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Africanization can also refer to Africanized "killer" bees.

Africanization or Africanisation (lit., making something African) has been applied in various contexts, notably in geographic and personal naming and in the composition of the civil service e.g. via processes such as indigenization.[1]


  • Africanization of names 1
    • Place names 1.1
      • Country names 1.1.1
      • Other place names 1.1.2
    • Personal names 1.2
  • Africanization of civil services 2
  • Localization in African languages 3
  • References 4
  • See also 5

Africanization of names

Africanization has referred to the modification of place names and personal names to reflect an "African" identity. In some cases, changes are not a change of transliteration rather than of the European name.[2]

In many cases during the colonial period, African place names were Anglicized or Francized.

Place names

Country names

Various African countries have undergone name changes during the previous century as the result of consolidations and secessions, territories gaining sovereignty, and regime changes.

Previous name Year Current name
Dahomey, Republic of 1975 Benin, Republic of
Bechuanaland Protectorate 1966 Botswana, Republic of
Upper Volta 1984 Burkina Faso
Oubangui-Chari 1960 Central African Republic
Zaire, Republic of 1997 Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Middle Congo 1960 Congo, Republic of the
Spanish Guinea 1968 Equatorial Guinea, Republic of
Gold Coast 1957 Ghana, Republic of
French West Africa (part of) 1958 Guinea, Republic of
Portuguese Guinea 1974 Guinea-Bissau, Republic of
Basutoland, Territory of 1966 Lesotho, Kingdom of
Nyasaland Protectorate 1964 Malawi, Republic of
French Sudan 1960 Mali, Republic of
South West Africa 1990 Namibia, Republic of
German East Africa / Ruanda-Urundi 1962 Rwanda, Republic of / Burundi, Republic of
Zanzibar / Tanganyika 1964 Tanzania, United Republic of
Buganda 1962 Uganda, Republic of
Northern Rhodesia 1964 Zambia, Republic of
Southern Rhodesia 1980 Zimbabwe, Republic of

Other place names

Personal names

Other name changes take place when an African person converts to or from Islam or another religion. (See Islamic name.)

Africanization of civil services

In some countries immediately following their independence, "Africanization" was the name given to racial policies, affirmative action intended to increase the number of Africans in civil service (which had historically been dominated by whites[3] or Asians.[4])

Localization in African languages

The term Africanization, abbreviated as the numeronym "A12n," has been applied to discussion of internationalization and localization of software and content in African languages.


  1. ^ African Successes Four Public Managers of Kenyan Rural Development David K. Leonard UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS
  2. ^ Edgar A. Gregersen (1977). Language in Africa: An Introductory Survey. CRC Press.  
  3. ^ . UNESCOAfrica Since 1935Adedeji, Adebayo. "Comparative strategies of economic decolonization of Africa." In Ali AlʼAmin Mazrui and Christophe Wondji, eds.
  4. ^ Pp.176-178. Goans of the North Atlantic: A Transnational Study of Migration, Technology Adoption, and Neoculturation across Six Generations by Clifford Pereira in Migration, technology and Transculturation: Global Perspective. Edited by Myna German and Padmini Banerjee. Center for International and Global Studies. Lindenwood University Press. St. Charles. Mo. USA

See also

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