Alternative History


On ne commerce gueres que sur les côtes de l’Afrique ; le dedans de cette partie du monde n’est pas encore assez connu, & les Européens n’ont gueres commencé ce commerce que vers le milieu du XIVe siecle.
(AFRIQUE, Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers)

Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent (the first being Asia in each category). At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its total land area. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes the island of Madagascar and various archipelagos.


Pre-colonial Africa possessed many different states and polities characterized by many different sorts of political organization and rule. These included small family groups of hunter-gatherers, larger, more structured groups, heavily structured clan groups and autonomous city-states and kingdoms and coastal trading towns.

Worldwide distribution of malaria

Malaria is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions around the equato, this includes much of sub-Saharan Africa.

Besides several independent native and Muslim polities, there are also the Ottoman provinces of North Africa and its vassals and also Western European colonial possessions of the Commonwealth, Dutch Republic, Iberia (Portuguese and Spanish territories) and France.

European colonialism had several consequences throughout its military, political and economical power it exercise on African polities and society.

African States

Northern Africa

Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. Also known by Arabs as the Maghreb ("West", The western part of Arab World).

North Africa includes a number of French, Iberian (Spanish and Portuguese) possessions, this besides Ottoman autonomous vassals. The countries of North Africa share a common ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity with the Muslim culture of the west.

Northwest Africa has been inhabited by Berbers since the beginning of recorded history, while the eastern part of North Africa has been home to the Egyptians. These peoples formed a single population in many areas, as Berbers and Egyptians merged into Arabic and Muslim culture. This process of Arabization and Islamization has defined the cultural landscape of North Africa ever since.

Flag Coat of Arms Country Regime Capital Established Notes
Flag of Egypt (1793-1844).svg Egypt Autonomous Ottoman vassal (Khedive) Cairo 1517 to date Vilayet -> Khedivate
Flag of Tripoli 18th century.svg Coat of arms of Tripoli 18th century.svg Tripolitania Autonomous vilayet of Ottoman Empire Tripoli 1551 to date
Flag of the Maghreb Union.png Beylik of Tunis Autonomous Ottoman vassal (Bey) Tunis
Flag of Morocco.svg Coat of arms of Morocco.svg Alawite Sultanate of Morocco Monarchy (Sultan) Rabat and Casablanca 1666 to date Iberian protectorate
Egypt flag (Fidem Pacis).png Republic of Egypt Republic Cairo 1803-1806 French sister republic (de facto protectorate)
Tunisian flag till 1831.svg Berber or Barbary Coast Republic Directorial

(First Director)

Algiers, later moved to Tunis and finally Tripoli Short-lived client republic of France. Recovered by Ottomans and Spain.

Western Africa

West Africa or Western Africa is characterized by the development of centralized states and civilizations and their contact influence Europeans had over then. Portuguese traders began establishing settlements along the coast in 1445, followed by the French, British, Spanish, Danish and Dutch. African slave trade began not long after, which over the following centuries would debilitate the region's economy and population.

Due to its strategic importance for sea shipping and its proximity to the Golf of Guinea and also an important slave trade did the Netherlands, the Commonwealth and France establish coastal settlements.

The slave trade also encouraged the strengthening and further development of states such as the Ashanti Empire, Bambara Empire and Dahomey, whose economic activities include but not limited to exchanging slaves for European firearms. Some of them like the Ashanti and Dahomey severely affected by slave trade and its abolition signed treaties with France, Dutch and Commonwealth that allowed open trade and coastal trading ports. The Ashanti also began to inform themselves about Western culture, science and religion. The already extensive Ashanti bureaucracy began to develop accounting methods and writing.

An exception to slave trade in Western Africa was the Freetown settlement that was accidentally established as a refugee for formerly enslaved taken from slave ships and free Africans from Europe that were transported or migrated, becoming the present African Commonwealth of Liberia.

The theocratic states of Futa Jallon, Futa Toro, Massina and the Sokoto Caliphate rose out of Jihadist wars of the Islamic Hausa and Fula people against their heathen neighbors. Thought strong tribal and religious differences had kept them as rivals.

Flag Coat of Arms Country Regime Capital Established Notes
Oyo Empire Monarchy (Alaafin) Oyo-lle 1300 to date
Bornu flag.png Bornu Empire Monarchy (mai) Ngazargamu 1380s to date
Dahomey flag 1889.svg Kingdom of Dahomey Monarchy (Ahosu) Abomey 1600 to date
Flag of Ashanti.svg Ashanti Empire Monarchy (Asantehene) Kumasi 1670 to date
Imamate of Futa Jallon Theocratic monarchy (Almamy) Timbo 1725 to ...
Imamate of Futa Toro Theocratic monarchy (Almaami) Orefonde 1776 to ...
Flag of the Sokoto Caliphate.png Sokoto Caliphate Theocratic monarchy (Caliph) Gudu, later Sokoto 1804 to ...
FlagofUnitedStatesofAfrica.png Coat of arms of Sierra Leone.svg African Commonwealth of Liberia Republic (Supreme Protector) Freetown
Massina Empire Monarchy (Almami) Hamdullahi Conquered by the Toucouleur Empire
Toucouleur Empire Monarchy (Sultan) Segou

Eastern Africa

Eastern Africa is the home of several empires and states centuries old such as Ethiopia (or Abyssian as it was once called by European) and numerous Somali proto-states centered on the Horn of Africa and the Somali coast.

Further south along the Somali coast the main states are the Ajuran Sultanate and its successor states and the Swahili League, The Portuguese were incapable of claiming this region due to the resistance of the warring local polities helped by the Ottoman Empire that had an strategic hold on the vilayet of Habesh[1] and provided with naval and armed supplies to the several warring sultanates with the double purpose of warding off European expansion and fueling the rivalries of the Somali states and preventing the emerge of a a unified state that could military and commercially control the Horn of Africa and the Somali coast.

Madagascar became a unified island state by the early 18th century.

Flag Coat of Arms Country Regime Capital Established Notes
Flag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974).svg Imperial coat of arms of Ethiopia (Haile Selassie).svg Ethiopian Empire Absolute

monarchy (Emperor)

Gondar 1137 to date
Muzzaffar (Mogadishu area) flag according to 1576 Portuguese map.svg Ajuran Sultanate Monarchy (Suldaan) Mareeg, Qelafo and Merca (seasonal) 13th century to late 17th century Successor states Gelede and Hoybo
Kingdom of Maravi Monarchy (Karonga) Manthimba c 1480
Flag of Barotseland.svg Mubuso Bulozi / Kingdom of Barotseland Monarchy (Mbumu wa Litunga) Lealui and Limulunga (seasonal) c.1550
Emirate of Harar Monarchy (Emir) Ge 1647 to date
Sultanate of the Geledi Monarchy (Suldaan) Afgooye late 17th century
Sultanate of Hobyo Monarchy (Suldaan) late 17th century
Flag of Madagascar (United Forever).png Coat of arms of the Merina Kingdom.svg Imerina Kingdom (or Merina Kingdom) Monarchy (King) Antananarivo
Flag of the Sultanate of Kilwa (CtG).png Sultanate of Kilwa / Swahili League Confederation (Rais wa Shirikisho, i.e. Sultan of Kilwa) Kilwa
Majeerteen Sultanate Monarchy (Suldaan) Alula and Bargal (seasonal) 19th century to date

Central Africa

Central Africa or the Congo, a name referring to the area covered by the basin of the Congo (Zari as called by natives) river, is mostly occupied in the Coast. The early Portuguese contact with the Kongo Kingdom and its conversion to Catholicism and due to commercial and technological exchange with the Portuguese enable Kongo to conquer its rivals and expand and control the Congo basin establishing one of the largest organized states of Africa.

Matamba, a kingdom also converted to Catholicism, was ruled by the Guterres dynasty that claimed sovereignty over Ndongo that was split between Kongo and the Portuguese. Afonso V of Kongo forced Matamba to be a vassal in 1744 and finally incorporated as a province under Henrique II (1798). Only the bellicose Kasanje Kingdom remained independent.

Further inland the Zari river, specifically the Lualaba River, is the territory of the Luba and Lunbda kingdoms.

Slave trade was not a stranger to Kongo were it provided wealth and motivation to conquer its neighbours. The worldwide abolition of slavery was meet with unrest that tested the stability of the region having Kongo triumphant.

Only France and Portugal have been able to gain territories with the colonies of Gabon, a refuge of fleeing Kongolese slaves and Portuguese Angola.

Flag Coat of Arms Country Regime Capital Established Notes
Kingdom of Ndongo Monarchy (Ngola) Ngola c.1358-1675 Vassal -1556, Independent State Guterres dynasty 1556-1675, northern half vassal 1675-1680, Province of Kongo (1680 to date)
Flag of the Kingdom of Kongo.svg AoK Kongo Coat of Arms.png Kingdom of Kongo Monarchy (Manikongo) M'banza-Kongo (São Salvador) 1390 to date
Royal Banner of the Kingdom of Kakongo (c. 1883).svg Kingdom of Kakongo Monarchy Kinguele 15th century- Vassal of Kongo, later annexed.
Flag of the Kingdom of Loango.svg Kingdom of Loango Monarchy Buali (or Mbanza Loango) c. 1550- Vassal of Kongo, later annexed.
Kingdom of Luba Monarchy (muLopwe) 1585 to date
Kingdom of Matamba Monarchy (Muhongo) Matamba c. 1590 to 1798 Ruled by Guterres dynasty that claimed Ndongo. Conquered by Kongo
Kasanje Kingdom Monarchy (Jaga) c. 1620 to date
Kuba or Bakuba Kingdom Monarchy (nyim) c. 1625 to date
Kingdom of Lunda Monarchy (Kyambvu) c. 1660 to date
Flag of Gabon.svg Coat of arms of Gabon.png Free Republic of Gabon Republic (Supreme Director) Libreville Established as a refuge for liberated slaves by French authorities, later became an independent state
Flag of Katanga (CtG).png State of Katanga Elective monarchy Mwibele Union of the Kingdoms of Lunda and Luba

Southern Africa

In Southern Africa colonialism has left its mark due to its strategic geography being the sea route to the East. Dutch, British an French had possessions and intricate system of alliances with native kingdoms. It is also the home of the Boers, the descendants of the Dutch and proto-Afrikaans-speaking settlers and farmers who left Kaapland and settled to the northeast of the Orange river.

In terms of natural resources, the region has the world's largest mineral resources and its temperare climate allows to grow grains and other cash crops.

Southern Africa was an important war theatre of the European Revolutionary Wars (1790-1810) as the Commonwealth, the Netherlands and republican France fought over the control of passage between Europe and Asia in the Cape of Good Hope.

Flag Coat of Arms Country Regime Capital Established Notes
Monomatapa.svg Kingdom of Mutapa Monarchy (Mwenemutapa) Zvongombe 1430 to date
Rozwi Empire Monarchy (Changamire) Danamombe, Guruuswa 1660 to date
Flag of Kaapland (CtG).png Coat of arms of the Cape Colony 1876-1994.svg Kaapland Associated state of the Netherlands Kaapstad 1652 as Dutch colony, gained autonomy in 1817
Flag of Natalia Republic.svg Natalia (Republic of Natal) Boer republic (President) Pietermaritzburg Occupied and annexed as colony by the British
New Zulu Kingdom.png KwaZulu-Natal arms.svg Kingdom of Zululand (KwaZulu) Monarchy (King) kwaBulawayo British protectorate
Flag of Transvaal.svg Coat of Arms of the South African Republic.png Transvaal Boer republic (State President) Pretoria United in Orange-Transvaal
Flag of the Orange Free State.svg Coat of Arms of the Orange Free State.svg Orange Free State Boer republic (State President) Bloemfontein United in Orange-Transvaal
Flag of Stellaland (1883-5).svg Goshen Free State Boer republic (State President) Vryburg United in Orange-Transvaal
ATL Flag Orange-Transvaal (CtG).png Orange-Transvaal Boer republic (State President) Pretoria
Swaziland Monarchy (Ngwenyama) Mbabane Orange-Transvaal and British condominium, later British protectorate
Basutoland / Lesotho Monarchy (Paramount Chief) Maseru Dutch-British Condominium
Pondoland Monarchy (Paramount Chief) British protectorate
KwaXhosa.png Xhosaland (kwaXhosa), also called iMpuma-Kapa (Eastern Cape) Monarchy -> parliamentary monarchy (Paramount Chief[2]) Umtata Recognized by the Great Fish River Treaty
Griqualand Republic Capitan (Kaptein) Dutch protectorate

Notable Polities

Notable African polities that keep an uneasy balance of not being made European colonies and forms of independent economic, social and political exchange with Europe and to a lesser degree with the rest of the world.

Colonies and Territories in Africa

The European colonisation of Sub-Saharan Africa can be dated to the Early Modern period with the Portuguese and Spanish explorations and circumnavigation of the continent. The Portuguese and Spanish established trading post and ports mainly were engaged in slave trade. However the Dutch East India Company was the first to begin a the process of settling lands with colonist in Cape Colony (Dutch: Kaapkolonie) making Southern Africa an important trading and colonization hub.

Later, the Commonwealth and France began to establish trade post for slave trade and with their industrialization to trade with the native sates natural resources such as coffee, cotton, rubber, sugar and minerals in exchange for industrial goods ranging from textiles to railroads. An example of the consequences of this trade is the Kingdom of Kongo that emerged as major state and its expansion and wars against its neighbors. The abolition of slavery and its enforcement by the West Africa Squadron unintentionally led to the creation of the freed slaves republics of Liberia and Gabon.

The European Revolutionary Wars had all major powers fight the control of sea route and the coasts of West, Central and Western Africa. All the present day colonies of the Commonwealth and France were established by trade or force.

Polity Status Capital Established Region and Notes
Federación Republicana Ibérica (TNE).png Iberian colonies and territories
Angola Colony Luanda[3] 1576 to date Western Africa
Cabo Verde Colony Praia 1462 to date Western Africa
Fernando Po Colony Santa Isabel 1648 to date Central Africa
Annobón Colony San Antonio de Palé 1474 to date Central Africa
São Tomé and Príncipe Colony São Tomé 1493 to date Central Africa
Guinea-Bissau Colony Bissau 1482 to date Western Africa
Rio Muni Colony Bata 1778 to date Central Africa
Moçambique Colony Moçambique, later Beira 1507 to date Southern Africa
Mauritania Colony Nuakchot Western Africa.
Disputed by France and Iberia
Western Sahara (Spanish Sahara) Colony El Aaiún 1852 to date Northern Africa. Consolidation of Ifni, Río de Oro and Saguia el-Hamra
Iberian Morocco Colony Tetuán 1850 to date Northern Africa. Consolidation of Melilla, Ceuta, Tangier and Rif
Iberian Barbary Coast Colony Alger, later Mazalquivir Northern Africa. Partially ceded to France the territories of Alger and Bugia
Flag of the Commonwealth (1658-1660).svg Commonwealth colonies and territories
Coastal settlements of Guinea and Gold Coast Coastal settlements and protectorates Cape Castle 1665 to date Western Africa. Several coastal settlements and protectorates in Gambia, Guinea and Gold Coast
Senegambia Colony and protectorate Bathurst 1664 to date Western Africa.
British West Africa Colony and protectorate Western Africa.
Natal Colony Durban Southern Africa. Durban established by Zulu land cession to the Commonwealth. Later enlarged by the incorporation of the former Boer state of Natalia after the British-Natal War.
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch associated states, colonies and territories
Dutch Coast of Guinea[4] (or Gold Coast[5]) Coastal settlements and protectorates Elmina Western Africa.
Kaapland (former Cape Colony) Associated state Kaapstad (Cape Town) 1652 to date Southern Africa. Colony 1652-1817, associated state 1817 to date
Swellendam semi-independent Boer State Swellendam Southern Africa. Semi-autonomous Boer State. Autonomy annulled and annexed to Kaapland as a district
Graaff-Reinet semi-independent Boer State Graaff-Reinet Southern Africa. Semi autonomous Boer State. Autonomy annulled and annexed to Kaapland as a district
Flag of France.svg French colonies and territories
Algeria Colony, French department Alger Northern Africa.
Cap-Vert / Gorée / Dakar Colony Gorée later Dakar Western Africa. Former Portuguese colony
Rivières du Sud Coastal settlements Conakry Western Africa.
Coast of Ivory (Côte d'Ivoire) Coastal settlements Assinie Western Africa.
Gabon Coastal settlements Libreville Western Africa. Began as a settlement for freed slaves, later declared its independence.
Namib Coastal settlements Capricorne Southern Africa. Includes Orangeville, former Port Orange
Sofala Coastal settlements Maputo[6] Southern Africa. Former Portuguese colony (part of Mozambique) occupied by France
Union Jack of Sweden and Denmark.png Scandinavian colonies and territories.
Scandinavian Gold Coast Coastal settlements Osu (Christiansborg) 1766 to --- Western Africa. Consolidation of Swedish and Danish Gold Coast settlements

  1. OTL Eritrea
  2. title Inkosi Enkhulu
  3. São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda
  4. Kuste van Guinea
  5. Nederlandse Goudkust
  6. Former Lourenço Marques