African Great Lakes
The great African lakes are:
- Lake Tanganyika (world's second largest lake in terms of volume and depth)
- Lake Victoria (second largest freshwater lake in the world in terms of area)
- Kiwu Lake
- Lake Malawi
Sometimes only Lake Victoria, Lake Albert and Lake Edward are counted among the Great African Lakes, as they are the only ones that drain into the White Nile .
Great African Lakes region
The area around the lakes is included in the Great African Lakes region. The neighboring countries are Rwanda , Burundi , Uganda and parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo , Tanzania and Kenya .
The region is one of the most densely populated in the world, with over 107 million people living there. Due to previous volcanic activity , there is very fertile agricultural land there. The region is also of great anthropological interest: it is considered to be the birthplace of anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) , who first appeared here at least 150,000 years ago.
In contrast to other countries south of the Sahara , the colonial powers in this region have retained traditional borders.
Since the source of the Nile is located there, the area interested Europeans for a long time. The first Europeans to venture into the area were missionaries who intended to convert the local population to Christianity. The region was later colonized.
Growing contact with the rest of the world created some devastating epidemics . This affected both humans and animals, their livelihood. As a result, the region was dramatically depopulated, in some areas by up to 60%. It was not until 1950 that the region returned to the population level it had before colonization.
The region, which had good development prospects after the states there became independent, was shaken by civil wars and acts of violence. Many people left the region; only Tanzania and Kenya recorded lower population losses. Congo, Rwanda and Burundi had formed the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries in 1976 to cope with development problems and take advantage of development opportunities , but in 1996 the community initially ceased its activities. In 2010 a new attempt was decided.