Central Africa

 Central Africa includes the wettest parts of the rain forest belt in both Congos and Gabon. Southern Congo, southern Angola and Zambia are part of the southern Savannah area.

Chad and Central African Republic are included here for convenience though perhaps they are more characteristic of West than of Central Africa.
Southern Congo (Kinshasa) and all the lands to the south and east are part of Bantu speaking Africa - the most widespread family of languages in Africa. This was the area most unknown to Europeans until the 19th century. Only with such journeys as those of David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley in the 1860s did they become known.

All these countries have been rather unsuccessful since independence and either have become dictatorships or have suffered civil wars. Zambia has had no civil war but a one party regime (until 1992) has caused a decline in investment and a rise of debt sufficient to impoverish the country. Congo-Kinshasa has suffered more from corruption and war than any other state on earth. Mobutu could have been nominated for the worldwide Bad Government prize (current holder Robert Mugabe).

The whole area was important for western industry as a source of minerals. It is now important for China's industry, and Chinese influence is replacing western interests throughout the area. For example, the Congo government has signed an agreement with China that amounts to the sale of the whole infrustructure to China in return for China's free access to the minerals - copper, zinc and diamonds. The railway built by China between Zambia and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania has been taken back by a Chinese company.

 Angola  Congo (Kinshasa)
 Burundi  Gabon
 Central African Republic  Rwanda
 Chad  Zambia
 Congo  Zaire

West Africa

East Africa

Southern Africa


World Info


Last revised 29/04/10

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