Why was the Nile River Important for the Rise of Successful States in North Africa?
The Nile River is regarded as the longest waterway in the world, with its origins in East-central Africa is serviced by hundreds of tributaries, among them are the White and Blue Nile that link in Sudan. …
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The river flows for more than 4000 miles through the Sahara desert, farmlands, swamps, villages, and large cities. Across its length, the Nile divides into several streams to form a delta before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile is regarded as international waters shared among countries along its source, flow, and mouth including Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt. Since time in memorial, rivers have shaped the course of human history creating and sustaining great civilisations along its banks. River Nile is the birthplace of the greatest civilisations in the ancient world in Northern Africa and its importance remains vital to date. This paper seeks to highlight the importance of the Nile River for the rise of successful states in North Africa. The Nile forms large water basin along its length that has proven essential to nations in North Africa. The Sahara desert extends to nations serviced by river Nile including Egypt and Sudan creating varying climate regions. In North Africa, Egypt and Sudan receive sparse rainfall while as the south receives heavy downpour, contributing flooding in the north. The floodwaters drain to the north carrying with them fertile soil that formed the foundation of life in North Africa. The regular flooding of the Nile River emptied in valleys leaving them highly fertile and ready for growing season. Ancient civilisations established farming techniques to cater for their population, providing enough food for consumption and excess for trade purposes. Besides the fertile lands, river Nile provided water for irrigation purposes in farms along the river during the dry season. Farmers practised basin irrigation, which was a prolific adjustment of the natural rise and fall of the river where they regulated the flow of floodwaters into the basin through a network of earthen banks along the river. Irrigation allowed cultivation of large tracks of land even during the dry summer to provide food for the emerging civilisation. This saw a significant expansion of agricultural practices making Egypt and surrounding settlements the breadbasket for other civilisations such as the Roman Empire. Agricultural production received a boost with the construction of the Aswan High Dam, which saw the water harnessed for irrigation purposes leading to increased food production (Awulachew et al 12). The farmers cultivated wheat, barley, flax, and vegetables while rearing fowl, cattle, sheep, and goats. Agriculture played an important role in the economies of countries along the Nile basin by providing food to sustain the population. The existing government became wealthy and strong among the neighbouring nations leading to prosperity among its population. Owing to the increased production of food, there was an influx of population along the river valleys. The increase in population necessitated amicable governance for a harmonious existence. In addition, the population increase strained available resources leading to the expansion of the existing settlements to accommodate new families. This contributed to the establishment of towns and cities along the fertile valleys of river Nile and with the intensified population growth, the leaders established territories governed through stratified government organs. The Nile River provides a stable source of water for both domestic and industrial use, which ensured a low cost of production of goods and services translating to increased efficiency and level of production. In regard to this, the economy thrives owing social security creating unlimited potential in terms of growth. This is especially because the government can focus on other economic sectors by committing large
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