Chronological List of African Independence

Dates Different African Nations Won Their Freedom from European Colonizers

Maqam Echahid, Martyrs Memorial
Martyrs Memorial commemorating Algerian war for independence (1954-1962), detail, Algiers, Algeria.

 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.

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