety.  Before you begin the reading and lecture assignments for this subunit, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Then, answer these questions and keep these questions in mind as you read through the text and watch the lectures.  This reading assignment covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 7.5.1 through 7.5.10. 
 
This reading provides an introduction to the physical, cultural, and economic characteristics of the nations of East Africa, including Somalia.  In addition, the reading explores the importance of the vibrant ecosystem of the East African region to potential economic activities and the impact of the African Transition Zone in the Horn of Africa.
 
Reading and answering the associated Discussion and Study Questions should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

7.5.1 Physical Geography   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Physical Geography.”

7.5.2 The Great Rift Valley, Serengeti, and Game Reserves   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The Great Rift Valley,” including the subheading “Serengeti, and Game Reserves.”

7.5.3 Tanzania   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Tanzania

7.5.4 Kenya   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Kenya.”

7.5.5 Uganda   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Uganda.”

7.5.6 Ethiopia   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Ethiopia.”

7.5.7 Eritrea   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Eritrea.”

7.5.8 Djibouti   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Djibouti.”

7.5.9 Somalia   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Somalia.”

7.5.10 Rural-to-Urban Shift   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.5.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Rural-to-Urban Shift.”

7.6 Physical and Cultural Characteristics of Southern Africa   - Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 7: Sub-Saharan Africa:” “Section 7.6: Sub-Saharan Africa” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 7: Sub-Saharan Africa:” “Section 7.6: Sub-Saharan Africa” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Section 7.6 in its entirety.  Before you begin the reading and lecture assignments for this subunit, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Then, answer these questions and keep these questions in mind as you read through the text and watch the lectures.  This reading assignment covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 7.6.1 through 7.6.9. 
 
This reading provides an introduction to the physical, cultural, and economic characteristics of the nations of Sub-Saharan Africa.  In addition, the reading explores how ethnicity has played a role in the political situation of each country in the Southern African region.  The discussion continues with an analysis of apartheid’s effect on South Africa (both culturally and economically).
 
Reading and answering the questions associated Discussion and Study Questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

7.6.1 Angola   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Angola.”

7.6.2 Namibia and the Namib Desert   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading “Namibia.”  Also, pay attention to the text surrounding the bolded term, “Namib Desert.”

7.6.3 Zambia   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Zambia.”

7.6.4 Malawi   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Malawi.”

7.6.5 Mozambique   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Mozambique.”

7.6.6 Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Zimbabwe.”  Also, pay attention to the section surrounding the bolded term, “Robert Mugabe.”

7.6.7 Botswana and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Botswana.”  Also, pay attention to the text surrounding the bolded term, “Central Kalahari Game Reserve.”

7.6.8 South Africa   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “South Africa.”

7.6.8.1 The Xhosa and the Zulu   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded terms, “Xhosa” and “Zulu,” below the heading, “South Africa.”

7.6.8.2 The Boer Wars   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “Boer Wars,” below the heading, “South Africa.”

7.6.8.3 Apartheid   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “apartheid,” below the heading, “South Africa.”

7.6.8.4 The 2010 World Cup Soccer Games   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text in the box titled “The 2010 World Cup Soccer Games.”

7.6.9 Swaziland and Lesotho   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 7.6.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Swaziland and Lesotho.”