In geography, an oasis is the combination of a human settlement and a cultivated area in a desert or semi-desert environment. Oases provide habitat for animals and spontaneous plants; the word oasis came into English via Latin: oasis from Ancient Greek: ὄασις óasis, which in turn is a direct borrowing from Demotic Egyptian. The word for oasis in the attested Coptic language is wahe or ouahe which means a "dwelling place". Oases are made fertile when sources of freshwater, such as underground rivers or aquifers, irrigate the surface or via man-made wells; the presence of water on the surface or underground is necessary and the local or regional management of this essential resource is strategic, but not sufficient to create such areas: continuous human work and know-how are essential to maintain such ecosystems.. Rain showers provide subterranean water to sustain natural oases, such as the Tuat. Substrata of impermeable rock and stone can trap water and retain it in pockets, or on long faulting subsurface ridges or volcanic dikes water can collect and percolate to the surface.
Any incidence of water is used by migrating birds, which pass seeds with their droppings which will grow at the water's edge forming an oasis. It can be used to plant crops; the location of oases has been of critical importance for trade and transportation routes in desert areas. Thus, political or military control of an oasis has in many cases meant control of trade on a particular route. For example, the oases of Awjila and Kufra, situated in modern-day Libya, have at various times been vital to both North-South and East-West trade in the Sahara Desert; the Silk Road across Central Asia incorporated several oases. In North American history, oases have been less prominent since the desert regions are smaller, but in the USA they have allowed colonisation of the western desert regions around the Rockies. Las Vegas is an example of such a settlement. People who live in an oasis must manage water use carefully; the most important plant in an oasis is the date palm. These palm trees provide shade for smaller trees like peach trees.
By growing plants in different layers, the farmers make best use of the water. Many vegetables are grown and some cereals, such as barley and wheat, are grown where there is more moisture. In summary, an oasis palm grove is a anthropized and irrigated area that supports a traditionally intensive and polyculture-based agriculture; the oasis is integrated into its desert environment through an close association with nomadic transhumant livestock farming. However, the oasis is emancipated from the desert by a particular social and ecosystem structure. Responding to environmental constraints, it is an integrated agriculture, conducted with the superposition of two or three strata creating what is called the "oasis effect ": the first and highest stratum is made up of date palms and maintains freshness. Great Man-Made River – the world's largest irrigation project. Guelta Mirage Oasification Qanat – Water management system using underground channels Wadi – River valley a dry riverbed that contains water only during times of heavy rain Water supply – Provision of water by public utilities, commercial organisations or others Battesti, Vincent.
Jardins au désert, Évolution des pratiques et savoirs oasiens, Jérid tunisien. Paris: IRD Éditions. P. 440. ISBN 9782709915649; the dictionary definition of oasis at Wiktionary
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa and on the east by the Levant. Although the sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is identified as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was or desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years, the Messinian salinity crisis, before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago. It covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km2, representing 0.7 % of the global ocean surface, but its connection to the Atlantic via the Strait of Gibraltar-the narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa- is only 14 km wide. In oceanography, it is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere.
The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 m and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 m in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea. The sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia, in the south by Africa, it is located between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 6° W and 36° E. Its west-east length, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Iskenderun, on the southwestern coast of Turkey, is 4,000 km; the sea's average north-south length, from Croatia's southern shore to Libya, is 800 km. The sea was an important route for merchants and travellers of ancient times that allowed for trade and cultural exchange between emergent peoples of the region; the history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies. The countries surrounding the Mediterranean in clockwise order are Spain, Monaco, Slovenia, Croatia and Herzegovina, Albania, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. In addition, the Gaza Strip and the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and Akrotiri and Dhekelia have coastlines on the sea.
The Ancient Greeks called the Mediterranean ἡ θάλασσα or sometimes ἡ μεγάλη θάλασσα, ἡ ἡμέτερα θάλασσα, or ἡ θάλασσα ἡ καθ'ἡμᾶς. The Romans called it Mare Mare Internum and, starting with the Roman Empire, Mare Nostrum; the term Mare Mediterrāneum appears later: Solinus used it in the 3rd century, but the earliest extant witness to it is in the 6th century, in Isidore of Seville. It means'in the middle of land, inland' in Latin, a compound of medius, -āneus; the Latin word is a calque of Greek μεσόγειος, from μέσος and γήινος, from γῆ. The original meaning may have been'the sea in the middle of the earth', rather than'the sea enclosed by land'; the Carthaginians called it the "Syrian Sea". In ancient Syrian texts, Phoenician epics and in the Hebrew Bible, it was known as the "Great Sea" or as "The Sea". Another name was the "Sea of the Philistines", from the people inhabiting a large portion of its shores near the Israelites. In Modern Hebrew, it is called HaYam HaTikhon'the Middle Sea'. In Modern Arabic, it is known as al-Baḥr al-Mutawassiṭ'the Middle Sea'.
In Islamic and older Arabic literature, it was Baḥr al-Rūm'the Sea of the Romans' or'the Roman Sea'. At first, that name referred to only the Eastern Mediterranean, but it was extended to the whole Mediterranean. Other Arabic names were Baḥr al-šām'the Sea of Syria' and Baḥr al-Maghrib'the Sea of the West'. In Turkish, it is the Akdeniz'the White Sea'; the origin of the name is not clear, as it is not known in earlier Greek, Byzantine or Islamic sources. It may be to contrast with the Black Sea. In Persian, the name was translated as Baḥr-i Safīd, used in Ottoman Turkish, it is the origin of the colloquial Greek phrase Άσπρη Θάλασσα. Johann Knobloch claims that in Classical Antiquity, cultures in the Levant used colours to refer to the cardinal points: black referred to the north, yellow or blue to east, red to south, white to west; this would explain both the Turkish Akdeniz and the Arab nomenclature described above. Several ancient civilizations were located around the Mediterranean shores and were influenced by their proximity to the sea.
It provided routes for trade and war, as well as food for numerous communities throughout the ages. Due to the shared climate and access to the sea, c
The United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter, it is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. UNESCO has 11 associate members. Most of its field offices are "cluster" offices covering three or more countries. UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences and communication/information. Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy and teacher-training programs, international science programs, the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press and cultural history projects, the promotion of cultural diversity, translations of world literature, international cooperation agreements to secure the world's cultural and natural heritage and to preserve human rights, attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide.
It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. UNESCO's aim is "to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture and information". Other priorities of the organization include attaining quality Education For All and lifelong learning, addressing emerging social and ethical challenges, fostering cultural diversity, a culture of peace and building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication; the broad goals and objectives of the international community—as set out in the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals —underpin all UNESCO strategies and activities. UNESCO and its mandate for international cooperation can be traced back to a League of Nations resolution on 21 September 1921, to elect a Commission to study feasibility; this new body, the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation was indeed created in 1922.
On 18 December 1925, the International Bureau of Education began work as a non-governmental organization in the service of international educational development. However, the onset of World War II interrupted the work of these predecessor organizations. After the signing of the Atlantic Charter and the Declaration of the United Nations, the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education began meetings in London which continued from 16 November 1942 to 5 December 1945. On 30 October 1943, the necessity for an international organization was expressed in the Moscow Declaration, agreed upon by China, the United Kingdom, the United States and the USSR; this was followed by the Dumbarton Oaks Conference proposals of 9 October 1944. Upon the proposal of CAME and in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, held in San Francisco in April–June 1945, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization was convened in London 1–16 November 1945 with 44 governments represented.
The idea of UNESCO was developed by Rab Butler, the Minister of Education for the United Kingdom, who had a great deal of influence in its development. At the ECO/CONF, the Constitution of UNESCO was introduced and signed by 37 countries, a Preparatory Commission was established; the Preparatory Commission operated between 16 November 1945, 4 November 1946—the date when UNESCO's Constitution came into force with the deposit of the twentieth ratification by a member state. The first General Conference took place from 19 November to 10 December 1946, elected Dr. Julian Huxley to Director-General; the Constitution was amended in November 1954 when the General Conference resolved that members of the Executive Board would be representatives of the governments of the States of which they are nationals and would not, as before, act in their personal capacity. This change in governance distinguished UNESCO from its predecessor, the ICIC, in how member states would work together in the organization's fields of competence.
As member states worked together over time to realize UNESCO's mandate and historical factors have shaped the organization's operations in particular during the Cold War, the decolonization process, the dissolution of the USSR. Among the major achievements of the organization is its work against racism, for example through influential statements on race starting with a declaration of anthropologists and other scientists in 1950 and concluding with the 1978 Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice. In 1956, the Republic of South Africa withdrew from UNESCO saying that some of the organization's publications amounted to "interference" in the country's "racial problems." South Africa rejoined the organization in 1994 under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. UNESCO's early work in the field of education included the pilot project on fundamental education in the Marbial Valley, started in 1947; this project was followed by expert missions to other countries, for example, a mission to Afghanistan in 1949.
In 1948, UNESCO recommended that Member States should make free primary education compulsory and universal. In 1990, the World Conference on Education for All, in Jomtien, launched a global movement to provide basic education for a
Erg of Bilma
The Erg of Bilma is a dune sea in the Ténéré desert region of the south central Sahara Desert. The Erg of Bilma stretches southwest from the Tibesti Mountains. On the west it is bounded by the Aïr Mountains in north central Niger, to the east it passes Bilma, continuing on to the Chadian border, it surrounds on three sides the oasis of Bilma, southernmost of a north–south string of oases of the Kaouar rise. The Erg covers an area of 455,000 square kilometres. At its southernmost edge, some of the dunes have been stabilized by the growth of vegetation, allowing human cultivation of crops like millet and sorghum on the slopes; the ancient Bornu Empire to Fezzan caravan routes had to cross the dunes of the erg south of Bilma as the last major obstacle before reaching the sahel. While that traffic ceased after 1820, trade though the erg of Bilma continues from the Lake Chad region and the Termit Massif on a small scale. List of ergs Decalo, Historical Dictionary of Niger and New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, ISBN 0-8108-1229-0.
Media related to Erg of Bilma at Wikimedia Commons Prof. Dr. R. Baumhauer at The University of Trier's Geography center has produced a number of papers on the Geography and Paleogeography of the Erg of Bilma. Surviving the Sahara: National Geographic, December 2002
Fezzan or Phazania is the southwestern region of modern Libya. It is desert, but broken by mountains and dry river valleys in the north, where oases enable ancient towns and villages to survive deep in the otherwise inhospitable Sahara Desert; the term applied to the land beyond the coastal strip of Africa proconsularis, including the Nafusa and extending west of modern Libya over Ouargla and Illizi. As these Berber areas came to be associated with the regions of Tripoli, Cirta or Algiers, the name was applied to the arid areas south of Tripolitania. Fezzan is Libya’s poorest region. In Berber languages, Fezzan means "rough rocks". Fezzan could be a derivation from the region's Latin name Phasania or Phazania, which may mean "the country of the pheasants". In Turkish Fizan brings to mind distance. For example, speaking about civil servants, Fizan'a sürmek means to exile someone to the farthest place. Fizan kadar uzak means as far as Fezzan. Fezzan is crossed in the north in the west by the Wadi Irawan.
These two areas, along with portions of the Tibesti Mountains crossing the Chadian border and a sprinkling of remote oases and border posts, are the only parts of the Fezzan able to support settled populations. The large dune seas known as ergs of the Idehan Ubari and the Idehan Murzuq cover much of the remaining land of Fezzan. From the 5th century BCE to the 5th century CE, Fezzan was home to the Garamantes, who operated the Trans-Saharan trade routes successively between Carthage and the Roman Empire in North Africa and Sahelian states of west and central Africa; the Roman generals Septimus Flaccus in 19 BCE and Suetonius Paulinus in 50 CE led small-scale military expeditions into the northern reaches of the Sahara, the Roman explorer Julius Maternus traveled there in early 1st century CE. Paulinus went further south. For two to three centuries after this invasion, Fezzan, as part of the Garamantes State, was a client state of the Roman Empire and benefited from Roman civilization. With the end of the Roman Empire and the following commercial crisis, Fezzan began to lose importance.
The population was reduced due to the desertification process of the Sahara during the early Middle Ages. During the 13th and 14th centuries, portions of Fezzan were part of the Kanem Empire. Wars against the Kanem–Bornu Empire in the early sixteenth century led to the founding of the Awlad Muhammad dynasty, with Murzuk becoming the capital of Fezzan. Around 1565 it was ruled by Muhammad ibn al-Muntasir; the Ottoman rulers of North Africa asserted their control over the region in the 17th century. In the reign of Abdulhamid II Fezzan was used as a place of political exile for Young Turks because it was the most remote province from Istanbul. Beginning in 1911, Fezzan was occupied by Italy. However, Italy's control of the region was precarious until at least 1923, with the rise of the Benito Mussolini; the Italians were resisted in their early attempts at conquest by tribal Arab adherents to the militant Sanusiya Sufi religious order. The Tuareg clans of the region were only pacified by European expansion shortly before the Second World War, some of them collaborated with the Italian Army in the North African Campaign.
Free French troops occupied Murzuk, a chief town of Fezzan, on 16 January 1943, proceeded to administer Fezzan with a staff stationed in Sabha, forming the Military Territory of Fezzan-Ghadames. French administration was exercised through Fezzan notables of the family of Sayf Al Nasr. Disquieting to the tribes in western Fezzan was the administrative attachment of Ghat, its surrounding area, to French-ruled Algeria. However, when the French military control ceased in 1951, all of Fezzan became part of the Kingdom of Libya. Fezzan was a stronghold for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi through much of the 2011 Libyan Civil War, though starting in July, anti-Gaddafi forces began to gain ground, taking control of the region's largest city of Sabha in mid-to-late September; the LF country code was reserved "on behalf" of Libya Fezzan by the International Organization for Standardization. There are oil wells in Fezzan capable of 400,000 barrels per day, but oil companies fly in staff from northern Libya.
The local tribes are not getting any money from the oil trade, so have turned to smuggling migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, feeding the European migrant crisis and is a $1 billion per year industry. Fezzan was a province under the Ottoman Turks and Italy, a province or governorate of independent Libya until 1963. With the introduction of the new administrative division of Libya in 1963, Fezzan was abolished as an independent administrative unit and was divided into the muhafazat of Awbari and Sabha. In 1983, these administrative divisions were abolished in favour of baladiyah; the Baladiyat-system was replaced in 1995 by the Sha ` biyat-system. The former Fezzan province contains the districts of Wadi al Shatii, Wadi al Hayaa, Ghadames, Murzuq and Ghat; the historic capital, largest city and administrative centre is Sabha. The region's inhabitants include the Dawada, the nomadic Tuareg in the southwest, the Toubou in the southeast; these pastoralist populations cross the borders of Algeria and Niger freely.
In the north, Arab and settled Tuareg and Toubou mix
The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea; the name is derived from the Arabic word sāḥil meaning "coast" or "shore" in a figurative sense, while the name in Swahili means "coastal " in a literal sense. The Sahel part of Africa includes parts of northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, central Mali, northern Burkina Faso, the extreme south of Algeria, the extreme north of Nigeria, central Chad and southern Sudan, the extreme north of South Sudan, Cameroon, Central African Republic and the extreme north of Ethiopia; the western part of the Sahel was sometimes known as the Sudan region. This belt was located between the Sahara and the coastal areas of West Africa; the Sahel spans 5,400 km from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east, in a belt that varies from several hundred to a thousand kilometers in width, covering an area of 3,053,200 square kilometers.
It is a transitional ecoregion of semi-arid grasslands, savannas and thorn shrublands lying between the wooded Sudanian Savanna to the south and the Sahara to the north. The topography of the Sahel is flat. Several isolated plateaus and mountain ranges rise from the Sahel, but are designated as separate ecoregions because their flora and fauna are distinct from the surrounding lowlands. Annual rainfall varies from around 100–200 mm in the north of the Sahel to around 600 mm in the south; the Sahel is covered in grassland and savanna, with areas of woodland and shrubland. Grass cover is continuous across the region, dominated by annual grass species such as Cenchrus biflorus, Schoenefeldia gracilis and Aristida stipoides. Species of acacia are the dominant trees, with Acacia tortilis the most common, along with Acacia senegal and Acacia laeta. Other tree species include Commiphora africana, Balanites aegyptiaca, Faidherbia albida, Boscia senegalensis. In the northern part of the Sahel, areas of desert shrub, including Panicum turgidum and Aristida sieberana, alternate with areas of grassland and savanna.
During the long dry season, many trees lose the predominantly annual grasses die. The Sahel was home to large populations of grazing mammals, including the scimitar-horned oryx, dama gazelle, Dorcas gazelle, red-fronted gazelle, the giant prehistoric buffalo and Bubal hartebeest, along with large predators like the African wild dog, the Northwest African cheetah, the Northeast African cheetah, the lion; the larger species have been reduced in number by over-hunting and competition with livestock, several species are vulnerable, endangered, or extinct. The seasonal wetlands of the Sahel are important for migratory birds moving within Africa and on the African-Eurasian flyways; the Sahel has a hot steppe climate. The climate is hot, sunny and somewhat windy all year long; the Sahel's climate is similar to, but less extreme than, the climate of the Sahara desert located just to the north. The Sahel receives a low to a low amount of precipitation annually; the steppe has a long, prevailing dry season and a short rainy season.
The precipitation is extremely irregular, varies from season to season. Most of the rain falls during only one or two months, while the other months may remain dry; the entire Sahel region receives between 100 mm and 600 mm of rain yearly. A system of subdivisions adopted for the Sahelian climate based on annual rainfall is as follows: the Saharan-Sahelian climate, with mean annual precipitation between around 100 and 200 mm, the strict Sahelian climate, with mean annual precipitation between around 200 and 600 mm and the Sahelian-Sudanese climate, with mean annual precipitation between around 200 and 400 mm; the relative humidity in the steppe is low to low between 10% and 25% during the dry season and between 25% and 75% during the rainy season. The least humid places have a relative humidity under 35%; the Sahel is characterized with an unvarying temperature. The Sahel experiences cold temperatures. During the hottest period, the average high temperatures are between 36 and 42 °C for more than three months, while the average low temperatures are around 25 to 31 °C.
During the "coldest period", the average high temperatures are between 27 and 33 °C and the average low temperature are between 15 and 21 °C. Everywhere in the Sahel, the average mean temperature is over 18 °C due to the tropical climate; the Sahel has a high to high sunshine duration year-round, between 2,700 hours and 3,500 hours. The sunshine duration in the S
Niger or the Niger the Republic of the Niger, is a landlocked country in West Africa named after the Niger River. Niger is bordered by Libya to the northeast, Chad to the east, Nigeria to the south, Benin to the southwest, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria to the northwest. Niger covers a land area of 1,270,000 km2, making it the largest country in West Africa. Over 80% of its land area lies in the Sahara Desert; the country's predominantly Islamic population of about 21 million live in clusters in the far south and west of the country. The capital city is Niamey, located in Niger's southwest corner. Niger is a developing country, which ranks near the bottom in the United Nations' Human Development Index. Much of the non-desert portions of the country are threatened by periodic drought and desertification; the economy is concentrated around subsistence, with some export agriculture in the more fertile south, export of raw materials uranium ore. Niger faces serious challenges to development due to its landlocked position, desert terrain, inefficient agriculture, high fertility rates without birth control, the resulting overpopulation, the poor educational level and poverty of its people, lack of infrastructure, poor healthcare, environmental degradation.
Nigerien society reflects a diversity drawn from the long independent histories of its several ethnic groups and regions and their short period living in a single state. What is now Niger has been on the fringes of several large states. Since independence, Nigeriens have lived under five constitutions and three periods of military rule. After the military coup in 2010, Niger became a multi-party state. A majority of the population lives in rural areas, have little access to advanced education. Early human settlement in Niger is evidenced by numerous archaeological remains. In prehistoric times, the climate of the Sahara was wet and provided favorable conditions for agriculture and livestock herding in a fertile grassland environment five thousand years ago. In 2005–06, a graveyard in the Ténéré desert was discovered by Paul Sereno, a paleontologist from the University of Chicago, his team discovered 5,000-year-old remains of two children in the Ténéré Desert. The evidence along with remains of animals that do not live in desert are among the strongest evidence of the'green' Sahara in Niger.
It is believed that progressive desertification around 5000 BC pushed sedentary populations to the south and south-east. By at least the 5th century BC, Niger had become an area of trans-Saharan trade, led by the Berber tribes from the north, who used camels as a well-adapted means of transportation through the desert; this trade made Agadez a pivotal place of the trans-Saharan trade. This mobility, which would continue in waves for several centuries, was accompanied with further migration to the south and interbreeding between southern black and northern white populations, it was aided by the introduction of Islam to the region at the end of the 7th century. Several empires and kingdoms flourished during this era, up to the beginning of colonization in Africa; the Songhai Empire was an empire bearing the name of its main ethnic group, the Songhai or Sonrai, located in western Africa on the bend of the Niger River in present-day Niger and Burkina Faso. In the 7th century, Songhai tribes settled down north of modern-day Niamey and founded the Songhai city-states of Koukia and Gao.
By the 11th century, Gao had become the capital of the Songhai Empire. From 1000 to 1325, The Songhai Empire prospered and managed to maintain peace with its neighboring empires including the Mali Empire. In 1325 the Songhai Empire was conquered by the Mali Empire but was freed in 1335 by prince Ali Kolen and his brother, Songhai princes held captive by Moussa Kankan, the ruler of the Mali Empire. From the mid-15th to the late 16th century, Songhai was one of the largest Islamic empires in history. Between the Niger River and Lake Chad lay Hausa kingdoms and fertile areas; these kingdoms flourished from the mid-14th century up until the early 19th century, when they were conquered by Usman dan Fodio, founder of the Sokoto Empire. The Hausa kingdoms were not a compact entity but several federations of kingdoms more or less independent of one other, their organization was somewhat democratic: the Hausa kings were elected by the notables of the country and could be removed by them. The Hausa Kingdoms began as seven states founded according to the Bayajidda legend by the six sons of Bawo.
Bawo was the only son of the Hausa queen Bayajidda or who came from Baghdad. The seven original Hausa states were: Daoura, Rano, Gobir and Biram; the Mali Empire was a Mandinka empire founded by Sundiata Keita circa 1230 that existed up to 1600. At its peak circa 1350, the empire extended as far west as Senegal and Guinee Conakry and as far east as western Niger; the Kanem-Bornu Empire was an empire that existed in modern-day Chad, Cameroon and Libya. The empire first existed and prospered as the Kanem Empire as early as the 9th century and as the Kingdom of Bornu until 1900. In the 19th century, contact with Europe began with the first European explorers—notably Monteil and Barth —to travel to Niger. Following the 1885 Berlin conference during which colonial powers outlined the division of Africa into colonial spheres, French military efforts to conquer existing African states were intensified in all French colo