African Independence

Kaylee Geiser, Marissa Hackl, Kaylee Barr


By 1900, almost all of Africa had been ruled by Europe. However after World War II, the Europeans had disconnected from most of the colonies they ruled in. In 1957, Kwame Nkrumah led Ghana to their independence. This was the first nation to do so, and others quickly followed afterwards including; Nigeria, The Belgian Congo and Kenya. By 1960 seventeen African nations had found independence. Between 1961 and 1965, 11 nations had done the same.

24, December 1951: Libya

Libya was under rule of King Idris I when Libya gained its independence from Italy. Libya had invasions from Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks and Italians before the independence. The first independent elections were held on February 19,1952. There were many factors that had been ever-present since the genesis of Libyan history. These factors shaped the overall political development of the newly independent nation.

2 March 1956: Morocco

It was the end of the French protectorate (a section of France's trans-Saharan empire) after much political and socialist unrest.

2 October 1958: Guinea

Guinea became a French Protectorate in 1849. Samori Touré tried to break away from this in the late 19th century, but did not succeed. Independence from France was gained on October 2nd, 1958. After independence, Sekou Touré, a relative of Samori Touré, became the first president.

1 January 1960: Cameroon

Gained independence from Britain and France on January 1st 1960. 1919 Cameroon was divided into two parts, Britain and France. France’s part gained independence in 1960, but Britain’s part joined in in 1961. The northern part ended up joining Nigeria.

What is apartheid?

“apartness”, the system of racial segregation in South Africa from the 1950’s until 1991.

African National Congress

African National Congress: (ANC) created in 1912 by black Africans to have a part in the political activity during this time period. Their goal was to reform the political system and take control of their own government (didn’t have much success). In South Africa, the political system was heavily white Africans. Racism had become a large part of South Africa because European countries had colonized the lower parts of Africa and taking over the government rule which caused them to create laws that separated whites and blacks. Leading into “apartheid”. The ANC fought back against these laws, however the white government physically repressed the rebels. In 1960, police shot and killed 69 people during a peaceful march.

Facts about Nelson Mandela

-arrested in 1962

-lead the ANC

-first black president of South Africa

-believed in peaceful methods of beating the white government but ended up having to result in more violent methods.

-sentenced to life in prison but his good reputation grew and he was released and became president

The New Nations

Although almost all of the African nations gained independence, they had many other issues arise. Most of the leaders were average people that studied in very educated countries (Europe and the United States) and from these people half of them believed in “Western-style capitalism”, while the others believed in “African form of socialism”.

African Socialism

African form of socialism was heavily based on the culture and traditions that had already been practiced and that the country’s wealth would be in the hands of the people. The leaders that believed in this form of government were Sekou Toure of Guinea, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania who claimed that “The basis of socialism is a belief in the oneness of man and the common historical destiny of mankind, its human equality.”


Leopold Senghor of Senegal, Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta, believed in Pan- Africanism: the unity of all black Africans, regardless of national boundaries. The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded in 1963 by 32 African leaders because of the belief of Pan- Africanism.

Sub-Saharan Africa

1960 was the year that most of sub-Saharan Africa got most of its independence.