Africa, like all continents, was affected by the Cold War. It was probably less strategically important than Europe and Asia, though. The United States fought two large conflicts in Asia—Korea and Vietnam—during the Cold War but none in Africa. The US strategy of containment was applied less strictly in Africa than elsewhere, and the US did not have a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for Africa.
Most of Africa had been divided into colonies until after World War II. Western European nations, exhausted by WWII, were no longer able to maintain control of their colonies in Africa. Africa's newly independent states were confronted by a choice: Western-style democracy or Soviet-style communism? In this competition between East and West for Africa, the Soviet Union could rightly claim that it had not previously colonized and exploited African nations. Africans remembered, on the other hand, the injustices they had endured under Western control. Nevertheless, most African nations tried to stay neutral during the Cold War.
The creation of Israel after WWII led to a conflict between it and neighboring Arab states. The most powerful of these Arab states was Egypt. Both sides courted Egypt, as both wanted to maintain access to the Suez Canal.
Congo was the scene of an intense Cold War confrontation. Patrice Lumumba, the country's first post-independence leader, was supported by Moscow. In 1961, he was murdered, probably with help from the US.
Angola finally gained independence from Portugal in the 1970s. But it was torn by civil war between pro-communist and anti-communist factions. Communist Cuba sent thousands of troops to fight in that war.
Africa faced many challenges after winning its independence, and the Cold War added to its difficulties.