Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa

Overview
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

n continent which lies south of the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara. It contrasts with North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, which is considered a part of the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

.

The Sahel
Sahel
The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition between the Sahara desert in the North and the Sudanian Savannas in the south.It stretches across the North African continent between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea....

 is the transitional zone between the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

 and the tropical savanna (the Sudan region
Sudan (region)
The Sudan is the name given to a geographic region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western to Eastern Africa. The name derives from the Arabic bilâd as-sûdân or "land of the Blacks"...

) and forest-savanna mosaic
Forest-savanna mosaic
Forest-savanna mosaic is an transitory ecotone between the tropical moist broadleaf forests of Equatorial Africa and the drier savannas and open woodlands to the north and south of the forest belt...

 to the south.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Sub-Saharan Africa'
Start a new discussion about 'Sub-Saharan Africa'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

n continent which lies south of the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara. It contrasts with North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, which is considered a part of the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

.

The Sahel
Sahel
The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition between the Sahara desert in the North and the Sudanian Savannas in the south.It stretches across the North African continent between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea....

 is the transitional zone between the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

 and the tropical savanna (the Sudan region
Sudan (region)
The Sudan is the name given to a geographic region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western to Eastern Africa. The name derives from the Arabic bilâd as-sûdân or "land of the Blacks"...

) and forest-savanna mosaic
Forest-savanna mosaic
Forest-savanna mosaic is an transitory ecotone between the tropical moist broadleaf forests of Equatorial Africa and the drier savannas and open woodlands to the north and south of the forest belt...

 to the south. The Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

 (excluding Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

), Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 and Mauritania
Mauritania
Mauritania is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest...

 are geographically part of Sub-Saharan Africa, but also part of the Arab world.

The Sub-Saharan region is also known as Black Africa, in reference to its many black
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 populations. Commentators in Arabic in the medieval period used a similar term, bilâd as-sûdân, for the region south of the Sahara, which literally translates as "land of the blacks." However the terminology Black Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa is considered by some as a pejorative term and a vestige of colonialism, which divided Africa into European terms of homogeneity. Some note that Sub-Saharan Africa neither exists linguistically (Afro-Asiatic languages), ethnically (Tuareg), politically (African Union, Arab league
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

), in terms of religion (Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

), nor economically (CEN-SAD). The African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 also prefers to see the Sahara as a bridge, not a barrier.

Since probably the 5.9 kiloyear event
5.9 kiloyear event
The 5.9 kiloyear event was one of the most intense aridification events during the Holocene. It occurred around 3900 BC, ending the Neolithic Subpluvial and probably initiated the most recent desiccation of the Sahara desert. Thus, it also triggered worldwide migration to river valleys, e.g...

, the Saharan and Sub-Saharan regions of Africa have been separated by the extremely harsh climate of the sparsely populated Sahara, forming an effective barrier interrupted by only the Nile River in Sudan, though the Nile was blocked by the river's cataracts
Cataracts of the Nile
The cataracts of the Nile are shallow lengths of the Nile between Aswan and Khartoum where the surface of the water is broken by many small boulders and stones protruding out of the river bed, as well as many rocky islets. Aswan is also the Southern boundary of Upper Egypt...

. The Sahara Pump Theory
Sahara pump theory
The Sahara pump theory is a hypothesis that explains how flora and fauna migrated between Eurasia and Africa via a Levantine land bridge. The theory observes that extended periods of abundant rainfall lasting many thousands of years in Africa are associated with a "wet Sahara" phase, during which...

 explains how flora
Floristic province
A phytochorion, in phytogeography, is a geographic area with a relatively uniform composition of plant species. Adjacent phytochoria do not usually have a sharp boundary, but rather a soft one, a transitional area in which many species from both regions overlap...

 and fauna (including Homo sapiens
Recent African origin of modern humans
In paleoanthropology, the recent African origin of modern humans is the most widely accepted model describing the origin and early dispersal of anatomically modern humans...

) left Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 to penetrate the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 and beyond to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

. African pluvial
Pluvial
In geology and climatology, a pluvial was an extended period of abundant rainfall lasting many thousands of years. Pluvial is also applied to the sediments of these periods . The term is especially applied to such periods during the Pleistocene Epoch...

 periods are associated with a "wet Sahara" phase during which larger lakes and more rivers exist.

Climate zones and ecoregions



Sub-Saharan Africa has a wide variety of climate zones or biome
Biome
Biomes are climatically and geographically defined as similar climatic conditions on the Earth, such as communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, and are often referred to as ecosystems. Some parts of the earth have more or less the same kind of abiotic and biotic factors spread over a...

s. South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 in particular are considered Megadiverse countries
Megadiverse countries
The megadiverse countries are a group of countries that harbor the majority of the Earth's species and are therefore considered extremely biodiverse...

.
  • The Sahel
    Sahel
    The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition between the Sahara desert in the North and the Sudanian Savannas in the south.It stretches across the North African continent between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea....

     shoots across all of Africa at a latitude of about 10° to 15° N. Countries that include parts of the Sahara proper in their northern territories and parts of the Sahel in their southern region include Mali
    Mali
    Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

    , Niger
    Niger
    Niger , officially named the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east...

    , Chad
    Chad
    Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

     and Sudan
    Sudan
    Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

    .
  • South of the Sahel, there is a belt of savanna
    Savanna
    A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of C4 grasses.Some...

    , (Guinean forest-savanna mosaic
    Guinean forest-savanna mosaic
    The Guinean forest-savanna mosaic is an ecoregion of West Africa, a band of interlaced forest, savanna, and grassland running east to west and dividing the tropical moist forests near the coast from the West Sudanian savanna of the interior.-Setting:...

    , Northern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic
    Northern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic
    The Northern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic is a forest and savanna ecoregion of central Africa, part of the belt of transitional forest-savanna mosaic that lie between Africa's equatorial forests and the tropical dry forests, savannas, and grasslands that lie to the north and south...

    ) widening to include most of South Sudan
    South Sudan
    South Sudan , officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country located in the Sahel region of northeastern Africa. It is also part of the North Africa UN sub-region. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city; the capital city is planned to be moved to the more...

     and Ethiopia
    Ethiopia
    Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

     in the east (East Sudanian savanna
    East Sudanian savanna
    The East Sudanian Savanna is a hot, dry, tropical savanna ecoregion of central Africa.-Location and description:This is the eastern half of the broad savanna belt which runs east and west across Africa, this section lying east of the Cameroon Highlands...

    ).
  • The Horn of Africa
    Horn of Africa
    The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

     includes arid semi-desert along its coast, contrasting with savannah and moist broadleaf forests in the interior of Ethiopia.
  • Africa's tropical rainforest
    Tropical rainforest
    A tropical rainforest is an ecosystem type that occurs roughly within the latitudes 28 degrees north or south of the equator . This ecosystem experiences high average temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall...

     stretches along the southern coast of West Africa and dominates Central Africa (the Congo
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

    ) west of the African Great Lakes
    African Great Lakes
    The African Great Lakes are a series of lakes and the Rift Valley lakes in and around the geographic Great Rift Valley formed by the action of the tectonic East African Rift on the continent of Africa...

  • The Eastern Miombo woodlands
    Eastern Miombo woodlands
    The Eastern Miombo woodlands are an ecoregion of grassland and woodland in southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique.-Setting:These species-rich savanna ecosystems cover wide areas of gentle hills and low valleys containing rivers and dambo wetlands...

     are an ecoregion of Tanzania
    Tanzania
    The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

    , Malawi
    Malawi
    The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size...

    , and Mozambique
    Mozambique
    Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

    .
  • The Serengeti
    Serengeti
    The Serengeti ecosystem is a geographical region in Africa. It is located in north Tanzania and extends to south-western Kenya between latitudes 1 and 3 S and longitudes 34 and 36 E. It spans some ....

     ecosystem is located in northwestern Tanzania
    Tanzania
    The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

     and extends to southwestern Kenya
    Kenya
    Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

    .
  • The Kalahari Basin
    Kalahari Basin
    The Kalahari Basin is a large lowland area covering over 2.5 million km² covering most of Botswana and parts of Namibia, South Africa, Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe...

     includes the Kalahari Desert
    Kalahari Desert
    The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savannah in Southern Africa extending , covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa, as semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains. The Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert...

     surrounded by a belt of semi-desert.
  • The Bushveld
    Bushveld
    The Bushveld is a sub-tropical woodland ecoregion of Southern Africa that encompasses most of Limpopo Province and a small part of the North West Province of South Africa, the Central and North-East Districts of Botswana and the Matabeleland South and part of th Matabeleland North provinces of...

     is a tropical savanna
    Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
    Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands are a grassland terrestrial biome located in semi-arid to semi-humid climate regions of subtropical and tropical latitudes. Grasslands are dominated by grass and other herbaceous plants. Savannas are grasslands with scattered trees...

     ecoregion of Southern Africa
    Southern Africa
    Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

    .
  • The Karoo
    Karoo
    The Karoo is a semi-desert region of South Africa. It has two main sub-regions - the Great Karoo in the north and the Little Karoo in the south. The 'High' Karoo is one of the distinct physiographic provinces of the larger South African Platform division.-Great Karoo:The Great Karoo has an area of...

     is a semi-desert in western South Africa.

History



Nubia
Nubia
Nubia is a region along the Nile river, which is located in northern Sudan and southern Egypt.There were a number of small Nubian kingdoms throughout the Middle Ages, the last of which collapsed in 1504, when Nubia became divided between Egypt and the Sennar sultanate resulting in the Arabization...

 in present day Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 and other regions south of Egypt, in Sub-Saharan Africa, was referred to as "Ethiopia
Ethiopia (mythology)
Aethiopia first appears as a geographical term in classical sources, in reference to the Upper Nile region, as well as all the regions south of the Sahara desert. Its earliest mention is in the works of Homer: twice in the Iliad, and three times in the Odyssey...

" or "Aethiopia" ("land of the burnt face") by the Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

.

Prehistory


According to paleontology
Paleontology
Paleontology "old, ancient", ὄν, ὀντ- "being, creature", and λόγος "speech, thought") is the study of prehistoric life. It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments...

, early hominid skull anatomy was similar to their close cousins, the great African forest apes, gorilla and chimpanzee, but they had adopted a biped
Biped
Bipedalism is a form of terrestrial locomotion where an organism moves by means of its two rear limbs, or legs. An animal or machine that usually moves in a bipedal manner is known as a biped , meaning "two feet"...

al locomotion and freed hands giving them a crucial advantage enabling them to live in both forested areas and on the open savanna
Savanna
A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of C4 grasses.Some...

 at a time when Africa was drying up, with savanna encroaching on forested areas. This occurred 10 million to 5 million years ago.

By 3 million years ago several australopithecine
Australopithecus
Australopithecus is a genus of hominids that is now extinct. From the evidence gathered by palaeontologists and archaeologists, it appears that the Australopithecus genus evolved in eastern Africa around 4 million years ago before spreading throughout the continent and eventually becoming extinct...

 (southern apes) hominid species had developed throughout southern
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

, eastern
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

 and central Africa
Central Africa
Central Africa is a core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda....

. They were tool users, not makers of tools.
About 2.3 million BCE, the next major evolutionary step occurred when primitive stone tools were used to scavenge kills made by other predators and harvest carrion for their bones and marrow. In hunting, H. habilis was probably not capable of competing with large predators and was more prey than hunter, although H. habilis probably did steal eggs from nests and may have been able to catch small game
Game (food)
Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated. Game animals are also hunted for sport.The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world. This will be influenced by climate, animal diversity, local taste and locally accepted view about what can or...

 and weakened larger prey (cubs and older animals). The tools were classed as Oldowan.

Around 1.8 million years ago Homo ergaster
Homo ergaster
Homo ergaster is an extinct chronospecies of Homo that lived in eastern and southern Africa during the early Pleistocene, about 2.5–1.7 million years ago.There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H...

 first appeared in the fossil record in Africa. From Homo ergaster, Homo erectus
Homo erectus
Homo erectus is an extinct species of hominid that lived from the end of the Pliocene epoch to the later Pleistocene, about . The species originated in Africa and spread as far as India, China and Java. There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H...

 (upright man) evolved 1.5 million years ago. Some of the earlier representatives of this species were small brained and used primitive stone tools, much like H. habilis. The brain later grew in size, and H. erectus eventually developed a more complex stone tool technology called the Acheulean
Acheulean
Acheulean is the name given to an archaeological industry of stone tool manufacture associated with early humans during the Lower Palaeolithic era across Africa and much of West Asia, South Asia and Europe. Acheulean tools are typically found with Homo erectus remains...

. Possibly the first hunters, H. erectus mastered the art of making fire
Fire
Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. Slower oxidative processes like rusting or digestion are not included by this definition....

 and were the first hominids to leave Africa, colonizing the entire Old World
Old World
The Old World consists of those parts of the world known to classical antiquity and the European Middle Ages. It is used in the context of, and contrast with, the "New World" ....

 and perhaps later giving rise to Homo floresiensis
Homo floresiensis
Homo floresiensis is a possible species, now extinct, in the genus Homo. The remains were discovered in 2003 on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Partial skeletons of nine individuals have been recovered, including one complete cranium...

. Although some recent writers suggest that H. georgicus, a H. habilis descendant, was the first and most primitive hominid to ever live outside Africa, many scientists consider H. georgicus to be an early and primitive member of the H. erectus species.

The fossil record shows Homo sapiens living in southern and eastern Africa at least 100,000 and possibly 150,000 years ago. Around 50,000 - 60,000 years ago their expansion out of Africa launched the colonization of our planet by modern human-beings. By 10,000 BCE, Homo sapiens has spread to all corners of the world Their migration is indicated by linguistic, cultural and genetic
Genetics
Genetics , a discipline of biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms....

 evidence.

After the Sahara became a desert, it did not present a totally impenetrable barrier for travelers between north and south because of the application of animal husbandry towards carrying water, food, and supplies across the desert. Prior to the introduction of the camel
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

, the use of oxen, mule, and horses for desert crossing was common, and trade routes followed chains of oases
Oasis
In geography, an oasis or cienega is an isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source...

 that were strung across the desert. The trans-saharan trade
Trans-Saharan trade
Trans-Saharan trade requires travel across the Sahara to reach sub-Saharan Africa. While existing from prehistoric times, the peak of trade extended from the 8th century until the late 16th century.- Increasing desertification and economic incentive :...

 was in full motion by 500 BCE with Carthage
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

 being a major economic force for its establishment. It is thought that the camel was first brought to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 after the Persian Empire conquered Egypt in 525 BCE, although large herds did not become common enough in North Africa for camels to be the pack animal of choice for the trans-saharan trade
Trans-Saharan trade
Trans-Saharan trade requires travel across the Sahara to reach sub-Saharan Africa. While existing from prehistoric times, the peak of trade extended from the 8th century until the late 16th century.- Increasing desertification and economic incentive :...

.

East Africa



The distribution of the Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan languages
The Nilo-Saharan languages are a proposed family of African languages spoken by some 50 million people, mainly in the upper parts of the Chari and Nile rivers , including historic Nubia, north of where the two tributaries of Nile meet...

 linguistic phylum is evidence of a certain coherence of the central Sahara, the Sahel and East Africa in prehistoric times. Kush
Kingdom of Kush
The native name of the Kingdom was likely kaš, recorded in Egyptian as .The name Kash is probably connected to Cush in the Hebrew Bible , son of Ham ....

 and Nubia
Nubia
Nubia is a region along the Nile river, which is located in northern Sudan and southern Egypt.There were a number of small Nubian kingdoms throughout the Middle Ages, the last of which collapsed in 1504, when Nubia became divided between Egypt and the Sennar sultanate resulting in the Arabization...

 at her greatest phase is considered Sub-Saharan Africa's oldest urban civilization. Nubia was a major source of gold for the ancient world. Nubians built famous structures like the Deffufa, mud brick temples similar to the ziggurats of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 in material and function. They built numerous pyramids. Sudan, the site of ancient Nubia, has more pyramids than anywhere in the world.

The Axumite Empire spanned the southern Sahara and the Sahel along the western shore of the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

. Located in northern Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 and Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

, Aksum was deeply involved in the trade network between India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and the Mediterranean. Emerging from ca. the 4th century BCE, it rose to prominence by the 1st century AD. It was succeeded by the Zagwe dynasty
Zagwe dynasty
The Zagwe dynasty was an historical kingdom in present-day Ethiopia. It ruled large parts of the territory from approximately 1137 to 1270, when the last Zagwe King Za-Ilmaknun was killed in battle by the forces of Yekuno Amlak...

 in the 10th century. Aksumites carved, constructed monolithic stelaes to cover the graves of their kings like King Ezana's Stele
King Ezana's Stele
King Ezana's Stele is the central obelisk still standing in the Northern Stelae Park in the ancient city of Axum, in modern-day Ethiopia. This stele is probably the last erected one and the biggest of those remained unbroken...

 and churches out of solid rock, like Church of St. George at Lalibela.

In ancient Somalia
History of Somalia
Somalia , officially the Republic of Somalia and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Djibouti to the northwest, Kenya on its southwest, the Gulf of Aden with Yemen on its north, the Indian Ocean at its east, and Ethiopia...

, city-states flourished such as Opone, Mosyllon
Cape Guardafui
Cape Guardafui , also known as Ras Asir and historically as Aromata promontorium, is a headland in the northeastern Bari province of Somalia. Located in the autonomous Puntland region, it forms the geographical apex of the region commonly referred to as the Horn of Africa.-Location:Cape Guardafui...

 and Malao that competed with the Sabaeans
Sabaeans
The Sabaeans or Sabeans were an ancient people speaking an Old South Arabian language who lived in what is today Yemen, in the south west of the Arabian Peninsula.Some scholars suggest a link between the Sabaeans and the Biblical land of Sheba....

, Parthia
Parthia
Parthia is a region of north-eastern Iran, best known for having been the political and cultural base of the Arsacid dynasty, rulers of the Parthian Empire....

ns and Axumites for the wealthy Indo
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

-Greco-Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 trade.

In the Middle Ages, several powerful Somali empires dominated the regional trade including the Ajuuraan State
Ajuuraan State
The Ajuuraan state or Ajuuraan sultanate was a Somali Muslim empire that ruled over large parts of East Africa in the Middle Ages. Through a strong centralized administration and an aggressive military stance towards invaders, the Ajuuraan Empire successfully resisted an Oromo invasion from the...

, which excelled in hydraulic engineering
Engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

 and fortress building, the Sultanate of Adal, whose General Ahmed Gurey was the first African commander in history to use cannon warfare on the continent during Adal's conquest of the Ethiopian Empire
Ethiopian Empire
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, covered a geographical area that the present-day northern half of Ethiopia and Eritrea covers, and included in its peripheries Zeila, Djibouti, Yemen and Western Saudi Arabia...

, and the Gobroon Dynasty
Gobroon Dynasty
The Gobroon dynasty or Geledi sultanate was a Somali royal house that ruled parts of East Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was established by the Ajuuraan soldier Ibrahim Adeer, who had defeated various vassals of the Ajuuraan Empire and established the House of Gobroon...

, whose military dominance forced governors of the Omani empire
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 north of the city of Lamu
Lamu
-Threats to Lamu:In a 2010 report titled Saving Our Vanishing Heritage, Global Heritage Fund identified Lamu as one of 12 worldwide sites most "On the Verge" of irreparable loss and damage, citing insufficient management and development pressure as primary causes.- See also :* Juma and the Magic...

 to pay tribute to the Somali
Somali people
Somalis are an ethnic group located in the Horn of Africa, also known as the Somali Peninsula. The overwhelming majority of Somalis speak the Somali language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family...

 Sultan Ahmed Yusuf
Ahmed Yusuf (Gobroon)
Ahmed Yusuf was a Somali ruler, and the fourth Sultan of the Gobroon Dynasty from 1848 to 1878.-Biography:Yusuf was born in the town of Afgooye, where he stayed until the age of seven...

. In the late 19th century after the Berlin conference
Berlin Conference
The Berlin Conference of 1884–85 regulated European colonization and trade in Africa during the New Imperialism period, and coincided with Germany's sudden emergence as an imperial power...

 had ended, European empires
Colonial empire
The Colonial empires were a product of the European Age of Exploration that began with a race of exploration between the then most advanced maritime powers, Portugal and Spain, in the 15th century...

 sailed with their armies to the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

. The imperial
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 armies in Somalia alarmed the Dervish
Dervish State
The Dervish state was an early 20th century Somali Sunni Muslim state that was established by Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, a religious leader who gathered Somali soldiers from across the Horn of Africa and united them into a loyal army known as the Dervishes...

 leader Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, who gathered Somali soldiers from across the Horn of Africa and began one of the longest colonial resistance wars ever.

Further south in East Africa, during the first millennium AD, Nilotic
Nilotic
Nilotic people or Nilotes, in its contemporary usage, refers to some ethnic groups mainly in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and northern Tanzania, who speak Nilotic languages, a large sub-group of the Nilo-Saharan languages...

 and Bantu
Bantu languages
The Bantu languages constitute a traditional sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages. There are about 250 Bantu languages by the criterion of mutual intelligibility, though the distinction between language and dialect is often unclear, and Ethnologue counts 535 languages...

-speaking peoples moved into the region
Bantu expansion
The Bantu expansion or the Bantu Migration was a millennia-long series of migrations of speakers of the original proto-Bantu language group...

, and the latter now comprise three-quarters of Kenya's population. Increased trade (namely with Arab merchants) and the development of ports helped birth of Swahili culture. Developed from an outgrowth of indigenous Bantu settlements, the Swahili Coast
Swahili Coast
The Swahili Coast refers to the coast or coastal area of East Africa inhabited by the Swahili people, mainly Kenya, Tanzania, and north Mozambique...

 of Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

 and northern Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 was part of the east African region which traded with Persia, China, the Arab world, and India especially for ivory
Ivory
Ivory is a term for dentine, which constitutes the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals, when used as a material for art or manufacturing. Ivory has been important since ancient times for making a range of items, from ivory carvings to false teeth, fans, dominoes, joint tubes, piano keys and...

 and slaves
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

.

In 1498, Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

 became the first European to reach the East African coast, and by 1525 the Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 had subdued the entire coast. Portuguese control lasted until the early 18th century when Arabs from Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 established a foothold in the region. Assisted by Omani Arabs
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

, the indigenous coastal dwellers succeeded in driving the Portuguese from the area north of the Ruvuma River
Ruvuma River
Ruvuma River, formerly also known as the Rovuma River, is a river in East Africa, forming during the greater part of its course the border between Tanzania and Mozambique . It is long, with a drainage basin in size...

 by the early 18th century.

West Africa



The Bantu expansion
Bantu expansion
The Bantu expansion or the Bantu Migration was a millennia-long series of migrations of speakers of the original proto-Bantu language group...

 is a major migration movement originating in West Africa around 2500 BCE, reaching East and Central Africa by 1000 BCE and Southern Africa by the early centuries AD.

The Nok culture is known from a type of terracotta figure found in Nigeria, dating to between 500 BCE and AD 200.

There were a number of medieval empires of the southern Sahara and the Sahel, based on trans-Saharan trade
Trans-Saharan trade
Trans-Saharan trade requires travel across the Sahara to reach sub-Saharan Africa. While existing from prehistoric times, the peak of trade extended from the 8th century until the late 16th century.- Increasing desertification and economic incentive :...

, including the Ghana Empire
Ghana Empire
The Ghana Empire or Wagadou Empire was located in what is now southeastern Mauritania, and Western Mali. Complex societies had existed in the region since about 1500 BCE, and around Ghana's core region since about 300 CE...

 and the Mali Empire
Mali Empire
The Mali Empire or Mandingo Empire or Manden Kurufa was a West African empire of the Mandinka from c. 1230 to c. 1600. The empire was founded by Sundiata Keita and became renowned for the wealth of its rulers, especially Mansa Musa I...

, Songhai Empire
Songhai Empire
The Songhai Empire, also known as the Songhay Empire, was a state located in western Africa. From the early 15th to the late 16th century, Songhai was one of the largest Islamic empires in history. This empire bore the same name as its leading ethnic group, the Songhai. Its capital was the city...

, the Kanem Empire
Kanem Empire
The Kanem Empire was located in the present countries of Chad, Nigeria and Libya. At its height it encompassed an area covering not only much of Chad, but also parts of southern Libya , eastern Niger and north-eastern Nigeria...

 and the subsequent Bornu Empire
Bornu Empire
The Bornu Empire was an African state of Nigeria from 1396 to 1893. It was a continuation of the great Kanem Empire founded centuries earlier by the Sayfawa Dynasty...

. They built stone structures like in Tichit but mainly built in adobe
Adobe
Adobe is a natural building material made from sand, clay, water, and some kind of fibrous or organic material , which the builders shape into bricks using frames and dry in the sun. Adobe buildings are similar to cob and mudbrick buildings. Adobe structures are extremely durable, and account for...

. The Great Mosque of Djenne
Great Mosque of Djenné
The Great Mosque of Djenné is the largest mud brick or adobe building in the world and is considered by many architects to be the greatest achievement of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style, with definite Islamic influences. The mosque is located in the city of Djenné, Mali on the flood plain...

 is most reflective of Sahelian Architecture and is the largest adobe building in the world.

In the forest zone, several states and empires emerged. The Ashante Empire arose in the 16th century in modern day Ghana and Ivory Coast. The oldest kingdom in Nigeria, the Kingdom of Nri
Kingdom of Nri
The Kingdom of Nri was the West African medieval state of the Nri-Igbo, a subgroup of the Igbo people, and is the oldest kingdom in Nigeria. The Kingdom of Nri was unusual in the history of world government in that its leader exercised no military power over his subjects...

, was established by the Igbo
Igbo people
Igbo people, also referred to as the Ibo, Ebo, Eboans or Heebo are an ethnic group living chiefly in southeastern Nigeria. They speak Igbo, which includes various Igboid languages and dialects; today, a majority of them speak English alongside Igbo as a result of British colonialism...

 in the 11th century. Nri was famous for having a priest-king who wielded no military power. Nri was a rare African state as it never dealt in the trade of slaves. All slaves and outcasts who sought refuge in their territory were freed. Other major states included the kingdoms of Ifẹ
Ife
Ife is an ancient Yoruba city in south-western Nigeria. Evidence of inhabitation at the site has been discovered to date back to roughly 560 BC...

 and Oyo
Oyo Empire
The Oyo Empire was a Yoruba empire of what is today southwestern Nigeria. The empire was established before the 14th century and grew to become one of the largest West African states encountered by European explorers. It rose to preeminence through its possession of a powerful cavalry and wealth...

 in the western block of Nigeria which became prominent about 700–900 and 1400 respectively, and center of Yoruba
Yoruba people
The Yoruba people are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. The majority of the Yoruba speak the Yoruba language...

 culture. The Yoruba's built massive mud walls around their cities, the most famous being Sungbo's Eredo
Sungbo's Eredo
Sungbo's Eredo is a rampart or system of walls and ditches that is located to the south-west of the Yoruba town of Ijebu-Ode in Ogun state, southwest Nigeria . It was built in honour of the Ijebu noblewoman Oloye Bilikisu Sungbo, and is reputed to be the largest single pre-colonial monument in...

. Another prominent kingdom in southwestern Nigeria was the Kingdom of Benin whose power lasted between the 15th and 19th century. Their dominance reached as far as the well known city of Eko which was named Lagos
Lagos
Lagos is a port and the most populous conurbation in Nigeria. With a population of 7,937,932, it is currently the third most populous city in Africa after Cairo and Kinshasa, and currently estimated to be the second fastest growing city in Africa...

 by the Portuguese traders and other early European settlers. The Edo speaking people of Benin are known for the Walls of Benin
Walls of Benin
The Walls of Benin were a combination of ramparts and moats, called Iya in the local language, used as a defense of the historical Benin City, formerly of the now defunct Kingdom of Benin and now the capital of the present-day Edo State of Nigeria...

, which is the largest man-made structure in the world.


In the 18th century, the Oyo
Oyo Empire
The Oyo Empire was a Yoruba empire of what is today southwestern Nigeria. The empire was established before the 14th century and grew to become one of the largest West African states encountered by European explorers. It rose to preeminence through its possession of a powerful cavalry and wealth...

 and the Aro confederacy
Aro Confederacy
The Aro Confederacy was a political union orchestrated by the Igbo subgroup, the Aro people, centered in Arochukwu in present day Southeastern Nigeria. Their influence and presence was across Eastern Nigeria into parts of the Niger Delta and Southern Igala during the 18th and 19th centuries...

 were responsible for most of the slaves exported from Nigeria, with Great Britain, France and Portugal shipping the majority of the slaves. Following the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, the British expanded trade with the Nigerian interior. In 1885, British claims to a West African sphere of influence received international recognition, and in the following year the Royal Niger Company
Royal Niger Company
The Royal Niger Company was a mercantile company chartered by the British government in the nineteenth century. It formed the basis of the modern state of Nigeria....

 was chartered under the leadership of Sir George Taubman Goldie
George Taubman Goldie
Sir George Dashwood Taubman Goldie was a Manx administrator who played a major role in the founding of Nigeria...

. In 1900, the company's territory came under the control of the British Government, which moved to consolidate its hold over the area of modern Nigeria. On January 1, 1901, Nigeria became a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 protectorate, part of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, the foremost world power at the time.

By 1960, most of the region received independence from colonial rule.

Central Africa



During the 14th century, the Luba Kingdom in southeast Congo came about under a king whose political authority came from religious spiritual legitimacy. The kingdom controlled agriculture and trade in the region of salt and iron from the north and copper from the Zambian/Congo copper belt.
Rival kingship factions which split from the Luba Kingdom later moved among the Lunda people, marrying into its elite and laying the foundation of the Lunda Empire in the 16th century. The ruling dynasty centralised authority among the Lunda under the Mwata Yamyo or Mwaant Yaav. The Mwata Yamyo's legitimacy, like the Luba king, came from being viewed as a spiritual religious guardian. This system of religious spiritual kings was spread to most of central Africa by rivals in kingship migrating and forming new states. Many new states received legitimacy by claiming descent from the Lunda dynasties.

The Kingdom of Kongo
Kingdom of Kongo
The Kingdom of Kongo was an African kingdom located in west central Africa in what are now northern Angola, Cabinda, the Republic of the Congo, and the western portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 existed from the Atlantic west to the Kwango river to the east. During the 15th century, the Bakongo farming community was united with the capital at Mbanza Kongo, under the king title, Manikongo.
Other significant states and peoples included the Kuba Kingdom
Kuba Kingdom
The Kuba Kingdom was a pre-colonial Central African state bordered by the Sankuru, Lulua, and Kasai rivers in the southeast of what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

, producers of the famous raffia cloth, the Eastern Lunda
Eastern Lunda
The Lunda people of the Luapula River valley in Zambia and DR Congo are called by others the Eastern Lunda to distinguish them from the 'western' Lunda people who remained in the heartland of the former Lunda Kingdom, but they themselves would use Kazembe-Lunda or Luunda with an elongated 'u' to...

, Bemba
Bemba people
The Bemba belong to a large group of peoples mainly in the Northern, Luapula and Copperbelt Provinces of Zambia who trace their origins to the Luba and Lunda states of the upper Congo basin, in what became Katanga Province in southern Congo-Kinshasa...

, Burundi
Burundi
Burundi , officially the Republic of Burundi , is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Its capital is Bujumbura...

, Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

, and the Kingdom of Ndongo
Kingdom of Ndongo
The Kingdom of Ndongo, formerly known as Dongo or Angola, is the name of an early-modern African state located in what is now day Angola. Ndongo was built by the Northern Mbundu people, a Bantu-speaking people inhabiting northern Angola....

.

Southern Africa



Settlements of Bantu
Bantu languages
The Bantu languages constitute a traditional sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages. There are about 250 Bantu languages by the criterion of mutual intelligibility, though the distinction between language and dialect is often unclear, and Ethnologue counts 535 languages...

-speaking peoples, who were iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were already present south of the Limpopo River
Limpopo River
The Limpopo River rises in central southern Africa, and flows generally eastwards to the Indian Ocean. It is around long, with a drainage basin in size. Its mean annual discharge is 170 m³/s at its mouth...

 by the 4th or 5th century displacing and absorbing the original Khoi-San speakers. They slowly moved south, and the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province
KwaZulu-Natal
KwaZulu-Natal is a province of South Africa. Prior to 1994, the territory now known as KwaZulu-Natal was made up of the province of Natal and the homeland of KwaZulu....

 are believed to date from around 1050. The southernmost group was the Xhosa people, whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoi-San people, reaching the Fish River
Great Fish River
The Great Fish River is a river running through the South African province of the Eastern Cape, it originates east of Graaff-Reinet and runs through Cradock, just south of this the Tarka River joins it...

 in today's Eastern Cape Province
Eastern Cape
The Eastern Cape is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bhisho, but its two largest cities are Port Elizabeth and East London. It was formed in 1994 out of the "independent" Xhosa homelands of Transkei and Ciskei, together with the eastern portion of the Cape Province...

.

Monomotapa was a medieval kingdom (c. 1250–1629) which used to stretch between the Zambezi
Zambezi
The Zambezi is the fourth-longest river in Africa, and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is , slightly less than half that of the Nile...

 and Limpopo
Limpopo River
The Limpopo River rises in central southern Africa, and flows generally eastwards to the Indian Ocean. It is around long, with a drainage basin in size. Its mean annual discharge is 170 m³/s at its mouth...

 rivers of Southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

 in the modern states of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 and Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

. Famous are the ruins at its old capital of Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from 1100 to 1450 C.E. during the country’s Late Iron Age. The monument, which first began to be constructed in the 11th century and which continued to be built until the 14th century, spanned an...

.

In 1487, Bartolomeu Dias
Bartolomeu Dias
Bartolomeu Dias , a nobleman of the Portuguese royal household, was a Portuguese explorer who sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488, the first European known to have done so.-Purposes of the Dias expedition:...

 became the first European to reach the southernmost tip of Africa. In 1652, a victualling station
Victualler
A victualler is traditionally a person who sells food or other provisions, similar to a grocer, and in particular British usage can be used to mean a person licensed to sell alcoholic beverages....

 was established at the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

 by Jan van Riebeeck
Jan van Riebeeck
Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck was a Dutch colonial administrator and founder of Cape Town.-Biography:...

 on behalf of the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

. For most of the 17th and 18th centuries, the slowly-expanding settlement was a Dutch
Dutch Empire
The Dutch Empire consisted of the overseas territories controlled by the Dutch Republic and later, the modern Netherlands from the 17th to the 20th century. The Dutch followed Portugal and Spain in establishing an overseas colonial empire, but based on military conquest of already-existing...

 possession.

Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1795, ostensibly to prevent it from falling into the hands of the French but also to use Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

 in particular as a stop on the route to Australia and India
Company rule in India
Company rule in India refers to the rule or dominion of the British East India Company on the Indian subcontinent...

. It was later returned to the Dutch in 1803, but soon afterwards the Dutch East India Company declared bankruptcy, and the British annexed the Cape Colony
Cape Colony
The Cape Colony, part of modern South Africa, was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, with the founding of Cape Town. It was subsequently occupied by the British in 1795 when the Netherlands were occupied by revolutionary France, so that the French revolutionaries could not take...

 in 1806.

The Zulu Kingdom
Zulu Kingdom
The Zulu Kingdom, sometimes referred to as the Zulu Empire or, rather imprecisely, Zululand, was a monarchy in Southern Africa that extended along the coast of the Indian Ocean from the Tugela River in the south to Pongola River in the north....

 (1817–79) was a Southern African tribal state in what is now Kwa-Zulu Natal in southeastern South Africa. The small kingdom gained world fame during and after the Anglo-Zulu War
Anglo-Zulu War
The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom.Following the imperialist scheme by which Lord Carnarvon had successfully brought about federation in Canada, it was thought that a similar plan might succeed with the various African kingdoms, tribal areas and...

.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, most Sub-Saharan African nations achieved independence from imperialist rule.

Demographics




Sub-Saharan Africa is the poorest region in the world, suffering from the effects of economic mismanagement, corruption in local government, and inter-ethnic conflict. The region contains most of the least developed countries
Least Developed Countries
Least developed country is the name given to a country which, according to the United Nations, exhibits the lowest indicators of socioeconomic development, with the lowest Human Development Index ratings of all countries in the world...

 in the world. The Sub-Saharan African countries form the bulk of the ACP countries
ACP countries
The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States is a group of countries , created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. The group's main objectives are sustainable development and poverty reduction within its member states, as well as their greater integration into the world's economy...

. Malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

 is a chronic impediment to economic development. The disease slows growth by about 1.3% per year through lost time caused by illness and the cost of treatment and prevention measures. According to the World Bank, the region's GDP would have been 32% higher in 2003 had the disease been eradicated in 1960.

The population of Sub-Saharan Africa was 800 million in 2007. The current growth rate is 2.3%. The UN predicts for the region a population of nearly 1.5 billion in 2050.

Sub-Saharan African countries top the list of countries and territories by fertility rate with 40 of the highest 50, all with TFR
Total Fertility Rate
The total fertility rate of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if she were to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates through her lifetime, and she...

 greater than 4 in 2008. All are above the world average except South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. Figures for life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

, malnourishment, infant mortality
Infant mortality
Infant mortality is defined as the number of infant deaths per 1000 live births. Traditionally, the most common cause worldwide was dehydration from diarrhea. However, the spreading information about Oral Re-hydration Solution to mothers around the world has decreased the rate of children dying...

 and HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS in Africa
HIV/AIDS is a major public health concern and cause of death in Africa. Although Africa is home to about 14.5% of the world's population, it is estimated to be home to 67% of all people living with HIV and to 72% of all AIDS deaths in 2009.-Overview:...

 infections are also dramatic. More than 40% of the population in sub-Saharan countries is younger than 15 years old, as well as in the Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 with the exception of South Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa has a very high child mortality
Child mortality
Child mortality, also known as under-5 mortality, refers to the death of infants and children under the age of five. In 2010, 7.6 million children under five died , down from 8.1 million in 2009, 8.8 million in 2008, and 12.4 million in 1990. About half of child deaths occur in Africa....

 rate. While in 2002, 17% of children died before the age of five, by 2007 this rate had declined to 15%. The leading cause of death was malaria infection.

Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

 (FDI) in Africa has grown at an average of 146% annually over the last 22 years to reach US$36
billion in 2007, while trade between Africa and the rest of the world (particularly Asia) has been steadily increasing. Bilateral trade between China and Africa jumped 45% in 2008 to reach US$107 billion, the bulk of which went to Sub-Saharan Africa.
Country Population Area  Literacy(M/F) GDP per Capita Trans(Rank/Score) Life(Exp.) HDI  EODBR/SAB PFI(RANK/MARK)
 Angola 12,799,293 1,246,700 NA 1070 162/1.9 42.4 0.486 169/165 119/36,50
 Burundi 8,988,091 27,830 67.3%/52.2% 101 168/1.8 49 0.316 176/130 103/29,00
 Democratic Republic of the Congo 68,692,542 2,345,410 80.9%/54.1% 91 162/11.9 46.1 0.286 182/152 146/53,50
 Rwanda 10,473,282 26,338 71.4%/59.8% 263 89/3.3 46.8 0.429 67/11 157/64,67
 São Tomé and Príncipe 212,679 1,001 92.2%/77.9% N/A 111/2.8 65.2 0.509 180/140 NA
 Cameroon 18,879,301 475,440 77%/59.8% 687 146/2.2 50.3 0.482 171/174 109/30,50
 Central African Republic 4,511,488 622,984 64.8%/33.5% 22 158/2.8 44.4 0.343 183/159 80/17,75
 Chad 10,329,208 1,284,000 40.8%/12.8% 266 175/1.6 50.6 0.328 178/182 132/44,50
 Republic of the Congo 3,700,000 342,000 90.5%/ 79.0% 1,145 162/1.9 54.8 0.533 N/A 116/34,25
 Equatorial Guinea 633,441 28,051 93.4%/80.3% 7,470 168/1.8 51.1 0.537 170/178 158/65,50
 Gabon 1,514,993 267,667 88.5%/79.7% 4,263 106/2.9 56.7 0.674 158/152 129/43,50
 Kenya 39,002,772 582,650 77.7%/70.2 440 146/2.2 53.4 0.509 95/124 96/25,00
 Tanzania 41,048,532 945,087 77.5%/62.2% 339 126/2.6 51.9 0.466 131/120 NA/15,50
 Uganda 32,369,558 236,040 76.8%/57.7 274 130/2.5 50.7 0.446 112/129 86/21,50
 Sudan 31,894,000 1,886,068 71.1%/51.8% 489 176/1.5 58.1 0.408 154/118 148/54,00
8,260,490 619,745
 Djibouti 516,055 23,000 N/A 817 111/2.8 54.5 0.430 163/177 110/31,00
 Eritrea 5,647,168 121,320 N/A 160 126/2.6 57.3 0.349 175/181 175/115,50
 Ethiopia 85,237,338 1,127,127 50%/28.8% 161 120/2.7 52.5 0.363 107/93 140/49,00
 Somalia 9,832,017 637,657 N/A N/A 180/1.1 47.7 N/A N/A 164/77,50
 Botswana 1,990,876 600,370 80.4%/81.8% 4,511 37/5.6 49.8 0.633 45/83 62/15,50
 Comoros 752,438 2,170 N/A 382 143/2.3 63.2 0.433 162/168 82/19,00
 Lesotho 2,130,819 30,355 73.7%/90.3% 528 89/3.3 42.9 0.450 130/131 99/27,50
 Madagascar 19,625,000 587,041 76.5%/65.3% 238 99/3.0 59 0.480 134/12 134/45,83
 Malawi 14,268,711 118,480 N/A 145 89/3.3 47.6 0.400 132/128 62/15,50
 Mauritius 1,284,264 2,040 88.2%/80.5% 4,522 42/5.4 73.2 0.728 17/10 51/14,00
 Mozambique 21,669,278 801,590 N/A 330 130/2.5 42.5 0.322 135/96 82/19,00
 Namibia 2,108,665 825,418 86.8%/83.6% 2166 56/4.5 52.5 0.625 66/123 35/9,00
 Seychelles 87,476 455 91.4%/92.3% 7,005 54/4.8 72.2 0.773 111/81 72/16,00
 South Africa 49,052,489 1,219,912 N/A 3,562 55/4.7 50.7 0.619 34/67 33/8,50
 Swaziland 1,123,913 17,363 80.9%/78.3% 1,297 79/3.6 40.8 0.522 115/158 144/52,50
 Zambia 11,862,740 752,614 N/A 371 99/3.0 41.7 0.430 90/94 97/26,75
 Zimbabwe 11,392,629 390,580 92.7%/86.2% N/A 146/2.2 42.7 0.376 159/155 136/46,50
 Benin 8,791,832 112,620 47.9%/42.3% 323 106/2.9 56.2 0.427 172/155 97/26,75
 Mali 12,666,987 1,240,000 32.7%/15.9% 290 111/2.8 53.8 0.359 156/139 38/8,00
 Burkina Faso
 Cape Verde
 Côte d'Ivoire
 The Gambia
 Ghana
 Guinea
 Guinea-Bissau
 Liberia
 Mauritania
 Niger
 Nigeria
 Senegal
 Sierra Leone
 Togo


GDP Per Capital (2006 in dollars($)), Life(Exp.) (Life Expectancy 2006), Literacy(Male/Female 2006), Trans (Transparency 2009), HDI (Human Development Index), EODBR (Ease of Doing Business Rank June 2008 through May 2009), SAB (Starting a Business June 2008 through May 2009) , PFI (Press Freedom Index 2009)

Energy and power


Fifty percent of Africa is rural with no access to electricity. Africa generates 47 GW of electricity, less than 0.6% of global market share. Many countries are besieged by power shortages.

Because of rising prices in commodities such as coal and oil, thermal sources of energy are proving to be too expensive for power generation. Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to build additional hydropower
Hydropower
Hydropower, hydraulic power, hydrokinetic power or water power is power that is derived from the force or energy of falling water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower has been used for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices, such as...

 generation capacity of at least 20,165 MW by 2014. The region has the potential to generate 1,750 TWh of energy, of which only 7% has been explored. The failure to exploit its full energy potential is largely due to significant underinvestment, as at least 4 times as much (approximately $23 billion a year) and what is currently spent is invested in operating highcost power systems and not on expanding the infrastructure.

African governments are taking advantage of the readily available water resources to broaden their energy mix. Hydro Turbine Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa generated revenues of $120.0 million in 2007 and is estimated to reach $425.0 million. Asian countries, notably China, India and Japan, are playing an active role in power projects across the African continent. The majority of these power projects are hydro-based because of China's vast experience in the construction of hydro-power projects and part of the Energy & Power Growth Partnership Services programme.

With electrification numbers, Sub-Saharan Africa with access to the Sahara and being in the tropical zones has massive potential for solar photovoltaic electrical potential. Six hundred million people could be served with electricity based on its photovoltaic potential. China is promising to train 10,000 technicians from Africa and other developing countries in the use of solar energy technologies over the next five years. Training African technicians to use solar power is part of the China-Africa science and technology cooperation agreement signed by the Chinese science minister and African counterparts during premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Ethiopia in December 2003.

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development
New Partnership for Africa's Development
The New Partnership for Africa's Development is an economic development program of the African Union. NEPAD was adopted at the 37th session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in July 2001 in Lusaka, Zambia...

 (NEPAD) is developing an integrated, continent-wide
energy strategy. This has been funded by, amongst others, the African Development Bank
African Development Bank
The African Development Bank Group is a development bank established in 1964 with the intention of promoting economic and social development in Africa...

 (AfDB) and the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund. These projects must be:
  • sustainable
  • involve a cross-border dimension and/or have a regional impact
  • involve public and private capital
  • contribute to poverty alleviation and economic development
  • involve at least one country in sub-Saharan Africa.

Media


Radio is the major source of information in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cell phone usage in Sub-saharan has brought about a revolution. Average coverage stands at more than a third of the population. Countries such as Gabon
Gabon
Gabon , officially the Gabonese Republic is a state in west central Africa sharing borders with Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, and with the Republic of the Congo curving around the east and south. The Gulf of Guinea, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean is to the west...

, Seychelles
Seychelles
Seychelles , officially the Republic of Seychelles , is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar....

, and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 boast almost 100% penetration. Only five countries—Burundi, Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

, Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, and Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

—still have a penetration of less than 10%. Broadband penetration outside of South Africa has been limited where it is exorbitantly expensive. Access to the internet via cell phones is on the rise.

Television is the second major source of information. Because of power shortages, the spread of television viewing has been limited. Eight percent have television, a total of 62 million. But those in the television industry view the region as an untapped green market. Digital television and pay for service are on the rise.

Infrastructure


According to researchers at the Overseas Development Institute
Overseas Development Institute
The Overseas Development Institute is one of the leading independent think tanks on international development and humanitarian issues. Based in London, its mission is "to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement...

, the lack of infrastructure in many developing countries represents one of the most significant limitations to economic growth
Economic growth
In economics, economic growth is defined as the increasing capacity of the economy to satisfy the wants of goods and services of the members of society. Economic growth is enabled by increases in productivity, which lowers the inputs for a given amount of output. Lowered costs increase demand...

 and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals
Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015...

 (MDGs). Less than 40% of rural Africans live within two kilometers of an all-season road, the lowest level of rural accessibility in the developing world. Spending on roads averages just below 2% of GDP with varying degree among countries. This compares with 1% of GDP that is typical in industrialized countries, and 2–3% of GDP found in fast-growing emerging economies. Although the level of effort is high relative to the size of Africa’s economies, it remains little in absolute terms, with low-income countries spending an average of about US$7 per capita per year. Infrastructure investments and maintenance can be very expensive, especially in such as areas as landlocked, rural and sparsely populated countries in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

.

It has been argued that infrastructure investments contributed to more than half of Africa's improved growth performance between 1990 and 2005 and increased investment is necessary to maintain growth and tackle poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

. The returns to investment in infrastructure are very significant, with on average 30-40% returns for telecommunications (ICT) investments, over 40% for electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 generation and 80% for roads.

In Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, it is argued that in order to meet the MDGs by 2015 infrastructure investments would need to reach about 15%t of GDP (around $93 billion a year). Currently, the source of financing varies significantly across sectors. Some sectors are dominated by state spending, others by overseas development aid
Development aid
Development aid or development cooperation is aid given by governments and other agencies to support the economic, environmental, social and political development of developing countries.It is distinguished...

 (ODA) and yet others by private investors. In sub-Saharan Africa, the state spends around $9.4 billion out of a total of $24.9 billion. In irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

, SSA states represent almost all spending; in transport
Transport
Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...

 and energy
Energy
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems...

 a majority of investment is state spending; in ICT
Information and communication technologies
Information and communications technology or information and communication technology, usually abbreviated as ICT, is often used as an extended synonym for information technology , but is usually a more general term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of...

 and water supply
Water supply
Water supply is the provision of water by public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavours or by individuals, usually via a system of pumps and pipes...

 and sanitation
Sanitation
Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes. Hazards can be either physical, microbiological, biological or chemical agents of disease. Wastes that can cause health problems are human and animal feces, solid wastes, domestic...

, the private sector represents the majority of capital expenditure. Overall, aid, the private sector and non-OECD financiers between them exceed state spending. The private sector spending alone equals state capital expenditure, though the majority is focused on ICT infrastructure investments. External financing increased from $7 billion (2002) to $27 billion (2009). China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, in particular, has emerged as an important investor.

Oil and minerals


The region is a major exporter to the world of gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

, chrome
Chromium
Chromium is a chemical element which has the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is the first element in Group 6. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and malleable...

, vanadium
Vanadium
Vanadium is a chemical element with the symbol V and atomic number 23. It is a hard, silvery gray, ductile and malleable transition metal. The formation of an oxide layer stabilizes the metal against oxidation. The element is found only in chemically combined form in nature...

, antimony
Antimony
Antimony is a toxic chemical element with the symbol Sb and an atomic number of 51. A lustrous grey metalloid, it is found in nature mainly as the sulfide mineral stibnite...

, coltan
Coltan
Coltan is the industrial name for columbite–tantalite, a dull black metallic mineral from which the elements niobium and tantalum are extracted. The niobium-dominant mineral is columbite, hence the "col" half of the term...

, bauxite
Bauxite
Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

, iron ore, copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 and manganese
Manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

. South Africa is a major exporter of manganese as well as Chromium. About 42% of world reserves and about 75% of the world reserve base of chromium are located in South Africa. South Africa is the largest producer of platinum
Platinum
Platinum is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Pt and an atomic number of 78. Its name is derived from the Spanish term platina del Pinto, which is literally translated into "little silver of the Pinto River." It is a dense, malleable, ductile, precious, gray-white transition metal...

, with 80% of the total world's annual mine production and 88% of the world's platinum reserve. Sub-saharan Africa produces 33% of the world's bauxite with Guinea as the major supplier. Zambia is a major producer of copper. Democratic Republic of Congo is a major source of coltan. Production from Congo is very small but has 80% of proven reserves. Sub-saharan Africa is a major producer of gold, producing up to 30% of global production. Major suppliers are South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Guinea, and Mali. South Africa had been first in the world in terms of gold production since 1905, but in 2007 it moved to second place, according to GFMS, the precious metals consultancy. Uranium is major commodity from the region. Significant suppliers are Niger, Namibia, and South Africa. Namibia was the number one supplier from Sub-Saharan Africa in 2008. The region produces 49% of the world's diamonds.

By 2015, it is estimated that 25% of North American oil will be from Sub-Saharan Africa, ahead of the Middle East.
Sub-Saharan Africa has been the focus of an intense race for oil by the West and China, India, and other emerging economies, even having only 10% of proven oil reserves, less than the Middle East. This race has been referred to as the second Scramble for Africa. The reasons are all economic. Most Sub-Saharan oil is off the coast of host countries. Transportation cost is low. No pipelines has to be laid as in Central Asia. If political turmoil hits host country, production does not stop since operation is off-shore. Sub-Saharan oil is viscous and has very low sulfur content. This requires less refining and is less costly. New sources of oil are being located in Sub-Saharan Africa more frequently than anywhere else. Of all new sources of oil, 1/3 are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Agriculture


Sub-Saharan Africa has more variety of grains than anywhere in the world. Between 13,000 and 11,000 BCE wild grains began to be collected as a source of food in the cataract region of the Nile, south of Egypt. The collecting of wild grains as source of food spread to Syria, parts of Turkey and Iran by the eleventh millennium BCE. By the tenth and ninth millennia southwest Asians domesticated their wild grains, wheat and barley after the notion of collecting wild grains was spread from the Nile.

Numerous crops have been domesticated in the region and spread to other parts of the world. These crops included sorghum
Sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

, castor beans, coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

, cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 okra
Okra
Okra is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins...

, black-eyed peas, watermelon
Watermelon
Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind and fleshy center...

, gourd
Gourd
A gourd is a plant of the family Cucurbitaceae. Gourd is occasionally used to describe crops like cucumbers, squash, luffas, and melons. The term 'gourd' however, can more specifically, refer to the plants of the two Cucurbitaceae genera Lagenaria and Cucurbita or also to their hollow dried out shell...

, and pearl millet
Millet
The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult...

. Other domesticated crops included teff
Teff
Eragrostis tef, known as teff, taf , or khak shir , is an annual grass, a species of lovegrass native to the northern Ethiopian Highlands of Northeast Africa....

, enset, African rice
African rice
Oryza glaberrima, commonly known as African rice, is a domesticated rice species. African rice is believed to have been domesticated 2,000-3,000 years ago in the inland delta of the Upper Niger river, in what is now Mali...

, yams
Yam (vegetable)
Yam is the common name for some species in the genus Dioscorea . These are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania...

, kola nuts, oil palm
Oil palm
The oil palms comprise two species of the Arecaceae, or palm family. They are used in commercial agriculture in the production of palm oil. The African Oil Palm Elaeis guineensis is native to West Africa, occurring between Angola and Gambia, while the American Oil Palm Elaeis oleifera is native to...

, and raffia palm
Raffia palm
The Raffia palms are a genus of twenty species of palms native to tropical regions of Africa, especially Madagascar, with one species also occurring in Central and South America. They grow up to 16 m tall and are remarkable for their compound pinnate leaves, the longest in the plant kingdom;...

.

Domesticated animals include the guinea fowl and the donkey
Donkey
The donkey or ass, Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African Wild Ass, E...

.

Agriculture represents 20% to 30% of GDP and 50% of exports. In some cases, 60% to 90% of the labor force are employed in agriculture.
Most agricultural activity is subsistence farming. This has made agricultural activity vulnerable to climate change and global warming. Biotechnology has been advocated to create high yield, pest and environmentally resistant crops in the hands of small farmers. The Bill and Malinda Gates foundation is a strong advocate and donor to this cause. Biotechnology and GM crops have met resistance both by natives and environmental groups.

Cash crops include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, and tobacco.

The OECD says Africa has the potential to become an agricultural superbloc if it can unlock the wealth of the savannahs by allowing farmers to use their land as collateral for credit.
Recently, there has been a trend to purchase large tracts of land in Sub-Sahara for agricultural use by developing countries.
Early in 2009, George Soros
George Soros
George Soros is a Hungarian-American business magnate, investor, philosopher, and philanthropist. He is the chairman of Soros Fund Management. Soros supports progressive-liberal causes...

 highlighted a new farmland buying frenzy caused by growing population, scarce water supplies and climate change. Chinese interests bought up large swathes of Senegal to supply it with sesame. Aggressive moves by China, South Korea and Gulf states to buy vast tracts of agricultural land in Sub-Saharan Africa could soon be limited by a new global international protocol.

Education


Forty percent of African scientists live in OECD countries, predominately in Europe, the United States and Canada. This has been described as an African brain drain. Even with the drain, enrollments in Sub-Saharan African universities tripled between 1991 and 2005, expanding at an annual rate of 8.7%, which is one of the highest regional growth rates in the world. In the last 10 to 15 years interest in pursuing university level degrees abroad has increased. In some OECD countries, like the United States, Sub-Saharan Africans are the most educated immigrant group
African immigration to the United States
African immigration to the United States refers to the group of recent immigrants to the United States who are nationals of Africa. The term African in the scope of this article refers to geographical or national origins rather than racial affiliation....

.

Sub-Saharan African countries spent an average of 0.3% of their GDP on science and technology on in 2007. This represents an increase from US$1.8 billion in 2002 to US$2.8 billion in 2007, a 50% increase in spending.

Health care



In 1987, the Bamako Initiative
Bamako Initiative
The Bamako Initiative was a formal statement adopted by African health ministers in 1987 in Bamako, Mali, to implement strategies designed to increase the availability of essential drugs and other healthcare services for Sub-Saharan Africans....

 conference organized by the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 was held in Bamako
Bamako
Bamako is the capital of Mali and its largest city with a population of 1.8 million . Currently, it is estimated to be the fastest growing city in Africa and sixth fastest in the world...

, the capital of Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

, and helped reshape the health policy of Sub-Saharan Africa. The new strategy dramatically increased accessibility through community-based healthcare reform, resulting in more efficient and equitable provision of services.
A comprehensive approach strategy was extended to all areas of health care, with subsequent improvement in the health care indicators and improvement in health care efficiency and cost.

As of October 2006, many governments face difficulties in implementing policies aimed at tackling the effects of the AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

 pandemic despite a number of mitigating measures.

Languages and ethnic groups



Sub-Saharan Africa displays the most linguistic diversity of any region in the world. This is apparent in the number of languages spoken. The region contains over 1,000 languages, which is 1/6 of the world's total.

With the exception of extinct Sumerian
Sumerian language
Sumerian is the language of ancient Sumer, which was spoken in southern Mesopotamia since at least the 4th millennium BC. During the 3rd millennium BC, there developed a very intimate cultural symbiosis between the Sumerians and the Akkadians, which included widespread bilingualism...

, the Afro-Asiatic has the longest documented history of any language phyla in the world. Egyptian was recorded as early as 3200 BCE. The Semitic branch was recorded as early as 2500 BCE. The distribution of the Afro-Asiatic languages
Afro-Asiatic languages
The Afroasiatic languages , also known as Hamito-Semitic, constitute one of the world's largest language families, with about 375 living languages...

 within Africa is principally concentrated in North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 and the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

. The Chadic branch is distributed in Central and West Africa. Hausa
Hausa language
Hausa is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers, spoken as a first language by about 25 million people, and as a second language by about 18 million more, an approximate total of 43 million people...

 is a lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 in West Africa (Niger, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, and Chad). The Semitic
Semitic languages
The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa...

 branch of the phylum also has a notable presence in Western Asia, making Afro-Asiatic the only language family spoken in Africa that is also attested outside of the continent. In addition to languages now spoken, Afro-Asiatic includes several ancient languages, such as Ancient Egyptian
Egyptian language
Egyptian is the oldest known indigenous language of Egypt and a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Written records of the Egyptian language have been dated from about 3400 BC, making it one of the oldest recorded languages known. Egyptian was spoken until the late 17th century AD in the...

, Biblical Hebrew and Akkadian
Akkadian language
Akkadian is an extinct Semitic language that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia. The earliest attested Semitic language, it used the cuneiform writing system derived ultimately from ancient Sumerian, an unrelated language isolate...

.

The Khoi-San languages represent the oldest language family in the world. They include languages indigenous to Southern
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

 and Eastern Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

, though some, such as the Khoi languages, appear to have moved to their current locations not long before the Bantu expansion
Bantu expansion
The Bantu expansion or the Bantu Migration was a millennia-long series of migrations of speakers of the original proto-Bantu language group...

. In Southern Africa, their speakers are the Khoi
Khoi
Khoi may refer to:*The common name of Siamese Rough Bush, Streblus asper Lour*The Khoikhoi people*One of the Khoe languages*The Khoekhoe language*Khoy, a city in Iran*Khoy County, an administrative subdivision of Iran...

 and Bushmen
Bushmen
The indigenous people of Southern Africa, whose territory spans most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, are variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or Khwe...

 (San), in East Africa, the Sandawe and Hadza.

The Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo languages
The Niger–Congo languages constitute one of the world's major language families, and Africa's largest in terms of geographical area, number of speakers, and number of distinct languages. They may constitute the world's largest language family in terms of distinct languages, although this question...

 phylum is the largest language family in the world in terms of the number of languages (1,436) it contains. The vast majority of languages of this family are tonal such as Yoruba
Yoruba language
Yorùbá is a Niger–Congo language spoken in West Africa by approximately 20 million speakers. The native tongue of the Yoruba people, it is spoken, among other languages, in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo and in communities in other parts of Africa, Europe and the Americas...

 and Igbo
Igbo language
Igbo , or Igbo proper, is a native language of the Igbo people, an ethnic group primarily located in southeastern Nigeria. There are approximately 20 million speakers that are mostly in Nigeria and are primarily of Igbo descent. Igbo is a national language of Nigeria. It is written in the Latin...

. A major branch of Niger–Congo languages is the Bantu family
Bantu languages
The Bantu languages constitute a traditional sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages. There are about 250 Bantu languages by the criterion of mutual intelligibility, though the distinction between language and dialect is often unclear, and Ethnologue counts 535 languages...

, which covers a greater geographic area than the rest of the family put together. Bantu speakers represent the majority of inhabitants in southern, central and southeastern Africa, though Pygmy
Pygmy
Pygmy is a term used for various ethnic groups worldwide whose average height is unusually short; anthropologists define pygmy as any group whose adult men grow to less than 150 cm in average height. A member of a slightly taller group is termed "pygmoid." The best known pygmies are the Aka,...

, Khoisan (Bushmen
Bushmen
The indigenous people of Southern Africa, whose territory spans most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, are variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or Khwe...

), and Nilotic
Nilotic
Nilotic people or Nilotes, in its contemporary usage, refers to some ethnic groups mainly in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and northern Tanzania, who speak Nilotic languages, a large sub-group of the Nilo-Saharan languages...

 groups, respectively, can also be found in those regions. Bantu-speakers can also be found in parts of West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

 such as the Gabon
Gabon
Gabon , officially the Gabonese Republic is a state in west central Africa sharing borders with Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, and with the Republic of the Congo curving around the east and south. The Gulf of Guinea, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean is to the west...

, Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea where the capital Malabo is situated.Annobón is the southernmost island of Equatorial Guinea and is situated just south of the equator. Bioko island is the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea. Between the two islands and to the...

 and southern Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

. Swahili
Swahili language
Swahili or Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoro Islands. It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups in Somalia...

, a Bantu language with many Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, Persian and other Middle Eastern and South Asian loan words, developed as a lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 for trade between the different peoples. In the Kalahari Desert
Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savannah in Southern Africa extending , covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa, as semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains. The Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert...

 of Southern Africa, the distinct people known as the Bushmen (also "San", closely related to, but distinct from "Hottentots
Khoikhoi
The Khoikhoi or Khoi, in standardised Khoekhoe/Nama orthography spelled Khoekhoe, are a historical division of the Khoisan ethnic group, the native people of southwestern Africa, closely related to the Bushmen . They had lived in southern Africa since the 5th century AD...

") have long been present. The San evince unique physical traits, and are the indigenous people of southern Africa. Pygmies are the pre-Bantu indigenous peoples of central Africa.

The Nilo-Saharan languages
Nilo-Saharan languages
The Nilo-Saharan languages are a proposed family of African languages spoken by some 50 million people, mainly in the upper parts of the Chari and Nile rivers , including historic Nubia, north of where the two tributaries of Nile meet...

 are concentrated in the upper parts of the Chari
Chari River
The Chari or Shari River is a 949-kilometer-long river of central Africa. It flows from the Central African Republic through Chad into Lake Chad, following the Cameroon border from N'Djamena, where it joins the Logone River waters....

 and Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

 rivers. They are principally spoken by Nilotic
Nilotic
Nilotic people or Nilotes, in its contemporary usage, refers to some ethnic groups mainly in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and northern Tanzania, who speak Nilotic languages, a large sub-group of the Nilo-Saharan languages...

 peoples. The Old Nubian language
Old Nubian language
Old Nubian is an ancient variety of Nubian, attested in writing from the 8th to the 15th century . It is ancestral to modern-day Nobiin and related to other Nubian languages such as Dongolawi. It was used throughout the medieval Christian kingdom of Makuria and its satellite Nobadia...

 is also a member of this phylum.

South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 has the largest populations of Whites, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

ns and Coloured
Coloured
In the South African, Namibian, Zambian, Botswana and Zimbabwean context, the term Coloured refers to an heterogenous ethnic group who possess ancestry from Europe, various Khoisan and Bantu tribes of Southern Africa, West Africa, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaya, India, Mozambique,...

s in Africa. The term "Coloured
Coloured
In the South African, Namibian, Zambian, Botswana and Zimbabwean context, the term Coloured refers to an heterogenous ethnic group who possess ancestry from Europe, various Khoisan and Bantu tribes of Southern Africa, West Africa, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaya, India, Mozambique,...

" is used to describe persons of mixed race in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 and Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

. People of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an descent in South Africa include the Afrikaner
Afrikaner
Afrikaners are an ethnic group in Southern Africa descended from almost equal numbers of Dutch, French and German settlers whose native tongue is Afrikaans: a Germanic language which derives primarily from 17th century Dutch, and a variety of other languages.-Related ethno-linguistic groups:The...

 and a sizeable populations of Anglo-Africans and Portuguese Africans
Portuguese Africans
Portuguese Africans are Portuguese people born or permanently settled in Africa .The largest Portuguese African population lives in South Africa , while there are important minorities living in Namibia and the Portuguese-speaking African countries Portuguese Africans are Portuguese people born or...

. Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

's population is predominantly of mixed Austronesian
Austronesian people
The Austronesian-speaking peoples are various populations in Oceania and Southeast Asia that speak languages of the Austronesian family. They include Taiwanese aborigines; the majority ethnic groups of East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Madagascar, Micronesia, and Polynesia,...

 (Pacific Islander
Pacific Islander
Pacific Islander , is a geographic term to describe the indigenous inhabitants of any of the three major sub-regions of Oceania: Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, these three regions, together with their islands consist of:Polynesia:...

) and African
African people
African people refers to natives, inhabitants, or citizen of Africa and to people of African descent.-Etymology:Many etymological hypotheses that have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa":...

 origin. The area of southern Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 is inhabited by Nilotic people
Nilotic
Nilotic people or Nilotes, in its contemporary usage, refers to some ethnic groups mainly in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and northern Tanzania, who speak Nilotic languages, a large sub-group of the Nilo-Saharan languages...

.

The notion of a tribal Sub-Saharan Africa is widespread. This notion was perpetuated during the colonial period. Tribal meant that Africans lived in small homogeneous communities and were isolated from the rest of the world. Bonds were based on basic kinship and affinity. Government institutions were unsophisticated. However, this notion is far from true. The Kuba built sophisticated political systems that could initiate cultural change. Its political institutions altered patterns of marriage and increased agricultural productivity. Via the river system in the dense jungles, they were involve in a wide intra-regional network of trade. All of Africa was connected via trade. West Africa was trading with Great Zimbabwe. Great Zimbabwe was trading with Asia, via the Swahilis with China. Trade routes existed, going through Central Africa from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. European explorers, during the 19th century made use of these trade routes with assistance from African middlemen.

The terms "tribe" and "tribal" present a value judgement. During the late 1960s the Igbos, a population of 10 million, were referred to as a tribe during the Nigerian civil war whilst, on the other hand, the approximately 400,000 citizens of Malta are referred to as a nation. Sub-saharan art is referred to as "tribal" or "primitive" art but makes use of fractal
Fractal
A fractal has been defined as "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is a reduced-size copy of the whole," a property called self-similarity...

s or non-linear scaling. Fractal geometry
Fractal
A fractal has been defined as "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is a reduced-size copy of the whole," a property called self-similarity...

 was discovered in the latter part of the 20th century.

List of major languages of Sub-Saharan Africa by region, family and total number of native speakers in millions:

East Africa
  • Afro-Asiatic
    • Amharic
      Amharic language
      Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, it has official status and is used nationwide. Amharic is also the official or working...

      : 35–42
    • Oromo
      Oromo language
      Oromo, also known as Afaan Oromo, Oromiffa, Afan Boran, Afan Orma, and sometimes in other languages by variant spellings of these names , is an Afro-Asiatic language, and the most widely spoken of the Cushitic family. Forms of Oromo are spoken as a first language by more than 25 million Oromo and...

      : 30-35
    • Somali
      Somali language
      The Somali language is a member of the East Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Its nearest relatives are Afar and Oromo. Somali is the best documented of the Cushitic languages, with academic studies beginning before 1900....

      : 15-18
    • Tigrinya
      Tigrinya language
      Tigrinya , also spelled Tigrigna, Tigrnia, Tigrina, Tigriña, less commonly Tigrinian, Tigrinyan, is a Semitic language spoken by the Tigrinya people in central Eritrea , where it is one of the two main languages of Eritrea, and in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia , where it...

      : 7
    • Gurage: 2

  • Niger–Congo
    • Swahili
      Swahili language
      Swahili or Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoro Islands. It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups in Somalia...

      : 5–10
    • Chichewa
      Chichewa language
      Chewa, also known as Nyanja, is a language of the Bantu language family. The gender prefix chi- is used for languages, so the language is also known as Chichewa and Chinyanja.-Distribution:...

      : 9
    • Gikuyu
      Gikuyu language
      Gikuyu or Kikuyu is a language of the Bantu family spoken primarily by the Kikuyu people of Kenya. Numbering about 6 million , they are the largest ethnic group in Kenya. Gikuyu is spoken in the area between Nyeri and Nairobi. Gikuyu is one of the five languages of the Thagichu subgroup of the...

       (Kenya): 5
    • Luhya
      Luhya languages
      Luhya is a Bantu dialect cluster spoken in the western part of Kenya by the Luhya people. Minor populations of Luhya speakers are also found in Uganda, especially in Busia. Although the Luhya principally occupy the Western province of Kenya, substantial populations have settled in the Kitale area...

      : 4

  • Nilo-Saharan
    • Luo
      Luo languages
      The Nilotic Luo languages, or Lwoian, are a dozen languages spoken by the Luo peoples in an area ranging from southern Sudan via Uganda to southern Kenya, with Dholuo extending into northern Tanzania and Alur into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They form one of the two branches of Western...

    • Shilluk
      Shilluk language
      The Shilluk Language, or Chollo, is a Nilotic language spoken by the Shilluk people of South Sudan. It is closely related to Luo. Dhɔg Cɔllɔ is widely spoken throughout the Shilluk Kingdom and it is the official language of Shilluk and the residents in Shilluk Kingdom.-Written language:Tyɛlli...

    • Nubian
    • Maasai
      Maasai language
      The Maasai language is an Eastern Nilotic language spoken in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania by the Maasai people, numbering about 800,000...

    • Fur
      Fur language
      All sounds are spelt with their IPA symbols except for the following: j = , ñ = and y = . Arabic consonants are sometimes used in loanwords.The vowels are as in Latin: a e i o u...



West Africa
  • Niger–Congo
    • Yoruba
      Yoruba language
      Yorùbá is a Niger–Congo language spoken in West Africa by approximately 20 million speakers. The native tongue of the Yoruba people, it is spoken, among other languages, in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo and in communities in other parts of Africa, Europe and the Americas...

      : 25
    • Ibibio
      Ibibio language
      Ibibio-Efik, also known as Ibibio and Efik, is the major dialect cluster of the Benue–Congo language family called Cross River. Efik proper has national status in Nigeria and is the literary standard of the Efik languages, though Ibibio proper has more native speakers.-Varieties:Efik is a dialect...

       (Nigeria): 2
    • Igbo
      Igbo language
      Igbo , or Igbo proper, is a native language of the Igbo people, an ethnic group primarily located in southeastern Nigeria. There are approximately 20 million speakers that are mostly in Nigeria and are primarily of Igbo descent. Igbo is a national language of Nigeria. It is written in the Latin...

       (Nigeria): 20–25
    • Akan
      Akan language
      Akan, also known as Twi and Fante, is an Akan language that is the principal native language of Ghana, spoken over much of the southern half of that country, by about 52% of the population, and to a lesser extent across the border in eastern Côte d'Ivoire...

        (Ghana): 19
    • Fula
      Fula language
      The Fula or Fulani language is a language of West Africa. It is spoken as a first language by the and related groups from Senegambia and Guinea to Cameroon and Sudan...

       (West Africa): 10–16
    • Mandingo:5
    • Wolof
      Wolof language
      Wolof is a language spoken in Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania, and is the native language of the Wolof people. Like the neighbouring languages Serer and Fula, it belongs to the Atlantic branch of the Niger–Congo language family...

      : 3

  • Afro-Asiatic
    • Hausa
      Hausa language
      Hausa is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers, spoken as a first language by about 25 million people, and as a second language by about 18 million more, an approximate total of 43 million people...

      : 24

  • Nilo-Saharan
    • Kanuri
      Kanuri language
      Kanuri is a dialect continuum spoken by some four million people, as of 1987, in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, as well as small minorities in southern Libya and by a diaspora in Sudan. It belongs to the Western Saharan subphylum of Nilo-Saharan...

      : 4


Southern Africa

  • Niger–Congo
    • Zulu
      Zulu language
      Zulu is the language of the Zulu people with about 10 million speakers, the vast majority of whom live in South Africa. Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in South Africa as well as being understood by over 50% of the population...

      : 10
    • Xhosa
      Xhosa language
      Xhosa is one of the official languages of South Africa. Xhosa is spoken by approximately 7.9 million people, or about 18% of the South African population. Like most Bantu languages, Xhosa is a tonal language, that is, the same sequence of consonants and vowels can have different meanings when said...

      : 8
    • Shona
      Shona language
      Shona is a Bantu language, native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe and southern Zambia; the term is also used to identify peoples who speak one of the Shona language dialects: Zezuru, Karanga, Manyika, Ndau and Korekore...

      : 7
    • Sotho: 5
    • Tswana
      Tswana language
      Tswana or Setswana is a language spoken in Southern Africa by about 4.5 million people. It is a Bantu language belonging to the Niger–Congo language family within the Sotho languages branch of Zone S , and is closely related to the Northern- and Southern Sotho languages, as well as the Kgalagadi...

      : 4
    • Umbundu (Angola): 4
    • Northern Sotho
      Northern Sotho language
      Northern Sotho , also inaccurately known by the name of a major dialect, Pedi or sePedi, is one of the official languages of South Africa, and is spoken by 4,208,980 people — in the South African provinces of Gauteng,...

      : 4

  • Khoisan
    • Khoi

  • Indo-European
    • Afrikaans
      Afrikaans
      Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

      : 6–7


Central Africa
  • Niger–Congo
    • Kinyarwanda 7
    • Kongo
      Kongo language
      The Kongo language, or Kikongo, is the Bantu language spoken by the Bakongo and Bandundu people living in the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo and Angola. It is a tonal language and formed the base for Kituba, a Bantu creole and lingua franca...

      : 7
    • Tshiluba
      Tshiluba language
      Luba-Kasai is a Bantu language spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it is a national language, along with Lingala, Swahili, and Kikongo. It is one of two major Congolese languages called "Luba"...

      : 6
    • Kirundi
      Kirundi
      Kirundi, also known as Rundi, is a dialect of the Rwanda-Rundi language spoken by some 8.7 million people in Burundi and adjacent parts of Tanzania and Congo-Kinshasa, as well as in Uganda. It is the official language of Burundi...

      : 5

  • Nilo-Saharan
    • Zaghawa
      Zaghawa language
      The Zaghawa language is a Saharan language spoken by the Zaghawa people of eastern central Chad and northwestern Sudan ....


Religion




Sub-Saharan Africa is largely Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, while North Africa is predominantly Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. However, there are Muslim majorities in the Sahel
Sahel
The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition between the Sahara desert in the North and the Sudanian Savannas in the south.It stretches across the North African continent between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea....

 and Sudan regions
Sudan (region)
The Sudan is the name given to a geographic region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western to Eastern Africa. The name derives from the Arabic bilâd as-sûdân or "land of the Blacks"...

 and along the East African coast (Muslim majorities in The Gambia
The Gambia
The Republic of The Gambia, commonly referred to as The Gambia, or Gambia , is a country in West Africa. Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa, surrounded by Senegal except for a short coastline on the Atlantic Ocean in the west....

, Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

, Guinea
Guinea
Guinea , officially the Republic of Guinea , is a country in West Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea , it is today sometimes called Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from its neighbour Guinea-Bissau. Guinea is divided into eight administrative regions and subdivided into thirty-three prefectures...

, Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

, Niger
Niger
Niger , officially named the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east...

, Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

, Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

; comparable numbers of Christians and Muslims in Chad
Chad
Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

, Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso – also known by its short-form name Burkina – is a landlocked country in west Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the southwest.Its size is with an estimated...

 and significant Muslim communities in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

 and Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

).
Traditional African religions can be broken into down linguistic cultural groups, with common themes. Among Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo languages
The Niger–Congo languages constitute one of the world's major language families, and Africa's largest in terms of geographical area, number of speakers, and number of distinct languages. They may constitute the world's largest language family in terms of distinct languages, although this question...

-speakers is a belief in a creator God; ancestor spirits; territorial spirits; evil caused by human ill will and neglecting ancestor spirits; priest of territorial spirits. New world religions such as Santería
Santería
Santería is a syncretic religion of West African and Caribbean origin influenced by Roman Catholic Christianity, also known as Regla de Ocha, La Regla Lucumi, or Lukumi. Its liturgical language, a dialect of Yoruba, is also known as Lucumi....

, Vodun, and Candomblé
Candomblé
Candomblé is an African-originated or Afro-Brazilian religion, practised chiefly in Brazil by the "povo de santo" . It originated in the cities of Salvador, the capital of Bahia and Cachoeira, at the time one of the main commercial crossroads for the distribution of products and slave trade to...

, would be derived from this world view. Among Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan languages
The Nilo-Saharan languages are a proposed family of African languages spoken by some 50 million people, mainly in the upper parts of the Chari and Nile rivers , including historic Nubia, north of where the two tributaries of Nile meet...

 speakers is the belief in Divinity; evil is caused by divine judgement and retribution; prophets as middlemen between Divinity and man. Among Afro-Asiatic
Afro-Asiatic languages
The Afroasiatic languages , also known as Hamito-Semitic, constitute one of the world's largest language families, with about 375 living languages...

-speakers is henotheism
Henotheism
Henotheism is the belief and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities...

, the belief in one's own gods but accepting the existence of other gods; evil here is caused by malevolent spirits. The Semitic Abrahamic religion of Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 is comparable to the latter world view. Khoisan
Khoisan
Khoisan is a unifying name for two ethnic groups of Southern Africa, who share physical and putative linguistic characteristics distinct from the Bantu majority of the region. Culturally, the Khoisan are divided into the foraging San and the pastoral Khoi...

 religion is non-theistic but a belief in a Spirit or Power of existence which can be tapped in a trance-dance; trance-healers.

Traditional Sub-Saharan African religion displays very complex ontology, cosmology, and metaphysics. Mythologies, for example, demonstrated the difficulty fathers of creation had in bringing about order from chaos. Order is what is right and natural and any deviation is chaos. Sub-Saharan cosmology
Cosmology
Cosmology is the discipline that deals with the nature of the Universe as a whole. Cosmologists seek to understand the origin, evolution, structure, and ultimate fate of the Universe at large, as well as the natural laws that keep it in order...

 and ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

 is neither simple or linear. It defines duality, the material and immaterial, male and female, heaven and earth. Common principles of being and becoming are widespread: Among the Dogon, the principle of Amma (being) and Nummo (becoming), among the Bambara Pemba (being) and Faro (becoming),

West Africa
  • Akan mythology
  • Ashanti mythology
    Ashanti mythology
    The Ashanti people of Ghana in West Africa are known for their colorful folktales and mythology. But they are mostly Christians Now.The supreme being in the pantheon of the Ashanti is Nyame , the omniscient, omnipotent sky god. His wife is Asase Ya and they have two children, Bia and Tano. Asase...

     (Ghana)
  • Dahomey (Fon) mythology
    Dahomey mythology
    The Dahomey are a nation located in Benin, Africa. The mythology of the Dahomey includes an entire pantheon of thunder gods; for example,*Xevioso is the god of thunder in the So region....

  • Efik mythology
    Efik mythology
    In Efik mythology, Abassi is considered to be the creator god. His wife, Atai, is known as the mediator. It is believed that Atai convinced Abassi to allow two humans , also known as their children, to live on Earth, but forbade them to work or reproduce. The children were required to return to...

     (Nigeria, Cameroon)
  • Igbo mythology
    Igbo mythology
    Ọdinani, also Ọdinala, Omenala,Omenana, Odinana or Ọmenani is the traditional cultural beliefs and practises of the Igbo people of West Africa...

     (Nigeria, Cameroon)
  • Isoko mythology (Nigeria)
  • Yoruba mythology
    Yoruba mythology
    The Yorùbá religion comprises the original religious beliefs and practices of the Yoruba people. Its homeland is in Southwestern Nigeria and the adjoining parts of Benin and Togo, a region that has come to be known as Yorubaland...

     (Nigeria, Benin)


Central Africa
  • Bushongo mythology
    Bushongo mythology
    The Bushongo are an ethnic group from the Congo River and surrounding areas. The creation god in Bushongo mythology is called Bumba. The god Bumba is said to have vomited forth the sun, moon, earth, plants and animals, and then humanity...

     (Congo)
  • Bambuti (Pygmy) mythology
    Bambuti mythology
    Mbuti mythology is the mythology of the African Mbuti Pygmies of Congo.The most important god of the Bambuti pantheon is Khonvoum , a god of the hunt who wields a bow made from two snakes that together appear to humans as a rainbow...

     (Congo)
  • Lugbara mythology
    Lugbara mythology
    The Lugbara live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. In Lugbara mythology, Adroa appeared in both good and evil aspects; he was the creator god and appeared on Earth as a human who was near death. He was depicted as a very tall white man with only one half of a body, missing one...

     (Congo)


East Africa
  • Akamba mythology (East Kenya)
  • Dinka mythology
    Dinka mythology
    The Dinka, or Jieng/Muonyjang, are a Nilotic ethnic group in South Sudan.In Dinka mythology, the supreme, creator god is Nhialic . He is believed to be present in all of creation, and to control the destiny of every human, plant and animal on Earth...

     (South Sudan)
  • Lotuko mythology
    Lotuko mythology
    The Lotuko are an ethnic group from South Sudan.The chief god of the Lotuko is called Ajok; he is generally seen as kind and benevolent, but can be angered. He once reportedly answered a woman's prayer for the resurrection of her son. Her husband, however, was angry and re-killed the child...

     (South Sudan)
  • Masai mythology
    Masai mythology
    The Maasai mythology involves several beliefs of the Maasai people, an ethnic group living in Kenya and Tanzania.-Neiterkob:According to some sources Neiterkob/Naiteru-kop may also be a reference to Enkai...

     (Kenya, Tanzania)


Southern Africa
  • Khoikhoi mythology
    Khoikhoi mythology
    This is a summary of some of the gods, heroes and monsters that appear in the beliefs of the Khoikhoi, an ethnic group from southern Africa.- Gods and heroes :...

  • Lozi mythology
    Lozi mythology
    The main function of Lozi mythology is to show that the original Lozi people were dwellers on the Barotse Floodplain of the upper Zambezi River and that they are, therefore, entitled to claim unchallenged title to that homeland...

     (Zambia)
  • Tumbuka mythology
    Tumbuka mythology
    The Tumbuka are an ethnic group living in Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. In Tumbuka mythology, Chiuta is the chief deity; he is all-powerful, omniscient and self-created. Chiuta literally means Great Bow and is symbolised in the sky by the rainbow. He is also a god of rain and fertility.Tumbuka,...

     (Malawi)
  • Zulu mythology
    Zulu mythology
    Zulu mythology contains numerous deities, commonly associated with animals or general classes of natural phenomena.Unkulunkulu is the highest God and is the creator of humanity. Unkulunkulu was created in Uhlanga , a huge swamp of reeds, before he came to Earth...

     (South Africa)


Sub-Saharan traditional divination systems displays great sophistication. For example the bamana sand divinition uses well establish symbolic codes that can be reproduce using four bits or marks. A binary system of one or two marks are combined. Random outcomes are generated using a fractal
Fractal
A fractal has been defined as "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is a reduced-size copy of the whole," a property called self-similarity...

 recursive process. It is analogous to a digital circuit but can be reproduced on any surface with one or two marks. This system is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Music


Traditional Sub-Saharan African music is as diverse as the region's various populations. The common perception of Sub-Saharan African music is that it is rhythmic music centered around the drums. It is partially true. A large part of Sub-Saharan music, mainly among Niger–Congo linguistic groups is rhythmic and centered around the drum. Sub-Saharan music is polyrhythmic, usually consisting of multiple rhythms in one composition. Dance involves moving multiple body parts. These aspect of Sub-Saharan music has been transferred to the new world by enslaved Sub-Saharan Africans and can be seen in its influence on music forms as Samba
Samba
Samba is a Brazilian dance and musical genre originating in Bahia and with its roots in Brazil and Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions. It is recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival...

, Jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, Rhythm and Blues
Rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a...

, Rock & Roll, Salsa
Salsa music
Salsa music is a genre of music, generally defined as a modern style of playing Cuban Son, Son Montuno, and Guaracha with touches from other genres of music...

, and Rap
Rap
Rap may refer to:*Rapping, performance in which rhyming lyrics are used, with or without musical accompaniment ; while an MC performs spoken verses in time to a beat/ melody**Hip hop subculture**Hip hop music...

 music.

But Sub-Saharan music involves a lot of music with strings, horns, and very little poly-rhythms. Music from the eastern sahel and along the nile, among the Nilo-Saharan, made extensive use of strings and horns in ancient times. Among the Afro-Asiatics, we see extensive use of string instruments. Dancing involve swaying body movements and footwork. Among the Khoisan
Khoisan
Khoisan is a unifying name for two ethnic groups of Southern Africa, who share physical and putative linguistic characteristics distinct from the Bantu majority of the region. Culturally, the Khoisan are divided into the foraging San and the pastoral Khoi...

s extensive use of string instruments with emphasis on footwork.

Modern Sub-Saharan African music has been influence by music from the New World (Jazz, Salsa, Rhythm and Blues etc.) vice-versa being influenced by enslaved Sub-Saharan Africans. Popular styles are Mbalax
Mbalax
Mbalax is the national popular dance music of Senegal and The Gambia. Mbalax is a fusion of popular Western music and dance such as jazz, soul, Latin, and rock blended with sabar, the traditional drumming and dance music of Senegal...

 in Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

 and Gambia, Highlife
Highlife
Highlife is a musical genre that originated in Ghana in the 1900s and spread to Sierra Leone, Nigeria and other West African countries by 1920...

 in Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, Zoblazo
Zoblazo
Zoblazo is a musical style from Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, first created in the early 1990s. It is a cosmopolitan popular dance music with simple up-tempo rhythm and high tech instrumentation and contains a mixture of traditional dance rhythms from southern Côte d'Ivoire.Zoblazo's best known exponent...

 in Ivory Coast, Makossa
Makossa
Makossa is a type of music that is most popular in urban areas in Cameroon. It is similar to soukous, except that it includes strong bass rhythm and a prominent horn section. Makossa, which means " dance" in Duala, originated from a type of Duala dance called kossa, with significant influences...

 in Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

, Soukous
Soukous
Soukous is a dance music genre that originated in the two neighbouring countries of Belgian Congo and French Congo during the 1930s and early 1940s, and which has gained popularity throughout Africa...

 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kizomba
Kizomba
Kizomba is one of the most popular genres of dance and music created in Angola. Derived directly from Zouk, sung generally in Portuguese, it is a genre of music with a romantic flow mixed with African rhythm. The kizomba dancing style is also known to be very sensual.- Origin :Kizomba was developed...

 in Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

, and Mbaqanga
Mbaqanga
Mbaqanga is a style of South African music with rural Zulu roots that continues to influence musicians worldwide today. The style originated in the early 1960s.-History:...

 in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. New World styles like Salsa, R&B/Rap, Reggae, and Zouk also have widespread popularity.

Art


The oldest abstract art in the world is a shell necklace dated 82,000 years in the Cave of Pigeons in Taforalt, eastern Morocco. The second oldest abstract form of art and the oldest rock art is found in the Blombos Cave
Blombos Cave
Blombos Cave is a cave in a calcarenite limestone cliff on the Southern Cape coast in South Africa. It is an archaeological site made famous by the discovery of 75,000-year-old pieces of ochre engraved with abstract designs and beads made from Nassarius shells, and c. 80,000-year-old bone tools...

 at the Cape in South Africa, dated 77,000 years. The Blombos Cave
Blombos Cave
Blombos Cave is a cave in a calcarenite limestone cliff on the Southern Cape coast in South Africa. It is an archaeological site made famous by the discovery of 75,000-year-old pieces of ochre engraved with abstract designs and beads made from Nassarius shells, and c. 80,000-year-old bone tools...

 represent what is man's earliest art form. Sub-saharan Africa has some of the oldest and most varied style of rock art in the world.

Although Sub-saharan African art is very diverse there are some common themes. One is the use of the human figure. Second, there is a preference for sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

. Sub-saharan art is meant to be experience three dimensionly, not two dimensionly. A house is meant to be experience from all angles. Third, art is meant to be performed. Sub-saharan Africans have specific name for mask. The name incorporates the sculpture, the dance, and the spirit that incorporates the mask. The name denotes all three elements. Fourth, art that serves a practical function, utilitarian. The artist and craftsman are not separate. A sculpture shaped like a hand can be used as a stool. Fifth, the use of fractals or non-linear scaling. The shape of the whole is the shape of the parts at different scales. Before the discovery of fractal geometry
Fractal
A fractal has been defined as "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is a reduced-size copy of the whole," a property called self-similarity...

, Louis Senghor, Senegal’s first president, referred to this as “dynamic symmetry.” William Fagg, the British art historian, compared it to the logarithmic mapping of natural growth by biologist D’Arcy Thompson. Lastly, Sub-saharan art is visually abstract, instead of naturalistic. Sub-saharan art represents spiritual notions, social norms, ideas, values, etc. An artist might exaggerated the head of a sculpture in relations to the body not because he does not know anatomy but because he wants to illustrate that the head is the seat of knowledge and wisdom. The visual abstraction of African art was very influential in the works of modernist artist like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Jacques Lipchitz.

Cuisine



Sub-Saharan African cuisine like everything about Africa is very diverse. A lot of regional overlapping occurs, but there are dominant elements region by region.

West African cuisine can be described as starchy, flavorfully spicey. Dishes include fufu
Fufu
Fufu, , is a staple snack of West and Central Africa. It is a thick paste usually made by boiling starchy root vegetables in water and pounding with a mortar and pestle until the desired consistency is reached...

, kenkey
Kenkey
Kenkey or Dokonu or Komi is a staple dish similar to a sourdough dumpling from the Akan, Ga and Ewe inhabited regions of West Africa, usually served with a soup, stew, or sauce. Areas where Kenkey are eaten are southern Ghana, eastern Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, western Benin and Jamaica. It is usually...

, couscous
Couscous
Couscous is a Berber dish of semolina traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it. Couscous is a staple food throughout Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.-Etymology:...

, garri
Garri
Garri is a popular West African food made from cassava tubers. The spelling 'garri' is mainly used in Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and 'gari' in Ghana....

, foutou, and banku. Ingredients are of native starchy tubers, yams
Yam (vegetable)
Yam is the common name for some species in the genus Dioscorea . These are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania...

, cocoyams
Malanga
- Plants :* Xanthosoma, also known as Malanga, a tropical and sub-tropical edible or ornamental plant* Eddoe, also known as Malanga, a tropical vegetable- People :* Gerard Malanga , poet and photographer* Steven Malanga, author...

, and cassava
Cassava
Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

. Grains include millet, sorghum, and rice, usually in the sahel, are incorporated. Oils include palm oil and shea butter(sahel). One finds recipes that mixes fish and meat. Beverages are palm wine(sweet or sour) and millet beer. Roasting, baking, boiling, frying, mashing, and spicing are all cooking techniques.

East African cuisine reflects its islamic, geographical Indian Ocean cultural links. Dishes include ugali
Ugali
Ugali is an East African dish of maize flour cooked with water to a porridge- or dough-like consistency. It is the most common staple starch of much of Eastern and Southern Africa...

, injera
Injera
Injera is a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Traditionally made out of teff flour, it is a national dish in Ethiopia and Eritrea...

, wat
Wat (food)
Wat, wet, or wot , known as tsebhi in Tigrinya is an Ethiopian and Eritrean stew or curry which may be prepared with chicken, beef, lamb, a variety of vegetables, and spice mixtures such as berbere and niter kibbeh, a seasoned clarified butter.Several properties distinguish wats from stews of...

, sukumi wiki, and halva. Spices such as curry, saffron, cloves, cinnamon, pomegranate juice, cardamon, ghee, and sage are used, especially among Muslims. Meat includes cattle, sheep, and goats, but is rarely eaten since its viewed as currency and wealth.

In the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

, pork and non-fish seafood is avoided by Christians and Muslims. Dairy products and all meats are avoided during lent by Ethiopians. Maize (corn) is a major staple from Sudan to southern Africa. Cornmeal is used to make ugali
Ugali
Ugali is an East African dish of maize flour cooked with water to a porridge- or dough-like consistency. It is the most common staple starch of much of Eastern and Southern Africa...

, a popular dish with different names from Sudan to southern Africa. Teff
Teff
Eragrostis tef, known as teff, taf , or khak shir , is an annual grass, a species of lovegrass native to the northern Ethiopian Highlands of Northeast Africa....

 is used to make injera
Injera
Injera is a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Traditionally made out of teff flour, it is a national dish in Ethiopia and Eritrea...

 or canjeero (Somali) bread. Other important foods include enset, noog, lentils, rice, banana, leafy greens, chiles, peppers, cocconut milk and tomatoes. Beverages are coffee (domesticated in Ethiopia), chai tea, fermented beer from banana or millet. Cooking techniques include roasting and marinating.

Central African cuisine connects with all major regions of Sub-Saharan Africa: Its cuisine reflects that. Ugali
Ugali
Ugali is an East African dish of maize flour cooked with water to a porridge- or dough-like consistency. It is the most common staple starch of much of Eastern and Southern Africa...

 and fufu
Fufu
Fufu, , is a staple snack of West and Central Africa. It is a thick paste usually made by boiling starchy root vegetables in water and pounding with a mortar and pestle until the desired consistency is reached...

 are eaten in the region. Central African cuisine is very starchy and spicy hot. Dominant crops include plantains, cassava, peanuts, chillis, and okra. Meats include beef, chicken, and sometimes exotic meats called bush meat (antelope, warthog, crocodile). Widespread spicy hot fish cuisine is one of the differentiating aspects. Mushroom is sometimes used as a meat substitute.

Traditional Southern African cuisine surrounds meat. Traditional society typically focused on raising, sheep, goats, and especially cattle. Dishes include braai (barbecue meat), sadza, bogobe, pap
Pap (food)
Pap , a traditional porridge made from mielie-meal , is a staple food of the Bantu inhabitants of South Africa...

 (fermented cornmeal), milk products (buttermilk, yoghurt). Crops utilized are sorghum, maize (corn), pumpkin beans, leafy greens, and cabbage. Beverages include ting (fermented sorghum or maize), milk, chibuku (milky beer). Influences from the Indian and Malay community can be seen its use of curries, sambals, pickled fish, fish stews, chutney, and samosa. European influences can be seen in cuisines like biltong
Biltong
Biltong is a kind of cured meat that originated in South Africa. Many different types of meat are used to produce it, ranging from beef through game meats to fillets of ostrich from commercial farms. It is typically made from raw fillets of meat cut into strips following the grain of the muscle, or...

 (dried beef strips), potjies (stews of maize, onions, tomatoes), French wines, and crueler or koeksister (sugar syrup cookie).

Clothing



Like most of the world, Sub-Saharan Africans have adopted Western-style clothing. In some country like Zambia, used Western clothing has flooded markets, causing great angst in the retail community. Sub-Saharan Africa boasts its own traditional clothing style. Cotton seems to be the dominant material.

In East Africa, one finds extensive use cotton clothing. Shemma, shama, and kuta are types of Ethiopian clothing. Kanga
Kanga (African garment)
The kanga which comes from the old Bantu verb ku-kanga to wrap or close, is a colourful garment similar to kitenge, worn by women and occasionally by men throughout Eastern Africa...

 are Swahili
Swahili culture
Swahili culture is the culture of the Swahili people living on the east coast of Tanzania, Kenya, and Mozambique as well as on the islands in the area, from Zanzibar to Comoros, who speak Swahili as their native language....

 cloth that comes in rectangular shapes, made of pure cotton, and put together to make clothing. Kitenges are similar to kangas and kikoy, but are of a thicker cloth, and have an edging only on a long side. Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

, and Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 are some of the African countries where kitenge is worn. In Malawi
Malawi
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size...

, Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 and Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

, kitenge is known as Chitenge. One of the unique materials, which is not a fiber and is used to make clothing is barkcloth, an innovation of the baganda people of Uganda. It came from the Mutuba tree (Ficus natalensis). On Madagascar a type of draped cloth called lamba
Lamba (garment)
A lamba is the traditional garment worn by both men and women in Madagascar. This textile, highly emblematic of Malagasy culture, consists of a rectangular length of cloth wrapped around the body....

 is worn.

In West Africa, again cotton is the material of choice. In the Sahel and other parts of West Africa the boubou
Boubou (clothing)
The Grand Boubou/Bubu is one of the names for a flowing wide sleeved robe worn by men in much of West Africa, and to a lesser extent in North Africa, related to the Dashiki suit...

 and kaftan
Kaftan
A kaftan is a man's coat usually reaching to the ankles with long sleeves, and which buttons down the front. It can be made of wool, cashmere, silk, or cotton. It is often worn with a sash....

 style of clothing are featured. Kente cloth
Kente cloth
Kente cloth, known locally as nwentoma, is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast.- Etymology :...

 is created by the Akan people
Akan people
The Akan people are an ethnic group found predominately in Ghana and The Ivory Coast. Akans are the majority in both of these countries and overall have a population of over 20 million people.The Akan speak Kwa languages-Origin and ethnogenesis:...

 of Ghana and Ivory Coast, from silk of the various moth species in West Africa. Kente comes from the The Ashanti twi
Twi
Asante, or Ashanti, is one of three literary dialects of the Akan language of southern Ghana, and the prestige dialect of that language. It is spoken in and around Kumasi, the capital of the former Ashanti Empire and current subnational Asante Kingdom within Ghana.Along with the Akuapem dialect,...

 word kenten which means basket. It is sometimes used to make dashiki
Dashiki
The dashiki is a colorful men's garment widely worn in West Africa that covers the top half of the body. It has formal and informal versions and varies from simple draped clothing to fully tailored suits. Traditional female attire is called a caftan, or kaftan...

 and kufi
Kufi
A kufi or kufi cap is a brimless, short, rounded cap worn by many populations in West Africa of all religions and throughout the African diaspora.-African and African-American Usage:...

. Adire is a type of Yoruba cloth that is starch resistant. Raffia cloth and barkcloth are also utilized in the region.

In Central Africa, the Kuba people developed raffia cloth from the raffia plant fibers. It was widely used in the region. Barkcloth was also extensively used.

In Southern Africa one finds numerous uses of animal hide and skins for clothing. The Ndau in central Mozambique and the Shona mix hide with barkcloth and cotton cloth. Cotton cloth is referred to as machira. Xhosa, Tswana, Sotho, and Swazi also made extensive use of hides. Hides come from cattle, sheep, goat, and elephant. Leopard skins were coveted and were a symbol of kingship in Zulu society. Skins were tanned to form leather, dyed, and embedded with beads.

Sports


Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan men are its main patrons. Major leagues are the African Champions League
CAF Champions League
The CAF Champions League is an annual international club football competition run by the Confederation of African Football . The top club sides from Africa's football leagues are invited to participate in this competition, which is the premier club football competition on the continent and the...

, a gathering of various football clubs. Africa Cup of Nations is a gathering of 16 teams from various African nations held every two years (January 20 - February 10, 2008). The Confederation Cup is a competition for the National Cup winner in each African country. Finals are in November. Cameroon played in the World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

 for the sixth time, a record for a Sub-saharan team. South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a first for a Sub-Saharan country. In 1996 Nigeria won the gold for football
Nigeria at the 1996 Summer Olympics
Nigeria competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, United States.The most surprising achievement was Nigeria's gold in football. The team overcame what are usually considered much stronger teams, such as Spain and Brazil to earn the gold.- Gold:...

, a momentous achievement for Sub-Saharan African football. Famous Sub-saharan football stars are Emmanuel Adebayor
Emmanuel Adebayor
Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor is a Togolese footballer who plays for Tottenham Hotspur as a striker on loan from Manchester City. He plays in the same position for the Togo national team. Adebayor previously played for Metz, Monaco and Arsenal and was voted African Footballer of the Year for 2008...

, Obafemi Martins
Obafemi Martins
Obafemi Akinwunmi Martins is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a striker for Rubin Kazan and the Nigeria national team. He is known for his speed on the ball....

, Michael Essien
Michael Essien
Michael Kojo Essien is a Ghanaian footballer who plays for Chelsea and the Ghanaian national team. He is a midfielder who has often been touted as a box-to-box midfielder for his ability to exert boundless energy in supporting offensive and defensive play...

, Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba
Didier Yves Drogba Tébily is an Ivorian footballer who plays in the centre forward position. He currently plays for Chelsea in the Premier League, where he is deputy vice-captain, and is the captain and all-time top scorer of the Côte d'Ivoire national football team...

, Kanu Nwankwo Jay-Jay Okocha
Jay-Jay Okocha
Augustine Azuka "Jay-Jay" Okocha is a Nigerian former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He is known for his stepovers, skill, technique, and being 'so good that they named him twice'...

, Taye Taiwo and Samuel Eto'o Fils. The most talented Sub-saharan African football players find themselves courted and sought after by European leagues. There are currently more than 1000 Africans playing for European clubs. Sub-Saharan Africans have found themselves the target of racism by European fans. FIFA has been trying hard to crack down on racist outburst during games.

Rugby is also popular in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Confederation of African Rugby
Confederation of African Rugby
The Confederation of African Rugby is governing body for rugby union within Africa. The Confederation currently has 37 member nations and is responsible for running various rugby tournaments within Africa, especially the Africa Cup, and CAR Super 16.-History:The Confederation was officially...

 governs rugby games in Sub-Saharan Africa and chooses the best team to play in the Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup is an international rugby union competition organised by the International Rugby Board and held every four years since 1987....

. South Africa is a major force in the game and won the last championship in 2007.

Cricket has a following. The African Cricket Association
African Cricket Association
The African Cricket Association is an international body which oversees cricket in African countries. The ACA was founded in 1997, and has 20 member countries...

 is an international body which oversees cricket in African countries. South Africa and Zimbabwe have their own governing bodies. In 2003 the Cricket World Cup
Cricket World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup is the premier international championship of men's One Day International cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council , with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament which is held every four years...

 was held in South Africa, first time it was held in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Over the years, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 and Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 have produced many notable long-distance athletes. Each country has federations that identify and cultivate top talent. Athletes from Ethiopia and Kenya hold all the distance records (except the 1500 metres) from 800m to the marathon
Marathon
The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres , that is usually run as a road race...

. Famous runners are Haile Gebrselassie
Haile Gebrselassie
Haile Gebrselassie is an Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete. He won two Olympic gold medals over 10,000 metres and four World Championship titles in the event. He won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively and also had three straight wins at the Dubai Marathon...

, Kenenisa Bekele
Kenenisa Bekele
Kenenisa Bekele is an Ethiopian long-distance runner, who holds the world record and Olympic record in both the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres events...

, Paul Tergat
Paul Tergat
Paul Kibii Tergat is a Kenyan professional long distance runner. He held the world record in the marathon from 2003 to 2007, with a time of 2:04:55, and is regarded as one of the most accomplished long-distance runners of all time.Now concentrating exclusively on the marathon, Tergat won many...

, and John Cheruiyot Korir
John Cheruiyot Korir
John Cheruiyot Korir is a Kenyan athlete who specializes in long-distance running. He in known to be an athlete who often shines at trials but fails to win big competitions.-Career:...

.

List of countries and regional organization


Only six African countries are not geographically a part of Sub-Saharan Africa: Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

 (claimed by Morocco). Together with the Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, they form the UN subregion of Northern Africa. Most international organizations include Sudan as part of sub-Saharan africa. It has a majority Black population in the west (Darfur
Darfur
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

), south (Dinka
Dinka
The Dinka is an ethnic group inhabiting the Bahr el Ghazal region of the Nile basin, Jonglei and parts of southern Kordufan and Upper Nile regions. They are mainly agro-pastoral people, relying on cattle herding at riverside camps in the dry season and growing millet and other varieties of grains ...

, Nuer, etc.) and north (Nubian). Mauritania
Mauritania
Mauritania is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest...

 and Niger
Niger
Niger , officially named the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east...

 only include a band of the Sahel along their southern borders. All other African countries have at least significant portions of their territory within Sub-Saharan Africa.

West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...


cap. Nouakchott
Nouakchott
-Government:The town was first divided into districts in 1973. First it was divided into four. From 1986, the city has been split into nine districts.* Arafat* Dar Naim* El Mina* Ksar* Riad* Sebkha* Tevragh-Zeina* Teyarett* Toujounine...

 cur. Mauritanian ouguiya
Mauritanian ouguiya
The ouguiya , also spelt "ougiya," is the currency of Mauritania. It is the only circulating currency other than the Malagasy ariary whose division units are not based on a power of ten, each ouguiya comprising five khoums .The ouguiya was introduced in 1973, replacing the CFA franc at a rate of 1...

 (UM)
ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States
Economic Community of West African States
The Economic Community of West African States is a regional group of fifteen West African countries. Founded on 28 May 1975, with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos, its mission is to promote economic integration across the region....

) cap. Banjul
Banjul
-Transport:Ferries sail from Banjul to Barra. The city is served by the Banjul International Airport. Banjul is on the Trans–West African Coastal Highway connecting it to Dakar and Bissau, and will eventually provide a paved highway link to 11 other nations of ECOWAS.Banjul International Airport...

 cur. Gambian dalasi
Gambian dalasi
The dalasi is the currency of the Gambia. It is subdivided into 100 bututs. The dalasi was adopted in 1971. It replaced the Gambian pound at a rate of 1 pound = 5 dalasi, i.e., 1 dalasi = 0.2 pound = 4 shillings.-Coins:...

 (D) cap. Accra
Accra
Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with an urban population of 1,658,937 according to the 2000 census. Accra is also the capital of the Greater Accra Region and of the Accra Metropolitan District, with which it is coterminous...

 cur. Ghanaian cedi
Ghanaian cedi
The Ghana Cedi is the unit of currency of Ghana. The word "cedi" is derived from the Akan word for cowry shell. The Ghana cedi was introduced on 3 July 2007 and is equal to 10,000 old cedis...

 (GH₵) cap. Conakry
Conakry
Conakry is the capital and largest city of Guinea. Conakry is a port city on the Atlantic Ocean and serves as the economic, financial and cultural centre of Guinea with a 2009 population of 1,548,500...

 cur. Guinean franc
Guinean franc
-First Guinean franc:The first Guinean franc was introduced in 1959 to replace the CFA franc. There were 1, 5, 10 and 25 francs coins with banknotes in 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 francs denominations. A second series of banknotes was issued in 1960, without the 10,000 francs...

 (FG) cap. Monrovia
Monrovia
Monrovia is the capital city of the West African nation of Liberia. Located on the Atlantic Coast at Cape Mesurado, it lies geographically within Montserrado County, but is administered separately...

 cur. Liberian dollar
Liberian dollar
The dollar has been the currency of Liberia since 1943. It was also the country's currency between 1847 and 1907. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively L$ or LD$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents.-First dollar:The...

 (L$) cap. Abuja
Abuja
Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria. It is located in the centre of Nigeria, within the Federal Capital Territory . Abuja is a planned city, and was built mainly in the 1980s. It officially became Nigeria's capital on 12 December 1991, replacing Lagos...

 cur. Nigerian naira
Nigerian naira
The naira is the currency of Nigeria. It is subdivided into 100 kobo.The Central Bank of Nigeria is the sole issuer of legal tender money throughout the Federation. It controls the volume of money supply in the economy in order to ensure monetary and price stability...

 (N) cap. Freetown
Freetown
Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean located in the Western Area of the country, and had a city proper population of 772,873 at the 2004 census. The city is the economic, financial, and cultural center of...

 cur. Sierra Leonean leone
Sierra Leonean leone
-Banknotes:In 1964, the Bank of Sierra Leone introduced notes in denominations of 1, 2 and 5 leones. 50 cents notes were added in 1979, followed by 10 leones in 1980 and 20 leones in 1982...

  (Le)

UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union) cap. Porto-Novo
Porto-Novo
Porto-Novo is the official capital of the West African nation of Benin, and was the capital of French Dahomey. The commune covers an area of 110 square kilometres and as of 2002 had a population of 223,552 people.Porto-Novo is a port on an inlet of the Gulf of Guinea, in the southeastern portion...

 cur. West African CFA franc
West African CFA franc
The West African CFA franc is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo. The acronym CFA stands for Communauté financière d'Afrique...

 (CFA) cap. Ouagadougou
Ouagadougou
Ouagadougou is the capital of Burkina Faso and the administrative, communications, cultural and economic center of the nation. It is also the country's largest city, with a population of 1,475,223 . The city's name is often shortened to Ouaga. The inhabitants are called ouagalais...

 cur. West African CFA franc
West African CFA franc
The West African CFA franc is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo. The acronym CFA stands for Communauté financière d'Afrique...

 (CFA) cap. Abidjan
Abidjan
Abidjan is the economic and former official capital of Côte d'Ivoire, while the current capital is Yamoussoukro. it was the largest city in the nation and the third-largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris, and Kinshasa but before Montreal...

, Yamoussoukro
Yamoussoukro
The District of Yamoussoukro is the official political capital and administrative capital city of Côte d'Ivoire, while the economic capital of the country is Abidjan. As of 2010, it was estimated to have 242,744 inhabitants...

 cur. West African CFA franc
West African CFA franc
The West African CFA franc is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo. The acronym CFA stands for Communauté financière d'Afrique...

 (CFA) cap. Bissau
Bissau
Bissau is the capital city of Guinea-Bissau. The city's borders are conterminous with the Bissau Autonomous Sector. In 2007, the city had an estimated population of 407,424 according to the Instituto Nacional de Estatística e Censos...

 cur. West African CFA franc
West African CFA franc
The West African CFA franc is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo. The acronym CFA stands for Communauté financière d'Afrique...

 (CFA) cap. Bamako
Bamako
Bamako is the capital of Mali and its largest city with a population of 1.8 million . Currently, it is estimated to be the fastest growing city in Africa and sixth fastest in the world...

 cur. West African CFA franc
West African CFA franc
The West African CFA franc is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo. The acronym CFA stands for Communauté financière d'Afrique...

 (CFA) cap. Niamey
Niamey
-Population:While Niamey's population has grown steadily since independence, the droughts of the early 1970s and 1980s, along with the economic crisis of the early 1980s, have propelled an exodus of rural inhabitants to Niger's largest city...

 cur. West African CFA franc
West African CFA franc
The West African CFA franc is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo. The acronym CFA stands for Communauté financière d'Afrique...

 (CFA) cap. Dakar
Dakar
Dakar is the capital city and largest city of Senegal. It is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula on the Atlantic coast and is the westernmost city on the African mainland...

 cur. West African CFA franc
West African CFA franc
The West African CFA franc is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo. The acronym CFA stands for Communauté financière d'Afrique...

 (CFA) cap. Lomé
Lomé
Lomé, with an estimated population of 737,751, is the capital and largest city of Togo. Located on the Gulf of Guinea, Lomé is the country's administrative and industrial center and its chief port. The city exports coffee, cocoa, copra, and palm kernels...

 cur. West African CFA franc
West African CFA franc
The West African CFA franc is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo. The acronym CFA stands for Communauté financière d'Afrique...

 (CFA)

Central Africa
Central Africa
Central Africa is a core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda....


ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States
Economic Community of Central African States
The Economic Community of Central African States is an Economic Community of the African Union for promotion of regional economic co-operation in Central Africa...

) (also in SADC) cap. Luanda
Luanda
Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola. Located on Angola's coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola's chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a population of at least 5 million...

 cur. Angolan kwanza
Angolan kwanza
The kwanza is the currency of Angola. Four different currencies using the name kwanza have circulated since 1977.-First Kwanza, AOK, 1977-1990:...

 (Kz) lang. Portuguese (also in EAC) cap. Bujumbura
Bujumbura
-Education:The University of Burundi is located in Bujumbura.Hope Africa University is located in BujumburaUniversité du Lac Tanganyika is located in Bujumbura-External links:**...

 cur. Burundian franc
Burundian franc
The franc is the currency of Burundi. It is nominally subdivided into 100 centimes, although coins have never been issued in centimes since Burundi began issuing its own currency...

 (FBu) lang. French (also in SADC) cap. Kinshasa
Kinshasa
Kinshasa is the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The city is located on the Congo River....

 cur. Congolese franc
Congolese franc
The franc is the currency of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is subdivided into 100 centimes.-First franc, 1887-1967:During Belgian colonial rule, currency denominated in centimes and francs was issued for use in Congo. These francs were equal in value to the Belgian franc. From 1916, the...

 (FC) lang. Kurundi, French (also in EAC) cap. Kigali
Kigali
Kigali, population 965,398 , is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is situated near the geographic centre of the nation, and has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962. The main residence and offices of the President of...

 cur. Rwandan franc
Rwandan franc
The Rwandan franc is the currency of Rwanda. It is subdivided into 100 centimes.-History:...

 (RF) lang. Kinyarwanda, French, English cap. São Tomé
São Tomé
-Transport:São Tomé is served by São Tomé International Airport with regular flights to Europe and other African Countries.-Climate:São Tomé features a tropical wet and dry climate with a relatively lengthy wet season and a short dry season. The wet season runs from October through May while the...

 cur. São Tomé and Príncipe dobra
São Tomé and Príncipe dobra
The dobra is the currency of São Tomé and Príncipe. It is abbreviated Db and is divided into 100 cêntimos, although inflation has rendered the cêntimo obsolete. The dobra was introduced in 1977, replacing the escudo at par....

 (Db) lang. Portuguese

CEMAC (Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa) cap. Yaoundé
Yaoundé
-Transportation:Yaoundé Nsimalen International Airport is a major civilian hub, while nearby Yaoundé Airport is used by the military. Railway lines run west to the port city of Douala and north to N'Gaoundéré. Many bus companies operate from the city; particularly in the Nsam and Mvan neighborhoods...

 cur. Central African CFA franc
Central African CFA franc
The Central African CFA franc is the currency of six independent states in central Africa, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. CFA stands for Coopération financière en Afrique centrale...

 (FCFA) lang. English, French cap. Bangui
Bangui
-Law and government:Bangui is an autonomous commune of the Central African Republic. With an area of 67 km², it is by far the smallest high-level administrative division of the CAR in area but the highest in population...

 cur. Central African CFA franc
Central African CFA franc
The Central African CFA franc is the currency of six independent states in central Africa, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. CFA stands for Coopération financière en Afrique centrale...

 (FCFA) lang. Sango,French cap. N'Djamena
N'Djamena
N'Djamena is the capital and largest city of Chad. A port on the Chari River, near the confluence with the Logone River, it directly faces the Cameroonian town of Kousséri, to which the city is connected by a bridge. It is also a special statute region, divided in 10 arrondissements. It is a...

 cur. Central African CFA franc
Central African CFA franc
The Central African CFA franc is the currency of six independent states in central Africa, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. CFA stands for Coopération financière en Afrique centrale...

 (FCFA) lang. French, Arabic cap. Brazzaville
Brazzaville
-Transport:The city is home to Maya-Maya Airport and a railway station on the Congo-Ocean Railway. It is also an important river port, with ferries sailing to Kinshasa and to Bangui via Impfondo...

 cur. Central African CFA franc
Central African CFA franc
The Central African CFA franc is the currency of six independent states in central Africa, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. CFA stands for Coopération financière en Afrique centrale...

 (FCFA) lang. French cap. Malabo
Malabo
Malabo is the capital of Equatorial Guinea, located on the northern coast of Bioko Island on the rim of a sunken volcano....

 cur. Central African CFA franc
Central African CFA franc
The Central African CFA franc is the currency of six independent states in central Africa, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. CFA stands for Coopération financière en Afrique centrale...

 (FCFA) lang. Spanish, Portuguese, French cap. Libreville
Libreville
Libreville is the capital and largest city of Gabon, in west central Africa. The city is a port on the Komo River, near the Gulf of Guinea, and a trade center for a timber region. As of 2005, it has a population of 578,156.- History :...

 cur. Central African CFA franc
Central African CFA franc
The Central African CFA franc is the currency of six independent states in central Africa, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. CFA stands for Coopération financière en Afrique centrale...

 (FCFA) lang. French

East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...



Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...


cap. Khartoum
Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

 cur. Sudanese pound
Sudanese pound
The Sudanese pound is the currency of Sudan and also used in South Sudan until finalization of the introduction of the South Sudanese pound. Both Arabic and English names for the denominations appear on the country's banknotes and coins. On 24 July 2011, Sudan launched a new currency...

 (SDG) lang. Arabic and English cap. Juba
Juba
- Locations :* Juba, the capital of South Sudan* Juba, Estonia, a village in Võru Parish, Võru County, Estonia- People :* Juba I of Numidia * Juba II of Numidia * Juba of Mauretania...

 cur. Sudanese pound
Sudanese pound
The Sudanese pound is the currency of Sudan and also used in South Sudan until finalization of the introduction of the South Sudanese pound. Both Arabic and English names for the denominations appear on the country's banknotes and coins. On 24 July 2011, Sudan launched a new currency...

 (SDG) lang. English

East African Community
East African Community
The East African Community is an intergovernmental organisation comprising the five east African countries Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Pierre Nkurunziza, the President of the Republic of Burundi, is the current Chairman of the East African Community. The EAC was originally...

(also in ECCAS) cap. Bujumbura
Bujumbura
-Education:The University of Burundi is located in Bujumbura.Hope Africa University is located in BujumburaUniversité du Lac Tanganyika is located in Bujumbura-External links:**...

 cur. Burundian franc
Burundian franc
The franc is the currency of Burundi. It is nominally subdivided into 100 centimes, although coins have never been issued in centimes since Burundi began issuing its own currency...

 (FBu) lang. Kirundi
Kirundi
Kirundi, also known as Rundi, is a dialect of the Rwanda-Rundi language spoken by some 8.7 million people in Burundi and adjacent parts of Tanzania and Congo-Kinshasa, as well as in Uganda. It is the official language of Burundi...

, French cap. Nairobi
Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city and its surrounding area also forms the Nairobi County. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to "the place of cool waters". However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun" and is...

 cur. Kenyan shilling
Kenyan shilling
The shilling is the currency of Kenya. It is divisible into 100 cents.-Coins:The first coins were issued in 1966 in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 shillings. Twenty-five cents coins were not minted after 1969; 2 shillings coins were last minted in 1971...

 (KSh) lang. Swahili
Swahili culture
Swahili culture is the culture of the Swahili people living on the east coast of Tanzania, Kenya, and Mozambique as well as on the islands in the area, from Zanzibar to Comoros, who speak Swahili as their native language....

, English (also in ECCAS) cap. Kigali
Kigali
Kigali, population 965,398 , is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is situated near the geographic centre of the nation, and has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962. The main residence and offices of the President of...

 cur. Rwandan franc
Rwandan franc
The Rwandan franc is the currency of Rwanda. It is subdivided into 100 centimes.-History:...

 (RF) lang. Kinyarwanda, French, English (also in SADC) cap. Dodoma
Dodoma
Dodoma , officially Dodoma Urban District, population 324,347 , is the national capital of Tanzania, and the capital of the Dodoma region. In 1973, plans were made to move the capital to Dodoma...

 cur. Tanzanian shilling
Tanzanian shilling
The shilingi is the currency of Tanzania, although widespread use of U.S. dollars is accepted. It is subdivided into 100 senti .The Tanzanian shilling replaced the East African shilling in 1966 at par....

 (x/y) lang. Swahili
Swahili culture
Swahili culture is the culture of the Swahili people living on the east coast of Tanzania, Kenya, and Mozambique as well as on the islands in the area, from Zanzibar to Comoros, who speak Swahili as their native language....

, English cap. Kampala
Kampala
Kampala is the largest city and capital of Uganda. The city is divided into five boroughs that oversee local planning: Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division and Lubaga Division. The city is coterminous with Kampala District.-History: of Buganda, had chosen...

 cur. Ugandan shilling
Ugandan shilling
The Shilling is the currency of Uganda. Technically, the shilling is subdivided into 100 cents but no subdivisions have been issued since the revaluation of the shilling in 1987.-History:...

 (USh) lang. Swahili
Swahili culture
Swahili culture is the culture of the Swahili people living on the east coast of Tanzania, Kenya, and Mozambique as well as on the islands in the area, from Zanzibar to Comoros, who speak Swahili as their native language....

, English

Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

cap. Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 cur. Djiboutian franc
Djiboutian franc
The franc is the currency of Djibouti. The ISO 4217 currency code is DJF. Historically it was subdivided into 100 centimes.- History :...

 (Fdj) lang. Arabic, French cap. Asmara
Asmara
Asmara is the capital city and largest settlement in Eritrea, home to a population of around 579,000 people...

 cur. Eritrean nakfa
Eritrean nakfa
The nakfa is the currency of Eritrea. It is divided into 100 cents. The currency was introduced in 1997 to replace the Ethiopian birr at par, and it was named after the town of Nakfa.For an earlier currency of Eritrea, see tallero....

 (Nfk) 'lang.' Tigrinya, Arabic, Italian, English cap. Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

 cur. Ethiopian birr
Ethiopian birr
The birr is the unit of currency in Ethiopia. Before 1976, dollar was the official English translation of birr. Today, it is officially birr in English as well....

 (Br) lang. Amharic cap. Mogadishu
Mogadishu
Mogadishu , popularly known as Xamar, is the largest city in Somalia and the nation's capital. Located in the coastal Benadir region on the Indian Ocean, the city has served as an important port for centuries....

 cur. Somali shilling
Somali shilling
The Somali shilling is the official currency of Somalia...

 (So.Sh) lang. Somali
Somali language
The Somali language is a member of the East Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Its nearest relatives are Afar and Oromo. Somali is the best documented of the Cushitic languages, with academic studies beginning before 1900....

, Arabic

Southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

 / SADC
Southern African Development Community
The Southern African Development Community is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states...



(also in ECCAS) cap. Luanda
Luanda
Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola. Located on Angola's coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola's chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a population of at least 5 million...

 cur. Angolan kwanza
Angolan kwanza
The kwanza is the currency of Angola. Four different currencies using the name kwanza have circulated since 1977.-First Kwanza, AOK, 1977-1990:...

 (Kz) lang. Portuguese cap. Gaborone
Gaborone
' is the capital and largest city of Botswana with a population of 191,776 based on a 2006 survey, about 10% of the total population of Botswana....

 cur. Botswana pula
Botswana pula
The pula is the currency of Botswana. It has the ISO 4217 code BWP and is subdivided into 100 thebe. Pula literally means "rain" in Setswana, because rain is very scarce in Botswana - home to much of the Kalahari Desert - and therefore valuable. Pula also means "blessing" as rain is considered a...

 (P) lang. Tswana
Tswana language
Tswana or Setswana is a language spoken in Southern Africa by about 4.5 million people. It is a Bantu language belonging to the Niger–Congo language family within the Sotho languages branch of Zone S , and is closely related to the Northern- and Southern Sotho languages, as well as the Kgalagadi...

, English cap. Moroni
Moroni, Comoros
-References:...

 cur. Comorian franc
Comorian franc
The franc is the official currency of Comoros. It is nominally subdivided into 100 centimes, although no centime denominations have ever been issued.-History:...

 (CF) lang. Comorian
Comorian language
Comorian is the most widely used language on the Comoros and Mayotte. It is a set of Swahili dialects but with a much stronger Arabic influence than standard Swahili...

, Arabic, French cap. Maseru
Maseru
Maseru is the capital of Lesotho. It is also the capital of the Maseru District. Located on the Caledon River, bordering South Africa, Maseru is Lesotho's only sizable city, with a population of approximately 227,880 . The city was established as a police camp and assigned as the capital after the...

 cur. Lesotho loti
Lesotho loti
The loti is the currency of the Kingdom of Lesotho. It is subdivided into 100 lisente . It is pegged to the South African rand on a 1:1 basis through the Common Monetary Area, and both are accepted as legal tender within Lesotho. The loti was first issued in 1966, albeit as a non-circulating...

 (L)(M) lang. Sesotho, English cap. Antananarivo
Antananarivo
Antananarivo , formerly Tananarive , is the capital and largest city in Madagascar. It is also known by its French colonial shorthand form Tana....

 cur. Malagasy ariary
Malagasy ariary
The ariary is the currency of Madagascar. It is subdivided into 5 iraimbilanja and is one of only two non-decimal currencies currently circulating . The names ariary and iraimbilanja derive from the pre-colonial currency, with ariary being the name for a silver dollar...

 (MGA) lang. Malagasy
Malagasy language
Malagasy is the national language of Madagascar, a member of the Austronesian family of languages. Most people in Madagascar speak it as a first language as do some people of Malagasy descent elsewhere.-History:...

, French, English cap. Lilongwe
Lilongwe
Lilongwe, estimated population 902,388 as of 2009, is the capital and largest city of Malawi. It lies in the country's central region, on the Lilongwe River, near the border of Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, and on the main north-south highway of Malawi, the M1.-History:The city started life as a...

 cur. Malawian kwacha
Malawian kwacha
The kwacha is the currency of Malawi as of 1971, replacing the Malawian pound. It is divided into 100 tambala. The kwacha replaced other types of currency, namely British, South African and Rhodesian, that had previously circulated through the Malawian economy...

 (MK) lang. English cap. Port Louis
Port Louis
-Economy:The economy is dominated by its port, which handles Mauritius' international trade. The port was founded by the French who preferred Port Louis as the City is shielded by the Port Louis/Moka mountain range. It is the largest container handling facility in the Indian Ocean and can...

 cur. Mauritian rupee
Mauritian rupee
The rupee is the currency of Mauritius.It is theoretically divided into 100 cents; however, as at October 2011, only 5 and 20 cent coins, are currently in circulation, the latest mintage of these two coins was in 2010. A Half Rupee coin is also in circulation.-History:The rupee was established by...

 (R) lang. English cap. Maputo
Maputo
Maputo, also known as Lourenço Marques, is the capital and largest city of Mozambique. It is known as the City of Acacias in reference to acacia trees commonly found along its avenues and the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. It was famous for the inscription "This is Portugal" on the walkway of its...

 cur. Mozambican metical
Mozambican metical
The metical is the currency of Mozambique, abbreviated with the symbol MZN or MTn. It is nominally divided into 100 centavos.-First metical :...

 (MTn) lang. Portuguese cap. Windhoek
Windhoek
Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around above sea level. The 2001 census determined Windhoek's population was 233,529...

 cur. Namibian dollar
Namibian dollar
The dollar has been the currency of Namibia since 1993. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively N$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

 (N$) lang. English cap. Victoria
Victoria, Seychelles
Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles and is situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé island, which is the main island of the archipelago. The city was first established as the seat of the British colonial government...

 cur. Seychellois rupee (SR)(SRe) lang. Seychellois Creole
Seychellois Creole
Seychellois Creole, also known as Kreol or Seselwa, is the French-based creole language of the Seychelles. It shares official language status with English and French ....

, English, French cap. Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein is the capital city of the Free State Province of South Africa; and, as the judicial capital of the nation, one of South Africa's three national capitals – the other two being Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Pretoria, the administrative capital.Bloemfontein is popularly and...

, Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

, Pretoria
Pretoria
Pretoria is a city located in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the executive and de facto national capital; the others are Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital.Pretoria is...

 cur. South African rand
South African rand
The rand is the currency of South Africa. It takes its name from the Witwatersrand , the ridge upon which Johannesburg is built and where most of South Africa's gold deposits were found. The rand has the symbol "R" and is subdivided into 100 cents, symbol "c"...

 (R) lang.11 off. lang.
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 cap. Mbabane
Mbabane
-References:...

 cur. Swazi lilangeni
Swazi lilangeni
The lilangeni is the currency of Swaziland and is subdivided into 100 cents. The South African rand is also accepted in Swaziland and it is issued by the Central Bank of Swaziland...

 (L)(E) lang. SiSwati,English cap. Lusaka
Lusaka
Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. It is located in the southern part of the central plateau, at an elevation of about 1,300 metres . It has a population of about 1.7 million . It is a commercial centre as well as the centre of government, and the four main highways of Zambia head...

 cur. Zambian kwacha
Zambian kwacha
The kwacha is the currency of Zambia. It is subdivided into 100 ngwee.-Etymology:The name derives from the Nyanja and Bemba word for "dawn", alluding to the Zambian nationalist slogan of a "new dawn of freedom"...

 (ZK) lang. English cap. Harare
Harare
Harare before 1982 known as Salisbury) is the largest city and capital of Zimbabwe. It has an estimated population of 1,600,000, with 2,800,000 in its metropolitan area . Administratively, Harare is an independent city equivalent to a province. It is Zimbabwe's largest city and its...

 cur. Zimbabwean dollar
Zimbabwean dollar
The Zimbabwean dollar was the official currency of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 12 April 2009....

 ($) lang. English

See also

  • Geography of Africa
    Geography of Africa
    Africa is a continent comprising 62 political territories, representing the largest of the great southward projections from the main mass of Earth's surface...

  • Equatorial Africa
    Equatorial Africa
    Equatorial Africa is an ambiguous term that is sometimes used to refer to tropical Africa, or the region of Sub-Saharan Africa traversed by the equator....

  • Black people
    Black people
    The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

  • African Uplands
    African Uplands
    African Uplands was a term commonly used by European scholars, especially in the 19th century. It refers to the region now commonly known as Sub-Saharan Africa...


Further reading

  • Petringa, Maria: Brazza, A Life for Africa. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006. ISBN 978-1-4259-1198-0
  • Wm. Roger Louis and Jean Stengers: E.D. Morel's History of the Congo Reform Movement, Clarendon Press Oxford, 1968.

External links