World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Great Lakes region (Africa)

Article Id: WHEBN0000512070
Reproduction Date:

Title: Great Lakes region (Africa)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ituri conflict
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Great Lakes region (Africa)

This article is about the lakes in Africa. For other uses of the term "Great Lakes", see Great Lakes (disambiguation).


The African Great Lakes (Swahili: Nchi za Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world in terms of surface area; and Lake Tanganyika, the world's second largest in volume as well as the second deepest. The term Greater Lakes is also used, less commonly, for some of them.

The African Great Lakes are divided among three different catchments (river basins), and a number, such as Lake Turkana, have internal drainage systems. The following, in order of size from largest to smallest, are included on most lists of the African Great Lakes:

Some call only Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, and Lake Edward the Great Lakes, as they are the only three that empty into the White Nile. Lake Kyoga is part of Great Lakes system, but is not itself considered a Great Lake, based on size alone. Lake Tanganyika and Lake Kivu both empty into the Congo River system, while Lake Malawi is drained by the Shire River into the Zambezi. Lake Turkana has no outlet.

Two other lakes close to Lake Tanganyika do not appear on the lists despite being larger than Edward and Kivu: Lake Rukwa and Lake Mweru.

Because the term is a loose one, it is often preferable to use other categorizations such as African Rift Valley Lakes or East African Lakes.

African Great Lakes region

The African Great Lake region is likewise somewhat loose. It is used in a narrow sense for the area lying between northern Lake Tanganyika, western Lake Victoria, and lakes Kivu, Edward and Albert. This comprises Burundi, Rwanda, north-eastern DR Congo, Uganda and north-western Kenya and Tanzania. It is used in a wider sense to extend to all of Kenya and Tanzania, but not usually as far south as Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique nor as far north as Ethiopia, though these four countries border one of the Great Lakes.

Because of the density of population and the agricultural surplus in the region the area became highly organized into a number of small states. The most powerful of these monarchies were Rwanda, Burundi, Buganda, and Bunyoro. Unusual for sub-Saharan Africa, the traditional borders were largely maintained by the colonial powers.

Being the long sought after source of the Nile, the region had long been of interest to Europeans. The first Europeans to arrive in the region in any numbers were missionaries who had limited success in converting the locals, but did open the region to later colonization. The increased contact with the rest of the world led to a series of devastating epidemics affecting both humans and livestock. These decreased the region's population dramatically, by up to 60% in some areas. The region did not return to its precolonial population until the 1950s. While seen as a region with great potential after independence, the region has in recent decades been marred by civil war and conflict, from which only Tanzania has largely escaped. The worst affected areas have been left in great poverty.

See also

References

  • Jean-Pierre Chrétien. The Great Lakes of Africa: Two Thousand Years of History trans Scott Straus

Coordinates: 8°00′S 35°00′E / 8.000°S 35.000°E / -8.000; 35.000

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.