1935, 1 January
Italian colonies of Tripoli, Cyrenaica and Fezzan are merged to form Libya.
1956, 1 January
Sudan is declared an independent republic.
1960, 1 January
Cameroon declares independence from France.
1978, 1 January
South African newspaper editor, Donald Woods, has escaped the country into Lesotho. Woods was banned by the South African Apartheid government after Wood's voiced criticism over the role of the police in the death of activist Steve Biko.
1984, 1 January
President of the Republic of Nigeria, Shehu Shagari, has been ousted in a military coup and General Muhammadu Buhari named as the head of the new Federal Military Government. Buhari's government has promised to rid the country of corruption and rescue its economy following stories in the press that members of Shagari's cabinet had overseas accounts worth over £7 billion.