Bantu People (Central, East, Southern Africa)

Africa EENI Global Business School & University

Bantu. Bantu expansion. Doctorate in African Business

Several events in the history of Africa have shaped the current Africa: the Sahara desertification, African Islamisation, slavery, colonisation, or the Bantu expansion from the Northern Cameroon. The Bantu expansion originated around 2,000 before the common era.

The word Bantu means «people» or «human».

The term Bantu does not refer specifically to an ethnic group or a particular language, but to a set of more than 400 ethnic groups that speak Bantu languages (more than 650 Bantu languages, Nigerian-Congolese languages) that live between Cameroon and Somalia; in Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.

The main countries with significant Bantu groups are:

  1. South Africa
  2. Angola
  3. Botswana
  4. Burundi
  5. Cameroun
  6. Central African Republic
  7. Comoros
  8. Equatorial Guinea
  9. Gabon
  10. Kenya
  11. Lesotho
  12. Malawi
  13. Mozambique
  14. Namibia
  15. Republic of the Congo
  16. Democratic Republic of the Congo (80% of the Congolese population)
  17. Rwanda
  18. São Tomé and Príncipe
  19. Seychelles
  20. Swaziland
  21. Uganda
  22. Tanzania
  23. Zambia
  24. Zimbabwe

The Bantu expansion

The most important Bantu ethnic groups are:

  1. Ndebele and Shona, Zimbabwe (14 million people)
  2. Luba, Democratic Republic of the Congo (13 million people)
  3. Zulu, South Africa (10 million people)
  4. Sukuma, Tanzania (8 million people
  5. Kikuyu, Kenya (6 million people)
  6. Other Bantu ethnic groups are Fang, Bakuba, Baluba, Lingala, Bakongo, Hutu, Baganda, Tonga, Bechuana, Herero, Swazi, Sotho, or Xhosa.

The main religion of the Bantu are Traditional African Religions, except those Christianised or Islamised groups.

The most important Bantu linguistic groups (300 million people) are Swahili, Zulu (27 million), Sotho, Shona (11 million) or Lingala.

The Bantu language with the highest total number of speakers is Swahili; however, the majority (180 million) use it as a secondary language.

Bantu kingdoms

  1. 14th and 15th centuries: Monomatapa kings (Great Zimbabwe)
  2. 16th century:
    1. In Central Africa: the Kingdom of Kongo, Lunda Empire and Luba Empire (Angola, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo)
    2. In East Africa: Buganda and Karagwe Kingdoms (Uganda and Tanzania)
    3. In Southern Africa: Mutapa Empire, Rozwi Empire and the Kingdoms of Danamombe, Khami and Naletale (Zimbabwe and Mozambique)

African Student Doctorate in Business




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Paterson Ngatchou: EENI African Academic Coordinator
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  1. Masters: Business in Africa, Transport in Africa, Foreign Trade, International Business, Export Back Office
  2. Doctorates: African Business, World Trade, Global Logistics

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