This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: Lead is a sea of blue. Please help improve this article if you can. (May 2024) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
Contemporary political map of Africa (Includes Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa)
Map showing the states, people, and material cultures of the African continent c. 1800 BC, but missing the Kintampo civilisation and Tichitt culture in West Africa.
Obelisk at temple of Luxor, Egypt. c. 1200 BC
Ethiopian king Menelik II at the Battle of Adwa in 1896

The history of Africa begins with the emergence of hominids, archaic humans and — around 300,000–250,000 years ago — anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens), in East Africa, and continues unbroken into the present as a patchwork of diverse and politically developing nation states.[1] The earliest known recorded history arose in Ancient Egypt,[2] and later in Nubia, the Horn of Africa, the Maghreb, and the western Sahel.[3]

Following the desertification of the Sahara, North African history became entwined with the Middle East and Southern Europe while the Bantu expansion swept from modern day Cameroon (Central West Africa) across much of the sub-Saharan continent in waves between around 1000 BC and 1 AD, creating a linguistic commonality across much of the central and Southern continent.[4]

From the 7th century AD, Islam spread west from Arabia via conquest, intent on forcibly converting pagans to monotheism, and via proselytization, mainly by Fakirs, to North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and later southwards to the Swahili coast, then from the Maghreb traversing the Sahara into West Africa, catalysed by the Fulani Jihad.

Some notable kingdoms and empires in Africa include the Ajuran Empire, Kitara/Bachwezi Empire, Ancient Egyptian empires, Mali Empire, Gao Empire, Bamana/Segou Empire, Songhai Empire, Benin Empire, Oyo Empire, Sokoto Caliphate, Kingdom of Lunda, Luba Empire, Kanem-Bornu Empire, Almoravid dynasty, Ashanti Empire, Ghana Empire, Mutapa Empire, Kingdom of Zimbabwe, Maravi Empire, Rozwi Empire, Kingdom of Kongo, Mthethwa Empire, Jolof Empire, Kingdom of Kush, Ife Empire, D'mt, Adal Sultanate, Ethiopian Empire, Ayyubid dynasty, Kingdom of Makuria, Merina Kingdom, Dagbon Kingdom, Warsangali Sultanate, Buganda Kingdom, Kingdom of Rwanda, Kingdom of Burundi, Busoga, Kingdom of Nri, Bonoman Kingdom, Mossi Kingdoms, Kingdom of Mapungubwe, Kingdom of Sine, Sultanate of Sennar/Funj, Oukwanyama, Zulu Kingdom, Empire of Kaabu, Ancient Carthage, Numidia, Mauretania, Almohad Caliphate, Mamluk Sultanate, Fatimid Caliphate, Darfur Sultanate, Kilwa Sultanate and the Aksumite Empire.

Some societies maintained an egalitarian way of life without hierarchy, such as the Jola or Hadza peoples, whilst others did not organise and centralise further into complex societies, such as the Boorana and the chiefdoms of Sierra Leone, and are rarely discussed in political history. At its peak, prior to European colonialism, it is estimated that Africa had up to 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs, with most following African traditional religions.[5][6]

Slavery in Africa has historically been widespread and systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of Africa in ancient times, as they were in much of the ancient world.[7] When the trans-Saharan, Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Atlantic slave trades began, many of the pre-existing local African slave systems started supplying captives for slave markets outside Africa.[8][9] The Atlantic slave trade was the most exploited of these, and between 1450 and 1900 transported upwards of 12 million enslaved people overseas in terrible conditions with many dying on the journey.[10][11]: 194 

From 1870 to 1914, driven by the Second Industrial Revolution and its rapacity, European colonization of Africa developed rapidly from around 10% of the continent being under European imperial control to over 90% in the Scramble for Africa (1881–1914).[12][13] European rule had significant impacts on Africa's societies and the suppression of communal autonomy disrupted local customary practices and caused the transformation of Africa's socioeconomic systems.[14] Whilst there were some Christian states in Africa preceding the colonial period, such as Ethiopia and Kongo, widespread conversion occurred under European rule due to efficacious missions, particularly in southern West Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa, with peoples syncretising Christianity with local beliefs.[15]

Following struggles for independence in many parts of the continent, with a weakened Europe after the Second World War (1939–1945), waves of decolonisation took place across the continent, culminating in the 1960 Year of Africa and the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963, the predecessor to the African Union.[16]

In Sub-Saharan African societies, history generally used to be recorded orally despite most societies having developed a writing script, leading to them being termed "oral civilisations" in contrast to "literate civilisations".[17] Disciplines such as recording of oral tradition, historical linguistics, archaeology, and genetics have been vital in rediscovering the great African civilizations of antiquity, as well as documenting those of later periods.


Main article: Prehistoric Africa

Further information: Prehistoric North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa § Prehistory, Prehistoric West Africa, Prehistoric Central Africa, Prehistoric East Africa, Horn of Africa § Prehistory, Prehistoric Southern Africa, and African archaeology

Reconstruction of "Lucy"

The first known hominids evolved in Africa. According to paleontology, the early hominids' skull anatomy was similar to that of the gorilla and the chimpanzee, great apes that also evolved in Africa, but the hominids had adopted a bipedal locomotion which freed their hands. This gave them a crucial advantage, enabling them to live in both forested areas and on the open savanna at a time when Africa was drying up and the savanna was encroaching on forested areas. This would have occurred 10 to 5 million years ago, but these claims are controversial because biologists and genetics have humans appearing around the last 70 thousand to 200 thousand years.[18]

The fossil record shows Homo sapiens (also known as "modern humans" or "anatomically modern humans") living in Africa by about 350,000–260,000 years ago. The earliest known Homo sapiens fossils include the Jebel Irhoud remains from Morocco (c. 315,000 years ago),[19] the Florisbad Skull from South Africa (c. 259,000 years ago), and the Omo remains from Ethiopia (c. 233,000 years ago).[20][21][22][23][24] Scientists have suggested that Homo sapiens may have arisen between 350,000 and 260,000 years ago through a merging of populations in East Africa and South Africa.[25][26]

Evidence of a variety of behaviors indicative of Behavioral modernity date to the African Middle Stone Age, associated with early Homo sapiens and their emergence. Abstract imagery, widened subsistence strategies, and other "modern" behaviors have been discovered from that period in Africa, especially South, North, and East Africa.

The Blombos Cave site in South Africa, for example, is famous for rectangular slabs of ochre engraved with geometric designs. Using multiple dating techniques, the site was confirmed to be around 77,000 and 100–75,000 years old.[27][28] Ostrich egg shell containers engraved with geometric designs dating to 60,000 years ago were found at Diepkloof, South Africa.[29] Beads and other personal ornamentation have been found from Morocco which might be as much as 130,000 years old; as well, the Cave of Hearths in South Africa has yielded a number of beads dating from significantly prior to 50,000 years ago,[30] and shell beads dating to about 75,000 years ago have been found at Blombos Cave, South Africa.[31][32][33]

Around 65–50,000 years ago, the species' expansion out of Africa launched the colonization of the planet by modern human beings.[34][35][36][37] By 10,000 BC, Homo sapiens had spread to most corners of Afro-Eurasia. Their dispersals are traced by linguistic, cultural and genetic evidence.[38][39][40] Eurasian back-migrations, specifically West-Eurasian backflow, started in the early Holocene or already earlier in the Paleolithic period, sometimes between 30 and 15,000 years ago, followed by pre-Neolithic and Neolithic migration waves from the Middle East, mostly affecting Northern Africa, the Horn of Africa, and wider regions of the Sahel zone and East Africa.[41]

Pre-Neolithic and Neolithic migration events in Africa.[41]

Affad 23 is an archaeological site located in the Affad region of southern Dongola Reach in northern Sudan,[42] which hosts "the well-preserved remains of prehistoric camps (relics of the oldest open-air hut in the world) and diverse hunting and gathering loci some 50,000 years old".[43][44][45]

Vegetation and water bodies in early Holocene (top), between about 12,000 and 7,000 years ago, and Eemian (bottom)

Around 16,000 BC, from the Red Sea Hills to the northern Ethiopian Highlands, nuts, grasses and tubers were being collected for food. By 13,000 to 11,000 BC, people began collecting wild grains. This spread to Western Asia, which domesticated its wild grains, wheat and barley. Between 10,000 and 8000 BC, Northeast Africa was cultivating wheat and barley and raising sheep and cattle from Southwest Asia.

A wet climatic phase in Africa turned the Ethiopian Highlands into a mountain forest. Omotic speakers domesticated enset around 6500–5500 BC. Around 7000 BC, the settlers of the Ethiopian highlands domesticated donkeys, and by 4000 BC domesticated donkeys had spread to Southwest Asia. Cushitic speakers, partially turning away from cattle herding, domesticated teff and finger millet between 5500 and 3500 BC.[46]

During the 11th millennium BP, pottery was independently invented in Africa, with the earliest pottery there dating to about 9,400 BC from central Mali.[47] It soon spread throughout the southern Sahara and Sahel.[48] In the steppes and savannahs of the Sahara and Sahel in Northern West Africa, the Nilo-Saharan speakers and Mandé peoples started to collect and domesticate wild millet, African rice and sorghum between 8000 and 6000 BC. Later, gourds, watermelons, castor beans, and cotton were also collected and domesticated. The people started capturing wild cattle and holding them in circular thorn hedges, resulting in domestication.[49]

They also started making pottery and built stone settlements (e.g., Tichitt, Oualata). Fishing, using bone-tipped harpoons, became a major activity in the numerous streams and lakes formed from the increased rains.[50] Mande peoples have been credited with the independent development of agriculture about 4000–3000 BC.[51]

9th-century bronze staff head in form of a coiled snake, Igbo-Ukwu, Nigeria

Evidence of the early smelting of metals – lead, copper, and bronze – dates from the fourth millennium BC.[52]

Egyptians smelted copper during the predynastic period, and bronze came into use after 3,000 BC at the latest[53] in Egypt and Nubia. Nubia became a major source of copper as well as of gold.[54] The use of gold and silver in Egypt dates back to the predynastic period.[55][56]

In the Aïr Mountains of present-day Niger people smelted copper independently of developments in the Nile valley between 3,000 and 2,500 BC. They used a process unique to the region, suggesting that the technology was not brought in from outside; it became more mature by about 1,500 BC.[56]

By the 1st millennium BC iron working had reached Northwestern Africa, Egypt, and Nubia.[57] Zangato and Holl document evidence of iron-smelting in the Central African Republic and Cameroon that may date back to 3,000 to 2,500 BC.[58] Assyrians using iron weapons pushed Nubians out of Egypt in 670 BC, after which the use of iron became widespread in the Nile valley.[59]

The theory that iron spread to Sub-Saharan Africa via the Nubian city of Meroe[60] is no longer widely accepted, and some researchers believe that sub-Saharan Africans invented iron metallurgy independently. Metalworking in West Africa has been dated as early as 2,500 BC at Egaro west of the Termit in Niger, and iron working was practiced there by 1,500 BC.[61] Iron smelting has been dated to 2,000 BC in southeast Nigeria.[62] Central Africa provides possible evidence of iron working as early as the 3rd millennium BC.[63] Iron smelting developed in the area between Lake Chad and the African Great Lakes between 1,000 and 600 BC, and in West Africa around 2,000 BC, long before the technology reached Egypt. Before 500 BC, the Nok culture in the Jos Plateau was already smelting iron.[64][65][66][67][68][69] Archaeological sites containing iron-smelting furnaces and slag have been excavated at sites in the Nsukka region of southeast Nigeria in Igboland: dating to 2,000 BC at the site of Lejja (Eze-Uzomaka 2009)[62][70] and to 750 BC and at the site of Opi (Holl 2009).[70] The site of Gbabiri (in the Central African Republic) has also yielded evidence of iron metallurgy, from a reduction furnace and blacksmith workshop; with earliest dates of 896–773 BC and 907–796 BC respectively.[69]

Antiquity (3600 BC – 500 AD)

Main article: Ancient Africa

Further information: History of North Africa § Classical period, History of West Africa § Iron Age, History of Central Africa § Ancient history, History of East Africa § Ancient history, and History of Southern Africa § Ancient history

North-East Africa and the Horn of Africa

North-East Africa

Map of ancient Egypt, showing major cities and sites of the Dynastic period (c. 3150 BC to 30 BC)

The ancient history of North Africa is inextricably linked to that of the Ancient Near East and Europe. This is particularly true of the various cultures and dynasties of Ancient Egypt and of Nubia. From around 3500 BC, a coalition of Horus-worshipping nomes in the western Nile Delta conquered the Andjety-worshipping nomes of the east to form Lower Egypt, whilst Set-worshipping nomes in the south coalesced to form Upper Egypt.[71]: 62–63  Egypt was first united when Narmer of Upper Egypt conquered Lower Egypt, giving rise to the first and second dynasties of Egypt who's efforts presumably consisted of conquest and consolidation, with unification completed by the third dynasty to form the Old Kingdom of Egypt in 2686 BC[72]: 63  The Kingdom of Kerma emerged around this time to become the dominant force in Nubia, controlling an area as large as Egypt between the 1st and 4th cataracts of the Nile, with Egyptian records speaking of its rich and populous agricultural regions.[73][74] The height of the Old Kingdom came under the fourth dynasty who constructed numerous great pyramids, however under the sixth dynasty of Egypt power began to decentralise to the nomarchs, culminating in anarchy exacerbated by drought and famine in 2200 BC, and the onset of the First Intermediate Period in which numerous nomarchs ruled simultaneously. Throughout this time, power bases were built and destroyed in Memphis, and in Heracleopolis, when Mentuhotep II of the eleventh dynasty conquered all of Egypt to form the Middle Kingdom in 2055 BC. The twelfth dynasty oversaw advancements in irrigation and economic expansion in the Faiyum Oasis, as well as the conquest of Lower Nubia from Kerma, until Egypt fractured in two in 1700 BC, ushering in the Second Intermediate Period.[75]: 68–71 

The Hyksos, a militaristic people from Palestine, capitalised on this fragmentation and conquered Lower Egypt, establishing the fifteenth dynasty of Egypt, whilst Kerma coordinated invasions deep into Egypt to reach its greatest extent, looting royal statues and monuments.[76] A rival power base developed in Thebes with Ahmose I of the eighteenth dynasty eventually expelling the Hyksos from Egypt, forming the New Kingdom in 1550 BC. Utilising the advanced military technology the Hyksos brought, they conducted numerous campaigns to conquer the Levant from the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, and Mitanni, and extinguish Kerma, incorporating Nubia into the empire, sending the Egyptian empire into its golden age.[77]: 73  Internal struggles, drought and famine, and invasions by a confederation of seafaring peoples contributed to the New Kingdom's collapse in 1069 BC, ushering in the Third Intermediate Period which saw Egypt fractured into many pieces and widespread turmoil.[78]: 76–77  Egypt's disintegration liberated the more Egyptianized Kingdom of Kush in Nubia, and later in the 8th century BC the Kushite king Kashta would expand his power and influence by manoeuvring his daughter into a position of power in Upper Egypt, paving the way for his successor Piye to conquer Lower Egypt and form the Kushite Empire. The Kushites assimilated further into Egyptian society by reaffirming Ancient Egyptian religious traditions, temples, and artistic forms, while introducing some unique aspects of Kushite culture. After a century of rule they were forcibly driven out of Egypt by the Assyrians as reprisal for the Kushites agitating peoples within the Assyrian Empire in an attempt to gain a foothold in the region.[79] The Assyrians installed a puppet dynasty which later gained independence and once more unified Egypt, with Upper Egypt becoming a rich agricultural region whose produce Lower Egypt then sold.[80]: 77 

In 525 BC Egypt was conquered by the expansive Achaemenids, however later regained independence in 404 BC until 343 BC when it was re-annexed by the Achaemenid Empire. Persian rule in Egypt ended with the defeat of the Achaemenid Empire by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, marking the beginning of Hellenistic rule by the Macedonian Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. The Hellenistic rulers, seeking legitimacy from their Egyptian subjects, gradually Egyptianized and participated in Egyptian religious life.[81]: 119  Following the Syrian Wars with the Seleucid Empire, the Ptolemaic Kingdom expanded its territory by conquering Cyrenaica and the Sinai from their respective tribes, and subjugated Kush. Beginning in the mid second century BC, dynastic strife and a series of foreign wars weakened the kingdom, and it became increasingly reliant on the Roman Republic. Under Cleopatra VII, who sought to restore Ptolemaic power, Egypt became entangled in a Roman civil war, which ultimately led to its conquest by Rome in 30 BC. The Crisis of the Third Century in the Roman Empire freed the Levantine city state of Palmyra who conquered Egypt, however their rule lasted only a few years before Egypt was reintegrated into the Roman Empire. In the midst of this, Kush regained total independence from Egypt, and they would persist as a major regional power until, having been weakened from internal rebellion amid worsening climatic conditions, invasions by both the Noba and the Aksumites caused their disintegration into Makuria, Alodia, and Nobatia in the 5th century AD, whilst the Romans managed to hold on to Egypt for the rest of the ancient period.

Horn of Africa

The Kingdom of Aksum in the 6th century AD.

In the Horn of Africa there was the Land of Punt, a kingdom on the Red Sea, likely located in modern-day Eritrea or western Somaliland.[82] The Ancient Egyptians initially traded via middle-men with Punt until in 2350 BC when they established direct relations. They would become close trading partners for over a millennium, with Punt exchanging gold, aromatic resins, blackwood, ebony, ivory and wild animals. Towards the end of the ancient period, northern Ethiopia and Eritrea bore the Kingdom of D'mt beginning in 980 BC, who developed irrigation schemes, used ploughs, grew millet, and made iron tools and weapons. In modern-day Somalia and Djibouti there was the Macrobian Kingdom, who's people practised an elaborate form of embalming which involved decorating the skin in vivid colours in order to imitate the deceased as realistically as possible and keeping the deceased in their homes for a year.[83] After D'mt's fall in the 5th century BC the Ethiopian Plateau came to be ruled by numerous smaller unknown kingdoms who experienced strong south Arabian influence, until the growth and expansion of Aksum in the 1st century BC.[84] Along the Horn's coast there were many ancient Somali city states which thrived off of the wider Red Sea trade and transported their cargo via beden, exporting myrrh, frankincense, spices, gum, incense, and ivory, with Mosylon handling the bulk of cinnamon from ancient India.

The Kingdom of Aksum grew from a principality into a major power on the trade route between Rome and India through conquering its unknown neighbours, gaining a monopoly on Indian Ocean trade in the region. Aksum's rise had them rule over much of the regions from the Lake Tana to the valley of the Nile, and they further conquered parts of the ailing Kingdom of Kush and led campaigns against the Noba and Beja peoples, and expanded into South Arabia.[85][86][87] This led to the Persian prophet Mani considering Aksum as one of the four great powers of the 3rd century alongside Persia, Rome, and China.[88] In the 4th century AD Aksum's king converted to Christianity and Aksum's population, who had followed syncretic mixes of local beliefs, slowly followed. In the early 6th century AD, Cosmas Indicopleustes later described his visit to the city of Aksum, mentioning rows of throne monuments, some made out of "excellent white marble" and "entirely...hewn out of a single block of stone", with large inscriptions attributed to various kings, likely serving as victory monuments documenting the wars waged. The end of the 5th century saw Aksum allied with the Byzantine Empire, who viewed themselves as defenders of Christendom, to balance against the Sassanid Empire who ruled Persia and eastern Arabia.

North-West Africa

Carthaginian Empire in 323 BC

Further north-west, the Maghreb and Ifriqiya were mostly cut off from the cradle of civilisation in Egypt by the Libyan desert, exacerbated by the Egyptian boats being tailored to the Nile and not coping well in the open Mediterranean Sea. This caused its societies to develop contiguous to those of Southern Europe, until Phoenician settlements came to dominate the most lucrative trading locations in the Gulf of Tunis, initially searching for sources of metal,[89]: 247  and subsequently grew into Ancient Carthage after gaining independence from Phoenicia in the 6th century BC. They would build an extensive empire, countering Greek influence in the Mediterranean, as well as a strict mercantile network reaching as far as west Asia and northern Europe, distributing an array of commodities from all over the ancient world along with locally produced goods, secured by one of the largest and most powerful navies in the ancient Mediterranean. Carthage's political institutions received rare praise from both Greeks and Romans, with its constitution and aristocratic council providing stability, although criticism focused on how birth and wealth were paramount for election.[90]: 251–253  In 264 BC the First Punic War began when Carthage came into conflict with the expansionary Roman Republic on the island of Sicily, leading to what has been described as the greatest naval war of antiquity, causing heavy casualties on both sides, but ending in Carthage's eventual defeat and loss of Sicily.[91]: 255=256  The Second Punic War broke out when the Romans opportunistically took Sardinia and Corsica whilst the Carthaginians where putting down a ferocious Libyan revolt, with Carthage initially experiencing considerable success following Hannibal's infamous crossing of the alps into northern Italy. In a 14 year long campaign Hannibal’s forces conquered much of mainland Italy, only being recalled after the Romans conducted a bold naval invasion of the Carthaginian homeland and then defeated him in climactic battle in 202 BC.[92]: 256–257 

Romanised-Berber kingdoms: Altava, Ouarsenis, Hodna, Aures, Nemencha, Capsus, Dorsale, Cabaon.

Carthage was forced to give up their fleet, and the subsequent collapse of their empire would produce two further polities in the Maghreb; Numidia, a polity made up of two Numidian tribal federations which further centralised following the Massylii conquest of the Masaesyli, which assisted the Romans in the Second Punic War; and Mauretania, a Mauri tribal kingdom, home of the legendary King Atlas; various tribes such as Garamantes, Musulamii, and Bavares. The Third Punic War would result in Carthage's total defeat in 146 BC and the Romans established the province of Africa, with Numidia assuming control of many of Carthage's African ports. Towards the end of the 2nd century BC Mauretania fought alongside Numidia's Jugurtha in the Jugurthine War against the Romans after he had usurped the Numidian throne from a Roman ally. Together they inflicted heavy casualties that quaked the Roman Senate, with the war only ending inconclusively when Mauretania's Bocchus I sold out the Jugurtha to the Romans.[93]: 258  At the turn of the millennium they would both would face the same fate as Carthage and be conquered by the Romans who established Mauretania and Numidia as provinces of their empire, whilst Musulamii, led by Tacfarinas, and Garamantes were eventually defeated in war however weren't conquered.[94]: 261–262  In the 5th century AD the Vandals conquered north Africa precipitating the fall of Rome. Swathes of indigenous peoples would regain self-governance in the Mauro-Roman Kingdom and its numerous successor polities in the Maghreb, namely the kingdoms of Ouarsenis, Aurès, and Altava. The Vandals ruled Ifriqiya for a century until Byzantine reconquest in the early 6th century AD. The Byzantines and the Berber kingdoms fought minor inconsequential conflicts, such as in the case of Garmul.[95]: 284  Further inland to the Byzantine Exarchate of Africa were the Sanhaja in modern-day Algeria, a grouping of three smaller groupings of tribal confederations, one of which is the Masmuda grouping in modern-day Morocco, along with the nomadic Zenata. Their composite tribes would later go onto shape much of North African history.

West Africa

Terracotta sculpture, 13th c.; the raised marks and indentations on the back of this hunched Djenné figure may represent disease or, more likely, scarification patterns. The facial expression and pose could depict an individual in mourning or in pain

In the western Sahel the rise of settled communities occurred largely as a result of the domestication of millet and of sorghum. Archaeology points to sizable urban populations in West Africa beginning in the 3rd millennium BC, which had developed iron metallurgy by 1200 BC, in both smelting and forging for tools and weapons.[96] Prior to the accession of trans-Saharan trade routes, symbiotic trade relations developed in response to the opportunities afforded by north–south diversity in ecosystems across deserts, grasslands, and forests,[97] trading meats, copper, iron, salt, and gold. Various civilisations prospered in this period, such as the Tichitt culture from 4000 BC, the oldest known complexly organised society in West Africa with a four tiered hierarchical social structure;[98] the Serer civilisation in modern-day Senegal who's people constructed monumental monolith circles; the Nok culture in modern-day Nigeria who's people developed art in the form of terracotta sculptures presumably through large-scale economic production from 900 BC, with some sculptures depicting figures wielding slingshots and bows and arrows;[68] the Kintampo culture in modern-day Ghana with finds suggesting the people had formed a complex society and were skilled with Later Stone Age technologies from 2500 BC;[99] the shadowy Bura culture in modern-day Niger and Burkina Faso; and Djenné-Djenno, an egalitarian civilisation in modern-day Mali who's people also produced expressive terracotta sculptures. There is also record of Igodomigodo, a small kingdom founded in 40 BC which would later go on to form the Benin Empire.

Towards the end of the ancient period, there rose the Kingdom of Wagadu, the predecessor to the illustrious Ghana Empire, which grew wealthy through the newfound viability of trans-Saharan trade routes linking their capital and Aoudaghost with Tahert and Sijilmasa in North Africa, following the introduction of the camel to the western Sahel in the 3rd century AD. Wagadu's core traversed modern-day southern Mauritania and western Mali, and they made their profits from exporting gold and textiles among other goods, allowing for major urban centres to develop.[100] It has been stipulated that relative to Wagadu there were many more simultaneous and preceding kingdoms, based on large tumuli scattered across West Africa dating to this period, which have unfortunately been lost to time.[101][102]

Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa

1 = 2000–1500 BC origin
2 = c. 1500 BC first dispersal
     2.a = Eastern Bantu,   2.b = Western Bantu
3 = 1000–500 BC Urewe nucleus of Eastern Bantu
47 = southward advance
9 = 500–1 BC Congo nucleus
10 = AD 1–1000 last phase[103][104][105]

In Central Africa the Sao Civilisation flourished for over a millennium beginning in the 6th century BC. The Sao lived by the Chari River south of Lake Chad in territory that later became part of present-day Cameroon and Chad. They are the earliest people to have left clear traces of their presence in the territory of northern Cameroon. Today several peoples, particularly the Sara, claim to have descended from the Sao. Sao artifacts show that they were skilled workers in bronze, copper, and iron,[106] with finds including bronze sculptures, terracotta statues of human and animal figures, coins, funerary urns, household utensils, jewelry, highly decorated pottery, and spears.[107] Nearby, around Lake Ejagham in south-west Cameroon, the Ekoi Civilisation rose circa 2nd century AD, and are most notable for constructing the Ikom monoliths.

The Bantu expansion constituted a major series of migrations of Bantu peoples from central Africa to eastern and southern Africa and was substantial in the settling of the continent.[108] Commencing in the 2nd millenium BC, the Bantu began to migrate from Cameroon eastward to the Great Lakes region, giving rise to the Urewe culture, which would lay the foundations for the later Empire of Kitara.[109][110] They then spread further from the Great Lakes to southern and east Africa over the 1st millennium BC. One early movement headed south to the upper Zambezi valley in the 2nd century BC. The Bantu then pushed westward to the savannahs of present-day Angola and eastward into Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in the 1st century AD. The second thrust from the Great Lakes was eastward, around the same time, expanding to Kenya, Tanzania, and the Swahili coast.

Prior to this migration, the northern part of the Swahili coast was home to the elusive Azania, most likely a Southern Cushitic polity.[111] The Bantu populations crowded out Azania, with Rhapta being its last stronghold by the 1st century AD,[112] and formed various city states constituting the decentralised Zanj Empire. Zanj's entrepôts thrived off of trade in the Red Sea, profiting mostly from the trade of ivory, with the lack of deep sea dhows uncovered from this period indicating that they didn't trade directly with India.[113] In Madagascar during this period there is little evidence for continuous human settlement, with the earliest unambiguous evidence dating to 490 AD.[114] The eastern Bantu group would eventually meet with the southern migrants from the Great Lakes in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and both groups continued southward, with eastern groups continuing to Mozambique and reaching Maputo in the 2nd century AD. In Southern Africa, settlements of Bantu peoples who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen were well established south of the Limpopo River by the 4th century AD, displacing and absorbing the original Khoisan. To their west in the Tsodilo hills of Botswana there were the San, a semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer people who are thought to have descended from the first inhabitants of Southern Africa 100,000 years BP, making them one of the oldest cultures on Earth.[115]

Post-classical period (500–1500)

Main article: Medieval and early modern Africa

Further information: History of North Africa § Arrival of Islam, History of West Africa § Sahelian kingdoms, History of Central Africa § Post-classical history, History of East Africa § Post-classical history, and History of Southern Africa § Post-classical history

Disclaimer: this section is in the process of being written

North Africa

Northern Africa


East Africa

Horn of Africa

Swahili coast, Madagascar, and the Comoro Islands

African Great Lakes

West Africa

Central Africa

The central Sahel

The Congo basin

Southern Africa

Early and late modern period (1500–1878)

Main article: Medieval and early modern Africa

Further information: History of West Africa § Sahelian kingdoms, History of Central Africa § Post-classical history, History of East Africa § Post-classical history, and History of Southern Africa § Post-classical history

Disclaimer: this section is in the process of being rewritten and is a poor representation of African history in its current state

Early colonialism

The Menceyatos Confederation on Tenerife is notable for being the first African state to be subjected to modern European colonialism with the Spanish conquest of the Canary Islands in the 15th century. This caused the genocide of the native Berber population, and was used as a blueprint for the colonisation of the Americas.[need quotation to verify] Prior to the scaling of European colonialism in the 19th century, the Portuguese were the only imperial power to gain much more than a foothold in Africa beginning in the 16th century with the establishment of Portuguese Angola and the unsuccessful Kongo-Portuguese wars, along with Portuguese Mozambique and the Portuguese conflict with Kilwa, which the Portuguese conquered after efficacious diplomatic efforts to dismantle its administration.[need quotation to verify]

Colonial period (1878–1951)

Main article: Colonial Africa

Further information: History of West Africa § Slave trade, History of Central Africa § Slave trade, History of East Africa § Slave trade, History of Southern Africa § Slave trade, History of North Africa § European colonial period, History of West Africa § Colonial period, History of Central Africa § Colonial period, History of East Africa § Colonial period, and History of Southern Africa § Colonial period


Between 1878 and 1898, European states partitioned and conquered most of Africa. For 400 years, European nations had mainly limited their involvement to trading stations on the African coast, with few daring to venture inland. The Industrial Revolution in Europe produced several technological innovations which assisted them in overcoming this 400-year pattern. One was the development of repeating rifles, which were easier and quicker to load than muskets. Artillery was being used increasingly. In 1885, Hiram S. Maxim developed the maxim gun, the model of the modern-day machine gun. European states kept these weapons largely among themselves by refusing to sell these weapons to African leaders.[116]

African germs took numerous European lives and deterred permanent settlements. Diseases such as yellow fever, sleeping sickness, yaws, and leprosy made Africa a very inhospitable place for Europeans. The deadliest disease was malaria, endemic throughout Tropical Africa. In 1854, the discovery of quinine and other medical innovations helped to make conquest and colonization in Africa possible.[117]

There were strong motives for conquest of Africa. Raw materials were needed for European factories. Prestige and imperial rivalries were at play. Acquiring African colonies would show rivals that a nation was powerful and significant. These contextual factors forged the Scramble for Africa.[118]

In the 1880s the European powers had divided up almost all of Africa (only Ethiopia and Liberia were independent). The Europeans were heavily inspired by eugenics and Social Darwinism, and some attempted to justify this by branding it civilising missions. Imperialism ruled until after World War II when forces of African nationalism grew much stronger. In the 1950s and 1960s the colonial holdings became independent states. The process was usually peaceful but there were several long bitter bloody civil wars, as in Algeria,[119] Kenya,[120] and elsewhere. Across Africa the powerful new force of nationalism drew upon the advanced militaristic skills that natives learned during the world wars serving in the British, French and other armies. It led to organizations that were not controlled by or endorsed by either the colonial powers nor the traditional local power structures that had collaborated with the colonial powers. Nationalistic organizations began to challenge both the traditional and the new colonial structures, and finally displaced them. Leaders of nationalist movements took control when the European authorities exited; many ruled for decades or until they died off. These structures included political, educational, religious, and other social organizations. In recent decades, many African countries have undergone the triumph and defeat of nationalistic fervor, changing in the process the loci of the centralizing state power and patrimonial state.[121][122][123]

Areas controlled by European powers in 1939. British (red) and Belgian (marroon) colonies fought with the Allies. Italian (light green) with the Axis. French colonies (dark blue) fought alongside the Allies until the Fall of France in June 1940. Vichy was in control until the Free French prevailed in late 1942. Portuguese (dark green) and Spanish (yellow) colonies remained neutral.

Postcolonial period (1951 – present)

Main article: Postcolonial Africa

Further information: History of North Africa § Post-colonial period, History of West Africa § Post-colonial period, History of Central Africa § Post-colonial period, History of East Africa § Post-colonial period, and History of Southern Africa § Post-colonial period

See also: Decolonisation of Africa, Neocolonialism, CFA franc, Status of forces agreement, and Historical African place names

Dates of independence of African countries

The wave of decolonization of Africa started with Libya in 1951, although Liberia, South Africa, Egypt and Ethiopia were already independent. Many countries followed in the 1950s and 1960s, with a peak in 1960 with the Year of Africa, which saw 17 African nations declare independence, including a large part of French West Africa. Most of the remaining countries gained independence throughout the 1960s, although some colonizers (Portugal in particular) were reluctant to relinquish sovereignty, resulting in bitter wars of independence which lasted for a decade or more. The last African countries to gain formal independence were Guinea-Bissau (1974), Mozambique (1975) and Angola (1975) from Portugal; Djibouti from France in 1977; Zimbabwe from the United Kingdom in 1980; and Namibia from South Africa in 1990. Eritrea later split off from Ethiopia in 1993.[124] The nascent countries decided to keep their colonial borders in the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) conference of 1964 due to fears of civil wars and regional instability, and placed emphasis on Pan-Africanism, with the OAU later developing into the African Union.[125]


Main article: African historiography

See also: List of kingdoms in Africa throughout history § History periods and sources

Historiography of British Africa

The first historical studies in English appeared in the 1890s, and followed one of four approaches. 1) The territorial narrative was typically written by a veteran soldier or civil servant who gave heavy emphasis to what he had seen. 2) The "apologia" were essays designed to justify British policies. 3) Popularizers tried to reach a large audience. 4) Compendia appeared designed to combine academic and official credentials. Professional scholarship appeared around 1900, and began with the study of business operations, typically using government documents and unpublished archives.[126]

The economic approach was widely practiced in the 1930s, primarily to provide descriptions of the changes underway in the previous half-century. In 1935, American historian William L. Langer published The Diplomacy of Imperialism: 1890–1902, a book that is still widely cited. In 1939, Oxford professor Reginald Coupland published The Exploitation of East Africa, 1856–1890: The Slave Trade and the Scramble, another popular treatment.[citation needed]

World War II diverted most scholars to wartime projects and accounted for a pause in scholarship during the 1940s.[127]

By the 1950s many African students were studying in British universities, and they produced a demand for new scholarship, and started themselves to supply it as well. Oxford University became the main center for African studies, with activity as well at Cambridge University and the London School of Economics. The perspective of British government policymakers or international business operations slowly gave way to a new interest in the activities of the natives, especially nationalistic movements and the growing demand for independence.[127] The major breakthrough came from Ronald Robinson and John Andrew Gallagher, especially with their studies of the impact of free trade on Africa.[128] In 1985 The Oxford History of South Africa (2 vols.) was published,[129] attempting to synthesize the available materials. In 2013, The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History was published,[130] bringing the scholarship up to date.[citation needed]

Historiographic and Conceptual Problems

The current major problem in African studies that Mohamed (2010/2012)[131][132] identified is the inherited religious, Orientalist, colonial paradigm that European Africanists have preserved in present-day secularist, post-colonial, Anglophone African historiography.[131] African and African-American scholars also bear some responsibility in perpetuating this European Africanist preserved paradigm.[131]

Following conceptualizations of Africa developed by Leo Africanus and Hegel, European Africanists conceptually separated continental Africa into two racialized regions – Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa.[131] Sub-Saharan Africa, as a racist geographic construction, serves as an objectified, compartmentalized region of "Africa proper", "Africa noire," or "Black Africa."[131] The African diaspora is also considered to be a part of the same racialized construction as Sub-Saharan Africa.[131] North Africa serves as a racialized region of "European Africa", which is conceptually disconnected from Sub-Saharan Africa, and conceptually connected to the Middle East, Asia, and the Islamic world.[131]

As a result of these racialized constructions and the conceptual separation of Africa, darker skinned North Africans, such as the so-called Haratin, who have long resided in the Maghreb, and do not reside south of Saharan Africa, have become analogically alienated from their indigeneity and historic reality in North Africa.[131] While the origin of the term "Haratin" remains speculative, the term may not date much earlier than the 18th century AD and has been involuntarily assigned to darker skinned Maghrebians.[131] Prior to the modern use of the term Haratin as an identifier, and used in contrast to bidan or bayd (white), sumr/asmar, suud/aswad, or Sudan/sudani (black/brown) were Arabic terms used as identifiers for darker skinned Maghrebians before the modern period.[131] "Haratin" is considered to be an offensive term by the darker skinned Maghrebians it is intended to identify; for example, people in the southern region (e.g., Wad Noun, Draa) of Morocco consider it to be an offensive term.[131] Despite its historicity and etymology being questionable, European colonialists and European Africanists have used the term Haratin as identifiers for groups of "black" and apparently "mixed" people found in Algeria, Mauritania, and Morocco.[131]

The Saadian invasion of the Songhai Empire serves as the precursor to later narratives that grouped darker skinned Maghrebians together and identified their origins as being Sub-Saharan West Africa.[132] With gold serving as a motivation behind the Saadian invasion of the Songhai Empire, this made way for changes in latter behaviors toward dark-skinned Africans.[132] As a result of changing behaviors toward dark-skinned Africans, darker skinned Maghrebians were forcibly recruited into the army of Ismail Ibn Sharif as the Black Guard, based on the claim of them having descended from enslaved peoples from the times of the Saadian invasion.[132] Shurafa historians of the modern period would later use these events in narratives about the manumission of enslaved "Hartani" (a vague term, which, by merit of it needing further definition, is implicit evidence for its historicity being questionable).[132] The narratives derived from Shurafa historians would later become analogically incorporated into the Americanized narratives (e.g., the trans-Saharan slave trade, imported enslaved Sub-Saharan West Africans, darker skinned Magrebian freedmen) of the present-day European Africanist paradigm.[132]

As opposed to having been developed through field research, the analogy in the present-day European Africanist paradigm, which conceptually alienates, dehistoricizes, and denaturalizes darker skinned North Africans in North Africa and darker skinned Africans throughout the Islamic world at-large, is primarily rooted in an Americanized textual tradition inherited from 19th century European Christian abolitionists.[131] Consequently, reliable history, as opposed to an antiquated analogy-based history, for darker skinned North Africans and darker skinned Africans in the Islamic world are limited.[131] Part of the textual tradition generally associates an inherited status of servant with dark skin (e.g., Negro labor, Negro cultivators, Negroid slaves, freedman).[131] The European Africanist paradigm uses this as the primary reference point for its construction of origins narratives for darker skinned North Africans (e.g., imported slaves from Sub-Saharan West Africa).[131] With darker skinned North Africans or darker skinned Africans in the Islamic world treated as an allegory of alterity, another part of the textual tradition is the trans-Saharan slave trade and their presence in these regions are treated as that of an African diaspora in North Africa and the Islamic world.[131] Altogether, darker skinned North Africans (e.g., "black" and apparently "mixed" Maghrebians), darker skinned Africans in the Islamic world, the inherited status of servant associated with dark skin, and the trans-Saharan slave trade are conflated and modeled in analogy with African-Americans and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.[131]

The trans-Saharan slave trade has been used as a literary device in narratives that analogically explain the origins of darker skinned North Africans in North Africa and the Islamic world.[131] Caravans have been equated with slave ships, and the amount of forcibly enslaved Africans transported across the Sahara are alleged to be numerically comparable to the considerably large amount of forcibly enslaved Africans transported across the Atlantic Ocean.[131] The simulated narrative of comparable numbers is contradicted by the limited presence of darker skinned North Africans in the present-day Maghreb.[131] As part of this simulated narrative, post-classical Egypt has also been characterized as having plantations.[131] Another part of this simulated narrative is an Orientalist construction of hypersexualized Moors, concubines, and eunuchs.[131] Concubines in harems have been used as an explanatory bridge between the allegation of comparable numbers of forcibly enslaved Africans and the limited amount of present-day darker skinned Maghrebians who have been characterized as their diasporic descendants.[131] Eunuchs were characterized as sentinels who guarded these harems.[132] The simulated narrative is also based on the major assumption that the indigenous peoples of the Maghreb were once purely white Berbers, who then became biracialized through miscegenation with black concubines[131] (existing within a geographic racial binary of pale-skinned Moors residing further north, closer to the Mediterranean region, and dark-skinned Moors residing further south, closer to the Sahara).[132] The religious polemical narrative involving the suffering of enslaved European Christians of the Barbary slave trade has also been adapted to fit the simulated narrative of a comparable number of enslaved Africans being transported by Muslim slaver caravans, from the south of Saharan Africa, into North Africa and the Islamic world.[131]

Despite being an inherited part of the 19th century religious polemical narratives, the use of race in the secularist narrative of the present-day European Africanist paradigm has given the paradigm an appearance of possessing scientific quality.[132] The religious polemical narrative (e.g., holy cause, hostile neologisms) of 19th century European abolitionists about Africa and Africans are silenced, but still preserved, in the secularist narratives of the present-day European Africanist paradigm.[131] The Orientalist stereotyped hypersexuality of the Moors were viewed by 19th century European abolitionists as deriving from the Quran.[132] The reference to times prior, often used in concert with biblical references, by 19th century European abolitionists, may indicate that realities described of Moors may have been literary fabrications.[132] The purpose of these apparent literary fabrications may have been to affirm their view of the Bible as being greater than the Quran and to affirm the viewpoints held by the readers of their composed works.[132] The adoption of 19th century European abolitionists' religious polemical narrative into the present-day European Africanist paradigm may have been due to its correspondence with the established textual tradition.[132] The use of stereotyped hypersexuality for Moors are what 19th century European abolitionists and the present-day European Africanist paradigm have in common.[132]

Due to a lack of considerable development in field research regarding enslavement in Islamic societies, this has resulted in the present-day European Africanist paradigm relying on unreliable estimates for the trans-Saharan slave trade.[132] However, insufficient data has also been used as a justification for continued use of the faulty present-day European Africanist paradigm.[132] Darker skinned Maghrebians, particularly in Morocco, have grown weary of the lack of discretion foreign academics have shown toward them, bear resentment toward the way they have been depicted by foreign academics, and consequently, find the intended activities of foreign academics to be predictable.[132] Rather than continuing to rely on the faulty present-day European Africanist paradigm, Mohamed (2012) recommends revising and improving the current Africanist paradigm (e.g., critical inspection of the origins and introduction of the present characterization of the Saharan caravan; reconsideration of what makes the trans-Saharan slave trade, within its own context in Africa, distinct from the trans-Atlantic slave trade; realistic consideration of the experiences of darker-skinned Maghrebians within their own regional context).[132]

Conceptual Problems

Merolla (2017)[133] has indicated that the academic study of Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa by Europeans developed with North Africa being conceptually subsumed within the Middle East and Arab world, whereas, the study of Sub-Saharan Africa was viewed as conceptually distinct from North Africa, and as its own region, viewed as inherently the same.[133] The common pattern of conceptual separation of continental Africa into two regions and the view of conceptual sameness within the region of Sub-Saharan Africa has continued until present-day.[133] Yet, with increasing exposure of this problem, discussion about the conceptual separation of Africa has begun to develop.[133]

The Sahara has served as a trans-regional zone for peoples in Africa.[133] Authors from various countries (e.g., Algeria, Cameroon, Sudan) in Africa have critiqued the conceptualization of the Sahara as a regional barrier, and provided counter-arguments supporting the interconnectedness of continental Africa; there are historic and cultural connections as well as trade between West Africa, North Africa, and East Africa (e.g., North Africa with Niger and Mali, North Africa with Tanzania and Sudan, major hubs of Islamic learning in Niger and Mali).[133] Africa has been conceptually compartmentalized into meaning "Black Africa", "Africa South of the Sahara", and "Sub-Saharan Africa."[133] North Africa has been conceptually "Orientalized" and separated from Sub-Saharan Africa.[133] While its historic development has occurred within a longer time frame, the epistemic development (e.g., form, content) of the present-day racialized conceptual separation of Africa came as a result of the Berlin Conference and the Scramble for Africa.[133]

In African and Berber literary studies, scholarship has remained largely separate from one another.[133] The conceptual separation of Africa in these studies may be due to how editing policies of studies in the Anglophone and Francophone world are affected by the international politics of the Anglophone and Francophone world.[133] While studies in the Anglophone world have more clearly followed the trend of the conceptual separation of Africa, the Francophone world has been more nuanced, which may stem from imperial policies relating to French colonialism in North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.[133] As the study of North Africa has largely been initiated by the Arabophone and Francophone world, denial of the Arabic language having become Africanized throughout the centuries it has been present in Africa has shown that the conceptual separation of Africa remains pervasive in the Francophone world; this denial may stem from historic development of the characterization of an Islamic Arabia existing as a diametric binary to Europe.[133] Among studies in the Francophone world, ties between North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa have been denied or downplayed, while the ties (e.g., religious, cultural) between the regions and peoples (e.g., Arab language and literature with Berber language and literature) of the Middle East and North Africa have been established by diminishing the differences between the two and selectively focusing on the similarities between the two.[133] In the Francophone world, construction of racialized regions, such as Black Africa (Sub-Saharan Africans) and White Africa (North Africans, e.g., Berbers and Arabs), has also developed.[133]

Despite having invoked and used identities in reference to the racialized conceptualizations of Africa (e.g., North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa) to oppose imposed identities, Berbers have invoked North African identity to oppose Arabized and Islamicized identities, and Sub-Saharan Africans (e.g., Negritude, Black Consciousness) and the African diaspora (e.g., Black is Beautiful) have invoked and used black identity to oppose colonialism and racism.[133] While Berber studies has largely sought to establish ties between Berbers and North Africa with Arabs and the Middle East, Merolla (2017) indicated that efforts to establish ties between Berbers and North Africa with Sub-Saharan Africans and Sub-Saharan Africa have recently started to being undertaken.[133]

See also


  1. ^ "Evolution of Modern Humans: Early Modern Homo sapiens". Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  2. ^ "Recordkeeping and History". Khan Academy. Retrieved 2023-01-22.
  3. ^ "Early African Civilization". Retrieved 2023-01-22.
  4. ^ "History of Africa". Visit Africa. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  5. ^ Meyerowitz, Eva L. R. (1975). The Early History of the Akan States of Ghana. Red Candle Press. ISBN 978-0-608390352.
  6. ^ Boyes, Steve (October 31, 2013). "Getting to Know Africa: 50 Interesting Facts". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 2013-12-27.
  7. ^ Stilwell, Sean (2013). "Slavery in African History". Slavery and Slaving in African History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 38. doi:10.1017/cbo9781139034999.003. ISBN 978-1-139-03499-9. For most Africans between 10000 BCE to 500 CE, the use of slaves was not an optimal political or economic strategy. But in some places, Africans came to see the value of slavery. In the large parts of the continent where Africans lived in relatively decentralized and small-scale communities, some big men used slavery to grab power to get around broader governing ideas about reciprocity and kinship, but were still bound by those ideas to some degree. In other parts of the continent early political centralization and commercialization led to expanded use of slaves as soldiers, officials, and workers.
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference Lovejoy-2012 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ Sparks, Randy J. (2014). "4. The Process of Enslavement at Annamaboe". Where the Negroes are Masters : An African Port in the Era of the Slave Trade. Harvard University Press. pp. 122–161. ISBN 9780674724877.
  10. ^ Ronald Segal, The Black Diaspora: Five Centuries of the Black Experience Outside Africa (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1995), ISBN 0-374-11396-3, p. 4. "It is now estimated that 11,863,000 slaves were shipped across the Atlantic." (Note in original: Paul E. Lovejoy, "The Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on Africa: A Review of the Literature", in Journal of African History 30 (1989), p. 368.)
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference Martin was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  12. ^ Chukwu, Lawson; Akpowoghaha, G. N. (2023). "Colonialism in Africa: An Introductory Review". Political Economy of Colonial Relations and Crisis of Contemporary African Diplomacy.
  13. ^ Frankema, Ewout (2018). "An Economic Rationale for the West African Scramble? The Commercial Transition and the Commodity Price Boom of 1835–1885". The Journal for Economic History. 78 (1): 231=267.
  14. ^ Mamdani, Mahmood (1996). Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (1st ed.). Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691027937.
  15. ^ Walls, A (2011). "African Christianity in the History of Religions". Studies in World Christianity. 2 (2). Edinburgh University Press: 183–203.
  16. ^ Hargreaves, John D. (1996). Decolonization in Africa (2nd ed.). London: Longman. ISBN 0-582-24917-1. OCLC 33131573.
  17. ^ Vansina, Jan (1971). "Once upon a Time: Oral Traditions as History in Africa". Daedalus. 100 (2). MIT Press: 442–468. JSTOR 20024011.
  18. ^ Shillington (2005), p. 2.
  19. ^ Callaway, Ewan (7 June 2017). "Oldest Homo sapiens fossil claim rewrites our species' history". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2017.22114. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  20. ^ Stringer, C. (2016). "The origin and evolution of Homo sapiens". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences. 371 (1698): 20150237. doi:10.1098/rstb.2015.0237. PMC 4920294. PMID 27298468.
  21. ^ Sample, Ian (7 June 2017). "Oldest Homo sapiens bones ever found shake foundations of the human story". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  22. ^ Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Ben-Ncer, Abdelouahed; Bailey, Shara E.; Freidline, Sarah E.; Neubauer, Simon; Skinner, Matthew M.; Bergmann, Inga; Le Cabec, Adeline; Benazzi, Stefano; Harvati, Katerina; Gunz, Philipp (2017). "New fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco and the pan-African origin of Homo sapiens" (PDF). Nature. 546 (7657): 289–292. Bibcode:2017Natur.546..289H. doi:10.1038/nature22336. PMID 28593953. S2CID 256771372.
  23. ^ Scerri, Eleanor M. L.; Thomas, Mark G.; Manica, Andrea; Gunz, Philipp; Stock, Jay T.; Stringer, Chris; Grove, Matt; Groucutt, Huw S.; Timmermann, Axel; Rightmire, G. Philip; d'Errico, Francesco (1 August 2018). "Did Our Species Evolve in Subdivided Populations across Africa, and Why Does It Matter?". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 33 (8): 582–594. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2018.05.005. ISSN 0169-5347. PMC 6092560. PMID 30007846.
  24. ^ Vidal, Celine M.; Lane, Christine S.; Asfawrossen, Asrat; et al. (January 2022). "Age of the oldest known Homo sapiens from eastern Africa". Nature. 601 (7894): 579–583. Bibcode:2022Natur.601..579V. doi:10.1038/s41586-021-04275-8. PMC 8791829. PMID 35022610.
  25. ^ Zimmer, Carl (10 September 2019). "Scientists Find the Skull of Humanity's Ancestor – on a Computer – By comparing fossils and CT scans, researchers say they have reconstructed the skull of the last common forebear of modern humans". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2022-01-03. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  26. ^ Mounier, Aurélien; Lahr, Marta (2019). "Deciphering African late middle Pleistocene hominin diversity and the origin of our species". Nature Communications. 10 (1): 3406. Bibcode:2019NatCo..10.3406M. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-11213-w. PMC 6736881. PMID 31506422.
  27. ^ Henshilwood, Christopher; et al. (2002). "Emergence of Modern Human Behavior: Middle Stone Age Engravings from South Africa". Science. 295 (5558): 1278–1280. Bibcode:2002Sci...295.1278H. doi:10.1126/science.1067575. PMID 11786608. S2CID 31169551.
  28. ^ Henshilwood, Christopher S.; d'Errico, Francesco; Watts, Ian (2009). "Engraved ochres from the Middle Stone Age levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa". Journal of Human Evolution. 57 (1): 27–47. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2009.01.005. PMID 19487016.
  29. ^ Texier, PJ; Porraz, G; Parkington, J; Rigaud, JP; Poggenpoel, C; Miller, C; Tribolo, C; Cartwright, C; Coudenneau, A; Klein, R; Steele, T; Verna, C (2010). "A Howiesons Poort tradition of engraving ostrich eggshell containers dated to 60,000 years ago at Diepkloof Rock Shelter, South Africa". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107 (14): 6180–6185. Bibcode:2010PNAS..107.6180T. doi:10.1073/pnas.0913047107. PMC 2851956. PMID 20194764.
  30. ^ McBrearty, Sally; Brooks, Allison (2000). "The revolution that wasn't: a new interpretation of the origin of modern human behavior". Journal of Human Evolution. 39 (5): 453–563. doi:10.1006/jhev.2000.0435. PMID 11102266.
  31. ^ Henshilwood, Christopher S.; et al. (2004). "Middle Stone Age shell beads from South Africa". Science. 304 (5669): 404. doi:10.1126/science.1095905. PMID 15087540. S2CID 32356688.
  32. ^ d'Errico, Francesco; et al. (2005). "Nassarius kraussianus shell beads from Blombos Cave: evidence for symbolic behaviour in the Middle Stone Age". Journal of Human Evolution. 48 (1): 3–24. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2004.09.002. PMID 15656934.
  33. ^ Vanhaeren, Marian; et al. (2013). "Thinking strings: Additional evidence for personal ornament use in the Middle Stone Age at Blombos Cave, South Africa". Journal of Human Evolution. 64 (6): 500–517. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.02.001. PMID 23498114.
  34. ^ Posth C, Renaud G, Mittnik M, Drucker DG, Rougier H, Cupillard C, Valentin F, Thevenet C, Furtwängler A, Wißing C, Francken M, Malina M, Bolus M, Lari M, Gigli E, Capecchi G, Crevecoeur I, Beauval C, Flas D, Germonpré M, van der Plicht J, Cottiaux R, Gély B, Ronchitelli A, Wehrberger K, Grigorescu D, Svoboda J, Semal P, Caramelli D, Bocherens H, Harvati K, Conard NJ, Haak W, Powell A, Krause J (2016). "Pleistocene Mitochondrial Genomes Suggest a Single Major Dispersal of Non-Africans and a Late Glacial Population Turnover in Europe". Current Biology. 26 (6): 827–833. Bibcode:2016CBio...26..827P. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.037. hdl:2440/114930. PMID 26853362.
  35. ^ Kamin M, Saag L, Vincente M, et al. (April 2015). "A recent bottleneck of Y chromosome diversity coincides with a global change in culture". Genome Research. 25 (4): 459–466. doi:10.1101/gr.186684.114. PMC 4381518. PMID 25770088.
  36. ^ Vai S, Sarno S, Lari M, Luiselli D, Manzi G, Gallinaro M, Mataich S, Hübner A, Modi A, Pilli E, Tafuri MA, Caramelli D, di Lernia S (March 2019). "Ancestral mitochondrial N lineage from the Neolithic 'green' Sahara". Sci Rep. 9 (1): 3530. Bibcode:2019NatSR...9.3530V. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-39802-1. PMC 6401177. PMID 30837540.
  37. ^ Haber M, Jones AL, Connel BA, Asan, Arciero E, Huanming Y, Thomas MG, Xue Y, Tyler-Smith C (June 2019). "A Rare Deep-Rooting D0 African Y-chromosomal Haplogroup and its Implications for the Expansion of Modern Humans Out of Africa". Genetics. 212 (4): 1421–1428. doi:10.1534/genetics.119.302368. PMC 6707464. PMID 31196864.
  38. ^ Shillington (2005), pp. 2–3.
  39. ^ Genetic studies by Luca Cavalli-Sforza pioneered tracing the spread of modern humans from Africa.
  40. ^ Tishkoff, Sarah A.; Reed, Floyd A.; Friedlaender, Françoise R.; Ehret, Christopher; Ranciaro, Alessia; Froment, Alain; Hirbo, Jibril B.; Awomoyi, Agnes A.; Bodo, Jean-Marie; Doumbo, Ogobara; Ibrahim, Muntaser; Juma, Abdalla T.; Kotze, Maritha J.; Lema, Godfrey; Moore, Jason H.; Mortensen, Holly; Nyambo, Thomas B.; Omar, Sabah A.; Powell, Kweli; Pretorius, Gideon S.; Smith, Michael W.; Thera, Mahamadou A.; Wambebe, Charles; Weber, James L. & Williams, Scott M. (22 May 2009). "The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans". Science. 324 (5930): 1035–1044. Bibcode:2009Sci...324.1035T. doi:10.1126/science.1172257. PMC 2947357. PMID 19407144.
  41. ^ a b Vicente, Mário; Schlebusch, Carina M (2020-06-01). "African population history: an ancient DNA perspective". Current Opinion in Genetics & Development. Genetics of Human Origin. 62: 8–15. doi:10.1016/j.gde.2020.05.008. ISSN 0959-437X. PMID 32563853. S2CID 219974966.
  42. ^ Osypiński, Piotr; Osypińska, Marta; Gautier, Achilles (2011). "Affad 23, a Late Middle Palaeolithic Site With Refitted Lithics and Animal Remains in the Southern Dongola Reach, Sudan". Journal of African Archaeology. 9 (2): 177–188. doi:10.3213/2191-5784-10186. ISSN 1612-1651. JSTOR 43135549. OCLC 7787802958. S2CID 161078189.
  43. ^ Osypiński, Piotr (2020). "Unearthing Pan-African crossroad? Significance of the middle Nile valley in prehistory" (PDF). National Science Centre.
  44. ^ Osypińska, Marta (2021). "Animals in the history of the Middle Nile" (PDF). From Faras to Soba: 60 years of Sudanese–Polish cooperation in saving the heritage of Sudan. Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology/University of Warsaw. p. 460. ISBN 9788395336256. OCLC 1374884636.
  45. ^ Osypińska, Marta; Osypiński, Piotr (2021). "Exploring the oldest huts and the first cattle keepers in Africa" (PDF). From Faras to Soba: 60 years of Sudanese–Polish cooperation in saving the heritage of Sudan. Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology/University of Warsaw. pp. 187–188. ISBN 9788395336256. OCLC 1374884636.
  46. ^ Diamond (1997), pp. 126–127; Ehret (2002), pp. 64–75, 80–81, 87–88.
  47. ^ Bradley, Simon (18 January 2007). "A Swiss-led team of archaeologists has discovered pieces of the oldest African pottery in central Mali, dating back to at least 9,400BC". Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06.
  48. ^ Jesse, Friederike (2010). "Early Pottery in Northern Africa – An Overview". Journal of African Archaeology. 8 (2): 219–238. doi:10.3213/1612-1651-10171. JSTOR 43135518.
  49. ^ Ehret (2002), pp. 64–75.
  50. ^ "Katanda Bone Harpoon Point". The Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program. 2010-01-22. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  51. ^ "Mande | people".
  52. ^ Nicholson & Shaw (2000), p. 168.
  53. ^ Nicholson & Shaw (2000), pp. 149–160.
  54. ^ Swami, Bhaktivejanyana (2013), Ithihaasa: The Mystery of Story Is My Story of History, p. 98. Author House. ISBN 1-4772-4273-2, 978-1-4772-4273-5.
  55. ^ Nicholson & Shaw (2000), pp. 161–165, 170.
  56. ^ a b Ehret (2002), pp. 136–137.
  57. ^ Martin and O'Meara. "Africa, 3rd Ed." Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1995.
  58. ^ Zangato, É.; Holl, A.F.C. (2010). "On the Iron Front: New Evidence from North-Central Africa". Journal of African Archaeology. 8 (1): 7–23. doi:10.3213/1612-1651-10153.
  59. ^ Falola, Toyin (2002). Key Events in African History: A Reference Guide. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press. p. 46. ISBN 0-313-31323-7.
  60. ^ Alpern, Stanley B. (2005). "Did They or Didn't They Invent It? Iron in Sub-Saharan Africa". History in Africa. 32: 41–94. doi:10.1353/hia.2005.0003. ISSN 0361-5413. JSTOR 20065735. S2CID 162880295.
  61. ^ Iron in Africa: Revising the History, UNESCO Aux origines de la métallurgie du fer en Afrique, Une ancienneté méconnue: Afrique de l'Ouest et Afrique centrale.
  62. ^ a b Eze–Uzomaka, Pamela. "Iron and its influence on the prehistoric site of Lejja". University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  63. ^ Pringle, Heather (2009). "Seeking Africa's first Iron Men". Science. 323 (5911): 200–202. doi:10.1126/science.323.5911.200. PMID 19131604. S2CID 206583802.
  64. ^ Shillington (2005), pp. 37–39.
  65. ^ O'Brien, Patrick Karl (2002), Atlas of World History, pp. 22–23. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-521921-X.
  66. ^ Stuiver, Minze; Van Der Merwe, N.J. (1968). "Radiocarbon Chronology of the Iron Age in Sub-Saharan Africa". Current Anthropology. 9: 54–58. doi:10.1086/200878. S2CID 145379030.
  67. ^ Tylecote, Ronald-Frank (1975). "The Origin of Iron Smelting in Africa". West African Journal of Archaeology. 5: 1–9. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  68. ^ a b Eggert, Manfred (2014). "Early iron in West and Central Africa". In Breunig, P (ed.). Nok: African Sculpture in Archaeological Context. Frankfurt, Germany: Africa Magna Verlag Press. pp. 51–59.
  69. ^ a b Eggert, Manfred (2014). "Early iron in West and Central Africa". In Breunig, P (ed.). Nok: African Sculpture in Archaeological Context. Frankfurt, Germany: Africa Magna Verlag Press. pp. 53–54. ISBN 9783937248462.
  70. ^ a b Holl, Augustin F. C. (6 November 2009). "Early West African Metallurgies: New Data and Old Orthodoxy". Journal of World Prehistory. 22 (4): 415–438. doi:10.1007/s10963-009-9030-6. S2CID 161611760.
  71. ^ Abu Bakr, Abdel (1981). "Pharoanic Egypt". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  72. ^ Abu Bakr, Abdel (1981). "Pharoanic Egypt". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  73. ^ Anderson, J. R. (2012). "Kerma". The Encyclopedia of Ancient History. The Encyclopedia of Ancient History. doi:10.1002/9781444338386.wbeah15224. ISBN 9781444338386. She states, "To date, Kerma-culture has been found from the region of the First Cataract to upstream of the Fourth Cataract."
  74. ^ Buzon, Michele (2011). "Nubian identity in the Bronze Age. Patterns of cultural and biological variation". Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  75. ^ Abu Bakr, Abdel (1981). "Pharoanic Egypt". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  76. ^ "Tomb Reveals Ancient Egypt's Humiliating Secrets". Daily Times. 29 July 2003. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013.
  77. ^ Abu Bakr, Abdel (1981). "Pharoanic Egypt". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  78. ^ Abu Bakr, Abdel (1981). "Pharoanic Egypt". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  79. ^ Elayi, Josette (2018). Sennacherib, King of Assyria. SBL Press. pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-0-88414-318-5.
  80. ^ Abu Bakr, Abdel (1981). "Pharoanic Egypt". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  81. ^ Riad, Henry (1981). "Egypt in the Hellenistic era". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  82. ^ "We have finally found the land of Punt, where pharaohs got their gifts". New Scientist. 2022-12-14. Retrieved 2023-10-28.
  83. ^ Society of Arts (Great Britain), Journal of the Society of Arts, Volume 26, (The Society: 1878), pp.912-913.
  84. ^ Pankhurst, Richard K.P. Addis Tribune, "Let's Look Across the Red Sea I", January 17, 2003 ( mirror copy)
  85. ^ George Hatke, Aksum and Nubia: Warfare, Commerce, and Political Fictions in Ancient Northeast Africa (New York University Press, 2013), pp. 44. ISBN 0-7486-0106-6
  86. ^ "The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes". Nature. 84 (2127): 133–134. August 1910. Bibcode:1910Natur..84..133.. doi:10.1038/084133a0. hdl:2027/coo1.ark:/13960/t07w6zm1b. ISSN 0028-0836. S2CID 3942233.
  87. ^ Uhlig, Siegbert. Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: A-C. p. 175.
  88. ^ Munro-Hay, Stuart (1991). Aksum: An African Civilisation of Late Antiquity. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 17. ISBN 0748601066.
  89. ^ Warmington, Brian (1981). "The Carthaginian Period". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  90. ^ Warmington, Brian (1981). "The Carthaginian Period". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  91. ^ Warmington, Brian (1981). "The Carthaginian Period". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  92. ^ Warmington, Brian (1981). "The Carthaginian Period". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  93. ^ Warmington, Brian (1981). "The Carthaginian Period". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  94. ^ Mahjoubi, Ammar; Salama, Pierre (1981). "The Roman and post-Roman period in North Africa". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  95. ^ Mahjoubi, Ammar; Salama, Pierre (1981). "The Roman and post-Roman period in North Africa". General History of Africa: Volume 2. UNESCO Publishing.
  96. ^ Duncan E. Miller and N.J. Van Der Merwe, 'Early Metal Working in Sub Saharan Africa' Journal of African History 35 (1994) 1-36; Minze Stuiver and N.J. Van Der Merwe, 'Radiocarbon Chronology of the Iron Age in Sub-Saharan Africa' Current Anthropology 1968.
  97. ^ Collins & Burns (2007), pp. 79–80.
  98. ^ Holl, Augustine (1985). "Background to the Ghana empire: Archaeological investigations on the transition to statehood in the Dhar Tichitt region (mauritania)". Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 4 (2): 73–115.
  99. ^ Anquandah, James (1995) The Kintampo Complex: a case study of early sedentism and food production in sub-Sahelian west Africa, pp. 255–259 in Shaw, Thurstan, Andah, Bassey W and Sinclair, Paul (1995). The Archaeology of Africa: Food, Metals and Towns. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-11585-X
  100. ^ ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  101. ^ Posnansky, Merrick (1981). "The societies of Africa south of the Sahara in the Early Iron Age". General History of Africa: Volume 2 (PDF). UNESCO. p. 729.
  102. ^ Holl, Augustine (1985). "Background to the Ghana empire: Archaeological investigations on the transition to statehood in the Dhar Tichitt region (mauritania)". Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 4 (2): 73–115.
  103. ^ "The Chronological Evidence for the Introduction of Domestic Stock in Southern Africa" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 March 2009.
  104. ^ "Botswana History Page 1: Brief History of Botswana". Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  105. ^ "5.2 Historischer Überblick". Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  106. ^ Fanso 19.
  107. ^ Fanso 19; Hudgens and Trillo 1051.
  108. ^ "The Amazing Bantu Migration and the Fascinating Bantu People". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  109. ^ Buchanan, Carole (1974). The Kitara Complex: The Historical Tradition of Western Uganda to the 16th century. Indiana University.
  110. ^ Robertshaw, Peter (1994). "Archaeological survey, ceramic analysis, and state formation in western Uganda". The African Archaeological Review. 12. Cambridge University Press: 105–131. doi:10.1007/BF01953040.
  111. ^ JournalInsert Hilton, John (1993-10). "Peoples of Azania". Electronic Antiquity: Communicating the Classics. 1 (5). ISSN 1320-3606. Check date values in: |date= (help).
  112. ^ Fage, John (23 October 2013). A History of Africa. Routledge. pp. 25–26. ISBN 978-1317797272. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  113. ^ Sheriff, Abdul (1981). "The East African coast and its role in maritime trade". General History of Africa: Volume 2 (PDF). UNESCO. p. 555.
  114. ^ 'The archaeological evidence for the earliest human presence in Madagascar comes from Andavakoera near Diego Suarez and is dated to AD420 (AD250-590, 2SDs) (Dewar & Wright 1996).
  115. ^ Anton, Donald K.; Shelton, Dinah L. (2011). Environmental Protection and Human Rights. Cambridge University Press. p. 640. ISBN 978-0-521-76638-8.
  116. ^ Collins & Burns (2007), pp. 268–269.
  117. ^ Collins & Burns (2007), p. 269.
  118. ^ Collins & Burns (2007), p. 265.
  119. ^ Alistair Horne, A savage war of peace: Algeria 1954–1962 (1977).
  120. ^ David Anderson, Histories of the hanged: The dirty war in Kenya and the end of empire (2005).
  121. ^ Gabriel Almond and James S. Coleman, The Politics of the Developing Areas (1971)
  122. ^ Festus Ugboaja Ohaegbulam, Nationalism in colonial and post-colonial Africa (University Press of America, 1977).
  123. ^ Thomas Hodgkin, Nationalism in Colonial Africa (1956)
  124. ^ Henry S. Wilson, African decolonization (E. Arnold, 1994).
  125. ^ Touval, Saadia (1967). "The Organization of African Unity and African Borders". International Organization. 21 (1): 102–127. doi:10.1017/S0020818300013151. JSTOR 2705705.
  126. ^ Winks, Robin (1999). The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 465. ISBN 9780191647697.
  127. ^ a b Roberts, A.D. (1999). "The British Empire in Tropical Africa: A Review of the Literature to the 1960s". In Winks, Robin (ed.). Oxford History of the British Empire: Historiography. Vol. 5. pp. 463–485.
  128. ^ Ronald Robinson, John Gallagher, Alice Denny. Africa and the Victorians: The Climax of Imperialism in the Dark Continent (1961)
  129. ^
  130. ^ Parker, John; Reid, Richard, eds. (October 1, 2013). "The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History". Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199572472.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-957247-2 – via
  131. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Mohamed, Mohamed Hassan (2010). "Africanists and Africans of the Maghrib: casualties of Analogy". The Journal of North African Studies. 15 (3): 349–374. doi:10.1080/13629387.2010.486573. S2CID 145782335.
  132. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Mohamed, Mohamed Hassan (2012). "Africanists and Africans of the Maghrib II: casualties of secularity". The Journal of North African Studies. 17 (3): 409–431. doi:10.1080/13629387.2011.635450. S2CID 144763718.
  133. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Merolla, Daniela. "Beyond 'two Africas' in African and Berber literary studies". Scholarly Publications Leiden University. African Studies Centre Leiden.


Further reading