Namibia desert

Africa Geography

Natural resources

Africa is very rich in mineral resources. It has most of the known minerals, many of which are found in significant quantities, although their geographical distribution is irregular.

There are large deposits of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, and it has some of the world’s largest reserves of gold, diamonds, copper, bauxite, manganese, nickel, platinum, cobalt, radium, germanium, lithium, titanium, and phosphates.

Other important natural resources are iron ore, chromium, tin, zinc, lead, thorium, zirconium, vanadium, antimony, and beryllium. There are also exploitable amounts of clays, mica, sulfur, salt, natron, graphite, stone, limestone, and gypsum.

The current situation in Africa is the result of a long history of external interference in a dynamic and complex internal framework. The main problem, with negative implications for the future, is the deterioration of the resource base, which can become irreversible: deforestation, destruction of ecosystems, overexploitation and contamination of water resources, loss of fertility and Soil erosion and widespread habitat destruction can lead to permanent situations. An important consequence of these processes is the decline in production in many rural areas.

Strategic importance

Africa is in the sights of the United States. Until then, Washington plans to carry its false crusade against terrorism to ensure the looting of the continent’s abundant resources, mainly oil and gas. The purpose is confirmed by the so-called White Book of the Air Mobility Command (AMC) of the US Armed Forces.

Some officials of the North American oil industry have affirmed that the United States will buy 25% of the oil it consumes in Africa by 2015.

The strategic importance from an African National Security point of view for the United States lies essentially in oil, which considers the following factors:

  • Greater relative proximity to the West African coast than from the Caspian Sea or the Middle East.
  • Impact of the North American vision that the African environment is very vulnerable to terrorist groups settling in it and therefore a favorable scenario for the United States military presence.

Djibouti, Senegal, Mali, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana and Kenya, as well as Sao Tomé are names that have entered the analysis for extending the US military presence in Africa. See African countries.

Independent countries

Angola Algeria Benin Botswana
Burkina faso Burundi Cape Verde Cameroon
Chad Comoros Congo Ivory Coast
Djibouti Egypt Eritrea Ethiopia
Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea
Guinea-Bissau Equatorial Guinea Kenya Lesotho
Liberia Libya Madagascar Malawi
Mali Morocco Mauricio Mauritania
Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria
Central African Republic DR Congo Rwanda Sao Tome and Principe
Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia
South Africa Sudan South Sudan Swaziland
Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda
Zambia Zimbabwe

Main Ecosystems

  • Sahara desert
  • Sahel
  • sheet
  • Namibian desert
  • Kalahari desert
  • Okavango Delta
  • Great lakes
  • Ethiopian Massif
  • Kenyan highlands
  • Great Rift Valley
  • Jungle of the Congo Basin
  • Atlantic equatorial coastal rainforest.

Main islands and archipelagos

  • Cape Verde Archipelago
  • Canary archipelago
  • Madeira Archipelago
  • Bioko
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Madagascar
  • Archipelago of the Mascareñas
  • Zanzibar
  • Pemba Island
  • Comoros Archipelago
  • Seychelles Archipelago
  • Socotora.

Major rivers

  • Congo River (the second largest in the world, after the Amazon River).
  • Limpopo River.
  • Niger-Benue River.
  • Nile River (the second longest in the world).
  • Orange River.
  • Senegal River.
  • River Volta.
  • Zambezi River


The predominant relief is plateau, in which the remains of ancient volcanic elevations and mountains stand out. On this great plateau there are great desert extensions, like the Sahara, the great desert that covers more than a quarter of Africa. On the margins of the southern plateau there are several mountainous regions. To the northwest are the Atlas Mountains, a chain of rugged peaks linked by high plateaus, stretching from Morocco to Tunisia. The most outstanding and interesting feature of the African relief is the existence of the Valley of the Great Rift or the Rift Valley, which consists of a numerous group of long and deep faults with an approximate north-south direction, associated with large rift trenches.

The eastern mountains, the highest part of the continent, are close to the eastern coast and stretch from the Red Sea to the Zambezi (or Zambezi) River. The region has an average altitude of more than 1,500 m, although in the Ethiopian massif it increases gradually to 3,000 m; Ras Dashan (4,620 m), north of Ethiopia, is the highest peak on the plateau. To the south of this there are several elevated volcanic peaks, such as Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) is the highest peak on the continent and Kenya.


Africa has a larger arid or desert climate area than any other continent, with the exception of Australia. Each of these areas (the Sahara to the north, the Horn of Africa to the east and the Kalahari and Namibia deserts to the southwest) receives annual rainfall of less than 250 mm. In the Sahara, the daily and seasonal thermal oscillation is large; the average temperature in July exceeds 32.2 ° C and during the cold season the night temperature often drops below zero degrees.

Namibia desert