The political map has been transformed in a mere six years. Before 1955, the only states in Africa not controlled by Europeans were Egypt (9), Ethiopia (11), Liberia (18) and Libya, which had become independent only in 1951 (4). The great change began in the Arab north: Sudan, Morocco and Tunisia achieved independence in 1956 (2, 4, 10). In 1957 Ghana, first of the new 'black' African states, became a sovereign Commonwealth country (19); in 1958 Guinea chose independence from France (14, 15); in 1960 came a flood of new independent states -- Nigeria (20), Somalia (12), the ex-Belgian Congo (23), and no less than 14 former French territories, including Malagasy ( Madagascar) (14, 35). In 1961 the independence of Sierra Leone (18) nearly completed the transformation in West Africa, while that of Tanganyika (30) carried the new wave to the east coast. Africans were also close to political preponderance in Uganda, Kenya and Nyasaland (28, 29, 33), and largely in control in Gambia (18) and French Somaliland (12), although full independence seemed an unlikely prospect for those two small territories as they stood; their future, and that of other little vestiges of the colonial jigsaw pattern, remains uncertain.
Thus 24 new nations appeared on the African map, with 140 million inhabitants. Before 1955, four-fifths of Africa's population had lived under European rule; now, nearly four-fifths live in independent states. Apart from Algeria in the north, where France's inability to crush the rebellion in seven years of fighting points to an inevitable end of French rule (3), and Belgian-held Ruanda-Urundi (26), where independence also seems imminent, colonial rule is virtually reduced to the Portuguese (34) and British dependencies in the south. Of the latter, the Rhodesias (31) are now the scene of a developing political struggle between African nationalists and the hitherto dominant white minority; and the fate of the three British protectorates (37) adjoining South Africa is involved to some extent with the uncertain future of South Africa itself -- a sovereign state still tightly controlled by the three million whites who make up a fifth of its population (36, 38).