What is the human geography of Africa?

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There are many aspects to human geography.  Let us look at a few of them here.

First, let us look at ethnicity.  Africans are divided into hundreds of different ethnic groups.  Many of them coexist within single countries.  One way to categorize these ethnic groups is to look at what kinds of languages they speak.  In Northern Africa, most people speak Arabic.  Some people living on the southern fringes of the Sahara speak other Semitic languages.  Most of the Africans that we call “black” speak Bantu languages.  There are some African “bushmen” who speak Khoisan.  People on Madagascar speak a language related to those of the southwest Pacific Ocean.  Some people of European descent in Southern Africa speak Afrikaans as their native language while others speak English.

Second, let us look at religion.  Northern Africa is largely Muslim.  Sub-Saharan Africa is more diverse.  In that area, there are Muslims, Christians, and people who still practice traditional religions.

Finally, let us look at indicators of human development.  In this regard, Africa is not very well-off.  Africa is a very poor continent.  The life expectancies for African countries are very low.  HIV infection is very widespread in much of Sub-Saharan Africa.  Literacy rates are low.  Sub-Saharan Africa is the least developed large region in the world.

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