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African National Independence

Map of African National Independence

Depicted on the map are the 48 continental nations of Africa and the nation of Madagascar along with the year each nation became independent.

Algeria (Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria)

Independence achieved 3 July 1962.

Angola (People's Republic of Angola)

Independence achieved 11 November 1975.

Benin (Republic of Benin)

Independence achieved 1 August 1960. Former name: Dahomey (renamed 30 November 1975).

Botswana (Republic of Botswana)

Independence achieved 30 September 1966. Former name: British Protectorate of Bechuanaland (name changed with independence in 1966).

Burkina Faso (Republic of Burkina Faso)

Independence achieved 5 August 1960. Former name: Republic of Upper Volta (renamed in 1984).

Burundi (Republic of Burundi)

Independence achieved 1 July 1962. Former name: Urundi (part of Ruaunda-Urundi, renamed with independence in 1962).

Cameroon (Republic of Cameroon)

Independence achieved 1 January 1960 for East Cameroon (former French colony). Formed the Federal Republic (1 October 1961) when Southern (west) Cameroon (former British colony) voted in a U.N. supervised election (11 February 1961) to be attached to the former French Cameroon. Officially became United Republic of Cameroon on 2 June 1972, and renamed Republic of Cameroon in 1984.

Central African Republic

Independence achieved 13 August 1960. Former name: Oubangui-Chari (renamed 1 December 1958).

Chad (Republic of Chad)

Independence achieved 11 August 1960.

Congo (People's Republic of the Congo)

Independence achieved 15 August 1960. Former names: Middle Congo (part of French Equatorial Africa), Congo-Brazzaville.

Côte d'Ivoire (Republic of Côte d'Ivoire)

Independence achieved 7 August 1960. Formerly refered to by the equivalent translation of the name into different languages, such as "Ivory Coast" in English. In 1986, the government declared that all countries should use the French name "Côte d'Ivoire".

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Independence achieved June 1960. 17 May 1997 the former regime (Zaire) of Marshal Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngendu Banga was toppled and the present Democratic Republic of the Congo was established in its place. Former names: Congo Free State 1855-1908, Belgian Congo, 1908-1960, Democratic Republic of the Congo or Congo-Leopoldville, 1960-1966, Congo-Kinshasa 1966-1971, Zaire 1971-1997.

Djibouti (Republic of Djibouti)

Independence achieved 27 June 1997. Former names: French Somaliland until 1967, French territory of the Afars and Issas until independence.

Egypt (Arab Republic of Egypt)

Egypt has been seat of civilization since ancient times, however recent history has seen conquest by the Ottoman Empire in 1517, Napoleon Bonaparte's France in 1798, and finally by Britain in 1882. Modern independence was achieved on 28 February 1922 by British declaration.

Equatorial Guinea (Republic of Equatorial Guinea)

Independence achieved 12 October 1968. Former name: Spanish Guinea (renamed with independence).

Eritrea (State of Eritrea)

Independence achieved 24 May 1993.

Ethiopia (Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia)

Ethiopia has enjoyed independence from ancient times and has resisted attempts by other nations at colonization. Former name: Abyssinia.

Gabon (Republic of Gabon)

Independence achieved 17 August 1960.

The Gambia (Republic of the Gambia)

Independence achieved 18 February 1965.

Ghana (Republic of Ghana)

Independence achieved 6 March 1957. Former name: Gold Coast (renamed with independence).

Guinea (Republic of Guinea)

Independence achieved 2 October 1958.

Guinea-Bissau (Republic of Guinea-Bissau)

Independence achieved 24 September 1973. Former name Portuguese Guinea (renamed with independence).

Kenya (Republic of Kenya)

Independence achieved 12 December 1963.

Lesotho (Kingdom of Lesotho)

Independence achieved 4 October 1966. Former name: Basutoland.

Liberia (Republic of Liberia)

Independence achieved 26 July 1847. Liberia was established by Black American colonists sent by the American Colonisation Society in a controversial move to repatriate freed American slaves to Africa. After Ethiopia, it is the oldest of the modern independent African nations.

Libya (Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)

Independence achieved 24 December 1951.

Madagascar (Democratic Republic of Madagascar)

Independence achieved 26 June 1960.

Malawi (Republic of Malawi)

Independence achieved 6 July 1964. Former name: Nyasaland.

Mali (Republic of Mali)

Independence achieved 22 September 1960. Former name: Soudan.

Mauritania (Islamic Republic of Mauritania)

Independence achieved 28 November 1960.

Morocco (Kingdom of Morocco)

Independence achieved 2 March 1956.

Mozambique (Republic of Mozambique)

Independence achieved 25 June 1975. Former name: Portuguese East Africa.

Namibia (Republic of Namibia)

Independence achieved 21 March 1990. Former name South West Africa.

Niger (Republic of Niger)

Independence achieved 3 August 1960.

Nigeria (Federal Republic of Nigeria)

Independence achieved 1 October 1960.

Rwanda (Republic of Rwanda)

Independence achieved 1 July 1962. Former name Ruanda (part of Belgian administered territory of Ruanda-Urundi under League of Nations mandate 1919-1946, and U.N. Trusteeship 1946-1962).

Senegal (Republic of Senegal)

Independence achieved 20 August 1960.

Sierra Leone (Republic of Sierra Leone)

Independence achieved 27 April 1961.

Somalia (Somali Democratic Republic)

Independence achieved 1 July 1960.

South Africa (Republic of South Africa)

Independence achieved 11 December 1931. The dismantling of apartheid affectively began in 1991 with the proposal to repeal of Lands Acts of 1913 and 1936, and the Group Areas act of 1966 by then President F.W. De Klerk. By 27 April 1994 a Majority Rule Constitution was adopted, and on 10 May 1994 anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the President of South Africa bringing an end to apartheid in South Africa.

Sudan (Democratic Republic of the Sudan)

Independence achieved 1 January 1956.

Swaziland (Kingdom of Swaziland)

Independence achieved 6 September 1968.

Tanzania (United Republic of Tanzania)

Tanganyika achieved independence on 9 December 1961. Zanzibar Achieved independence on 10 December 1963. The United Republic was formed on 27 April 1964, and the name Tanzania was adopted on 29 October 1964.

Togo (Republic of Togo)

Independence achieved 27 April 1960. Former name Togoland.

Tunisia (Republic of Tunisia)

Independence achieved 20 March 1956.

Uganda (Republic of Uganda)

Independence achieved 9 October 1962.

Western Sahara (Saharwi Arab Democratic Republic)

When Spain withdrew from Western Sahara (then known as Spanish Sahara or Rio de Oro) in 1976 both Morocco and Mauritania moved to annex the territory. Mauritania withdrew in August 1979, and Western Sahara was absorbed by Morocco. However a political front called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO) continued to struggle against foreign domination against Morocco and formed the Saharwi Arab Democratic Republic as a government in exile on 4 March 1976 which was recognized in 1984 by the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) leading Morocco to withdraw its membership from the OAU. In May 1991, Morocco and the Polisario Front ended fighting as a part of a U.N. sponsored peace settlement. The future of Saharwi is still to be decided as of this writing (9 September 1998).

Zambia (Republic of Zambia)

Independence achieved 24 October 1964. Former name: Northern Rhodesia.

Zimbabwe (Republic of Zimbabwe)

Independence achieved 18 April 1980. Former names: Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia.

Not Shown on the Map:

Cape Verde (Republic of Cape Verde)

Independence achieved 5July 1975.

Comoros Islands (Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros)

Independence achieved 6 July 1975 (formally recognized by France (colonial regime) 1 January 1976).

Mauritius (Republic of Mauritius)

Independence achieved 12 March 1968.


Administered by the French Overseas Department since 19 March 1946. French colony since 1642.

São Tomé and Príncipe (Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe)

Independence achieved 12 July 1975.

Seychelles (Republic of Seychelles)

Independence achieved 29 June 1976.


Africa Today
Raph Uwechue, Editor-in-Chief
London, U.K. : Africa Books Ltd., 1996
ISBN 0903274221

Africa South of the Sahara
London, Europa Publications Ltd
ISSN 0065-3896 0400-6933

The New Atlas of African History
G.S.P. Freeman-Grenville
Basingstoke : Macmillan, 1991
ISBN 0333559002

Historical Atlas of Africa
J.F. Ade Ajayi & Michael Crowder, Gen. Eds.
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1985
ISBN 0521253535

The Atlas of Africa
Regine van Chi-Bonnardel
New York, The Free Press [1973]

Website built by Cheryl J. Mason-Middleton, BFA. This page was last modified on 03/23/06. Copyright © 1999-2006 empAθos Nation.
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