Africa is the second largest of the earth's seven continents, covering about twenty-two percent of the world's total land area. From its northern most point, to its southern most tip is the distance of nearly five thousand miles. Africa is both north and south of the equator. The Atlantic Ocean is located west of the continent, and the Indian Ocean is on the east. Width of the continent is also nearly five thousand miles. Although Africa is so large, much of it is inhabitable. Desert soils, which have little organic content, cover large areas. The Sahara Desert, in the northern part, covers more than one fourth of Africa, and the Kalahari Desert is in the southern part of the continent. These two deserts are a natural detriment to the African continent because they make it difficult to reach the inland where most of the people live. Although Africa is relatively close to Europe, travel by land over the Sahara desert is very prohibitive. Another topographical feature that also isolates the central region of Africa is the coastline.
Africa has a regular coastline characterized by few indentations. Because of the smooth coastline, natural harbors were non-existent. Today, however, there are important coastal cities, such as Lagos and Dakar. With the exception of the Mediterranean coast, most of the coastline is low-lying , generally narrow and rising sharply to high elevations. The African climate and topography varies greatly. Although temperatures are usually high, due to being so close to the equator, rainfall, soil quality and elevations are of various degrees. Because most of the African continent has not been covered by water for millions of years, soils have developed according to their weathering e...
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...bances began to emerge, and the economy began to drop. Unrest cost many lives, until demands for change were heard and the political system was revised. In 1994, the South African people went to the polls for the first time and held a democratic election in which Nelson Mandela became president. The country of South Africa has made strides in healing their broken country.
Economic ways started in the nineteenth century, still have a hold on the countries of the sub-Sahara today. These countries are all impoverished and have seen horrific civil wars, however, the general consensus is that they are making slow improvements in their economy. The starvation, overpopulation and health problems are still very evident. Perhaps continued assistance coupled with education and protection will keep them on the road to stability and more rewarding lives for their citizens.
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