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African History: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
4 Types of Slavery in Africa
Types of Slavery in Africa - What Kinds of Slavery Existed in Africa?
Images of African Slavery and the Slave Trade
A Gallery of Images of African Slavery and the Slave Trade
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.
Southern African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: south west africa dutch east indies walvis bay gold ivory africa independence
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?
When and How Did Apartheid Come to an End in...
Unsure when Apartheid ended in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
Origins of the trans-Atlantic slave trade
Portuguese exploration and trade: 1450-1500.
Quotes: Idi Amin Dada
A selection of quotes by Idi Amin Dada, president of Uganda from 25 January 1971 to 13 April 1979.
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?
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.
Slave Decks on the Slave Bark Wildfire
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Slave Decks on the Slave Bark Wildfire. Page 13.
Colors of Ancient Egypt
Color in Ancient Egypt. African History.
Adinkra Symbology and its Origins
The Origin and Meaning of Adinkra Symbols.: adinkra symbols traditional cloths africanhistory akan symbols abstract shapes
Plans of Slave Decks, Slave Ship Brookes
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Plans of Slave Decks, Slave Ship Brookes. Page 12.
11 Memorable Quotes by Stephen Bantu Biko
A selection of quotes by Steve Biko
A Brief History of the African Commonwealth of...
A list of when various African countries joined the Commonwealth of Nations.
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.
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
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.
What Caused the Sharpeville Massacre in South...
The Origin of South Africa's Human Rights Day
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.
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
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?
The Triangular Trade
Map of the Triangular Trade. African History. Page 4.
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.
A Slave Barracoon
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Slave Barracoon. Page 6.
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.
Egypt
A brief history of the colonization and independence of Egypt. Page 2.
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
Moving Quotes from Julius Kambarage Nyerere
A Selection of Quotes by Julius Kambarage Nyerere
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.
Testing an African Slave For Sickness
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Testing an African Slave For Sickness. Page 10.
Female East African Slave
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Female East African Slave. Page 7.
Kingdom of Kush
What was the Kingdom of Kush? African History.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Exports by Region
Statistics for Trans-Atlantic Slave Exports by Region. Page 3.
Diagram of the Slave Ship Brookes
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Diagram of the Slave Ship Brookes. Page 11.
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.
Inspiring Quotes from Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya, lived a fascinating life. Read a selection of his most famous quotes.
Algeria Timeline -- Timeline of Algeria from...
A chronology of key events in Algeria's history
A Slaver's Canoe
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Slaver's Canoe. Page 2.
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.
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
Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast. Page 5.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Imports by Region
Statistics for Trans-Atlantic Slave Imports by Region. Page 2.
Ubuntu
What does Ubuntu mean? Find the answer to what Ubuntu means in this African History Glossary
Indigenous African Slavery
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Indigenous African Slavery
African Captives Being Sent Into Slavery
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: African Captives Being Sent Into Slavery. Page 3.
Slave Origins for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
Slavery Regions for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Page 5.
Where in Africa is Zambia?
A map showing the location of the Republic of Zambia in Africa. Page 5.
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 Zambia
A brief introduction to the history of Zambia from the time of early humans to the present day.
Julius Kambarage Nyerere
A Biography of Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the father of Tanzania.
Indigenous African Slavers Traveling From the...
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Indigenous African slavers Traveling From the Interior. Page 4.
5 Things You Didn't Know About Africa
One fact that many people get wrong about Africa and four they will find surprising.
This Week in African History: 22 - 28 January
A former Minister of Education in Rwanda is found guilty of genocide, President Apolo Milton Obote is overthrown in his absence by General Idi Amin Dada, Robert Mugabe is allowed to return home to Rhodesia, and Louis Farrakhan meets with Nelson Mandela.
Apartheid Era Laws: Prohibition of Mixed...
What was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act No 55 of 1949?
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...
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
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.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: Origins of Slaves
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: Origins of Slaves Details of where slaves were taken from Africa and how
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.
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.
A Brief History of Cameroon
A brief introduction to the history of Cameroon from the time of early humans to the present day.
Timeline: The Suez Crisis
Timeline for the Suez Canal Crisis: suez canal zone hassan el banna son farouk caliph of islam king farouk
Gukurahundi
What was the Gukurahundi? African History.
Memorable Quotes by Nelson Mandela
A selection of quotes by Nelson Mandela
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.
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'.
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.
West African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: french west africa french protectorate grand popo africa independence portuguese guinea
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?
South African Apartheid Era Identity Numbers --...
South African Apartheid Era Identity Numbers How the Apartheid Era Identity Number Recorded Racial Categories
This Day in African History: 8 January
A chronicle of events in African history on 8 January.
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
Africa and the Commonwealth of Nations
18 countries in Africa are currently part of the Commonwealth of Nations (with Zimbabwe having departed in 2003).
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Libya
A brief history of the colonization and independence of Libya. Page 3.
Quotes: Rwandan Genocide
A Selection of Quotes About The Rwandan Genocide.
Great Rift Valley
Where is Africa's Great Rift Valley?
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.
East African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: heile selassie federal democratic republic federal democratic republic of ethiopia french somaliland muslim invasion
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…
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 Brief History of Mali
A brief introduction to the history of Mali 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.
Reparations for Slavery?
There is a call for reparations to be made by the West for the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Are all the issues being considered?
Nigeria Timeline -- From the End of Biafran...
A chronology of key events in Nigeria's history: civilian democratic rule president obasanjo british prime minister margaret thatcher olusegun obasanjo constituent assembly
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.
This Day in African History: 28 January
A chronicle of events in African history on 28 January.
Idi Amin Timeline
A Timeline of Key Events in the Life of Idi Amin Dada.
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.
Women's Anti-Pass Law Campaigns in South Africa
What happened when the South African government tried to force women to carry passes.
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.
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
A Very Short History of Morocco
A potted history of Morocco. African History.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Exports by Region and Era
Statistics for Trans-Atlantic Slave Exports by Region and Era.
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.
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...
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.
A Brief History of Equatorial Guinea
A brief introduction to the history of Equatorial Guinea from the time of early humans to the present day.
Apartheid Era Laws: Immorality Amendment Act No...
What was the Immorality Amendment Act No 21 of 1950
A Brief History of Botswana
A brief introduction to the history of Botswana from the time of early humans to the present day.
Apartheid FAQ: How Did The Apartheid Government...
Unsure how the Apartheid regime came into power? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
Text of the Freedom Charter
Freedom Charter. African History.
Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC)
What was the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC)?
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.
Western Sahara
A brief history of the colonization and independence of Western Sahara. Page 6.
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.
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.
Afrikaner Broederbond
What was the Afrikaner Broederbond?
Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)
What was the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)?
Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua
Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua was president of Nigeria from 2007, breaking the cycle of civilian rule and military coup which had dogged the country since independence. Yar'Adua was somewhat reclusive in his dealings with the public and press, and his only major political success was dealing with the civil unrest in the oil-rich Niger Delta -- convincing many to give up their arms during a three-month amnesty in 2009. Part I -- Early Life.
Salva Kiir Mayardit
First president of the Republic of South Sudan, veteran of the Fist and Second Sudanese Civil Wars, and member of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.
This Day in African History: 27 January
A chronicle of events in African history on 27 January.
Short Biography: Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu
Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu Influential anti-Apartheid activist and co-founder of the African National Congress
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.
A Brief History of Mauritius
A brief introduction to the history of Mauritius from the time of early colonization to the present day.
Timeline of Apartheid History: 1912 to 1959
A Timeline of Key Apartheid Events from 1912 to 1959.
Leaders of Tanzania Since Independence
A list of Tanzanian leaders since gaining independence on 9 December 1961.
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.
Zulu Proverbs
Much of Africa's history has been passed on through the generations orally. One consequence of this is that traditional wisdom has been crystallized in the form of proverbs. Here is a collection of proverbs attributed to the Zulu of South Africa.
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: 29 January
A chronicle of events in African history on 29 January.
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.
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
Yoruba Proverbs
Much of Africa's history has been passed on through the generations orally. One consequence of this is that morals and lessons have been crystallized in the form of proverbs. Here is a collection of proverbs attributed to the Yoruba people of Nigeria.
Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd
National Party Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 until his assassination on 6 September 1966, Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd was the chief architect of 'Grand Apartheid', which called for the separation of races in South Africa.
"Wind of Change" speech
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A Very Short History of Côte d'Ivoire
A potted history of Côte d'Ivoire
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