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Unit Two: Studying Africa through the Social Studies

Module Six: The Geography of Africa

Teacher's Edition

Activity Four: Africa's Natural Resources-Explore

This exercise should be completed in computer lab.

If it is not possible to do this exercise in a computer lab, please duplicate the political map of Africa for student use. You can access a down-loadable table of Africa's natural resources. Duplicate the table and distribute to students along with the political map. With these two hand-outs, students will have information sufficient to complete the following exercise.

Download Political map of Africa

Download Natural resource table

Natural resources form the basis of the economies of most African countries. Of primary importance are agricultural products and mineral resources. These resources are used for subsistence-food to eat-and for commercial purposes-to sell locally or as exports.


Spend five minutes investigating the map of Africa's natural resources. When you click on a specific country, a list of that country's agricultural and mineral resources will appear on the screen. For example, if you click on the West African country of Ghana, the following information will show your screen:

Ghana's Agricultural Resources

Cocoa (export/cash crop)

Cassava (food crop)

Groundnuts/peanuts (food crop)

Maize/corn (food crop)

Ghana's Mineral Resources




  1. List FIVE countries that produce petroleum. (Picture 4209sh02)
  2. Cassava (root crop) (Picture 5001as08), sorghum (grain) (Picture 1301eg37), millet (grain) (Picture 1301eg38) maize/corn (grain) (Picture 4201sh18) and rice (grain) (Picture 1801as18) and yam (root crop) (Picture 1401as07) are primary staple (main) food crops in a number of African countries. List THREE countries where each of these crops is a major food.
  3. Diamonds are an important export in a number of African countries such as Sierra Leone in West Africa. List THREE countries in southern Africa that produce diamonds.
  4. Livestock-goats (Picture 0306sv08), cattle (Picture 1301eg07) camels (Picture 2701as09), and sheep (Picture 2701as11)-are very important economically in many African countries. Identify TWO countries in each of the following regions where livestock is an important commodity.
    • East Africa
    • West Africa
    • Southern Africa
  5. Most of the chocolate eaten in North America and Europe comes from cocoa plants grown in West Africa. Identify THREE countries in West Africa that produce cocoa. (Picture 1801as34)
  6. Fish is an important food in a number of African countries. (Picture 1912as01) Identify FIVE countries where fish is an important food resource.
  7. Coffee was first grown and used in the African country of Ethiopia. (Picture 1801as27) Identify FIVE other countries where coffee is grown.
  8. Cotton is a major export crop across Africa (Picture 1001em02) List ONE country in each of the following regions where cotton is grown commercially.
    • West Africa
    • North Africa
    • Southern Africa

Teachers: Please note that there is no answer key for this exercise since there are multiple correct answers for each of these questions.

Go to Activity Five or go directly to one of the following activities in Module Six

After you have investigated the map for five minutes, use the information to complete the following exercise in your Exploring Africa Journal. Be sure to click on the thumb-nail photos.

  1. Location-Engage
  2. Africa's Rivers and Lakes-Engage
  3. Map activities Physical features, Climate and Vegetation; Summary map exercise-Explore
  4. Africa's Natural Resources-Explore
  5. Four maps of movement-Explain
  6. Human-Environment Interaction: Expand/homework
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