Africa is the second largest continent, covering about a fifth of the world's landmass.  It stretches equally to the north and south of the equator and is made up of many different kinds of landscapes and ecosystems.

Africa consists of over 50 states, many of which became independent in the 20th century.  The whole continent was ruled by European powers until the world wars. Today, many nations still suffer from the lack of democratic elements.  Dictators and military leaders rule politically unstable countries, in which there are no free elections.

The continent has great deposits of the world's most valuable minerals and raw materials, including diamonds, coal, copper and gold. However, Africa is the least developed of all continents. Food is often scarce and droughts hit many regions on a regular basis. Diseases spread throughout Africa, life expectancy is low and poverty is widespread.




Africa - Exercises



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  • century = a hundred years
  • copper = soft, reddish-brown metal  that allows electricity and heat to pass through easily
  • cover = contain
  • deposit = a layer of minerals or metals in the rocks of the earth
  • disease = illness
  • drought = long period of dry weather when there is not enough rain to grow crops
  • ecosystem = all the animals and plants in a certain region and the way they live together
  • election = people vote for a government or leader
  • equally = to the same amount
  • equator = line around the middle of the earth
  • however = but
  • independent = free
  • lack = not enough
  • landmass = land, area
  • least developed = not very industrialized; with much poverty
  • life expectancy = the number of years a person is expected to live when they are born
  • on a regular basis = regularly ; very often
  • poverty = the situation of being poor
  • raw materials = things that exist in nature and are used by people like minerals, coal, oil, wood etc..
  • scare = rare; not enough
  • spread = move
  • stretch = to reach from one place to another
  • suffer = here: experience in a bad way
  • throughout = to all of
  • unstable = something that will probably change and become worse
  • valuable = very important and worth a lot of money
  • widespread = common