The year 1960 was to be crucial for Africa- 17 sub-Saharan countries became independent from their European colonisers, 14 of them from France.
Zenith Bank BetaLife
Zenith Bank BetaLife
Zenith Bank BetaLife
Zenith Bank BetaLife

The year 1960 was to be crucial for Africa: 17 sub-Saharan countries became independent from their European colonisers, 14 of them from France.

Here is a timeline of events in Africa that year:

– January –

– 1: Cameroon, a former German protectorate split between Britain and France after World War I, becomes independent

– 9: Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser launches construction of the Aswan Dam on the Nile

– 9: Zambia independence leader Kenneth Kaunda is released after nine months in jail in the British colony of Northern Rhodesia

– 12: Britain lifts a state of emergency in place in Kenya since 1952, at the outbreak of the Mau Mau rebellion against colonial rule

– 24: The start of Algeria’s week-long uprising by defenders of “French Algeria” in which more than 20 people are killed in clashes with authorities

– February –

– 3: British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan delivers his “Wind of Change” speech in South Africa, criticising apartheid and indicating Britain would not block independence in its colonies

– 13: France tests its first nuclear bomb in Algeria’s Tanezrouft desert

– 29: An earthquake destroys Morocco’s city of Agadir and kills 12,000-15,000 people

– March –

– 21: Police fire into a demonstration by black South Africans at Sharpeville outside Johannesburg, killing 69

– April –

– 4: Senegal becomes independent from France

– 8: South Africa bans the black opposition African National Congress (ANC) and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) parties

– 19: Founding of the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) to push for Namibia’s independence from occupying South Africa

– 27: Togo becomes independent from France

– June –

– 26: Madagascar gains independence from France

– 30: The Belgian Congo is proclaimed independent. The Republic of Congo is later renamed Zaire and then the Democratic Republic of Congo

– July –

– 1: Somalia becomes independent from British and Italian colonial rule

– 11: The Belgian Congo’s mineral-rich province of Katanga secedes with Belgian and US support, unleashing a long series of wars and rebellions

– August –

– 1: Independence from France of Dahomey, today called Benin

– 3: Niger becomes independent from France

– 5: Upper Volta, today’s Burkina Faso, is independent

– 7: Independence of Ivory Coast

– 11: Independence of Chad

– 13: Central African Republic becomes independent

– 15: Independence of the French colony of Congo. The Republic of Congo also became known as Congo-Brazzaville to distinguish it from its neighbour of the same name.

– 17: Gabon becomes independent

– September –

– 10: Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila becomes the first black African to win Olympic Gold, running the marathon in Rome barefoot

– 14: Congo army colonel Joseph Desire Mobutu stages a coup, but later hands power back to the president

– 22: Mali becomes independent

– October –

– 1: Nigeria becomes independent from Britain

– 5: South Africans vote in a whites-only referendum for the country to become a republic, ending its status as a self-governing dominion of the British

– November –

– 28: Mauritania becomes independent

– December –

– 2: The Belgian Congo’s deposed prime minister, independence hero Patrice Lumumba, is arrested. He was later assassinated on January 17, 1961

– 13: Failed coup attempt against Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie

– First Nobel Peace Prize –

The Nobel Peace Prize goes to a black African for the first time in 1960, awarded to South African Albert Luthuli, president of the ANC, for his role in advocating non-violent resistance to apartheid

Get more stories like this on Twitter

AD: To get thousands of free final year project topics and other project materials sorted by subject to help with your research [click here]

More Stories