The cradle of civilization and one of the most complex areas on Earth, the continent of Africa is vast both geographically and culturally. A study of the geography and issues of Africa prepare students to better understand its richness and significance. This lesson is designed to give students a fundamental understanding of the physical and human geography of Africa, as well as the opportunity to explore issues facing it.
A conference of African leaders has adopted as its top priority the building of a highway across the continent from Tunis, Tunisia to Cape Town, South Africa. The purpose of the highway is to foster political cooperation among the African nations and to promote economic development, trade, and tourism.
The highway will be financed by the World Bank, which, together with the African leaders, has recently rejected an initial proposal for the highway put forward by a competitor of your company and is now seeking alternate proposals.
You have been asked to submit to the World Bank a proposal for a better route for the highway. You will study a series of maps, data, atlases and other references to explain why the first route was turned down and create a new and improved route with reasoned support for it.
Enclosed is a request for proposal from the World Bank.
You will design a new highway route and support it with reasoned argument in the form of:
Each of these components and the corresponding criteria are explained in the applicable section.
Below is an outline map of Africa and a list of cities connected by the initial proposal for the transcontinental highway.
Draw the route of the initial proposal on the map and list reasons why you think it was rejected. To help formulate your reasons, consult atlases, lists of construction costs (below), and the purposes of the road. An online atlas is available at World Atlas. Additional sources of information include the CIA World Fact Book and InfoPlease.
Construction Costs: Terrain and climate influence the cost of road construction. Listed below are types of terrain ranked in order of expense for road construction, from most to least expensive:
Roads are more expensive to build in humid, subtropical climates than in Mediterranean climates. You can find climate zone information at Blue Planet Biomes.
Draw the rejected route on the map using this order of cities:
|1. Tunis, Tunisia||9. Nairobi, Kenya|
|2. Algiers, Algeria||10. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania|
|3. Niamey, Niger||11. Lilongwe, Malawi|
|4. Abuja, Nigeria||12. Lusaka, Zambia|
|5. Yaounde, Cameroon||13. Harare, Zimbabwe|
|6. Brazzaville, Congo||14. Johannesburg, South Africa|
|7. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo||15. Port Elizabeth, South Africa|
|8. Kampala, Uganda||16. Cape Town, South Africa|
Using the atlases and other rationale, state three reasons that the World Bank and African leaders might have rejected the proposed highway. Include specific data you obtained and note the sources. Keep in mind the purpose of the construction of the highway:
Determining the probable Reasons for rejection of the initial proposal:
Now, you will complete analytical charts of the countries include in the rejected and proposed routes. Using the templates below, note the important elements in each category for the country listed.
The chart below will form the basis of your choices for countries through which to plan your proposed route. Remember that you may have countries on this chart that you do not end up choosing. Print as many copies of the chart page as necessary for your analysis. You may have duplication of countries from the previous chart.
After you have completed the chart, use the following criteria to analyze the countries for inclusion in your proposal.
The route must:
You will design a magazine cover and write an article about an issue in Africa that includes a possible solution.
You will use Big Huge Labs to create the cover.
Select ONE of the following issues in Africa (there may be others — if you are interested in an issue you don't see here, you may choose another).
|Lasting effects of apartheid||Low life expectancy|
|Endangered animals (poaching)||Refugees|
|Civil war||Starvation and famine|
|Disease (AIDS, malaria, etc.)||Genocide|
The map should
The route must
Memo: Final Proposal for Route across Africa
To: The World Bank
Subject: Alternate Proposal for Route across Africa
After considering the data and the rejected highway route, I have designed an alternate proposal, which is included here in map form, accompanied by supporting documentation. The proposed highway meets the following criteria:
I have emphasized the influence of the physical and human geographic features of the continent in designing our proposal.
Keeping in mind the purposes of the highway, I submit the four specific reasons this proposed route is superior to the rejected plan. I am including reasons concerning physical, cultural, and economic geography, and ________________________ (personal choice).
Include reasoning for the highway with these in regards:
This series of lessons was designed to meet the needs of gifted children for extension beyond the standard curriculum with the greatest ease of use for the educator. The lessons may be given to the students for individual self-guided work, or they may be taught in a classroom or a home-school setting. Assessment strategies and rubrics are included at the end of each section. The rubrics often include a column for "scholar points," which are invitations for students to extend their efforts beyond that which is required, incorporating creativity or higher level technical skills.