Why is sub-Saharan Africa always separated from Northern Africa?

Why is sub-Saharan Africa always separated from Northern Africa?

I’ve noticed that when economics or the UN or actually many people talk about Africa, they speak in terms of sub-Saharan Africa. Are the northern regions (which include Sudan) significantly more wealthy?

  1. lostinchicagoApr 11, 2010

    The U.S. Federal Government classifies people in Northern African as white and Sub-Saharan as black.

  2. eastglamApr 11, 2010

    Perhaps it’s because the climate, peoples, geography, topography, history, societal structures, cultural inheritance etc are very different in Northern Africa from that of the rest of the continent. Although Nigeria has oil, the vast majority of the reserves are in the north.

    The ecomomies of the sub-Sahran region are also very different from other parts of Africa it being an arid dessert region with a subsistance existance for the most part.

    I may be totally wrong of course but these are just a few of my reflections.

  3. RillifaneApr 11, 2010

    No doubt it is because the North African littoral was part of the classical world of Greece and Rome and derives much of its culture from the same sources as Europe.

    Moreover, the peoples of North Africa are more closely related to Europeans than are to the Bantus and other people of sub-Saharan Africa.

  4. Ken BApr 11, 2010

    Northern Africa, and sub saharan Africa are as different as North America and South America, i.e completely different cultures, hence the separation.

  5. fte65Apr 11, 2010

    Just terms to differentiate them for economic reasons. Yes, youa re right, northern Africa is more wealthy than sub Saharan because oil is being exploited in those countries. But in sub Sahara, like Chad, there is a civil war that spills over to Sudan.

    Africa is a continent and it varies from region to region, even culturally. Same as Asia, is divided into Far East, South East, South, Middle and West. Each is so different from each other, yet in North America, Asians are regarded as what the Far Easterners such as Koreans, Japanese, Chinese etc. But Arabs are also Asians, geographically.

  6. anotherguyApr 11, 2010

    It’s also the nature of the nationalism. Arab countries, Ethiopia and Somalia have ethnic nationalism with local languages used officially. Other African countries have multi-ethnic nationalisms, and use colonial languages as linguae francae to communicate officially. That’s one reason that Somalia joined the Arab League, even though they’re not Arabs. Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia are geographically sub-Saharan, but they often get counted as North Africa.

  7. Jayson80Apr 11, 2010

    The US State Department classifies North African countries separately because of their links to the Arab countries. North Africa on the other hand is still classified as part of Africa, as seen in the African Union. Most of these issues are to do with racism and not economy. Infact most of Africa’s resources are in the sub-Saharan part. The North may have oil like in Tunisia, but it’s all desert. The Northern countries seem more successfull as they have support from the Arabs, on the other hand, the Sub-Saharans may have a hunred times more resources than the North, but nobody to buffer them and as such rich western and Eastern countries can plunder them without having to worry.

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