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Living Together in Africa - Social Studies Class 7

Living Together in Africa

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Living Together in Africa

Last Updated: 31st May 2020

Physical Environment


- Africa lies with Latitude 37°N and 35°S and Longitude 52°E and 17°W.
- it borders the Indian OCean to the East and the Atlantic ocean to the West.
- It borders also the Mediterranean sea to the North and the Red Sea to the NorthEast.


- Africa is the second largest continent in the world.
- Asia is the largest continent.
- Australia and New Zealand are the smallest


- Africa is wide to the North and narrower to the South.
- It has a regular coastline.

Position and Shape of Africa
Position and Shape of Africa - Image Courtesy

Countries Of Africa And Their Location

Countries of Africa and their Location
Countries Of Africa And Their Location - Image Courtesy

- Algeria is the largest country in Africa
- Seychelles is the smallest country in Africa

Major Latitudes and Longitudes


- Latitudes are imaginary lines that run from East to West on a map
- Equator is the main latitude
- Latitudes are not of the same length
- Latitudes are parallel.


- They are imaginary lines that run from North pole to South pole.
- The Prime meridian is the main longitude.
- All longitudes are of the same length.
- A longitude is used to calculate time.

Latitudes and Longitudes
Latitudes and Longitudes - Image Courtesy

Rotation and Revolution of the Earth

- Rotation is the movement of the Earth on its own axis

Time Calculation

- The Earth rotates 360° in 24 hours which is equal to 1 day.
- The Earth rotates from West to East on its own axis
- When calculating the time of a location, we add if a place is to the East and subtract if the place is to the West.
If the time is 7:00 a.m in Accra which is at 0°, what is the time in Nairobi which is 45° E.

1° = 4 Minutes
45° = 45 x 4 = 180 Minutes = 3 hours
Nairobi is to the East of Accra hence we add 3 hours to the time in Accra.
7.00 a.m + 3 hours = 10.00 a.m
Time in Nairobi is 10.00 a.m

Effects Of Rotation Of The Earth On Time

  1. It causes day and night
  2. It causes a difference in time in different parts of the world
  3. It causes rise and fall of tides

Effects of revolution of the Earth

- Revolution is the movement of the Earth round the sun.
- One complete revolution takes 365¼ days.
- Revolution causes 4 seasons.
  • Spring
  • Autumn
  • Winter
  • Summer

Seasons Caused by Revolution of the Earth
Seasons Caused by Revolution of the Earth - Image Courtesy

- It also influences the length of day and night hours.
- It influences the position of the overhead sun in certain months.

Map Read and Interpretation

- A map is a representation of part or the whole of the Earth's surface on a piece of paper

Elements of a map

- These are qualities that a good map should have.
- They include:
  1. Title - It shows the are and type of information contained on the map
  2. Key - It contains the symbols and explains what they stand for on the map
  3. Scale - It is the relation of the distance on the ground and the distance covered on the map
  4. Compass - Used to tell direction on a map
  5. Frame - It is drawn around a map to show the extent of the are covered by the map
  6. Symbols - They are used to represent certain features on the map E.g Hills, Rivers
  7. An Example of a map

Physical Features


- Mountains are grouped according to how they are formed.
- The following are the types of mountains
a) Volcanic Mountains
- They are formed when magma is released and accumulates on the earth's surface.
- Examples of volcanic mountains are Mt. Kenya, Mt. Elgon, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Longonot and Mt. Nyiragongo.

Latitudes and Longitudes
Latitudes and Longitudes - Image Courtesy

b) Fold Mountains
- They are formed when compressional forces pushes on flexible rocks to fold and depressions.

Fold Mountains
Fold-mountains - Image Courtesy

-Examples of fold mountains are Cape Ranges, Atlas Mountains and Drakensburg.

c) Residual mountains
- Residual mountains are formed after erosion takes place over a long period of time.
- The weaker layer of the mountain is removed leaving more resistant layer of the mountain.
- Example of the residual mountains are Mt. Tibesti, Ahagger mountains and Mt. Kilimambogo.

Residual Mountains
Fold-mountains - Image Courtesy

Formation Of Lakes

- Lakes are grouped according to how they are formed
- The following are types of lakes.
1) Rift Valley lakes
- They are found on the floor the Rift Valley which is as a result of faulting.
- Examples include Lakes Turkana, Lake Nakuru, Lake Baringo and Naivasha.
2) Depressional lakes
- E.g Lake Victoria, Lake Chad, Lake Bengweulu and Lake Kyoga.
3) Human-made lakes
- E.g Lake Masinga, Lake Nasser and Lake Volta.
4) Crater lakes
- E.g Lake Ngozi in Tanzania, Lake Chala in Tanzania and lake Bosumtwi in Ghana.
5) Ox-bow lakes
- - E.g Lake Kanyaboli, Lake Shakabobo, Lake Gambi and Lake Utange.
6) Tarns or cirques
-E.g Lake Catherine, Lake Teleki, Lake Speke and Lake Gallary.

Relief Regions Of Africa

Rift Valley

* It starts in Jordan and ends in Mozambique.
* It is 7,200 km long.

Coastal plains

* It borders the sea between 0m-200m above sea level.
* Sandbars, beaches, lagoons and coral reefs are found there.
* Africa has a regular coastline.


* They cover most of Africa's land surface.
* Plateaus with fertile soils are good for farming.
* Examples are Jos Plateau, Nyika Plateau and Bie plateau.


* Most highlands are cool and wet.
* Altitude is up to 3000m above sea level.
* Highlands have fertile soils.


Factors Influencing Climate In Africa

The factor influencing climate in Africa include:
  1. Wind
  2. Relief
  3. Altitude
  4. Ocean currents
  5. Latitude
  6. Distance from large water bodies
  7. Nature of the coastline

Climatic Regions Of Africa

Residual Mountains
Climatic Regions of Africa - Image Courtesy

  1. Equatorial climate
  2. Mediterranean climate
  3. Desert climate
  4. Warm temperature climate
  5. Savanna or tropical climate
  6. Mountain climate

Characteristic Of Climate Regions Of Africa

- The following are the characteristics of climatic region experienced in Africa.
1) Equatorial climate
* It lies between 5° North and 5° South.
* Experiences high temperature throughout the year.
* It's wet throughout the year.
* Diurnal range of temperature is small and ranges between 2° Celsius to 3° Celsius.
* The region receives convectional rainfall mainly in the afternoon.
*the region also experiences high humidity.
2) Savanna or tropical climate
* Lies between 5° North and 15° South.
* Has a wet season and dry season.
* Rainfall decreases as the distance from the equator increases.
* Receives the highest rainfall when the sun is overhead.
3) Mediterranean climate
* Experienced along the coast of Mediterranean Sea in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.
* Also experienced along the South-West coast of Africa around Cape Town.
* Experiences four seasons which are spring, summer, autumn and winter.
* The highest temperature is about 25° Celsius and the lowest is 10° Celsius.
4) Desert climate
* They are hot and dry.
* Rainfall received is less than 250mm per year.
* Experiences high temperature throughout this year.
* Has a clear sky during the day and at night.
* Has extremely low temperature at night and very high temperature during the day.
5) Warm temperature climate
* Experienced in South-East coast of Africa.
* Highest amounts of rainfall received in summer.
* Has seasons; hot and we summers and warm and wet winters.
6) Mountain climate
* Receives relief rainfall.
* Increase in height leads to decrease in temperature.
* It's cool and wet throughout the year on the windward side.
* Experienced in the highland regions.

Seasons Experienced In Africa

- Seasons are caused by revolution of the earth around the sun.
- Most parts in Africa experience two seasons. They are:
  • Hot and dry season
  • Cool and wet season
- Some parts along the Mediterranean coast and the South-West coast experience four seasons.

Influence Of Climate On Human Activities

  1. Deserts discourages human settlements
  2. Cool areas encourages dairy and crop farming
  3. Savanna grasslands support pastoralism , ranch and tourism
  4. Hot and wet areas are good for crop farming


- The Vegetation zones of Africa are:
  • Equatorial vegetation
  • Savanna vegetation
  • Mediterranean vegetation
  • Mountain vegetation
  • Semi-desert and desert vegetation

Vegetation Zones in Africa
Climatic Regions of Africa - Image Courtesy

Factors Influencing Distribution Of Vegetation

- The main factors influencing the distribution of vegetation in Africa include:
  • Climate
  • Soil fertility
  • Relief
  • Human activities
  • Government policies

Types of Vegetation Zones

Equatorial rainforest
- Tall tress with little or no undergrowth.
- Trees are mainly hardwood.
- Climbers and creepers are common.
- Trees have broad leaves forming a thick canopy.
Savanna vegetation
There are two types of savanna vegetation:
a) Savanna grassland. - It mainly consist of grass and few short scattered trees.
b) Savanna Woodland. - It has more trees than grass.
- Savanna vegetation provides homes for wild animals.
- Main types of trees found in savanna are acacia and baobab.
Mediterranean vegetation
- Trees are mainly softwood.
- trees shed their leaves during the dry season.
- Trees are deep rooted.
- Trees have waxy and shiny leaves.
- Trees have thick barks which reduce water loss.
Semi-desert and desert vegetation
- Vegetation is mainly made up of cactus and short tough grass.
- Plant have long roots and thorny leaves.
- Plants have small shiny and waxy leaves.
Mountain vegetation
- It's also known as heath and moorland.
- It's ever green.
- Grows in bands.
- Influenced by altitude.

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