Within one life-span, most of Africa has come under European rule and re-emerged. Today, its fast changing map is liable to confuse even the specialist, while the plain newspaper reader often finds himself groping for some fairly simple explanation of the background to the news stories that confront him almost daily. In 1960-1 alone, nineteen new sovereign states appeared on the African map, some of them with unfamiliar names such as Mali, Malagasy, Central African Republic: and frontiers were changed or abolished, as in the Cameroons and Somalia. Names such as Bizerta and Baganda, Katanga and Kariba, Brazzaville and Casablanca, Tananarive and Hassi R'mel recurred in the news. In offering a brief guide to as many of these puzzlements as can be conveniently covered in a pocketable book, we realize that the swift pace of events may have produced still more changes by the time the reader opens these pages; but we have tried, by concentrating on essentials, to provide a background that will still be helpful whatever fresh transformations may occur in months to come.
Acknowledgment of all the many sources upon which we have drawn would be impossible here; we can only say that we have done our best to avoid falling into error, and invite the informed reader to correct us if and when he finds it necessary.
Cross-references are indicated in the text by an italic numeral or letter in brackets, thus: (24). These refer to a map and its accompanying text, not to a page; so do the entries in the index.
A. B. P. v. R.