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Historic Events in Africa

The African continent has seen a number of major events that have made an impact in one way or the other. The scope of this article makes an effort to gloss over some of the major events that have made a print on the continent.

The average African knows the brutality that occurred in Rwanda in 1994 in the course of the civil war. The description of the terror that ensued during the period can only be imagined. This genocide was essentially between two groups in Rwanda namely; The Tutsis and Hutus. The cause of this feud was believed to be the preferential treatment the Tutsis got when the Belgium colonists were on the land. The Tutsis got better jobs and educational opportunities from the Belgium colonists because they perceived the Tutsis to be better. When the colonists relinquished power to the Rwandans, the Hutus rose up against this unfairness and fought back. Another influence of this genocide was the long-standing animosity between these two ethnic groups. Coincidentally, a plane carrying the then President Juvenal, a Hutu, was shot down killing everyone on board. Of course, this action was blamed on the Tutsis. The Tutsis however denied it and blamed the Hutus for shooting down the place to create a reason for the fightback. About 8000 people were killed per day and it is estimated that over 800,000 bodies dropped dead in 100 days.

Another major event that has marked African’s timeline is the drought of Sahel in the 1970s. The rainfall at the time was very minimal and this trend continued for about seven years. This affected countries like Chad, Mali Senegal, and others close to the sub-Saharan belt on the continent. It is estimated that this famine killed about 100,000 people and left 750,000 dependent on food aid.

Lastly in this article, during the period from 1956, countries in Africa started becoming independent from their colonies. Tunisia, Morocco, and Sudan lead the way in 1956 whereas Ghana formerly Gold Coast joined in 1957. In the 1960s, a lot more countries joined the independence bad wagon to be free from the colonist rulership. Now most countries in Africa are independent and the concept of a country still colonized is rather strange and foreign.


Agnew, C. T., & Chappell, A. (2000, February 21). Drought in the Sahel on JSTOR. JSTOR.

BBC News. (2011, May 17). Rwanda: How the genocide happened.

Masih, I., Maskey, S., & Mussá, F. E. F. (2014). A review of droughts on the African continent: a geospatial and long-term perspective [E-book]. UNESCO-IHE, Institute for Water Education.

Schulman, M. (n.d.). Major Events in African History 1900–2019. History Central. Retrieved July 6, 2021, from