This Is What These African Nations Were Called Before Independence

Colonization cost Africa a lot, including the indigenous names of some of its countries. But After independence, several countries changed their names in an effort to completely cut authoritative links from their colonial rulers.

Below is the full list of Africa’s 54 countries and colonial territories and what they were called, prior to their independence. Bear in mind that Liberia and Ethiopia were never colonized but had their names changed.

Abyssinia – Ethiopia

Africa (province) – Tunisia

Barbary Coast – Algeria

Bechuanaland – Botswana

Belgian Congo – The Democratic Republic of the Congo

Carthage – Tunisia

Central African Empire – Central African Republic

Congo Free State – The Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dahomey – Benin

Equatoria – Sudan and Uganda

Fernando Pó – Bioko

French Congo – Gabon and Republic of the Congo

French Equatorial Africa – Chad, Central African Republic, Gabon, Republic of the Congo

French Sudan – Mali


French West Africa – Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Benin

German East Africa – Tanzania and Zanzibar

German South-West Africa – Namibia

The Gold Coast – Ghana


Grain Coast or Pepper Coast – Liberia

Malagasy Republic – Madagascar

Monomotapa – Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and parts of Namibia and Botswana

Middle Congo – Republic of the Congo

Nubia – Sudan and Egypt

Numidia – Algeria, Libya and Tunisia

Nyasaland – Malawi

Western Pentapolis – Libya

Portuguese Guinea – Guinea-Bissau

Rhodesia -Northern Rhodesia – Zambia

Southern Rhodesia – Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia was commonly referred to simply as Rhodesia from 1964 to 1980)

Rwanda-Urundi – Rwanda and Burundi

The Slave Coast – Benin

Somaliland – Somalia

South-West Africa – Namibia

Spanish Sahara – Western Sahara

Swaziland – Eswatini

French Upper Volta – Republic of Upper Volta – Burkina Faso

Zaire – Republic of the Congo – The Democratic Republic of the Congo


Written by How Africa

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