Morah Sheli Village | Timeline of Africa
Africa, Timeline, Geography
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A Timeline of Africa

I’ve already shared my reasons for teaching Africa before America, so be sure to check that out if you interested. For those who purchased or who are interested in the Africa for Kids!  you may find this information helpful for your timeline entries.

There’s a section in my lesson plans that has a suggestion to discuss some historical information for that particular African country to your students. I’d like to share a timeline of the history of Africa so you can pick out certain facts that pertain to your week of study.  Also, you can choose which era of time you want to specially focus on, if interested.

A Timeline of Africa

  • C. 3,118 BC King Menes unites the kingdoms of Upper and Lower in Egypt
  • C. 2,600 BC The first pyramid is built in Egypt
  • C. 2,000 BC Bantu speaking people begin to migrate southwards
  • C. 1,700 BC The kingdom of Kush arises south of Egypt
  • 814 BC The city of Carthage is founded in Tunisia
  • C. 650 BC Iron working spreads in North Africa
  • 30 BC Egypt becomes a province of the Roman Empire
  • C. 50 AD The kingdom of Axum arises in what is now Ethiopia
  • C. 350 AD Bantu speaking people arrive in Zambia
  • 202 BC The Romans defeat Carthage at the battle of Zama in North Africa
  • C. 500 AD Iron working reaches southern Africa
  • 642 AD The Arabs conquer Egypt
  • C. 650 AD Muslims travel across the Sahara on camels to trade
  • 698 AD The Arabs capture Carthage
  • C. 800 AD Trading towns are formed on the east coast of Africa
  • C. 1100 AD The kingdom of Ife in Nigeria becomes important
  • C. 1300 AD The kingdom of Benin in Nigeria becomes important
  • 1324 Mansa Musa ruler of Mali makes a pilgrimage to Mecca and shows off his great wealth
  • C. 1350 AD The kingdom of Songhai arises in west Africa
  • 1415 The Portuguese conquer Ceuta in North Africa. It is the first European foothold in Africa
  • 1464-1491 Under Sunni Ali the kingdom of Songhai in west Africa conquers and expands
  • 1488 The Portuguese sail round the Cape of Good Hope.
  • 1508 The Portuguese began to settle in Mozambique
  • 1517 The Turks conquer Egypt
  • 1518 Onwards African slaves are transported across the Atlantic by Europeans
  • 1551 The Turks capture Tripoli
  • 1562 England joins the slave trade
  • 1564 The Songhai Empire in west Africa destroys the Empire of Mali
  • 1575 The Portuguese begin to settle in Angola
  • 1581 The Moroccans begin to expand across the Sahara
  • 1590 The Moroccans capture Timbuktu
  • 1591 The Moroccans destroy the Empire of Songhai
  • 1652 The Dutch conquer South Africa
  • 1700 The rise of the Ashanti kingdom in West Africa
  • 1787 The British send freed slaves in Sierra Leone
  • 1792 Denmark bans the slave trade
  • 1806 The Dutch colony in South Africa becomes a British colony
  • 1807 Sierra Leone and Gambia become British crown colonies
  • 1807 Britain bans the slave trade
  • 1808 The USA bans the slave trade
  • 1822 The USA founds a colony for freed slaves in Liberia
  • 1828 Shaka king of the Zulus is assassinated
  • 1830 The French invade Algeria and build up an empire in North Africa
  • 1847 Liberia becomes independent
  • 1859-1869 The Suez Canal is built in Egypt
  • 1879 The Zulus defeat the British at Isandlhwana but they are defeated at Ulundi
  • 1880-1881 War between the British and Boers (Dutch speaking farmers) in South Africa
  • 1882 The British army occupies Egypt and Sudan
  • 1884 The Germans take Namibia, Tanzania, Togo and Cameroon
  • 1884 The Mahdi leads an anti-British uprising in Sudan
  • 1885 Italy takes Eritrea, Belgium takes The Republic of Congo and Britain takes Botswana
  • 1885 The Mahdi captures Khartoum and British general Gordon is killed
  • 1886 Kenya becomes a British colony
  • 1886 Gold is discovered in Transvaal
  • 1888-89 The British take control of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)
  • 1894 The British take Uganda
  • 1896 The Italians invade Ethiopia but are defeated by the Ethiopians
  • 1898 The British defeat the Sudanese at the battle of Omdurman
  • 1910 The Union of South Africa becomes independent from Britain
  • 1912 Italy conquers Libya
  • 1935-36 Italy conquers Ethiopia
  • 1941 The British drive the Italians out of Ethiopia
  • 1942 The British defeat the Germans and Italians at El Alamein in Egypt
  • 1943 German and Italian forces in North Africa surrender
  • 1948 Apartheid is introduced in South Africa
  • 1951 Libya becomes independent
  • 1952-55 The Mau Mau uprising in Kenya takes place
  • 1956 Morocco and Sudan became independent. So does Tunisia
  • 1956 Oil is discovered in Nigeria1
  • 1957 Ghana becomes independent
  • 1960 Senegal becomes independent
  • The Sharpeville massacre in South Africa
  • 1962 Uganda & Algeria became independent
  • 1963 Kenya becomes independent
  • 1964 Zambia and Malawi became independent
  • 1964 The state of Tanzania is formed
  • 1965 Gambia becomes independent
  • 1966 Botswana becomes independent
  • 1967 Diamonds are discovered in Botswana
  • 1967-70 Civil War in Nigeria
  • 1969 Colonel Gadafi takes power in Libya
  • 1970 Idi Amin seizes power in Uganda
  • 1974 Emperor Hailie Selassie of Ethiopia is deposed
  • 1975 Angola and Mozambique became independent
  • 1979 Amin is overthrown
  • 1980 Robert Mugabe becomes prime minister of Zimbabwe
  • 1990 Namibia becomes independent
  • 1993 Eritrea becomes independent
  • 1994 Nelson Mandela becomes president of South Africa
  • 1994 Ethnic massacres in Rwanda
  • 1997 Zaire is renamed Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 1999 Thabo Mbeki becomes president of South Africa

Disclaimer: I did not create this timeline. It was shared in a Facebook group and I inserted it here because I could not find the same timeline online in order to link to it.

Enjoy your studies!