African Countries Colonized by France and Their Dates of Independence

France had a significant presence in Africa during the colonial period, with colonies scattered all over West, East, Central and Northern Africa. These colonies gained independence in various years, with Guinea being the first sub Saharan African country to gain independence in 1958. It is worth noting that many of these countries gained independence after a long and often violent struggle against French colonial rule.

African Countries Colonized by France and Their Dates of Independence

French Colonies in Africa and their Dates of Independence:

# Country Date of Independence
1 Algeria 5th July, 1962
2 Benin 1st August, 1960
3 Burkina Faso 5th August, 1960
4 Cameroon 1st January, 1960
5 Central African Republic 13th August, 1960
6 Chad 11th August, 1960
7 Comoros 6th July, 1975
8 Republic of the Congo 14th August, 1960
9 Côte d’Ivoire 7th August, 1960
10 Djibouti 27th June, 1977
11 Gabon 17th August, 1960
12 Guinea 2nd October, 1958
13 Madagascar 26th July, 1960
14 Mali 20th June, 1960
15 Mauritania 28th November, 1960
16 Morocco 18th November, 1956
17 Niger 3rd August, 1960
18 Senegal 4th April, 1960
19 Togo 27th April, 1960
20 Tunisia 20th March, 1956

French Colonies in Africa

1. Algeria: (independence: 1962)

Date of independence: 5th July, 1962

Algeria, located in North Africa, was a French colony until it achieved independence in 1962. The country boasts abundant natural resources, including oil, natural gas, and minerals. Throughout its history, Algeria has been home to diverse ethnic groups for thousands of years. The French colonization in the 19th century was met with resistance, led by various political parties and activists such as the National Liberation Front (FLN). In 1962, Algeria finally became an independent sovereign nation, and it has since emerged as a significant force in African politics and economics.

2. Benin (independence 1960)

Date of independence: 1 August, 1960

Benin, situated in West Africa, was formerly a French colony until it gained independence in 1960. Renowned for its valuable natural resources such as oil, timber, and cotton, Benin has a complex and ancient history shaped by different ethnic groups. French colonization in the 19th century triggered the struggle for independence, which saw the rise of various political parties and activists. Benin successfully achieved independence in 1960 and has since played a significant role in African politics and economics.

3. Burkina Faso

Date of independence: 5th August, 1960

Burkina Faso, located in West Africa, was under French colonial rule until it attained independence in 1960. The struggle for independence involved various political parties and activists, ultimately resulting in Burkina Faso becoming an independent sovereign nation in 1960.

4. Cameroon

Date of independence: 1 January, 1960

Cameroon, a country with a complex history, has been home to diverse ethnic groups for centuries. The region was colonized by both the British and the French in the late 19th century. The country finally achieved independence on January 1, 1960, marking its emergence as an independent sovereign nation. Today, Cameroon plays a prominent role in central African politics and economics.

5. Central African Republic

Date of independence: 13th August, 1960

The Central African Republic, situated in Central Africa, was a French colony until it gained independence in 1960. Renowned for its rich natural resources, including diamonds, timber, and oil, the country has a complex and ancient history shaped by various ethnic groups. The Central African Republic officially became an independent sovereign nation in 1960.

6. Chad

Date of independence: 11th August, 1960

Chad, located in Central Africa, was a French colony until it achieved independence in 1960. The country is known for its abundant natural resources, including oil, livestock, and minerals. Chad successfully gained independence in 1960.

7. Comoros

Date of independence: 6th July, 1975

The Comoros, located in the Indian Ocean, was a French colony until it gained independence in 1975. The country has a complex history shaped by various ethnic groups. French colonization in the 19th century sparked the struggle for independence, led by different political parties and activists. The Comoros finally became an independent sovereign nation in 1975.

8. Republic of the Congo

Date of independence: 14th August, 1960

The Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, was a French colony until it achieved independence in 1960. Located in Central Africa, the country is known for its abundant natural resources, including oil, timber, and minerals. The country successfully gained independence in 1960.

9. Côte d’Ivoire

Date of independence: 7th August, 1960

Côte d’Ivoire, also known as Ivory Coast, was a French colony until it achieved independence in 1960. Situated in West Africa, the country is renowned for its valuable natural resources, including cocoa, timber, and gold. Côte d’Ivoire successfully became an independent sovereign nation in 1960 and has since played a significant role in African politics and economics.

10. Djibouti

Date of independence: 27th June, 1977

Djibouti, located in East Africa, was a French colony until it gained independence in 1977. Its strategic location on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden is of great significance. Djibouti achieved independence in 1977 and has since emerged as a major player in African politics and economics.

11. Gabon

Date of independence: 17th August, 1960

Gabon, situated in Central Africa, was a French colony until it gained independence in 1960. The country is known for its rich natural resources, including oil, timber, and minerals.

12. Guinea

Date of independence: 2nd October, 1958

Guinea, located in West Africa, was a French colony until it achieved independence in 1958. The country is renowned for its valuable natural resources, including bauxite, gold, and diamonds. Guinea’s independence process was one of the most turbulent in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite facing ostracization from France and limited support from other Western nations, Guinea emerged as an independent sovereign nation in 1958. Since then, it has played a major role in African politics and economics.

13. Madagascar

Date of independence: 26th July, 1960

Madagascar, located in the Indian Ocean, was a French colony until it gained independence in 1960. The country is known for its rich natural resources, including minerals, oil, and timber. Madagascar successfully became an independent sovereign nation in 1960.

14. Mali

Date of independence: 20th June, 1960

Mali, situated in West Africa, was a French colony until it achieved independence in 1960. The country is known for its abundant natural resources, including gold, salt, and cotton.

15. Mauritania

Date of independence: 28th November, 1960

Mauritania, located in West Africa, was a French colony until it gained independence in 1960. The country is known for its rich natural resources, including iron ore, oil, and fish.

16. Morocco

Date of independence: 18th November, 1956

Morocco, situated in North Africa, was a French protectorate until it gained independence in 1956. The country is known for its diverse culture and historical sites. Morocco has a long and rich history, with various civilizations and dynasties leaving their mark. The struggle for independence was led by Sultan Mohammed V. The country became an independent sovereign nation in 1956 and has since developed into a thriving economy and a popular tourist destination.

17. Niger

Date of independence: 3rd August, 1960

Niger, located in West Africa, was a French colony until it gained independence in 1960. The country is known for its rich natural resources, including uranium, oil, and livestock.

18. Senegal

Date of independence: 4th April, 1960

Senegal, situated in West Africa, was a French colony until it gained independence in 1960. The country is known for its rich natural resources, including phosphates, fish, and peanuts.

19. Togo

Date of independence: 27th April, 1960

Togo, formerly a German and later a French colony, gained independence in 1960. Situated in West Africa, the country is known for its rich natural resources, including phosphates, limestone, and oil.

20. Tunisia

Date of independence: 20th March, 1956

Tunisia, a former French colony in Africa, gained independence on March 20, 1956. The country was under French control for over 70 years, beginning in 1881 when France established a protectorate over Tunisia. The country’s struggle for independence was led by Habib Bourguiba, who became the country’s first president following independence. The French withdrawal from Tunisia was peaceful, unlike in many other African colonies where the process of decolonization was met with significant resistance and violence.

Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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