Sub-Saharan Africa is the political-geographical term applied to describe the countries of the African continent located in the southern Sahara desert region.
It is one of the poorest regions in the world with high rates of child mortality, illiteracy and low life expectancy.
Based on the list created by countryaah.com, Sub-Saharan Africa is made up of the following countries:
- South Africa
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Costa do Marfim
- Equatorial Guinea
- Guinea Bissau
- Comoros Islands
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sierra Leone
World Bank data indicate that this is the poorest region on the planet. At least 37% of the population of 973.4 million people live in the urban region. The income per capita is $ 1,638 and life expectancy at birth is 58 years.
To understand the difference let’s compare these data with those from Brazil. According to the World Bank, the life expectancy of Brazilians at birth is 74 years and per capita income reaches US $ 11,530.
33 of the 43 lowest HDI countries are located in this region, making poverty almost endemic.
The extraction is the main source of income in sub-Saharan Africa. This part of the African continent holds 7% of the world’s oil reserves and important reserves of phosphate, copper and cobalt.
Tourism is also a developing industry, as Tanzania’s beaches and Kenya’s nature reserves, for example, attract European and American tourists.
Sub-Saharan Africa has been receiving heavy investment from the Chinese to secure raw materials and especially land to feed its people.
The region experienced incredible growth in the early decades of the 21st century due to increased raw material exports.
Sub-Saharan Africa is considered the cradle of the human race, as in the region called East Africa the genus Homo emerged . The evidence is in tools collected by archaeologists and mark the beginning of the Paleolithic.
The region also housed great kingdoms such as Mali (XIII-XVI), which monopolized the salt trade. This allowed them to market the product through trans-Saharan routes and to obtain iron, horse and tableware products.
As it was an Islamic kingdom, several mosques were erected and today the Tombuctu temples have been declared a World Heritage Site.
Africa is the most stable terrain on earth. The continent has remained in the same position for about 550 million years and most of it consists of a huge plateau.
Near the tropics of Ecuador is an area of tropical rainforests, to the south is the savannah that occupies most of sub-Saharan Africa.
Also to the south is the Kalahari Desert, which extends to the Atlantic Ocean coast.
The climate is influenced by Ecuador, although there are temperate microclimates in the highlands. The region is rainy and with typical rainforest precipitation.
Since the last Ice Age, there has been a climate-imposed separation between the North and the Sub-Saharan Regions. The severity of the climate is interrupted only by the Nile River.
Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to northern Sahara, was isolated and not influenced by Arab culture and Islam.
The typical rocks of this region solidified during Earth’s early eruption cycles and today represent the largest source of the economy, based on gold and diamond mining. The region is also rich in copper and chrome.
Language and Religion
There are at least 600 languages spoken in sub-Saharan Africa, most of which come from Bantu. There is also the influence of European colonization and so there are nations that speak Portuguese, French and English.
Most countries are Christian, concentrating 21% of Christians worldwide. However, there is a large proportion of Muslims and countries, such as Nigeria, where the population is practically divided between the two beliefs.
There are also those who practice the traditional African animist religions.
In addition to extreme poverty, which mainly affects countries beset by constant civil wars, Africa suffers from an AIDS pandemic that devastates the region.
The productive capacity of countries has been put in check because of the huge number of orphans from parents who die very young due to the consequences of the disease.
The South Africa, for example, has 4 million orphans due to the epidemic. In Malawi, the scene repeats and several children and teenagers are already heads of households.
Among the justifications for the contamination rate is sexual exploitation and treatment given to women, who are considered inferior.
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