Modern Africa (Members Only)

Digital History of Modern Africa

a key to global education: Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

WisdomMaps: The Future of the Past

Experience our digital history of Modern Africa with WisdomMaps!


The Scramble for Africa among rival European empires had by 1900 carved up almost all of Africa; only Ethiopia and Liberia remained free. Europeans created political, economic and social instability throughout their rule, until World War II brought a rise in nationalist sentiment which led to independence movements. Many colonies gained their independence in the 1950s and 1960s, and while African independence movements were mostly peaceable, others were not: Algeria and Kenya experienced bloody wars of independence from France and Britain, respectively. The borders of many new African states bore no relation to those of their pre-colonial tribal polities, and they led to frequent tribal conflict and sometimes civil war. Nationalism replaced both the traditional and the colonial political and social ethos with African leadership and indigenous political, educational, religious, and social networks.

Although rich in natural resources, Africa is the world’s poorest continent and its human capital remains under-developed. The usual culprits figure prominently: corruption, human rights violations, inefficient central planning, little access to investment capital, and frequent tribal and inter-state conflict. At times these conflicts have involved foreign guerrilla forces and even led to genocide. Africa’s social problems are no less formidable: poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, poor sanitation, water-borne diseases, and many other maladies affect large numbers of Africans.

However, the World Bank expects that most African countries will achieve at least a “middle income” of US$1,000 per person per year by 2025 if the current lively economic growth persists.

That said, here’s our assortment… please enjoy! When you’re done perusing a map, just close it, and you’ll be back here.


Modern Africa Index | Society | Culture | Power: NationalismIndependence | Economy: Challenges | Central Africa: AngolaRwandaZaire | East Africa: EthiopiaSomalia | Southern Africa: Namibia | South Africa: SocietyPower: Union of South AfricaElections | Economy | Zimbabwe | Ghana | Nigeria

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