African countries, colonial rulers and their Independence Days.

Brief History of colonization:

In antiquity, colonialism was practiced by empires such as Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, and Phoenicia. These civilizations all extended their borders into surrounding and non-contiguous areas from about 1550 B.C. onward, and established colonies that drew on the physical and population resources of the people they conquered in order to increase their own power. African countries were colonize before regaining Independence, so therefore we will be discussing the Independence days of African countries

Modern colonialism began during what’s also known as the Age of Discovery. Beginning in the 15th century, Portugal began looking for new trade routes and searching for civilizations outside of Europe. In 1415, Portuguese explorers conquered Ceuta, a coastal town in North Africa, kicking off an empire that would last until 1999.

Soon the Portuguese had conquered and populated islands like Madeira and Cape Verde, and their rival nation, Spain, decided to try exploration, too. In 1492, Christopher Columbus began looking for a western route to India and China. Instead, he landed in the Bahamas, kicking off the Spanish Empire. Spain and Portugal became locked in competition for new territories and took over indigenous lands in the Americas, India, Africa, and Asia.

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England, the Netherlands, France, and Germany quickly began their own empire building overseas, fighting Spain and Portugal for the right to lands they had already conquered. Despite the growth of European colonies in the New World, most countries managed to gain independence during the 18th and 19th century, beginning with the American Revolution in 1776 and the Haitian Revolution in 1781. However, the Eastern Hemisphere continued to tempt European colonial powers.

Starting in the 1880s, European nations focused on taking over African lands, racing one another to coveted natural resources and establishing colonies they would hold until an international period of decolonization began around 1914, challenging European colonial empires up to 1975.


The struggle for independence started after world war II. This led to the independence of the Union of South Africa in 1931 through negatiations with the British empire and Libya in 1951 from Italy; followed by others in the late 1950s. The road to African independence was very hard and tortuous often through bloody fights, revolts and assasinations. For example; Britain unilatearlly granted “The Kingdom of Egypt” independence on Feb. 22nd 1922 after a series of revolts, but continued to interfere in government. More violent revolts led to the signing of the Anglo-Egyptian treaty in 1936 and a coupe detat tagged Egyptian Revolution in 1952 finally culminated in the Egyptian Republic declaration of June 18th; 1953. The peak year for independence came in 1960 when about 17 countries gained independence. These independence days are now celebrated as national day holidays in most countries of Africa.

List of all African countries and their Independence Days, colonial names and former colonizers.

AlgeriaJuly 5th, 1962France
AngolaNovember 11th; 1975Portugal
BeninAugust 1st; 1960French
BotswanaSeptember 30th, 1966Britain
Burkina FasoAugust 5; 1960France
BurundiJuly 1st; 1962Belgium
CameroonJanuary 1st; 1960French-administered UN trusteeship
Cape VerdeJuly 5th; 1975Portugal
C.A.RAugust 13th; 1960France
ChadAugust 11th, 1960France
ComorosJuly 6th; 1975France
CongoAugust 15th; 1960France
Congo DRJune 30th; 1960Belgium
Cote d’IvoireAugust 7th; 1960France
DjiboutiJune 27th; 1977France
EgyptFebruary 28th, 1922Britain
Eq GuineaOctober 12; 1968Spain
EritreaMay 24th; 1993Ethiopia
Ethiopiaover 2000 years,
Never colonized
Kingdom of Aksum
GabonAugust 17th; 1960France
GambiaFebruary 18th; 1965Britain
Ghana6 March 1957Gold CoastBritain
GuineaOctober 2nd; 1958France
Guinea Bissau10 September 1974
24 September 1973
KenyaDecember 12th, 1963Britain
LesothoOctober 4th; 1966Britain
LiberiaJuly 26th; 1847American colonization Society
LibyaDecember 24; 1951Italy
MadagascarJune 26th; 1960France
MalawiJuly 6th; 1964Britain
MaliSeptember 22nd; 1960France
MauritaniaNovember 28th; 1960France
MauritiusMarch 12th, 1968Britain
MoroccoMarch 2nd; 1956France
MozambiqueJune 25th; 1975Portugal
NamibiaMarch 21st; 1990South African mandate
NigerAugust 3rd; 1960France
NigeriaOctober 1st, 1960Britain
RwandaJuly 1st; 1962Belgium administered UN trusteeship
SaoTomePrincipeJuly 12th; 1975Portugal
SenegalApril 4th; 1960France
SeychellesJune 29th; 1976Britain
Sierra LeoneApril 27th; 1961Britain
SomaliaJuly 1st; 1960British Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
South Africa11 December 1931,
April 1994(end of apatheid)
Union of South AfricaBritain
SudanJanuary 1st; 1956Egypt, Britain
SwazilandSeptember 6th; 1968Britain
TanzaniaApril 26th, 1964Britain
TogoApril 27th; 1960French administered UN trusteeship
TunisiaMarch 20th; 1956France
UgandaOctober 9th; 1962Britain
ZambiaOctober 24th; 1964Britain
ZimbabweApril 18th; 1980Britain

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