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African History: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Who Was Nelson Mandela?
A biography of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
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 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.
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.
Why These South African National Holidays Are...
The significance of South Africa's national holidays.
What Led Up to the Colonial Scramble for Africa?
Why was Africa so rapidly colonized?
8 Inspirational Quotes by Nelson Mandela
A selection of quotes by Nelson Mandela
Chronological List of African Independence
A Chronological List of Independence Dates for Africa.   Country Independence Date Prior ruling country
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.
Images of African Slavery and the Slave Trade
A Gallery of Images of African Slavery and the Slave Trade
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 Is the Purpose of the Economic Community...
What is the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS?
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
11 Memorable Quotes by Stephen Bantu Biko
A selection of quotes by Steve Biko
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
What is Pan-Africanism?
How has Pan-Africanism developed over the last couple of centuries into a socio-political movement?
When and How Did Apartheid Come to an End in...
Unsure when Apartheid ended in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
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?
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.
Timeline: Mau Mau Rebellion
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.
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.
Quotes: Idi Amin Dada
A selection of quotes by Idi Amin Dada, president of Uganda from 25 January 1971 to 13 April 1979.
Adinkra Symbology and its Origins
The Origin and Meaning of Adinkra Symbols.: adinkra symbols traditional cloths africanhistory akan symbols abstract shapes
When Did Apartheid Start in South Africa?
Unsure when Apartheid started in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
What Are Political Institutions?
What are Political Institutions?
The World Remembers Nelson Mandela
A Collection of Quotes by South Africans on the Passing of Nelson Mandela
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…
4 Types of Slavery in Africa
Types of Slavery in Africa - What Kinds of Slavery Existed in Africa?
What Caused the Sharpeville Massacre in South...
The Origin of South Africa's Human Rights Day
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
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.
What was Ujamaa?
What was Ujamaa and how did Nyerere's social and economic policy affect Tanzania in the 1960s and 70s?
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.
Origins of the trans-Atlantic slave trade
Portuguese exploration and trade: 1450-1500.
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.
Southern African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: south west africa dutch east indies walvis bay gold ivory africa independence
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.
Moving Quotes from Julius Kambarage Nyerere
A Selection of Quotes by Julius Kambarage Nyerere
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.
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.
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.
A Brief History of the African Commonwealth of...
A list of when various African countries joined the Commonwealth of Nations.
Biography: Chief Albert Luthuli
A biography of Chief Albert Luthuli, Africa's first winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace and president of the ANC until his death (under mysterious circumstances) in 1967.
Women's Anti-Pass Law Campaigns in South Africa
What happened when the South African government tried to force women to carry passes.
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
Kingdom of Kush
What was the Kingdom of Kush? African History.
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
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.
Inspiring Quotes from Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya, lived a fascinating life. Read a selection of his most famous quotes.
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.
Ubuntu
What does Ubuntu mean? Find the answer to what Ubuntu means in this African History Glossary
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…
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...
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.
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.
Ancient Egypt: The Father Of Time
The way in which we divide the day into hours and minutes, as well as the structure and length of the yearly calendar, owes much to pioneering developments in ancient Egypt. Page 2.
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.
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.
Julius Kambarage Nyerere
A Biography of Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the father of Tanzania.
Egypt
A brief history of the colonization and independence of Egypt. Page 2.
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.
Africa and the Commonwealth of Nations
18 countries in Africa are currently part of the Commonwealth of Nations (with Zimbabwe having departed in 2003).
Testing an African Slave For Sickness
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Testing an African Slave For Sickness. Page 10.
Indigenous African Slavery
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Indigenous African Slavery
Biography of the French explorer: René-Aug...
A biography of the French explorer René-Auguste Caillié, the first European to visit and return from Timbuktu, once believed by Europeans to be a semi-mythical 'city-of-gold'.
Plans of Slave Decks, Slave Ship Brookes
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Plans of Slave Decks, Slave Ship Brookes. Page 12.
A Brief History of Zambia
A brief introduction to the history of Zambia from the time of early humans to the present day.
Apartheid Era Laws: Prohibition of Mixed...
What was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act No 55 of 1949?
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
Gukurahundi
What was the Gukurahundi? African History.
A Brief History of Zimbabwe - Part 2
An introduction to the history of the African nation. This part confronts the effect of nationalistic shifts and the new constitution.
Inspection of an African Slave
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Inspection of an African Slave. Page 9.
Young African Boys Captured for Slave Trade
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Young African Boys Captured for Slave Trade. Page 8.
Color Technology in Ancient Egypt
Today we consider chemistry to be a science, but its roots, back in Ancient Egypt, lie in art and the creation of synthetic pigments.
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.
South African Apartheid Era Identity Numbers --...
South African Apartheid Era Identity Numbers How the Apartheid Era Identity Number Recorded Racial Categories
Slave Decks on the Slave Bark Wildfire
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Slave Decks on the Slave Bark Wildfire. Page 13.
Quotes: PW Botha
A selection of quotes by PW Botha.
A Slaver's Canoe
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Slaver's Canoe. Page 2.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: Origins of Slaves
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: Origins of Slaves Details of where slaves were taken from Africa and how
Female East African Slave
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Female East African Slave. Page 7.
Parti Progressive Soudanais
What is the Parti Progressive Soudanais / Progressive Sudanese Party
A Slave Barracoon
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Slave Barracoon. Page 6.
Diagram of the Slave Ship Brookes
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Diagram of the Slave Ship Brookes. Page 11.
This Day in African History: 18 July
A chronicle of events in African history on 18 July
African Captives Being Sent Into Slavery
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: African Captives Being Sent Into Slavery. Page 3.
A Brief History of Cameroon
A brief introduction to the history of Cameroon from the time of early humans to the present day.
Where in Africa is Zambia?
A map showing the location of the Republic of Zambia in Africa. Page 5.
This Day in African History: 21 July
A chronicle of events in African history on 21 July
Where in Africa is Algeria?
A map showing the location of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria in Africa.
Biography: Joe Slovo
Joe Slovo, anti-Apartheid activist, was one of the founders of Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC, and was general secretary of the South African Communist Party during the 1980s.
Indigenous African Slavers Traveling From the...
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Indigenous African slavers Traveling From the Interior. Page 4.
More Quotes: Nelson Mandela
A selection of quotes by Nelson Mandela
Short Biography: Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu
Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu Influential anti-Apartheid activist and co-founder of the African National Congress
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.
Apartheid Signs Image Gallery
A gallery of images of Apartheid Era Signs from the mid 1950s to late 1970s.
A Brief History of Mali
A brief introduction to the history of Mali from the time of early humans to the present day.
Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)
What was the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)?
Kenyan Leaders Since Independence
A list of the leaders of Kenya since gaining independence on 12 December 1963.
Ahmed Sékou Touré
Sékou Touré was one of the foremost figures in the struggle for West African independence, the first President of Guinea, and a leading Pan-African. He was initially considered a moderate Islamic African leader, but became one of Africa's most oppressive Big Men.
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.
Afrikaner Broederbond
What was the Afrikaner Broederbond?
Text of the Freedom Charter
Freedom Charter. African History.
"Wind of Change" speech
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >What was the "Wind
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.
School Enrollment in Apartheid South Africa
Data on School Enrollment for Blacks and Whites in South Africa in 1982.
This Day in African History: 16 July
A chronicle of events in African history on 16 July
Blacks (Abolition of Passes and Co-ordination...
Blacks (Abolition of Passes and Co-ordination of Documents) Act No 67 of 1952 required all black persons over the age of 16 to carry a reference (or pass) book at all times. Find out more...
Where in Africa is Lesotho?
A map showing the location of the Kingdom of Lesotho in Africa. Page 4.
Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast. Page 5.
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.
West African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: gazetteer index muslim empire republic of guinea bissau republic of liberia portuguese guinea
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: Antonio Agostinho Neto
A biography of Antonio Agostinho Neto - doctor, poet and first president of Angola.
Jomo Kenyatta
Part 3 of his biography, from the Mau Mau Rebellion to his Presidency.
Quotes about Nelson Mandela
A selection of quotes about Nelson Mandela
Menes: First Pharaoh of Egypt?
According to Ancient Egyptian history Menes was the founder of the unified Egyptian state which combined Upper and Lower Egypt.
Free Adinkra Stencil Collection
A collection of free stencils with an African theme. For personal, non-commercial use only.
Apartheid FAQ: How Did The Apartheid Government...
Unsure how the Apartheid regime came into power? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
A Brief History of Mauritius
A brief introduction to the history of Mauritius from the time of early colonization to the present day.
This Day in African History: 15 July
A chronicle of events in African history on 15 July
Cape Town's Infamous Robben Island
A short history of island that housed the most notorious prison of the South African apartheid regime.
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland lasted for 10 years, part of Britain's approach to independence in Africa. Find out more about the federation and why it ended.
Quotes: Rwandan Genocide
A Selection of Quotes About The Rwandan Genocide.
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.
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
Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu
Biography of Albertina Sisulu. Prominent leader in the African National Congress and 'Mother of the Nation'. Part 1 1918-1958.
Early Christianity in North Africa Part 1
Historical Background, Factors Which Influenced the Spread Of Christianity, Christianity Reaches North Africa
A Very Short History of Morocco
A potted history of Morocco. African History.
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.
Dusé Mohamed Ali Quotes
A collection of quotations by the influential, early twentieth century Pan-Africanist, Dusé Mohamed Ali.
A Brief History of Benin
A brief introduction to the history of Benin from the time of early humans to the present day.
Apartheid FAQ: Who Supported Apartheid?
Unsure who supported Apartheid in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
Idi Amin Timeline
A Timeline of Key Events in the Life of Idi Amin Dada.
This Day in African History: 17 July
A chronicle of events in African history on 17 July
The History of Islam in Africa
The Islamic faith and Muslims have played a crucial role in the development of Africa, not only in North Africa and West Africa where it is still the dominant religion, but also in East Africa, where its dominance decreases as one moves south, and in Southern Africa, where it was introduced through slaves and political exiles and is most prominent today in the cities of Durban and Cape Town.
A Brief History of Swaziland
A brief introduction to the history of Swaziland from the time of early humans to the present day.
Nigeria Timeline -- From President Obasanjo to...
A chronology of key events in Nigeria's history: organization of african unity violence flares president obasanjo constitutive act tribal militias
Photo Gallery of African Leaders
Browse through this photo gallery of African Leaders.
Timeline: The Suez Crisis
Timeline for the Suez Canal Crisis: suez canal zone hassan el banna son farouk caliph of islam king farouk
Leaders of Tanzania Since Independence
A list of Tanzanian leaders since gaining independence on 9 December 1961.
Biography: Carl Peters
Carl Peters was a German explorer, journalist and philosopher, instrumental in the founding of German
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'.
Zulu War Vocabulary
A list of common Zulu terms relevant to the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.
Ancient Egypt: Predynastic Period
The Predynastic Period of Ancient Egypt saw the development of grouped communities, the worlds first written language, institutionalised religion, and the development of the plough. Archaeologists have divided the Period into four relatively distinct phases to aid their understanding of the social, scientific, and political developments in Egypt at that time.
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.
History of Apartheid: Crossroads
South African police and rioters in South Africa's Cape Town informal settlement of Crossroads clashed over an attempt to move residents to the new Township of Kayelitsha.
A Very Short History of Tanzania
A potted history of Tanzania. African History.

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