Africa is the earth’s second-largest continent. With a population of approximately 1 billion, it is also the world’s second most crowded continent, accounting for 15 percent of the global population.
Those who travel to Africa are captivated by its beauty. From majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, to the exotic savannas of the Serengeti, to the giant Great Rift Valley, to beautiful Lake Victoria, to the mighty Nile River, to the imposing pyramids, to the beauty of Table Mountain, Africa leaves a permanent mark on many visitors. It has both the world’s longest river and largest desert. Dozens of animals not typically found elsewhere abound in Africa. It is simply a unique continent.
Furthermore, Africa is fabulously rich in natural resources, more than any other continent. It has 50 percent of the world’s gold and diamonds, along with large unexploited oil reserves. Its fertile fields have the potential to feed not only itself, but also many other countries. Its lakes and rivers are capable of producing 40 percent of the world’s supply of hydroelectric power. Moreover, Africa’s massive rainforests have the potential for maintaining or destroying the equilibrium of the earth’s atmosphere and ecology. For example, massive deforestation could destroy the world’s ozone layer and affect negatively Earth’s climate.
Yet, despite these riches, most Africans live in societies troubled by war, instability, corruption, poverty, hunger, disease and early deaths. The United Nations said that Africa has the largest number of poor countries of any continent. Tragically, as many as 50 percent of Africans live on less than $1.25 a day. Wars devastate the continent. Since 1981, at least 28 nations in sub-Saharan Africa have been at war. Deadly diseases like AIDS and malaria cause devastation throughout nations.
The world’s richest countries have provided billions of dollars in aid, but with no effect. Indeed, Africa is poorer now than when it first achieved independence from the colonial powers some 50 years ago. As the international community considers the dilemmas of this troubled continent, the question must be asked: “Can Africa be saved?”
I. READING COMPREHENSION1. Enumerate at least three natural resources which can be found in Africa.
- In Africa, we can find most of the gold and diamonds of the world. Its fertile fields can provide food for the whole continent and part of the world. They also produce 40 per cent of the world’s supply of hydroelectric power with its lakes and rivers.
2. In what way can Africa affect the planet´s environmental balance?
- Africa can affect the planet´s environmental balance in both a positive and negative way. Since ith has a great quantity of rainforests, any damage those forests could suffer would seriously affect the rest of the planet.
3. Which major problems are mentioned in the text about Africa? Mention at least three.
- The main problems mentioned in the text are poverty, which affects most of the population; war, which is generalised in the whole continent; and devastating diseases like AIDS and malaria.
4. Africa´s lakes and rivers could produce 40 per cent of the continent supply of hydroelectric power.
- FALSE. "Its lakes and rivers are capable of producing 40 percent of the world´s supply of hydroelectric power". (lines 10-11)
5. After its independence, Africa has increased its economic development.
- FALSE. "Indeed, Africa is poorer now than when it first achieved independence from the colonial powers some 50 years ago". (lines 19-20)
II. USE OF ENGLISH6. Find in the text the word which has the following definition: "to give food, to provide nourishment"
7. Which word does not have the same meaning? moreover/ beside/ in addition/ furthermore
8. Fill in the gap with a correct preposition:
- "I am looking forward to finishing this exam"
9. Find in the text one opposite for "temporary".
10. Complete the following conditional sentence:
- "I will not lend you any money unless you waste it". (Present simple)
11. Turn the following sentence into reported speech:
"Can Africa be saved?", the journalist asked.
12. Turn the following sentence into the passive voice:
"The richest countries have provided billions of dollars in aid".
13. Join the following sentences using an appropriate linker (do not use AND, BUT, or BECAUSE). Make changes if necessary.
"We give money to charity. We want to help people in Africa".