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Africa History


The controlled decolonization of Africa began only after World War II. One of the foundations was that the education system was greatly improved after 1945. Then more and more Africans received higher education in Europe, especially in the UK and France, partly in Portugal and some in the USA. After 1945, many soldiers, who had fought in the European armies both in Africa and in Europe, also returned home. In the British or French army, they had experienced than some equal treatment with their European fighting brothers. Now they reacted to the discrimination they experienced upon returning to the colonies, where the rights had been related to skin color.

Africa World War II

Increased education and greater contact between people from different colonies contributed greatly to discussion and awareness - and to the organization of both national and multinational movements for political liberation. Gradually, a Pan-African movement emerged, with a philosophy still alive. This was not least developed in the meeting between blacks from Africa and America - in the US and Europe.

Pan-African movement

Already in the interwar period, a number of African politicians had contact with the black freedom movement in the United States, and several of the leading American thinkers and activists had a major influence on the political and ideological development of African nationalism, notably Marcus Garvey, William EB Du Bois and George Padmore - the last ones of which were originally from the Caribbean. In French Africa, Caribbean intellectuals, especially Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire, both originally from Martinique, also had a great influence.

A number of Pan-African congresses were held in Europe from 1919, the most important in the mid-1940s in the United Kingdom. During these meetings, African leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah ( Gold Coast, later Ghana), Isaac Wallace-Johnson ( Sierra Leone ) and Jomo Kenyatta ( Kenya ) met. Several of the leading nationalists from French Africa participated in the political and intellectual life in France, including Léopold Sédar Senghor of Senegal and Félix Houphouët-Boigny, where the so-called négritude movement grew - also in collaboration with Caribbean thinkers.

Pan-African congresses

In the 1950s, several colonies gained internal autonomy. Kwame Nkrumah became prime minister of the Gold Coast in 1952 after his party won national elections, and in 1957 the Gold Coast became the first sub-Saharan African colony to become independent under the name Ghana. See Countryaah. In 1954, the Federation Nigeria was established and Nigeria became an independent state in 1960. While the United Kingdom from 1948 actively started the decolonization process, France's attitude was another. France regarded its overseas possessions as permanent and worked for the colonies to be assimilated with France.

French West Africa was the largest part of the French colonial empire, and in 1946 a common political party was formed by nationalists from various parts of this unit, the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA), which played a key role in the decolonization of French Africa. From 1946, French West Africa became part of the Fourth French Republic. Several prominent African politicians were members of the parliament and government of Paris; Ivory Coast's later President Félix Houphouët-Boigny, for example, sat in five successive French governments of 1956.

When General Charles de Gaulle took over as president of France in 1958, he wanted the overseas territories to be autonomous parts of the French federation. The colonies were asked to choose participation in "la community" or independence. In Guinea, a clear majority of the voters, led by Ahmed Sékou Touré, elected independence, and the country became independent in 1958. The other colonies entered the Commonwealth, but became independent in 1960.

Egypt had formally become independent in 1922, but really only after the officers' coup in 1952. Egypt was then an important support for the struggle for independence in a number of African countries, primarily in North Africa. Similarly, Ghana's independence in 1957 was a source of inspiration in sub-Saharan Africa. In April 1958, the independent African states, except the Union of South Africa - ie Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia - met for a pan-African conference in Ghana's capital Accra. There were also nationalist leaders from a number of colonies, including Patrice Lumumba from Congo and Tom Mboya from Kenya.

The Accra Conference decided that all African states should become involved in the continent's common liberation. And now things went fast. In 1960, which was later called "the year of Africa", as many as 13 French colonies gained their independence. Britain gave up British Somaliland and Nigeria, and Belgium gave up Congo. For the next three years, the vast majority of the remaining British and French territories and colonies followed. Towards the end of the decade, some Portuguese territories, South Africa and its South West Africa ( Nambia ), Rhodesia and Spanish Western Sahara territories were still subject to European or minority rule.

In 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was formed. In the ensuing decades, it was the one who would overlook a new era for development in the newly independent states, pushing for the establishment of majority rule in the remaining colonies and states with minority rule.

Countries in Africa
  1. Algeria
  2. Angola
  3. Benin
  4. Botswana
  5. Burkina Faso
  6. Burundi
  7. Cameroon
  8. Cabo Verde
  9. Central African Republic
  10. Chad
  11. Comoros
  12. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  13. Djibouti
  14. Egypt
  15. Equatorial Guinea
  16. Eritrea
  17. Eswatini
  18. Ethiopia
  19. Gabon
  20. Gambia
  21. Ghana
  22. Guinea
  23. Guinea-Bissau
  24. Ivory Coast
  25. Kenya
  26. Lesotho
  27. Liberia
  28. Libya
  29. Madagascar
  30. Malawi
  31. Mali
  32. Mauritania
  33. Mauritius
  34. Morocco
  35. Mozambique
  36. Namibia
  37. Niger
  38. Nigeria
  39. Republic of the Congo
  40. Rwanda
  41. Sao Tome and Principe
  42. Senegal
  43. Seychelles
  44. Sierra Leone
  45. Somalia
  46. South Africa
  47. South Sudan
  48. Sudan
  49. Tanzania
  50. Togo
  51. Tunisia
  52. Uganda
  53. Western Sahara
  54. Zambia
  55. Zimbabwe

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