Research Activities




Courses Taught





The course describes the land and peoples of Africa and attempts to explain the varied socio-economic, cultural and political landscapes of the continent in light of its triple heritage, resource endowments, resource utilization and global relations.


    In this course, students should be able to:

    • identify all African countries and recognize its major geographic regions;
    • locate on African maps its major relief features;
    • understand the rich history of Africa and its peoples;
    • understand why most African countries are relatively less developed;
    • relate to African problems like: drought, health, refugee and food shortages and develop appropriate database for a better interpretation of African situations and issues



1 A World View of Africa Ch. 2; ch.1 & 2*
2 Africa: Location, Geology and Landforms Ch. 1&3; ch. 4&7*
3 Africa: Climate and Vegetation Ch. 3; ch. 8, 9&27*
4 Africa: Political Geography - From Kingdoms to Nationhood Ch. 5&6; ch. 10-12*
5 Africa: Agricultural Practices and Development  Ch. 14; ch. 19-21*
6 Africa: Population and Migration Ch. 8 ch. 13-15*
7 Africa: Urbanization Ch. 11; ch. 22-24*
8 Development in Africa Ch. 9&12; ch. 3&6*
9. The Health Sector in Africa Ch. 13; ch. 29*
10. Transportation, Communication and Information Technologies Ch. 10

Recommended Textbooks:   
Aryeetey-Attoh, Samuel (ed.) (2010). Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa, Upper Saddle
     River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 3rd edition.
Espenshade E. B. (2011). Goode's World Atlas, New York: Rand McNally & Company, 20th  Edition.
Mosley, W.G. (2009). Taking Sides: clashing views on African issues. New York: McGraw-Hill, 3rd edition.
Stock, Robert (2013). Africa South of the Sahara: A Geographical Interpretation. New
      York: The Guilford Press, 3rd edition.




1.         Which of the following statements is NOT true about the location and size of Africa?

A.         It is the second largest continent in the world
B.         It accounts for 16% the world land area but holds only 9% of world population
C.         It is located between lat. 37o N and 35o S
D.         30% of the continent falls within the tropics
E.         Africa is divided into two halves by the equator

2.         The Ruwenzori Mt. and the Danakil Mt are good examples of:

A.         fold mountains               B.         volcanic mountain          C.         block mountains
D.         a shield                         E.         A and B

3.         Along longitude 20o E, the north-south distance of Africa is approximately

A.         7500 km            B.         3000 km            C.         7000 km            D.         10,000 km
E.         27,500 km

4.         Which of the following is a possible consequence of the break-up of the Gondwanaland
            to form Africa?

A.         its relatively high elevation with high interior plateaus and plains
B.         the development of the Great Escarpment which separates the narrow coastal plain from
            the interior plateau, especially in southern Africa
C.         the dominance of volcanoes and hotspots on the continent
D.         its basin and dome topography
E.         All of the above

5.         Despite the very high potentials of African rivers for hydroelectric power development, the
existing ones are not used to their fullest capacity because of

A.         the seasonality of their flows and frequent droughts in the continent
B.         their very high pollution generating capacity
C.         lack of capital and spare parts
D.         cultural barriers
E.         A and C

6.         Africa's longest river and largest lake are, respectively:

A.         Niger River and Lake Turkana
B.         Congo (Zaire) River and Lake Chad
C.         Nile River and Lake Victoria
D.         Orange River and Lake Tana
E.         Senegal River and Lake Mobutu (Albert)

7.         Which of the following lakes is not one of the East Africa rift valley lakes?

A.         Lake Mobutu (Albert)      B.         Lake Tangayinka            C.         Lake Malawi
D.         Lake Victoria                 E.         Lake Edward

8.         African rivers have the greatest potential for:

A.         Navigation         B.         Hydroelectric power generation                C..        Irrigation
D.         Fishing              E.         recreation/tourism

9.         The Sahara desert is dry mainly because

A.         it is perpetually under high pressure characterized by air subsidence
B.         it is on the leeward side of the Atlas mountain
C.         the air is too hot
D.         there is no river passing through it
E.         there is no moisture available for evaporation in the desert

10.        In West Africa, the advance and retreat of the rains are controlled by the

A.         pattern of movement of the ITCZ
B.         duration of sunshine
C.         amount of solar radiation received
D.         degree of cloud cover
E.         humidity of the air

11.        It is relatively cool along the coast of Namibia because

A.         the area has high relief
B.         of the effect of the cold Benguela current off the coast
C.         it is on the leeward side of a mountain
D.         it enjoys a temperate climate
E.         the air is always moist

12.        What type of vegetation occurs over much of the Democratic Republic of Congo?

A.         savanna woodland                      B.         sub-desert steppe         
C.         Mediterranean vegetation            D.         rainforest           E.         Sudan Savanna

13.        The vertical stratification of the rainforest plant species is a response to:

A.         photoperiodism              B.         moisture            C.         edaphic influences
D.         temperature                   E.         sunlight

14.        What type of vegetation occurs over much of the southernmost tip (i.e. Cape Town area) and northernmost tip (i.e. Tunis area) of Africa?

A.         desert                           B.         tropical rainforest           C.         Mediterranean
D.         savanna grassland         E.         high veldt

15.        Which of the following is a possible cause of the drought in Sahelian Africa?
A.         El Nino oscillation (ENSO) or teleconnections
B.         Sea-surface temperature changes especially in southern Atlantic
C.         the albedo effects (Charney hypothesis)
D.         degradation-induced changes
E.         All of the above answers

16.        Rainfall in West Africa is caused by

A.         southwest monsoon winds                  B.         northeast trade winds
C.         southeast trade winds                            D.         westerlies
E.         A and D

17.        The Mediterranean climate is enjoyed in the following areas of Africa:

A.         Egypt and Algeria
B.         the highlands of Ethiopia and East Africa
C.         the coastal areas of Ghana and Namibia
D.         Mozambique and eastern parts of Malagasy Republic
E.         the coastal areas of northwest Africa and southwestern corner of the Republic of South

18.        Dust storms are common in the West African Sahel during

A.         the short rainy season                            B.         the summer period
C.         the retreat of the rains                            D.         the dry season
E.         the onset of the rains

19.        The soil order that covers the largest land area in Africa is

A.         Entisols            B.         Ultisols                         C.         Aridisols            D. Inceptisols
E.         Vertisols

20.        The dominant images of Africa include the following except

A.         continent of uniformity
B.         Africa as a games reserve
C.         disease infested continent
D.         economically developed continent
E.         continent of conflicts and political instability sea


1.         The Crops listed below are grown in West Africa mainly for exports (or cash crops), except:
A.        Groundnuts       B.         Cocoa              C.        Oil Palm           D.        Coffee E.         yam

2.         What is the major obstacle to cattle grazing in the savanna zones of Africa?

A.                 the dense woodland vegetation

B.                 tsetse fly infestation

C.        the large population of crop farmers
D.        the hostility of the people

3.         Which of the following statements does NOT adequately express the objective of dam projects in Africa?

A.        development of irrigation

B.         improvement of navigation

C.        improvement of local climate
D.        generation of hydro-electricity

4.         Farm sizes in Africa are usually small because
            A.        of the use of primitive farm implements
            B.         of difficulty of clearing the forest

C.                 of the Shortage of farmland and land fragmentation

D.                 production is done mainly for subsistence

E.                 All of the above

5.         Some of the effects of refugee movement in Africa include the following:
A.        malnutrition and exposure to health problems

B.         break down of social and family traditional units

C.        break-down of law and order in destination countries

D.        possible conflicts between refugee source and destination countries, e.g. Congo (DR) and Rwanda

E.         all of the above answers

6.         Traditional African agricultural system is described as extensive shifting cultivation because

A.        it involves high mobility and long fallow

B.         it involves short fallows and intensive use of fertilizers
C.        it involves sedentary farming

D.        it involves crop production in extensive plantations
E.         it involves market gardening

7.         The dominant land tenure system practiced among traditional African farming communities involves
A.        individual landownership

B.        communal land ownership
C.        land ownership by renting

D.        farm lands held in trust by government on behalf of the farming community

E.         all lands belonging to the government

8.         The main features of communal land ownership include the following, except:

A.        community members are free to use the land but ultimate control is vested on a chief or local leader

B.         control over land ceases once cultivation is completed
C.        strangers pay to use communal lands

D.        idle communal lands are used by all for grazing, hunting and collection of fuel wood

E.         members of the community are free to sell communal land

9.         Land preparation for traditional crop production is described as slash and burn which is best suited to tropical conditions because 

A.        bush burning is quick and efficient method of making available to the soil, nutrients stored in plants

B.         the addition of P, K, Ca, Mg to the soil in the form of ash substantially raises the pH of tropical soils which are highly leached and acidic in reaction

C.        frequent burning on the same plot may lead to a progressive desiccation and baking of the soil

D.        A and B

10.       Fallow period is important because
            A.        it builds up soil humus
            B.         nitrogen and phosphorous insufficient in most tropical soils are increased

under fallow

C.        it regenerates soil fertility naturally

D.        it checks some plant diseases because when farms are left fallow, disease organisms lose their hosts and die

E.         all of the above

11.       In Africa, sustainable agriculture means

A.        increasing use of organic farming and indigenous knowledge in farming

B.         food security and self-sufficiency

C.        preservation of traditional values and the small family farms

D.        conservation of the environment, wildlife and biological diversity
E.         all of the above.

12.       The policy of assimilation was identified with
A.        the French and the Portuguese
B.         the Belgians and Germans
C.        the Dutch and the Boers
D.        the Spanish and British
E.         the French +

13.       Which of the following countries was not under Belgian colonial rule at time of independence?

A.        Cote d'Ivoire                B.         Democratic Republic of Congo
C.        Rwanda                        D.        Burundi                        E.         B, C and D

14.       Which of the following statements is not correct about British colonial policies in Africa:

A.        territories, like: Kenya, Southern Rhodesia, South Africa, and Lagos, conquered and settled by white immigrants groups became British colonies

B.         territories whose indigenous leaders entered into trade treaties were granted crown protection and became British Protectorates (for example, Northern Rhodesia, Northern Nigeria, Southern Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana, etc)

C.        the indirect rule was adopted for British Protectorates and direct local European control was adopted in British Colonies

D.        the indirect rule which involved some elements of divide and rule, relied on existing traditional power structure (i.e. tribal authority), local customs and education to facilitate effective British control

F.                  introduced the policy of assimilation aimed at acculturating Africans into its culture

15.       Which of the following is a possible effect of slave trade on Africa:
A.        depopulation of West Africa

B.         intensification of tribal wars among neighboring kingdoms

C.        disruption of local economy (agriculture, manufacturing, and trade)
D.        a major cause of underdevelopment of Africa
E.         all of the above answers

16.       The first mass movement of white Dutch settlers out of the Cape Town region into the interior of South Africa known as the first Great Trek of 1836 was caused by:

A.        the discovery of diamond in the Kimberly region
B.        British attitude and the termination of slavery

C.        the discovery of gold in the Johannesburg area

D.        the frequent conflicts between the Zulus and the Boers
E.         A and D

17.       The battle of the Blood River in Natal was        

A.                 fought between the Zulus and the Boers

B.                 fought between the Boers and the British

C.                 fought between the Zulus and the British

D.                 fought between the Zulus and the Hottentots

E.                  none of the above

18.       The Anglo-Boer war of 1899 was

A.        politically motivated and aimed at expanding the Cape Colony

B.         economically motivated and aimed at controlling the diamond region
C.        economically motivated and aimed at controlling the gold region

            D.        politically motivated and aimed at establishing a firm authority over the Zulus

E.         Band D

19.       What is meant by the term triangular trade during the Trans-Atlantic slaving period?
A.        it means that slaves captured in Africa are traded in the Americas and

 the profits used to buy goods for the European markets and back to
            Africa to collect more slaves

B.         it means that there are three types of slave trades in Africa, namely:  trans-
            Sahara slave trade, trans-Atlantic slave trade and Arabian slave trade in
            East Africa
C.        it means any trade designed to service three places with the three points
            forming a triangle when connected
D.        it is type of trade practiced by indigenous African people
E.         All of the above

20.       Which of the following countries are the major sources of refugees in Africa today?
A.        Ivory Coast                  B.         Sudan               C.        Congo (DR)    
D.        Nigeria                         E.         B and C

21.       Which of the following republics were founded by the Boers?
A.        Natal Colony                            B.         Cape Colony

C.        Orange Free State Republic      D.        Republic of South Africa (Transvaal)
E.         C and D

22.       King Leopold II of Belgium sponsored _______ to explore the Congo

            A.        James Bruce                             B.         Mungo Park                
C.        David Livingstone                     D.        Henry Stanley

            E.         Cecil Rhodes

23.       In 1857, France recognized British sovereignty over the Gambia River valley and

Britain in turn, recognized France sovereignty over

A.        Senegal River valley             B.         Niger River valley                    

C.        Congo River valley                   D.        Nile River valley

25.       Which of the following colonial possessions of Germany were lost to the League of Nations?
A.        Southwest Africa (Namibia)
B.         German East Africa (Rwanda, Burundi, Tanganyika)
C.        Togo
D.        Cameroon
E.         all of the above

26.       The largest language families in Africa is:
A.        Niger-Kordofanian family

B.         Nilo-Saharan family

C.        Khoisan family

D         Afro-Asiatic family

27.       African aborigines include the following, except:
            A.        Khoisan                       
            B.         Negroids of West Africa
            C.        Bantu Negroids           
            D.        Mbuti pygmies of the Ituri forest of the Congo basin
            E.         Boers

28.       Some of the important forest kingdoms between the 16th and 18th centuries 

            include the following except:

            A.        Benin Kingdom B.         Ashanti Kingdom          C.        Ife Kingdom

            D.        Dahomey Kingdom       E.         Mali Kingdom

29.       The collapse of the Sudanic empires shifted the African political power base 

            towards the forest belt mainly because:

            A.        it shielded the kingdoms from the frequent raids of horse-riding 

            B.         it is cooler and more humid to support agriculture

C.                 it is the home of half of the known plants and animal species

D.                 Europeans along the coasts wanted more kingdoms to supply slaves to their slave merchants

E.         Of the abundance of resources in the forest belt.           

30.       Which of the following was not a major feature of the era of ancient civilization in Africa?
            A.        Trans-Atlantic slave trade
            B.         Well established political structure with strong central government
            C.        The use of iron technology for making tools and weapons
            D.        Production of food surplus through the domestication of plants and animals as well as
                        the effective use and control of water resources
            E.         Impressive African arts and sculptures

31.       The terra-cotta sculpture is typical of:
            A.        The Nok civilization
            B.         Kush civilization
            C.        Egyptian Civilization
            D.        Axum civilization
            E.         Carthage

32.       The Bantu migration began at about 5000 BC from:
            A.        Egypt                           B.        Benue River and the shores of Lake Chad
            C.        Olduvai Gorge              D.        Kush Kingdom      E.                  Madagascar           

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