An Atlas of African Affairs

By Andrew Boyd; Patrick Van Rensburg | Go to book overview

E. 'Pre-European' History

On the upper Niger between 5,000 and 4,000 B.C., Mande Negroes developed one of the earliest systems of agriculture. Meanwhile Mesopotamian agriculture spread to Egypt, where a famous civilization burgeoned after 3,000 B.C. States modelled on Egypt's later took shape in Nubia and Ethiopia; and the area southward, peopled only by Bushmanoid hunters, was colonized by Cushites from Ethiopia, whose trading ports on the Indian ocean became known as Azania (Zenj).

During the 1,000 years before Christ, Phoenicians and Greeks colonized the north coast; Phoenician Carthage rose and fell; Egypt of the Pharaohs fell; and Rome conquered North Africa. More important for Africa as a whole, Indonesian traders brought to Azania food plants that spread across to the Guinea coast, and there made possible a great increase in population. This largely accounts for the dense peopling of, e.g., southern Nigeria (A, 20). It also helped to set off, about 2,000 years ago, the Bantu expansion from Nigeria and Cameroons throughout southern Africa.

Early in the Christian era, Indonesians from Azania settled in empty Madagascar (35). Moslem Arabs conquered North Africa around A.D. 700, and soon afterwards took over the east coast trade with India (30). Inland, the Bantu, and the Nilotic Negroes who later moved south round the lakes, overran the southern Cushites, who, about A.D. 600, had fortified Zimbabwe in the goldmining region which supplied India for a thousand years. By the 14th century the Bantu had reached modern Natal.

In the west, around A.D. 300, the Soninke created Ghana, a state which at its peak stretched from near Timbuktu to Senegal, thriving on exports of gold and slaves to Morocco. This first Ghana -- in no way to be confused with its modern namesake (19) -- fell in 1076 to the Berber Almoravids. Their Moslem empire, with that of the succeeding Almohad dynasty, linked Senegal with Spain for 200 years (2), and firmly established Islam south of the Sahara. Thereafter, although some strong states arose and endured near the coast (such as Kongo (24) and Edo Benin), the historic struggle was waged, mostly by Moslem peoples, in the open Sudan country (B), the chief prizes being the termini of Sahara trade at Timbuktu, Gao, Kano and Lake Chad (1). In the 13th century, Bornu, the Kanuri state, extended its power westward from Chad to the Niger. In the 14th Timbuktu and Gao fell to Mali, the Malinke state founded 300 years earlier near the capital of modern Mali (15). In the 15th, the Songhai

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An Atlas of African Affairs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Foreword 7
  • A. Population 10
  • B. Regions and Barriers 12
  • C. Languages and Peoples 14
  • D. European and Asian Settlement 20
  • E. 'Pre-European' History 22
  • F. Europeans on the Coast 24
  • G. the European 'scramble' 26
  • H. the New Political Map 28
  • I. British and French Heritages 30
  • J. United Nations Activity 32
  • K. Pan-Africanism and Regional Unity 34
  • L. Africa Overseas 36
  • M. Education 38
  • N. Health and Pests 40
  • O. Minerals 42
  • P. Transport 44
  • Q. Power, Development And Research 46
  • 1. the Maghreb 48
  • 2. Morocco and Mauritania 50
  • 3. Algeria 52
  • 4. Tunisia and Libya 54
  • 5. Egypt and Its Neighbours 57
  • 6. Suez Canal 58
  • 7. Suez-Sinai Conflict, 1956 60
  • 8. the Nile 62
  • 9. Egypt 64
  • 10. the Sudan 66
  • 11. Ethiopia 68
  • 12. the Somalis 70
  • 13. West Africa 72
  • 14. Ex-French Africa 74
  • 15. Ex-French West Africa 76
  • 16. 'Equatorial' Africa 78
  • 17. Commonwealth West Africa 80
  • 18- Senegambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia 82
  • 19. Ghana and Its Neighbours 84
  • 20. Nigeria 86
  • 21. Cameroons 88
  • 22. Two Congos 90
  • 23. Post-Belgian Congo 92
  • 24. Lower Congo 94
  • 25. Between the Lakes 96
  • 26. Ruanda-Urundi 98
  • 27. British East and Central Africa 100
  • 28. Uganda 102
  • 29. Kenya 104
  • 30. Tanganyika and Zanzibar 106
  • 31. the Rhodesias 108
  • 32. Katanga and Copperbelt 110
  • 33. Nyasaland 112
  • 34. Angola and Mozambique 114
  • 35. Malagasy (madagascar) 116
  • 36. South Africa and Its Neighbours 118
  • 37. Protectorates and S.W. Africa 120
  • 38. Eastern South Africa 122
  • Index 125
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