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Western Washington University
Geography of Africa 321 - Forsberg

Study Guide for the Midterm

Week One

Discussion Questions in Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa Text: p.368 #2-9

a) Why, after over 30 years of independence is the political landscape of the Sub-Saharan Africa characterized by instability and chaos? How have the triple heritage, foreign intervention, and the colonial legacy exacerbated Africa's political problems?

b) How did Zaire's (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) changing geostrategic importance contribute to its political chaos?

c) Why did South Africa's independent homelands or Bantustans never stand a chance at real statehood? Why were they created?

 Oneparty states
Coup d'états
African socialism
African capitalism

Week Two

Discussion Questions in Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa Text: p.33: # 1- 6 and number 7 as it relates to soils of the 1) humid ecological zone, and 2) of the arid and semiarid ecological zones.

a) The complexity and diversity of Africa's physical landscapes and its climatic, vegetational, and biogeographical attributes offer a number of assets on the one hand, and some inherent liabilities on the other hand. What are the assets and liabilities of rainforest and the semidesert and desert environments in terms of development?

b) How does the spatial distribution of vegetation belts in West Africa correspond to the distribution of cultural groups and economic strategies?

c) How have the colonial legacies of independent infrastructure, national borders, and different administrative traditions acted as obstacles to pan-regional development in West Africa?

d) How has climate influenced the distribution of European settlement in South and East Africa? Explain in terms of latitude and altitude.

 Plate tectonics
Continental drift
Seafloor spreading
Rift Valley
Continental Shelf
 Subtropical High Pressure
Intertropical Convergence Zone
Lake effect
Tropical rain forest
Savanna grassland
Montane vegetation
Maritime effect
Humid and Arid/Semi-Arid soil types

Week three

Discussion Questions in Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa Text: p.84 1-4, 6, & 5 as it relates to the three periods outlined in lecture.

a) Describe the spread of Islamization and Westernization in Sub-Saharan Africa.

b) What role did Africans play in the slave trade? What role did they play in its abolition?

c) How did the spread of iron technology influence the development of African civilization?

d) Describe how the traditional spatial economies of African countries have been transformed and maintained by a variety of inherited colonial legacies.

e) Why are African economies are characterized by duality, dependency, and unfavorable terms of trade? What role do multinational corporations play today in this peripheral linkage to the world economy?

 The triple heritage
Dual Mandate
Indigenous heritage
Medieval civilizations
Primary Export Dependency
Berlin conference
 Cultural dependency
Ancient civilization
Colonialism (Mercantile, Industrial, Neo-)
Indirect rule
Extractive Infrastructure

Week four

Discussion Questions in Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa Text: p.218 #1-7

a) How do new urban immigrants cope with the problems of overurbanization and meet their needs for shelter and employment?

b) How has government policy and planning changed to accommodate such informal survival strategies?

c) How does the informal sector subsidize the formal sector? How are both sectors linked?

d) What has led to the growth of the informal economy in Sub-Saharan Africa? How did the people of Dar Es Salaam try to informally change the government's rules regarding allocation of public transportation?

e) Describe the "Growth Pole" strategy of development and its track record in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Push and pull migration factors
Precolonial city
Indigenous city
Colonial city
Dual city
Hybrid city
New towns
Secondary cities
Primate city
Ranksize regularity
 Urban morphology, Urban function
Urban bias
Urban dualism
Urban formal versus informal sector Transportation
Petty Commodity Trading
Slum housing
Squatter housing
Invasion housing
Urban management
Squatter upgrading
Core housing
Growth poles
Backwash effect

Week five

Discussion Questions in Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa Text: p.118 #1, 4-8 Discussion Questions in Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa Text: p.283 #1-8

a) What contributions has Africa made to American and New World Culture?

b) What influence does urbanization in Africa have on kinship ties and the extended family ties?

c) Is the diffusion of development and modernization hierarchical or contagious?

d) Describe an example of how the clash of Western and traditional African values creates considerable cultural confusion for Africans.

e) How does GDP account for subsistence agriculture and housework?

f) When discussing local food production in Africa, why is it so important to focus on women?

g) Why have structural adjustment programs and austerity measures in Africa resulted in the feminization of poverty?

h) Resources are cultural appraisals of what is useful for development. What conflict exists between the Himba Tribal Leaders and the Namibian Government over the appraisal and definition of the Kunene River as a resource? How do the Himba's measures of progress and development differ from those of the government?

 Culture trait/integration
Cultural landscape
Cultural ecology
Cultural diffusion
Relocation/Expansion diffusion
Traditional religions
Coptic Christians
Spirit shrines
Ancestral spirits
Kente Cloth
Land tenure
Stool land
State land
Family land
Communal land
Usufructuary rights
Family and kinship
Bilateral kinship
Patrilineal system
Matrilineal system
 Language family
Language branch
Pidgin English
Lingua franca
Gender relations
Gender inequality
Feminization of poverty
Gendered spaces
Women's bureaus
Social reproduction
Female empowerment
Feminist geography

Week six

Discussion Questions in Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa Text: p.258-259 #1-8

a) What are the strategies and goals of structural adjustment programs in terms of the efficiency and health of a country's economy?

b) What changes did Rostow believe were necessary in order for an economy to develop?

c) How does development diffuse hierarchically in urban and rural Africa?

d) Give an example of "efficiency-oriented growth strategies" in African development.

e) How does export processing contribute to African development?

Human development
Sustained development
Gross national product
Gross domestic product
Hierarchical diffusion
Coreperiphery disparities
International dualism
Urban dualism
Rural dualism
Urbanization economies
Colonial infrastructure
Physical quality of life
Modernization theory
Big push
Efficiencyequity debate
Growth with equity
Basic needs strategy
Appropriate technology
Interdependent development
Regional integration
Structural adjustment program
Nongovernmental organizations


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