North Africa


Explain the importance of the Nile River to Egypt's people and analyze the environmental impact of the Aswan High Dam.
Examine ways of life in North Africa

     Chapter Overview

Chapter 17: North Africa

The most important feature of North Africa is the Sahara. Egypt lies in Africa's northeast corner. The Nile River, which supplies 85 percent of the country's water, is Egypt's lifeline. Most of the people live along the river or in its delta. About 40 percent of Egypt's people are farmers. Egypt's industry has grown in recent years. Ancient Egyptians developed a complex civilization and built some of the world's best known structures: the Pyramids. Today's Egyptians are part of the Arab culture region that stretches across North Africa and into Southwest Asia.

The other countries of North Africa are Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. The landscape of these countries is mostly desert and mountains. Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria all border the Mediterranean Sea. Morocco has coasts on both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. Oil, natural gas, and phosphates are important resources in these countries.

     Quick Notes


The Libyan Desert covers two-thirds of Egypt's land area.
The Aswan High Dam holds back the Nile's floodwater. The dam provides hydroelectric power to Egypt's growing industries.
Most of Egypt's people live near the Nile River and depend on it for water and transportation.
About 55 percent of Egypt's people live in rural areas and farm small plots of land.
Cairo, Egypt's capital, is the largest city in Africa and a leading center of the Muslim world.
One of the ancient world's most advanced civilizations developed in the Nile River valley.
Today Egypt is a republic. Almost 90 percent of Egyptians are Muslims and about 10 percent are Christians.

Other North African Countries

North Africa also includes the countries of Lybia, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. The people of all four countries are of mixed Arab and Berber ancestry.
The landscape of North Africa is mostly desert or mountains.
The region's people live on fertile coastal plains or near oases.
Oil, natural gas, and phosphate rock are among the most important natural resources of North Africa.
All countries of the region border on the Mediterranean Sea or Atlantic Ocean. This affects climate.

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