8-page African paper

8-page African paper - AFST 2100 Africa A Need-to-Know...

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Unformatted text preview: AFST 2100 Africa: A Need-to-Know Briefing Africa is a pivotal continent on the global stage at a pivotal point in our country’s history. The decisions made by African leaders over the next few years will dramatically affect the global political landscape for many years to come. Accordingly, the decisions made by U.S. leaders over the next few years with regards to African relations will significantly affect our own country’s future. The purpose of this briefing is to equip you, the next leader of the United States, with the knowledge necessary to make U.S. relations with Africa maximally beneficial to both parties. We will cover the essential facts and history of this great continent, examine African culture, review current resources and challenges, and offer suggestions on U.S. foreign policy on the continent of Africa. Africa follows Asia as the second largest continent in the world, covering 23 percent of the world’s total land area. It is divided up between 54 countries, six of which are island nations off the African coast. Be advised that there is a sovereignty dispute between Morocco and the Sahara Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). SADR is not recognized by the United Nations as of yet, but is a full participating member in the African Union, which is currently the continent’s most significant unifying structure. This is a subject that would be best avoided on the campaign trail until the UN reaches a decision on the SADR referendum. Africa contains a population of 900 million, 13% of the world’s total population. With sub-Saharan Africa holding the world’s highest growth rates, the population is expected to reach 1 billion before the end of your first term. This population’s distribution is highly uneven, however; Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with over 140 million, while Seychelles is the smallest with only 81 thousand. The continent’s people are very diverse, speaking over 2,000 native languages. Additionally, most Africans are multilingual, often speaking multiple native languages in addition to a European language, particularly English, French, and Arabic. For basic geographic and cultural purposes, African can be divided into five regions: Northern, Western, Eastern, Central, and Southern. The mostly uninhabitable Sahara desert consumes the majority of the region classified as Northern Africa, but the inhabited portion is home to five countries, most notably Egypt. The Northern region has long been home to a large population of Arabs, and is considered by many to be an extension of the Middle East. The culture is heavily influenced by Islam, which is the dominant religion. The countries located here were formerly French colonies, and French and Arabic are the languages most commonly spoken. Oil is the most prominent resource in the region; reserves can be found in Algeria, Libya, and Egypt. Significant iron ore and phosphate deposits can also be found in the area. Next is Western Africa, home to sixteen countries, most notably Nigeria. This area was Next is Western Africa, home to sixteen countries, most notably Nigeria....
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8-page African paper - AFST 2100 Africa A Need-to-Know...

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