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Aside Libya, Here Are 4 Other African Countries Where Slavery Is Still Rampant

It may be more than two centuries since the TransAtlantic Slave Trade ended, but slavery is still very much alive in many African countries as well as much of the ancient world.

Other varied forms of slavery still exist across the continent, including domestic service, debt bondage, military slavery, slaves of sacrifice, local slave trade, and more.

Here are the top five African countries where slavery is still rampant.

  1. Mauritania
Slaves in Mauritania

Mauritanian slaves at work. Photo credit:

In Mauritania, slavery has been practiced for thousands of years, particularly by the light-skinned Berbers, commonly referred to as “beydan” (Whites), and the mixed Berber-Arabs — all of whom are the descendants of slave owners locally referred to as “al-beydan.”

Black Mauritanians from the minority ethnic group, referred to as “Moors” or the “Haratin,” account for the largest number of slaves in the North African country.

Here, slaves and their descendants are considered the full property of their masters. Although this practice was banned in Mauritania in 1981, it is still rampant in some parts of the country.


2. Sudan

Sudanese slaves

Young Sudanese slaves. YouTube

Slavery in Sudan dates back to medieval times. It has recently had a resurgence during the second Sudanese Civil War that lasted between 1983 and 2005. During the war, human rights campaigners reported a rise in contemporary forms of slavery and accused the Sudanese government of supporting and arming various slave-taking militias in the country.

In response to these claims, the Sudanese government argued that slavery was a product of inter-tribal warfare over which it had no control.


Sadly, the shameful practice still continues in some parts of the country more than a decade after the war ended.

The majority of those enslaved in Sudan belong to the Dinka, Nuer, and Nuba tribes, which are predominantly Black in appearance.

Their masters are primarily Arabs from the Baggara ethnic group.

 3. Egypt

Slaves in Egypt

Slaves in Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. Photo credit: Voice of the Persecuted

According to the U.S. State Department, Egypt is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation.

The department further reveals that about 1 million street children in the North African country – both boys and girls – are exploited with prostitution and forced begging.

In 2014, the world was shocked by tales of widespread slavery and torture in Sinai Peninsula, where tens of thousands of slaves from neighboring African countries were reportedly held for trafficking.

These slaves are alleged to have been chained up and kept in water tankers for up to six months. Among them were women held as sex slaves.

The Sinai Peninsula is now said to be a haven for Al-Qaeda operatives and Bedouin smugglers and extortionists who have a free hand in the modern-day slave trade. It is estimated that there are more than 50 human trafficking gangs currently operating in the Sinai region.

4. South Africa

Human Trafficking in South Africa

African migrants line up ready to be trafficked in South Africa

South Africa is one of the many African countries that suffered immensely during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Unfortunately, things haven’t changed much in terms of ending slavery in this rainbow nation: Last year, the Global Slavery Index estimated that close to 250,000 modern slaves exist in South Africa today.

About 103,461 victims of this practice were identified to have been subjected to commercial sexual exploitation. It has also been widely alleged that the majority of wine production companies in South Africa still practice slavery.

Among the most common forms of slavery in SA include forced labor, human trafficking, debt bondage, child exploitation, and forced marriage.


Written by How Africa

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    The modern day slavery in Zambia is very rampant due to the non existent Labour ministry, most workers are subjected to slave working conditions and since they have no one to talk on their behalf they just continue to suffer, reporting such vices results in one losing his on her employment and the Labour minister will just be in her office drinking coffee, just a work through in the industrial area will reveal to you how these workers are suffering, No protective clothing, Long working hours, fired at will, slave wages all these happening under the nose of the Labour minister, sexual harasment is also very high in these institutions

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