South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in particular are considered Megadiverse countries.
It has a dry winter season and a wet summer season. According to paleontology , early hominid skull anatomy was similar to that of their close cousins, the great African forest apes , gorilla and chimpanzee. However, they had adopted a bipedal locomotion and freed hands, giving them a crucial advantage enabling them to live in both forested areas and on the open savanna at a time when Africa was drying up, with savanna encroaching on forested areas.
This occurred 10 million to 5 million years ago. By 3 million years ago several australopithecine hominid species had developed throughout southern , eastern and central Africa. They were tool users rather than tool manufacturers. The next major evolutionary step occurred around 2. In hunting, H. The tools were classed as Oldowan. Roughly 1. From Homo ergaster , Homo erectus upright man evolved 1. Some of the earlier representatives of this species were small-brained and used primitive stone tools , much like H.
The brain later grew in size, and H. Potentially the first hominid to engage in hunting, H. They were the first hominids to leave Africa, going on to colonize the entire Old World , and perhaps later on giving rise to Homo floresiensis. Although some recent writers suggest that H. The fossil record shows Homo sapiens lived in southern and eastern Africa anywhere from , to , years ago. Between 50, and 60, years ago, their expansion out of Africa launched the colonization of the planet by modern humans.
Macro Poverty Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa
This dispersal of the human species is suggested by linguistic, cultural and genetic evidence. During the 10th millennium BP , pottery was developed throughout the southern Sahara and the Sahel. After the Sahara became a desert, it did not present a totally impenetrable barrier for travelers between north and south because of the application of animal husbandry towards carrying water, food, and supplies across the desert.
Prior to the introduction of the camel ,  the use of oxen, mule, and horses for desert crossing was common, and trade routes followed chains of oases that were strung across the desert. The Great Mosque of Djenne is most reflective of Sahelian architecture and is the largest adobe building in the world. In the forest zone, several states and empires emerged. The Kingdom of Nri , was established by the Igbo in the 11th century.
Nri was famous for having a priest-king who wielded no military power. Nri was a rare African state which was a haven for freed slaves and outcasts who sought refuge in their territory. The Yoruba's built massive mud walls around their cities, the most famous being Sungbo's Eredo.
Another prominent kingdom in southwestern Nigeria was the Kingdom of Benin 9th—11th century whose power lasted between the 15th and 19th century and was one of the greatest Empires of African history documented all over the world. Their dominance reached as far as the well-known city of Eko which was named Lagos by the Portuguese traders and other early European settlers.
The Edo speaking people of Benin are known for their famous bronze casting and rich coral, wealth, ancient science and technology and the Walls of Benin , which is the largest man-made structure in the world. In the 18th century, the Oyo and the Aro confederacy were responsible for most of the slaves exported from Nigeria, with Great Britain, France and Portugal shipping the majority of the slaves. In , British claims to a West African sphere of influence received international recognition, and in the following year the Royal Niger Company was chartered under the leadership of Sir George Taubman Goldie.
In , the company's territory came under the control of the British Government, which moved to consolidate its hold over the area of modern Nigeria. On 1 January , Nigeria became a British protectorate, part of the British Empire , the foremost world power at the time.
Archaeological finds in Central Africa provide evidence of human settlement that may date back over 10, years. Trade and improved agricultural techniques supported more sophisticated societies, leading to the early civilizations of Sao , Kanem , Bornu , Shilluk , Baguirmi , and Wadai. Following the Bantu Migration into Central Africa, during the 14th century, the Luba Kingdom in southeast Congo came about under a king whose political authority derived from religious, spiritual legitimacy.
Rival kingship factions which split from the Luba Kingdom later moved among the Lunda people, marrying into its elite and laying the foundation of the Lunda Empire in the 16th century.
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The Mwata Yamyo's legitimacy, like that of the Luba king, came from being viewed as a spiritual religious guardian. This imperial cult or system of divine kings was spread to most of central Africa by rivals in kingship migrating and forming new states. Many new states received legitimacy by claiming descent from the Lunda dynasties. The Kingdom of Kongo existed from the Atlantic west to the Kwango river to the east. During the 15th century, the Bakongo farming community was united with its capital at M'banza-Kongo , under the king title, Manikongo.
Nubia in present-day Northern Sudan and southernmost of Egypt , was referred to as " Aethiopia " "land of the burnt face" by the Greeks. Nubia at her greatest phase is considered Sub-Saharan Africa's oldest urban civilisation. Nubia was a major source of gold for the ancient world. Nubians built famous structures and numerous pyramids. Sudan, the site of ancient Nubia, has more pyramids than anywhere in the world. Located in northern Ethiopia and Eritrea , Aksum was deeply involved in the trade network between India and the Mediterranean. The Aksumites constructed monolithic stelae to cover the graves of their kings, such as King Ezana's Stele.
The later Zagwe dynasty , established in the 12th century, built churches out of solid rock. These rock-hewn structures include the Church of St. George at Lalibela. In the Middle Ages, several powerful Somali empires dominated the regional trade including the Ajuran Sultanate , which excelled in hydraulic engineering and fortress building,  the Sultanate of Adal , whose General Ahmed Gurey was the first African commander in history to use cannon warfare on the continent during Adal's conquest of the Ethiopian Empire ,  and the Geledi Sultanate , whose military dominance forced governors of the Omani empire north of the city of Lamu to pay tribute to the Somali Sultan Ahmed Yusuf.
The imperial armies in Somalia alarmed the Dervish leader Mohammed Abdullah Hassan , who gathered Somali soldiers from across the Horn of Africa and began one of the longest anti-colonial wars known as the Somaliland Campaign. According to the theory of recent African origin of modern humans , the mainstream position held within the scientific community, all humans originate from either Southeast Africa or the Horn of Africa.
On the coastal section of Southeast Africa, a mixed Bantu community developed through contact with Muslim Arab and Persian traders, leading to the development of the mixed Arab, Persian and African Swahili City States. Between the 14th and 15th centuries, large medieval Southeast African kingdoms and states emerged, such as the Buganda  and Karagwe  kingdoms of Uganda and Tanzania.
Settlements of Bantu -speaking peoples, who were iron -using agriculturists and herdsmen, were already present south of the Limpopo River by the 4th or 5th century displacing and absorbing the original Khoisan speakers. They slowly moved south, and the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around The southernmost group was the Xhosa people , whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoisan inhabitants.
Monomotapa was a medieval kingdom c. Its old capital was located at Great Zimbabwe. In , Bartolomeu Dias became the first European to reach the southernmost tip of Africa. For most of the 17th and 18th centuries, the slowly expanding settlement was a Dutch possession. Great Britain seized the Cape of Good Hope area in , ostensibly to prevent it from falling into the hands of the French but also to use Cape Town in particular as a stop on the route to Australia and India.
It was later returned to the Dutch in , but soon afterwards the Dutch East India Company declared bankruptcy, and the British annexed the Cape Colony in The small kingdom gained world fame during and after the Anglo-Zulu War. During the s and early s, most Sub-Saharan African nations achieved independence from colonial rule. According to the revision of the World Population Prospects  , the population of sub-Saharan Africa was ,, in The current growth rate is 2. The UN predicts for the region a population between 1. Sub-Saharan African countries top the list of countries and territories by fertility rate with 40 of the highest 50, all with TFR greater than 4 in All are above the world average except South Africa and Seychelles.
With the exception of the extinct Sumerian a language isolate of Mesopotamia , Afro-Asiatic has the oldest documented history of any language family in the world. The distribution of the Afroasiatic languages within Africa is principally concentrated in North Africa and the Horn of Africa. Languages belonging to the family's Berber branch are mainly spoken in the north, with its speech area extending into the Sahel northern Mauritania, northern Mali, northern Niger.
Additionally, the Semitic branch of the family, in the form of Arabic , is widely spoken in the parts of Africa that are within the Arab world. The Chadic branch is distributed in Central and West Africa. The several families lumped under the term Khoi-San include languages indigenous to Southern Africa and Tanzania , though some, such as the Khoi languages , appear to have moved to their current locations not long before the Bantu expansion.
The Niger—Congo family is the largest in the world in terms of the number of languages 1, it contains. A major branch of the Niger—Congo languages is Bantu , which covers a greater geographic area than the rest of the family. Bantu speakers represent the majority of inhabitants in southern, central and southeastern Africa, though San , Pygmy , and Nilotic groups, respectively, can also be found in those regions. Bantu-speakers can also be found in parts of Central Africa such as the Gabon , Equatorial Guinea and southern Cameroon.
Swahili , a Bantu language with many Arabic , Persian and other Middle Eastern and South Asian loan words , developed as a lingua franca for trade between the different peoples in southeastern Africa. In the Kalahari Desert of Southern Africa, the distinct people known as Bushmen also "San", closely related to, but distinct from " Hottentots " have long been present. The San evince unique physical traits, and are the indigenous people of southern Africa. Pygmies are the pre-Bantu indigenous peoples of Central Africa. The Old Nubian language is also a member of this family. Major languages of Africa by region, family and number of primary language speakers in millions:.
A archaeogenetic study of prehistoric fossils in Sub-Saharan Africa observed a wide-ranging early presence of Khoisan populations in the region. Khoisan -related ancestry was inferred to have contributed to two thirds of the ancestry of hunter-gatherer populations inhabiting Malawi between 8, and 2, years ago and to one third of the ancestry of hunter gatherers inhabiting Tanzania as late as 1, years ago. Also in Tanzania, a pastoralist individual was found to carry ancestry related to the pre-pottery Levant. These diverse early ancestries are believed to have been largely replaced after the Bantu expansion into central, eastern and southern Africa.
A genetic clustering study, which genotyped polymorphic markers in various African populations, identified six ancestral clusters through Bayesian analysis and fourteen ancestral clusters through STRUCTURE analysis within the continent. The clustering corresponded closely with ethnicity, culture and language. In addition, whole genome sequencing analysis of modern populations inhabiting Sub-Saharan Africa has observed several primary inferred ancestry components: a Pygmy -related component carried by the Mbuti and Biaka Pygmies in Central Africa, a Khoisan-related component carried by Khoisan -speaking populations in Southern Africa, a Niger-Congo-related component carried by Niger-Congo -speaking populations throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, a Nilo-Saharan-related component carried by Nilo-Saharan -speaking populations in the Nile Valley and African Great Lakes, and a West Eurasian-related component carried by Afroasiatic -speaking populations in the Horn of Africa and Nile Valley.
Sub-Saharan Africa has several large cities. Lagos is a city in the Nigerian state of Lagos. The city, with its adjoining conurbation , is the most populous in Nigeria , and the second most populous on the African continent after Cairo , Egypt. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the world,        and also one of the most populous urban agglomerations.
Macro Poverty Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa
Dar es Salaam is the former capital as well as the most populous city in Tanzania and a regionally important economic centre. Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa. It is the provincial capital and largest city in Gauteng , which is the wealthiest province in South Africa. The city is located in the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills and is the centre of large-scale gold and diamond trade.
Nairobi is the capital and the largest city of Kenya. The name comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyrobi , which translates to "cool water", a reference to the Nairobi River which flows through the city. The city is popularly referred to as the Green City in the Sun. As of , Africa is one of the fastest developing regions in the world. Six of the world's ten fastest-growing economies over the previous decade were situated below the Sahara, with the remaining four in East and Central Asia.
Between and , the economic growth rate of the average nation in Africa is expected to surpass that of the average nation in Asia. Sub-Saharan Africa is by then projected to contribute seven out of the ten fastest growing economies in the world. This continued rise was attributed to increasing investment in infrastructure and resources as well as steady expenditure per household.
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As of [update] , fifty percent of Africa is rural with no access to electricity. Africa generates 47 GW of electricity, less than 0. Many countries are affected by power shortages. Because of rising prices in commodities such as coal and oil, thermal sources of energy are proving to be too expensive for power generation.
Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to build additional hydropower generation capacity of at least 20, MW by African governments are taking advantage of the readily available water resources to broaden their energy mix. With electrification numbers, Sub-Saharan Africa with access to the Sahara and being in the tropical zones has massive potential for solar photovoltaic electrical potential.
Training African technicians to use solar power is part of the China-Africa science and technology cooperation agreement signed by Chinese science minister Xu Guanhua and African counterparts during premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Ethiopia in December Radio is the major source of information in Sub-Saharan Africa. Broadband penetration outside of South Africa has been limited where it is exorbitantly expensive.
Africa's tax system: A survey
Television is the second major source of information. Eight percent have television, a total of 62 million. But those in the television industry view the region as an untapped green market. Digital television and pay for service are on the rise. According to researchers at the Overseas Development Institute , the lack of infrastructure in many developing countries represents one of the most significant limitations to economic growth and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals MDGs. Infrastructure investments contributed to Africa's growth, and increased investment is necessary to maintain growth and tackle poverty.
China, in particular, has emerged as an important investor. The region is a major exporter to the world of gold , uranium , chromium , vanadium , antimony , coltan , bauxite , iron ore , copper and manganese. South Africa is a major exporter of manganese  as well as chromium. South Africa had been first in the world in terms of gold production since , but in it moved to second place, according to GFMS, the precious metals consultancy. Significant suppliers are Niger, Namibia, and South Africa.
Namibia was the number one supplier from Sub-Saharan Africa in This race has been referred to as the second Scramble for Africa. All reasons for this global scramble come from the reserves' economic benefits. Transportation cost is low and no pipelines have to be laid as in Central Asia. Almost all reserves are offshore, so political turmoil within the host country will not directly interfere with operations. Sub-Saharan oil is viscous, with a very low sulfur content. This quickens the refining process and effectively reduces costs. New sources of oil are being located in Sub-Saharan Africa more frequently than anywhere else.
Sub-Saharan Africa has more variety of grains than anywhere in the world. By the tenth and ninth millennia southwest Asians domesticated their wild grains, wheat, and barley after the notion of collecting wild grains spread from the Nile. Numerous crops have been domesticated in the region and spread to other parts of the world. These crops included sorghum , castor beans , coffee , cotton  okra , black-eyed peas , watermelon , gourd , and pearl millet.
Other domesticated crops included teff , enset , African rice , yams , kola nuts , oil palm , and raffia palm. Domesticated animals include the guinea fowl and the donkey. This has made agricultural activity vulnerable to climate change and global warming. Biotechnology has been advocated to create high yield, pest and environmentally resistant crops in the hands of small farmers. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is a strong advocate and donor to this cause. Biotechnology and GM crops have met resistance both by natives and environmental groups. Cash crops include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, and tobacco.
The OECD says Africa has the potential to become an agricultural superbloc if it can unlock the wealth of the savannahs by allowing farmers to use their land as collateral for credit. Chinese interests bought up large swathes of Senegal to supply it with sesame. Aggressive moves by China, South Korea and Gulf states to buy vast tracts of agricultural land in Sub-Saharan Africa could soon be limited by a new global international protocol.
However, the literacy rates in Sub-Saharan Africa vary significantly between countries. The highest registered literacy rate in the region is in Zimbabwe Sub-Saharan African countries spent an average of 0. At the World Conference held in Jomtien , Thailand in , delegates from countries and representatives of some organizations gathered with the goal to promote universal primary education and the radical reduction of illiteracy before the end of the decade. The World Education Forum , held ten years later in Dakar , Senegal , provided the opportunity to reiterate and reinforce these goals.
This initiative contributed to having education made a priority of the Millennium Development Goals in , with the aim of achieving universal schooling MDG2 and eliminating gender disparities, especially in primary and secondary education MDG3. The amount of funds raised has been decisive. The greatest advance was in access to primary education, which governments had made their absolute priority. The number of children in primary school in sub-Saharan Africa thus rose from 82 million in to In Niger for example, the number of children entering school increased more than three and a half times between and Of these, In Rwanda, the first year of secondary school was attached to primary education in , which significantly increased the number of pupils enrolled at this level of education.
Nonetheless, a lot must yet happen for this world to catch up. In other words, one third of the people aged 15 and above were unable to read and write. In , the Bamako Initiative conference organized by the World Health Organization was held in Bamako , the capital of Mali , and helped reshape the health policy of Sub-Saharan Africa. Among these are combination prevention programmes, considered to be the most effective initiative, the abstinence, be faithful, use a condom campaign, and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation 's outreach programs.
Malaria is an endemic illness in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of malaria cases and deaths worldwide occur. National health systems vary between countries. In Ghana , most health care is provided by the government and largely administered by the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Services. The healthcare system has five levels of providers: health posts which are first level primary care for rural areas, health centers and clinics, district hospitals, regional hospitals and tertiary hospitals. African countries below the Sahara are largely Christian , while those above the Sahara, in North Africa, are predominantly Islamic.
Traditional African religions can be broken down into linguistic cultural groups, with common themes. Among Niger—Congo -speakers is a belief in a creator God; ancestor spirits; territorial spirits; evil caused by human ill will and neglecting ancestor spirits; priest of territorial spirits. Among Nilo-Saharan speakers is the belief in Divinity; evil is caused by divine judgement and retribution; prophets as middlemen between Divinity and man.
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Among Afro-Asiatic -speakers is henotheism , the belief in one's own gods but accepting the existence of other gods; evil here is caused by malevolent spirits. The Semitic Abrahamic religion of Judaism is comparable to the latter world view. Traditional religions in Sub-Saharan Africa often display complex ontology, cosmology and metaphysics. Mythologies, for example, demonstrated the difficulty fathers of creation had in bringing about order from chaos. Order is what is right and natural and any deviation is chaos. Cosmology and ontology is also neither simple or linear.
It defines duality, the material and immaterial, male and female, heaven and earth. Common principles of being and becoming are widespread: Among the Dogon, the principle of Amma being and Nummo becoming , and among the Bambara, Pemba being and Faro becoming. Sub-Saharan traditional divination systems display great sophistication. For example, the bamana sand divination uses well established symbolic codes that can be reproduced using four bits or marks.
A binary system of one or two marks are combined. Random outcomes are generated using a fractal recursive process. It is analogous to a digital circuit but can be reproduced on any surface with one or two marks. This system is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa is diverse, with many communities, villages and cities, each with their own beliefs and traditions. Traditional African Societies are communal, they believe that the needs of the many far out weigh an individual needs and achievements. Basically, an individual's keep must be shared with other extended family members.
Extended families are made up of various individuals and families who have shared responsibilities within the community. The main body of the Glossary In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discuss User Account.
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