Subsaharan Africa

Regional definitions:
General characteristics:
Pre-colonial urbanization Key Words: Sahara, Sahel
Ancient Era
-Early culture hearth in Egypt
-East Africa (early urban development)
-Kush (2000 B.C.E. - 300 C.E.)
-Axum (200 C.E. - 700 C.E)
-West Africa
-Nok (500 B.C.E - 200 C.E.)

Medieval Era
-West Africa
-Ghana (700 C.E. - 1070 C.E.)
-Mali (1230 C.E. - 1430 C.E.)
-Songhai (1460 C.E. - 1590 C.E.)

urban centers: Timbuktu, Jenne, Gao (among others)

-Southern Africa
-Karanga (1000 C.E. - 1700 C.E.)
-Great Zimbabwe

-East Africa
-City-States: Mogadishu, Mombasa, Zanzibar, Kilwa

Early European Influence
-Portuguese (early 1400s through 1500s)
-St. Louis
-Other Europeans from 1600s on:
-Dutch (South Africa)
-British (East and West Africa)
-French (West Africa)
-Belgians (Central Africa)

-Slave Trade
-Pre-European slave trade
-European slave trade
Three distinctive features of early European influence
1. coastal cities were used only for trade; there was no significant building of infrastructure
2. there was very little penetration into the interior of the continent
3. African coastal states grew, while interior areas declined

Full European Colonialism (beginning in late 1800s) - the "partition"

-Berlin Conference (1884)

-Characteristics of Subsaharan Africa under colonialism



-Primate cities

-Growth Poles

-Political Instability

-Overpopulation problems and disease epidemics (AIDS)

-Environmental difficulties - at capacity

-Difficulties developing unified African economic organizations
-infrastructure to promote this doesn’t exist
-regional and local hostilities remain
-local rules are often not willing to compromise their own privileged positions

-NGOs (Nongovernmental organizations)

Note how demographic, environmental, political, cultural, and economic issues are interrelated and affect urbanization issues.

Look for similarities and differences between Subsaharan Africa and Latin America.