Madagascar the Republic of Madagascar, known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; the island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the growing human population and other environmental threats. The first archaeological evidence for human foraging on Madagascar may have occurred as much as 10,000 years ago. Human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and 550 AD by Austronesian peoples, arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo; these were joined around the 9th century AD by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life.
The Malagasy ethnic group is divided into 18 or more subgroups, of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands. Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting sociopolitical alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles; the monarchy ended in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island gained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar has since undergone four major constitutional periods, termed republics. Since 1992, the nation has been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009, president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred in March 2009 to Andry Rajoelina. Constitutional governance was restored in January 2014, when Hery Rajaonarimampianina was named president following a 2013 election deemed fair and transparent by the international community.
Madagascar is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Madagascar belongs according to the United Nations. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state; the majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs, Christianity, or an amalgamation of both. Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar's development strategy. Under Ravalomanana, these investments produced substantial economic growth, but the benefits were not evenly spread throughout the population, producing tensions over the increasing cost of living and declining living standards among the poor and some segments of the middle class; as of 2017, the economy has been weakened by the 2009–2013 political crisis, quality of life remains low for the majority of the Malagasy population. In the Malagasy language, the island of Madagascar is called Madagasikara and its people are referred to as Malagasy.
The island's appellation "Madagascar" is not of local origin but rather was popularized in the Middle Ages by Europeans. The name Madageiscar was first recorded in the memoirs of 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco Polo as a corrupted transliteration of the name Mogadishu, the Somali port with which Polo had confused the island. On St. Laurence's Day in 1500, Portuguese explorer Diogo Dias landed on the island and named it São Lourenço. Polo's name popularized on Renaissance maps. No single Malagasy-language name predating Madagasikara appears to have been used by the local population to refer to the island, although some communities had their own name for part or all of the land they inhabited. At 592,800 square kilometres, Madagascar is the world's 47th largest country and the fourth-largest island; the country lies between latitudes 12°S and 26°S, longitudes 43°E and 51°E. Neighboring islands include the French territory of Réunion and the country of Mauritius to the east, as well as the state of Comoros and the French territory of Mayotte to the north west.
The nearest mainland state is Mozambique, located to the west. The prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana separated the Madagascar–Antarctica–India landmass from the Africa–South America landmass around 135 million years ago. Madagascar split from India about 88 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in relative isolation. Along the length of the eastern coast runs a narrow and steep escarpment containing much of the island's remaining tropical lowland forest. To the west of this ridge lies a plateau in the center of the island ranging in altitude from 750 to 1,500 m above sea level; these central highlands, traditionally the homeland of the Merina people and the location of their historic capital at Antananarivo, are the most densely populated part of the island and are characterized by terraced, rice-growing valleys lying between grassy hills and patches of the subhumid forests that covered the highland region. To the west of the highlands, the arid terrain slope
South Africa the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation, it is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status; the remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European and multiracial ancestry. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures and religions, its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, the fourth highest number in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most coloured and white South Africans.
The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, regular elections have been held for a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics; the National Party imposed apartheid in 1948. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in 1990. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's liberal democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity in the wake of apartheid; the World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, a newly industrialised country.
Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa; however and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, maintains significant regional influence; the name "South Africa" is derived from the country's geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation, the country was named the Union of South Africa in English, reflecting its origin from the unification of four separate British colonies. Since 1961, the long form name in English has been the "Republic of South Africa". In Dutch, the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika. Since 1994, the Republic has had an official name in each of its 11 official languages. Mzansi, derived from the Xhosa noun umzantsi meaning "south", is a colloquial name for South Africa, while some Pan-Africanist political parties prefer the term "Azania".
South Africa contains human-fossil sites in the world. Archaeologists have recovered extensive fossil remains from a series of caves in Gauteng Province; the area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been branded "the Cradle of Humankind". The sites include one of the richest sites for hominin fossils in the world. Other sites include Gondolin Cave Kromdraai, Coopers Cave and Malapa. Raymond Dart identified the first hominin fossil discovered in Africa, the Taung Child in 1924. Further hominin remains have come from the sites of Makapansgat in Limpopo Province and Florisbad in the Free State Province, Border Cave in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Klasies River Mouth in Eastern Cape Province and Pinnacle Point and Die Kelders Cave in Western Cape Province; these finds suggest that various hominid species existed in South Africa from about three million years ago, starting with Australopithecus africanus. There followed species including Australopithecus sediba, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo helmei, Homo naledi and modern humans.
Modern humans have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 170,000 years. Various researchers have located pebble tools within the Vaal River valley. Settlements of Bantu-speaking peoples, who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were present south of the Limpopo River by the 4th or 5th century CE, they displaced and absorbed the original Khoisan speakers, the Khoikhoi and San peoples. The Bantu moved south; the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050. The southernmost group was the Xhosa people, whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoisan people; the Xhosa reached the Great Fish River, in today's Eastern Cape Province. As they migrated, these larger Iron Age populations
International Development Association
The International Development Association is an international financial institution which offers concessional loans and grants to the world's poorest developing countries. The IDA is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D. C. United States, it was established in 1960 to complement the existing International Bank for Reconstruction and Development by lending to developing countries which suffer from the lowest gross national income, from troubled creditworthiness, or from the lowest per capita income. Together, the International Development Association and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development are collectively known as the World Bank, as they follow the same executive leadership and operate with the same staff; the association shares the World Bank's mission of reducing poverty and aims to provide affordable development financing to countries whose credit risk is so prohibitive that they cannot afford to borrow commercially or from the Bank's other programs.
The IDA's stated aim is to assist the poorest nations in growing more equitably, sustainably to reduce poverty. The IDA is the single largest provider of funds to economic and human development projects in the world's poorest nations. From 2000 to 2010, it financed projects which recruited and trained 3 million teachers, immunized 310 million children, funded $792 million in loans to 120,000 small and medium enterprises, built or restored 118,000 kilometers of paved roads, built or restored 1,600 bridges, expanded access to improved water to 113 million people and improved sanitation facilities to 5.8 million people. The IDA has issued a total $238 billion USD in loans and grants since its launch in 1960. Thirty-six of the association's borrowing countries have graduated from their eligibility for its concessional lending. However, eight of these countries have not re-graduated. During the 1940s and 1950s, low-income developing countries began realizing that they could no longer afford to borrow capital and needed more-favorable lending terms than offered by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
At the onset of his inaugural term in 1949, then-President of the United States Harry S. Truman assembled an advisory group to suggest ways to accomplish his Point Four Program, of which a significant component was an effort to strengthen developing countries those nearest to the Eastern Bloc, to dissuade them from aligning with other communist states; the advisory group recommended an international mechanism that would function somewhere in between providing strictly-loaned and strictly-granted funds. The UN and United States government published reports expressing support for the creation of a multilateral, concessional lending program for the poorest developing countries. However, the United States was unresponsive and distracted by its involvement in the Korean War and unconvinced that development needed greater financial stimulation. Developing countries grew frustrated with not being able to afford IBRD lending and perceived the Marshall Plan as a comparatively generous gift to European nations.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, developing countries began calling for the United Nations to create a development agency that would offer technical support and concessional financing, with a particular desire that the agency adhere to other UN bodies' convention of each country having one vote as opposed to a weighted vote. However, the United States opposed proposals of that nature; as the United States grew more concerned over the growth of the Cold War, it made a concession in 1954 at the behest of its Department of State by backing the conception of the International Finance Corporation. Despite the launch of the IFC in 1956, developing countries persisted in demanding the creation of a new concessional financing mechanism and the idea gained traction within the IBRD. Then-President of the IBRD Eugene R. Black, Sr. began circulating the notion of an International Development Association, as opposed to an idea of a concessional named the Special United Nations Fund for Economic Development governed by the United Nations.
Paul Hoffman, the Marshall Plan's former Administrator, proposed the idea of a soft-loan facility within the World Bank, where the US would have a preponderant voice in the allocation of such loans. Democratic Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma supported this idea; as Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on International Finance, Monroney proposed a resolution recommending a study of the potential establishment of an International Development Association to be affiliated with the IBRD. Monroney's proposal was more preferred received within the United States than the SUNFED; the resolution passed the senate in 1958, then-U. S. Treasury Secretary Robert B. Anderson encouraged other countries to conduct similar studies. In 1959, the World Bank's Board of Governors approved a U. S.-born resolution calling for the drafting of the articles of agreement. SUNFED became the Special Fund and merged with the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance to form the United Nations Development Programme. By the end of January 1960, fifteen countries signed the articles of agreement which established the International Development Association.
The association launched in September of that same year with an initial budget of $913 million. Over the next eight months following its launch, the IDA grew to 51 member states and loaned $101 million to four developing countries; the IDA is governed by the World Bank's Board of Governors which meets annually and consists of one governor per member country. The Board of G
The Persian Gulf is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest; the Shatt al-Arab river delta forms the northwest shoreline. The body of water is and internationally known as the "Persian Gulf"; some Arab governments refer to it as the "Arabian Gulf" or "The Gulf", but neither term is recognized internationally. The name "Gulf of Iran" is used by the International Hydrographic Organization; the Persian Gulf was a battlefield of the 1980–1988 Iran–Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers. It is the namesake of the 1991 Gulf War, the air- and land-based conflict that followed Iraq's invasion of Kuwait; the gulf has many fishing grounds, extensive reefs, abundant pearl oysters, but its ecology has been damaged by industrialization and oil spills. The Persian Gulf resides in the Persian Gulf Basin, of Cenozoic origin and related to the subduction of the Arabian Plate under the Zagros Mountains.
The current flooding of the basin started 15,000 years ago due to rising sea levels of the Holocene glacial retreat. This inland sea of some 251,000 square kilometres is connected to the Gulf of Oman in the east by the Strait of Hormuz. In Iran this is called "Arvand Rood", where "Rood" means "river", its length is 989 kilometres, with Iran covering most of the northern coast and Saudi Arabia most of the southern coast. The Persian Gulf is about 56 km wide in the Strait of Hormuz; the waters are overall shallow, with a maximum depth of 90 metres and an average depth of 50 metres. Countries with a coastline on the Persian Gulf are: Iran. Various small islands lie within the Persian Gulf, some of which are the subject of territorial disputes between the states of the region; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the Persian Gulf's southern limit as "The Northwestern limit of Gulf of Oman". This limit is defined as "A line joining Ràs Limah on the coast of Arabia and Ràs al Kuh on the coast of Iran".
The gulf is connected to Indian Ocean through Strait of Hormuz. Writing the water balance budget for the Persian Gulf, the inputs are river discharges from Iran and Iraq, as well as precipitation over the sea, around 180mm/year in Qeshm Island; the evaporation of the sea is high, so that after considering river discharge and rain contributions, there is still a deficit of 416 cubic kilometers per year. This difference is supplied by currents at the Strait of Hormuz; the water from the Gulf has a higher salinity, therefore exits from the bottom of the Strait, while ocean water with less salinity flows in through the top. Another study revealed the following numbers for water exchanges for the Gulf: evaporation = -1.84m/year, precipitation = 0.08m/year, inflow from the Strait = 33.66m/year, outflow from the Strait = -32.11m/year, the balance is 0m/year. Data from different 3D computational fluid mechanics models with spatial resolution of 3 kilometers and depth each element equal to 1–10 meters are predominantly used in computer models.
The Persian Gulf and its coastal areas are the world's largest single source of crude oil, related industries dominate the region. Safaniya Oil Field, the world's largest offshore oilfield, is located in the Persian Gulf. Large gas finds have been made, with Qatar and Iran sharing a giant field across the territorial median line. Using this gas, Qatar has built up a substantial liquefied natural petrochemical industry. In 2002, the Persian Gulf nations of Bahrain, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE produced about 25% of the world's oil, held nearly two-thirds of the world's crude oil reserves, about 35% of the world's natural gas reserves; the oil-rich countries that have a coastline on the Persian Gulf are referred to as the Persian Gulf States. Iraq's egress to the gulf is narrow and blockaded consisting of the marshy river delta of the Shatt al-Arab, which carries the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers, where the east bank is held by Iran. In 550 BC, the Achaemenid Empire established the first ancient empire in Persis, in the southwestern region of the Iranian plateau.
In the Greek sources, the body of water that bordered this province came to be known as the "Persian Gulf". During the years 550 to 330 BC, coinciding with the sovereignty of the Achaemenid Persian Empire over the Middle East area the whole part of the Persian Gulf and some parts of the Arabian Peninsula, the name of "Pars Sea" is found in the compiled written texts. In the travel account of Pythagoras, several chapters are related to description of his travels accompanied by the Achaemenid king Darius the Great, to Susa and Persepolis, the area is described. From among the writings of others in the same period, there is the inscription and engraving of Darius the Great, installed at junction of waters of Red Sea and the Nile river and the Rome river which belongs to t
Mayotte is an overseas department and region of France named the Department of Mayotte. It consists of a main island, Grande-Terre, a smaller island, Petite-Terre, several islets around these two. Mayotte is part of the Comoros archipelago, located in the northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa, between northwestern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique; the department status of Mayotte is recent and the region remains, by a significant margin, the poorest in France. Mayotte is much more prosperous than the other countries of the Mozambique Channel, making it a major destination for illegal immigration. Mayotte's area is 374 square kilometres and, with its 270,372 people according to January 2019 official estimates, is densely populated at 723 per km2; the biggest city and prefecture is Mamoudzou on Grande-Terre. However, the Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport is located on the neighbouring island of Petite-Terre; the territory is known as Maore, the native name of its main island by advocates of its inclusion in the Union of the Comoros.
Although, as a department, Mayotte is now an integral part of France, the majority of the inhabitants do not speak French as a first language, but a majority of the people 14 years and older report in the census that they can speak French. The language of the majority is Shimaore, a Sabaki language related to the varieties in the neighbouring Comoros islands; the second most spoken native language is Kibushi, a Malagasy language, of which there are two varieties, Kibushi Kisakalava, most related to the Sakalava dialect of Malagasy, Kibushi Kiantalaotra. Both have been influenced by Shimaore; the vast majority of the population is Muslim. The island was populated from neighbouring East Africa with arrival of Arabs, who brought Islam. A sultanate was established in 1500. In the 19th century, Mayotte was conquered by Andriantsoly, former king of Iboina on Madagascar, by the neighbouring islands Mohéli and Anjouan before being purchased by France in 1841; the people of Mayotte voted to remain politically a part of France in the 1974 referendum on the independence of the Comoros.
Mayotte became an overseas department on 31 March 2011 and became an outermost region of the European Union on 1 January 2014, following a 2009 referendum with an overwhelming result in favour of the department status. The term Mayotte may refer to all of the department's islands, of which the largest is known as Maore and includes Maore's surrounding islands, most notably Pamanzi, or only to the largest island; the main island, Grande-Terre, geologically the oldest of the Comoro Islands, is 39 kilometres long and 22 kilometres wide, its highest point is Mount Benara, at 660 metres above sea level. Because of the volcanic rock, the soil is rich in some areas. A coral reef encircling much of the island ensures a habitat for fish. Dzaoudzi was the capital of Mayotte until 1977, when the capital relocated at Mamoudzou on the main island of Grande-Terre, it is situated on Petite-Terre, which at 10 square kilometres is the largest of several islets adjacent to Maore. The area of the lagoon behind the reef is 1,500 square kilometres,reaching a maximum depth of about 80m.
It is described as "the largest barrier-reef-lagoon complex within the southwestern Indian Ocean". Main article: Geology of Mayotte Mayotte is a volcanic island rising steeply from the bed of the ocean to a height of 660 metres on Mont Bénara. Two volcanic centres are reported, a southern one (Pic Chongui, 594 metres, with a breached crater to the NW, a northern centre with a breached crater to the south-east. Mont Bénara is on the curving ridge between these two peaks at the contact point of the two structures. Volcanic activity started about 7.7 million years ago in the south, ceasing about 2.7 million years ago. In the north, activity started about 4.7 million years ago and lasted until about 1.4 million years ago. Both centres had several phases of activity; the November 11 2018 seismic event occurred about 15 miles off the coast of Mayotte. It was recorded by seismograms in many place including Kenya, New Zealand and Hawaii located 11,000 miles away; the seismic waves lasted for over 20 minutes but despite this, no one felt it.
The exact nature of the forces behind this swarm remain unclear at this time. The French government geological agency, the BRGM are maintaining a website on the events at this link; the leading theory is about magma emplacement into the seabed and a partial collase of the magma chamber's roof, but, still under debate. A set of seabed seismic recorders was put into the ocean in February 2019, for retrieval in about September that year, which should give better earthquake locations and directional "solutions". Mayotte is surrounded by a typical tropical coral reef, it consists in a large outer barrier reef, enclosing one of the world's largest and deepest lagoons, followed by a fringing reef, interrupted by many mangroves. All Mayotte waters are ruled by a National marine Park, many places are natural reserves. In 1500, the Maore or Mawuti (contraction of the Arabic جزيرة الموت Jazīrat al-Mawt – meaning isl
Tanzania the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania; the first humans known lived in Pliocene Tanzania 6 million years ago. The genus Australopithecus ranged all over Africa 4-2 million years ago. Following the rise of Homo erectus 1.8 million years ago, mankind spread all over the Old World, in the New World and Australia under the species Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens overtook Africa and absorbed the older archaic species and subspecies of humanity. One of the oldest known ethnic groups still existing, the Hadzabe, appears to have originated in Tanzania, their oral history recalls ancestors who were tall and were the first to use fire and lived in caves, much like Homo erectus or Homo heidelbergensis who lived in the same region before them. In the Stone and Bronze Age, prehistoric migrations into Tanzania included Southern Cushitic speakers who moved south from present-day Ethiopia.
These movements took place at about the same time as the settlement of the Mashariki Bantu from West Africa in the Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika areas. They subsequently migrated across the rest of Tanzania between 1,700 years ago. European colonialism began in mainland Tanzania during the late 19th century when Germany formed German East Africa, which gave way to British rule following World War I; the mainland was governed as Tanganyika, with the Zanzibar Archipelago remaining a separate colonial jurisdiction. Following their respective independence in 1961 and 1963, the two entities merged in April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania; the United Nations estimated Tanzania's 2016 population at 55.57 million. The population is composed of several ethnic and religious groups; the sovereign state of Tanzania is a presidential constitutional republic and since 1996 its official capital city has been Dodoma where the president's office, the National Assembly, some government ministries are located.
Dar es Salaam, the former capital, retains most government offices and is the country's largest city, principal port, leading commercial centre. Tanzania is a de facto one-party state with the democratic socialist Chama Cha Mapinduzi party in power. Tanzania is densely forested in the north-east, where Mount Kilimanjaro is located. Three of Africa's Great Lakes are within Tanzania. To the north and west lie Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, Lake Tanganyika, the continent's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish. To the south lies Lake Malawi; the eastern shore is humid, with the Zanzibar Archipelago just offshore. The Menai Bay Conservation Area is Zanzibar's largest marine protected area; the Kalambo Falls, located on the Kalambo River at the Zambian border, is the second highest uninterrupted waterfall in Africa. Over 100 different languages are spoken in Tanzania, making it the most linguistically diverse country in East Africa; the country does not have a de jure official language.
Swahili is used in parliamentary debate, in the lower courts, as a medium of instruction in primary school. English is used in foreign trade, in diplomacy, in higher courts, as a medium of instruction in secondary and higher education, although the Tanzanian government is planning to discontinue English as a language of instruction altogether. 10 percent of Tanzanians speak Swahili as a first language, up to 90 percent speak it as a second language. The name "Tanzania" was created as a clipped compound of the names of the two states that unified to create the country: Tanganyika and Zanzibar, it comprises the first three letters of the two states, "Tan" and "Zan" as well as the only two vowels in the names of two states, "I" and "a" to form Tanzania. The name "Tanganyika" is derived from the Swahili words tanga and nyika, creating the phrase "sail in the wilderness", it is sometimes understood as a reference to Lake Tanganyika. The name of Zanzibar comes from "zenji", the name for a local people, the Arabic word "barr", which means coast or shore.
The indigenous populations of eastern Africa are thought to be the linguistically isolated Hadza and Sandawe hunter-gatherers of Tanzania. The first wave of migration was by Southern Cushitic speakers who moved south from Ethiopia and Somalia into Tanzania, they are ancestral to the Iraqw and Burunge. Based on linguistic evidence, there may have been two movements into Tanzania of Eastern Cushitic people at about 4,000 and 2,000 years ago, originating from north of Lake Turkana. Archaeological evidence supports the conclusion that Southern Nilotes, including the Datoog, moved south from the present-day South Sudan / Ethiopia border region into central northern Tanzania between 2,900 and 2,400 years ago; these movements took place at the same time as the settlement of the iron-making Mashariki Bantu from West Africa in the Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika areas. They brought with them the west African planting tradition and the p
Bantu people are the speakers of Bantu languages, comprising several hundred indigenous ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa, spread over a vast area from Central Africa across the African Great Lakes to Southern Africa. Linguistically, Bantu languages belong to the Southern Bantoid branch of Benue–Congo, one of the language families grouped within the Niger–Congo phylum; the total number of Bantu languages ranges in the hundreds, depending on the definition of "language" vs. "dialect" estimated at between 440 and 680 distinct languages. The total number of Bantu speakers is in the hundreds of millions, ranging at 350 million in the mid-2010s. About 60 million Bantu speakers, divided into some 200 ethnic or tribal groups, are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo alone; the larger of the individual Bantu groups have populations of several million, e.g. the Shona of Zimbabwe, the Zulu of South Africa the Luba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sukuma of Tanzania, or the Kikuyu of Kenya.
The word Bantu for the language families and its speakers is an artificial term based on the reconstructed Proto-Bantu term for "people" or "humans". It was first introduced by Wilhelm Bleek in 1857 or 1858, popularised in his Comparative Grammar of 1862; the name was coined to represent the word for "people" in loosely reconstructed Proto-Bantu, from the plural noun class prefix *ba- categorizing "people", the root *ntʊ̀ - "some, any". There is no native term for the group, as populations refer to their languages by ethnic endonyms but did not have a concept for the larger ethno-linguistic phylum. Bleek's coinage was inspired by the anthropological observation of groups self-identifying as "people" or "the true people"; that is, idiomatically the reflexes of *bantʊ in the numerous languages have connotations of personal character traits as encompassed under the values system of ubuntu known as hunhu in Chishona or botho in Sesotho, rather than just referring to all human beings. The root in Proto-Bantu is reconstructed as *-ntʊ́.
Versions of the word Bantu occur in all Bantu languages: for example, as watu in Swahili. Bantu languages derive from a Proto-Bantu language, estimated to have been spoken about 4,000 to 3,000 years ago in West/Central Africa, they were spread across Central and Southern Africa in the Bantu expansion, a rapid succession of migrations during the 1st millennium BC, in one wave moving across the Congo basin towards East Africa, in another moving south along the African coast and the Congo River system towards Angola. The geographical origin of the Bantu expansion is somewhat open to debate. Two main scenarios are proposed, an early expansion to Central Africa, a single origin of the migration radiating from there, or an early separation into an eastward and a southward wave of migration. Genetic analysis shows a significant clustering of Bantu peoples by region, suggesting admixture from local populations, with the Eastern Bantu forming a separate ancestral cluster, the Southern Bantu showing derivation from Western Bantu by Khoisan admixture and low levels of Eastern Bantu admixture.
According to the early-split scenario described in the 1990s, the southward migration had reached the Central African rain forest by about 1500 BC, the southern Savannahs by 500 BC, while the eastward migration reached the Great Lakes by 1000 BC, expanding further from there, as the rich environment supported a dense population. Movements by small groups to the southeast from the Great Lakes region were more rapid, with initial settlements dispersed near the coast and near rivers, due to comparatively harsh farming conditions in areas farther from water. Pioneering groups had reached modern KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa by about AD 300 along the coast, the modern Northern Province by AD 500; the Bantu peoples assimilated and/or displaced a number of earlier inhabitants that they came across, such as Pygmy and Khoisan populations in the centre and south, respectively. They encountered some Afro-Asiatic outlier groups in the southeast, as well as Nilo-Saharan groups; as cattle terminology in use amongst the few modern Bantu pastoralist groups suggests, the Bantu migrants would acquire cattle from their new Cushitic neighbors.
Linguistic evidence indicates that Bantus borrowed the custom of milking cattle directly from Cushitic peoples in the area. Interactions between Bantu and Cushitic peoples resulted in Bantu groups with significant Cushitic ethnic admixture, such as the Tutsi of the African Great Lakes region. Between the 14th and 15th centuries, Bantu-speaking states began to emerge in the Great Lakes region and in the savannah south of the Central African rain forest. On the Zambezi river, the Monomatapa kings built the Great