Informational Passages RC Africa
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Reading Comprehension – Informational Passages
Directions: Read the passage. Then answer questions about the passage below.
Africa is the second–largest continent after Asia. It also has the second–largest population after Asi a. About
one billion people live in Africa. That is almost 15% of the world’s population. There are currently 5 4 countries on
the continent of Africa, when including island countries and the Western Sahara. The number of countri es sometimes
changes because many of the countries were made by colonial powers. Colonial powers are countries that made
colonies in Africa when it was first being discovered by outsiders.
There are about 2,000 different languages in Africa . Most of the languages belong to one of four large
language groups. The four large language groups are Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan, Niger-Congo, and the K hoisan
languages. People also speak some non–African langu ages in Africa. About 20% of the population speak Arabic,
mostly in northern Africa. About 10% speak Swahili, mostly in southeastern Africa. About 5% speak Haus a, mostly
in western Africa. Many people also speak English, French, and Portuguese. One African country, Nigeri a, has 250
There are many different tribes and cultures in Africa. For example, there is the Ashanti people. They live in
Ghana. They are famous for their beautiful Kente cl oth. Kente cloth can be different colors. Ashanti people wear
clothing made of Kente cloth for important events. There are also the Madinka people. They live in Wes t Africa -
mostly in Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. Some Madinka people also live in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Cote
d'Ivoire. The Madinka people are famous for their music. They tell their history with music.
Most scientists think that the first humans came from Africa. The first written information in Africa comes
from Egypt at around 3300 B.C.E. (B.C.E. means Befo re the Common Era., or before the year “0”). Egypt is one of
the oldest African civilizations. At that time, Egypt traded with Phoenicia, which is now Lebanon, and includes parts
of Israel, Palestine, and Syria. Egypt was discovered by the ancient Greeks, who were the first Europe ans to go to
In the late 1800s, European countries went to Africa. France, Britain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Spa in,
Italy, and Algeria made colonies in Africa. That means they controlled the governments there. The Euro pean powers
took land by force. This enabled them to send many raw materials home to their countries. Raw materials are
resources that are basic, and have not been made into anything else.
Many African countries became free after World War II. Some countries became free in a peaceful way.
Some countries had to fight to be free. The time after colonial rule is commonly referred to as “post–colonial
Africa.” Post–colonial Africa has had some very big problems. After the colonial powers left, there were problems
with government. Between 1960 and 1980, there were 70 coups. (pronounced “koo”) A ccoouupp is the overthrow of a
government. There were 13 presidential assassinatio ns. That means 13 African presidents were murdered. In the
1970s, there was a huge ffaammiinnee in Ethiopia. A famine is a time of little or no fo od. Hundreds of thousands of people
died of ssttaarrvvaattiioonn, which means they died of hunger. There have been wars. There has been a big conflict in Dafur,
Sudan, and many people have died. And the AIDS (Acq uired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) disease has caused
much sickness and death in post–colonial Africa.
Africa has many natural resources. There are eight oil exporting countries in Sub–Saharan Africa. They are
Nigeria, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Equatori al Guinea, Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC), and Sudan. Africa has about 7% of the oil reserves in the world. South Africa is the largest gold
producer in the world. Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, T anzania, Rwanda and the DRC also have a lot of gold . The DRC
has copper and cobalt. The DRC produces 22% of worl d’s diamonds every year. Botswana, Sierra Leone, and South
Africa also have a lot of diamonds. Mozambique, Cam eroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, and Liberia all have
a lot of ttiimmbbeerr, which is wood. The business in gas, oil diamonds, timber and tourism is very good.
People visit Africa because the landscape is beautiful. There are many animals in Africa. Many tourist s visit
Kruger National Park in South Africa. The park has 517 species of birds! The park also has 147 species of
mammals! The park even has webcams so people can wa tch the animals using their computer.
Some tourists go on ssaaffaarrii in Africa. The word “safari” is a Swahili word. It comes from the Arabic word
safiara, which means travel. It is a trip where people can watch and take pictures of animals. Sometimes it i s a
hunting trip. Most modern safaris are trips to look at animals. Some safari trips are in cars or trucks, helicopters or
air balloons. This way, people can watch the animal s from a safe place.
Soccer is the most popular sport in Africa. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is the organization
in charge of soccer. The first members of the organization were Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and South Afri ca. The CAF
is the biggest of the six continental soccer associations around the globe, and the African Cup of Nat ions is the main
contest for men’s national soccer teams in Africa.
The continent of Africa is rich with resources, people and culture. Unfortunately, this has contribut ed to its
cchhaaoottiicc history. Africa is currently working on increasing education and jobs. Many organizations are working
together to build schools, hospitals, and industry to improve the future of the African nation.
11)) HHooww mmaannyy llaarrggee llaanngguuaaggee ggrroouuppss aarree
tthheerree iinn AAffrriiccaa??
22)) WWhheerree ddooeess KKeennttee ccllootthh ccoommee ffrroomm??
33)) WWhhiicchh ccoouunnttrryy hhaadd ccoolloonniieess iinn AAffrriiccaa??
E. Both A and B are correct
F. All of the above
44)) HHooww mmaannyy ddiiffffeerreenntt kkiinnddss ooff bbiirrddss ccaann
yyoouu sseeee aatt KKrruuggeerr NNaattiioonnaall PPaarrkk??
55)) WWhhyy ddoo ppeeooppllee ggoo oonn ssaaffaarriiss??
A. To look at animals
B. To purchase diamonds
C. To take pictures of animals
D. To play with live animals
E. Both A and C are correct
F. All of the above
11)) AA ccoouupp iiss……
A. a government takeover.
B. a group of people.
C. a colonial power.
D. a refugee.
E. Both B and C are correct.
22)) AA ffaammiinnee iiss ……
A. a time without food.
B. a peaceful change.
C. a time of extreme conflict.
D. a family group.
E. a government.
33)) WWhhaatt iiss ssttaarrvvaattiioonn??
44)) WWhheerree ddooeess ttiimmbbeerr ccoommee ffrroomm??
E. None of the above
55)) AA ssaaffaarrii iiss aa……
D. Both A and C are correct.
E. All of the above
66)) IIff ssoommeetthhiinngg iiss cchhaaoottiicc,, iitt iiss……
A. carefully organized.
B. sick and diseased.
C. crazy and demented.
D. turbulent and disorderly.
E. evil and maligned.