Thursday, 16 September 2021 13:42

People and Population - Class 7 Social Studies Revision Notes

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Major Language Groups in Africa

A language group is a group of who speak same or similar language.
Communities in africa belong to different language groups
The people of africa are grouped geographically
They include;

  1. The people of west africa
  2. The people of north africa
  3. The people of central africa
  4. The people of southern africa

The People of North Africa

This region is made up of egypt, morocco, libya, algeria, western sahara, tunisia and mauritania.
People is this region include.
B – Berbers
A – arabs(semites)
T – tuaregs
Arabs mainly came to: trade, spread islam.
Berbers are found in tunisia, morocco, western sahara, libya, algeria.
Arabs are found in tunisia, libya, egypt, algeria, morocco and north sudan.
Tuaregs live in ahaggar plateau in algeria.

The People of Western Africa

This is the largest group in africa
They include;

  1. Mande speakers
  2. Kwa speakers
  3. Voltaic speakers
  4. West atlantic speakers
  5. Nilo – saharan speakers
  6. Afro-asiatic speakers

The Mande speakers

They are also called mandinkas or mandigoes
They are mainly cultivators
They live in;

  1. Mali
  2. Senegal
  3. Ghana
  4. Guinea bissau
  5. Burkina faso
  6. Sierra leone

They include;
S – Soninke
M – mande
S – susu
M – malinke
B – bambara

The Kwa speakers

They are the largest language group in west africa
They initially lived in north africa
Mostly live in ghana and nigeria
They include;
Ashanti, kwahu, akyem, akwapim, fanti, wassa, nzima, fula, denkyira and ga.
Igbo, yoruba, nupe edo, ijaw, igala and efik.

Voltaic speakers

They moved from lake chad.
They live between the upper and lower volta rivers
They were prominent traders
They are found mainly in ghana and burkina faso
They include;
Ewe – ewe
Mo – mossi
Gu – gurma
Da – dagomba
Be – bergu
Fo – fon
Eg – egun.

West Atlantic speakers

They live along the coast of atlantic ocean.
They are mainly pastorists
They are found in senegal, mali, gambia, guinea, mauritania, guinea bissau.
They include:
Fu – fulani
Tu – tukolor
Wo – wolof
Se – serer
Te – temme
C – creole
K – kru.

Afro-asiatic speakers

Are as a result of intermarriage betwee africans and arabs
Were mainly traders
Played an important role in the tras-saharan trade
They include
Ha – hausa
Tu – tuaregs
A – andarawa

 Hawa    In northern nigeria 
 Tuaregs   Niger, chad, mauritania, sahel region in mali 
 Andarawa   Burkana faso.


The Nilo-Saharan speakers

They migrated from nile region to west africa through sahara.
They live in nigeria, niger, mali and cameroon,
They include;
So – songhai
Za – zarma
De – dendi
Ka – kanuri.

The People of Central Africa

Majority of the people are bantu
The earliest inhabitants of the region were the khoikhoi, san, and pygmies.
The pygmies are also called the bambuti
The pygmies lived in the forests
The san and khoikhoi were forced to move southwards
The bantu were mainly cultivators
Some of the bantu group of central africa are:

 Bakongo, balunda, baluba, banyamlenge   D.R.C 
 Yao, makwa  Mozambique 
 Nyanya, yao, chewa,lambya, sena, manganja, mgonde, mgoni, nyasa, tonga.  Malawi
 Shona ndebele,ngoni  Zimbabwe
 Mbundu, ovimbundu  Angola
 Bemba,lozi, onga, lala lunda, luba, kaonde  Zambia
 Tutsi, twala, hutu   Rwanda and burundi 
 Sara  Central africa republic 
 Farig  Cameroon


Also called bambuti
Are forest people
Are mainly hunters and gatherers
They lead a communal life i.e.sharing most of the food they get.
They are found in the forest lands of:

  1. Central african republic
  2. Congo republic
  3. Gabon
  4. D.R.C

The People of Southern Africa

  1. Southern africa countries include;
    • South africa
    • Lesotho
    • Botswana
    • Swaziland
    • Namibia
    • Madagascar
  2. Main language groups in southern africa are the khoisan, bantu, afrikaners
  3. Majority of the people here are the bantu

The khoisan

They are the earliest and oldest inhibitants of southern africa
They migrated from congo forest
They speak with click sounds
They are made up of
Khoikhoiand the san

The khoikhoi

Also called hottentos
Are pastoralists
Are mainly found in namibia

The san

Also called the bushmen
Are hunters and gatherers
Are mainly found in kalahari desert in botswana and namibia

The bantu speaking people of southern africa

 Tswana, bechuana, bulala, kalahari,   Botswana 
 Sotho, bajuto   Lesotho 
 Swazi  Swaziland 
 Ovambo, herero, griqua  Namibia
 Xhosa, zulu, ndebele, tsonga, ovahimba, bakwena, venda    South Africa 


The Afrikaners

They are also known as the dutch
They migrated from the holland/netherlands
They came as settlers in 1652 in south africa
They were also called boers a dutch wod for farmers
They speak a language called afrikaans
They fought with british colonialists and were granted independence 1934

Other Language Groups in Southern Africa

They include asians and coloureds.


Are mainly indians
They were brought to work in sugar plantations of natal
They live in towns as businessmen


Are as a result of intermarriage between
Whites and blacks, white and asians, asians and blacks
Are mainly found in the urban centres of south africa

Interactions Among African Communities

Interactions refers to the coming together of different communities
Communities in the past interacted through the following ways:

  1. During migrations
  2. Through intermarriages
  3. During wars and raids
  4. Through games and sports
  5. During famine and drought
  6. Through trading(main)

Modern Ways of Interaction

  1. Trade i.e local and international trade
  2. Games and sports e.g. CECAFA,All african games, african cup of nations.
  3. Regional organisations e.g.E.A.C, IGAD,AU
  4. International workshops, seminars and conferences
  5. Intermarriages
  6. Reliious organisations e.g. catholic women association
  7. Ceremonies and celebrations
  8. Migrations e.g.emmigration
  9. Women and youth groups e.g. federation for african women educators
  10. Employment i.e places of work
  11. Local and international tourism.

Benefits of Interaction among Communities

  • It promotes trust among people
  • It promotes economic development
  • It promotes friendly relations
  • It enables people to appreciate other’s culture
  • It facilitates learning and exchange of new ideas and skills
  • It promotes spiritual growth through religion
  • Promotion of international peace and security
  • It improves transport and communication
  • Rich nations offers support to the poor countries

Factors Influencing Population Distribution

  1. Population distribution is the way people are spread over an area
  2. Population is not evenly distributed in africa
  3. Some areas are densely populated whereas others are sparsely populated
  4. Most people of africa live in rural areas
  5. Urban centres have high population densities
  6. Densely populated areas include;
    1. Major towns and cities
    2. Mining areas
    3. Highland areas
    4. River valleys
    5. Lake basins
    6. Coastal lowlands
  7. Sparsely populated areas include:
    1. Deserts
    2. Forests
    3. Swamps
    4. Mountain tops
    5. Pest infested areas
    6. Steep slopy areas

Factors Influencing Population Distribution in Africa


Areas receiving high rainfall are densely populated
Areas receiving low rainfall and high temperatures are sparsely populated


Steep slopes of hills and mountaions are sparsely populated
Gentle slopes of highlands are densely populated
Cold and rocky peaks of mountaions are unihabited


River valleys are densely populated due to irrigation
Poorly drained areas such as swamps are sparsely populated


Areas with fertile soils are densely populated
Areas with infertile sandy soils are sparsely populated


Areas with thick rainfall do not allow human settlement
People are not allowed to live in forest reserves

Pests and diseases

Areas infested with pests like tsetse flies discourages human settlement e.g. miombo woodland and lambwe


Urban areas are densely populated because of development of trade industries, employment opportunities and good social amenities.

Mining activities

Presence and discovery of minerals attracts large number of people
This encourages setting up of business centres and related industries
Natural disasters/calamities/catastrophies e.g floods, eruption of volcanoes, landslides
Such areas are sparsely populated


Areas with good political stability are densely populated
Areas experiencing instability due to civil wars are sparsely populated.

Social amenities

Areas with good social facilities like schools, hospitals, roads and recreational facilities are densely populated.

Government policy

Government ideas of settlement or irrigation schemes attracts large population
Gazettement of forest resrves makes some areas to have little or no population.

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