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Africa, second largest of the earth's seven continents, with adjacent islands, covering about 30,330,000 sq km (about 11,699,000 sq mi), or about 22% of the world's total land area. In the mid-1980s about 11.5% of the world's population, some 550 million people, inhabited Africa. Straddling the equator, Africa stretches 8050 km (4970 mi) from its northernmost point, Cape Blanc (ar-Ras al-Abyad) in Tunisia, to its southernmost tip, Cape Agulhas in South Africa. The maximum width of the continent, measured from the tip of Cape Verde in Sénégal, in the west, to Ras Hafun in Somalia, in the east, is about 7560 km (about 4700 mi). The highest point on the continent is the perpetually snowcapped Mount Kilimanjaro (5895 m/19,340 ft) in Tanzania, and the lowest is Lake Assal (153 m/502 ft below sea level) in Djibouti. Africa has a regular coastline characterized by few indentations. Its total length is only about 30,490 km (about 18,950 mi); the length of its coastline in proportion to its area is less than that of any other continent. The chief islands of Africa, which have a combined area of some 621,600 sq km (about 240,000 sq mi), include Madagascar, Zanzibar, Pemba, Mauritius, Réunion, the Seychelles, and the Comoro Islands in the Indian Ocean; Sمo Tomé, Prيncipe, (Annobَn), and Bioko in the Gulf of Guinea; Saint Helena, Ascension, and the Bijagَs Islands in the Atlantic; and the Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands, and Madeira Islands in the North Atlantic. The Natural Environment Except for the northern coast and the Atlas Mountains in the northwest, the terrain of Africa consists of a vast, rolling plateau, marked by a number of large, saucer-shaped basins. Geological History A vast continental shield of Precambrian rocks, related in age and history to South America's Brazilian Highlands, extends south of the Atlas Mountains to the Cape of Good Hope. On the east, the shield encompasses two landmasses—the Arabian Peninsula and Madagascar—that were split off from Africa during the Tertiary Period (see PLATE TECTONICS). Among these ancient rocks some of the earliest traces of life on earth—fossil microorganisms 3.2 billion years old—have been found. Geologically, the Atlas Mountains of North Africa are part of Europe, having been raised by the same forces that created the Alpine mountain ranges of southern and central Europe. The tectonic forces that split Africa and South America apart during the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwanaland, over 150 million years ago (see JURASSIC PERIOD), have continued into more recent times, creating East Africa's Rift Valley during the Tertiary Period and triggering eruptions there of the volcanic Mounts Kenya and Kilimanjaro. Physiographic Regions


Africa may be divided into three major regions: the Northern Plateau, the Central and Southern Plateau, and the Eastern Highlands. In general, elevations increase across the continent from northwest to southeast, the average being about 560 m (about 1900 ft). Low-lying coastal strips, with the exception of the Mediterranean coast and the Guinea coast, are generally narrow and rise sharply to the plateau. The outstanding feature of the Northern Plateau is the Sahara, the great desert that occupies more than one-quarter of Africa. At the fringes of the Northern Plateau are several mountainous regions. To the northwest lie the Atlas Mountains, a chain of rugged peaks linked by high plateaus, which extend from Morocco into Tunisia. Other prominent uplands are the Futa Jallon, on the southwest, and the Adamawa Massif and the Cameroon mountain range, on the south. The Lake Chad Basin is situated in the approximate center of the Northern Plateau. The Central and Southern Plateau is considerably higher than the Northern Plateau and includes west central and southern Africa. It contains several major depressions, notably the Congo River Basin and the Kalahari Desert. Other features south of this plateau, which averages more than 900 m (about 3000 ft) in elevation, are the Drakensberg Mountains, running some 1100 km (about 700 mi) along the southeastern coast; and, in the extreme south, the Karroo, an arid plateau covering about 259,000 sq km (about 100,000 sq mi). The Eastern Highlands, the highest portion of the continent, lie near the eastern coast, extending from the Red Sea south to the Zambezi River. The region has an average elevation of more than 1500 m (about 5000 ft), although in the Ethiopian Plateau it rises in stages to about 3000 m (about 10,000 ft). Ras Dashan (4620 m/15,157 ft) in northern Ethiopia is the highest peak of the plateau. South of the Ethiopian Plateau are a number of towering volcanic peaks, including Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, and Mount Elgon. A distinctive topographicalfeature of the Eastern Highlands is the Rift Valley, a vast geologic fault system that traverses the region in a northern to southern direction. West of the Rift Valley is the Ruwenzori Range, which attains a maximum elevation of 5119 m (16,795 ft). The topography of the island of Madagascar features a rugged central highland extending in a generally northern-southern direction near the eastern coast. Because most of the African continent has not been covered by the seas for millions of years, soils have developed locally, chiefly by weathering, and a few areas have benefited from soils transported by rivers or ocean currents. African soils, for the most part, have irregular drainage and no definite water tables. Most are relatively infertile due to mineral leaching from heavy rainfall and high temperatures. Desert soils (aridisols and entisols), which have little organic content, also cover large areas. The most fertile soils include the mollisols, also known as chernozems and black soils, of eastern Africa and the alfisols, or podzolic soils, of portions of western and southern Africa. Drainage and Water Resources Six major drainage networks exist in Africa. With the exception of the Lake Chad Basin, all have outlets to the sea and all are cut by steep cataracts or rapids that impede navigation. The Nile River, with a length of 6650 km (4132 mi), drains northeastern Africa and is the longest river in the world. Formed from the Blue Nile, which originates at Lake T'ana in Ethiopia, and the White Nile, which originates at Lake Victoria, the Nile flows west and north before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. The Congo River, some 4670 km (about 2900 mi) long, drains much of central Africa. It originates in Zambia and flows north, west, and south to empty into the Atlantic Ocean. The third longest African river, the Niger River in western Africa, is about 4180 km (about 2600 mi) long; its upper portions are navigable only during rainy seasons. The Niger rises in the highlands of the Futa Jallon and flows north and east before turning south to empty into the Gulf of Guinea. The Zambezi River, about 3540 km (about 2200 mi) long, originates in Zambia in southeastern Africa and flows south and east to empty into the Indian Ocean. The Zambezi is cut by various rapids, the most spectacular of which is Victoria Falls. Draining southern Africa is the Orange River, which, with its tributary, the Vaal River, has a length of about 2100 km (about 1300 mi). It rises in the Drakensberg Mountains and flows west to the Atlantic. Lake Chad, a shallow freshwater lake with an average depth of only about 1.2 m (about 4 ft), drains nearby rivers and constitutes the largest inland drainage area on the continent. The deep rift valleys of the Eastern Highlands hold a great series of lakes. This equatorial lake system includes Lakes Turkana, Albert, Tanganyika, and Malawi. Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the third largest in the world, is, however, not part of this system; it occupies a shallow depression in the Eastern Highlands. Achieving effective control of the water supply is a major problem in Africa. Vast areas suffer low rainfall; still larger areas receive only irregular rainfall and must store water as insurance against delayed or deficient rains. Other areas have an overabundance of water: Great swamps exist, and large areas suffer from periodic flooding. In recent years, numerous dams and reservoirs have been constructed to channel water for irrigation and for hydroelectric power. The continent's numerous rivers and the abrupt descents of the waterways have led to estimates that Africa has approximately 40% of the total world hydroelectric potential. Climate The climate of Africa, more than that of any other continent, is generally uniform. This results from the position of the continent in the Tropical Zone, the impact of cool ocean currents, and the absence of mountain chains serving as climatic barriers. Seven main African climatic zones can be distinguished. The central portion of the continent and the eastern coast of Madagascar have a tropical rain forest climate. Here the average annual temperature is about 26.7° C (about 80° F), and the average annual rainfall is about 1780 mm (about 70 in). The climate of the Guinea coast resembles the equatorial climate, except that rainfall is concentrated in one season; no months, however, are rainless. To the north and south the rain forest climate is supplanted by a tropical savanna climate zone that encompasses about one-fifth of Africa. Here the climate is characterized by a wet season during the summer months and a dry season during the winter months. Total annual rainfall varies from 550 mm (about 20 in) to more than 1550 mm (about 60 in). Away from the equator, to the north and south, the savanna climate zone grades into the drier steppe climate zone. Average annual rainfall varies between 250 and 500 mm (10 and 20 in) and is concentrated in one season. Africa has a proportionately larger area in arid, or desert, climate zones than any continent except Australia. Each of these areas—the Sahara in the north, the Horn in the east, and the Kalahari and Namib deserts in the southwest—has less than 250 mm (about 10 in) of rainfall annually. In the Sahara, daily and seasonal extremes of temperatures are great; the average July temperature is more than 32.2° C (90° F); during the cold season the nighttime temperature often drops below freezing. Mediterranean climate zones are found in the extreme northwest of Africa and in the extreme southwest. These regions are characterized by mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. In the highlands of eastern Africa, particularly in Kenya and Uganda, rainfall is well distributed throughout the year, and temperatures are equable. The climate on the high plateau of southern Africa is temperate. Vegetation African vegetation can be classified according to rainfall and climate zones. The tropical rain forest zone, where the average annual rain is more than 1270 mm (50 in), has a dense surface covering of shrubs, ferns, and mosses, above which tower evergreens, oil palms, and numerous species of tropical hardwood trees. A mountain forest zone, with average annual rainfall only slightly less than in the tropical rain forests, is found in the high mountains of Cameroon, Angola, eastern Africa, and parts of Ethiopia. Here a ground covering of shrubs gives way to oil palms, hardwood trees, and primitive conifers. A savanna woodland zone, with annual rainfall of 890 to 1400 mm (about 35 to 55 in), covers vast areas with a layer of grass and fire-resistant shrubs, above which are found deciduous and leguminous fire-resistant trees. A savanna grassland zone, with annual rainfall of about 500 to 890 mm (about 20 to 35 in), is covered by low grasses and shrubs and scattered, small deciduous trees. The thornbush zone, a steppe vegetation, with an annual rainfall of about 300 to 510 mm (about 12 to 20 in), has a thinner grass covering and a scattering of succulent or semisucculent trees. The subdesert scrub zone, with an annual rainfall of 130 to 300 mm (about 5 to 12 in), has a covering of grasses and scattered low shrubs. The zone of desert vegetation, found in areas with an annual rainfall of less than 130 mm (about 5 in), has sparse vegetation or none at all. Animal Life


Africa has two distinct zones of animal life: the North and Northwestern zone, including the Sahara; and the Ethiopian zone, including all of sub-Saharan Africa. The North and Northwestern zone is characterized by animals similar to those of Eurasia. Sheep, goats, horses, and camels are common. Barbary sheep, African red deer, and two types of ibex are native to the northern African coast. Desert foxes are found in the Sahara along with hares, gazelles, and the jerboa, a small leaping rodent. The Ethiopian zone is famous for its great variety of distinctive animals and birds. Woodland and grassland areas are inhabited by numerous species of antelope and deer, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, the African elephant, rhinoceros, and the baboon and various monkeys. Carnivores, or meat- eating animals, include the lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, and mongoose. The gorilla, the largest ape in the world, inhabits the rain forests of equatorial Africa, as do monkeys, flying squirrels, bats and lemurs. Most bird life belongs to Old World groups. The guinea fowl is a leading game bird. Water birds, notably pelicans, goliath herons, flamingos, storks, and egrets, congregate in great numbers. The ibis is common in the Nile region, and the ostrich is found in eastern and southern Africa. Reptiles are mainly of Old World origin and include lizards, crocodiles, and tortoises. A variety of venomous snakes, including the mamba, are encountered throughout the Ethiopian zone. Among the constricting snakes, pythons are found mainly in western Africa; boa constrictors are indigenous only to Madagascar. Freshwater fish abound, with more than 2000 species known. The continent has a variety of destructive insects, notably mosquitoes, driver ants, termites, locusts, and tsetse flies. The last named transmit sleeping sickness to humans and animals (in animals, the disease is called nagana). Mineral Resources Africa is very rich in mineral resources, possessing most of the known minerals of the world, many of which are found in significant quantities, although the geographic distribution is uneven. Fossil fuels are abundant, including major deposits of coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Africa has some of the world's largest reserves of gold, diamonds, copper, bauxite, manganese, nickel, platinum, cobalt, radium, germanium, lithium, titanium, and phosphates. Other important mineral resources include iron ore, chromium, tin, zinc, lead, thorium, zirconium, vanadium, antimony, and beryllium. Also found in exploitable quantities are clays, mica, sulfur, salt, natron, graphite, limestone, and gypsum. The People The Sahara serves as a vast barrier between the peoples of northern Africa and those of sub-Saharan Africa. Although numerous classification systems have been applied to the people of the continent, the geographical division appears the most useful. Ethnography In the northern portion of the continent, including the Sahara, Causasoid peoples—mainly Berbers and Arabs—predominate. They constitute about one-quarter of the continent's population. South of the Sahara, Negroid peoples, constituting some 70% of Africa's population, predominate. Pockets of Khoisan peoples, the San (Bushmen) and Khoikhoi (Hottentots), are located in southern Africa. The Pygmies are concentrated in the Congo River Basin and in Tanzania. Scattered through Africa, but primarily concentrated in southern Africa, are some 5 million people of European descent. An Indian population, numbering some 1 million, is concentrated along the eastern African coast and in South Africa. More than 3000 distinct ethnic groups have been classified in Africa. The extended family is the basic social unit of most of these peoples. In much of Africa the family is linked to a larger society through kin groups such as lineages and clans. Kin groups generally tend to exclude marriage among their members, and members marry outside the group. The village is frequently constituted of a single kin group united by either male or female descent. Demography Although Africa covers about one-fifth of the total world land surface, it has only about 11.5% of its population. In the mid-1980s the total population of the continent was estimated at 550 million. Average density, some 18 people per sq km (47 per sq mi), is less than half the world average. This figure includes the large areas, such as the Sahara and Kalahari deserts, which are virtually uninhabitable. When the population living on arable or productive land is calculated, the average density increases to some 139 persons per sq km (362 per sq mi). The most densely settled areas of the continent are those along the northern and western coasts; in the Nile, Niger, Congo, and Sénégal river basins; and in the eastern African plateau. Nigeria, with a population of some 89 million, is the most populous nation in Africa. The African birth rate is about 46 per 1000. (By contrast the birth rate in Europe is about 14 per 1000.) The spread of medical services since World War II is responsible for a sharp decrease in the death rate, which averages about 17 per 1000. The continent's population increases annually by about 2.9%. These statistics vary greatly, however, from country to country and from region to region. The age distribution is weighted heavily toward the young. In most African countries, about half the population is 15 years of age or younger. The African population remains predominantly rural, with only about one-fifth of the population living in towns of more than 20,000 inhabitants. Northern Africa is the most urbanized region, but major cities are located in every part of the continent. African cities that have populations of more than 1 million include Cairo, Alexandria, and Giza in Egypt; Algiers, Algeria; Casablanca, Morocco; Lagos, Nigeria; Adىs Abeba, Ethiopia; Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; Kinshasa, Zaire; and Johannesburg and Capetown in South Africa. The urban centers act as magnets, attracting large numbers of rural migrants who come either as permanent settlers or as short-term workers. Urban growth has been particularly rapid since the 1950s. A substantial international labor migration has also developed, particularly of Africans from central Africa to the mines and factories of Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, and of North Africans to France and, more recently, to the countries belonging to the European Union. Civil wars in a number of countries have led to massive refugee migrations, as have droughts and famines. Languages More than 1000 languages are spoken in Africa. Although more than 50 languages have 500,000 or more speakers each, the majority of African languages are spoken by relatively few people. Apart from Arabic, the most widely spoken are Swahili and Hausa. The main linguistic families or groups are Niger-Kordofanian and Nilo-Saharan, the largest groups with more than 160 million speakers each; Hamito-Semitic, or Afro-Asiatic, which predominates in northern and northeastern Africa; and Koisan, spoken among the San and Khoikhoi of southern Africa. Many Africans, particularly those of sub-Saharan Africa, are bilingual, speaking their own language as well as that brought by earlier European colonial administrations. See AFRICAN LANGUAGES. Religion Christianity, the most widespread religion, was introduced into northern Africa in the 1st century and spread to the Sudan and Ethiopian regions in the 4th century. Christianity survived in Ethiopia through the Coptic church, but in the other areas, Christianity was swept away by Islam. The religion was reintroduced and spread through tropical Africa with the 15th-century rise of European overseas expansion. Today Protestant and Catholic groups are about equally represented throughout the continent. Islam, the second most widespread religion in Africa, was introduced throughout northern Africa in the 7th century and in following centuries was spread along the eastern African coast and through the grasslands of western Africa. In the 20th century, Islam has penetrated into the remaining portions of the continent. The earliest of the Muslim schools of law, the Maliki, prevails over most of Muslim Africa except in Egypt, the Horn, and the eastern African coast. About 15% of African peoples practice indigenous, or local, religions. Although these are of great diversity, they tend to have a single god or creator figure and a number of subordinate spirits—nature spirits who inhabit trees, water, animals, and other natural phenomena—and ancestral spirits, such as founders of the family, lineage, or clan—who affect everyday life. See RELIGION: PRIMITIVE RELIGIONS. Certain nativistic religious movements, arising primarily from Christianity, have fused orthodox Christian rites and beliefs with tribal religious elements. Led by individual prophets, these separatist groups have spread throughout Africa, although they appear most widespread and powerful in southern and central Africa. Small numbers of Jews are located in northern and southern Africa, and Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist peoples are scattered through eastern and southern Africa

AFRICA                                                                    home

Cultural Activity Much of Africa's cultural activity centers on the family and the ethnic group. Art, music, and oral literature serve to reinforce existing religious and social patterns. The Westernized minority, influenced by European culture and Christianity, first rejected African traditional culture, but, with the rise of African nationalism, a cultural revival occurred. The governments of most African nations foster national dance and music groups, museums, and to a lesser degree, artists and writers. See AFRICAN ART AND ARCHITECTURE; AFRICAN LITERATURE; AFRICAN MUSIC AND DANCE. Patterns of Economic Development Traditionally, the vast majority of Africans have been farmers and herders who raised crops and livestock for subsistence. Few markets existed, and trade usually took place between relatives and friends. Manufacturing and crafts were carried on as part-time activities. A few states developed long- distance trade systems, and in these places complex exchange facilities as well as industrial specialization, communication networks, and elaborate governmental structures maintained the flow of commerce. With European colonization came overseas demand for certain agricultural and mineral products and internal labor migration; new and safe communication systems were constructed; European technology and crops were introduced; and a modern exchange economy evolved. Local industries and crafts—textiles and iron making, for example—were frequently undermined by cheaper or better European goods. Processing industries developed, as did ports and administrative centers. A variety of consumer industries sprang up to fill newly created local consumer needs. A feature of the African economy is the side-by-side existence of both subsistence and modern exchange economies. Future growth depends on the availability of investment funds, the world demand for local raw materials, the availability of energy sources, and the size of local markets. Agriculture Despite the expansion of commerce and industry, most Africans remain farmers and herders. In northern and northwestern Africa, wheat, oats, corn, and barley are the important grain crops. Dates, olives, and citrus fruit are the main tree crops; a variety of vegetables are grown. Goats and sheep are the most significant livestock raised. In the Sahara region, nomadic herders raise camels, and a few farmers, situated in oases, grow dates and grains. South of the Sahara, shifting agriculture—a method in which small areas were burned, cleared, and planted and then allowed to revert to bush—has given way in most areas to settled farming. Grain is the main crop outside the rain forests; rice, yam, manioc, okra, plantain, and banana are raised for food. Cattle cannot be raised in tsetse fly-infested areas, which cover more than one-third of the continent. Outside tsetse fly areas and dense forests, cattle are raised in large numbers, but rarely for commercial purposes. Dairy farming is limited, located primarily around urban centers in eastern and southern Africa. Although some 60% of all cultivated land is in subsistence agriculture, commercial or cash-crop farming is common in all parts of the continent. Foodstuffs are grown for local urban markets, but coffee, cotton, cacao, peanuts, palm oil, and tobacco are grown by Africans for export. For certain agricultural exports, such as cacao, peanuts, cloves, and sisal, Africa produces more than one-half of the world supply. European- owned plantations and farms, found mainly in eastern and southern Africa, concentrate on citrus, tobacco, and other export foodstuffs. Forestry and Fishing Although about one-quarter of Africa is covered by forest, much of the timber has little value except as local fuel. Gabon is a major producer of okoume, a wood used in making plywood; Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria are major exporters of hardwoods. Inland fishing is concentrated in the Rift Valley lakes and in the increasing numbers of fish farms. Ocean fishing is widespread for local consumption; it is commercially important off Morocco, Namibia, and South Africa. Mining Mineral extraction provides the bulk of African export earnings, and extractive industries are the most developed sectors in most African economies. Approximately one-half of Africa's mineral income comes from South Africa; much of this is derived from gold and diamond mining. The other leading mineral-producing countries are Libya (petroleum), Nigeria (petroleum, natural gas, coal, tin), Algeria (petroleum, natural gas, iron ore), and Zambia (copper, cobalt, coal, lead, zinc). Petroleum is also found along the western African coast, in the Gabon Basin, the People's Republic of the Congo, Zaire, and Angola. About one-third of the uranium in the non-Communist world is mined in Africa, chiefly in South Africa, Niger, Zaire, the Central African Republic, and Gabon. The largest radium supply in the world is located in Zaire. Some 20% of the world copper reserve is concentrated in Zambia, Zaire, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Zaire also possesses about 90% of the world's known cobalt, and Sierra Leone has the largest known titanium reserves. Africa produces some three-quarters of the world's gold; South Africa, followed by Zimbabwe, Zaire, and Ghana, are the major producers. The mines of South Africa and Zaire produce virtually the entire world supply of gem and industrial diamonds. Iron ore is found in all parts of the continent. Most of Africa's mineral wealth has been and is being developed by large, multinational concerns. Increasingly, in recent years, African governments have become substantial shareholders in the operations within their own countries. Manufacturing Stemming from mineral and petroleum extraction are processing industries, such as refining and smelting, which are located in most mineral-rich countries with adequate energy. The bulk of Africa's manufacturing takes place in South Africa. Heavy industry, such as metal producing, machine making, and transport manufacturing, is concentrated in South Africa. Significant industrial centers have also developed in Zimbabwe, Egypt, and Algeria. Mineral-related industries are well developed in Zaire and Zambia; Kenya, Nigeria, and Côte d'Ivoire have developed primarily in textiles, light industry, and building materials. Throughout much of the rest of Africa, manufacturing is limited to making or assembling consumer goods, such as shoes, bicycles, textiles, food, and beverages. Such industries are often confined by the relatively small size of the consumer market. Energy Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, and Angola are major world producers of petroleum. Africa's natural-gas exports are centered in Algeria. Coal is concentrated in Zimbabwe and South Africa; the bulk of their production is used internally. The rest of Africa must import fuels. Although Africa has some 40% of the world's hydropower potential, only a relatively small portion has been developed due to high construction costs, inaccessibility of sites, and their distance from markets. Since 1960, however, a number of major hydroelectric installations have been constructed; these include the Aswân High Dam on the Nile River, the Volta Dam on the Volta River, and the Kariba and Cabora Bassa dams on the Zambezi River. Transportation The economic development of virtually all African nations has been hindered by inadequate transportation systems. Most countries rely on road networks that are frequently composed largely of dirt roads, which become impassable during the rainy seasons. Road networks tend to link the interior of a country to the coast; few road systems link adjacent countries. Although most African nations support a national airline, rail and shipping systems are extremely limited outside southern Africa. Trade The commercial sectors of most African states rely heavily on one or a few export commodities. The bulk of trade occurs with industrialized nations, which require raw materials and sell industrial and consumer goods. Trade between African states is limited by the competitive, rather than complementary, nature of their products and by trade barriers, such as tariffs and the diversity of currencies. Most former British colonies in Africa continue to have loose trade relations with Great Britain and keep monetary reserves in London. Former French colonies have even closer ties with France, and most are members of a French franc zone. In addition, most African states have economic ties with the European Community and benefit from some tariff barrier reductions. Few successful intra- African economic systems have emerged. The most durable and successful are the Economic Community of West African States and the Economic Community of Central African States. The Organization of African Unity also promotes intra-African trade and economic development. History Some 5 million years ago a type of hominid, a close evolutionary ancestor of present-day humans, inhabited southern and eastern Africa. More than 1.5 million years ago this toolmaking hominid developed into the more advanced forms Homo habilis and Homo erectus. The earliest true human being in Africa, Homo sapiens, dates from more than 200,000 years ago. A hunter-gatherer capable of making crude stone tools, Homo sapiens banded together with others to form nomadic groups; eventually these nomadic Bushmanoid peoples spread throughout the African continent. Distinct races date from approximately 10,000 BC. Gradually a growing Negroid population, which had mastered animal domestication and agriculture, forced the Bushmanoid groups into the less hospitable areas. In the 1st century AD the Bantu, one group of this dominant people, began a migration that lasted some 2000 years, settling most of central and southern Africa. Negroid societies typically depended on subsistence agriculture or, in the savannas, pastoral pursuits. Political organization was normally local, although large kingdoms would later develop in western and central Africa. The first great civilization in Africa began in the Nile Valley about 5000 BC. Dependent on agriculture, these settlements benefited from the Nile's flooding as a source of irrigation and new soils. The need to control the Nile floodwaters eventually resulted in a well-ordered, complex state with elaborate political and religious systems. The kingdom of Egypt flourished, influencing Mediterranean and African societies for thousands of years. Iron making was brought south from Egypt about 800 BC, and spread into tropical Africa. Ideas of royal kingship and state organization were also exported, particularly to adjacent areas such as Cush and Punt. The east Cushite state, Meroë, was supplanted in the 4th century AD by Aksum, which evolved into Ethiopia. During the period from the late 3rd century BC to the early 1st century AD, Rome had conquered Egypt, Carthage, and other North African areas; these became the granaries of the Roman Empire. The empire was divided into two parts in the 4th century. All lands west of modern Libya remained territories of the Western Empire, ruled by Rome, and lands to the east, including Egypt, became part of the Eastern or Byzantine Empire, ruled from Constantinople. By this time the majority of the population had been converted to Christianity. In the 5th century the Vandals, a Germanic tribe, conquered much of North Africa. Vandal kings ruled there until the 6th century, when they were defeated by Byzantine forces, and the area was absorbed by the Eastern Empire. The Era of Empires and City-States Islamic armies invaded Africa within a decade of Muhammad's death in 632 and quickly overcame Byzantine resistance in Egypt. North Africa From bases in Egypt, Arabs raided the Berber states to the west; in the 8th century they conquered Morocco. While the coastal Berbers began converting to Islam, many others retreated into the Atlas Mountains and beyond into the Sahara. Arab minorities established autocratic polities in Algeria and Morocco. The Christian states of Alwa and Makuria in the Sudan were conquered; only the Christian kingdom of Nobatia was strong enough to resist the invaders, forcing the conclusion of a treaty that maintained its independence for 600 years. Along the coast the Arab conquerors remained a small ruling minority for several centuries. Trade across the Sahara became commonplace by the 8th century. Caravan leaders and religious teachers spread political, religious, and societal values to the people along the trade routes. Even earlier, Muslim invaders from Yemen forced the peoples of coastal Aksum into the interior and established a series of city-states such as Adal and Harar. The Red Sea now belonged to the Muslim traders. Several rival dynasties emerged on the North African coast. In the 8th century North African Muslims conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula, and they continued raids and expeditions of conquest against Christian Europe for centuries. By the time of the Crusades a few highly advanced Islamic states dominated the southern and eastern Mediterranean. In the 14th century Christian Sudan fell to the armies of Mameluke Egypt. The Ottoman Turks conquered Egypt in 1517 and within 50 years had established nominal control of the North African coast. The real power, however, remained in the hands of the Mamelukes, who ruled Egypt until their defeat by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798. The Ethiopians were overrun by the armies of the sultanate of Adal, but they defeated (1542) the Muslims with the aid of Portugal. West African Kingdoms In western Africa a number of black kingdoms emerged whose economic base lay in their control of trans-Saharan trade routes. Gold, kola nuts, and slaves were sent north in exchange for cloth, utensils, and salt. Ghana The earliest of these states, Ghana, came into being by the 5th century AD in what is now southeastern Mauritania. (Its capital, Kumbi Saleh, has been excavated in modern times.) By the 11th century, the armies of Ghana, equipped with iron weapons, made it master of the trade routes extending from present-day Morocco in the north to the coastal forests of western Africa in the south. Nomadic Berbers of the Sanhaja Confederation (in present-day central Mauritania) formed the main link between Ghana and the north. Once Arabs gained control of the northwestern coasts, they began to exploit these trade routes. By the early 11th century Muslim advisers were at the court of Ghana, and Muslim merchants lived in large foreign quarters from which they conducted lucrative large-scale trade. Late in the 11th century, Ghana was destroyed by the Almoravids, a militant Muslim movement founded among the Sanhaja Berbers. In the early 11th century they raised a jihad (holy war) and controlled the caravan routes of the Sahara. The movement then split; one group pushed north to conquer Morocco and Spain, while the other moved south to raze (about 1076) the capital of Ghana. During the next century the Soso people of the Futa Jallon, formerly vassals of Ghana, gained control of the area, but they in turn were conquered by the people of Mali about 1240. Mali and Songhai Centered on the upper reaches of the Sénégal and Niger rivers, Mali evolved by the early 11th century from a group of Mande chieftaincies. In the mid-13th century, the state began a period of expansion under the vigorous ruler Sundiata. Soon afterward the rulers of Mali appear to have converted to Islam. The high point of the Mali Empire was reached under Mansa (king) Musa, who conducted a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324-25, opened diplomatic relations with Tunis and Egypt, and brought a number of Muslim scholars and artisans to the empire; from the time of Mansa Musa onward, Mali appeared on the maps of Europe. After 1400 the empire declined, and Songhai emerged as the leading state in the western Sudan. Although Songhai dates from before the 9th century, its greatest period of expansion occurred under Sunni Ali and Askia Muhammad. During the latter's rule Islam flourished at the court, and Timbuktu became a major center of Muslim learning, renowned for its university and its book trade. Attracted by its wealth, the armies of al-Mansur of Morocco overran the Songhai capital of Gao in 1591. Following the collapse of Songhai, a number of small kingdoms—Macina, Gonja, Ségou, Kaarta—strove to dominate the western Sudan, but continual strife and economic decline were the only results. Hausa States and Kanem-Bornu To the east of Songhai, between the Niger River and Lake Chad, the Hausa city-states and the Kanem-Bornu Empire emerged. The Hausa states (Biram, Daura, Katsina, Zaria, Kano, Rano, and Gobir) originated before the 10th century, and after the fall of Songhai the trans-Saharan trade moved eastward, where it came under the control of Katsina and Kano. These became centers of flourishing commerce and urban life. Islam appears to have been introduced into the Hausa states in the 14th century from Kanem-Bornu. The latter empire existed in the 8th century as a loosely knit state north and east of Lake Chad. It was first ruled by a nomadic people, the Zaghawa, but they were replaced by a new dynasty, the Saifawa, who ruled from about 800 to 1846. The new rulers were converted to Islam about the 11th century. In the late 14th century they moved into the Bornu region, and the older Kanem area fell to the Bulala people from the south. The best known Bornu ruler was Mai Idris Alooma (reigned about 1580-1617), who introduced firearms purchased from the Ottoman Turks. At its pinnacle, Kanem-Bornu controlled the eastern Saharan routes to Egypt, but by the middle of the 17th century it had begun a slow decline. Spread of Islam During the period of the great Sudanic empires, the lives of the masses of farmers and fishers remained virtually unchanged. Imported goods or luxuries were enjoyed only by the ruling classes; the farmers lived in subsistence economies, subject to periodic tax gathering and occasional slave raids. Islam was associated with the great urban centers and was the religion of some of the ruling classes and of the foreign residents. By the late 15th century, however, the nomadic Kunta Arabs began to preach, and during the mid-16th century the Qadiriyya brotherhood, to which they belonged, began to spread Islam throughout the western Sudan. At about the same time, the Fulani, a nomadic pastoral people, were moving slowly eastward from the Futa Toro region in Sénégal, gaining converts for Islam. During this period, Islam became a personal religion rather than merely a religion of state. Indeed, Islam appears to have declined among the ruling classes, and non-Muslim dynasties ruled in old Muslim strongholds until the 18th century. Islamic reform and revival movements then began among the Fulani, Mandingo, Soso, and Tukolor. Old dynasties were overthrown, and theocratic states were founded that spread Islam to new areas. In the Hausa states, Shehu Usuman dan Fodio, a Muslim teacher, led a revolt among the Fulani who between 1804 and 1810 overthrew the Hausa rulers and established new dynasties. An attempt to sweep into Bornu, however, was successfully resisted by the religious leader al-Kanemi. The new Fulani Empire was initially divided between the shehu's brother Abdullahi and his son, Muhammad Bello, but after 1817 Muhammad and his successors were the sole overlords. Another theocratic state was formed in Macina in 1818 by Seku Ahmadu, a Fulani Muslim. During his rule an empire embracing the whole of the Niger River region from Jenne to Timbuktu was created. Upon his death in 1844 his son took power, but in 1862 Macina fell to another Muslim reformer, al-Hajj Umar, who created the vast Tukolor Empire in the Senegambia region before his death in 1864. East African Kingdoms The first records of East African history appear in the Periplus of the Erythrوan Sea (AD 100?), which described the commercial life of the region and its ties to the world beyond Africa. Indonesian immigrants reached Madagascar during the 1st millennium AD bringing new foodstuffs, notably bananas, which soon spread throughout the continent. Bantu-speaking peoples settled in the immediate interior in clan-oriented polities, absorbing the Bushmanoid peoples, and Nilotic peoples occupied the so-called interlacustrine, or interlake, areas further inland. Arab settlers colonized the coast and established trading towns. Ivory, gold, and slaves were the main exports. By the 13th century a number of significant city-states had been established. Among these Zenj states were Mogadishu, Malindi, Lamu, Mombasa, Kilwa, Pate, and Sofala. An urban Swahili culture developed through mutual assimilation of Bantu and Arabic speakers. The ruling classes were of mixed Arab-African ancestry; the masses were Bantu, many of them slaves. These mercantile city-states were oriented toward the sea, and their political impact on inland peoples was virtually nonexistent until the 19th century. The complex, advanced lake states first developed in the 14th century. Little is known of their early history. One theory is that more advanced Cushite peoples from the Ethiopian highlands came to dominate the indigenous Bantu. Other Cushites are believed to be ancestors of the Tutsi peoples of modern Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi. Located between Lakes Victoria and Edward, the early kingdoms ruled by the Bachwezi flourished before 1500, when they were supplanted by an early wave of Luo peoples migrating from the Sudan. The new immigrants adopted local Bantu languages in Bunyoro country, but in Acholiland, Alurland, and in the Lango country (all in modern Uganda) they retained their own separate language. New states were founded later, among them Bunyoro, Ankole, Buganda, and Karagwe. Of these states, Bunyoro was the most powerful until the second half of the 18th century. Then Buganda began to expand, and its armies raided throughout wide areas. An elaborate centralized bureaucracy was founded, with most district and subdistrict chiefs appointed by the kabaka (“king”). Farther to the south, in Rwanda, a cattle-raising pastoral aristocracy founded by the Bachwezi (alternatively called Bututsi, or Bahima, in this area) ruled over settled Bantu peoples from the 16th century onward. Central African Kingdoms Even less known than the interlacustrine states are the ones formed in central Africa. In the Congo savanna, south of the tropical rain forests, Bantu-speaking peoples established agricultural communities by the beginning of the 9th century. In some places, long-distance trade to the east coast developed, with copper and ivory among the main exports. During the 14th century the Kongo Kingdom was established, dominating an area in present-day Angola between the Congo and Loge rivers and from the Kwango River to the Atlantic. An elaborate political system developed, with provincial governors and a king elected from among the descendants of the founding king Wene. In the area between the upper Kasai and Lake Tanganyika, various small chiefdoms were organized, about 1500, into the Luba Empire. Its founding figure, Kongolo, subdued several small villages in one area and then used this as a base for wider conquest. No adequate centralizing mechanisms were developed, however, so dynastic struggles and breakaway states were a continual problem. About 1600 one of the younger sons of the dynasty left the kingdom and founded the Lunda Empire. The Lunda state itself soon split, with members of the royal dynasty leaving to found such new states as the Bemba Kingdom, Kasanje, and Kazembe. The last-named became the largest and most powerful of the Luba-Lunda states, and between 1750 and 1850 it dominated southern Katanga and parts of the Rhodesian plateau. Bantu-speaking peoples moving east from the Congo region during the 1st millennium AD are thought to have assimilated local Stone Age peoples. Later Bantu immigrants, called the Karanga, were the ancestors of the present-day Shona people. The Karanga began constructing the Great Zimbabwe, an impressive stone compound housing the royal court. They also formed the Mwene Mutapa Empire, which derived its wealth from large-scale gold mining. At its height in the 15th century, its sphere of influence stretched from the Zambezi River to the Kalahari to the Indian Ocean and to the Limpopo River. Southern African Kingdoms Before the 19th century, Bantu-speaking peoples had pushed aside or assimilated their Bushmanoid predecessors in southern Africa and had established a number of sedentary states. In the early 19th century population pressures and land hunger resulted in a series of wars and large-scale migrations through south and central Africa. These began about 1816, when the Zulu ruler Shaka developed new military techniques and embarked on wars of conquest against neighboring peoples. The tribes defeated by the Zulu migrated from the southeast portion of South Africa; remodeling their own fighting techniques on those of the Zulu, they overwelmed more distant peoples, who, in turn, were forced to seek new homes. The Ndwandwe, led by their chief Sobhuza, moved north and established the Swazi Kingdom in the 1820s. The Ngoni also moved north, pushing through Mozambique and beyond Lake Malawi, where, about 1848, they split into five kingdoms, which raided extensively between Lake Victoria and the Zambezi. Another group, led by Soshangane, migrated into southern Mozambique, where they founded the Gaza state about 1830. The Kololo migrated north into Barotseland and began a struggle for domination with the local Lozi people. The Ndebele moved west (1824-34) and then north (1837) into what is now Zimbabwe, founding a kingdom there in Matabeleland. Early European Imperialism The first sustained European interest in Africa developed through the efforts of Henry the Navigator, prince of Portugal. Numerous expeditions were sent out after 1434, each extending European knowledge of the African coastline southward, until, in 1497-1498, Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope and reached India. The Portuguese explorations were motivated by a variety of impulses: a desire for knowledge, a wish to bring Christianity to pagan peoples, the search for potential allies against Muslim threats, and the hope of finding new and lucrative trade routes and sources of wealth. Wherever the Portuguese, and the English, French, and Dutch who followed them, touched, they disrupted ongoing patterns of trade and political life and changed economic and religious systems. Trade Routes The Portuguese established a chain of trading settlements along the West African coast. El Mina, founded on the Gold Coast in 1482, was the most important; in fact, it was only on the Gold Coast and in the Kongo and Luanda areas that trade was really lucrative. African gold, ivory, foodstuffs, and slaves were exchanged for ironware, firearms, textiles, and foodstuffs. The Portuguese trade attracted rival European traders who, in the 16th century, created competing stations or attempted to capture the existing trade. In western Africa the new trade had profound effects. Earlier trade routes had been oriented northward across the Sahara, primarily to the Muslim world. Now the routes were reoriented to the coast, and as the states of the savanna declined in economic importance, states along the coast increased their wealth and power. Struggles soon developed among coastal peoples for control over trade routes and for access to the new firearms introduced from Europe. Slave Trade With the rise of the slave trade to the Americas, wars over the control of African commerce became more intense. During the four centuries of the slave trade, untold millions of Africans fell victim to this traffic in human lives. Most were captured by other Africans and exchanged for various consumer goods. The first major kingdom to profit from the slave trade was Benin in modern west Nigeria, established in the 15th century. By the end of the 17th century, it had been supplanted by the kingdoms of Dahomey and Oyo. In the mid-18th century the Ashanti began their rise as a major West African power. Under Asantehene (king) Osei Kojo (reigned 1764-77), Ashanti armies began to push south toward European trading stations located along the Gold Coast. Although they failed to clear the routes of middlemen, they secured steady supplies of firearms, which were used to expand northward and to contest their eastern frontiers with Dahomey. Farther east the Yoruba kingdom of Oyo declined in the late 18th century, bringing civil war and the intervention of Fulani forces from the north and an increase in the number of slaves available for trade. About 1835 the imperial capital, Old Oyo, was abandoned, but in the Battle of Oshogbo (circa 1840) the Fulani were driven back. The civil wars lasted until 1893, when Yoruba power was divided among several competitive states. During the latter 18th century, sentiment in Britain turned against the slave trade. Following the Mansfield decision of 1772, which freed slaves in Great Britain, plans were made for a West African colony for former slaves. The first attempt (1787-90) at Saint George's Bay (in present-day Sierra Leone) failed; a second attempt was made by abolitionists, who, in 1792, founded Freetown in the same area. When the British outlawed the slave trade for British citizens in 1807, they saw Freetown as a desirable base for naval operations against such trade, and in 1808, Sierra Leone was made a crown colony. The example of Sierra Leone appealed to Americans interested in black colonization, and in early 1822 the American Colonization Society succeeded in establishing its colony, Liberia, at nearby Cape Mesurado. British Expansion The British desire to suppress the slave trade found expression in attempts at redirecting African commerce toward other exports, such as palm oil, in heightened missionary activity, and in the imposition of British government jurisdiction over properties previously held by British merchants. Such developments frequently involved Great Britain inadvertently in struggles with African states and led to its assumption of sovereignty over certain African territory. On the Gold Coast the British government, in 1821, took control of a series of forts. Through misunderstandings the first of a series of Ashanti-British wars occurred from 1823 to 1826; these conflicts were to continue intermittently until the end of the century. Although the government gave up control of the forts in 1828, it again assumed jurisdiction in 1843. British authority over the Ashanti, however, was not firmly established until 1900. In the Niger delta of Nigeria, the British abolition of slavery brought about a shift in trade from slaves to palm oil, and in pursuit of this commodity Great Britain required a nearby port; in addition, the British were eager to eliminate the middlemen in such delta states as Calabar, Bonny, and Brass. In 1852, therefore, they forced the ruler of Lagos to accept British protection, and in 1861 Lagos was annexed as a crown colony. Central and East Africa In Central and East Africa the European impact was different. When the Portuguese arrived on the Congo- Angola coast in the 1480s, they quickly allied themselves with the rulers of the Kongo, who became converted to Christianity and attempted to create a westernized state. This aim was frustrated, however, by fraternal wars and by Portuguese introduction of the slave trade. The region was soon immersed in strife, and during the 16th century the kingdom collapsed. Farther south the Portuguese founded Luanda in 1575 as a base for their penetration of the Angolan hinterland, and it was here that about half of all the slaves sent to the Americas originated. When they reached the East African coast, the Portuguese attempted to cut off the area's trade with the Muslim world. In the process a number of the city-states were destroyed; others were occupied, and the entire area went into economic decline. After the Portuguese were finally expelled from Mombasa in 1698, the coast reverted to local rule, but during the 18th century the rulers of Oman established at least nominal control. In the early 19th century, Sultan Sayyid Said, ruler of Oman, transferred his capital to Zanzibar, which then served as a base to strengthen his control of the coast and to penetrate inland for trade with the interlacustrine states. British efforts to control the East African slave trade led, in 1822, to a treaty prohibiting the sale of slaves to subjects of Christian countries. An active slave trade continued, however, for large numbers of Africans were seized for the clove plantations of Zanzibar and for Middle Eastern slave markets. In Ethiopia the arrival of the Portuguese had helped stave off conquest by the Muslims. In 1542 a combined Portuguese-Ethiopian force crushed a Muslim army, and the Ethiopians regained much of their lost territory. After doctrinal disputes between Coptic churchmen and Portuguese Jesuits, however, the Portuguese were expelled in 1632. Ethiopia went into a period of isolation, and by the 18th century, the monarchy was in collapse. From about 1769 to 1855, Ethiopia endured the “age of princes,” during which the emperors were puppet rulers controlled by powerful provincial nobles. The era came to an end with the crowning of Emperor Theodore II, a minor chief who rose to the throne by defeating his rivals. See ETHIOPIA. South Africa Although the Portuguese largely ignored southern Africa, their rivals, the Dutch, beginning in 1652, developed the area as a way station to the East Indies. For a short period colonists were encouraged to settle around Cape Town, and soon a new culture and people, the Boers, or Afrikaners, began to develop. Despite government resistance they began to move inland in search of better land and, after 1815, to escape control by the British government. As they trekked inland, they encountered the Zulu and other Bantu peoples expanding southward. The result was a series of wars for land. During the course of their migrations, the Boers were among the first whites to explore the African interior. In the late 18th century, scientific interest and the search for new markets began to stimulate an age of exploration. The British explorer James Bruce reached the source of the Blue Nile in 1770; his countryman Mungo Park explored (1795 and 1805) the course of the Niger River; the German explorer Heinrich Barth traveled widely in the Muslim western Sudan; the Scottish missionary David Livingstone explored the Zambezi River and in 1855 named Victoria Falls; the British explorers John Hanning Speke and James Augustus Grant, traveling downstream, and Sir Samuel White Baker, working upstream, solved the mystery of the source of the Nile in 1863. Following the explorers (and sometimes preceding them) were Christian missionaries and then European merchants. European Politics As European private interest in Africa grew, the involvement of their governments multiplied. The French began the conquest of Algeria and Sénégal in the 1830s, but the systematic occupation of tropical Africa did not occur until the second half of the century. As European citizens and administrators penetrated inland, they encountered resistance from dominant peoples and welcome from subordinated peoples seeking allies or protectors. From about 1880 to 1905, most of Africa was partitioned among Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and Portugal. In 1876 King Leopold II of the Belgians established the International Association of the Congo, a private company, for the exploration and colonization of the region. His principal agent for this task was Sir Henry M. Stanley. By 1884 the intense rivalry of the European powers for additional African territory, and the ill-defined boundaries of their various holdings, threatened their international relations. A conference was then called at Berlin, to which the nations of Europe, together with the U.S., sent delegates. At the Berlin conference (1884-85) the powers defined their spheres of influence and laid down rules for future occupation on the coasts of Africa and for navigation of the Congo and Niger rivers. Among the important provisions of the General Act of Berlin was the rule that when a power acquired new territory in Africa or assumed a protectorate over any part of the continent, it must notify the other powers signatory to the conference. During the next 15 years, numerous treaties were negotiated between the European nations, implementing and modifying the provisions of the conference. Two such treaties were concluded in 1890 by Great Britain. The first, with Germany, demarcated the spheres of influence of the two powers in Africa. The second treaty, with France, recognized British interests in the region between Lake Chad and the Niger River and acknowledged French influence in the Sahara. Other agreements, notably those between Great Britain and Italy in 1891, between France and Germany in 1894, and between Great Britain and France in 1899, further clarified the boundaries of the various European holdings in Africa. African Resistance No African states had been invited to the Berlin conference, and none was signatory to these agreements. Whenever possible, the decisions made in Europe were resisted when applied on African soil. The French faced (1870) a revolt in Algeria and resistance (1881-1905) to their efforts to control the Sahara. In the western Sudan the Mandinka ruler Samory Toure and Ahmadu, the son and successor of alHajj Umar of the Tukolor state, attempted to maintain their independence. Both were defeated by the French, however—Ahmadu in 1893 and Samory five years later. Dahomey was occupied by French forces in 1892, and the Wadai region was the last area to fall to the French, in 1900. British administrators encountered similar resistance from the Boers in South Africa during the periods 1880-81 and 1899-1902. British and Boer settlers conquered Matabeleland in 1893, and three years later both the Matabele (Ndebele) and their subordinates, the Shona, revolted. Revolts broke out in Ashantiland in 1893-94, 1895-96, and 1900 and in Sierra Leone in 1897. The British conquest of the Fulani Hausa states was resisted (1901-03). Sokoto revolted in 1906. The Germans faced (1904-08) the Herero insurrection in South-West Africa and Maji Maji revolt (1905-07) in Tanganyika. Only the Ethiopians under Emperor Menelik II (r. 1889-1911) were successful in resisting European conquest, annihilating an Italian force at the Battle of Adwa (Aduwa) in 1896. Increasing Development Once the territories were conquered and pacified, the European administrations began to develop transportation systems so that raw materials could be shipped more easily to ports for export, and to institute tax systems that would force subsistence farmers either to raise cash crops or to engage in migrant labor. Both policies were well under way when World War I disrupted these efforts. During the course of the war, the German territories in West and South-West Africa were conquered and later were mandated by the League of Nations to the various Allied powers. Thousands of Africans either fought in the war or served as porters for the Allied armies. Resistance to the war was limited to the short-lived 1915 rebellion of John Chilembwe, an African clergyman, in Nyasaland (now Malawi). After World War I, efforts for the exploitation of the colonies were tempered, and greater attention was paid to providing education, health services, and development assistance and to safeguarding African land rights. Nevertheless, the white settler colonies, such as Algeria, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and Kenya, were given considerable internal self-government. Southern Rhodesia was made an internally self-governing crown colony in 1923 with virtually no provision for African voting. During the interwar years, various types of African- organized protest and nationalist movements began to emerge. On the whole, however, membership was limited to Western- educated African groups. Mass parties developed only in Egypt and Algeria, where large numbers of Africans had abandoned their traditional way of life and were developing new identities and allegiances. Ethiopia, which had earlier successfully resisted European colonization, fell to an Italian invasion in 1936 and did not regain its independence until World War II. With the coming of the war, Africans served in the Allied armies in even greater numbers than before, and the colonies generally supported the Allied cause. Fighting on the continent, which was limited to North and northeast Africa, ended in May 1943. The New Africa Following the war, the European colonial powers were physically and psychologically weakened, and the balance of international power shifted to the U.S. and the USSR, both professed anticolonial nations. In North Africa, French rule was opposed from 1947 onward with sporadic terrorism and rioting. The Algerian revolution began in 1954 and continued until independence in 1962, six years after Morocco and Tunisia had received independence. In French sub-Saharan Africa, an effort had been made to stave off nationalist movements by granting the inhabitants of the overseas territories full status as citizens and by allowing deputies and senators from each territory to sit in the French National Assembly. Nonetheless, the qualified franchise and communal representation given to each territory proved unacceptable. In the British areas the pace of change also quickened after the war. Mass parties, enrolling as wide a range of social, ethnic, and economic groups as possible, began to appear. In Sudan, disagreements between Egypt and Great Britain over the direction of Sudanese self-government led the British to accelerate the pace, and in 1954 Sudan achieved independence. During the 1950s, the examples of newly independent nations on other continents, the activities of the Mau Mau terrorist movement of Kenya, and the effectiveness of such popular African leaders as Kwame Nkrumah further quickened the pace. The independence of Ghana in 1957 and Guinea in 1958 set off a chain reaction of nationalist demands. In 1960 alone 17 sovereign African nations came into existence. By the end of the 1970s almost all of Africa was independent. The Portuguese possessions—Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique—became independent in 1974-75 after years of violent struggle. France relinquished the Comoro Islands in 1975, and Djibouti gained independence in 1977. In 1976 Spain yielded Spanish Sahara, which then was divided between Mauritania and Morocco. Here, however, a bitter war for independence ensued. Mauritania gave up its part in 1979, but Morocco, taking over the entire territory, continued the fighting with the local Polisario front. Zimbabwe gained legal independence in 1980 (ZIMBABWE: HISTORY). The last remaining large dependency on the continent, Namibia, attained independence in 1990. The young African states face a variety of major problems. One of the most important is the creation of a nation-state. Most African countries retained the frontiers arbitrarily drawn by late 19th-century European diplomats and administrators. Ethnic groups may be divided by national boundaries, but loyalties to such groups are often stronger than those to the state. When the African states attained independence, however, the dominant nationalist movements and their leaders installed themselves in virtually permanent power. They called for national unity and urged that multiparty parliamentary systems be discarded in favor of the single-party state. When these governments proved unable or unwilling to fulfill popular expectations, the resort was often military intervention. Leaving day-to-day administration to the permanent civil service, the new military leaders posed as efficient and honest public guardians, but they soon developed the same interest in power that had characterized their civilian predecessors. In many African states, the early 1990s brought renewed interest in multiparty parliamentary democracy. Economic development also presented a major problem. Although a number of African states have considerable natural resources, few have the finances to develop their economies. Foreign private enterprise has often regarded investment in such underdeveloped areas as too risky, and this view has been justified in many instances. The major alternative sources of financing are national and multinational lending institutions. Expectations in African nations for a better living standard have increased, and the prices of consumer and other manufactured goods have kept pace, but the prices of most African primary products have lagged behind. A worldwide recession in the early 1980s multiplied difficulties that were initiated by the oil-price increases of the 1970s. Serious foreign-exchange problems and ballooning foreign debt aggravated public discontent. Famine and drought plagued the northern and central regions of the continent in the 1980s, and millions of refugees left their homes in search of food, increasing the problems of the countries to which they fled. Medical resources, already inadequate, were overwhelmed by epidemics of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), cholera, and other diseases. In the late 1980s and the first half of the 1990s protracted local conflicts in Chad, Somalia, the Saharan area, southern Africa, and elsewhere on the continent destabilized governments, halted economic progress, and cost the lives of thousands of Africans. After Ethiopia's civil war came to an end in 1991, a separate government was established in Eritrea, which declared its independence in 1993. In April 1994 fighting erupted between Rwanda's two main ethnic groups, the Hutu and Tutsi, after the presidents of both Rwanda and Burundi were killed in a suspicious plane crash. Another major problem has been the inability to project a voice in international affairs. Most African states regard themselves as part of the Third World and the nonaligned nations, which they see as forces for moral leadership. Because of their lack of military or financial power, however, the views of African nations rarely appear to be taken into account. The end of racial segregation polices in South Africa in the early 1990s led to that country's first multiracial elections in April 1994. The transfer of power to South Africa's black majority pointed toward new power alignments in Africa as the 20th century neared to a close.