Africa: Past and Present By: Emily Campbell and Maddy Cross

Land Use

In Africa most people farm the land. There are two major types of farming there, subsistence farming and commercial farming. Subsistence farming is when people only produce enough food for their family, they do not sell it. Therefore they do not get a profit off of it. Commercial farming is large scale. It is used for profit.

Natural Resources

Uranium and Iron ore are two resources that are very valuable to in Africa. These two are also very common to find. It’s also very frequent to find gold in Africa. In fact, half of the world’s gold is found in Africa. There is actually 300 miles of gold.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo has a corrupt government. It has three main minerals, Tin, Tantalum, and Tungsten. The mines that they get these minerals from are controlled by very dangerous rebel groups. These rebel groups bribe the government secretly to stay in control of the mines.

GDP per Capita

There are 5 nations that have a high GDP per Capita. Because they have a high GDP per capita, they have more money, better technology, better education, and better transportation. First, Maurita is in the lead with $12,000! Next, coming in second place is South Africa with $11,100. Then, is Botswana with $9,200. Next in line is Seychelles with $7,800. Finally, is Namibia with $7,300.

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of Sub-Saharan Africa is very low. 23.8 million people with HIV/AIDS live in Africa. HIV/AIDS is the reason for this low life expectancy. 28 of the 31 Sub-Saharan Africa. The biggest reason for this is HIV/AIDS. So many people have them in Africa that it is basically a common thing to see.

Powerful Trading Empires

The Three West African Kingdoms were Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. They were in power from 800 CE to 1600 CE. All three were part of the Trans-Saharan trade network. They traded two main things, salt and gold. The kingdoms that were in Northern Africa traded salt and the Western African kingdoms traded gold. Salt in trade of gold might not sound like a very good deal, but back when they existed they needed salt to conserve their food (they did not have refrigerators back then). Also, your body needs a certain amount of salt to stay alive, so in reality salt for gold may have not been the best trade, but it worked.

Slaves on the Trans-Saharan

North African muslims had to enslave Africans because muslims can’t enslave other muslims. Muslims and African slave traders primarily use slaves for military prisoners of war. Muslim and African enslavement of Africans different from European enslavement of Africans because muslims treated their slaves better. Slaves could own property, other slaves, were generals, in armies, and it was easier to obtain freedom.

King Mansa Musa and Timbuktu

King Mansa Musa was the kingdom of Mali's most important ruler. He is estimated to be the richest person to ever walk the earth, he is worth about 400 billion dollars. In the years 1324-1325 he took his Hajj (he was Islamic so he had to take at lease one hajj [journey to Mecca] in his lifetime). During this Hajj he spent and gave away so much money (gold) that it actually devalued the worth of gold and cause inflation to spread throughout the region. When he returned to Timbuktu he had Muslim scholars and architects that he brought back from his Hajj to build cities, mosques, and schools. Timbuktu became the center of learning. King Mansa Musa did a lot for Mali.

Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta was 21 years old when he began his travels. Ibn set out from Tangier, Morocco. He traveled 75,000 miles. He had spent 43 years traveling. When Ibn’s travels were over, he ended up in Fez, Morocco and ended up writing his memoir. He was 64 years old when he died.

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