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General Characteristics of Africa South of the Sahara Sub-Saharan Africa is mainly rural, although urban populations are growing rapidly. The Bantu people, originally from western Africa, migrated south and east, eventually populating much of sub-Saharan Africa. The geography of sub-Saharan Africa was changed by European colonizers who carved out its political units, exploited many of its resources, and altered its human geography. Many of the people of sub-Saharan Africa are dependent on the export of raw materials, although many of the region’s nations are working to industrialize. Most of Africa is made up of a high plateau that drops sharply at the coastline. On the African continent, the same climate and vegetations regions – desert, grasslands, and rain forests – mirror one another north and south of the Equator.
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