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Africa News of Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

African countries that changed their names after independence: LIST

Flag of African countries lined up at a conference Flag of African countries lined up at a conference

The process involved in changing one's name would most likely not be as cumbersome as that of a country seeking to change its name.

The last time an African country changed its name was in 2018 when the King of Swaziland announced during independence day celebration that the country had abandoned Swaziland and was from then on known as Eswatini.

Over in West Africa, specifically Africa's most populous nation, there is a proposal for lawmakers to consider changing the name of Nigeria to the United African Republic.

Whiles any such change will involve a long laborious constitutional change, signs are that it will likely not happen as nationals have largely mocked the idea put forth by a tax consultant in Lagos.

GhanaWeb looks back at some African countries that have previously changed their names:


1.Northern Rhodesia became Zambia in 1964 when they achieved independence from Britain.

2. Present-day Zimbabwe was known as Southern Rhodesia until their independence in 1980.

3. The Kingdom of Lesotho was previously called protectorate of Basutoland until independence in 1966.

4. First president of Malawi, Hastings Kamuzu Banda changed the name of the country from Nyasaland to Malawi. This was in the year 1964.

5. Portuguese Guinea changed to present-day Guinea-Bissau after independence in 1974.

6. The Republic of Guinea [Conakry] had the name French Guinea until independence in 1958.

7. British Somaliland re-united with the Italian part to form United Republic of Somalia in 1960. They were independent from Britain for just 4 days - they are now pushing for independence from Somalia.

8.Djibouti was previuosly known as French Territory of Afar and Issas from the late 1960s to 1977 when they gained independence from France.

9.Ruanda-Urundi, were a united country under Belgian rule, they subsequently broke into two separate States in 1962. Ruanda changed to present-day Rwanda and Urundi changed to Burundi.

Part 1: These countries changed their official names after independence.

1. Gold Coast - Ghana in 1957.

2. French Soudan - Mali in 1960.

3. Belgian Congo - Congo Democratic Republic in 1960.

4.British protectorate of Bechuanaland - Botswana in 1966.

5.French Congo or 'Moyen Congo' - Republic of Congo [currently referred to as Congo Brazzaville] in 1960.

6.Portuguese East Africa - Mozambique in 1975

7.Portuguese Angola or Portuguese West Africa - Angola in 1975.

8.The Spanish colonies of Rio Muni and Fernando Po - Equatorial Guinea in 1968.

9 South-West Africa - Namibia when they broke away from South Africa in 1990. At a point they were also known as German South-West Africa [1884-1915], that was before the Germans lost WW I.

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