Africa 2


AFRICA. There are more than 50 independent countries in Africa and on the islands off its coasts. Together, they make up more than one third of the membership of the United Nations. In 1991 Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Boutros Boutros-Ghali became the first African and the first Arab to serve as secretary-general of the United Nations.
After the conclusion of World War II, the African people gained their independence from European countries that had controlled most of the continent since the 19th century. France and the United Kingdom had the largest colonial empires, though Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, and Italy also had African possessions. By the end of 1990, only South Africa ...

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before the colonial period, there were great African kingdoms whose rulers presided over magnificent courts. Their merchants traded in gold, salt, and other goods with faraway countries, often traveling vast distances over caravan routes across the plains and deserts. The art, language, and, especially, the music of the Western world have been affected by African culture. Jazz has its root in Central and West African rhythms.
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
The Land
The continent of Africa lies astride the equator, extending beyond 35 N. latitude and reaching almost 35 S., or about as far north as Washington, D.C., and about as far south as Uruguay. It is the second largest landmass in the world, after Eurasia, and its area is more than three times that of the United States. Its population in 1990 was estimated at 648 million, increasing at a rate of 3 percent a year. The average population density is only 55.5 per square mile (21.4 per square kilometer), but this is misleading ...

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long and varies in width between 20 and 60 miles (30 and 100 kilometers). Of several islands off the coast of Africa, Madagascar is the largest. Others include the Cape Verde Islands, the Comoros, Mauritius, and the Seychelles.

Climate and Vegetation

The climate and vegetation reflect the position of the continent astride the equator. A sequence of ecological zones extends north and south of the equator: the equatorial forest, the savanna grasslands, the desert, and the area of mild, Mediterranean-type climate. Where highlands occur within these zones, conditions are cooler and wetter. The rainfall of these zones is associated with the movement of air masses, caused by the ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 11/4/2004 06:35:19 AM
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 4678
Pages: 18

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