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27.12.2019 Africa

1960: Africa's year of independence

By AFP
Bring out the flags: African countries joined France's Bastille Day celebrations in 2010.  By FLORE GIRAUD (AFP/File)
LISTEN DEC 27, 2019
Bring out the flags: African countries joined France's Bastille Day celebrations in 2010. By FLORE GIRAUD (AFP/File)

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

Yaounde, January 1 1960: A military salute as Cameroon gains independence from France.  By  (AFP/File) Yaounde, January 1 1960: A military salute as Cameroon gains independence from France. By (AFP/File)

- 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

Harold Macmillan delivers his Wind of Change speech.  By - (AFP/File) Harold Macmillan delivers his Wind of Change speech. By - (AFP/File)

- 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

Massacre: Wounded people at Sharpeville.  By STRINGER (AFP/File) Massacre: Wounded people at Sharpeville. By STRINGER (AFP/File)

- 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

UN troops were deployed to Katanga after the province seceded from the newly-independent Congo.  By STF (AFP/File) UN troops were deployed to Katanga after the province seceded from the newly-independent Congo. By STF (AFP/File)

- 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

Hubert Maga, Benin's first president.  By  (AFP) Hubert Maga, Benin's first president. By (AFP)

- 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

Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba was assassinated in 1961.  By  (AFP/File) Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba was assassinated in 1961. By (AFP/File)

- 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

Africa

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