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Africa's Geography: Dynamics of Place, Cultures, and Economies

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Africa's Geography: Dynamics of Place, Cultures, and Economies

Benjamin Ofori-Amoah

ISBN: 978-1-119-40160-5 April 2019 464 Pages

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Africa's Geography presents a comprehensive exploration of the world’s second largest and most culturally diverse continent. Author Benjamin Ofori-Amoah challenges common misconceptions and misrepresentations of Africa from a geographical perspective, harnessing the power of modern geographic mapping technology to explore this unique continent. This text provides thorough coverage of the historical, cultural, economic, and political forces that continue to shape Africa, applying geographic context to relevant past and contemporary issues. Coverage of economic development, climate and biogeography, transportation and communication, manufacturing and commerce, and mining and agriculture provides foundational knowledge of this vast and complex continent.

Ideally suited for multiple areas of classroom study, this text offers an effective and flexible pedagogical framework. Coverage of the entirety of Africa enables students to develop a cohesive portrait of the continent as a whole and identify the dynamism of its nations, cultures, and economies. Engaging and accessible narrative strengthens comprehension, while examples of historical and contemporary events increase student interest. Innovative and unique, Africa’s Geography is an essential resource for cross-disciplinary investigation of this fascinating part of the world.

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Preface v

Acknowledgments vii

1 This is Africa 1

Africa—The One Small Country Continent 2

Africa, the Uniform Region 2

Africa, the Epitome of Poverty, Backwardness, and the State of being a “Third World” 8

Do You See Lions and Cheetahs in the Streets and on the Way to School? 10

You Must Have Studied Outside Africa! 10

Ethnocentrism and the Role of Early European Visitors to Africa 11

The Nature of News and the Media 11

The Nature of Academic Research Enterprise 13

Nongovernmental Organizations and the Aid Industry 14

The Demonstration Effect of Past and Current Behavior of Vested Interest Groups in Africa 14

Postreading Assignment 16

Web Resources 16

References 17

2 From Empires in the Sand and Civilizations in the Jungle to Colonies and Freedom 18

The Origins of the African People 19

Evolution and Development of Early Cultures 20

Transformation through Agriculture, Metallurgy, and Expansion 21

North and East Africa 23

West Africa 27

Central and Southern Africa 32

North Africa and the Outside World 34

The Swahili Coast 36

The Trans-Saharan Trade 36

The Coming of (Western) Europeans and Early Colonies 38

The Slave Trades 39

Christian Missionaries, “Legitimate” Trade, and the Mapping of Africa 41

Colonial Africa 43

Reasons for the Independence Movement 50

The March to Independence 51

Summary 56

Postreading Assignment 57

References 57

3 The Struggle for a Better Standard of Living 59

Capitalist Ideology and Modernization Theories 60

Marxist or Socialist Ideology and Dependency Theories 61

The 1950s–1960s: From the Modernization Project to Mixed Development Strategies 63

The 1970s: From Mixed Development Experiments to Economic Insolvency 66

The 1980s: From Economic Insolvency to Structural Adjustment Programs 71

The 1990s: Poststructural Adjustment Era 73

Postreading Assignments 79

References 80

4 Geology, Relief, and Drainage Basins 82

The Precambrian Time (4.6 b to 570 m years ago) 82

The Paleozoic Era (570 m to 245 m years ago) 83

The Mesozoic Era (245 m to 66.4 m years ago) 84

The Cenozoic Era (About 66.4 m to the Most Recent) 84

The Coastal Plains 87

The Interior Plateaus and Highlands 88

River Basins 99

Lakes 108

Summary 112

Postreading Assignment 112

References 113

5 Climate, Biogeography, and Soils 115

Factors Affecting Africa’s Climate 116

Temperature and Rainfall Conditions 119

Climatic Types 121

Tropical Rain Forest 128

Warm Temperate (Mediterranean) Forest 129

Tropical Woodland 130

Dry or Sudan Savanna 130

Semi-Desert or Sahel 130

Desert 131

Temperate Grassland 131

Mountain Vegetation 131

Oxisols 132

Utisols 132

Alfisols 133

Aridisols 133

Vertisols 133

Other Soils 133

Nature’s Opportunities 134

Nature’s Challenges 135

Summary 143

Postreading Assignments 143

References 144

6 Population 146

Distribution by Density 147

Factors Affecting Population Distribution 150

Age and Sex Composition 153

Income, Education Attainment, and Life Expectancy at Birth 155

Population Growth 158

Population Growth (Natural Increase) and Economic Development 174

Rapid Population Growth and Africa’s Economic Development 175

Migration and Development 176

Summary 178

Postreading Assignment 179

References 180

7 Unity in Diversity 184

Ethnocentrism 184

Christianity and Islam 185

Colonialism 185

Race and Ethnicity 187

Religions and Worldviews 191

Languages 200

Literature 203

Visual Art and Symbolism 205

Family and Kinship 211

Age, Sex, and Gender 214

Cuisines 217

Dress and Adornment 219

Social Relations and Lifestyle 220

Language and Development 222

Oral Literature and Corruption 222

Ethnicity and Conflicts 223

Religious Fundamentalism and Extremism 223

Summary 224

Postreading Assignments 225

References 225

8 Cities, Towns, and Villages 228

Evolution and Development of Africa’s Urban System 230

The Internal Structure of Africa’s Cities 241

Problems and Issues of Africa’s Postcolonial City 248

Evolution and Development of Rural Settlements 254

Internal Structure of Rural Settlements 255

Social Linkages and Interaction 256

Economic Linkages and Interactions 257

Political Linkages and Interactions 258

Summary 258

Postreading Assignments 259

References 259

9 Politics and Governance 263

Precolonial Africa 264

Colonial Africa 265

Postcolonial Africa 266

Boundary Disputes 280

The Land Question 281

Democratic Multiparty Elections 284

Civil Society, Citizen Representation, and Accountability 287

Rule of Law and Access to Justice 288

Neopatrimonialism, Venality, and Corruption 289

Civil Wars 291

Ethnic and Minority Issues 296

Women Issues 299

The Media and Press Freedom 299

The Problem of Local Government Reforms 300

Regional Groupings and Changing Geopolitics 301

Summary 303

Postreading Assignments 303

References 304

10 Transportation and Communication 308

Road Transportation 309

Water Transportation—Inland Waterways and Ocean Transportation 316

Rail Transportation 327

Air Transportation 333

Telecommunication in Precolonial and Colonial Periods 344

Postcolonial Developments 345

Summary 355

Postreading Assignment 355

References 356

11 Agriculture 358

Precolonial Africa 358

Colonial Africa 360

Postcolonial Africa 365

Crop Production Systems 374

Livestock Production Systems 389

Low Productivity 395

The Problem of Institutions and Markets 396

Disempowered Farmers and Communities 397

A Note on Food Insecurity 398

Policy Options 398

Postreading Assignment 401

References 402

12 Fisheries and Forestry 405

Classification of Fisheries, Fishing Vessels and Methods, and Fisheries Data 406

Evolution and Development of African Fisheries 408

Fisheries Production 415

Problems and Issues in Fisheries 425

Summary 427

Evolution and Development of African Forestry 428

Production of Forest Products 438

Problems and Issues in Africa’s Forestry 442

Summary 445

Postreading Assignment 446

References 446

13 Mineral and Energy Production 449

Evolution and Development of Mineral Production in Africa 451

Mineral Production Operations 459

The Evolution and Development of Energy Production in Africa 471

Distribution of Major Energy Resources and Production 475

Problems and Issues in Mineral and Energy Production 482

Physical and Human Impact of Mineral and Energy Production 482

Mineral Production, Conflict, and Development 484

Summary 487

Postreading Assignment 488

References 488

14 Manufacturing Activities 490

Precolonial Africa 491

Colonial Africa 491

Postcolonial Africa 492

Manufacturing Production Systems (MPS) of Africa 497

Major Manufacturing Industries 499

Problems and Prospects of Industrialization 528

Summary 531

Postreading Assignments 533

References 533

15 Trade and Tourism 535

Evolution and Development of Trade in Africa 535

Types and Organization of Trading Activities 545

Africa’s Trade Issues 556

The Evolution and Development of Tourism in Africa 561

Africa’s Tourist Trade 566

Tourism and Economic Development of Africa 575

Postreading Assignments 577

References 578

16 Education and Health Care 581

Evolution and Development of Education in Africa 582

Africa’s Education System 591

Problems and Issues in Africa’s Education System 601

Summary 604

Evolution and Development of Africa’s Health-Care Systems 605

Disease Ecology, Morbidity, and Mortality in Africa 613

Africa’s Health-Care Delivery System 623

Problems and Issues in Africa’s Health-Care System 629

Summary 638

Postreading Assignment 639

References 639

Index 643

  • Presents the first comprehensive textbook on Africa published in the last two decades
  • Covers Africa as a complete continent and allows flexible course structure, such as study of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Applies historical context to topics including slavery and colonialism, and their influence in shaping modern Africa
  • Offers extensive examination of economic issues, particularly economic development
  • Employs modern geographic technologies, such as Geographic Information System mapping technology (GIS)
  • Provides an effective pedagogical framework to strengthen student retention and comprehension