Algeria France 1830 Following the Napoleonic Wars, Algeria was in a state of conflict with Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Prussia, Denmark, Russia, the US and Naples not least because of pirate attacks on their shipping in the Mediterranean. The French captured Algiers in 1830 and annexed the rest of Algeria in 1834. The native Algerian people never accepted this French rule and in 1954 the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) launched the Algerian War of Independence which ended with a plebiscite called by then French President Charles de Gaulle. There was an overwhelming vote for full independence which was granted on 5th July 1962. 5th July 1962
Angola Portugal 1575 The Portuguese established trading posts in Ndono and a fortified outpost at Luanda in 1587. Their conquests saw them proclaim a colony in Angola which was to last for four hundred years, though, in truth they did not exercise any actual administrative control over areas awy from the coast until the twentieth century. In 1920 Angola became a colony with its own administration. In 1952 Angola's status was changed from a colony to an overseas province until 1975 when Portugal's own government collapsed during the Revolução dos Cravos leading it to abandon former colonies from around the world. 11th November 1975
France 1894 In 1863 Porto Novo became a French Protectorate followed by other treaties the Dahomey Kings of Guézo, Toffa and Glèlè which saw other major cities and ports come under French control. In 1890 war broke out ending in a French victory four years later that saw the kingdom as the territory of French Dahomey became part of French West Africa comprised of Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger. In 1958, France granted autonomy to Dahomey followed by full independence on 1st August, 1960 as the Republic of Benin. 1st August 1960
Great Britain 1885 Bechuanaland came under British protection in March 1885 following pleas for assistance from Kgosi (king) Khama III of the Bamangwato people following hostilities in the area between the Shona and Ndebele tribes further flamed by the arrival of Boer settlers. The protection amounted to little more than securing the area's borders against other European incursion. Today's Botswana was then administered as the northern Bechuanaland Protectorate and the southern crown colony of British Bechuanaland. On independence the Bechuanaland Protectorate became Botswana whilst British Bechuanaland was incorporated into Cape Colony in 1895 and is now part of South Africa. 30th September 1966
Burkina Faso
(Upper Volta)
France 1886 Formerly known as Upper Volta, modern day Burkina Faso was the early home of the powerful Ouagadougou, Tenkodogo, and Yatenga kingdoms. Ceded to France at the Berlin Conference, the Ouagadougou Kingdom was defeated by French forces in 1886 and made into a protectorate although it was twelve more years before the western and eastern regions were brought under nominal French jurisdiction after fierce resistance from Samori Ture the founder of the Wassoulou (Mandinka) Empire who continued resistance to colonial rule until his capture in 1898. (Ture's great-grandson was to become first president of Guinea.) Burkina Faso was effectively divided up in 1919 as part of French West Africa, however its former boundaries were fully restored in 1947. It achieved independence in 1960 and changed its name to Burkina Faso ("The land of upright people") in 1984. 5th August 1960
Burundi Germany 1899 Burundi, together with Rwanda, was one of the last countries to be reached by the Europeans in the nineteenth century. The Germans entered from neighbouring Tanzania in 1897 claiming it for the Kaiser and treated Burundi and Rwanda as one colony bringing it formally under German East African administration in 1899. In 1916, after the First World War, Belgium occupied the territory and it was mandated to Belgium in 1923 as Ruanda-Urundi and then after the Second World War as a United Nations Trust Territory. Throughout this period its monarchy was allowed with its then king, Mwami Mwambutsa IV, becoming constitutional monarch on independence. 1st July 1962
Cameroon Germany 1884 Germany established its first trading post in the area in 1868 and claimed it as the colony of Kamerun in 1884 including peripheral parts of Gabon, the Congo, the Central African Republic, Chad and Nigeria. It was invaded and occupied by French, Belgian and British troops during the First World War. After the war, the Treaty of Versailles saw Kamerun divided into two mandates administered by France ~ French Cameroun and Great Britain ~ British Cameroons, administered from the British colony of Nigeria Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons, effectively making the British Cameroons a colony of a colony. On 1st January 1960 French Cameroun and Southern Cameroons became a republic as Cameroon whilst the following year Northern Cameroons opted to join Nigeria. 1st January 1960
Cape Verde Portugal 15th Century Cape Verde, a group of ten islands some 350 miles off the west coast of Africa, was discovered in 1444 by Portugal, at which time they were apparently uninhabited. Recognising their location as an ideal base for the burgeoning slave trade, Portugal colonised the island which prospered until the end of the slave traded in the early 19th century. After that time Portugal lost interest in the islands which weren't otherwise economically viable or self-sustaining with few natural resources. Growing national sentiment led to independence in 1975 as Portugal's own government collapsed during the Revolução dos Cravos leading it to abandon former colonies from around the world. 5th July 1975
Central African Republic
France 1894 The modern day Central African Republic became the focus of French activity in the area after they established a trading post in the modern day capital of Bangui in 1889 naming it as a French territory in 1894 after the French for the Ubangi and Chari rivers ~ Oubangui-Chari ~ as most of the land lay within those river basins. Abbas II Hilmi Bey of Egypt also had an eye on the territory leading to a brief war with France in 1903 in which France was victorious and then established a colonial administration until the territory was merged with Chad from 1906 until 1920. It then became one of the territories of French Equatorial Africa in 1910 until 1st December 1958 when it took the name Central African Republic as an autonomous territory within the French Community before full independence in 1960. 13th August 1960
Chad France 1900 Modern day Chad was home to the three kingdoms of Ouadai, Baguirmi and Kanem-Bornu which were conquered by the Sudanese warlord Rabih al-Zubayr in 1883 much to the alarm of the French who were attempting to enforce their sovereignty in the area following the Berlin Conference. By 1900 Rabih al-Zubayr had been killed with the territory coming under French control within French Equatorial Africa (together with Oubangui-Chari, Middle Congo and Gabon), save for Kanem-Bornu which was ceded to the British. In 1920 it was given its own administrative status, however, in reality, France had little control over the Muslim north of the colony until it was granted independence as Chad in 1960. 11th August 1960
Comoros France 1841 The French first established rule over Comoros in 1841 when the island was ceded to them by the King of Mayotte, Andrian Tsouli. It became a French colony in 1912 before being placed under the administration of Madagascar in 1914. It became independent in 1974, however following two referendums in 1974 and 1976 one of the islands, Mayotte, opted to remain under French rule and, as such, is today the outermost point of the European Union. 6th July 1975
Congo, Democratic Republic of (Congo-Kinshasa) Belgium 1885 The Democratic Republic of Congo was known as the Congo Free State from 1885-1908 and was effectively ruled by King Leopold II of Belgium as his personal plaything under the auspices of his private organisation 'Association Internationale Africaine' during which time he effectively carried out a mass genocide slaughtering half of the region's population leading some to conclude that 'free state' meant 'free to do as Leopold wanted'. The Belgium government intervened to seize control from Leopold after growing reports of atrocities carried out by Leopold's men and renamed it the Belgium Congo in 1908. It continued as a colony under similarly harsh rule until independence in 1960. 30th June 1960
Congo, Republic of (Congo-Brazzaville) France 1886 By the time of the arrival of the Portuguese in 1492 the Bantu had established the Kingdons of Kongo, Loango and Tékéby in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo however by 1857 the Kongo Kingdom was little more than an enclave of the Kingdom of Angola. On 10th September 1880 French explorer, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, signed a treaty with King Makoko of Téké which established French control over the region. By 1886 it was established as the Colony of Gabon and Congo but renamed in 1891 as the Colony of French Congo then in 1903 as Middle Congo. In 1910 it was reorganised to become part of French Equatorial Africa (together with Oubangui-Chari ~ Central African Republic ~ Chad and Gabon) Middle Congo became known as the Republic of the Congo in 1958 before achieving full independence in 1960. 15th August 1960
Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) France 1843 Modern day Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) in pre-colonial time comprised of Gyaman which was located in modern day Ghana and Ivory Coast; the Kong Empire which covered parts of the Ivory Coast and modern day Burkina Faso; Baoulé from the middle of the Ivory Coast and the Kingdom of Sanwi located in south-east Ivory Coast. During 1843-1844 treaties were signed making the Ivory Coast a French Protectorate establishing trading and military outposts mostly along coastal areas. However the Franco Prussian War of 1871 forced France to largely abandon its interests in the area handing them over to local traders as its military headed back to France. After the Berlin Conference, France rekindled its colonial ambitions in the Ivory Coast with it becoming a French colony in 1893. Its eastern and western borders were demarcated by agreement with Liberia and the United Kingdom in 1892 and 1893 respectively, however it wasn't until after WWII that its northern border was confirmed as France has hoped to join it with Mali and Burkina Faso. From 1904 to 1958, Ivory Coast was administered as part of the Federation of French West Africa comprised of Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger and then became an autonomous member of the French Community before being granted independence in 1960. 7th August 1960
(French Somaliland)
France 1884 The French had long held an interest in what is modern day Djibouti, in part in response to growing British influence in Egypt and Sudan. They signed treaties of friendship with the Afar Sultans of Raheita, Tadjourah, and Gobaad who ruled parts of Djibouti in the nineteenth century and in 1862 consolidated their position with the purchase of Obock establishing a naval base there. They formally annexed the territory in 1884 as and in 1892 the capital was moved from Obock to present day Djibouti with it being named French Somaliland in 1894. In 1967 it was again renamed as the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas and in 1977, it became the independent country of Djibouti having rejected a call for it to join a soon to be independent Somali Republic. 27th June 1977
Egypt Great Britain 1882 The British defeated the Egyptian army in 1882 to protect its interests in the country, notably the Suez Canal, against growing debt and instability in the region. The occupation was never accepted by the Egyptians especially after the Denshawai Incident of 1906 during which members of the British army shot pigeons belonging to locals for sport and also killed the wife a local mosque leader in the process. The locals reacted with force resulting in a violent suppression of what was seen as an insurgency, inflaming increasing nationalist sentiment. By 1919 there was a full scale revolution across Egypt against British occupation leading to the UK acceding to demands for Egyptian independence in 1922, although not recognising Egyptian sovereignty over Sudan which laid the foundations for later conflict. 22nd February 1922
Equatorial Guinea Spain 1843 Colonialism in modern day Equatorial Guinea initially focussed on the island of Bioko which was 'discovered' by the Portuguese in 1472. Bioko, neighbouring islands and the mainland, Río Muni, were ceded to the Spanish in 1778 in exchange for land in America as part of the Treaty of El Pardo between Queen Maria I of Portugal and King Charles III of Spain. By 1827 the British had a base on the mainland however this was moved to Sierra Leone in 1843 giving Spain full control of what was then known as "Territorios Españoles del Golfo de Guinea Ecuatorial". It became a Spanish Protectorate in 1885, and then after an ongoing dispute with France, a Spanish colony in 1900 as part of the Treaty of France. In 1926 the islands and mainland were united as Spanish Guinea until independence in 1968. 12th October 1968
Eritrea Italy 1890 Eritrea was formerly known as Kingdom of Punt, then part of the Kingdom of Aksum until more recently as Bahre-Negash (Kingdom of the Sea) and later as Medri Bahri (Land of the Sea) and was part of the Ottoman Empire until that empire's decline in the mid-nineteenth century when it was ceded to the Egyptian Khedevites. With the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, Eritrea took on new significance as it offered a secure port on the new trade route from the Mediterranean to the east. The Italian Società di Navigazione Rubattino company purchased the Port of Assab along with stretches of the coastline on 15th November 1869 year from the local Sultan and it was formally declared as an Italian colony in 1890 following the signing the Treaty of Uccialli in 1889 by Emperor Menelik of Ethiopia. During World War II the Italians were defeated by the British in Eritrea in 1941and Eritrea was placed under British colonial rule. Despite pleas for independence and self-determination the British handed the colony to Ethiopia in 1952 who annexed the country in 1962 under Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. That action marked the beginning of a thirty year struggle for independence, and then, following the defeat of Ethiopian troops in 1991 by Eritrean rebels, the long awaited opportunity for independence was confirmed following a 1993 referendum. De facto from Ethiopia:
24th May 1991
De jure from Ethiopia:
24th May 1993
Ethiopia Not a colony
Gabon France 1885 France was active in West Africa in the 1830s and 1840s and signed treaties with Gabonese leaders during this time, establishing trading outposts there. Their influence was very much confined to coastal areas until the 1860s when it started exploring inland. As with other west African activity, France put its ambitions on hold following the 1871 Franco-Prussian war however returned and claimed sovereignty there from 1885 as part of the Berlin Conference although this did not translate into any effective administration or control until 1905 with it becoming one of the territories of French Equatorial Africa in 1910 until 1958. It was granted independence in 1960. 17th August 1960
Gambia Great Britain 1783 The Portuguese were active in the area now known as the Gambia from the 15th century and they sold trading rights on the Gambia River to the British in 1588. The French and British continued to wrangle over trade in the area until it was recognised as a British interest as part of the 1783 Treaty of Paris. In 1843 the Gambia became a British Crown colony and was granted full internal self-governance in 1963 becoming independent in 1965. 18th February 1965
(Gold Coast)
Britain > 1874 As ever, the Portuguese were active in the area known today as Ghana, calling it "Mina" as they considered it a gold 'mine'. The centre of the ancient Ghana empire was actually located some 500 miles north of modern day Ghana, home of the Ashanti people. Others traders from Denmark and Holland were quick to move in an exploit the area, however Great Britain annexed the Danish Gold Coast in 1850 and the Dutch Gold Coast in 1872 establishing it as the British Gold Coast; but not in the eyes of the Ashanti who went to war four times against the British until they were finally defeated in 1900 with Ashanti itself declared under the jurisdiction of the Governor of the Gold Coast, effectively securing the area for Britain. In 1956 British Togoland opted to join the Gold Coast as part of the soon to be independent nation of Ghana. 6th March 1957
Guinea France > 1882 Modern day Guinea, at varying times part of the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai empires, had been the location of trading outposts for Portuguese, British and French traders since the 18th century. With the ending of the slave trade, Portugal's engagement waned leading to the expansion of French interests in the area. By the mid 19th century the area was known as Rivières du Sud with its coastal areas administered as part of the French colony of Senegal. By 1882 it was recognised as a formal colony however for the next decade France's reach barely extended beyond the coastal areas. It took the name French Guinea in 1891 after inland expansion. In 1895 it became part of French West Africa comprised of Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger and was ruled by a lieutenant governor, under the Governor General in Dakar. It continued to be ruled by France until independence in 1958. 2nd October 1958
Guinea-Bissau Portugal 1450? Formerly part the Mali Empire and then the Kingdom of Kaabu that formed part of modern day Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, the Portuguese regarded the coastline in the area as their territory by the early 19th century as Portuguese Guinea having had a presence there since 1450. Portugal administered the colony part of the Cape Verde Islands until 1879 when it became a colony in its own right, however it wasn't until the beginning of the 20th century that they exerted full control of its interior after they allied themselves with the Muslim Fula and Mandinko to suppress animist tribes. In 1952 it was declared an Overseas Province  and was unilaterally declared independent by the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde in 1973 a year before that declaration was recognised by Portugal in 1974. Declared: 24th September 1973
Recognized 10th September 1974
Kenya Great Britain 1895 After the Portuguese were driven out from parts of what is now Kenya by the Omani Arabs and Swahili tribes in the late 17th century, the colonial history of modern day Kenya can be traced to arrival of the Imperial British East Africa Company in 1888 which was given a grant to administer the territory. After the company started to fail the British government declared the territory as the British East African Protectorate on 1st July 1895, supplemented by the addition of parts of Uganda in 1902. In 1921 it became a crown colony in its own right adopting its modern name of Kenya under the control of a British governor. Ongoing conflict led the British to conclude that independence was inevitable and this was finally achieved in 1963. 12th December 1963
Great Britain 1869 Lesotho, formerly known as Basutoland, is a small enclave kingdom within the borders of South Africa, that found itself involved in a series of wars between 1856-1868 with the Boers, leading to its King Moshoeshoe I appealing to Queen Victoria to make the land a British protectorate. The British government duly obliged, however in 1870 unilaterally annexed Basutoland to Cape Colony in South Africa. Ongoing insurgency against this arrangement saw the re-introduction of direct rule from London in 1884 until 1910 when the self governing Basutoland Council was established that retained British rule in all but name until Basutoland's independence in 1966, when it became the Kingdom of Lesotho. 4th October 1966
Liberia Not a colony
Libya Ottoman Empire/Italy 1912
Modern day Libya was formed through the unification of the three provinces of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica (Barca) and Fezzan following the Italo-Turkish war of 1911-1912. From 1912-1927 it was known as Italian North Africa and then split into Italian Cyrenaica and Italian Tripolitania until adopting the name Libya in 1934 taken from the historical Greek name for north-west Africa; Libúē. In 1942 the allies ousted Italy from Libya placing Feaan under French rule and Tripolitania, Cyrenaica under British jurisdiction until independence in 1951 under King Idris al-Sanusi. 24th December 1951
Madagascar France 1896 Whilst Great Britain saw India as the jewel in the crown of its empire, both it and France harboured ambitions to control Madagascar seen to be of strategic importance on the trade route to India and long before the Suez Canal was available for transportation. The Merina dynasty of Madagascar proved adept at playing both the British and French off each other whilst maintaining Madagascar's independence, none less than under the rule of Queen Ranavalona I who rejected creeping European engagement in the island and expelled all foreigners from the kingdom and banned Christianity. However, her son who ascend the throne in 1861 as Radama II, reversed this policy by implementing the Lambeth Charter, originally agreed by him in 1855 during his mother's reign, but rejected by her, which gave French adventurer, businessman, and diplomat Joseph-François Lambert rights to exploit natural resources in Madagascar in return for a 10% royalty payable to the king. When the terms of this charter became known it horrified the local population as it agreed the permanent loss of sacred Malagasy land to foreigners. Radama II was duly assassinated in 1863 and his wife and successor Queen Rasoherina sought to renegotiate the charter. The French responded by invading Madagascar in 1863 known as first Franco-Hova War to restore the provisions of the treaty. This marked the beginning of military conflict and Madagascar was declared a French colony in 1896, the monarchy abolished and sent into exile. 26th June 1960
Great Britain 1891 The Portuguese visited the present day area of Malawi in the 16th century, however it wasn't until the last decades of the 19th century that saw the explorer David Livingstone establishing the trading Livingstonia Central African Mission Company in 1878. Following disputes with the Portuguese, the British declared the area a Shire Highlands Protectorate and then extended the scope of the protectorate in 1891 to the Nyasaland Districts Protectorate. It changed name again in 1893 to the British Central Africa Protectorate and then again in 1907 to the Nyasaland Protectorate. In 1953 the British combined Nyasaland with what is now Zambia and Zimbabwe into a single federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. In 1964 the Nyasaland Protectorate gained independence as the Republic of Malawi, Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia the same year and in 1965 Southern Rhodesia declared itself independent as Rhodesia. 6th July 1964
Mali France 1880 As with most current west African states, the pre-colonial history of Mali is complicated with its land being part of many different kingdoms and empires over the millennia.  In modern times it was initially created as French territory on 9th September 1880 as Upper Senegal but was renamed as the French Sudan Territory on 18th August 1890, although, in reality, this control was only nominal as the French continued to meet with fierce local resistance to its expansion. In 1899 it was broken up and its territory shared out between French Guinea, the Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Dahomey (Benin). It regained its old name in 1920 and regained some of its former provinces in 1933 after French Upper Volta was dismantled (before being reconstituted in 1947.) In 1958, as the renamed Sudanese Republic, it became a member of the French Community with internal autonomy and merged with Senegal the following year to form the short lived Federation of Mali. The following year it broke away and achieved independence as the Republic of Mali. 22nd September 1960
Mauritania France 1904 During the 1850-1860s French Imperial forces slowly gained control of southern Mauritania and by 1904, following treaties with local emirates, had established the country as a colonial territory as part of its west African interests. It was a further eight years before northern emirate of Adrar was defeated in battle and subsumed into the colony. In 1920 Mauritania became part of the Federation of French West Africa comprised of itself, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger and then became an autonomous member of the French Community before being granted independence in 1960. 26th November 1960
Mauritius Portugal
Great Britain
> 1507 The island of Mauritius, part of the Mascarene Islands off the southeast coast of Madagascar, has been known since at least the tenth century, however the first formal recordings of its exploration were made by Portuguese explorers in the sixteenth century. It was settled by the Dutch in the following century and named in honour of Prince Maurtis. It came under British rule during the Napoleonic Wars and its strategic location made it an important naval and air base. It gained its independence from Great Britain in 1968 following growing calls for independence that became stronger after 1961. 12th March 1968
Morocco France 1912 France had been involved in Morocco since 1830 and its sphere of influence there was recognised by the UK in 1904, however Germany baulked at this resulting in the Treaty of Fez of 1912 by which the Sultan Abdelhafid relinquished his sovereignty of Morocco to the French with Germany in return taking control of the formerly French Middle Congo which became part of German West Africa. This treaty also saw Spain granted land in what was to become Spanish Morocco. The Sultan nominally remained as a figurehead. Colonial rule was harsh and local resentment flared after the French exiled Sultan Mohammed V in 1953 replacing him with the unpopular Mohammed Ben Aarafa. Such was the level of dissent the French allowed Mohammed V to return in 1955 which paved the way for independence the following year. from France 2nd March, 1956
from Spain 7th April, 1956
Mozambique Portugal 1498 > By the time of the arrival of the Portuguese around the late 15th century, modern day Mozambique had Arab settlements around the country's coastal areas. A low key struggle for supremacy against Arab traders continued for two hundred years, however, in reality, the area then known as Portuguese East Africa, was largely untroubled by the European powers outside its coastal areas which had been left to the administration of Portuguese private companies such as the Mozambique Company, the Zambezia Company and the Niassa Company. After these companies failed to perform the Portuguese government took a more direct interest in Mozambique re-branding it as an overseas province. Alongside other provinces, Mozambique was to act against Portugal in the Portuguese Colonial War of 1961-1975 when Portugal's own government collapsed during the Revolução dos Cravos leading it to abandon former colonies from around the world. 25th June 1975
Namibia Germany 1894 Namibia became a German protectorate in 1884 and remained a German colony until the end of the First World War when the League of Nations made it a South African mandate. Those familiar with South African history will know that at that time it was ruled by whites and its apartheid policy was extended to Namibia in 1948. This and other authoritarian South African laws led to general unrest and the nationalist South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) started a guerrilla war against South African that lasted from 1966 to 1990 when on 21st March, Namibia became an independent nation as the Republic of Namibia. 21st March 1990 from South Africa
Niger France 1890 The country had a long experience of European exploration mainly in search of the Niger Delta. It was 'awarded' to France at the Berlin Conference with its occupation by France from 1890 being resisted by virtually all its ethnic groups. It wasn't until 1922 that France had actually established its authority in the area (although only really in the south) with it becoming a French colony in that year. It briefly became an autonomous republic of the French Community in 1958 before achieving independence on April 3rd 1960. 3rd April 1960
(Kingdom of Benin)
Great Britain 1897 Not to be confused with modern day Benin, the Kingdom of Benin has long established trading relations with Portugal from 1495 and then Great Britain from 1553. By 1892 the British had plans to annex the kingdom as a protectorate and whilst initially willing to sign a trade agreement in 1892 the King of Benin, Omo n’Oba (aka Ovonramwen Nogbaisi), later realised that the agreement was just a ruse to secure British rule and promptly banned the British from the territory. The British responded by launching what was known as the Benin Punitive Expedition, a full scale invasion of 1200 troops that started on 9th February 1897 ending shortly afterwards with the exile of the king and the dissolution of the kingdom bringing it under British rule. Following a plebiscite Northern Cameroons opted to join Nigeria on independence. 1st October 1960
Rwanda Germany 1899 Rwanda, together with Burundi, was one of the last countries to be reached by the Europeans in the nineteenth century. The Germans entered in 1897 claiming it for the Kaiser and treated Rwanda and Burundi as one colony bringing it formally under German East African administration in 1899. In 1916, after the First World War, Belgium occupied the territory and it was mandated to Belgium in 1923 as Ruanda-Urundi and then after the Second World War as a United Nations Trust Territory. It became independent in 1962 and separated from Burundi however it took a further two years for the unified government of  Ruanda-Urundi to split into two. Ist July 1962
Sao Tome and Principe Portugal 1493 Sao Tome and Principe are two volcanic islands and some smaller islets some 150 miles off the coast of Gabon and are believed to have first been discovered by Portuguese explorers around 1470. They were initially settled by 'undesirables' from Portugal under land grants however administered by the Portuguese Crown in 1522 and 1573 respectively. The islands gained their independence in 1975 following the Revolução dos Cravos in Portugal when the new regime committed to a policy of disposing of its often expensive overseas territories with the island of Principe, with a population of just 5000, being autonomous within that arrangement since 1995. 12th July 1975
Senegal France c. 1677 Once part of the Ghana Empire, modern day Senegal (then referred to as Upper Guinea) became a place of trade with European countries such as France infiltrating the Senegal mainland by the 1850s having previously owned the offshore island of Goree which has been used as a slave trading base. After an ongoing dispute for sovereignty with the British for decades, the Berlin Conference finally saw France establish hegemony in the area with the British being restricted to the banks along each side of the River Gambia. In 1895 Senegal became part of French West Africa comprised of Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger. In 1959 it merged with the Sudanese Republic (Mali) to form the Federation of Mali however this arrangement was short lived with the Sudanese Republic breaking away to form the Republic of Mali, and Senegal reverting to its former name and achieving independence the same year. 20th June 1960
Seychelles France 1756 The Seychelles were claimed by France in 1756 however came under British control during the Napoleonic Wars following the defeat of French Mauritius from where they were administered. In 1903 the islands became a separate crown colony and the Seychelles officially became the Republic of Seychelles following their full independence from the UK in 1976. 29th June 1976
Sierra Leone Great Britain 1800 The Portuguese made its first contact in Sierra Leone in 1462 and soon established trading posts and inevitably introduced slavery. By the seventeenth century Portuguese imperialism was on the wan and their presence there was largely supplanted by the British. By the 1800s Sierra Leone, whilst then a British colony and pretty much just Freetown itself, was much smaller than its present day area insofar as much of the land was still ruled by its indigenous people. Over the next decades British rule extended either by treaty, agreement or by other means until it exerted full control over the area, mainly in order to exclude the French. 27th April 1961
Somalia Great Britain
Somalia has a rich sea faring history and is home of the ancient kingdom of Punt. It first came to the attention of Europeans when the Portuguese discovered its coastal cities whilst developing trade routes to India although they failed to impose any sovereignty in the area. It came to real modern day prominence after the British established a coaling station at Aden in Yemen and required sources of food which were best found off the Somalia coast and inland. Around that time, in 1862, the French had started purchasing land in the area to support its coaling station at Obock after signing a deal with Afar leaders, and the Italians, under the auspices of the Rubattino Shipping Company, purchased land in modern day Eritrea from the local Sultan and established a base at Assab. 1st July 1960
South Africa Holland > 1647 The modern history of South Africa starts from the 1480s when Bartholomeu Dias, a Portuguese explorer, sailed around the Cape of South Africa, and even more so from 1497 when Vasco da Gama landed on the Natal Coast to the east of South Africa. The area proved to be of little interest to the Portuguese with ships floundering on the rocky coastline and attempts at trade with the Khoikhoi proving hostile. In 1647 a group of Dutch sailors lived in South Africa for a year after their ship was destroyed and created a settlement there under the auspices of the Dutch East India Company. Within ten years, 250 white settlers lived there and they had started to encroach on lands previously held by the Khoikhoi, leading to friction. By the end of the 18th century, Dutch trading power was beginning to wane and the British, concerned that the Cape would fall into French Napoleonic hands, seized the area from the Dutch in 1795, however it was returned to them eight years later before being captured and ceded to Britain in 1806 because of the newly formed alliance between the Dutch and Napoleon and this act was confirmed by the Treaty of Vienna in 1815. 31st May 1910
Sudan Great Britain
1821 > The history of colonialism in Sudan is particularly complicated not least because it entwines British and Egyptian history. 1st January 1956
Swaziland Great Britain 1902 Swaziland came under British control at the end of the Second Boer War after calls for assistance to stem Zulu raids and it was declared as a British protectorate in 1904 whilst its Paramount Chief, Sobhuza (1899-1982), was still an infant ruling under the regency of his grandmother Labotsibeni Mdluli until 22nd December 1921. From 1906 to 1968 it was administered by the British High Commissioner for Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland. During this period plans was drafted to incorporate Swaziland into South Africa, however events in South Africa, including its policy of racial discrimination, led to the British to prepare Swaziland for independence instead, which was granted on 6th September 1968. 6th September 1968
Tanzania Germany
Great Britain
See Text The country known as Tanzania was formed by a merger in 1964 of the former colonies of Tanganyika which gained independence in 1961 and the island of Zanzibar which gained its independence in 1963. Tanganyika had been part of the colony of German East Africa since 1885 which was divided between Britain and Belgium following Germany's defeat in World War I with Britain gaining Tanganyika as a mandate territory whilst Belgium gained Burundi and Rwanda. Offshore, the neighbouring island of Zanzibar had become a British protectorate in 1890. Zanzibar was subsumed into Tanzania following a bloody revolution shortly after independence and today remains a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania. Tanzania:
9th December 1961

10th December 1963

(Slave Coast)
Germany 1884 Modern day Togo was formally known as part of the Slave Coast and 'given' to Germany as part of the Berlin Conference. Germany signed a treaty in 1884 with King Mlapa III making much of the coastline a German protectorate and Germany's sphere of influence gradually extended inland encompassing the Volta region of Ghana. By 1905 the area was known as Togoland however was captured by French and British forces during World War I being divided into French Togoland and British Togoland in 1922 reflecting its post-war administration since 1916. In 1955 French Togoland became an autonomous republic within the French Union getting full independence in 1960 whilst in 1956 British Togoland opted to join the Gold Coast as part of the soon to be independent nation of Ghana. 27th April 1960
Tunisia France 1881

Formerly a semi autonomous part of the Ottoman Empire, Tunisia became a French Protectorate in 1881 following a period of near bankruptcy when the French were called in the administer the country to protect their and other European financial interests. Parts of the country were briefly occupied by German and Italian troops during WWII until they were forced out in 1943. Tunisia gained independence from France in 1956 and became the Kingdom of Tunisia.

20th Match 1956
Western Sahara Spain 1884 Western Sahara was ruled by Spain from 1884 following the Berlin Conference, being administered from 1934 as province of Spain and then from 1939 that administration was transferred to Spanish Morocco. When Morocco gained its own independence from Spain in 1956 it continued to view Western Sahara as a natural part of its kingdom, merely separated by the colonial powers. The matter remains in dispute to this day despite an International Court of Justice ruling in 1975 and that the Saharawis, the native and nomadic population of the Western Sahara, had a right to self determination. Unresolved
Uganda Great Britain 1894 Before independence from the UK in 1962, Uganda was not a country, rather a loose grouping of ethnic tribes with an equally large number of systems of governance. The largest such grouping was in Buganda, a sub kingdom within Uganda with its own monarch, the Kabaka. The British East Africa Company arrived in the 1888 whilst British attention was concentrated in South Africa, and, as such, was given liberty to develop the area. After the company started to fail the British government declared the territory as the British Protectorate of Uganda in 1894 providing it with more self-determination than neighbouring Kenya. The eastern section of the Uganda Protectorate was transferred to British East Africa in 1902 not least to secure the Uganda railway that linked the interiors of Uganda and Kenya with the Indian Ocean at Mombassa and by 1914 the area had taken the shape of its modern form that it retained until independence in 1962. 9th October 1962
Zambia Great Britain > 1898 Unlike many parts of Africa, modern day Zambia had little contact with Europeans until David Livingstone explored the area in 1851. At that time the area was dominated by the Kingdom of Barotseland in the upper Zambezi and the Kingdom of Mwata Kazembe on the Luapula river. Cecil Rhodes who had established the British South African Company later made treaties with local tribes in exchange for mineral rights, however no minerals were found in commercial quantities. By the end of the 19th Century modern day Zambia comprised North-Western Rhodesia (mainly the old Kingdom of Lozi which had been retaken from the Kololo in the 1860s) and North-Eastern Rhodesia. They were administered as separate territories until 1911 when they amalgamated to form Northern Rhodesia. By 1923 the British Government had not renewed the British South African Company's charter to work the area (having decided that 'company rule' was no longer appropriate) and it became a British crown protectorate and two years later a legislature was formed. In 1953 the British combined Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) with what is now Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia) and Malawi (Nyasaland) into a single federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. On 31st December 1963, the federation was dissolved, and Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia on 24 October 1964. 24th October 1964
Zimbabwe Great Britain 1888 The British arrived in modern day Zimbabwe in the 1880s under the auspices of the British South Africa Company, a company that merely saw the land and its people as a trading opportunity. After the British South Africa Company signed a treaty in 1888 with the indigenous Ndebele to mine gold in the kingdom, the British Government gave it a mandate in 1889 to colonise the area that was to become Southern Rhodesia however the rapid influx of European settlers led to conflict with the Ndebele in 1893. The Ndebele were defeated and the colonisation began in earnest. In 1922 the British South Africa Company mandate over the area was ended and, following a referendum, became a self-governing British colony in October 1923. In 1953 the British combined Southern Rhodesia with what is now Zambia and Malawi (Nyasaland) into a single federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. In 1964 the Nyasaland Protectorate gained independence as the Republic of Malawi, Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia the same year and in 1965 Southern Rhodesia declared itself independent as Rhodesia. Proclaimed 11th November 1965
Recognised 18th April 1980