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Second largest continent after Asia.
The earliest known protohuman fossils have
been found in Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
Home of the world’s oldest civilizations –
Ancient Egypt.
The Republic of South Africa, though long
independent, was long controlled by
European settlers.
Its black African majority did not participate in
national elections until 1994.

 Between 800 and 1,700.

 Afroasiatic languages, dominant in North Africa
include Berber, Kushitic, Semitic, Chad and Coptic
 Click languages, named because of their implosive
characteristic “click sounds”, include Khoisan
spoken by the Khoikhoi.
 Niger-Congo languages cover almost all of West
Africa include Hausa, Peul, and Wolof.
 Sudanic languages include Kanuri, Songhai,
Turkana, and Masai.
Despite the ignorance of most so
called "literati" to the domain of
African literature, African literature in
fact is one of the main currents of
world literature, stretching
continuously and directly back to
ancient history.
Oral literature or orature may be in prose
or verse. Storytellers in Africa sometimes
use call- and-response techniques to tell
their stories. Poetry, often sung,
includes: narrative epic, occupational
verse, ritual verse, praise poems to rulers
and other prominent people. Praise
singers, bards sometimes known as
"griots", tell their stories with music.

Dominant religion of northern Africa is

Islam, which replaced Christianity and
spread into the equatorial zones.
Islam is the fastest-growing faith in
Ethnic group vs Religious Group

Ethnic groups share many common

characteristics such as language,
physical features, customs, and
Religious groups share a common
belief system but are not necessarily
composted of a single ethnic group.
Only a small fraction of Africa’s
young people attend universities.
Due to the lack of prestigious
universities, qualified students
attend U.S and European
Africa’s History and Economy

►People have lived in Africa for

thousands of years. It is sometimes
called the “cradle of civilization.”
►Hundreds of ethnic groups live
together in close groups called
tribes. Each ethnic group has its own
language, religion, and culture which
can sometimes cause conflicts.
Colonialism in Africa
►From the 1800s to the 1960s, European
countries ruled most of Africa.
The European countries wanted to own
Africa’s gold, diamonds, copper, and
other resources.
Europeans divided most of Africa into colonies. Often
different ethnic groups were forced to live together in
one country causing conflicts.
Liberia (left) and Ethiopia (right)
are the only countries that were never colonized.
Many of these ethnic groups were
enemies and could not get along.
Today fighting among ethnic
groups is still a problem.
►"We are fighting
every day because
we are Hutu and
they are Tutsis. We
cannot mix, we are
always in conflict,"
the tribesman said.
"We will stay
enemies forever."
(left, Hutu soldiers in Rwanda)
The Europeans needed modern
transportation, so they built roads,
railroads, and seaports throughout Africa.
They used these ports to ship minerals
and raw materials to Europe.
Raw materials are products from nature
such as cotton, metal, and wood. The
Europeans used them to make factory
goods that they would sell to their
African colonies.
Europeans also started plantations. A plantation is
a large farm that grows crops. Plantations in
colonial times grew crops such as coffee,
sugarcane, and cotton.
During the 1960s, Africans began ruling
themselves. They were no longer colonies, or lands
ruled by distant countries. Now all African
countries are independent.
Life Today
►Today most Africans earn a living by farming.
►They use traditional methods like using
animals instead of modern farm machinery like
Most Africans are subsistence
farmers which means they struggle
just to grow enough food for their
Africans also work in mines and export
its minerals to many nations.
African oil take growing importance, mainly
after the 2003 oil crisis and recent oil
reserves discoveries. Sudan, and Nigeria are
the main oil producers. China owns 45% of
Nigeria's oil production, and 40% of
Sudanese ones. Oil is both provided by
continental and offshore productions.
Each African nation earns most of its money by
exporting only one or two farm
or mineral products.
Today, most countries in Africa are still developing
nations. This means that except for the country of South
Africa, the nations in Africa
have a low standard of living and poor
industry or technology.
Corruption Natural Problems

- some governments - like war or famine mean

‘steal’ or cheat some people never make
money for enough money to improve Companies
themselves. their lives.
- some people get lucky
and get well paid jobs from
large companies – e.g. oil
Why is there such a big
rich-poor divide in Africa?

- some countries used to be owned by
richer countries (e.g UK) who would steal - some people are more
money and resources from them educated, so they can get
much better jobs
Today, Africans are still working to
improve their countries.

Comprises oral and written works of the

Oral tradition such as myths, riddles, and
proverbs serve as religious, social and
educational function.
Africa was illiterate until Christian
missionaries arrived in 19th century.
Africa has no ancient tradition of written
African literature written by Westerners
This is the literature we all know. It
talks about Africa as seen by
Westerners. It often shows the
negative images of Africa or the
Africans. Its authors are usually non-
Africans who have lived or spent
some time visiting Africa. They have
written their view points in any issues
that caught their attention.
African literature written by
Africans in Western languages.
African authors in this group are
mostly those that received a
traditional African education,
and then, later, a western or
colonial education.
African literature written in African languages
by African authors.
African authors like Ngugi wa Thiong’O,
Thomas Mfolo, Fagunwa, Mazisi Kunene,
Ousmane Sembene, Cheikh Anta Diop have
long encouraged African literatures in African
languages. That is why we have texts in
languages like Wolof, Swahili, Lingala,
Kikongo, Hausa, Sesuto, Xhosa, Zulu,
Umbundu, Kikuyu and many others. African
literature in African languages will certainly
help Africa in its development.

SOYINKA, WOLE – the foremost English-

language poet and the most
celebrated playwright of Black Africa.
He won the Nobel Prize for literature in
1986 – the first international honor in
literature won by a black African.
ACHEBE, CHINUA – Nigerian novelist and
poet, whose first novel, Things Fall Apart,
set the theme for the impact of Western
influences on traditional African society.
He has been co-editor of Okike, one of
Africa’s most influential literary
CLARK, JOHN PEER – nigerian
poet, dramatist, and literary
critic, contributed significantly
to the Nigerian renaissance of
the late 50s and early ‘60s.
considered as the most important East
African novelist. His novels concern
the impact of colonialism, Christianity,
and rebellion.

 David Diop was one of the most promising French

West African young poets, whose short career,
however, ended in an air-crash off Dakar in 1960.
 Diop lived an uprooted life, moving frequently from
his childhood onwards between France and West
 In Paris Diop joined the négritude literary
movement, which championed and celebrated
the uniqueness of black experience and heritage.
Diop's work reflects his hatred of colonial rulers and
his hope for an independent Africa.

It referred to the sense of a

common Negro inheritance,
revolt against colonialist values,
and nostalgia for the beauty and
glory of the African heritage
David Diop
Africa, my Africa
Africa of proud warriors on ancestral savannahs,
Africa that my grandmother sings.
On the bank of her distant river,
I have never known you
But my face is full of your blood,
Your beautiful black blood which waters the wide
The blood of your sweat,
The sweat of your work,
The work of your slavery,
The slavery of your children,
Africa, tell me, Africa
Is this really you? This back which is bent
And breaks under the load of insult,
This back trembling with red weals
Which says yes to the whip on the hot
roads of noon.
Thus, gravely a voice replies to me,
Impetuous son, that tree robust and young,
That tree over there
Splendidly alone amidst white and faded
That is Africa, your Africa which grows
Grows patiently, obstinately
And whose fruit little by little learn
The bitter taste of liberty.