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These Amazing Maps Show the True Diversity of Africa

These Amazing Maps Show the True Diversity of Africa | Confidences Canopéennes | Scoop.it

"African countries are also quite diverse from an ethnic standpoint. As the Washington Post's Max Fisher noted back in 2013, the world's 20 most ethnically diverse countries are all African, partially because European colonial powers divvied up sections of the continent with little regard for how the residents would have organized the land themselves. This map above shows Africa's ethnographic regions as identified by George Murdock in his 1959 ethnography of the continent."

 

Tags: Africa, colonialism, borders, political, language, ethnicity.


Via Seth Dixon
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Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:51 PM

We have seen the repercussions of ethnic tensions play out in the Balkans, the Middle East, and even in the United States, and Africa is no exception. Arbitrarily drawn national borders- the remnants of European colonialism- means that there is often significant ethnic diversity within many African nations. Although this creates interesting blends of language and culture, it has often bred violence in many countries, perhaps most notably in South Africa and Rwanda. Although many members of the West like to lump the entire continent into a single category, this could not be further from the truth. The second largest continent with extreme biodiversity, it has bred thousands of languages and hundreds of different cultural backgrounds, sometimes within a single country. It is important for the West to understand the complex make-up of the African continent in order to avoid the Eurocentric assumptions many Westerners make when discussing the continent. There isn't a single "Africa"- there isn't even a single "Nigeria," but rather a multitude of different peoples and cultures, equally as complex as those found in other regions of the world. This map does a very good job at illustrating the complexity and richness of the continent.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:20 AM

People often underestimate how diverse Africa really is. We often have the tendency to lump all Africans together in one large ethnic group. The actual number of different ethnic groups in Africa is rather staggering. This map can also be used as a partial explanation for the amount of ethnic conflict in Africa. Often times, these ethnic groups are squashed together in states with poorly drawn borders. Under that situation, ethnic conflict becomes inevitable.

Patty B's curator insight, February 11, 4:52 PM

This map of Africa not only shows the true diversity of the African continent, but it represents the diversity that truly exists everywhere on a global scale. In many ways, people are the same everywhere you go. But people are also vastly different in a multitude of ways. In a highly globalized society it has become easy to focus on the similarities between the people of different countries, but the fact of the matter is that no matter how far reaching a corporation’s influence is, we are always talking about and dealing the individual lives. Towns, cities, states, countries, continents are all comprised of individuals and our society today makes it difficult to remember that by focusing on group statistics and other forms of impersonal data (not to say those tools are useless, there just needs to be a balance between the tools used). Each person that falls within any group being examined or categorized is vastly unique in a variety of other ways and I think this map brings that notion to light. As someone born in the U.S., I would never think of Africa as such a diverse place. Not even close as a matter of fact. It really is easy to examine Africa as a country instead of a continent. I think that goes for many continents, including Europe. We often think of the U.S. as being the melting pot and the most diverse place, but the article points to the fact that 20 of the world’s most diverse countries happen to be in Africa. 

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The Great Mosque of Djenné

The Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali, is a magnet for tourists, but it is increasingly difficult for locals to live a normal life around it.

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Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:50 PM

it is horrifying that a government could force people to live in abject poverty and that the only source of income in this area is a tourist trap that needs to be rebuilt every few years in its entirety.

Alex Vielman's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:18 AM

This video shows a great reflection towards how important culture is to the people living in this African region. The people of the region live in buildings that are made out of mud bricks. From the houses, to stores, to the monuments located here, are practically all made of mud. The most interesting part of this that these buildings can not be modernized at all. This is very dangerous considering that the Great Mosque has to be recovered quite often due to the rain. It is important to analyzing how dangerous these living conditions can be and how the money that is being made in this touristic area, is not being used to efficiently provide buildings made of mud, but rather to simple repair the mosques. The importance of the tourism is what helps the people in the town financial but it affects everyone living in this area because it is surrounded by poverty, and should be provided to guide the people in better safe building. 

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:22 PM

This major tourist attraction site is very interesting, a mosque made of just mud. Everything is mud besides the mosque, business and individual homes. So unfortunately for the citizens, this is not a great place to live. Since this place is historic, outside sources such as the UN do not really want to help the people out because they want the city of Djenne to be preserved as a historic site and they want everything to be as if it was ages ago, they will not even allow interior redesign. It seems though as if the only money they will ever receive is pretty much tourist money,  They do want to modernize, but in a way that keeps the history visible. they have failed to modernize in other sectors, such as garbage disposal. their garage is destroying their water which is running through their streets and making the water quality bad, which in turn, makes the mud quality bad for building.

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Do you know Africa?

Do you know Africa? | Confidences Canopéennes | Scoop.it

Many of Africa’s leaders will be in town next week attending a White House summit. The continent’s land is shared among 49 countries — many of which rarely make U.S. headlines. How familiar are you with Africa’s geography?


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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 9, 2015 3:41 PM

http://lizardpoint.com/geography/africa-quiz.php

This is easier because it shows you the shape of the countries. As for this quiz, I can locate any African country but some of them, not precisely. I'm able to locate Ethiopia, Libya and Angola obviously because they're bigger but not Togo, Eritrea and Rwanda. However, I can closely locate the smaller countries but not precisely.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 29, 2015 5:21 PM

I love interactive maps like this.  These are the best way to learn where things are in the world geographically.  Africa is the toughest, for myself, continent in the world to be able to locate and identify where certain countries are.  This is in part because Africa has so many countries and also Africa is a part of the world that is not often taught in school, therefore you have limited thoughts and ideas about these types of areas.

David Lizotte's curator insight, April 22, 2015 1:54 PM

I have always been fascinated with Africa and its history. Through its history one can understand why Africa is the way it is today. Its a shame that Africa does not have more of a focus in the Public School Curriculum. Its played a huge part in developing western civilization, whether it be in ancient Alexandria providing grain for the Roman Republic or the coltan extracted through inhumane means in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Africa is a continent that has been raped and torn in a repetitive manor under a variety of foul experiences brought upon by western countries. These are the same western countries that are held of high interest and regards in subject manor instituted in the Public School System. Africa has also been apart of amazing developments of human civilization, for example the Trans Saharan Trade Route which linked Kingdoms such as Ancient Ghana to dynasties far in the Middle East. It is also the birthplace of man (no big deal). In either case there needs to be a stronger push on teaching/molding "Africa" (yes, I know... broad) into the curriculum. It is important in both understanding the history of the world, specifically western civilization and how it coined itself  “civilized.” Through introducing basic aspects, history, and dilemmas (both old and modern) it could inspire more interest and an expansion of knowledge from student to student. School is and will most likely continue to be Euro-centric and have large flares of Americana and other “themes” of North America. 

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Business Languages In Africa

Business Languages In Africa | Confidences Canopéennes | Scoop.it

"The Main Languages of Business in Africa."


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Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:46 PM

This map is a simple but powerful one. Africa is the continent that contains the most nations (53), yet it uses only six languages for business. Not surprisingly, all of the languages (with the exception of Arabic) are European in origin. Clearly, the effects of colonialism are still felt around the world in former colonies. The languages that were forced upon various African countries by their colonizers have endured and become the main languages of business in their respective countries. What is just as unfortunate as the roots of colonialism holding fast, if not more so, is the absence of any indigenous languages being used as the language of business in any of the countries of Africa. While using a business language that is spoken by much of the world is surely a matter of practicality and logistics, it is still robbing African countries of their heritage and culture to some degree.

 

This brings up the issue of globalization and how it is constantly at odds with the preservation of culture and tradition. In order for Africa (or any continent or region or country) to function in the modern world, it must be capable of conducting business in a language that is spoken by its business partners. The ability to do business with virtually any person, company, or country in the world is an obviously invaluable one. At the same time, however, it allows for the subtle and gradual erasure of unique culture and traditions. So while it would be ideal for cultural preservation for countries to conduct business in their indigenous languages, it seems to be a necessary evil for smaller and less influential countries to adopt the languages of their more powerful and influential business partners if they wish to survive in today's world. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 29, 2015 4:24 PM

The lingering effects of colonialism, so strongly relevant in every aspect of African ways of life, are perhaps most evident in the "lingua franca" of African nations today. With a multitude of different ethnicities and languages in use in every African nation today, the result of the arbitrarily drawn national borders made by European colonizers, necessitates the use of the one language that's commonly spoken across every independent nation- a European tongue. This system, while a necessity in today's world, is a solution that no one is quite happy with. It reminds Africans of all ages of the power still held by their colonizers over their everyday lives, a stark reminder of the horrors of the previous century at every business meeting and every exchange of goods. This harms the national psyche of each nation, as well as undermining the importance and pride Africans deservedly maintain in their own native languages. European-made borders, however, make it difficult to find another, native language that every ethnic group can agree upon. As a result, the European languages are still in use in Africa, and will most likely still be in use for some time to come. It's a system that no one likes but, for the time being, everyone must accept as reality.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:26 AM

This map is a great resource in showing the diversity of language in Africa. Of course, this map discounts the many native African languages. It instead focuses on the language of business in the continent. That language, has been influence by the European colonization of Africa. The chosen language of business is often tied to the colonizer of the region. The diversity of language in Africa is staggering to say the least.  

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Africa, Uncolonized: A Detailed Look at an Alternate Continent

Africa, Uncolonized: A Detailed Look at an Alternate Continent | Confidences Canopéennes | Scoop.it
What if the Black Plague had killed off almost all Europeans? Then the Reconquista never happens. Spain and Portugal don't kickstart Europe's colonization of other continents. And this is what Africa might have looked like.

 

Tags: Africa, colonialism, borders, historical, map.


Via Seth Dixon
Christian Allié's insight:

.............""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""..................

 

....... Africa's problems were caused by the borders drawn by European colonists in ignorance of tribal lines.

 

[ ... ]

 

.......... slam of course did not originate in Africa, and some would claim that its dominance of large areas of Africa, at the expense of pre-existing belief systems, is as much an example of foreign cultural imperialism as the spread of Western religions and languages is in our day. But that is material for another thought experiment. This one aims to filter out the European influence.

Neither European nor Arab influence is in evidence in the southern part of Africa – although some toponyms relate directly to states in our timeline: BaTswana is Botswana, Wene wa Kongo refers to the two countries bearing that name. Umoja wa Falme za Katanga is echoed in the name of the DR Congo's giant inland province, Katanga. Rundi, Banyarwanda and Buganda, squeezed in between the Great Lakes, are alternative versions of 'our' Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

[ ... ]

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Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 26, 2015 2:26 PM

An interesting fact for a geographer/historian to look at is how different events happening in history can affect a map.  This is very fascinating, because Africa or should I say Alkebu-Lan has very strong looking kingdoms without the Influence of Europe.  Another interesting element of the map is how it is not Euro-centric, Africa is shown as the top of the world.  I guess in this history, Northern Europe instead of being a powerhouse of the world, would be classified as the dark region (like the Congo was in our own world).  It is also interesting how the map is not Euro-centric, but the fact to keep in mind there is the old saying, history is written by the winner.  In this case, the map of the world was drawn by the winning Europeans as well, and this map completely reverses that.  Another interesting fact, is that the Iberian is part of an Islamic Empire.  It looks, as if in this history, Portugal was overcome by the "Arabes" and Spain never even attempted to launch the Reconquista.  History and Geography, especially Political Geography are very closely linked with one another.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 5:00 PM

I found this particularly interesting to read about, as alternative histories fascinate me. The "what if" questions that historians always ask themselves are fun to examine and illustrate, as they are shown in the alternative map of Africa. It's interesting to see just how different this map- drawn from historical accounts of ethnic and linguistic differences between the various African societies- is from the map of Africa we now have today. European colonizers drew borders without any consideration for the native populace, and that is today reflected in the rigid borders of African states that do not match historical ethnic boundaries. The concept of a Europe unable to recover from the Black Death would have serious repercussions for world history. It would allow for the progression of African economies and polities unmolested by European influences and the slave trade, completely reshaping the course of the continent's history. The increased influence of the Arab world would also be a plausible consequence of the decimation of Europe's population. This is an interesting concept, and it is very informative in the sense that it forces us to consider a multitude of factors that played a role in shaping the world as we see and live it today.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:04 AM

Alternative history is always fun. There is no question that Africa would be a different place today, if Europeans had never step foot on the shores of this great continent. Would the great African empires still be alive today? Would Africa be the dominant continent in world affairs? The history of civilization over the past 500 years would almost certainly be radically different. Instead of a Eurocentric world, we may have had an Afrocentric world. What this map really underscores, is the effect that colonialism had on Africa. The Africa we know today is a consequence of that era of European domination. While alternate history is fun, we must always remember the actual history that has occurred in Africa.

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The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place

The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place | Confidences Canopéennes | Scoop.it
How alarmist, racist coverage of Ebola makes things worse. A dressing down of the latest #NewsweekFail.

Via Seth Dixon
Christian Allié's insight:

..................""""""""""""""""""""""""""""".............

 

[ ...]

 

_ Vidéo_

 

............... 

The Newsweek story could generate additional prejudice against African migrants, a population that already suffers from greater prejudice than other immigrant groups. In the psychology study referenced above, researchers found that simply manipulating the geographical origin of a hypothetical immigrant group – from Eastern Africa to Eastern Asia to Eastern Europe — yielded significant differences in attitudes in a study population toward the immigrant group.

 

Fear-mongering narratives about Ebola circulating in the popular media can also have a serious effect on knowledge and attitudes about Ebola. Though there are no cases of person-to-person infection in the United States, a recent poll conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health reports 39 percent of Americans think there will be a large Ebola outbreak in the United States and more than a quarter of Americans are concerned that they or someone in their immediate family may get sick with Ebola in the next year. A similar poll conducted for Reason-Rupe had four in 10 Americans saying an Ebola outbreak in the United States was likely, and conservative Americans were more likely to say an outbreak was likely. These two national surveys show Americans are grossly overestimating their risk of infection.

 

The long history of associating immigrants and disease in America and the problematic impact that has on attitudes toward immigrants should make us sensitive to the impact of “othering” African immigrants to the United States in the midst of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Scare-mongering about infinitesimally small risks in one context serves no purpose to the greater good of trying to curb disease transmission and relieve people’s suffering in another context.

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 2:21 PM

Before I even read the article, my first thought went to the Linneaus classification.  That really damaged history with this one chart.  I think people still think of Africans and blacks(very dark blacks) as dirty or unintelligent.  Which is horrible and couldn't be further from the truth.  Misinforming the public is criminal.  News media and social media need to be careful and educate properly.  I've been asked from a customs offical, "Have you been to Africa in the past 6 months?"  Which is a very blanket question because Africa is a continent.  There were areas that were not hit with Ebola.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:37 PM

Those who deny the continued influence of racism in our society are blinding themselves to the truth. Contemporary influences of the racism that plagued the preceding centuries are still found in most major media depictions of Africa. The Ebola epidemic has served to highlight the bigotry that plagues Western media, as the assumption that all of Africa is diseased and dirty is continuously perpetuated (when, in reality, Ebola only affected a very small part of the continent). Africa is presented as "other," a backwards continent that is in desperate need of Western help and guidance- in what was is that different from the European colonizers who also viewed their actions as benevolent attempts to "civilize" the uncivilized? That mindset has not left Western circles, and yet we continue to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves for suddenly being so tolerant. The insensitivity of Western audiences to the concerns of black individuals both at home and in Africa related to the prevalence of racism highlights how determined mainstream media is to deny the existence of a problem. Until we recognize the Eurocentrism that continues to plague our media and make the necessary moves to correct the practice, harmful depictions of Africa will continue to loom large in Western media and in the opinions of many Europeans and Americans alike.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:12 AM

Africa has long been treated by the western media as a dark , brutish, uncivilized place. Africa is a place were people starve and murder each other in large numbers. There is so much more to Africa than the picture I just described. The problem is, many people just do not accept the existence of a culturally complex Africa. That narrative would destroy the traditional  darker narrative of the past 500 years. A narrative grounded in the beliefs that blacks are inherently inferior beings. During the Ebola crises, the calls to cut off travel to Africa were quick and demanding. Had the crises been in England, would those same calls have been so loud? I think we all can guess the answer  to that question. Much progress has been made, but we still need to change our cultural depiction of Africa.

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First taste of chocolate

"To be honest I do not know what they make of my beans," says farmer N'Da Alphonse. "I've heard they're used as flavoring in cooking, but I've never seen it. I do not even know if it's true." Watch how the Dutch respond to a cocoa bean in return or you can watch our entire episode on chocolate here.


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Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 6:02 PM

this is an interesting demonstration of the disconnect between the consumer and the producer. we would consider chocolate to be the product these guys are producing, yet we forget that they only deal with it at the rawest level. something we see everyday is something as rare as gold to these guys.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:12 PM

how do these people not know what the crop they are producing is or tastes like? that is amazing to me how you can be so oblivious to what you are doing. and how the place that produces cocoa does not actually have access to it.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 8:15 AM

What is the geography of chocolate like?  This video was produced in the Netherlands, the global center of the cocoa trade, but the world's leading producer of cocoa is Côte d'Ivoire.  There is a dark side to chocolate production; the dirty secret is that slavery is commonplace on cocoa plantations in West Africa.  Although the worst of the situation is glossed over in this video, it still hints at the vast economic inequalities that are part and parcel of the global chocolate trade and the plantation roots of the production.  What are some of your reactions to this video?  


Tags: chocolate, Ivory Coast, Africa, poverty, development, economic, globalization, industry, labor.