Civilizations before European colonization.
The history of Africa begins from the first modern human beings and leads to its present difficult state as a politically developing continent.
Africa's ancient historic period includes the rise of Egyptian civilization, the further development of societies outside the Nile River Valley and the interaction between them and civilizations outside of Africa. In the late 7th century North and East Africa were heavily influenced by the spread of Islam. That led to the appearance of new cultures such as those of the Swahili people, and the Mali Empire, whose king, Musa Keita I, became one of the richest and most influential people of the early 14th century. This also led to an increase in the slave trade that had a very bad influence for the development of the whole continent until the 19th century.
Slavery has long been practised in Africa. Between the seventh and twentieth centuries, the Arab slave trade took 18 million slaves from Africa via trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean routes.
Between the fifteenth and the nineteenth centuries (500 years), the Atlantic slave trade took an estimated 7–12 million slaves to the New World.
Between 1808 and 1860, the British Navy captured approximately 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans who were aboard.
Areas of Africa under the control or influence of European nations in 1914 (at outbreak of World War I
In the late nineteenth century, the European powers occupied much of the continent, creating many colonial and dependent territories. They left only three fully independent states: Darwiish State, (also spelled Daraawiish State), Ethiopia (known to Europeans as "Abyssinia"), and Liberia.
Egypt and Sudan were never formally incorporated into any European colonial empire. However, after the British occupation of 1882, Egypt was effectively under British administration until 1922.
African independence movements had their first success in 1951 when Libya became the first former colony to become independent. Modern African history has been full of revolutions and wars as well as the growth of modern African economies and democratization across the continent.
A civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) began in 1998. Neighbouring African countries have become involved. Since the conflict began, 5,5 million are estimated to have died because of it.
Political associations such as the African Union offer hope for greater co-operation and peace between the continent's many countries.