Ethnic Groups of Southern Africa

Southern Africa

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In April 2000 in Zimbabwe, armed men attacked the farmhouse of a white farmer whose family has lived in Zimbabwe for generations. A political crisis that goes back to Britain’s colonial rule caught white farmers in a violent crossfire. British colonial rule ended in 1980, but more than 4,000 white farmers in […]

Bantu Migrations, 2000 B.C.–A.D. 1000

Central Africa

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE A Congo riverboat ride from Kinshasa to Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a journey all visitors should take. The riverboat is essentially a floating village. Each barge shakes with music and dancing. In addition, the Congolese fill the riverboat with market stalls stocked with all types of food. […]

Empires of West Africa, 1050–1500

West Africa

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE A visit to Gorée Island, off the coast of Senegal, can be a moving experience. This island served as one of the busiest points for exporting slaves during the slave trade. From the mid-1500s to the mid-1800s, Europeans transported about 20 million Africans through Gorée Island. The island has a slave house, […]

Expansion of Islam, 750–1500

North Africa

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE According to legend, around 814 B.C. a Phoenician queen founded Carthage, one of the great cities of ancient Africa. She located it on a peninsula on the Gulf of Tunis. The location was ideal. The Lake of Tunis protected the rear of the peninsula from invasion. In addition, because Carthage was on […]

East African Trade, A.D. 1000

East Africa

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE East Africa is called the “cradle of humanity” because of the large number of prehistoric human remains found in the region. In 1931, Louis Leakey, an English archaeologist, began doing research in Olduvai Gorge, located in northern Tanzania. Olduvai Gorge has contained the most continuous known record of humanity. The gorge has […]

4554

Africa: Human–Environment Interaction

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Akierou Awe lives in a mud-brick house in Nigeria’s Niger delta, a region that contains most of Nigeria’s oil. On the morning of July 10, 2000, Awe’s four sons had been collecting fuel from a leaking pipeline to help scrape out a living in this poverty-stricken region. They hoped to resell the […]

Climates of Africa

Africa: Climate and Vegetation

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In 1352, 48-year-old Ibn Battuta, a great traveler from Morocco, set out for the empire of Mali in West Africa. His most challenging obstacle was the Sahara, a desert nearly the same size as the continental United States. Battuta and his caravan set out in February. They traveled only in early morning […]

Basins of Africa

Africa: Landforms and Resources

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Angola’s rebel leader Jonas Savimbi kept his forces fighting by bargaining with arms dealers and haggling with international diamond traders. Diamonds—one of the world’s most precious and valuable gems—have enriched some of Africa’s countries, including Botswana and South Africa. However, in other diamond-rich countries such as Angola, people use diamonds to fund […]

Selected Nuclear Reactors in Former Soviet Republics

The Soviet Union’s Nuclear Legacy

As you have read, the breakup of the Soviet Union sparked regional conflicts and economic hardship. Equally serious were the problems caused by the Soviet Union’s nuclear programs. These included nuclear warheads atop ballistic missiles, poorly constructed and maintained nuclear power stations, and decaying nuclear waste dumps. All threatened the region’s people and environment. An […]

Federal Districts of Russia

Russia and the Republics: The Struggle for Economic Reform

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Russians have faced many hardships since the breakup of the Soviet Union. But few have been as difficult to overcome as the collapse of the Soviet command economy. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the region’s people began to participate in a capitalist system. One Russian bitterly summed up the sudden […]