Each of these four maps of Africa has a story to tell about Africa.
For my stories about Africa, please scroll down to the index on the right called “Other Schrapnel” where you'll see “Africa Tales” and “Congo Stories.”
This first map shows the great green belt that is the grasslands and jungles of Africa. It is the heart and lungs of Africa. But that belt is shrinking, leaving more of the arid deserts shown in brown.

The next map tells a much harder tale. It's the tale of greed, aggression and oppression. What you see is the map of Africa as divided by the Europeans in a meeting that happened in 1885. The various heads of state worked out a deal whereby they decided (without any discussions with the people who actually lived in Africa) that the Europeans would own all of Africa (except for two countries: Liberia and what is now Ethiopia).

Such was the arrogance of those in power (not much has changed, really). So the story of Africa is a continuing hard tale of oppression, corruption and savage victimization. From my experience, I can't say if the situation is getting better, or getting worse.

So now we go to a somewhat current map of the so-called boundaries between the many countries of Africa.

But wait: boundaries in Africa are as fleeting as the sand on a beach. Those Europeans, when cutting up Africa to suit their needs, paid little respect to the tribal connections that were Africa before the Europeans invaded. Thus, the boundaries have caused and continue to cause huge conflicts.

And so, lastly, we have a map of the great Rift Valley and the split in Africa that is symbolic of the conflict that is: on the surface, with the murder and rape of so many; in the politics, with the corruption of so many; and underground, with the insane mineral wealth that everyone is fighting for.

My theory is that the great rift in the earth (that you see in the map) has pushed up all kinds of riches that would have been way underground: gold, diamonds, coltan, copper, and more.

So what has happened? There has been a big fight in the region you see on the map: child soldiers are ordered to be child miners in the terrain captured by a rebel group, for example. Then, for another example, politicians create conflicts so that those rebels can send some gold to arrive in that politician's pocket.

But one more point that is most important: that Rift Valley seems to be the place where we, as humans being, started out on our treck. It must have been a place of abundance and clearly of life.

Now it is a combat zone. I suspect it was when we first stepped up on two legs. It's just that we are now in bigger numbers and we have bigger weapons. That's ok, nature will sort things out.

So at the end of this I'll say one more time: “Nature will always win.”

That's not to say there is a battle going on. It seems to me that it's just a case of we as humans deciding we will occupy everywhere.

And so, Africa gets increasingly filled with humans. And as the many people try to live their life they push out the animals, the trees and everything that is in their way.

By the way, don't get me wrong. The same thing is happening in all the other continents (except Antartica, perhaps). I'm just focused on Africa here.

But the storyline is the same: we, as humans, continue to make bad choices. Perhaps that's the same with our great emerald planet. Perhaps it was a bad choice to spill all those great resources in the Rift Valley and let we humans sort it out. We've done a bad job so far.

Maybe that was just a test. Stay tuned. Humanity v. Nature is not finished yet.

It would be, however, if we as humans being decided to be friends with nature. We will see.

In any event, you have the map of the great African split. It is powerfully symbolic.