French Colonies in Africa – History and Beyond 2024

French colonies in Africa – During colonial era two forces France and Britain were aggressive forces who conquered most part of the world and that is why many wars and frictions happened between them those days.

Africa is one of them were these two forces conquered and established there colonies. Below we have elaborated the amazing history of Africa along with the 10 French colonies in African continent:

The history of French colonies

  • By the early nineteen hundreds, France controlled most areas of Africa. Together, these areas formed a federation that a general of French West Africa governed.  
  • At the time, St. Louis was the one place where most West Africans took an interest in the matters of the French Nationals. The disheartening fact was that people from West Africa didn’t have the right to be designated as citizens in any place other than this region and were instead seen as mere subjects. People from France became increasingly conscious that the people they were trying to conquer might need to be more suitable as citizens of France. 
  • There was a need for a defined assimilation policy after the first French colonial union in West Africa. In their new dominion, the French constructed a federalist administration that was highly centralized—a regime of direct authority. The leader with authority in Dakar was expected to report to and receive orders from the Parisian administration and the Minister of Colonies.
  • Lieutenant governors ruled over regions in Africa’s hinterland; they got commands and funding from the governor-general. Senegal had a somewhat distinct system established due to early assimilation efforts. These municipalities were represented by a counselor general, which was made up of assimilationist Africans. 
  • The administrative entities that comprised Africa’s component areas were called circles. At the time, they were supervised by district commissioners. The French could have used more of those in customary authority positions to manage the colony. 
  • A distinct strategy was employed in the colonies of Britain: local authority figures were used instead of a different and new government. They employed all the mechanisms they could to help the colonists. The people from France employed highly harsh measures to preserve and advance their interests. They tried to strengthen their financial stance through the use of enslavement and indigenous incarceration.
  • To encourage involvement in the finances, they taxed and promoted the manufacture of groundnuts and cotton when the necessary circumstances existed. When crops could not be farmed, they advised migration to places where wages could be earned. 
  • Commercial activities are the primary motivation for France’s colonial venture in West Africa. The governmental administration and commercial interests mostly held steady during the colonial era. Even with attempts to provide certain essential health and education services, the situation of West Africans still needs to be improved.
  • In the British-occupied West African territories, the middle class profited financially; in the French context, however, such a situation did not exist.

List of French Colonies in Africa including autonomous territories 

In earlier days, most of the lands in Africa were possessed by France. The following colonies are few among the others:

  1. Algeria: Algeria is one of the oldest colonies of France in Africa. It was settled in the 19th century, and administrators from France governed it. It was in 1962 when Algeria gained freedom from the tortures of France.  
  2. Morocco and Tunisia: Morocco and Tunisia were not considered colonies technically, but France and Spain tried to influence the countries in the 20th century. Morocco was included under the protection of France, and Tunisia was later incorporated in 1881.  
  3. Senegal: In the 17th century, the French conquered Senegal. It is one of the most popular countries in the African region. The major population of this country is interracial French and Africans, who are considered one of the most beautiful races.
  4. In the 19th century, a federation of the eight nations formerly part of French colonies in West Africa made up the federation known as French West Africa. 
  5. The federation known as French Equatorial Africa comprised the formerly French territories of Gabon, the Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), and Chad. 
  6. Madagascar: In 1896, the archipelago of Madagascar was officially turned into a colony of France, and it gained independence in 1960.
  7. Solimaland: Currently known as Djibouti, this region is in the Horn of Africa. It was a French colony from the late 19th century until its independence in 1977.
  8. Comoros: Before becoming an independent nation in 1975, the Comoros islands were part of the French colony in the Indian Ocean.
  9. Sudan in France: Subsequently, it joined the Mali Federation and became independent as Mali in 1960.
  10. The Ivory Coast: French colonialism ended in 1960 with Côte d’Ivoire’s independence. The legacy left by these colonies still affects the area today. There were many important players in the history of imperialism in France. Many African nations acquired independence in the mid-20th century due to the continent’s decolonization drive.

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