Africa's History

 The history of Africa dates further back than the history anywhere else in the world. It was in Africa, where the oldest traces of humankind were discovered. And also it was in Africa, where one of the first civilisations emerged, the Kingdom of the Pharaos. Let's go back in time and find out more about the rich African history. Let's make a journey from ancient times, to the great kingdoms in the middle ages and go forward to the big changes in modern times. Why has Africa once been colonized by foreign powers, and how did African peoples overcome those powers and became independent. An what is about Africa today? Click on the links below to learn more about the civilizations, culture, and peoples of Africa.

Africa is the Cradle of Humankind

The Development of the African Continent and the rise of Humankind. 550 000 - 45 000 BCE

The first modern Peoples were Hunter-Gatherers

Weisse Dame von Ahahouret-afrikanische Felszeichnung

The first modern peoples were nomads who roamed the savannas, deserts and rain forests. 45 000 - 10 000 BCE

The first Settlements

Alte Karte vom Nil (c) Shuppiluliuma

 Nomads settle on the banks of the Nile. They build houses and raise cattle. 7000 - 5000 BCE

The Empire of the Pharaos

Tempel von Ramses II (c) Steve Cameron

Small Kingdoms of upper and lower Egypt are unified and become the Empire of the Pharaos. 5000 - 3000 BCE.

The Kingdom of Kush

Taharqa, einer der letzten schwarzen Pharaonen

South of the ancient Egypt the Nubians were founding the Kingdom of Kush. 1000 BCE

The Kingdoms of the Berbers

KahinaThe Berber were the first peoples of northern Africa. The ancient Egypts called them "the Labu". They had erected Kingdoms in Numida and Mauretania.

Carthage, the first Colony in Northern Africa

Figur des Gottes Baal, im Louvre ausgestellt (c) wikicommons The Phoenicians colonize the coastline of northern Africa and establish harbours on the coast. 1000 BCE

Early human Migration, the Bantu Peoples in search of new Land

Statuette aus Aksum (c) Zheim

The Bantu peoples from the Congo region conquer the south and east of Africa. 800 - 500 BCE

The Kingdom of Aksum

Aksum was a powerful Empire in Ethiopia during the early Christian era. It became the greatest market of northeastern Africa and dominated the Red Sea. 100 - 940 CE

The Islam conquers North Africa

Die Apokalypse des Mohammed - Bild von Herkat um 1436 (c) wikicommons

The Muslim conquest of North Africa started in Egypt 647 CE and was completed all along the coast by 710.

African Kingdoms in the Middle Ages

Steinerner Vogel von Simbabwe (c) Patrick Fischer

Gold, ivory and slaves were the basis of the old kingdoms in West Africa. 800 bis 1400 CE. Also in the Southern Africa old kingdoms came into power.

The Colonization of Africa

Vasco da Gama auf seiner Erkundungsfahrt nach Afrika (c) LibraryofCongress

With the Age of Discovery the Sub-Saharan Africa is explored. European powers start to colonize African peoples. 1500 -1960 CE

Christian Missionaries in Africa

Vasco da Gama auf seiner Erkundungsfahrt nach Afrika (c) LibraryofCongress

In the 16th century, the first missionaries from Europe came to the coasts of West Africa along with the explorers and traders and baptised African peoples.

The Slave Trade

Denkmal zur Abschaffung der Sklaverei

For four centuries African men, women and children were torn from their homes, deported to America and sold as slaves. 1441 - 1863 CE

South Africa and the Rise of Apartheid

Junge hinter Gittern (c) wikispacesA white minority, called National Party, gained power in 1948 in South Africa and enforced policies of racial segregation

The Independence of African Nations

Kwame Nkrumah - Freiheitskämpfer aus Ghana und erster Präsident des unabhängigen Ghana (c) John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

African peoples fight against the European powers, who have taken control over their countries for many decades. 1957 bis 1990

How is Africa today?

Algerien - Messeturm (c) wikicommons

In 2002 the African leaders come together and found the African Union to promote cooperation among their nations.