Chronological List of African Independence

Maqam Echahid, Martyrs Memorial commemorating Algerian war for independence (1954-1962), detail, Algiers, Algeria : Stock Photo add_a_photo Comp Add to Board Maqam Echahid, Martyrs Memorial, 1982, commemorating Algerian war for independence (1954-1962)
Martyrs Memorial commemorating Algerian war for independence (1954-1962), detail, Algiers, Algeria : Stock Photo add_a_photo Comp Add to Board Maqam Echahid, Martyrs Memorial commemorating Algerian war for independence. De Agostini/C. Sappa De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

Most nations in Africa were colonized by European states in the early modern era, including a burst of colonization in the Scramble for Africa from 1880 to 1900. But this condition was reversed over the course of the next century by independence movements. Here are the dates of independence for African nations.

CountryIndependence DatePrior ruling country
 
Liberia, Republic ofJuly 26, 1847  -
South Africa, Republic ofMay 31, 1910  Britain
Egypt, Arab Republic ofFeb. 28, 1922  Britain
Ethiopia, People's Democratic Republic ofMay 5, 1941  Italy
Libya (Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)Dec. 24, 1951  Britain
Sudan, Democratic Republic ofJan. 1, 1956  Britain/Egypt
Morocco, Kingdom ofMarch 2, 1956  France
Tunisia, Republic ofMarch 20, 1956  France
Morocco (Spanish Northern Zone, Marruecos)April 7, 1956  Spain
Morocco (International Zone, Tangiers)Oct. 29, 1956 -
Ghana, Republic ofMarch 6, 1957  Britain
Morocco (Spanish Southern Zone,  Marruecos)April 27, 1958  Spain
Guinea, Republic ofOct. 2, 1958  France
Cameroon, Republic ofJan. 1 1960  France
Senegal, Republic ofApril 4, 1960  France
Togo, Republic ofApril 27, 1960  France
Mali, Republic ofSept. 22, 1960  France
Madagascar, Democratic Republic ofJune 26, 1960  France
Congo (Kinshasa), Democratic Republic of theJune 30, 1960  Belgium
Somalia, Democratic Republic of July 1, 1960  Britain
Benin, Republic ofAug. 1, 1960  France
Niger, Republic ofAug. 3, 1960  France
Burkina Faso, Popular Democratic Republic ofAug. 5, 1960  France
Côte d'Ivoire, Republic of (Ivory Coast)Aug. 7, 1960  France
Chad, Republic ofAug. 11, 1960  France
Central African RepublicAug. 13, 1960  France
Congo (Brazzaville), Republic of theAug. 15, 1960  France
Gabon, Republic ofAug. 16, 1960  France
Nigeria, Federal Republic ofOct. 1, 1960  Britain
Mauritania, Islamic Republic ofNov. 28, 1960  France
Sierra Leone, Republic ofApr. 27, 1961  Britain
Nigeria (British Cameroon North)June 1, 1961  Britain
Cameroon(British Cameroon South)Oct. 1, 1961  Britain
Tanzania, United Republic ofDec. 9, 1961  Britain
Burundi, Republic ofJuly 1, 1962  Belgium
Rwanda, Republic ofJuly 1, 1962  Belgium
Algeria, Democratic and Popular Republic ofJuly 3, 1962  France
Uganda, Republic ofOct. 9, 1962  Britain
Kenya, Republic ofDec. 12, 1963  Britain
Malawi, Republic ofJuly 6, 1964  Britain
Zambia, Republic ofOct. 24, 1964  Britain
Gambia, Republic of TheFeb. 18, 1965  Britain
Botswana, Republic ofSept. 30, 1966  Britain
Lesotho, Kingdom ofOct. 4, 1966  Britain
Mauritius, State ofMarch 12, 1968  Britain
Swaziland, Kingdom ofSept. 6, 1968  Britain
Equatorial Guinea, Republic ofOct. 12, 1968  Spain
Morocco (Ifni)June 30, 1969  Spain
Guinea-Bissau, Republic ofSept. 24, 1973
(alt. Sept. 10, 1974)
  Portugal
Mozambique, Republic ofJune 25. 1975  Portugal
Cape Verde, Republic of July 5, 1975  Portugal
Comoros, Federal Islamic Republic of theJuly 6, 1975  France
São Tomé and Principe, Democratic Republic ofJuly 12, 1975  Portugal
Angola, People's Republic ofNov. 11, 1975  Portugal
Western SaharaFeb. 28, 1976  Spain
Seychelles, Republic ofJune 29, 1976  Britain
Djibouti, Republic ofJune 27, 1977  France
Zimbabwe, Republic ofApril 18, 1980  Britain
Namibia, Republic ofMarch 21, 1990  South Africa
Eritrea, State ofMay 24, 1993  Ethiopia


Notes:

  1. Ethiopia is usually considered to have never been colonized, but following the invasion by Italy in 1935-36 Italian settlers arrived. Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed and went into exile in the UK. He regained his throne on 5 May 1941 when he re-entered Addis Ababa with his troops. Italian resistance was not completely overcome until 27th November 1941.
  2. Guinea-Bissau made a Unilateral Declaration of Independence on Sept. 24, 1973, now considered as Independence Day. However, independence was only recognized by Portugal on 10 September 1974 as a result of the Algiers Accord of Aug. 26, 1974.
  3. Western Sahara was immediately seized by Morocco, a move contested by Polisario (Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio del Oro).