List of African Countries and Their Colonial Masters


This Article was Reviewed by The Chief Editor, Godfrey

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Do you need a comprehensive list of African countries and their colonial masters? If yes, then this publication is meant for you.

The African continent is one of the world’s largest continents, with more than 50 countries.

All these countries except Ethiopia and Liberia were colonized and governed by the western rulers for years before civilization began to set in.

The story, however, changed in 1957 when Ghana took a bold step toward gaining freedom. This era marked the beginning of modern civilization in African countries.

Although it was a thug war, Ghana gained independence from the British and set a precedent for other black nations, which later followed suit.

Upon imperialism, most of these African countries were given their present names by their respective colonial masters. This remained so before the independence brouhaha.

Brief background check on the Berlin conference of 1884/1885

The Berlin conference in Germany gave birth to the European scramble and partition of West Africa in 1984.

The conference was organized by the then German Chancellor, Bismarck, who set up the parameters for the historic partition of African nations. 

The European countries were summoned to iron out the issues of free movement and navigation along the famous river Niger and river Congo.

Most importantly, on ways to settle new claims and governors of the African coasts.

In the end, all the major European powers signed Treaty, and “The Berlin Act” came into force. 

The Berlin Treaty set up the rules of engagement for the European occupation of the African territories. 

The story of the eventful Berlin Conference revolves around five major themes: the establishment of recognized European colonies, political authority consolidation, and more.

Also, the development of the European colonies via forced labor was resolved, the issue of West African Resistance was thrashed out, and the economic and cultural transformation of West Africa was also dealt with in the Treaty.

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It was enshrined in the Treaty that any European nation that claims any part of Africa will not be recognized unless and until it’s effectively occupied. 

By and large, the Berlin Conference ended up setting the stage for the historic European military invasion as well as the conquest of the African continent. 

The entire African continent was subjected to European colonial rule except for Ethiopia and Liberia.

The major colonial rulers with the most power during this time were Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, and Portugal.

While this article is all about the African countries and their colonial masters, it’s ideal to stop here about the Berlin conference so as not to bore you with too many details.


List of African countries and their colonial masters

Let’s look at the list of African countries and their respective colonial masters.

Country Independence Date Colonial master

  • Republic of Liberia, July 26, 1847, Never colonized
  • Republic of South Africa, May 31, 1910, Britain
  • The Arab Republic of Egypt, February 28, 1922, Britain
  • People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, May 5, 1941, Italy
  • Libya (Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) December 24, 1951, Britain
  • Democratic Republic of Sudan, January 1, 1956, Britain/Egypt
  • Kingdom of Morocco March 2, 1956, France
  • Republic of Tunisia, March 20, 1956, France
  • Morocco (Spanish Northern Zone, Marruecos) April 7, 1956, Spain
  • Morocco (International Zone, Tangiers) October 29, 1956 –
  • Republic of Ghana, March 6, 1957, Britain
  • Morocco (Spanish Southern Zone, Marruecos) April 27, 1958, Spain
  • The Republic of Guinea, October 2, 1958, France
  • The Republic of Cameroon, January 1, 1960, France
  • The Republic of Senegal, April 4, 1960, France
  • Republic of Togo, April 27, 1960, France
  • Republic of Mali, September 22, 1960, France
  • Democratic Republic of Madagascar, June 26, 1960, France
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa), June 30, 1960, Belgium
  • The Democratic Republic of Somalia, July 1, 1960, Britain
  • Republic of Benin, August 1, 1960, France
  • Republic of Niger, August 3, 1960, France
  • Popular Democratic Republic of Burkina Faso, August 5, 1960, France
  • Republic of (Ivory Coast) Côte d’Ivoire, Aug. 7, 1960 France
  • Republic of Chad, August 11, 1960, France
  • The central African Republic August 13, 1960, France
  • Republic of the (Brazzaville) Congo, August 15, 1960, France
  • Republic of Gabon, Aug. 16, 1960 France
  • The Federal Republic of Nigeria, October 1, 1960, Britain
  • Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Nov. 28, 1960 France
  • The Republic of Sierra Leone, April 27, 1961, Britain
  • Cameroon (British Cameroon South) October 1, 1961, Britain
  • Tanzania, United Republics of December 9, 1961, Britain
  • Republic of Burundi, July 1, 1962, Belgium
  • The Republic of Rwanda, July 1, 1962, Belgium
  • Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, July 3, 1962, France
  • Republic of Uganda, October 9, 1962, Britain
  • The Republic of Kenya, December 12, 1963, Britain
  • Republic of Malawi, July 6, 1964, Britain
  • Republic of Zambia, October 24, 1964, Britain
  • Republic of The Gambia, February 18, 1965, Britain
  • Republic of Botswana, September 30, 1966, Britain
  • Kingdom of Lesotho, October 4, 1966, Britain
  • The state of Mauritius, March 12, 1968, Britain
  • Kingdom of Swaziland, September 6, 1968, Britain
  • Republic of Equatorial Guinea, October 12, 1968, Spain
  • Morocco (Ifni) June 30, 1969, Spain
  • Republic of Guinea-Bissau, September 24, 1973 (alt. September 10, 1974) Portugal
  • Republic of Mozambique, June 25. 1975 Portugal
  • Republic of Cape Verde, July 5, 1975, Portugal
  • The Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros, July 6, 1975, France
  • Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, July 12, 1975 Portugal
  • People’s Republic of Angola, November 11, 1975, Portugal
  • Western Sahara February 28, 1976, Spain
  • Republic of Seychelles, June 29, 1976, Britain
  • Republic of Djibouti, June 27, 1977, France
  • The Republic of Zimbabwe, April 18, 1980, Britain
  • The Republic of Namibia, March 21, 1990, South Africa
  • The state of Eritrea, May 24, 1993, Ethiopia.
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The above table shows all the African countries, their independence date with their respective colonial masters.

From the preceding, it’s evident that all the African countries are colonized by the European powers except Ethiopia and Liberia.

So if you have any question regarding this comprehensive list of African countries and their colonial masters, don’t hesitate to use the comment section.

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About the Chief Editor

Godfrey Ogbo, the Chief Editor and CEO of AtlanticRide, merges his environmental management expertise with extensive business experience, including in real estate. With a master's degree and a knack for engaging writing, he adeptly covers complex growth and business topics. His analytical approach and business insights enrich the blog, making it a go-to source for readers seeking thoughtful and informed content.

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