What would Africa's political map have looked like right now if it wasn't for colonialism?

Apr 2017
1,662
U.S.A.
Fine, they can expand.

Yes, they can expand.

You decide.

Yes, it can.

For the record, maybe a better rule here would be that expansion of existing European colonies in Africa is acceptable but the creation of new European colonies in Africa is unacceptable.
This is problematic, being only able to expand existing colonies only limits their entry points. France could in theory conquer the entire sahara region by setting out from Senegal, then move south conquering all the way to the Congo.
Portugal in real life mainly expanded their colonies in reaction to other European states but without completion they may expand or may not.
Using these rules Southern Africa would be entirely (except Angola and Mozambique) british up to the great lakes (as no other European states could intervene).
France would expand from its colony to the congo great lakes (meeting the british). Then north to lake chad and east to the Sudan (as they did in real life but no British to stop them). This would then allow them to march north and take Egypt (similar to the british) and possibly the entire Mediterranean coast.
In west Africa both Britain and france would expand their colonies, Britain taking everything between Ghana and lake chad (where the French are at). Then looping around Liberia up to Sierra Leone. While France takes everything north of Guinea up to and including Morocco, meeting their forces from Egypt.
In east Africa the French would swing south from sudan while the british move north from the great lakes, probably meeting around Uganda-Kenya.
So pretty much North, central, east and half of west Africa to France. Southern and half of west Africa to Britain. Leaving small enclaves for Liberia and Portugal.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,327
SoCal
By "colonialism" are you referring to European colonialism specifically, or colonialism in general? Because Islamic colonialism was also a potent force in Africa.

In the absence of European colonialism, much of Sub-Saharan Africa would have been dominated by Islamic powers, since the 18th-19th centuries saw a steady expansion of Islamic power into the African heartland. Egypt under the Muhammad Ali dynasty would have continued its colonial expansion towards central Africa around Lake Victoria (in our real life timeline, they made it as far as Wadelai in Uganda), and might have conquered Ethiopia. Oman would continue to have influence over Zanzibar and the Swahili coast, and Arab merchant-soldiers would have probably expanded their ventures south into Mozambique and South Africa if Europeans were absent from those regions. In the dark interior of Africa, our real life timeline saw Arab adventurers like Tippu Tip carving out their own private empires in the Congo. Without Belgians or other Europeans, all of Congo would probably be Muslim today. As for West Africa, Islam was already present in the savanna regions since medieval times, but the 19th century saw further Islamic expansion and state formation (as seen in the Fulani jihads), and without Europeans we would probably see Islamic states reach the Gulf of Guinea.
How about we focus on two scenarios here:

1. No European imperialism in Africa but Yes Muslim imperialism in Africa.
2. No European imperialism in Africa and also No Muslim imperialism in Africa.

BTW, even without European imperialism in Africa, Europeans could still share/sell/trade modern technology with Africans and thus help various African states protect themselves from Muslim imperialism.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,327
SoCal
This is problematic, being only able to expand existing colonies only limits their entry points. France could in theory conquer the entire sahara region by setting out from Senegal, then move south conquering all the way to the Congo.
Portugal in real life mainly expanded their colonies in reaction to other European states but without completion they may expand or may not.
Using these rules Southern Africa would be entirely (except Angola and Mozambique) british up to the great lakes (as no other European states could intervene).
France would expand from its colony to the congo great lakes (meeting the british). Then north to lake chad and east to the Sudan (as they did in real life but no British to stop them). This would then allow them to march north and take Egypt (similar to the british) and possibly the entire Mediterranean coast.
In west Africa both Britain and france would expand their colonies, Britain taking everything between Ghana and lake chad (where the French are at). Then looping around Liberia up to Sierra Leone. While France takes everything north of Guinea up to and including Morocco, meeting their forces from Egypt.
In east Africa the French would swing south from sudan while the british move north from the great lakes, probably meeting around Uganda-Kenya.
So pretty much North, central, east and half of west Africa to France. Southern and half of west Africa to Britain. Leaving small enclaves for Liberia and Portugal.
Who gets Ethiopia?
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,569
Las Vegas, NV USA


This map claims to show the ethnic divisions as they existed in about 1200 AD. Even without Western colonization one could expect significant changes and consolidations.
 
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