Study Questions: Africa South of the Sahara
Questions from the text, Power of Place programs, and resources from the Chapter Notes page may be included but not necessarily given below. Also, some outside research may be necessary to answer some of the questions below (may not be in the text).

True or False? Whereas the Portuguese were the first Europeans to round the Cape of Good Hope, the Dutch were the first to establish permanent settlements in the vicinity of the southern tip of Africa.

True or False? Southern Africa has considerable wealth and potential, but many countries have not prospered.

True or False? South Africa and Botswana are the two richest countries in southern Africa.

True or False? Southern Africa’s mineral wealth is matched by its agricultural diversity.

True or False? Equatorial Africa is the most developed section of the continent.

True or False? The Congo is a country often cited to show that a significant resource base does not guarantee development.

True or False? West Africa is Subsaharan Africa’s most populous region.

True or False? The countries of West Africa are not well integrated with one another economically.

True or False? The region known as the Sahel is most correctly located in the African Transition Zone.

True or False? The Sahel is a semiarid transition zone located imme­diately south of the Sahara Desert.

This platform above is offshore of which nation:
A. Gabon
B. Kenya
C. Zambia
D. Senegal

For Africa as a whole, the most long-term negative impact on its post-colonial progress was made by (think critically on this question):
A. Slavery trade
B. Arabic trade in East and Southern Africa
C. Cash crops such as tea and coffee
D. Berlin Conference in 1884
E. Rwanda genocide

The ethnic group exerting the most control in Kenya is the:
A. Hutu
B. Kikuyu
C. Swahili
D. Tutsi
E. Bantu

Which of the following statements is true?
A. Kenya followed a socialist path to development upon independence.
B. Kenya followed a capitalist path to development upon independence.
C. In the 1980s, Kenya reversed its socialist course and announced a market oriented economic recovery program.
D. Kenya is a nation ruled by terrorists.

Which of the following is not a reason for internal communication problems in Democratic Republic of the Congo)?
A. the Central African Mountains
B. rapids on the rivers
C. disintegrated infrastructure
D. a huge forested basin
E. all of the above are problems

Civil war in which of the following led to the change in the government of The Congo?
A. The Congo
B. Kenya
C. Central African Republic
D. Rwanda
E. Nigeria

Civil war in which of the following has resulted in more than 3 million deaths in the 1990s?
B. Nigeria
C. Kenya
D. Rwanda
E. South Africa

The two groups who fought one another in the Rwandan civil war are the:
A. Ibo, Zulu
B. Zulu, Hausa
C. British, Dutch
D. Hutus, Tutsis
E. Shanti, Kabila

The country with significant oil supplies and an upper-middle-income economy is:
B. Angola
C. Cameroon
D. Gabon
E. Somalia

These images are in which country? (Choose the best answer.)
A. Botswana
B. Tanzania
C. Niger
D. Democratic Republic of the Congo
E. Somalia

The physical geography of the African land mass is unusual because:
A. the continent is dominated by a north-south trending, folded mountain chain of dimensions larger even than the Andes
B. unlike East Asia and western South America, Africa is without active volcanoes and does not record earthquakes
C. Africa’s rivers (Niger, Nile, Zambezi) are graded streams, uninterrupted by major waterfalls or rapids
D. elevations in Africa, the shield continent, are uniformly low and do not exceed 10,000 feet
E. the landmass is cut by a system of rift valleys that extends from the northern end of the Red Sea to Swaziland in Southern Africa

The landform term that best describes the African continent as a whole is:
A. plateau
B. coastal plain
C. mountain-and-valley flatland
D. desert
E. Alpine-like mountains

Which of the following statements is false?
A. The majority of Africa’s population is engaged in agriculture for their livelihoods.
B. Most of Africa’s political boundaries were drawn at the beginning of the colonial period with little regard for the continent’s patterns of human occupancy.
C. The African continent contains about half of the world’s refugee population.
D. The continent’s population growth rate is below the worldwide average.
E. Africa today contains no colonial countries.

The major reason that Africa contains no continental-scale mountain range is that:
A. many years of erosion have led to a leveling of formerly significant mountain ranges
B. mountains never formed due to climate conditions
C. Africa was once the center of the landmass from which all other continents broke off.
E. Africa does have significant mountain ranges that begin at the Dead Sea in Israel and extend through Swaziland in the South

True or False? Africa as a continent is dominated by plateau landscapes.

True or False? African environments tend to be dominated by high temperatures.

Africa’s climatic regions are symmetric around the:
A. Prime Meridian
B. Tropic of Cancer
C. equator
D. Sahara/tropical transition zone
E. none of the above

True or False? Africa’s distributions of climate and vegetation are almost symmetrical about the equator.

One of the problems with Africa’s rainfall is:
A. its variability from year to year in some of the marginal zones
B. at the equator there is not enough rainfall to support agriculture
C. that it only rains in the winter
D. the large amount of rainfall in Namibia

The Congo Basin supports what type of vegetation?
A. desert
B. savanna
C. tropical rainforest
D. tundra
E. none of the above

Diamonds are obviously a lucrative international resource and Africa has the world's major nature diamond resources, with a number of nations having substantial deposits except which one below?
A. Nigeria
B. Kenya
C. Zambia
D. Botswana

Most enslaved Africans were taken from which area and were taken where?
A. From West Africa to North America
B. From Central Africa to North America
C. From West Africa to Brazil
D. From East Africa to the Arabic countries

In general (without the small area exceptions) which country has the highest overall carrying capacity for humans?
A. Kenya
B. Botswana
C. Ghana
D. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Botswana's major social problem that endangers its otherwise good potential is/are
B. Street children
C. Car-jackings and burglaries
D. Domestic abuse

True or False? Southern Africa has considerable wealth and potential, but many countries have not prospered.

True or False? South Africa and Botswana are the two richest countries in southern Africa.

True or False? South Africa’s cities almost stopped growing during the period of apartheid.

The poorest nation today in terms of social and economic development (not just per capita income) is
A. Kenya
B. Zimbabwe
C. Nigeria
D. Gabon

True or False? Zimbabwe is a mineral-rich country with significant agricultural production as well.

True or False? Tourism is an important industry in Kenya.

Life expectancy in Africa is:
A. higher than in most other less developed areas of the world
B. lower than in most other less developed areas of the world
C. much higher in rural than in urban areas
D. much higher in tropical Africa than in North Africa

The worst of these endemic African diseases is:
A. malaria
B. hookworm
C. trypanosomiasis
D. river blindness
E. hepatitis

True or False? Formerly a killer of millions, malaria has been nearly eradicated from the African continent.

The vector for African sleeping sickness is the:
A. tsetse fly
B. mosquito
C. The disease is genetic
D. snail
E. worm

The vector for yellow fever is the:
A. tsetse fly
B. mosquito
C. The disease is genetic
D. snail
E. worm

Which of the following statements about AIDS is false?
A. While AIDS remains a problem in Africa, it is an even greater problem in the U.S.
B. AIDS in Africa is probably an under-reported disease
C. AIDS is creating millions of orphans in Africa
D. President Bush recently announced an effort to provide the financial means to help the African AIDS problem
E. AIDS is having a severe economic impact upon Africa

Which sector of the African economy involves the most people?
A. mining
B. industry
C. agriculture
D. illicit drug trafficking
E. the periodic market

True or False? Due to the effects of the “Green Revolution,” African tribal groups now have food surpluses.

True or False? Food production rose dramatically on the African continent during the 1990s.

True or False? Most African families still depend on subsistence agriculture.

True or False? Cattle are a major form of livestock in Africa.

True or False? Research has concluded that Africa “is the cradle of humanity.”




46. True or False? Southern Africa’s mineral wealth is matched by its agricultural diversity.

You are preparing for a field trip to the Kenya coast for village research. The best language to learn is
A. French
B. German
C. Luo
D. Maasai
E. Swahili

This country is essentially without a government, has few non-agricultural resources, and sits on the edge of anarchy (sometimes over the edge).
A. Sudan
B. South Africa
C. Nigeria
D. Somalia

True or False? In Sudan, the Islamic south is fighting the Christian and tribal north for control of the country.

True or False? The breakaway republic of Nigeria in the 1960s was Biafra.

True or False? After a period of relative prosperity, Nigeria is once again one of the world’s poorer states.

True or False? Ghana was once known as the Gold Coast.

Much of the slave trade out of East Africa (Kenya) was carried on by the:
A. British
B. French
C. Arabs
D. Greeks
E. Slavs

The Berlin Conference:
A. in 1884 divided up most of Africa among the colonial powers
B. created a boundary system that has proved unalterable and that is still in existence today
C. led to the British achievement of a contiguous Cape-to-Cairo axis
D. launched Germany’s military campaigns in Africa
E. led to the Berlin Treaty between Germany, France, and the Netherlands about the Congo

Which of the following statements is false?
A. In most places in Africa, Europeans settled only along the coast.
B. Many blacks brought to the Americas originated in West Africa and were from interior tribes sold by coastal tribes to European slave traders.
C. The purpose of the Berlin Conference of 1884 was to involve Africans in the future of their continent.
D. Ethiopia and Liberia were independent states through the colonial period.
E. The last Subsaharan African colony achieved independence in 1957.

Before independence, the modern state of The Congo was a colony of:
A. France
B. Germany
C. Britain
D. Belgium
E. South Africa

Which of the following countries played no role in the colonization of Africa?
A. England
B. France
C. United States
D. Belgium
E. Germany

Which religion has taken hold most strongly in Subsaharan Africa as a result of colonialism?
A. Islam
B. Christianity
C. Buddhism
D. Africanism
E. None--mostly atheists

The continent’s richest region in terms of minerals is:
A. West Africa
B. Southern Africa
C. East Africa
D. Equatorial Africa
E. Horn of Africa

South Africa’s “Coloured” people:
A. are exempt from the restriction of apartheid
B. are people of mixed ancestry
C. rank below blacks in the national society
D. were driven out of the country in the 1950s
E. are mixtures of whites and Indians

True or False? Whereas the Portuguese were the first Europeans to round the Cape of Good Hope, the Dutch were the first to establish permanent settlements in the vicinity of the southern tip of Africa.

The mineral found at Kimberley that changed the economic geography of South Africa was:
A. gold
B. diamonds
C. copper
D. iron
E. opals

The natural environment of Botswana is dominated by:
A. the mountains associated with the Great Escarpment
B. chronic water shortages
C. coastal swamps and deltas
D. tropical rainforests
E. savanna grasslands

Which of the following countries is the home of the Shona and Ndebele tribes where many whites remained even after the white minority government was
replaced (but are now leaving in large numbers)?
A. Botswana
B. Lesotho
C. Zimbabwe
D. Zambia
E. South Africa

Which two colonial powers were principally involved in West Africa?
A. Britain and France
B. Portugal and France
C. Italy and Britain
D. U.S. and France
E. Algeria and Sudan

The most populous country in Africa, which also has significant oil supplies, is:
A. Egypt
B. Mali
C. Gabon
D. Uganda
E. Nigeria

The country that moved its capital to the new centrally located city of Abuja is:
A. Nigeria
B. Tanzania
C. The Congo
D. Burkina Faso
E. Ethiopia

Which of the following does not represent a divisive force in Nigeria?
A. Muslim-Christian differences
B. Hindu-Christian differences
C. attempts to impose sharia
D. north-south differences
E. Yoruba-Ibo animosities

Which of the following statements is false?
A. Much of Nigeria’s export revenues have been driven by the sale of petroleum.
B. Nigeria has a large Islamic population in the northern portion of the country.
C. Nigeria is now in the take-off stage of development.
D. Nigeria’s population is the largest in Africa.
E. Nigeria’s capital is located near the country’s center.

Which of the following statements is false?
A. Most of Nigeria’s trade is with other West African countries.
B. West Africa was colonized, for the most part, by the French and the British.
C. In West Africa, the ecological belts run east-west.
D. West Africa is Africa’s most populous region.
E. Much of Nigeria has proclaimed Sharia law.

The first West African state to gain its independence, formerly called the Gold Coast, is:
A. Ghana
B. Guinea-Bissau
C. Namibia
D. Ivory Coast
E. Senegal

Most countries in the African Transition Zone have a ____ population in the north and a _____ population in the south.
A. Muslim/Jewish
B. Muslim/Christian
C. Muslim/non-Muslim
D. African/non-African
E. Semitic/Berber

A country in which the UN intervened in the 1990s to try to stop clan warfare is:
A. Ethiopia
B. Tunisia
C. Somalia
D. Djibouti
E. Chad

A country involved in a 30-year civil war between a Muslim Arab north and a black south is:
A. Congo
B. Ethiopia
C. Eritrea
D. Djibouti
E. Sudan



Give one very good example of a program that demonstrates Trickle Down development in Africa. Be specific.

Give one very good example of a program that demonstrates Bubble Up development in Africa. Be specific.

Fill in the name of the Sub-Saharan nation with the following measures. Enter the number next to the name. Ignore blank entries in tables--indicates no information, not zero quantity)
A. Highest rural population percentage (enter the percent rural):
B. Lowest income:
C. (possibly other meaningful demographic measures)


We can be either or both pessimistic or optimistic regarding economic and social development in Africa. Give one good reason to be pessimistic and one good reason to optimistic about development in one of these nations: Gabon, Kenya, or Nigeria.

Some experts believe that Africa's primary problems are the result of internal factors, others maintain that external factors are the culprits, and many of us believe there is a balance between the two. Give one very good reason that the effects of colonialism (don't forget "neocolonialism") still linger as a basic causative reason hindering African progress and one very good reason why tribalism is also a major reason.

Describe the HIV-Aids epidemic in Africa and its consequences. How can it be ameliorated?

What are the non-renewable resources of Gabon? What are the problems of economic dependence on them? How can the country achieve sustainable development? Can forestry be a sustainable resource?

Brief essays could focus on any of the case study nations, major regions (e.g., Sahel), or major themes. If you study the chapter, notes, resources, etc appropriately, there should be no surprises.

Explain: "To expect new nations to repair the past 200+ years of suppression and to recover sufficiently to make significant progress in democracy, education, commerce, social development, and all other forms of development in a single generation is simply unrealistic."

For each given nation, apply one of the following major themes to help explain the nation's QOL. A theme may be used only once.
A. Democratic Republic of the Congo
B. Kenya
C. South Africa
[Note: these are examples; any study nation can be used here.]


Political instabilities and stabilities

Natural resources
Carrying capacity
Neglect of Africa by the world powers
Inequalities of income

Here are four interesting questions that won't be asked but help to understand the diverse nature of European colonialism in Africa. The answers are given at bottom--see if you can answer them first.

British rule over its African colonies is best described as:
A. indirect
B. paternal
C. assimilation
D. exploitation
E. none of the above

French rule over its African colonies is best described as:
A. indirect
B. paternal
C. assimilation
D. exploitation
E. none of the above

Portuguese rule over its African colonies is best described as:
A. indirect
B. paternal
C. assimilation
D. harsh, direct control
E. none of the above

Which of the following is not one of the legacies of European colonization in Africa?
A. positioning of national boundaries
B. the development of transport patterns
C. the location of capitals
D. the development of the urban system
E. the development of democracies in most African states


A, C, D, E