African Geography for Schools: A Handbook for Teachers by Brouillette, B., Ed.; And Others

By Brouillette, B., Ed.; And Others

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Local industries have also been developed by the manufacture in West Africa of commodities previously imported,and which are often of low value in relation to substantial bulk, yet in great demand. Soft drinks and beer are notable examples, and there are bottling works in most of the large towns in West Africa. Related , developments are the local processing of imported raw materials, such as the milling of wheat at Dakar and Abidjan, the refining of imported crude oil now undertaken in many coastal states, and the assembly of lorries from imported parts at Abidjan, Tema and Apapa (Lagos).

Indeed,the great economic rifts in West Africa are 27 not only between the poor and not-so-poorcountries; but also between the francophone lands,with one set of trading relationships and currencies (there are several francs-see Fig. 4), and the anglophone states with another currency and another set of trade partners. Only Nigeria offers a really large home market,and that has been in danger of fragmentation. Ghana enjoys a rather higher per capita income,but there are only about one-seventh the number of Ghanaians compared with Nigerians.

As the wet tropical(or equatorial) maritime air mass retreats from August to January,soits wedge becomessmallerinextentover West Africa and thinner in altitude in the sky,so losing its strength, and that of associated winds and rain. The tropicalcontinentalair mass then re-establishesitselfover a great area and to a great height. The two systems described above are relatively little modified by high relief (so much more important in East Africa), or by the proximity of exceptionally large land masses (as in Asia).

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