How did African countries reach independence? Differences, please!

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In eastern and western Africa, countries gained independence after coming to an agreement with the colonial powers. For example, Kenya gained her independence in 1963, after the British agreed to let the Kenyans govern themselves following pleas from local politicians.

Uganda gained her independence in 1962, after the British had...

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In eastern and western Africa, countries gained independence after coming to an agreement with the colonial powers. For example, Kenya gained her independence in 1963, after the British agreed to let the Kenyans govern themselves following pleas from local politicians.

Uganda gained her independence in 1962, after the British had allowed the first-ever democratic elections in 1960. The British monitored the politics of the country before leaving the Ugandans to rule themselves two years later, under the leadership of Benedicto Kiwanuka.

The exception is Ethiopia, which is believed to have never been colonized (despite being under the control of the Italians in the 1930s). When the Italians invaded Ethiopia in 1935, Emperor Haile Selassie went to Britain for safety. He returned six years later, gathered his men, and fought the Italians until they surrendered.

Togo became independent after the Togolese Unity Committee won the legislative elections in 1958. With governance in place, the French allowed the Togolese to rule themselves.

In northern Africa, Algeria had to fight a long and bloody battle, from 1954 to 1962, against the French to win their freedom and independence.

In central Africa, the Central African Republic became independent after the French proclaimed it to be so in 1960. There was already a government in place by that time.

In southern Africa, the British granted Zimbabwe her independence after monitoring elections and ensuring a government was in place in 1980.

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African countries achieved independence in different forms. For example, Liberia became a country in 1847 after freed African-Americans went there to found a colony. Their efforts were supported by the American Colonization Society, which had been founded in 1816 in the United States with the purpose of repatriating African-Americans to Africa, as they thought this was the best route towards African-American freedom. 

In 1910, South Africa became independent after Britain fought the Second Boer War (1899-1902). England had faced resistance to their rule from both Zulus and the Dutch-speaking South Africans in the Boer Republics. In 1931, South Africa became fully independent of Great Britain. In 1922, Egypt became independent from Great Britain after a century of British control. However, the English continued to control foreign affairs, the Sudan, and the military until the kingdom of Egypt became a republic in 1953 (and Sudan became independent in 1956).

Many of the other African countries were granted independence following World War II. Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill had signed the Atlantic Charter in 1941, recognizing the rights of all countries to sovereignty. After World War II, Britain was pressured to recognize the independence of its colonies, and it also found them expensive to administer. Kwame Nkrumah declared independence for his nation, Ghana, in 1957, and Ghana became a republic in 1960. Nkrumah was an advocate of pan-Africanism, a concept advocated by W.E.B. Du Bois and others that supported a unified African identity and resistance to colonialism. Other countries, such as the Congo, Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Kenya, and others, became independent in the 1960s. Other nations gained independence in the 1970s. Eritrea became a nation in 1993 after fighting a war of independence with Ethiopia, and South Sudan became a nation, winning its independence from Sudan, in 2011 after voting in a referendum. 

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Mozambique, like Angola, was also involved in a bloody struggle against Portugal for independence. Also like Angola, they received direct military aid from Cuba. Even the relatively peaceful independence movements, like in Ghana and Kenya, also saw rioting and some violence. In Zimbabwe, a white-led government (known then as Rhodesia)broke away from Britain, resulting in fighting with African revolutionaries. One very interesting exception to colonial patterns was Liberia, founded in the mid-nineteenth century by freed slaves who had come there with the help of the American Colonization Society.  

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Most of these countries achieved independence simply by being granted it by their former colonial rulers.  There were some, such as Angola, that fought for independence.  But more of them were like Zimbabwe which was simply granted independence by Britain.

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