Africa: Past and Present By: cherokee, Micah, andrew

Land Use

The two farming they do is commercial farming and it could cause deforestation. Subsistence farming is self-sufficiency farming in which the farmers focus on growing enough food to feed themselves and their families and farming for a profit, where food is produced by advanced technological means for sale in the market. The two are gems and gold that they mostly find in Africa. Africa has half of the world's gold.

Natural Resources

Sub-Saharan Africa is blessed with many valuable mineral resources. Two of their most valuable include gold, of which they produce anywhere from 40%-60% of the world's supply. Another major resource they mine is diamonds. It is estimated that perhaps 65% of the world's diamonds are mined there, particularly in the southern region. Unfortunately, since the resources are not distributed evenly throughout the continent, this leads to unequal wealth, uneven population distribution, wars over access to the resources, and government corruption.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Despite having many natural resources, the Democratic Republic of Congo remains one of the poorest nations in the world. They not only have gold, but are also rich in the "3 T's": which is tin, tungsten, and tantalum. All of these are very valuable minerals because they go into producing cell phones, gaming systems, and other electronic devices. The problem is that armed rebel groups have control of the mines. Armed rebel groups control the mines. They force people to work in the mines then they sell and smuggle the minerals themselves. \Might not be able to defeat the rebel groups bribe government. The rebel groups bribe the government. Corrupt the Government.

GDP Per Capita

The top five nations with the highest GDP Per Capita in Africa are as follows: Mauritius $12,800; South Africa $11,100; Botswana $9,200; Seychelles $7,800; Namibia $7,300. 16 nations in the continent have a GDP Per Capita lower than $1,000. Reasons why those 5 are so much higher than others include the following reasons: they may have more natural resources, they trade more, they better education, better technology, a highly skilled workforce, better transportation, or better healthcare.


The statistic shows the average life expectancy in Africa for those born in 2015, by gender and region. In Central Africa, the average life expectancy was 51 years for males and 54 years for females. Out of the 31 countries of the world with the lowest life expectancy, 28 of them are from Sub-Saharan Africa. There are many factors that affect this, but the primary reason is due the the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Out of the 1.1 million people who died of AIDS last year, 770,000 of them are from the region. They estimate that 24 million Africans are currently infected with HIV.

Powerful Trading Empires

The names of the three west African kingdoms were Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. They existed between 800 CE and 1600 CE. They traded on the trans Saharan trade network. West African traded gold to north Africans for salt. Slaves were also traded on this network.

Slaves on the Trans-Saharan Network

The Muslims trade for slaves because they couldn’t enslave other Muslims. The Muslims used the slaves for military. The Muslim and African enslavement of Africans was different from European enslavement of Africans, because the Muslim and African enslavement you can own property but the European enslavement of Africans you can’t. They were not only able to obtain their freedom easier, but were also able to own property, their own slaves, and could even become generals of Muslim armies.

King Mansa Musa and Timbuktu

King Mansa Musa was probably the most powerful king, and not just of Mali, but in any of the West African Kingdoms. He was Muslim, and he went to hajj in 1325, and it became well known throughout the whole world. That had included 60,000 people, and 80 camels carrying 300 lbs. of gold each. He brought back home Muslim scholars and architects to build cities, and also mosques and schools in Timbuktu. The kingdom of Timbuktu became the most center of trade and learning in West Africa. The Muslim scholars from all over the world came to study religion, law, music, mathematics, and other things there.


Ibn Battuta was the first person to let others in the world know about the 3 west African kingdoms. He was the Muslim explorer Ibn Battuta. He left his home tangier, morocco at the age 21, to go on a hajj to Mecca. He was gone for 30 years. He had traveled 75,000 miles all over the Africa and Asia, as he was writing about the places he was going to and where he had been to. After he returned to his home country, and he put all of his travel writings together in a book called the Rihla, and in which is still available today. It was the first ever travel book written.

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