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African History: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Which 2 African Countries Were Never Actually...
There are two countries in Africa which are considered to never have been colonized. The truth, however, is much more complex and open to debate.
What Was the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade?
A brief review of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, with particular reference to the triangular trade and recent statistics.
What Led Up to the Colonial Scramble for Africa?
Why was Africa so rapidly colonized?
Chronological List of African Independence
A Chronological List of Independence Dates for Africa.   Country Independence Date Prior ruling country
Why Idi Amin Dada Was Known as the 'Butcher of...
Idi Amin, who became known as the 'Butcher of Uganda' for his brutal, despotic rule whilst president of Uganda in the 1970s, is possibly the most notorious of all Africa's post-independence dictators. Find out more in this biography.
What Are Political Institutions?
What are Political Institutions?
Apartheid Legislation in South Africa -- The...
South Africa used legislation to implement the segregation of its black population. Here is a descriptive list of the key Apartheid laws enacted by the National Party government.
What Everyone Should Know About African Slavery
Although slavery has been practiced for almost the whole of recorded history, the vast numbers involved in the African slave trade has left a legacy which can not be ignored.
What Role Did Islam Play in African Slavery?
When Africans talk of slavery they inevitably mean the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Is this a true representation of the practice in Africa?
Who Was Nelson Mandela?
A biography of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
What is Pan-Africanism?
How has Pan-Africanism developed over the last couple of centuries into a socio-political movement?
Southern African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: south west africa dutch east indies walvis bay gold ivory africa independence
Images of African Slavery and the Slave Trade
A Gallery of Images of African Slavery and the Slave Trade
How Did Goods Get Across the Sahara in Medieval...
Between the 11th and 15th centuries West Africa was a major trading region, exporting goods to Europe, Arabia, India, and China across the Sahara Desert.
What Caused the Sharpeville Massacre in South...
The Origin of South Africa's Human Rights Day
Origins of the trans-Atlantic slave trade
Portuguese exploration and trade: 1450-1500.
A Brief History of Ghana - Part 1
A brief introduction to the history of Ghana from the time of early humans to the present day. Part 1 - Early Kingdoms to Independence
What Caused the Mau Mau Rebellion in Kenya?
The Mau Mau were a militant African nationalist movement active in Kenya during the 1950s whose main aim was to remove British rule and European settlers from the country.
When and How Did Apartheid Come to an End in...
Unsure when Apartheid ended in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
4 Types of Slavery in Africa
Types of Slavery in Africa - What Kinds of Slavery Existed in Africa?
When Did Apartheid Start in South Africa?
Unsure when Apartheid started in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
What Is the Purpose of the Economic Community...
What is the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS?
The Legacy of Jomo Kenyatta, the First...
First president of Kenya and prominent independence leader. Born into dominant Kikuyu culture, Kenyatta became its most famous interpreter of Kikuyu traditions through his book Facing Mount Kenya. Part 1 of his biography, from his early days to his political awakening.
How Sonni Ali Formed a Great African Empire
West African monarch who ruled Songhai from 1464 to 1492, expanding a small kingdom along the Niger River into one of medieval Africa's greatest empires.
Quotes: Idi Amin Dada
A selection of quotes by Idi Amin Dada, president of Uganda from 25 January 1971 to 13 April 1979.
How Stephen Bantu Biko Became an Anti-Apartheid...
A short biography of Steve Biko, founder and martyr of the Black Consciousness movement in South Africa.
What You Should Know About Apartheid
From the Afrikaans' word for 'separation,' Apartheid was a social philosophy which enforced racial and economic segregation on the people of South Africa.
Adinkra Symbology and its Origins
The Origin and Meaning of Adinkra Symbols.: adinkra symbols traditional cloths africanhistory akan symbols abstract shapes
Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC)
What was the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC)?
How Slaves Were Traded from Africa to the...
Information on how many slaves were shipped from Africa across the Atlantic to the Americas during the sixteenth century can only be estimated as very few records exist for this period. But from the seventeenth century onwards, increasingly accurate records, such as ship manifests, are available.
What was Ujamaa?
What was Ujamaa and how did Nyerere's social and economic policy affect Tanzania in the 1960s and 70s?
11 Memorable Quotes by Stephen Bantu Biko
A selection of quotes by Steve Biko
Exercising Slaves on a Trans-Atlantic Slave Ship
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Exercising Slaves on a Trans-Atlantic Slave Ship. Page 14.
What Caused a Student Uprising in Soweto in 1976?
The historical background to the June, 16 1976 protest by high-school students in Soweto, South Africa, where police fired teargas and live bullets
Slave Decks on the Slave Bark Wildfire
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Slave Decks on the Slave Bark Wildfire. Page 13.
Plans of Slave Decks, Slave Ship Brookes
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Plans of Slave Decks, Slave Ship Brookes. Page 12.
Why These South African National Holidays Are...
The significance of South Africa's national holidays.
General Act of the Berlin Conference on West...
Full Text of the General Act of the Berlin Conference on West Africa as signed on 26 February 1885
Ubuntu
What does Ubuntu mean? Find the answer to what Ubuntu means in this African History Glossary
Egypt
A brief history of the colonization and independence of Egypt. Page 2.
A Brief History of the African Commonwealth of...
A list of when various African countries joined the Commonwealth of Nations.
Colors of Ancient Egypt
Color in Ancient Egypt. African History.
What Was the Mfecane?
A explanation of the term Mfecane and why the subject is controversial.
Moving Quotes from Julius Kambarage Nyerere
A Selection of Quotes by Julius Kambarage Nyerere
Biography: Mungo Park
Mungo Park, a Scottish surgeon and explorer, was sent out by the 'Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior of Africa' to discover the course of the River Niger. Having achieved a degree of fame from his first trip, carried out alone and on foot, he returned to Africa with a party of 40 Europeans, all of whom lost their lives in the adventure.
Women's Anti-Pass Law Campaigns in South Africa
What happened when the South African government tried to force women to carry passes.
An Atlas of African Independence
By the mid 1960's the majority of African states were free from colonial rule. Read more about each country's story in this Atlas of Independence.
A Brief History of Ghana - Part 2
A brief introduction to the history of Ghana from the time of early humans to the present day. Part 2 - Nkrumah to Rawlings
Inspiring Quotes from Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya, lived a fascinating life. Read a selection of his most famous quotes.
Apartheid FAQ -- Common Questions About South...
What was Apartheid? Find the answer in this FAQ.: apartheid government racial segregation union of south africa geographical boundaries afrikaans word
A Brief History of Liberia - Part 1
A brief introduction to the history of Liberia from the time of early humans to the present day. Part 1 –Colonization to Civil War
TRC Conclusions about the Sharpeville Massacre
From the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, Vol 3, Chapter 6.
Diagram of the Slave Ship Brookes
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Diagram of the Slave Ship Brookes. Page 11.
Testing an African Slave For Sickness
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Testing an African Slave For Sickness. Page 10.
11 Greatest African Explorers
Over the centuries, explorers have found the allure of the unknown reaches of Africa irresistible. Find out who was who, where they went, and when.
Inspection of an African Slave
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Inspection of an African Slave. Page 9.
Gukurahundi
What was the Gukurahundi? African History.
A Brief History of Zambia
A brief introduction to the history of Zambia from the time of early humans to the present day.
Path to Independence: Chad
Map showing independence dates for Africa with a focus on Chad. Page 2.
Julius Kambarage Nyerere
A Biography of Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the father of Tanzania.
Young African Boys Captured for Slave Trade
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Young African Boys Captured for Slave Trade. Page 8.
A Slave Barracoon
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Slave Barracoon. Page 6.
Kingdom of Kush
What was the Kingdom of Kush? African History.
Female East African Slave
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Female East African Slave. Page 7.
A Brief History of Cameroon
A brief introduction to the history of Cameroon from the time of early humans to the present day.
Early Christianity in North Africa Part 1
Historical Background, Factors Which Influenced the Spread Of Christianity, Christianity Reaches North Africa
Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs:...
A gallery of artifacts from the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs Exhibition: Viscera Coffin. Page 4.
Explaining the Rapid Decolonization of Africa
The decolonization of Africa was almost as fast as the more famous Scramble to colonize the continent had been, and there were five main causes.
The Role of Islam in African Slavery
When Africans talk of slavery they inevitably mean the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Is this a true representation of the practice in Africa?
Short Biography: Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu
Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu Influential anti-Apartheid activist and co-founder of the African National Congress
Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast. Page 5.
African Captives Being Sent Into Slavery
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: African Captives Being Sent Into Slavery. Page 3.
A Slaver's Canoe
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Slaver's Canoe. Page 2.
Memorable Quotes by Nelson Mandela
A selection of quotes by Nelson Mandela
Indigenous African Slavery
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Indigenous African Slavery
Indigenous African Slavers Traveling From the...
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Indigenous African slavers Traveling From the Interior. Page 4.
Union Of South Africa
The politicking behind the scenes for the formation of the Union of South Africa allowed the foundations of Apartheid to be laid.
Pre-Colonial Cultures in South Africa: San and...
Two thousand years ago the first of several waves colonists swept into South Africa. In the first of these waves, the pastoralist Khoikhoi moved down into the western and southern coastal regions - pushing the hunter-gatherer San inland.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: Origins of Slaves
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: Origins of Slaves Details of where slaves were taken from Africa and how
Timeline of the Algerian War of Independence
A chronology of key events in Algeria's War of Independence -- From French Colonization to the End of the 'Battle of Algiers'.
Algeria Timeline -- Timeline of Algeria from...
A chronology of key events in Algeria's history
Civilizing Mission
What was the Civilizing Mission?
Timbuktu: The El Dorado of Africa
Timbuktu is widely used to describe a place extremely far away and regarded by many as a myth. In reality it's a city in Mali, West Africa, of such great historical importance that in 1988 it was designated a World Heritage Site.
Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu
Biography of Albertina Sisulu. Prominent leader in the African National Congress and 'Mother of the Nation'. Part 1 1918-1958.
South African Apartheid Era Identity Numbers --...
South African Apartheid Era Identity Numbers How the Apartheid Era Identity Number Recorded Racial Categories
East African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: heile selassie federal democratic republic federal democratic republic of ethiopia french somaliland muslim invasion
16 June 1976 Student Uprising in Soweto
On 16 June 1976 high-school students in Soweto, South Africa, protested for better education. Police fired teargas and live bullets into the marching students. Part 2: Students organize a protest.
A Brief History of Mali
A brief introduction to the history of Mali from the time of early humans to the present day.
John Garang de Mabior
Colonel John Garang de Mabior was a Sudanese rebel leader and founder of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) which fought a 22 year civil war against the northern dominated, Islamist Sudanese Government. Was made vice president of Sudan on the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, shortly before his death.
A Very Short History of Morocco
A potted history of Morocco. African History.
São Tomé and the Slave Trade
São Tomé is considered to be a principal port in the export of slaves across the Atlantic, this is, however, only part of the story.
A Brief History of Benin
A brief introduction to the history of Benin from the time of early humans to the present day.
Apartheid Era Laws: Population Registration Act...
The Population Registration Act required South Africans to be identified and registered as belonging to one of four distinct racial groups. Find out more...
Timeline: The Suez Crisis
Timeline for the Suez Canal Crisis: suez canal zone hassan el banna son farouk caliph of islam king farouk
Text of the Freedom Charter
Freedom Charter. African History.
Libya
A brief history of the colonization and independence of Libya. Page 3.
Where in Africa is Zambia?
A map showing the location of the Republic of Zambia in Africa. Page 5.
A Brief History of Sudan - Part 1
A brief introduction to the history of Sudan from the time of early humans to the present day. Part 1 - Kingdoms to Independence
A Brief History of Mauritius
A brief introduction to the history of Mauritius from the time of early colonization to the present day.
A Brief History of Eritrea - Part 1
A brief introduction to the history of Eritrea from the time of early humans to the present day. Part 1 - Warlords to the referendum on Independence from Ethiopia
Where in Africa is Algeria?
A map showing the location of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria in Africa.
A Brief History of Swaziland
A brief introduction to the history of Swaziland from the time of early humans to the present day.
A Brief History of Botswana
A brief introduction to the history of Botswana from the time of early humans to the present day.
Slave Origins for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
Slavery Regions for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Page 5.
Biography: Thomas Joseph Mboya
Thomas Mboya was a Kenyan trade unionist and statesman. Earmarked as Jomo Kenyatta's successor, Mboya was assassinated six years into independence, sparking tribal unrest between Kenyatta's Kikuyu supporters and Mboya's Luo.
Hxaro
What is Hxaro? African History.
The Triangular Trade
Map of the Triangular Trade. African History. Page 4.
Quotes: Rwandan Genocide
A Selection of Quotes About The Rwandan Genocide.
West African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: french west africa french protectorate grand popo africa independence portuguese guinea
Apartheid Quotes - Bantu Education
Bantu Education, the separate and limited experience encountered by non-whites in South Africa when pursuing an education, was a cornerstone of the apartheid philosophy. The following quotes illustrate the diverse viewpoints about Bantu Education from both sides of the anti-Apartheid struggle.
World War II in Africa Timeline: June 1940
When Italy declared war against Britain and France in June 1940 it seemed inevitable that the conflict would come to Africa – Italy wanted an empire, and it was only on the African continent that it would be able to achieve such conquest. But even with Britain's pre-emptive forays into Libya, the war was slow to start…
Tutankhamun: The Boy Pharaoh
Be amazed at the treasures discovered in the tomb of the most famous Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamun. His was the first tomb found still containing treasure.
Biography: Mary Henrietta Kingsley
A biography in three parts of Mary Henrietta Kingsley, a Victorian explorer and writer who greatly influenced European ideas about Africa and its people. Part 1: Early Life in England
A Very Short History of Côte d'Ivoire
A potted history of Côte d'Ivoire
What You Should Know About the History of Kenya
A brief introduction to the history of Kenya from the time of early humans to the present day.
Tripolitan War of 1801-05
When the United States of America gained independence from Great Britain there was an unexpected problem - piracy. In 1783, the same year that the Treaty of Paris was signed, corsairs from the Barbary States began to attack American shipping in the Mediterranean. Part 1 Declaration of War.
Jomo Kenyatta
First president of Kenya and prominent independence leader. Born into dominant Kikuyu culture, Kenyatta became its most famous interpreter of Kikuyu traditions through his book Facing Mount Kenya. Part 2 of his biography, from his political awakening to the Mau Mau Rebellion.
Group Areas Act No 41 of 1950
The Group Areas Act No 41 of 1950 forced physical separation between races by creating different residential areas for different races. Find out more…
This Day in African History: 25 February
A chronicle of events in African history on 25 February.
Origin of HIV in Africa
Current research suggests that AIDS has been in human circulation for at least 100 years and that its transformation in to a pandemic was triggered by the European colonization of the African continent.
British South Africa Company (BSAC)
What was the British South Africa Company (BSAC)?
Nok Culture
Considered the oldest recognisable pre-colonial society in sub-Saharan Africa, the Nok Culture is exemplified by its magnificent terracotta sculptures and the development of iron working. Find out more about this ancient African civilization.
School Enrollment in Apartheid South Africa
Data on School Enrollment for Blacks and Whites in South Africa in 1982.
Apartheid FAQ: Who Supported Apartheid?
Unsure who supported Apartheid in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
Apartheid FAQ: What was Grand Apartheid?
Unsure what Grand Apartheid was? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
Apartheid Era Laws: Prohibition of Mixed...
What was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act No 55 of 1949?
A Brief History of Ghana - Part 3
A brief introduction to the history of Ghana from the time of early humans to the present day. Part 3 - Rawlings to Present Day
Mali Timeline #1 -- Timeline of Mali from...
Part 1 of a chronology of key events in Mali's history
Great Rift Valley
Where is Africa's Great Rift Valley?
Nigeria Timeline -- From Prehistory to...
A chronology of key events in Nigeria's history: kanem bornu bantu migration gao mali kingdoms and empires western nigeria
Côte d'Ivoire Timeline -- Timeline of the...
A chronology of key events in Côte d'Ivoire's history
Martin Thembisile (Chris) Hani
A short biography of Chris Hani, South African political activist, chief-of-staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe, and Secretary-General of the South African Communist Party, assassinated in April 1993.
This Day in African History: 2 March
A chronicle of events in African history on 2 March.
Tanzania Timeline -- Timeline of the History of...
A chronology of key events in Tanzania's history: vasco da gama john hanning speke lake tanganika lettow vorbeck german protectorate
Biography: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia's...
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, described by some of her rivals as an Americo-Liberian, the descendant of Liberia's ex-American-slave colonists, has reached the pinnacle o her political career. Awaiting the results of an investigation into alleged (by her main political rival George Weah) election fraud, Johnson-Sirleaf could become Africa's first elected woman president. Find out more…
Where in Africa is Guinea?
A map showing the location of the Republic of Guinea in Africa. Page 2.
Afrikaner Broederbond
What was the Afrikaner Broederbond?
How South African Place Names Have Changed
Since the end of apartheid, a number of town and geographical names in South Africa have changed. Here's a list of them.
Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century
In February 2002 a list of Africa's Top 100 books was announced. Find out why.
Dusé Mohamed Ali
Dusé Mohamed Ali was an influential Pan-Africanist, a supporter of Islam, and traveled widely throughout the African Diaspora. He founded the 'African Times and Orient Review' in 1911, which spread the call for African nationalism, and later founded 'The Comet' in Lagos, Nigeria.
Desmond Mpilo Tutu
South African Anglican cleric, winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent anti-Apartheid role, chairman of the TRC in late 1990s. Tutu was a powerful moral force in South Africa, and a central figure in the anti-Apartheid struggle.
"Wind of Change" speech
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >What was the "Wind
Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)
What was the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)?
What was the Mau Mau Uprising?
The Mau Mau revolt (1952-1960) is one of the most hotly contested issues in the history of British colonialism in Kenya.
Africa and the Commonwealth of Nations
18 countries in Africa are currently part of the Commonwealth of Nations (with Zimbabwe having departed in 2003).
Trans-Atlantic Slave Exports by Region
Statistics for Trans-Atlantic Slave Exports by Region. Page 3.
This Day in African History: 27 February
A chronicle of events in African history on 27 February.
Nigeria Timeline -- From Colonization to the...
A chronology of key events in Nigeria's history: british protectorate british colonial rule frederick lugard kingdom of benin southern nigeria
The Rwandan Genocide -- Part 1
Why was there such strong antagonism between the Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda? What Role did European colonization play? Was the 1994 genocide the first outbreak of violence? Find out more about the origins of the Rwandan Genocide.

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