Decolonisation of Africa

The decolonisation of Africa was a process that took place in the mid-to-late 1950s to 1975 during the Cold War, with radical government changes on the continent as colonial governments made the transition to independent states. The process was often marred with violence, political turmoil, widespread unrest, and organised revolts in both northern and sub-Saharan countries including the Algerian War in French Algeria, the Angolan War of Independence in Portuguese Angola, the Congo Crisis in the Belgian Congo, the Mau Mau Uprising in British Kenya, the Zanzibar Revolution in the Sultanate of Zanzibar, and the Nigerian Civil War in the secessionist state of Biafra.[1][2][3][4][5]

An animated map shows the order of independence of African nations, 1950–2011

Background

Comparison of the scramble for Africa in the years 1880 and 1913, the year before the start of the First World War

The "Scramble for Africa" between 1870 and 1914 was a significant period of European imperialism in Africa that ended with almost all of Africa, and its natural resources, being controlled as colonies by a small number of European states. Racing to secure as much land as possible while avoiding conflict amongst themselves, the partition of Africa was confirmed in the Berlin Agreement of 1885, with little regard to local differences.[6][7] Almost all the pre-colonial states of Africa had lost their sovereignty, with the only exceptions being Liberia (which had been settled in the early 19th century by African-American former slaves) and Ethiopia (later occupied by Italy in 1936).[8] Britain and France had the largest holdings, but Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, and Portugal also had colonies.[9] The process of decolonisation began as direct consequence of World War II. By 1977, 50 African countries had gained Independence from European colonial powers.[10]

External causes

European control in 1939, the year the Second World War began

During the world wars, African soldiers were conscripted into imperial militaries.[11] Some African soldiers also volunteered.[12][13] Veterans from over 1.3 million African troops participated in World War II and fought in both European and Asian theatres of war.[14] This led to a deeper political awareness and the expectation of greater respect and self-determination, which was left largely unfulfilled.[15] During the 1941 Atlantic Conference, the British and the US leaders met to discuss ideas for the post-war world. One of the provisions added by President Roosevelt was that all people had the right to self-determination, inspiring hope in British colonies.[10]

On February 12, 1941, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met to discuss the post-war world. The result was the Atlantic Charter.[16] It was not a treaty and was not submitted to the British Parliament or the Senate of the United States for ratification, but it turned out to be a widely acclaimed document.[17] One of the clauses, Clause Three, referred to the right to decide what form of government people wanted, and to the restoration of self-government.

Prime Minister Churchill argued in the British Parliament that the document referred to "the States and nations of Europe now under the Nazi yoke".[18] President Roosevelt regarded it as applicable across the world.[19] Anticolonial politicians immediately saw it as relevant to colonial empires.[20] The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, three years after the end of World War II, recognised all people as being born free and equal.[21]

After World War II, the US and the African colonies put pressure on Britain to abide by the terms of the Atlantic Charter. After the war, some Britons considered African colonies to be childish and immature; British colonisers introduced democratic government at local levels in the colonies. Britain was forced to agree but Churchill rejected universal applicability of self-determination for subject nations.

Italy, a colonial power, lost its African Empire, Italian East Africa, Italian Ethiopia, Italian Eritrea, Italian Somalia and Italian Libya, as a result of World War II.[22] Furthermore, colonies such as Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana pushed for self-governance as colonial powers were exhausted by war efforts.[23]

The United Nations 1960 Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples stated that colonial exploitation is a denial of human rights and that power should be transferred back to the countries or territories concerned.[24]

Internal causes

Colonial economic exploitation involved the siphoning off of resource extraction (such as mining) profits to European shareholders at the expense of internal development, causing major local socioeconomic grievances.[25] For early African nationalists, decolonisation was a moral imperative around which a political movement could be assembled.[26][27]

In the 1930s, the colonial powers had cultivated, sometimes inadvertently, a small elite of local African leaders educated in Western universities, where they became familiar with and fluent in ideas such as self-determination. Although independence was not encouraged, arrangements between these leaders and the colonial powers developed,[9] and such figures as Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya), Kwame Nkrumah (Gold Coast, now Ghana), Julius Nyerere (Tanganyika, now Tanzania), Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal), Nnamdi Azikiwe (Nigeria), and Félix Houphouët-Boigny (Côte d'Ivoire) came to lead the struggles for African nationalism.

During the second world war, some local African industries and towns expanded when U-boats patrolling the Atlantic Ocean reduced raw material transportation to Europe.[10]

Over time, urban communities, industries, and trade unions grew, improving literacy and education, and leading to pro-independence newspaper establishments.[10]

By 1945 the Fifth Pan-African Congress demanded the end of colonialism, and delegates included future presidents of Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and national activists.[28]

Economic legacy

There is an extensive body of literature that has examined the legacy of colonialism and colonial institutions on economic outcomes in Africa, with numerous studies showing disputed economic effects of colonialism.[29]

The economic legacy of colonialism is difficult to quantify and is disputed. Modernisation theory posits that colonial powers built infrastructure to integrate Africa into the world economy; however, this was built mainly for extraction purposes. African economies were structured to benefit the coloniser and any surplus was likely to be ‘drained’, thereby stifling capital accumulation.[30] Dependency theory suggests that most African economies continued to occupy a subordinate position in the world economy after independence with a reliance on primary commodities such as copper in Zambia and tea in Kenya.[31] Despite this continued reliance and unfair trading terms, a meta-analysis of 18 African countries found that a third of countries experienced increased economic growth post-independence.[30]

Social legacy

Language

Scholars including Dellal (2013), Miraftab (2012) and Bamgbose (2011) have argued that Africa's linguistic diversity has been eroded. Language has been used by western colonial powers to divide territories and create new identities which has led to conflicts and tensions between African nations.[32]

Law

In the immediate post-independence period, African countries largely retained colonial legislation. However, by 2015 much colonial legislation had been replaced by laws that were written locally.[33]

Transition to independence

Following World War II, rapid decolonisation swept across the continent of Africa as many territories gained their independence from European colonisation.

In August 1941, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met to discuss their post-war goals. In that meeting, they agreed to the Atlantic Charter, which in part stipulated that they would, "respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them."[34] This agreement became the post-WWII stepping stone toward independence as nationalism grew throughout Africa.

Consumed with post-war debt, European powers were no longer able to afford the resources needed to maintain control of their African colonies. This allowed African nationalists to negotiate decolonisation very quickly and with minimal casualties. Some territories, however, saw great death tolls as a result of their fight for independence.

British Empire

British Empire by 1959

Ghana

On 6 March 1957, Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast) became the first sub-Saharan African country to gain its independence from European colonisation.[35] Starting with the 1945 Pan-African Congress, the Gold Coast's (modern-day Ghana's) independence leader Kwame Nkrumah made his focus clear. In the conference's declaration, he wrote, "we believe in the rights of all peoples to govern themselves. We affirm the right of all colonial peoples to control their own destiny. All colonies must be free from foreign imperialist control, whether political or economic."[36]

British decolonisation in Africa. By 1970 all were decolonised.

In 1948, three Ghanaian veterans were killed by the colonial police on a protest march. Riots broke out in Accra and though Nkrumah and other Ghanaian leaders were temporarily imprisoned, the event became a catalyst for the independence movement. After being released from prison, Nkrumah founded the Convention People's Party (CPP), which launched a wide-scale campaign in support of independence with the slogan "Self Government Now!"[37] Heightened nationalism within the country grew their power and the political party widely expanded. In February 1951, the CPP gained political power by winning 34 of 38 elected seats, including one for Nkrumah who was imprisoned at the time. The British government revised the Gold Coast Constitution to give Ghanaians a majority in the legislature in 1951. In 1956, Ghana requested independence inside the Commonwealth, which was granted peacefully in 1957 with Nkrumah as prime minister and Queen Elizabeth II as sovereign.[38]

Winds of Change

Prime Minister Harold Macmillan gave the famous "Wind of Change" speech in South Africa in February 1960, where he spoke of "the wind of change blowing through this continent".[39] Macmillan urgently wanted to avoid the same kind of colonial war that France was fighting in Algeria. Under his premiership decolonisation proceeded rapidly.[40]

Britain's remaining colonies in Africa, except for Southern Rhodesia, were all granted independence by 1968. British withdrawal from the southern and eastern parts of Africa was not a peaceful process. Kenyan independence was preceded by the eight-year Mau Mau Uprising. In Rhodesia, the 1965 Unilateral Declaration of Independence by the white minority resulted in a civil war that lasted until the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979, which set the terms for recognised independence in 1980, as the new nation of Zimbabwe.[41]

United Kingdom

Opening of the railway in Rhodesia, 1899
Following the Fourth Anglo-Ashanti War in 1896, the British proclaimed a protectorate over the Ashanti Kingdom.

The British were primarily interested in maintaining secure communication lines to India, which led to initial interest in Egypt and South Africa. Once these two areas were secure, it was the intent of British colonialists such as Cecil Rhodes to establish a Cape-Cairo railway and to exploit mineral and agricultural resources. Control of the Nile was viewed as a strategic and commercial advantage.

French colonial empire

The French Community in 1959
Geographic distribution of Europeans and their descendants on the African continent in 1962.[42]
  Over 100,000

The French colonial empire began to fall during the Second World War when the Vichy France regime controlled the Empire. One after another, most of the colonies were occupied by foreign powers (Japan in Indochina, Britain in Syria, Lebanon, and Madagascar, the United States and Britain in Morocco and Algeria, and Germany and Italy in Tunisia). Control was gradually reestablished by Charles de Gaulle, who used the colonial bases as a launching point to help expel the Vichy government from Metropolitan France. De Gaulle, together with most Frenchmen, was committed to preserving the Empire in its new form. The French Union, included in the Constitution of 1946, nominally replaced the former colonial empire, but officials in Paris remained in full control. The colonies were given local assemblies with only limited local power and budgets. A group of elites, known as evolués, who were natives of the overseas territories but lived in metropolitan France emerged.[43][44][45]

De Gaulle assembled a major conference of Free France colonies in Brazzaville, in central Africa, in January–February 1944. The survival of France depended on support from these colonies, and De Gaulle made numerous concessions. These included the end of forced labour, the end of special legal restrictions that applied to natives but not to whites, the establishment of elected territorial assemblies, representation in Paris in a new "French Federation", and the eventual representation of Sub-Saharan Africans in the French Assembly. However, Independence was explicitly rejected as a future possibility:

The ends of the civilizing work accomplished by France in the colonies excludes any idea of autonomy, all possibility of evolution outside the French bloc of the Empire; the eventual Constitution, even in the future of self-government in the colonies is denied.[46]

Conflict

After the war ended, France was immediately confronted with the beginnings of the decolonisation movement. In Algeria demonstrations in May 1945 were repressed with an estimated 6,000 Algerians killed.[47] Unrest in Haiphong, Indochina, in November 1945 was met by a warship bombarding the city.[48] Paul Ramadier's (SFIO) cabinet repressed the Malagasy Uprising in Madagascar in 1947. French officials estimated the number of Malagasy killed from as low as 11,000 to a French Army estimate of 89,000.[49]

In Cameroun, the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon's insurrection which began in 1955 headed by Ruben Um Nyobé, was violently repressed over two years, with perhaps as many as 100 people killed.[50]

Algeria

French involvement in Algeria stretched back a century. Ferhat Abbas and Messali Hadj's movements marked the period between the two wars, but both sides radicalised after the Second World War. In 1945, the Sétif massacre was carried out by the French army. The Algerian War started in 1954. Atrocities characterized both sides, and the number killed became highly controversial estimates that were made for propaganda purposes.[51] Algeria was a three-way conflict due to the large number of "pieds-noirs" (Europeans who had settled there in the 125 years of French rule). The political crisis in France caused the collapse of the Fourth Republic, as Charles de Gaulle returned to power in 1958 and finally pulled the French soldiers and settlers out of Algeria by 1962.[52][53] Lasting more than eight years, the estimated death toll typically falls between 300,000 and 400,000 people.[54] By 1962, the National Liberation Front was able to negotiate a peace accord with French President Charles de Gaulle, the Évian Accords[55] in which Europeans would be able to return to their native countries, remain in Algeria as foreigners or take Algerian citizenship. Most of the one million Europeans in Algeria poured out of the country.[56]

French Community

The French Union was replaced in the new 1958 Constitution of 1958 by the French Community. Only Guinea refused by referendum to take part in the new colonial organisation. However, the French Community dissolved itself amid the Algerian War; almost all of the other African colonies were granted independence in 1960, following local referendums. Some colonies chose instead to remain part of France, under the status of overseas départements (territories). Critics of neocolonialism claimed that the Françafrique had replaced formal direct rule. They argued that while de Gaulle was granting independence, on one hand, he was creating new ties with the help of Jacques Foccart, his counsellor for African matters. Foccart supported in particular the Nigerian Civil War during the late 1960s.[57]

Robert Aldrich argues that with Algerian independence in 1962, it appeared that the Empire practically had come to an end, as the remaining colonies were quite small and lacked active nationalist movements. However, there was trouble in French Somaliland (Djibouti), which became independent in 1977. There also were complications and delays in the New Hebrides Vanuatu, which was the last to gain independence in 1980. New Caledonia remains a special case under French suzerainty.[58] The Indian Ocean island of Mayotte voted in referendum in 1974 to retain its link with France and forgo independence.[59]

Female Independence Leaders in Africa

Nationalist and Independence movements throughout Africa have been predominantly led by men, however, women also held important roles. These roles included organizing at the local and national levels, tending to the wounded, and even being on the front lines of war.[60] Women’s roles in independence movements were diverse and varied by each country. Many women believed that their liberation was directly linked to the liberation of their countries.[60]

Nigeria

Nigeria was granted independence from the British Empire on 1 October 1960. Before this, various forms and demonstrations against colonial rule took place. Women in Nigeria played a significant role during the movement for national independence. Before independence, women organized through movements like the Abeokuta Women's Revolt and the Women's War.

Margaret Ekpo was one of the most important female independence leaders in Nigeria. She worked toward more equitable civil rights and Nigerian independence.

Margaret Ekpo (1914 - 2006)

Margaret Ekpo was a chief, a politician, and a nationalist independence leader. In 1945, Ekpo became involved in politics after her husband, Dr. John Udo Ekpo, became dissatisfied with the colonial administration's treatment of indigenous Nigerian doctors.[61] In British-ruled Nigeria, colonial rulers had concentrated the power on male chiefs. After the Women's War, she and other women were appointed to replace warrant chiefs. Ekpo was later appointed to the Eastern House of Chiefs in 1954. As a chief, she rallied women of different ethnic identities to demand women's rights and independence. She was arrested multiple times for instigating these rallies against British colonization. As a warrant chief, Ekpo passed a law that required police to employ more women in Enugu and Lagos.

Before WWII, Ekpo led the Aba Market Women Association in mobilizing women against colonial rule and patriarchal oppression. Following WWII, Ekpo and the Aba Market Women Association continued to mobilize using tactics such as buying up large quantities of scarce commodities and selling them only to registered members of the association who attended meetings regularly. She used this as an opportunity to educate women on the importance of independence and decolonisation.[62]

I would tell the women, do you know that your daughter can be the matron of that hospital? Do you know that your husband can be a District Officer (D.O.) or Resident? Do you know that if you join hands with us in the current political activities, your children could one day live in European quarters? I used to tell them these things every time and so they became interested…[63]

After being granted independence in 1960, Ekpo participated in the Constitutional Conferences in Lagos and London. Ekpo would also serve as a member of parliament in Nigeria from 1960 to 1966.[62] Ekpo’s work also transcended national politics. She travelled out of Nigeria to represent Nigerian women at several international conferences such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference (1964) and the World Women’s International Domestic Federation Conference (1963).[62]

Along with her work in advocating civil and political rights, Ekpo left a legacy that notably lacked ethnic bias in a country where many forms of ethnicism and nepotism existed in politics.[64]

Tanzania

Late in 1961, the predecessor state of Tanganyika was established through the Tanganyika Independence Act of 1961. This act ended British rule and established self-government.[65] A new republican constitution was adopted one year later, in December of 1962. This abolished the remaining role of the British monarchy in Tanganyika. A union with the neighbouring state of Zanzibar in 1964 led to the formation of the Republic of Tanzania.[66]

Bibi Titi Mohamed (1926-2000)

Popularly known as Bibi Titi, Bibi Titi Mohamed was a prominent figure in African women's politics and the independence movement in Tanganyika, mobilizing women to join the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) political party.[65]

Born in Dar es Salaam, Bibi Titi rose to prominence unexpectedly. Having only four years of primary school education before her political career, she was a housewife and lead singer in a “Bamba'' group.[67] However, as the struggle for freedom amplified, Bibi Titi found a more active role in politics. She joined the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) in 1954.[65] Doing so, Bibi Titi became TANU’s first female member.[67] She advocated for political freedom as well as the autonomy of women. By the end of the 1950s, Bibi Titi had become a prominent and powerful voice in politics, campaigning on behalf of freedom and development.[65] After gaining popularity, her voice became a powerful source of African feminist and anti-colonial sentiment.

After the establishment of the Republic of Tanzania in 1964, she represented the constituency of Rufiji in Parliament. She also served as a member of TANU’s Central Committee and Executive Committee.[65] There, she continued to advocate for greater freedom and women’s rights.

Bibi Titi left a legacy that calls on women to have greater self-respect and encourages women to strive for more education and equal treatment.[67] In a speech, Bibi Titi implored women to take advantage of their latent political influence saying:

I told you [women] that we want independence. And we can’t get independence if you don’t want to join the party. We have given birth to all these men. Women are the power in this world. We are the ones who give birth to the world…[67]

Mozambique

After almost 10 years of fighting, Mozambique became independent from Portugal in 1975. FRELIMO, the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique or the Mozambique Liberation Front, was created in 1962 to liberate Mozambique from Portugal’s colonial rule. FRELIMO actively recruited women and young girls to join the battle for independence.[68] Female members of FRELIMO were either trained to be guerilla soldiers or part of the nonmilitary wing.[69]

Josina Machel (1945-1971)

Josina Machel was a prominent leader in FRELIMO and a freedom fighter for Mozambique. She was born to a family that was considered to be “assimilados” which gave them a status of whiteness and privilege.[70] Due to her status, Machel was allowed to receive an education until secondary school.[70] At 18 years old, she attempted to flee the country and join FRELIMO in Tanzania. She was subsequently caught and imprisoned for six months.[70] Machel fled successfully after a second attempt.

After joining FRELIMO, Machel soon became the leader of the women’s wing, Destacamento Feminino.[69] This wing of FRELIMO provided women with political education and military training.[70] Destacamento Feminino also mobilized young women to join FRELIMO.

As a leader, Machel created health centres, schools, and daycare facilities to help people in the liberated zones of Mozambique.[71] She was also nominated to be a delegate in FRELIMO’s second congress, where she staunchly fought for women to be allowed to fully participate in the liberation movement.[71] As a delegate, Machel passed a resolution allowing girls to receive an education.

In 1971, Machel died due to unspecified health problems at the age of 25. She never got to see Mozambique as an independent state. But, she is memorialized in Mozambican history: April 7, the date of her death, is Mozambican Woman’s Day.[69]

Timeline

This table is arranged by the earliest date of independence in this graph; 58 countries have seceded.

Rank Country[lower-alpha 1] Colonial name Colonial power[lower-alpha 2] Independence date[lower-alpha 3] First head of state[lower-alpha 4] Independence won through
1  Liberia Liberia  United States 26 July 1847[lower-alpha 5] Joseph Jenkins Roberts

[lower-alpha 6]
William Tubman

Liberian Declaration of Independence
2  South Africa[lower-alpha 7] Cape Colony
Colony of Natal
Orange River Colony
Transvaal Colony
 United Kingdom 31 May 1910[lower-alpha 8] Louis Botha South Africa Act 1909
3  Egypt[lower-alpha 9] Sultanate of Egypt 28 February 1922[lower-alpha 10] Fuad I[lower-alpha 11] Egyptian revolution of 1919
4 Ethiopian Empire Italian East Africa Kingdom of Italy
 United Kingdom
31 January 1942
19 December 1944
Haile Selassie I
4  Eritrea Italian Eritrea  Italy[lower-alpha 12] 10 February 1947[lower-alpha 13] Haile Selassie[lower-alpha 14] Eritrean War of Independence
5 Emirate of Cyrenaica British Military Administration  United Kingdom 1 March 1949 Idris I
5 United Kingdom of Libya British Military Administration
Military Territory of Fezzan-Ghadames
Emirate of Cyrenaica
 United Kingdom
 French Fourth Republic
Emirate of Cyrenaica
24 December 1951 Western Desert Campaign
5  Libya[lower-alpha 15] Italian Libya[lower-alpha 16]  Italy

 United Kingdom

24 December 1951 Idris Treaty of Peace with Italy, 1947

U.N. General Assembly Resolution 289[73]

6  Sudan Anglo-Egyptian Sudan  United Kingdom[lower-alpha 17]
Republic of Egypt
1 January 1956[lower-alpha 18] Ismail al-Azhari[lower-alpha 19] -[lower-alpha 20]
7  South Sudan
8  Tunisia[lower-alpha 21] French Protectorate of Tunisia  France  United Kingdom 20 March 1956 Muhammad VIII al-Amin
Habib Bourguiba
-[lower-alpha 22]
9  Morocco French Protectorate in Morocco
Tangier International Zone
Spanish Protectorate in Morocco
Spanish West Africa
Ifni
 France
 Spain
2 March 1956[lower-alpha 23]
7 April 1956
10 April 1958
4 January 1969
14 November 1975
27 February 1976
Mohammed V Ifni War
10  Ghana[lower-alpha 24]  Gold Coast  United Kingdom 6 March 1957[lower-alpha 25] Kwame Nkrumah[lower-alpha 26] 1956 Gold Coast legislative election
11  Guinea  French West Africa  France 2 October 1958 Ahmed Sékou Touré 1958 Guinean constitutional referendum
12  Cameroon
German Kamerun
French Cameroons
British Cameroons
 Germany
 France
 United Kingdom
4 March 1916
1 January 1960[lower-alpha 27]
1 October 1961
Karl Ebermaier
Ahmadou Ahidjo
John Ngu Foncha
-[lower-alpha 28]
13  Togo French Togoland  France 27 April 1960 Sylvanus Olympio -
14  Mali French West Africa 20 June 1960[lower-alpha 29] Modibo Keïta -
15  Senegal Léopold Sédar Senghor -
16  Madagascar[lower-alpha 30] French Madagascar 26 June 1960 Philibert Tsiranana -[lower-alpha 31]
17  Democratic Republic of the Congo[lower-alpha 32]  Belgian Congo  Belgium 30 June 1960 Joseph Kasa-Vubu Belgo-Congolese Round Table Conference[lower-alpha 33]
18  Somalia[lower-alpha 34]  British Somaliland
Trust Territory of Somaliland
 United Kingdom
 Italy
26 June 1960
1 July 1960[lower-alpha 35]
Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal
Aden Abdullah Osman Daar
-
19 Republic of Dahomey
  • 1 August 1960
  • 31 July 1961[75]
Hubert Maga
19  Benin[lower-alpha 36]  French West Africa  France 1 August 1960 Hubert Maga -
20  Niger 3 August 1960 Hamani Diori -
21  Burkina Faso[lower-alpha 37] 5 August 1960 Maurice Yaméogo -
22  Ivory Coast 7 August 1960 Félix Houphouët-Boigny -
23  Chad  French Equatorial Africa 11–12 August 1960 François Tombalbaye -
24  Central African Republic 13 August 1960 David Dacko -
25  Republic of the Congo 14–15 August 1960 Fulbert Youlou -
26  Gabon 16–17 August 1960 Léon M'ba -
27  Nigeria Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria
British Cameroons
 United Kingdom 1 October 1960
1 June 1961
1 October 1961[lower-alpha 38]
Nnamdi Azikiwe -
28  Mauritania  French West Africa  France 28 November 1957
28 November 1960
Moktar Ould Daddah -
29  Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate of Sierra Leone  United Kingdom 27 April 1961 Milton Margai -
30  Tanganyika[lower-alpha 39] Tanganyika Territory 9 December 1961 Julius Nyerere -
31  Burundi[lower-alpha 40]  German East Africa

Ruanda-Urundi
 Germany
 Belgium
1 July 1919
1 July 1962
Mwambutsa IV of Burundi -
32  Rwanda Yuhi V Musinga
Grégoire Kayibanda
Rwandan Revolution
33  Algeria French Algeria  France 5 July 1962 Ahmed Ben Bella[lower-alpha 41] Algerian War

Évian Accords

34  Uganda Protectorate of Uganda  United Kingdom 9 October 1962 Milton Obote -
35  Kenya Colony and Protectorate of Kenya 12 December 1963[lower-alpha 42] Jomo Kenyatta[lower-alpha 26] -[lower-alpha 43]
36 Sultanate of Zanzibar[lower-alpha 39] Sultanate of Zanzibar 10 December 1963 Jamshid bin Abdullah -[lower-alpha 44]
37  Malawi  Nyasaland 6 July 1964[lower-alpha 45] Hastings Banda[lower-alpha 26] -
38  Zambia  Northern Rhodesia 24 October 1964 Kenneth Kaunda -
39  The Gambia Gambia Colony and Protectorate 18 February 1965[lower-alpha 46] Dawda Jawara[lower-alpha 26] -
40  Rhodesia
 Zimbabwe
 Southern Rhodesia 11 November 1965[lower-alpha 47] Ian Smith Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence
41  Botswana Bechuanaland Protectorate 30 September 1960 – 1966[lower-alpha 48] Seretse Khama -
42  Lesotho Territory of Basutoland 4 October 1966 Leabua Jonathan[lower-alpha 49] -
43  Mauritius Mauritius 12 March 1968 Seewoosagur Ramgoolam -
44  Eswatini Swaziland 6 September 1968 Sobhuza II -
45  Equatorial Guinea Spanish Territories of the Gulf of Guinea  Spain 12 October 1968 Francisco Macías Nguema -
46  Guinea-Bissau Overseas Province of Guinea  Portugal 24 September 1973
September 10, 1974 (recognised)
5 July 1975

[lower-alpha 50]

Luís Cabral
João Bernardo Vieira
Aristides Pereira
Pedro Pires
Guinea-Bissau War of Independence
47  Mozambique[lower-alpha 51] State of Mozambique 25 June 1975 Samora Machel Mozambican War of Independence
48  Cape Verde Overseas Province of Cape Verde 5 July 1975 Aristides Pereira[lower-alpha 52] Guinea-Bissau War of Independence[lower-alpha 53]
49  Comoros French Comoros  France 6 July 1975 Ahmed Abdallah 1974 Comorian independence referendum
50  São Tomé and Príncipe Overseas Province of São Tomé and Príncipe  Portugal 12 July 1975 Manuel Pinto da Costa -
51  Angola[lower-alpha 54] State of Angola 11 November 1975 Agostinho Neto Angolan War of Independence
52  Seychelles Seychelles  United Kingdom 29 June 1976 James Mancham -
53  Djibouti French Territory of the Afars and the Issas  France 27 June 1977 Hassan Gouled Aptidon 1977 Afars and Issas independence referendum
54  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[lower-alpha 55] Spanish Sahara
Southern Provinces
Southern Provinces
Western Tiris
 Spain
 Morocco

Islamic Republic of Mauritania
27 February 1976
independence not yet effectuated
El-Ouali Mustapha Sayed
Mohamed Abdelaziz
Western Sahara War
Western Sahara conflict
55  Namibia  South West Africa  South Africa October 27, 1966 (De jure)[77]
21 March 1990
Sam Nujoma U.N. Security Council Resolution 269

South African Border War

List of countries that have gained independence from United States

Rank Country Colonial name Colonial power Independence date First head of state Independence won through
1  Liberia Liberia  United States 26 July 1847[lower-alpha 56] Joseph Jenkins Roberts

[lower-alpha 57]
William Tubman

Liberian Declaration of Independence

Colony of Liberia

The Colony of Liberia, later the Commonwealth of Liberia, was a private colony of the American Colonization Society (ACS) beginning in 1822. It became an independent nation—the Republic of Liberia—after declaring independence in 1847.

List of countries that have gained independence from Spain

No Country modern-day Pre-independence name

(if different)

Date year note
1  Morocco Spainsh protectorate in Morocco 7 April 1956 Decolonisation of Africa
2  Equatorial Guinea Spanish Guinea 12 October 1968
3 Ifni 30 June 1969
4  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Spanish Sahara 26 February 1976

Spain

  • Northern Spanish Morocco
    • Chefchaouen (Chauen)
      • Jebala (Yebala)
      • Kert
      • Loukkos (Lucus)
      • Rif

List of countries that have gained independence from Portugal

Rank Country Colonial name Colonial power Independence date First head of state Independence won through
1 Republic of Dahomey
  • 1 August 1960
  • 31 July 1961[78]
Hubert Maga
2  Guinea-Bissau Overseas Province of Guinea  Portugal 24 September 1973
September 10, 1974 (recognised)
5 July 1975

[lower-alpha 58]

Luís Cabral
João Bernardo Vieira
Aristides Pereira
Pedro Pires
Guinea-Bissau War of Independence
3  Mozambique[lower-alpha 59] State of Mozambique 25 June 1975 Samora Machel Mozambican War of Independence
4  Cape Verde Overseas Province of Cape Verde 5 July 1975 Aristides Pereira[lower-alpha 60] Guinea-Bissau War of Independence[lower-alpha 61]
5  São Tomé and Príncipe Overseas Province of São Tomé and Príncipe  Portugal 12 July 1975 Manuel Pinto da Costa -
6  Angola[lower-alpha 62] State of Angola 11 November 1975 Agostinho Neto Angolan War of Independence

Portugal

Marracuene in Portuguese Mozambique was the site of a decisive battle between Portuguese and Gaza king Gungunhana in 1895

Portugal Empire

Russia

Historical affiliations
Russian Empire 6 January 1889–5 February 1889


An article from Le Progrès Illustré on Achinov's expedition

Belgium

Belgium controlled several territories and concessions during the colonial era, principally the Belgian Congo (modern DRC) from 1908 to 1960 and Ruanda-Urundi (modern Rwanda and Burundi) from 1922 to 1962. It also had small concessions in Guatemala (1843–1854) and in China (1902–1931) and was a co-administrator of the Tangier International Zone in Morocco.

Roughly 98% of Belgium's overseas territory was just one colony (about 76 times larger than Belgium itself) – known as the Belgian Congo. The colony was founded in 1908 following the transfer of sovereignty from the Congo Free State, which was the personal property of Belgium's king, Leopold II. The violence used by Free State officials against indigenous Congolese and the ruthless system of economic extraction had led to intense diplomatic pressure on Belgium to take official control of the country. Belgian rule in the Congo was based on the "colonial trinity" (trinité coloniale) of state, missionary and private company interests. During the 1940s and 1950s, the Congo experienced extensive urbanization and the administration aimed to make it into a "model colony." As the result of a widespread and increasingly radical pro-independence movement, the Congo achieved independence, as the Republic of Congo-Léopoldville in 1960.

Of Belgium's other colonies, the most significant was Ruanda-Urundi, a portion of German East Africa, which was given to Belgium as a League of Nations Mandate, when Germany lost all of its colonies at the end of World War I. Following the Rwandan Revolution, the mandate became the independent states of Burundi and Rwanda in 1962.[79]

African colonies listed by colonising power

Equestrian statue of Leopold II of Belgium, the Sovereign of the Congo Free State from 1885 to 1908, Regent Place in Brussels, Belgium

Belgium

Swedish overseas colonies Africa

The Swedish are invited by the Akan King of Futu to erect a "stony house" for the purpose of trade.

Sweden temporarily controlled several settlements on the Gold Coast (present Ghana) since 22 April 1650, but lost the last when on 20 April 1663 Fort Carlsborg and the capital Fort Christiansborg were seized by Denmark.

Cape Coast

In 1652, the Swedes took Cape Coast (in modern Ghana) which had previously been under the control of the Dutch and before that the Portuguese. Cape Coast was centered on the Carolusburg Castle which was built in 1653 and named after King Charles X Gustav of Sweden but is now known as the Cape Coast Castle.

Denmark-Norway

Courland

Hospitaller Malta

Netherlands

Italian Empire

Former colonies, protectorates and occupied areas

German Empire

After the First World War, Germany's possessions were partitioned among Britain (which took a sliver of western Cameroon, Tanzania, western Togo, and Namibia), France (which took most of Cameroon and eastern Togo) and Belgium

Africa

The following were German African protectorates:

German colonies in Africa, 1914

List of German colonies (as of 1912)

TerritoryCapitalEstablishedDisestablishedArea[80]Total population[80]German population[80]Current countries
Kamerun
Kamerun
Jaunde18841916495,000 km22,540,0001,359 Cameroon
 Nigeria
 Chad
 Guinea
 Central African Republic
Togoland
Togo
Bagida (1884–87)
Sebeab (1887–97)
Lomé (1897–1916)
1884191487,200 km21,003,000316 Ghana
 Togo
German South West Africa
Deutsch-Südwestafrika
Windhuk (from 1891)18841915835,100 km286,00012,135 Namibia
German East Africa
Deutsch-Ostafrika
Bagamoyo (1885–1890)
Dar es Salaam (1890–1916)
Tabora (1916, temporary)[81]
18911918995,000 km27,511,0003,579 Burundi
 Kenya
 Mozambique
 Rwanda
 Tanzania

German Empire

French In Africa

Map of French colonies in Africa (in green)

French North Africa

French West Africa

French Equatorial Africa

East Africa and Indian Ocean

France

The Foureau-Lamy military expedition sent out from Algiers in 1898 to conquer the Chad Basin and unify all French territories in West Africa.
The Senegalese Tirailleurs, led by Colonel Alfred-Amédée Dodds, conquered Dahomey (present-day Benin) in 1892

Africa

Country Date of acquisition of sovereignty Acquisition of sovereignty
 Algeria 3 July 1962 French recognition of Algerian referendum on independence held two days earlier
 Angola 11 November 1975 Independence from Portugal
 Benin 1 August 1960 Independence from France
 Botswana 30 September 1966 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Burkina Faso 5 August 1960 Independence from France
 Burundi 1 July 1962 Independence from Belgium
 Cabo Verde 5 July 1975 Independence from Portugal
 Cameroon 1 January 1960 Independence from France
 Central African Republic 13 August 1960 Independence from France
 Chad 11 August 1960 Independence from France
 Comoros 6 July 1975 Independence from France declared
 Democratic Republic of Congo 30 June 1960 Independence from Belgium
 Republic of Congo 15 August 1960 Independence from France
 Djibouti 27 June 1977 Independence from France
 Egypt 28 February 1922 The UK ends its protectorate, granting independence to Egypt
 Equatorial Guinea 12 October 1968 Independence from Spain
 Eritrea 27 April 1993 Independence from Ethiopia declared
 Eswatini 6 September 1968 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Ethiopia 900 Zagwe dynasty
 Gabon 17 August 1960 Independence from France
 Gambia 18 February 1965 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Ghana 6 March 1957 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Guinea 2 October 1958 Independence from France
 Guinea-Bissau 24 September 1973 Independence from Portugal declared
10 September 1974 Independence from Portugal recognized
 Ivory Coast 4 December 1958 Autonomous republic within French Community
7 August 1960 Independence from France
 Kenya 12 December 1963 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Lesotho 4 October 1966 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Liberia 26 July 1847 Independence from American Colonization Society
 Libya 24 December 1951 Independence from UN Trusteeship (British and French administration after Italian governance ends in 1947)
 Madagascar 14 October 1958 The Malagasy Republic was created as autonomous state within French Community
26 June 1960 France recognizes Madagascar's independence
 Malawi 6 July 1964 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Mali 25 November 1958 French Sudan gains autonomy
22 September 1960 Independence from France
 Mauritania 28 November 1960 Independence from France
 Mauritius 12 March 1968 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Morocco 788, AD Enthronement of Idris I in Volubilis
 Mozambique 25 June 1975 Independence from Portugal
 Namibia 21 March 1990 Independence from South African rule
 Niger 4 December 1958 Autonomy within French Community
3 August 1960 Independence from France
 Nigeria 1 October 1960 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Rwanda 1 July 1962 Independence from Belgium
 São Tomé and Príncipe 12 July 1975 Independence from Portugal
 Senegal 20 August 1960 Independence from France
 Seychelles 29 June 1976 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Sierra Leone 27 April 1961 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Somalia 1 July 1960 Union of Trust Territory of Somalia (former Italian Somaliland) and State of Somaliland (formerly British Somaliland)
 South Africa 11 December 1931 Statute of Westminster, which establishes a status of legislative equality between the self-governing dominion of the Union of South Africa and the UK
31 May 1910 Creation of the autonomous Union of South Africa from the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and Orange River
 South Sudan 9 July 2011 Independence from Egyptian and British joint rule
 Sudan 1 January 1956 Independence from Egyptian and British joint rule
 Tanzania 9 December 1961 Independence of Tanganyika from the United Kingdom
 Togo 30 August 1958 Autonomy within French Union
27 April 1960 Independence from France
 Tunisia 20 March 1956 Independence from France
 Uganda 1 March 1962 Self-government granted
9 October 1962 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Zambia 24 October 1964 Independence from the United Kingdom
 Zimbabwe 11 November 1965 Unilateral declaration of independence by Southern Rhodesia
18 April 1980 Recognized independence from the United Kingdom as Zimbabwe

Africa

This is a list of all present sovereign states in Africa and their predecessors. The region of Africa is generally defined geographically to include the subregions of African continent, Madagascar island, Mauritius Island and several minor islands, and their respective sovereign states. Africa was originally colonised by Europeans with Southern Africa primarily by the British, and the West Africa and North Africa primarily by the British, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Today, Africa consists of 54 sovereign states of various government types, the most common consisting of parliamentary systems.

Sovereign state Predecessors
Algeria Since 1.8 Million BC, humans have been settled in Algeria as demonstrated by the discovery of Oldowan stone tools found at Ain Hanech in 1992.[83]

Inhabited by Aterians (80,000–20,000 BC)
Inhabited by Iberomaurusians (20,000–10,000 BC)
Inhabited by Caspians (10,000–2500 BC)
Part of Phoenicia (2500–539 BC)
Part of the Carthaginian Empire (814–202 BC)
Part of the Kingdom of Mauretania (capital city in Volubilis, located in modern day Morocco)(3rd century BC – 25 BC)
Kingdom of Numidia (202–40 BC)
Center of the Kingdom of Mauretania (capital city in Cherchell, located in modern day Algeria)(25 BC-42 AD)
Mauretania Caesariensis (40 BC-395 AD) (province of the Roman Empire)
Mauretania Caesariensis (395–435) (province of the Western Roman Empire)
Center of the Vandal Kingdom (435–439)
Part of the Vandal Kingdom (439–534)
Mauro-Roman Kingdom (477-578)
Kingdom of the Aurès (484–703)
Kingdom of Altava (578-708)
Part of the Exarchate of Africa (590–698) (a division of the Eastern Roman Empire)
Part of the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750)
Part of the Abbasid Caliphate (750–778)
Rustamid Imamate (778–909)
Part of the Aghlabid Emirate (800–909)
Part of the Fatimid Caliphate (909–973)
Center of the Zirid Emirate (973–1014)
Part of the Zirid Emirate (1014–1148)
Hammadid Sultanate (1014–1152)
Part of the Almohad Caliphate (1152–1235)
Zayyanid Sultanate of Tlemcen (1235–1554)
Sultanate of Beni Abbas (1510–1872)
Sultanate of Kuku (1515–1638)
Eyalet of Aljazayer (1515–1830) (Eyalet (State) of the Ottoman Empire)
Colony of Algeria (1830–1848) (part of the French Empire)
French Algeria (1848–1962) (part of the French Empire, being an integral region of the metropole)
 People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (1962–present)

Angola The territory of Angola has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era, hosting a wide variety of ethnic groups, tribes and kingdoms (like the kingdoms of Kongo, Ndongo and Matamba).
State of West Africa (1575–1951) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
Overseas Province of Angola (1951–1972) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
State of Angola (1972–1975) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
People's Republic of Angola (1975–1992)
 Republic of Angola (1992–present)
Benin Kingdom of Dahomey (c.1600–1894)
Kingdom of Dahomey (French Protectorate) (1894–1904)
Colony of Dahomey and Dependencies (1904–1958) (part of the French West Africa, federation of colonies within of the French Empire)
Republic of Dahomey (1958–1975) (self-governing colony within the French Empire on 4 December 1958, full independent state on 1 August 1960)
People's Republic of Benin (1975–1990)
 Republic of Benin (1990–present)
Botswana The territory of Botswana has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era. The original inhabitants of southern Africa were the tribal San and Khoi peoples.
Tribal Bantu-speaking peoples first moved into the country from the north (c.600 AD)
Bechuanaland Protectorate (1885–1966) (part of the British Empire)
 Republic of Botswana (1966–present)
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso was divided in several Mossi Kingdoms (11th century-1896)
part of the French West Africa, a federation of colonies of the French Empire (1896–1919)
French Upper Volta (1919–1958) (part of the French West Africa)
Republic of Upper Volta (1958–1984) (self-governing colony within the French Empire on 11 December 1958, full independent state on 5 August 1960)
 Burkina Faso (1984–present)
Burundi Kingdom of Burundi (17th century–1890)
Kingdom of Burundi, part of German East Africa (1891–1916) (part of the German Empire)
Kingdom of Burundi under military occupation of the Belgian Empire (1916–1922)
Kingdom of Burundi, part of the Mandate of Ruanda-Urundi (1922–1946) (a League of Nations Mandate territory administered by Belgium)
Kingdom of Burundi, part of the Trust Territory of Ruanda-Urundi (1946–1962) (a United Nations Trust Territory administered by Belgium)
Kingdom of Burundi (independent state) (1962–1966)
 Republic of Burundi (1966–present)
Cameroon The territory of Cameroon has been inhabited since the Neolithic Era, hosting a wide variety of ethnic groups, tribes, fondoms and kingdoms (such as the kingdoms of Kotoko, Mandara and Bamum)
German Kamerun (1884–1916) (part of the German Empire)
French Cameroun (1918–1960) (a League of Nations Mandate and later a United Nations Trust Territory administered by France)
British Cameroons (1922–1961) (a League of Nations Mandate and later a United Nations Trust Territory administered by the United Kingdom)
Federal Republic of Cameroon (1961–1972)
United Republic of Cameroon (1972–1984)
 Republic of Cameroon (1984–present)
Cabo Verde Before the discovery by the Portuguese, the archipelago was uninhabited
Portuguese Cape Verde, every island had its own captain (governor) (1462–1587) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
Portuguese Cape Verde, unified colony (1587–1951) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
Overseas Province of Cape Verde (1951–1975) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
Republic of Cape Verde (1975–2013)
 Republic of Cabo Verde (2013–present)
Central African Republic The territory of Central African Republic has been inhabited since the Neolithic Era, hosting a wide variety of ethnic groups
Ubangi-Shari (1903–1958) (part of the French Equatorial Africa, federation of colonial possessions of the French Empire)
Central African Republic (1958–1976) (self-governing colony within the French Empire on 1 December 1958, full independent state on 13 August 1960)
Central African Empire (1976–1979)
 Central African Republic (resumed) (1979–present)
Chad The territory of Chad has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era
Kanem-Bornu Kingdom (c.700–1900)
Sultanate of Bagirmi (1480/1522-1897)
Wadai Sultanate (1501–1912)
French Chad (1900–1960) (part of French Equatorial Africa, federation of colonial possessions of the French Empire)
 Republic of Chad (1958–present) (self-governing colony within the French Empire on 28 November 1958, full independent state on 11 August 1960)
Comoros The archipelago was first inhabited circa 1000 BC. The Comoros have been inhabited by various groups throughout this time.
Territory of the Comoros, part of the French Empire (1886–1912)
Part of French Madagascar and Comoros, part of the French Empire (1912–1946)
Separated administered as Territory of Comoros (1946–1975) (self-governing colony of the French Empire in 1961)
State of Comoros, full independent state (1975–1978)
Federal and Islamic Republic of Comoros (1978–2001)
 Union of the Comoros (2001–present) (federal state formed by three islands)
Congo, Republic of Since 80,000 BC humans has been settled from with tribes, chiefdoms, confederations and kingdoms.
Kingdom of Kongo (1390–1914)
Kingdom of Loango (c. 1550–c. 1883)
French Congo (1882–1960) (part of French Equatorial Africa within the French Empire since 1910)
Republic of the Congo (1958–1969) (self-governing colony of the French Empire on 15 September 1959, full independent state on 15 August 1960)
People's Republic of the Congo (1969–1992)
 Republic of the Congo (resumed) (1992–present)
Congo, Democratic Republic of Since 80,000 BC humans has been settled from with tribes, chiefdoms, confederations and kingdoms.
Kingdom of Kongo (1390–1877)
Kingdom of Luba (1585–1889)
Kingdom of Lunda (c. 1600–1887)
Anziku Kingdom (c. 1620–1880)
Kuba Kingdom (1625–1884)
Kingdom of Chokwe (1800–1891)
Kingdom of Yeke (1856–1891)
Congo Free State, state in personal union with the Kingdom of Belgium (it was a sovereign entity, a private domain of King Leopold II of Belgium)(1877–1908)
Belgian Congo (1908–1960) (part of the Belgian Empire)
Republic of the Congo (1960–1964)
Democratic Republic of the Congo (1964–1971)
Republic of Zaire (1971–1997)
 Democratic Republic of the Congo (1997–present) (resumed)
Côte d'Ivoire Possibly since the Upper Paleolithic humans have been settled before 1460.
Divided in many states like the Kong Empire (1710–1898) and the Kingdom of Sanwi (1740–1843) and having parts of states like Gyaaman (c. 1450–1895) and the Ashanti Empire (1670/1701–1821)
French Ivory Coast (1893–1958) (part of French West Africa, federation of colonial possessions of the French Empire)
Republic of Ivory Coast(1958–1960) (self-governing colony of the French Empire on 4 December 1959, full independent state on 7 August 1960)
Republic of Ivory Coast, full independent state (1960–1986)
 Republic of Côte d'Ivoire (1986–present)
Djibouti The Djibouti area has been inhabited since the Neolithic.
Part of the Sultanate of Ifat (1285–1415)
Part of the Sultanate of Adal (1415–1577)
Part of the Egypt Eyalet, part of the Ottoman Empire (1577–1862)
Ruled by Afar and Somali sultans (1862–1883)
French Somaliland (1883–1967) (part of the French Empire: a French Colony [1896–1946], later a French Overseas Territory [1946–1967])
French Territory of the Afars and the Issas (1967–1977) (French Overseas Territory)
 Republic of Djibouti (1977–present)
Egypt Since 598,000 BC humans have been settled starting within a 30-metre (100 ft) terrace, with primitive Acheulean and Abbevillian (Chellean).[84]

1st–2nd Dynasties of Ancient Egypt, the Early Dynastic Period (Unified by Pharaoh Menes or probably Narmer, founder of the First Dynasty between Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt). (3150–2575 BC)
3rd–7th Dynasties of Ancient Egypt, the Old Kingdom of Egypt (2575–2150 BC)
8th–10th Dynasties of Ancient Egypt, the First Intermediate Period of Egypt: divided in many states (2181–2055 BC)
11th and 12th Dynasties of Ancient Egypt, reunified as the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (2055–1650 BC)
13th–17th Dynasties of Ancient Egypt, the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt: divided in many states (1650–1550 BC)
18th–20th Dynasties of Ancient Egypt, reunified as a New Kingdom of Egypt (1550–1069 BC)
21st–24th Dynasties of Ancient Egypt, the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt: divided in many states (1069–747 BC)
25th Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the Nubian Dynasty, Part of the Kingdom of Kush, (747 BC–656 BC)
26th Dynasty of Late Period of Ancient Egypt, reunified the country (664–525 BC)
First Egyptian Satrapy, part of the Achaemenid Empire as the 27th Dynasty (525–404 BC)
28th–30th Dynasties of Late Period of Ancient Egypt (404–343 BC)
Second Egyptian Satrapy, part of the Achaemenid Empire as the 31st Dynasty (343–332 BC)
Part of the Macedonian Empire (Argead dynasty) (332–323 BC)
Ptolemaic Kingdom (332–30 BC)
Province of Egypt (30 BC-324 AD) (part of the Roman Empire)
Province of Egypt (324–641) (part of the Eastern Roman Empire)
Province of Egypt (619–629) (part of the Sasanian Empire)
Part of the Rashidun Caliphate (641–661)
Part of the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750)
Part of the Abbasid Caliphate (750–868)
Tulunid Emirate of Egypt, the first independent dynasty to rule Egypt since the Ptolemaic dynasty (868–905)
Part of the Abbasid Caliphate (868–935)
Ikhshidid State of Egypt, Syria and Hejaz, autonomous state within the Abbasid Caliphate (935–969)
Part of the Fatimid Caliphate (969–973)
Center of the Fatimid Caliphate, second independent dynasty of Egypt in the Middle Ages (973–1171)
Center of the Ayyubid Sultanate of Egypt and Syria (Ayyubid Sultanate of Egypt, after the death of Saladin), third independent dynasty of Egypt in the Middle Ages (1171–1174)
Part of the Ayyubid Sultanate of Egypt (1174–1218)
Center of the Ayyubid Sultanate of Egypt (1218–1250)
Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt (two independent dynasties: Baḥrī and Burjī dynasties) (1250–1517)
Eyalet of Egypt, Eyalet (State) of the  Ottoman Empire (1517–1867) (the Muhammad Ali dynasty became the hereditary governors [Wali] of the eyalet in 1805)
Occupied by the First French Empire (1798–1801)
Khedivate of Egypt, a de jure Ottoman autonomous viceroyalty (the viceroys [khedives] was from the Muhammad Ali dynasty)(Occupied by the  British Empire from 1882 to 1922)(1867–1914)
Sultanate of Egypt (Muhammad Ali dynasty), part of the  British Empire (British protectorate) (1914–1922)
Kingdom of Egypt (Muhammad Ali dynasty) (1922–1953)
Arab Republic of Egypt (1953–1958)
 United Arab Republic (In union with  Syria) (1958–1971)
Arab Republic of Egypt (1971–present)

Equatorial Guinea The first inhabitants of the region that is now Equatorial Guinea are believed to have been Pygmies, of whom only isolated pockets remain in northern Río Muni. Bantu peoples arrived in the region between the 17th and 19th centuries.
The Annobón population, originally from Angola, were brought by the Portuguese via São Tomé.
Part of the Portuguese Empire (1474–1778)
Spanish Guinea (1778–1968) (part of the Spanish Empire)
 Republic of Equatorial Guinea (1968–present)
Eritrea Part of Dʿmt (c. 980 BC–c. 400 BC )
Part of the Kingdom of Aksum (c. 100 AD – c. 940 AD )
Medri Bahri kingdom (1137–1889)
Part of the  Ottoman Empire (1555–1879)
Part of the Ethiopian Empire (1879–1889)
Colony of Eritrea (1890–1936) (part of the Italian Empire)
Part of Italian East Africa (1936–1941) (part of the Italian Empire)
British Occupation of Eritrea (1941–1952)
Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea (1952–1962)
Part of Ethiopia (1962–1993)
 State of Eritrea (1993–present)
Eswatini (Swaziland) Kingdom of Swaziland (1740s–1906)
Protectorate of Swaziland (1906–1968) (Part of the British Empire)
 Kingdom of Swaziland (1968–2018)
 Kingdom of Eswatini (2018–present)
Ethiopia Kingdom of D'mt (c. 980 BC-c. 400 BC)
 Kingdom of Aksum (c. 80 BC–c. 940 AD)
Kingdom of Semien (c.325-1627)
 Zagwe dynasty (900–1270)
Part of the Sultanate of Ifat (1285–1415)
Adal Sultanate (1415–1577)
Imamate of Aussa (1577–1672)
Emirate of Harar (1647–1887)
Sultanate of Aussa (1734–1936)
Ethiopian Empire (1137–1936; 1941–1974) (also known as Abyssinian Empire before World War II)
Part of Italian East Africa (1936–1941) (Part of the Italian Empire)
Socialist Ethiopia, officially the Provisional Military Government of Ethiopia (1974–1987)
People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (1987–1991)
Transitional Government of Ethiopia (1991–1995)
 Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (1995–present) (a federal state formed by 10 regional states and 2 chartered cities)
Gabon The earliest inhabitants of the area were Pygmy peoples. They were largely replaced and absorbed by tribal Bantu peoples as they migrated
Part of the French Empire as a protectorate (1839–1910)
French Gabon (1910–1958) (part of French Equatorial Africa, federation of colonial possessions of the French Empire)
Gabonese Republic (1958–1960) (self-governing colony of the French Empire on 28 November 1958, full independent state on 17 August 1960)
 Gabonese Republic, full independent state (1960–present)
Gambia Part of the Mali Empire (1287–1480)
Gambia Colony and Protectorate (1821–1965) (Part of the British Empire)
The Gambia, monarchic state in personal union with the United Kingdom (1965–1970)
Republic of The Gambia (1970–1982)
Republic of The Gambia, in union with Senegal in the Senegambia Confederation (1982–1989)
Republic of The Gambia (1989–2015)
Islamic Republic of The Gambia (2015–2017)
 Republic of The Gambia (2017–present) (resumed)
Ghana From the 13th century, Akans emerged from what is believed to have been the Bonoman area, to create several Akan states of Ghana, mainly based on gold trading.[85] These states included Bonoman, Kingdom of Ashanti, Denkyira, Mankessim Kingdom and Akwamu.
Kingdom of Dagbon (1250–1888)
Mankessim Kingdom (1252–1844)
Portuguese Gold Coast (1482–1642) (Part of the Portuguese Empire)
Dutch Gold Coast (1598–1872) (Part of the Dutch Empire)
Danish Gold Coast (1658–1850) (Part of the Danish Empire)
Swedish Gold Coast (1650–1663) (Part of the Swedish Empire)
Ashanti Empire (1670–1821)
Branderberger/Prussian Gold Coast (1682–1721) (colony of Brandenburg-Prussia, later Prussia)
British Gold Coast (1821–1957) (Part of the British Empire)
Dominion of Ghana, monarchic state in personal union with the United Kingdom (1957–1960)
 Republic of Ghana (1960–present)
Guinea Center of the Mali Empire (1230–1559) (capital city in Niani, Guinea)
Part of the Mali Empire (1559–1610) (capital city moved to Kangaba, Mali)
Imamate of Futa Jallon (1725–1896)
Wassoulou Kingdom (1878–1898)
French Guinea (1894–1958) (in 1904 became a part of the French West Africa, a federation of colonial possessions of the French Empire)
Republic of Guinea (1958–1979)
People's Revolutionary Republic of Guinea (1979–1984)
 Republic of Guinea (1984–present) (resumed)
Guinea-Bissau Part of the Mali Empire (1251–1537)
Kaabu Kingdom (1537–1867)
Portuguese Guinea (1474–1879), dependency of Portuguese Cape Verde (Part of the Portuguese Empire)
Portuguese Guinea, colony separated from Cape Verde (Part of the Portuguese Empire)
Overseas Province of Guinea (1951–1972) (Part of the Portuguese Empire)
State of Guinea (1972–1974) (Part of the Portuguese Empire)
 Republic of Guinea-Bissau (1972–present)
Kenya What is now Kenya has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic period.
As Bantu city-states settled on the coast, several nomadic tribes inhabited the rest of what is today Kenya.
c.1st century AD: The Kenyan coast had served host to communities of ironworkers and communities of Bantu subsistence farmers, hunters, and fishers who supported the economy with agriculture, fishing, metal production, and trade with foreign countries. These communities formed the earliest city-states (like Mombasa and Malindi) in the region which were collectively known as Azania.[86]
Part of the Kilwa Sultanate (957–1513)
Part of the Portuguese Empire (1505–1698)
Part of the Omani Empire (1698–1856)
Part of the Sultanate of Zanzibar (1856–1895)
East Africa Protectorate (1895–1920) (Part of the British Empire)
Colony and Protectorate of Kenya (1920–1963) (Part of the British Empire)
Kenya, a monarchic state in personal union with the United Kingdom (1963–1964)
 Republic of Kenya (1964–present)
Lesotho Kingdom of Lesotho (1822–1884)
Basutoland (1884–1966) (Part of the British Empire)
 Kingdom of Lesotho (resumed) (1966–present)
Liberia Colony of Liberia (1821–1847)
 Republic of Liberia (1847–present)
Libya Archaeological evidence indicates that the coastal plain was inhabited by Neolithic peoples (ancestors to the Bebers) from as early as 8000 BCE.
Phoenicians and Ancient Greeks arrived in the country in the 7th century BC and established colonies and cities. The Phoenicians are fixed in Tripolitania, and the Greeks, in Cyrenaica. Fezzan was home to a Beber people known as Garamantes
Divided between the Achaemenid Empire (Satrapy of Libya; Cyrenaica) and the Carthaginian Monarchy, later the Carthaginian Republic (Tripolitania) (525 BC–331 BC)
Divided between the Empire of Alexander the Great (Cyrenaica) and the Carthaginian Republic (Tripolitania) (331 BC–323 BC)
Divided between the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt (Cyrenaica) and the Carthaginian Republic (Tripolitania) (323 BC–201 BC)
Part of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt (Cyrenaica) (201 BC–107 BC)
Part of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt (Cyrenaica) (201 BC–107 BC)
Divided between the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt (Cyrenaica) and the Roman Republic (Tripolitania) (107 BC–95 BC)
Africa proconsularis (Tripolitania) and Crete and Cyrenaica (later divided in Libya Pentapolis and Libya sicaa), provinces of the Roman Republic (later the Roman Empire) (97 BC – AD 395)
Divided between the Eastern Roman Empire (Provinces of Libya Pentapolis and Libya sicca) and the Western Roman Empire (Province of Tripolitania) (395–439)
Divided between the Eastern Roman Empire (Provinces of Libya Pentapolis and Libya sicca) and the Vandal Kingdom (Tripolitania) (439–533)
Part of the Exarchate of Africa (553–648) (Part of the Eastern Roman Empire)
Part of the Rashidun Caliphate (648–656)
Part of the Umayyad Caliphate (663–683)
Divided between the Umayyad Caliphate (Cyrenaica) and the Eastern Roman Empire (Tripoitania) (683–694)
Part of the Umayyad Caliphate (694–750)
Part of the Abbasid Caliphate (750–800)
Divided between the Abbasid Caliphate (Cyrenaica) and the Aghlabid Emirate (Tripolitania) (800–868)
Divided between the Tulunid Emirate (Cyrenaica) and the Aghlabid Emirate (Tripolitania) (868–906)
Divided between the Abbasid Caliphate (Cyrenaica) and the Aghlabid Emirate (Tripolitania) (906–909)
Divided between the Abbasid Caliphate (Cyrenaica) and the Fatimid Caliphate (Tripolitania) (909–969)
Part of the Fatimid Caliphate (969–945)
Divided between the Abbasid Caliphate (Cyrenaica) and the Fatimid Caliphate (Tripolitania) (945–961)
Part of the Fatimid Caliphate (961–973)

Divided between the Fatimid Caliphate (Cyrenaica) and the Zirid Emirate (Tripolitania)(973–1051)
Inhabited by Arabic and Berber tribes (1051–1148)
Part of the Kingdom of Africa (Tripolitania) (1148–1159)
Part of the Almohad Caliphate (Tripolitania) (1159–1184)
Inhabited by Arabic and Berber tribes (1184–1404)
Fezzan, part of the Kanem Bornu Kingdom (c.1400s-c.1600s)
Part of the Sultanate of Tunis (Tripolitania) (1404–1551)
Eyalet of Tripolitania (1551–1864) (Eyalet (State) of the Ottoman Empire)
Vilayet of Tripolitania (1864–1912) (Vilayet (Province) of the Ottoman Empire)
Italian Libya (1911–1943) (Part of the Italian Empire)
Tripolitanian Republic (1918–1922)
British Military Administration of Libya (1942–1951) (Part of the Allied administration of Libya)
French Military Territory of Fezzan-Ghadames (1943–1951) (Part of the Allied administration of Libya)
Emirate of Cyrenaica (1949–1951)
Kingdom of Libya (1951–1969) (called United Kingdom of Libya until 1963)
Libyan Arab Republic (1969–1977)
Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (1977–2011) (before 1986 without the word "Great" in the full name of the country)
 State of Libya (Sometimes refer to as Libya) (2011–present)

Madagascar Human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and 550 AD by Indianized Austronesian peoples, arriving on outrigger canoes from Indonesia.
Around the 9th century AD Bantu migrants crossed the Mozambique Channel from East Africa.
By the Middle Ages, over a dozen predominant ethnic identities had emerged on the island, typified by rule under a local chieftain. Among some communities, such as the Sakalava, Merina and Betsimisaraka, leaders seized the opportunity to unite these disparate communities and establish true kingdoms under their rule.
The island of Madagascar was divided in many states, one of this states was the Kingdom of Imerina (1540–1840)
Most of the island was unified by the Kingdom of Imerina (1840–1882)
Malagasy Protectorate (1882–1897) (Part of the French Empire)
Colony of Madagascar and Dependencies (1897–1958) (Part of the French Empire)
Malagasy Republic (1958–1960) (self-governing colony of the French Empire on 14 October 1958, full independent state on 26 June 1960)
Malagasy Republic (1960–1975)
Democratic Republic of Madagascar (1975–1992)
Third Republic of Madagascar (1992–2010)
 Republic of Madagascar (2010–present)
Malawi The part of Africa now known as Malawi was settled by migrating Bantu groups around the 10th century.
Kingdom of Maravi (1480–1891)
British Central Africa Protectorate (1893–1907) (Part of the British Empire)
Nyasaland Protectorate (1907–1953; 1963–1964) (Part of the British Empire)
part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1953–1964), a federation of colonial possessions of the British Empire
Malawi, monarchic state in personal union with the United Kingdom (1964–1966)
 Republic of Malawi (1966–present)
Mali  Ghana Empire, properly known as Wagadou (c. 300–c. 1200s)
Gao Kingdom (c.800s-1430)
Sosso Empire (c.1200-1235)
Part of the Mali Empire (c.1240–1559) (capital city in Niani, Guinea)
Center of the Mali Empire (1559–1610) (capital city moved to Kangaba, Mali)
 Songhai Empire (c. 1464–1591)
 Kénédougou Kingdom (c. 1600–1880)
Bamana Kingdom (also known as Ségou Kingdom) (1712–1862)
Kingdom of Kaarta (1754–1904)
Caliphate of Hamdullahi (1818–1862)
Tidjaniya Caliphate (1848–1893)
Part of the Wassoulou Kingdom (1878–1898)
French Sudan (1880–1958) (part of French West Africa, a federation of colonial possessions of the French Empire; 1902–1904 referred as Senegambia and Niger; 1904–1921 referred as Upper Senegal and Niger)
Sudanese Republic (1958–1960) (self-governing colony of the French Empire from 24 November 1958 until 20 June 1960)
Federated state of the Mali Federation (1960) (United together with Senegal from June to August 1960)
 Republic of Mali (1960–present)
Mauritania Inhabited by various Berber tribes
Part of the Ghana Empire (c.300–1076)
Part of the Almoravid Emirate (1076–1086)
Part of the Ghana Empire (1086- c.early 1200s)
Southern regions are part of the Mali Empire (c.early 1200s-early 1500s)
Southern regions are part of the Songhai Empire (early 1500s-early 1600s)
Inhabited by various Berber and Arabic tribes (1600s–1903)
Emirate of Trarza, a small emirate in the southwestern of modern-day Mauritania (1640–1902)
Colony of Mauritania, part of the French West Africa (a federation of French colonial territories), part of the French Empire (1903–1958)
Republic of Mauritania (self-governing colony of the French Empire on 28 November 1958, full independent state on 28 November 1960) (1958–1960)
 Islamic Republic of Mauritania (1960–present)
Mauritius Isle de France (Part of the French Empire) (1715–1810)
British Mauritius (Part of the British Empire) (1810–1968)
Mauritius, monarchic state in personal union with the United Kingdom (1968–1992)
 Republic of Mauritius (1992–present)
Morocco The recorded history of Morocco begins with the Phoenician colonization of the Moroccan coast between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE,[3] although the area was inhabited by indigenous Berbers for some two thousand years before that.
In the 5th century BCE, the city-state of Carthage extended its hegemony over the coastal areas. They remained there until the late 3rd century BCE, while the hinterland was ruled by indigenous monarchs.
Center of the Kingdom of Mauretania (capital city in Volubilis, located in modern day Morocco) (c.300 BCE-25 BCE)
Part of the Kingdom of Mauretania (capital city in Cherchell, located in modern day Algeria) (25 BCE-42 BCE)
Mauretania Tingitana, province of the Roman Empire (42–395)
Mauretania Tingitana, province of the Eastern Roman Empire (395-c.700)
Part of the Umayyad Caliphate (c.700–744)
Barghawata Confederacy (744–1058)
Emirate of Sigilmasa (757–976)
Emirate of Nekor (710–1019)
Idrisid Emirate of Morocco (788–974)
Almoravid Emirate of Morocco (1040–1147)
Almohad Caliphate (1121–1269)
Marinid Sultanate of Morocco (1244–1465)
Wattasid Sultanate of Morocco (1472–1554)
Saadi Sultanate of Morocco (1549–1659)
Alaouite Sultanate of Morocco (1666–1912)
French protectorate in Morocco (1912–1955) (part of the French Empire)
Spanish protectorate in Morocco (1912–1956) (part of the Spanish Empire)
Tangier International Zone (1924–1956)
Spanish Sahara, officially the Province of the Sahara between 1958 and 1976 (1884–1975) (1946–1958 part of Spanish West Africa, part of the Spanish Empire)
Western Sahara occupied by Morocco (1975–present) (not recognized by some countries of the World)

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (1976–present) (incorporated in territories not occupied by Moroccan forces, not recognized by some countries of the World)
 Kingdom of Morocco (1956–present)

Mozambique What is now Mozambique has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic period.
From the late first millennium AD, vast Indian Ocean trade networks extended as far south into Mozambique as evidenced by the ancient port town of Chibuene
Bantu city-states in the coast participated in the incipient Swahili culture. In what is now Mozambique, the city-states of Sofala, Angoche, and Mozambique Island were regional powers by the 15th century. The interior of the country continued to be inhabited by tribal peoples (except by some areas conquered by the Kingdom of Mutapa)
Captaincy of Sofala (1505–1725) (Dependency of the Portuguese State of India, part of the Portuguese Empire)
Captaincy of Mozambique and Sofala (1569–1752) (Dependency of the Portuguese State of India, part of the Portuguese Empire)
Captaincy-General of Mozambique, Sofala and Rivers of Sena (1752–1836) (Independent of the governor of the Portuguese State of India, part of the Portuguese Empire)
Province of Mozambique (1836–1891) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
State of Eastern Africa (1891–1893) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
Province of Mozambique (1893–1926) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
Colony of Mozambique (1926–1951) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
Province of Mozambique (1951–1972) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
State of Mozambique (1973–1975) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
People's Republic of Mozambique (1975–1990)
 Republic of Mozambique (1990–present)
Namibia Namibia has been inhabited since early times by the San, Damara and Nama people. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu peoples arrived as part of the Bantu expansion.
German South West Africa (1884–1915) (part of the German Empire)
South West Africa (1915–1990) (a League of Nations mandate administered by South Africa, known as Namibia by the UN since 1968)
 Republic of Namibia (1990–present)
Niger What is now Niger has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic period.
Regions around the Lake Chad was part of the Kingdom of Bornu (c.1000–1902)
Western regions of what is today modern Niger was part of the Mali Empire (1288–1340)
Western regions of what is today modern Niger was part of the Songhai Empire (1340–1591)
Southern regions of what is today Niger was part of severall Hausa Kingdoms (c.1400s–c.1800s) (The capital cities of these kingdoms was located in modern Nigeria)
Sultanate of Agadez (1449–1500 ; 1591–1900)
Dendi Kingdom (rump state that succeeded the Songhai Empire) (1591–1901)
Sultanate of Damagaram (1731–1902)
Dosso Kingdom (c.1750–1902)
Senegambia and Niger (1902–1904) (part of the French West Africa, federation of colonial possessions of the French Empire)
Upper Senegal and Niger (1904–1921) (within French West Africa)
Colony of Niger (1922–1960) (within French West Africa)
Republic of Niger (self-governing colony of the French Empire on 18 December 1958, full independent state on 3 August 1960) (1958–1960)
 Republic of Niger (1960–present)
Nigeria The Nok Culture appeared in Nigeria around 1500 BC and vanished under unknown circumstances around 500 AD, having lasted approximately 2,000 years.
Kingdom of Nri (948–1911)
Kingdom of Benin (1180–1897)
Oyo Empire (c. 1300s–1896)
Northeastern regions of what today is Nigeria was part of the Kingdom of Bornu (1380–1893)
Northern regions of what is today Nigeria was part of severall Hausa Kingdoms (c.1400s–c.1800s) (These kingdoms are predecessor states to some federated states of modern Nigeria
Kingdom of Warri (1480–1848)
Kwararafa (c.1500s–1840)
Igala Kingdom (c.1550-1900)
Akwa Akpa (c.1650–1884)
Bida Emirate (1731–1897)
Wukari Federation (c. 1840–c. 1900)
Aro Confederacy (1690–1902)
Kano Emirate (1807–1903)
Sokoto Caliphate (1804–1903)
Niger Coast Protectorate (1884–1900) (originally established as the Oil Rivers Protectorate 1884–1893, part of the British Empire)
Lagos Colony (1862–1906) (part of the British Empire)
Northern Nigeria Protectorate (1900–1914) (part of the British Empire)
Southern Nigeria Protectorate (1900–1914) (part of the British Empire)
Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria (1914–1960) (part of the British Empire)
Federation of Nigeria (1960–1963), a federal monarchical state in personal union with the United Kingdom
 Federal Republic of Nigeria (1963–present) (a federal state formed by 36 states and 1 federal capital city)
Rwanda Kingdom of Rwanda (c.1400s–1891) (In the 19th century conquered and unified the other kingdoms of the region)
Kingdom of Rwanda, part of the German East Africa (1891–1919) (part of the German Empire)
Kingdom of Rwanda, part of the Mandate of Ruanda-Urundi (1922–1962) (a League of Nations Mandate territory administered by Belgium)
Kingdom of Rwanda, part of the Trust Territory of Ruanda-Urundi (1946–1962) (a United Nations Trust Territory administered by Belgium)
Kingdom of Rwanda (1962) (independent state)
 Republic of Rwanda (1962–present)
São Tomé and Príncipe Before the discovery by the Portuguese, the archipelago was uninhabited
Portuguese São Tomé and Príncipe, every island had its own governor (1470–1752) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
Portuguese São Tomé and Príncipe, unified colony (1752-1951) (part of the Portuguese Empire)
Overseas Province of São Tomé and Príncipe (1951-1975) (part of the Portuguese Empire
 Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe (1975–present)
Senegal Kingdom of Takrur (c. 800 – c. 1285)
Part of the Mali Empire (c.1285-1350)
Jolof Empire (1350-1549)
Kingdom of Waalo (1287-1855)
Kingdom of Sine (c.1300s-1959)
Kingdom of Saloum (1494-1969)
Empire of Great Fulo, also known as Denanke Kingdom (1490-1776)
Jolof Kingdom (1549-1875)
Kingdom of Cayor (1579-1879)
Kingdom of Baoul (1555-1874)
Senegambia (1617-1678) (part of the Dutch Empire)
French Senegal (1659–1895) (part of the French Empire)
Imamate of Futa Toro (1776-1861)
French Senegal (1895-1958) (part of the French West Africa, a federation of colonial possessions of the French Empire)
Republic of Senegal (1958–1960) (self-governing colony of the French Empire from 25 November 1958 until 4 April 1960)
Federated state of the Mali Federation (1960) (United together with Mali from June to August 1960)
Republic of Senegal (1960-1982)
Senegal, in union with The Gambia in the Senegambia Confederation (1982–1989)
 Republic of Senegal (1960–present)
Seychelles Before the discovery by the Portuguese in the 15th century, the archipelago was uninhabited
Isle of Seychelles (1770-1810) (part of the French Empire)
Colony of Seychelles (1903–1976) (part of the British Empire)
 Republic of Seychelles (1976–present)
Sierra Leone Kingdom of Koya, also known as Koya Temne and Temne Kingdom (1505-1896)
Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate (1808–1961) (part of the British Empire)
Sierra Leone (1961–1971), a monarchical state in personal union with the United Kingdom
 Republic of Sierra Leone (1971–present)
Somalia Land of Punt (legendary, mentioned by Ancient Egyptian sources)
Macrobian Kingdom (legendary, mentioned by the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus
City-states were established on the coast of what is now Somalia. Examples are Mosylon, Opone, Malao, Sarapion, Mundus and Essina (c.100 AD-500 AD)
Tunni Sultanate (800s-1200s)
 Sultanate of Mogadishu (c. 900- 1500s)
Ajuran Sultanate (c. 1200- 1600s)
 Warsangali Sultanate (1218–1886)
 Ifat Sultanate (1285–1415)
Adal Sultanate (1415–1577)
 Geledi Sultanate (1600s −1910)
Hiraab Imamate (1600s-1800s)
Majerteen Sultanate (c.1800 – 1924)
Sultanate of Hobyo (1884–1925)

Italian Somaliland (1889–1936) (part of the Italian Empire)
Dervish state (1889–1920)
Part of Italian East Africa (1936–1941) (part of the Italian Empire)
British Military Administration (Somali) (1941–1949)
Trust Territory of Somaliland (1950–1960) (a United Nations Trust Territory administered by Italy)
British Somaliland (1884–1940; 1941–1960) (part of the British Empire)
State of Somaliland (1960)
Somali Republic (1960–1969)
Somali Democratic Republic (1969–1991)
Republic of Somalia (1991–2012) (no central government existed, notable regimes included Interim Government of Somalia 1991–1997, Transitional National Government of Somalia 2000–2004, Transitional Federal Government of Somalia 2004–2012)
 Federal Republic of Somalia (2012–present) (a federal state formed by 5 federal states members)

South Africa What is now South Africa has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic period.
Before the Bantu expansion, Khoisan peoples were the first inhabitants of Southern Africa.
Various Bantu peoples migrated and settled in the territory of the future South Africa (300 AD-500 AD)
Kingdom of Mapungubwe (c.1075-c.1220)
Dutch Cape Colony (1652–1806) (part of the Dutch Empire)
Mthethwa Paramountcy (c.1780-1817) (independent state)
Cape Colony (1806–1910) (part of the British Empire)
Zulu Kingdom (1816-1897) (independent state)
Natalia Republic (1839-1843) (independent state)
Colony of Natal (1843–1910) (part of the British Empire)
South African Republic (1852–1877; 1881–1902; 1914–1915) (independent state)
Transvaal Colony (1877–1881; 1902–1910) (part of the British Empire)
Orange Free State (1854–1902) (independent state)
State of Goshen (1882-1883) (independent state)
Republic of Stellaland (later United States of Stellaland; 1882–1885) (independent state)
Orange River Colony (1902–1910) (part of the British Empire)
Union of South Africa (1910–1931), a Dominion within the British Empire
Union of South Africa (1931-1961), a monarchical state in personal union with the United Kingdom
 Republic of South Africa (1961–present)
South Sudan The territory of South Sudan has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era, hosting a wide variety of ethnic groups, tribes and the Shilluk Kingdom (c.1400s-1861), a small kingdom located in the north of the country
Part of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (1899–1956)
Part of Republic of the Sudan (1956–1969)
Part of Democratic Republic of the Sudan (1969–1985)
Part of Republic of the Sudan (resumed) (1985–2011)
 Republic of South Sudan (2011–present) (a federal state formed by 10 States, 2 administrative areas and 1 area with special administrative status)
Sudan Kingdom of Kerma (c. 2500 BCE–c. 1500 BCE)
Part of the New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1500 BCE-c. 1070 BCE)
Kingdom of Kush (c. 1070 BC – c. 350 AD)
Kingdom of Makuria (c.400s-1600s)
Kingdom of Nobatia (c.400s-c.700s)
Kingdom of Alodia (c.700s-c.1500)
Daju Kingdom (c.1100s-1400s)
Tunjur Kingdom (1400s-c.1650)
Funj Sultanate, also known as Sultanate of Sennar and Blue Sultanate (1504-1821)
Sultanate of Darfur (1603–1874 ; 1898–1916)
Part of the Eyalet of Egypt, that itself was part of the  Ottoman Empire (1821–1867)
Part of the Khedivate of Egypt, a de jure Ottoman autonomous viceroyalty (1867–1885)
Mahdist State (1885-1898)
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (1898–1956) (Condominium of the United Kingdom and Egypt)
Republic of the Sudan (1956–1969)
Democratic Republic of the Sudan (1969–1985)
Republic of the Sudan (1985–2019)
 Republic of the Sudan (resumed) (2019–present) (a federal state formed by 18 States and 1 area with special administrative status)
Tanzania What is now Tanzania has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic period.
As Bantu city-states settled on the coast, several nomadic tribes inhabited the rest of what is today Tanzania.
Kilwa Sultanate, in the coast of modern-day Tanzania (957-1513)
Part of the Portuguese Mozambique, part of the Portuguese Empire (1513-1696)
Part of the Omani Empire (1696-1856)
Sultanate of Zanzibar, in the coast of modern-day Tanzania (1856–1964) (British protectorate 1890–1963)
German East Africa (1891–1919) (part of the German Empire)
Tanganyika Territory (1922–1961) (part of the British Empire)
Republic of Tanganyika (1961–1964)
People's Republic of Zanzibar (1964)
United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar (1964)
 United Republic of Tanzania (1964–present)
Togo German Togoland (1884–1916) (part of the German Empire)
British Togoland (1916–1956) (League of Nations Mandate Territory and later a United Nations Trust Territory, administered by the United Kingdom)
French Togoland (1916–1960) (League of Nations Mandate Territory and later a United Nations Trust Territory, administered by France)
 Togolese Republic (1960–present)
Tunisia Catharginian Monarchy (c. 814 BC–480 BC)

Catharginian Republic (c.480 BC-146 BC)
Africa Proconsularis, province of the Roman Republic (later the Roman Empire) (146 BC-395 AD)
Africa Proconsularis, province of the Eastern Roman Empire (395-439)
Vandal Kingdom (439-533)
Praetorian prefecture of Africa, part of the Eastern Roman Empire (534-590)
Exarchate of Africa, part of the Eastern Roman Empire (590-698)
Part of the Umayyad Caliphate (698-750)
Part of the Abbasid Caliphate (750-800)
Aghlabid Emirate (800-909) (Semi-independent emirate, nominally vassal or subject of the Abbasids, but de facto independent since 801)
Center of the Fatimid Caliphate (909-973) (the capital cities was located in modern Tunisia)
Zyrid Emirate, Vassal of the Fatimid Caliphate (973-1048) (The Fatimid Caliphate moved its capital city to Cairo, located in modern Egypt)
Zyrid Emirate, independent state (1048-1148)
Kingdom of Africa (1148-c.1158)
Part of the Almohad Caliphate (c.1158-1229)
Hafsid Sultanate of Tunis (1229-1574)
Eyalet of Tunis (1574–1705) (Eyalet (State) of the Ottoman Empire)
Beylik of Tunis (1705–1881) (Beylik (Principality) of the Ottoman Empire)
French protectorate of Tunisia (1881–1956) (Part of the French Empire)
Kingdom of Tunisia(1956–1957)
 Republic of Tunisia (1957–present)

Uganda The territory of Uganda has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era
Bantu peoples migrated and settled the region during the Bantu expansion (c.300 BC-400 AD)
Empire of Kitara (???-1300s)
After the fall of the Empire of Kitara several kingdoms and chiefdoms were established in what is today Uganda: Kingdom of Buganda, Bunyoro Kitara-Kingdom, Kingdom of Busoga, Kingdom of Rwenzururu, the Tooro Kingdom, the Kingdom of Ankole, the Kingdom of Kooki, the Chiefdom of Bunya and the Alur Kingdom (c.1300s-1894)
Uganda Protectorate (1894–1962) (part of the British Empire)
Uganda, monarchical state in personal union with the United Kingdom (1962–1963)
 Republic of Uganda (1963–present)
Zambia Southern regions of what is today Zambia was part of the Great Zimbabwe (c.1300s-c.1430s)
Eastern regions of what is today Zambia was part of the Kingdom of Maravi (c.1480s-c.1720s)
Kingdom of Barotseland (c.1600s-1890)
Northwestern regions of what is today Zambia was part of the Lunda Kingdom (c.1700s-1800s)
Part of British South Africa Company Territories (1890–1924) (Part of the British Empire)
Northern Rhodesia Protectorate (1924–1953; 1963–1964) (Part of the British Empire)
Part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1953–1963), a federation of colonial possession of the British Empire
 Republic of Zambia (1963–present)
Zimbabwe Southern regions of what is today Zimbabwe was part of the Kingdom of Mapungubwe (c.1075–c.1220)
Kingdom of Zimbabwe (1220-1450)
Kingdom of Mutapa (1430-1760)
Kingdom of Butua (1450-c.1683)
Rozvi Empire (1660-1889)
Kingdom of Mthwakazi (1823-1894)
Part of British South Africa Company Territories (1890–1923) (part of the British Empire)
Colony of Southern Rhodesia (1923–1953; 1963–1965; 1979–1980) (part of the British Empire)
Part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1953–1963), a federation of colonial possessions of the British Empire
Rhodesia (1965–1979) (Unilateral declaration of independence;from 1970 to 1979 Republic of Rhodesia)
Zimbabwe Rhodesia (1979)
 Republic of Zimbabwe (1980–present)

Timeline notes

  1. Explanatory notes are added in cases where decolonisation was achieved jointly by multiple countries or where the current country is formed by the merger of previously decolonised countries. Although Ethiopia was administered as a colony in the aftermath of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War and was recognized by the international community as such at the time, it is not listed here as its brief period under Italian rule (which lasted for a little more than five years and ended with the return of the previous native government) is now usually seen as a military occupation.
  2. Some territories changed hands multiple times, so only the last colonial power is mentioned in the list. In addition, the mandatory or trustee powers are mentioned for territories that were League of Nations mandates and UN Trust Territories.
  3. The dates of decolonisation for territories annexed by or integrated into previously decolonised independent countries are given in separate notes, as are dates when a Commonwealth realm abolished its monarchy.
  4. For countries that became independent either as a Commonwealth realm, a monarchy with a strong Prime Minister, or a parliamentary republic, the head of government is listed instead.
  5. Liberia would later annex the Republic of Maryland, another settler colony made up of former African-American slaves, in 1857. Liberia would not be recognized by the United States until 5 February 1862.
  6. Stephen Allen Benson was President on the date of the United States' recognition.
  7. As Union of South Africa.
  8. The Union of South Africa was constituted through the South Africa Act entering into force on 31 May 1910. On 11 December 1931 it got increased self-governance powers through the Statute of Westminster which was followed by transformation into a republic after the 1960 referendum. Afterwards, South Africa was under apartheid until elections resulting from the negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa on 27 April 1994 when Nelson Mandela became president.
  9. As the Kingdom of Egypt. Transcontinental country, partially located in Asia.
  10. On 28 February 1922 the British government issued the Unilateral Declaration of Egyptian Independence. Through this declaration, the British government unilaterally ended its protectorate over Egypt and granted it nominal independence except four "reserved" areas: foreign relations, communications, the military and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.[72] The Anglo-Egyptian treaty of 1936 reduced British involvement, but still was not welcomed by Egyptian nationalists, who wanted full independence from Britain, which was not achieved until 23 July 1952. The last British troops left Egypt after the Suez Crisis of 1956.
  11. Although the leaders of the 1952 revolution (Mohammed Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser) became the de facto leaders of Egypt, neither would assume office until September 17 of that year when Naguib became Prime Minister, succeeding Aly Maher Pasha who was sworn in on the day of the revolution. Nasser would succeed Naguib as Prime Minister on 25 February 1954.
  12. From 1 April 1941 to its eventual transfer to Ethiopia, Italian Eritrea was occupied by the United Kingdom.
  13. Date marking the de jure end of Italian rule. The transfer of Eritrea to the Ethiopian Empire occurred on 15 September 1952. On 24 May 1993, after decades of fighting starting from 1 September 1961, Eritrea formally seceded from Ethiopia.
  14. Emperor of Ethiopia on the date of the transfer. Isaias Afwerki became President of Eritrea upon independence.
  15. As the United Kingdom of Libya.
  16. From 1947, Libya was administrated by the Allies of World War II (the United Kingdom and France). Part of the British Military Administration originally gained independence as the Cyrenaica Emirate; it was only recognized by the United Kingdom. The Cyrenaica Emirate also merged to form the United Kingdom of Libya.
  17. Anglo-Egyptian Condominium Agreement of 1899, stated that Sudan should be jointly governed by Egypt and Britain, but with real power remaining in British hands.[74]
  18. Before Sudan even gained its independence, on 18 August 1955 the southern area of Sudan began fighting for greater autonomy. After the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement on 28 February 1972, South Sudan was granted autonomous rule. On 5 June 1983, however, the Sudan government revoke this autonomous rule, igniting a new war for control of South Sudan. (The main non-government combatant of the Second Sudanese Civil War largely claimed to be fighting for a united, secular Sudan rather than South Sudan's independence.) On 9 July 2005, following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed on 9 January of that year, the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region was restored; exactly six years later, in the aftermath of the 9–15 January 2011 South Sudanese independence referendum, South Sudan became independent.
  19. Salva Kiir Mayardit became President of South Sudan upon independence. Abel Alier was the first President of the High Executive Council of the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region, while John Garang became its President following its restoration.
  20. Sudan's independence is indirectly linked to the Egyptian revolution of 1952, whose leaders eventually denounced Egypt's claim over Sudan. (This revocation would force the British to end the condominium.)
  21. As the Kingdom of Tunisia.
  22. See Tunisian independence.
  23. Cape Juby was ceded by Spain to Morocco on 2 April 1958. Ifni was returned from Spain to Morocco on 4 January 1969.
  24. As the Dominion of Ghana.
  25. The British Togoland mandate and trust territory was integrated into Gold Coast colony on 13 December 1956. On 1 July 1960 Ghana formally abolished its Commonwealth monarchy and became a republic.
  26. Originally as Prime Minister; became President upon the monarchy's abolition.
  27. After the French Cameroun mandate and trust territory gained independence it was joined by part of the British Cameroons mandate and trust territory on 1 October 1961. The other part of British Cameroons joined Nigeria.
  28. Minor armed insurgency from Union of the Peoples of Cameroon.
  29. Senegal and French Sudan gained independence on 20 June 1960 as the Mali Federation, which dissolved a few months later into present-day Senegal and Mali.
  30. As the Malagasy Republic.
  31. The Malagasy Uprising was an earlier armed uprising that failed to gain independence from France.
  32. As the Republic of the Congo.
  33. The Congo Crisis occurred after independence.
  34. As the Somali Republic.
  35. The Trust Territory of Somalia (former Italian Somaliland) united with the State of Somaliland (former British Somaliland) on 1 July 1960 to form the Somali Republic (Somalia).
  36. As the Republic of Dahomey.
  37. As Upper Volta.
  38. Part of the British Cameroons mandate and trust territory on 1 October 1961 joined Nigeria. The other part of British Cameroons joined the previously decolonised French Cameroun mandate and territory.
  39. After both gained independence Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged on 26 April 1964 as Tanzania.
  40. As the Kingdom of Burundi.
  41. Assumed office on September 27, 1962, as Prime Minister. From the date of independence to Ben Bella's inauguration, Abderrahmane Farès served as President of the Provisional Executive Council.
  42. Abolished its commonwealth monarchy exactly one year later; Jamhuri Day ("Republic Day") is a celebration of both dates.
  43. The Mau Mau Uprising was an earlier armed uprising that failed to gain independence from the United Kingdom.
  44. The Sultanate of Zanzibar would later be overthrown within a month of sovereignty by the Zanzibar Revolution.
  45. Abolished its commonwealth monarchy exactly two years later.
  46. Abolished its commonwealth monarchy on 24 April 1970.
  47. Due to Rhodesia's unwillingness to accommodate the British government's request for black majority rule, the United Kingdom (along with the rest of the international community) refused to recognize the white-minority led government. The former self-governing colony would not be recognized as an independent state until the aftermath of the Rhodesian Bush War, under the name Zimbabwe.
  48. Botswana Day Holiday is the second day of the two-day celebration of Botswana's independence. The first day is also referred to as Botswana Day.
  49. Moshoeshoe II became King upon independence.
  50. Not celebrated as a holiday. The date 24 September 1973 (when the PAIGC formally declared Guinea's independence) is celebrated as Guinea-Bissau's date of independence.
  51. As the People's Republic of Mozambique
  52. Pedro Pires was sworn in as Prime Minister three days after independence.
  53. Although the fight for Cape Verdean independence was linked to the liberation movement occurring in Guinea-Bissau, the island country itself saw little fighting.
  54. As the People's Republic of Angola
  55. The Spanish colonial rule de facto terminated over the Western Sahara (then Spanish Sahara), when the territory was passed on to and partitioned between Mauritania and Morocco (which annexed the entire territory in 1979). The decolonisation of Western Sahara is still pending, while a declaration of independence has been proclaimed by the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, which controls only a small portion east of the Moroccan Wall. The UN still considers Spain the legal administrating country of the whole territory,[76] awaiting the outcome of the ongoing Manhasset negotiations and resulting election to be overseen by the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara. However, the de facto administrator is Morocco (see United Nations list of non-self-governing territories).
  56. Liberia would later annex the Republic of Maryland, another settler colony made up of former African-American slaves, in 1857. Liberia would not be recognized by the United States until 5 February 1862.
  57. Stephen Allen Benson was President on the date of the United States' recognition.
  58. Not celebrated as a holiday. The date 24 September 1973 (when the PAIGC formally declared Guinea's independence) is celebrated as Guinea-Bissau's date of independence.
  59. As the People's Republic of Mozambique
  60. Pedro Pires was sworn in as Prime Minister three days after independence.
  61. Although the fight for Cape Verdean independence was linked to the liberation movement occurring in Guinea-Bissau, the island country itself saw little fighting.
  62. As the People's Republic of Angola

See also

References

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  4. John D. Hargreaves, Decolonization in Africa (2014).
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Further reading

  • Birmingham, David (1995). The Decolonization of Africa. Routledge. ISBN 1-85728-540-9.
  • Brennan, James R. "The Cold War battle over global news in East Africa: decolonization, the free flow of information, and the media business, 1960-1980." Journal of Global History 10.2 (2015): 333+.
  • Brown, Judith M. and Wm. Roger Louis, eds. The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century (2001) pp 515–73. online
  • Burton, Antoinette. The Trouble with Empire: Challenges to Modern British Imperialism (2015)
  • Chafer, Tony. The end of empire in French West Africa: France's successful decolonization (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2002).
  • Chafer, Tony, and Alexander Keese, eds. Francophone Africa at fifty (Oxford UP, 2015).
  • Clayton, Anthony. The wars of French decolonization (Routledge, 2014).
  • Cohen, Andrew. The politics and economics of decolonization in Africa: the failed experiment of the Central African Federation (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017).
  • Cooper, Frederick. Decolonization and African society: The labor question in French and British Africa (Cambridge University Press, 1996).
  • Gordon, April A. and Donald L. Gordon, Lynne Riener. Understanding Contemporary Africa (London, 1996). online
  • Hargreaves, John D. Decolonization in Africa (2014).
  • Hatch, John. Africa: The Rebirth of Self-Rule (1967)
  • James, Leslie, and Elisabeth Leake, eds. Decolonization and the Cold War: Negotiating Independence (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015).
  • Jeppesen, Chris, and Andrew W.M. Smith, eds. Britain, France and the Decolonization of Africa: Future Imperfect? (UCL Press, 2017) online.
  • Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira, and António Costa Pinto, eds. The Ends of European Colonial Empires: Cases and Comparisons (Springer, 2016).
  • Khapoya, Vincent B. The African Experience (1994) online
  • Louis, William Roger. The transfer of power in Africa: decolonization, 1940–1960 (Yale UP, 1982).
  • Louis, Wm Roger, and Ronald Robinson. "The imperialism of decolonization." Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 22.3 (1994): 462–511.
  • Manthalu, Chikumbutso Herbert, and Yusef Waghid, eds. Education for Decoloniality and Decolonisation in Africa (Springer, 2019).
  • MacQueen, Norrie. The Decolonization of Portuguese Africa: Metropolitan Revolution and the Dissolution of Empire (1997) online
  • Michalopoulos, Stelios; Papaioannou, Elias (2020-03-01). "Historical Legacies and African Development." Journal of Economic Literature. 58#1: 53–128. online Archived 1 March 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  • Mazrui, Ali A. ed. "General History of Africa" vol. VIII, UNESCO, 1993
  • Muschik, Eva-Maria. "Managing the world: the United Nations, decolonization, and the strange triumph of state sovereignty in the 1950s and 1960s." Journal of Global History 13.1 (2018): 121-144.
  • Ndlovu‐Gatsheni, Sabelo J. "Decoloniality as the future of Africa." History Compass 13.10 (2015): 485-496. online Archived 15 May 2021 at the Wayback Machine
  • Rothermund, Dietmar. The Routledge companion to decolonization (Routledge, 2006), comprehensive global coverage; 365pp excerpt Archived 19 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  • Sarmento, João. "Portuguese tropical geography and decolonization in Africa: the case of Mozambique." Journal of Historical Geography 66 (2019): 20-30.
  • Seidler, Valentin. "Copying informal institutions: the role of British colonial officers during the decolonization of British Africa." Journal of Institutional Economics 14.2 (2018): 289-312. online
  • Strang, David. "From dependency to sovereignty: An event history analysis of decolonization 1870-1987." American Sociological Review (1990): 846–860. online Archived 5 August 2021 at the Wayback Machine
  • Thomas, Martin, Bob Moore, and Larry Butler. Crises of Empire: Decolonization and Europe's imperial states (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015).
  • von Albertini, Rudolf. Decolonization: the Administration and Future of the Colonies, 1919-1960 (Doubleday, 1971) for the viewpoint from London and Paris.
  • White, Nicholas. Decolonization: the British experience since 1945 (Routledge, 2014).
  • Wilder, Gary. Freedom time: negritude, decolonization, and the future of the world (Duke University Press, 2015). excerpt Archived 7 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  • Winks, Robin, ed. The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography (2001) ch 29–34, pp 450–557. How historians covered the history online
  • Wood, Sarah L. "How Empires Make Peripheries: 'Overseas France' in Contemporary History." Contemporary European History (2019): 1-12. online
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