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Africa Map
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Africa Map

Having gained independence, African leaders tried to bring about the new world they had dreamed of for so long. However, the years of foreign rule had left the continent with huge problems. Most of its people were poor, uneducated and unskilled. Colonial rule had often set one person against another and traditional homelands had been divided by new national borders. Trying to unite nations where people spoke many different languages and followed a variety of different religions was a tough job.

The map of Africa shows over 50 countries, large and small. Just 50 years ago, most of these countries were ruled by powerful European nations, which became rich by exploiting their natural wealth. From the 1960's onwards African people once again began to rule their own nations, many of which have ancient histories.

Many countries suffered years of dictatorship and millions of people became refugees from war, drought and famine. White South Africans refused to give the vote to the black people who made up most of this nation's population.Tragic news still came from many African countries, including Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan. However, in 1994 hope was brought to the continent when Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president. In the 1990's many African countries started holding democratic elections and the world was reminded of the energy, goodwill and idealism of millions of ordinary African people.Fossils found in the Great Rift Valley in Tanzania tell us that the human race had its origins in this continent. We all share Africa's past and we must all hope for its future.
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