African countries

African countries that gained independence during the reign of Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth’s reign as Britain’s monarch is filled with many lasting legacies
During her 70-year reign as the sole ruler of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, she also maintained close ties with the African continent. The Queen was responsible for handing over sovereignty to ten African nations in sub-regions of the continent.

As the world mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in modern history, her legacy in empowering nations across the globe cannot be overstated.

Discover the list of African countries and the year of their independence as sovereign nations.


The West African nation with a population of 2.417 million gained independence on February 18, 1965. Its capital is Banjul and its first president was Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara.


Ghana, formerly the Gold Coast, is a country in West Africa endowed with many natural resources, especially gold.
It has a population of over 31.07 million people.

On March 6, 1957, Ghana gained independence and on July 1, 1960, it became a republic whose first leader was Kwame Nkrumah.


Kenya is an East African country with a deep-rooted cultural and traditional history that has existed for centuries. It has over 54 million people as a population.

Kenya gained independence as a sovereign state and on December 12, 1964, where Jomo Kenyatta became the first President of Kenya.


The Republic of Malawi is a small country in the East African region, with a population of over 20 million. It shares a border with Zambia to the west, Tanzania to the north and northeast, and Mozambique to the east, south, and southwest.

Malawi gained independence on July 6, 1964, with Hastings Banda as its first president.


Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean with a small population of just over 2 million. Its capital is Port Louis and under British colony it gained independence on March 12, 1968 with Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam becoming the first Prime Minister of an independent Mauritius.


The Federal Republic of Nigeria, known as the trigger of Africa due to its location on the African map. It has over 250 million people, making it the most populous black nation in the world. It is Africa’s largest economy and its seat of power is in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)-Abuja.

In the early 1800s, Nigeria became a British colony but gained independence on October 1, 1960 and became a republic on October 1, 1963.


Zimbabwe, is located in the southern part of Africa and has a population density of over 15 million people. Its capital is the city of Harare and on November 11, 1965, a unilateral declaration of independence was signed in 1970, Zimbabwe became a republic with its first president being Canaan Banana and Robert Mugabe being the first prime minister.

8.Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone with its capital Freetown is a small country in West Africa with less than 10 million inhabitants. It became a sovereign state on April 27, 1961, and Sir Milton Margai became its first-ever leader.

9. South Africa

South Africa is a country with a deeply rooted cultural and traditional history with a population density of over 60 million people.

Its capitals are Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein respectively, all serving different purposes.
The country’s independence status dates back to the early 1990s, but held its first universal elections in 1994 with Nelson Mandela as president.

10. Uganda
Uganda is an East African country whose capital is Kampala. It gained independence on October 9, 1962 with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and the Queen of Uganda.

In October 1963, Uganda became a republic but maintained its membership in the Commonwealth of Nations.

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