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3.26Bil BC
An asteroid at least 23 miles wide hit Earth about this time triggering global earthquakes and tsunamis across all the world’s oceans. Scientists in 2014 reported that ancient rocks in the Barberton Greenstone of East Africa indicated this to have been one of the most powerful events to ever shape the face of Earth.
Links: Earth, Africa, Asteroid, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1.6Mil BC
Homo erectus dates from at least this far back and had a brain capacity of some 1,000 ml, compared with our own 1,400. He was the first to control fire and to move out of Africa into Europe and Asia. A Palaeolithic technology called Acheulian was invented in Africa by Homo erectus about this time.
Links: Technology, Africa, Anthropology, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
135000 BC
90000 BC
Severe droughts impacted Eastern Africa over this period.
Links: Africa, Drought, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
70000 BC
Genetic studies in 2008 estimated that the human population at this time may have shrunk to as low as 2000 due to a long period of severe droughts in Eastern Africa.
Links: Africa, Drought, Anthropology, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
80 BC
Roman Gen. Pompey conquered Domitius Ahenobarbus and King Hiarbus of Numidia. Pompey restored Hiempsal to his throne.
Links: Romans, Africa, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1710
1895
Muslim rulers led the Kong Empire, also known as the Wattara or Outtara Empire, which spread across West Africa. It embraced a diversity of religious groups straddling what later became Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
Links: Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1783 Jun
1784 Feb
A series of 10 eruptions from the Laki Craters on Iceland changed atmospheric conditions in most of the Northern Hemisphere. This also generated a cascade of events that led to record low levels of water in the Nile River and brought famine to the region.
Links: Egypt, Africa, Volcano, Iceland     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1789
English Thomas Clarkson and his fellow abolitionists published 700 posters with the image of the slave ship Brookes loaded with 482 slaves. The ship, owned by the Brookes family of Liverpool, operated between the Gold Coast of Africa and Jamaica.
Links: Britain, Africa, Jamaica, Ship, Slavery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1850
The population Africa was about 110 million. By 2009 it was around 1 billion.
Links: Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1859
Maize replaced the native crops in Malawi soon after the arrival of David Livingstone. It had been introduced in Africa in the 16th century by Portuguese colonizers as a reliable staple for slaving outposts.
Links: Portugal, Malawi, Africa, Food, Slavery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1874
David Stanley, British journalist, crossed Africa from the east to the west across the Congo River basin on a 999-day journey sponsored by London’s Daily Telegraph. In 2004 Tim Butcher, also a journalist for the Daily Telegraph, followed Stanley’s path on a trip that took 44 days. In 2008 Butcher authored “Blood River: A Journey to Africa’s Broken Heart.”
Links: Britain, Africa, CongoDRC, Journalism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1878 Jul 1
Treaty of Berlin divided Africa for colonization. [see Jul 13]
Links: Germany, Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1895
The British began shipping thousands of Indians to east Africa to build a railway. Many settled there to become station masters, artisans, clerks and shopkeepers.
Links: Britain, India, Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1907 Jun
Pablo Picasso stumbled on the African and Oceanic collection at the Ethnographic Museum of the Trocadero in Paris, as he was working on "Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon." The experience from that point on put an African influence on much of his work.
Links: Artist, Spain, France, Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1914
1918
The German campaign in East Africa was directed by General Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck. German looting and raiding caused at least 300,000 civilian deaths. By attacking Northern Rhodesia they invaded British territory. Of 1 million porters recruited by the British, 95,000 died. In 2007 Edward Paice authored “Tip and Run: The Untold Tragedy of the Great War in Africa. In 2008 Edward Paice authored “World War I: The African Front.
Links: Britain, Germany, Africa, Zimbabwe, WWI     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1928
Coca-Cola began sales in Africa. By 2008 Coca Cola claimed to be the largest private sector employee in Africa.
Links: USA, Labor, Africa, Cola     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1938 Jul 14
Italian Premier Mussolini published an anti-Jewish and African manifesto prepared by Italian "scientists."
Links: Italy, Jews, Africa, Sociology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1938 Aug 9
Leo Frobenius (1873-1938), German ethnologist and archaeologist, died in Italy. He undertook his first expedition to Africa in 1904 to the Kasai district in Congo. Frobenius had taught at the University of Frankfurt. In 1925, the city acquired his collection of about 4700 prehistorical African stone paintings, which are currently at the University's institute of ethnology, which was named the Frobenius Institute in his honor in 1946.
Links: Germany, Africa, Explorer     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1940 Nov
The Nazi Bielfield memorandum argued for the seizure of Belgian and French Congo, Equatorial French Africa and a large portion of French West Africa; naval bases were earmarked for Dakar, Conakry and the Canary Islands, while Madagascar was reserved as a ‘dumping-ground’ for Jews. This vast area was to be exploited for its natural resources, upon which Germany’s European empire would be built.
Links: Germany, Africa, WWII     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1941 Jul
Artist Marc Chagall and his wife Bella Rosenfeld departed France for America. On the same day that he left Vichy police deported some 1,200 other Jewish refugees to forced labor in north Africa.
Links: Artist, USA, France, Jews, Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1943 May 12
The Axis forces in Tunisia and all of North Africa surrendered.
Links: Germany, Africa, Tunisia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1948
African and Indian three-wheelers (tuk-tuks) began following the original design of the Piaggio Ape C, which was originally based on the Italian Vespa.
Links: Italy, India, Africa, Cars     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1956
African honeybees were imported to Brazil by a scientist who let them escape. By 1990 they had worked their way north to southern Texas and began to spread across the southwest.
Links: Brazil, USA, Africa, Texas, Insects     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969
The first Panafrican Festival took place in Algiers amid widespread euphoria. Most African nations had just gained independence, they were full of hope, and Algeria was spearheading the nonaligned movement balancing between the Western and Soviet blocks. A 2nd Panafrican Festival did not take place until 2009.
Links: Algeria, Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1970
J. Desmond Clark (d.2002), professor at UC Berkeley, authored "The Pre-history of Africa."
Links: USA, Africa, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1977
The TransAfrica lobby group was founded to press the US political establishment on matters concerning Africa and the Caribbean. Randall Robinson in 1998 published "Defending the Spirit" a memoir of his efforts in the organization.
Links: USA, Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980
A global campaign was begun to eradicate guinea worm, aka dracunculiasis, a disabling parasitic disease existing in only 4 African countries.
Links: Microbiology, Africa, Medical     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Jun 27
The African States members of the Organization of African Unity, meeting in Liberia, adopted a Charter on Human and People’s Rights. Article 5 specifically prohibited slavery. It became effective as of October 21, 1986.
Links: Liberia, Africa, Black History, Slavery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1983
"Sisters In Affliction: Circumcision and Infibulation of Women in Africa" by Raquiya H. Abdalla was published.
Links: Writer, Africa, Women, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1983
In the Netherlands the Dapper Foundation of Amsterdam was founded with a private gift donation of African art. It was brought to Paris in 1986 and housed in an elegant private museum at 50 Avenue Victor Hugo.
Links: France, Netherlands, Africa, Donation, Museums     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
International Red Cross
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1985 Jul 13
Live Aid, an international rock concert in London, Philadelphia, Moscow and Sydney, took place to raise money for Ethiopia and Africa's starving people. It was organized by Bob Geldof of Ireland.
Links: Australia, Russia, Britain, Ethiopia, Ireland, Pennsylvania, Africa, USSR, Pop&Rock     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1987
Village Enterprises Fund was founded to help small businesses in under-developed countries. In 1997 it began focusing on East Africa.
Links: Money, Africa, Economics     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1988 Dec 26
An anti African student rebellion took place in China PR.
Links: China, Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989
Hanny Lightfoot-Klein authored "Prisoners of Ritual: An Odyssey into Female Genital Circumcision in Africa."
Links: USA, Africa, Books, Sociology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989
The Group O AIDS virus was identified in West Africa. It had marked genetic differences from the more common Group M strains that were responsible for a worldwide pandemic.
Links: Microbiology, Africa, AIDS     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1989
1990
During a border war with Senegal, tens of thousands of black Mauritanians, from high ranking civil servants to herdsmen, were accused of being Senegalese, rounded up and deported.
Links: Senegal, Africa, Mauritania, Arab     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1990
The Europe and North Africa group formed. It gathered leaders from North Africa — Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania and Libya — with leaders from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Malta.
Links: Algeria, Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, Malta, Libya, Africa, Mauritania, Tunisia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1994
Craig Packer wrote "Into Africa." It won the 1995 John Burroughs Medal Award for nature writing.
Links: Africa, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1994
South Africa’s Shoprite supermarket began expanding across Africa. In 2005 it was Africa’s largest retailer with 700 shops in 16 countries.
Links: South Africa, Africa, Retail     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1994
Ayisi Makatiani, a student at MIT, co-founded Africa Online with 2 Kenyan friends. It was purchased by Prodigy and in 1998 underwent a management buyout. In 2000 it was purchased by African Lakes, an investment firm.
Links: Kenya, Africa, Internet     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
Timelines
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1995
Jacques Foccart (1913-1997), architect of French policy in Africa, published "Foccart Speaks," a book on French policymaking in Africa under Charles de Gaulle.
Links: France, Africa, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996 May 9
Bacterial meningitis has infected more than 100,000 people in West Africa over the last 3 months and more than 10,000 have died. The epidemic has been most intense in the region just south of the Sahara known as the Sahel. The 1996 epidemic resulted in some 20,000 deaths. The "meningitis belt" swept from Senegal to Ethiopia about every 10 years.
Links: Senegal, Ethiopia, Microbiology, Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996 Oct 31
An outbreak of the Ebola virus killed at least 17 people. It was the 4th outbreak in Africa since 1995.
Links: Microbiology, Africa, Ebola     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996 Nov 1
Norway announced a $24 million donation to educate girls in 19 African countries. The gift went to UNICEF’s African Education for All program.
Links: Africa, Norway, Donation, Education     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996 Dec 5
An African Summit opened in Burkina Faso. New candidates for the position of UN Secretary-general were to be considered.
Links: Burkina Faso, Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1996 Dec 10
The French African aid budget was more than $3 billion, nearly 4 times that of the US aid to Africa. French troops were garrisoned in Cameroon, the CAR, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon and Senegal.
Links: Ivory Coast, Senegal, France, Cameroon, Chad, Africa, CAR, Gabon, Djibouti     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996 Dec
Femmes Africa Solidarite (FAS), founded by Bineta Diop (46) of Senegal, gained official recognition as an international NGO.
Links: Senegal, Africa, Women     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996
CD Bayaka: The Extraordinary Music of the BaBezele Pygmies was produced. It featured an hour of yodels and songs... with the delicate tone of the mondume. It was made with a 96-page booklet.
Links: Africa, Pop&Rock     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997 Apr 14
In SF the winners of the 1997 Goldman Environmental Prize were: Included were Juan Pablo Orrego of Chile for his battle to stop the damming of the Bio Bio River.
Links: Russia, Chile, Britain, Indonesia, Environment, Ohio, Africa, Samoa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997 Apr 16
African leaders of 7 nations eased their embargo on Burundi to alleviate local suffering.
Links: Burundi, Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
International Red Cross
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1997 Jul 10
The DNA from the arm bone of Neanderthal man found in 1856 was found to represent a separate human species. Scientists in London said DNA from a Neanderthal skeleton supported a theory that all humanity descended from an "African Eve" 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
Links: Britain, Africa, DNA, Anthropology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net) published an inquiry into the world’s failure to respond to food shortages in Niger and the rest of the Sahel.
Links: Niger, Africa, Food     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Mar 22
President Clinton departed Washington for an historic 12-day tour of Africa.
Links: USA, Africa, ClintonB     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Apr 3
A 2-day meeting called by the Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers was attended by 18 African nations, over a dozen European countries and Japan, Canada and Argentina. They endorsed measures to control the spread of light weapons.
Links: Argentina, Canada, Japan, EU, Africa, Guns, Norway     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Jul 17
In Uganda Pres. Museveni proposed a single continental army and government for Africa with headquarters in Kampala.
Links: Africa, Uganda     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1998 Oct 16
It was reported that Bobi Ladawa Mobutu, wife of Mobutu Sese Seko, and son, Nazanga, had established a Mobutu Family Foundation to carry out charitable programs in the US and Africa for young Africans. The former dictator was believed to have taken $10 billion from the Congo.
Links: Africa, CongoDRC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Nov 24
A UN report on AIDS said 33 million people were infected, and that two-thirds of them were in sub-Saharan Africa.
Links: UN, Africa, AIDS     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Dec 10
In Sudan the death toll from the 15 year civil war was reported to have reached at least 1.9 million. A 40 nation African conference on refugees opened in Khartoum.
Links: Sudan, Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998
The book "Into Africa: A Journey Through Ancient Empires" was written by Sheila Hirtle and Marq de Villiers.
Links: Africa, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998
Some 2 million Africans south of the Sahara died of AIDS in this year.
Links: Africa, AIDS     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
Timelines
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