There were economic realities and political movements that contributed to African nations throwing off their colonial masters as well.
Economically, the two largest empires in Africa by the post-World War II era, France and Britain, went broke. England was mostly broke after World War II, and it was no longer feasible for them to project military power around the globe, or fight wars of subjugation on the African continent. France had suffered economic devastation under Nazi occupation, then fought a protracted and ultimately losing effort in Indochina, and then an insurgency in Algeria. Their empire collapsed as a result, and the influence of both nations was replaced by that of the US and the USSR.
Politically, Pan-Africanism, a movement to unite African peoples and erase colonial borders, became more popular in the 1950s and 60s, as did Marxism, which many African supported as a means to address the glaring economic differences between wealthy colonial masters and the native peoples of that land.
So it makes sense that 1960 was considered the "Year of African Independence", as seventeen separate nations declared their independence.