A total solar eclipse is visible from North Africa.
A total solar eclipse is visible from North Africa.
The militaries of Britain and the Ottoman Empire defeat the army of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Alexandria. French-held Cairo will fall in June this year.
The Egyptian satirical magazine Abou Naddara Zarqa (The Man in the Blue Glasses) has its first issue. Hugely popular both among the literate and the majority of Egyptians who cannot read but have the articles read to them, the magazine will introduce the political cartoon to the Middle East. Only 15 issues are published before the publication is shut down by Isma'il Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt, who is lampooned in the articles. Publisher Yaqub Sanu will have to flee the country to escape arrest.
Five Lodestar passenger planes purchased from Britain for £6,000 each including spare parts begin flying East African Airways’ main route between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
The Sharpeville Massacre defines the evils of South Africa’s apartheid system when unarmed black demonstrators protesting the requirement that black South Africans carry passports to travel in their own country are fired upon by police. 69 people are killed instantly. Global outrage will ensues. Anti-apartheid groups will feel compelled to pivot from apparently ineffective non-violent tactics to militancy. From 1994, Sharpeville will be commemorated as Human Rights Day, a public holiday in South Africa.
Namibian independence leaders are not endangered in South West Africa (Namibia) but are in “self-imposed exile,” the International Court of Justice in The Hague is told by South Africa, which is administering the territory as an apartheid state. To expose this lie, Sam Nujoma, Namibia’s future president, arrives in Windhoek on a chartered plane. He is immediately arrested, and deported.
South Africa’s Black Laws Amendment Act goes into effect, further empowering the apartheid government’s forced removal plans to achieve racial segregation. Black communities ordered to relocate may no longer appeal to parliament, which was allowed in an earlier law.
With the U.S. Apollo flights to the moon now ended, the U.S. sends “Goodwill rocks” brought back from the lunar surface to the African nations Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Dahomey, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Upper Volta, Zaire and Zambia. Most countries put the rocks on public display in national museums.
The military junta that rules Ethiopia dissolves the country’s monarchy, and declares the country a Marxist-Leninist state, under the patronage of the Soviet Union.
Egypt hosts the 14th African Cup of Nations. Egypt’s national team wins the football championship for the third time. Ghana’s Roger Milla (pic) is the tournament’s top scorer, with four goals.
Namibia achieves national independence, from South Africa. U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar swears in Sam Nujoma, the leader of the South West Africa People's Organisation, as Namibia’s first President. The capital is Windhoek. The national population is 1,433,000.
The Autumnal Equinox brings an end to summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and continuing lack of rains in Southern Africa has resulted in the worst drought in a century, particularly in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
South Africa’s parliament creates a Human Rights Commission to promote and protect human rights, investigate human rights abuses and report to parliament on human rights in South Africa.
Morocco’s absolute monarch Mohammed VI marries Salma Bennani, who is given royal titles. They will have two children: Crown Prince Moulay Hassa (8 May 2003) and Princess Lalla Khadiji, (28 February 2007).
A failed military coup d’état tries to seize power in The Gambia from Yahya Jammeh, who installed himself as the country’s ruler in a 1994 coup d’état.
Antananarivo, Madagascar mayor Andry Rajoelina assumes power five days after a military council forces President Mark Ravaliomanana to leave office. Ravaliomanana flees to South Africa. The international community declares the act as an illegal coup d’état, and isolates Madagascar.
The first suspension bridge built in Sudan and one of the first built in Africa is opened, in Khartoum, connecting Tuti Island with the mainland. Tuti sees an immediate investment and building boom.
The Ansar Dine, a militant Islamic organisation classified by the U.N. Security Council as a terrorist group, seizes Mali’s large northeast regions. Its offensive is swift, and is not effectively opposed by Mali’s government.
Paleontologist, in Nairobi, Kenya. Born into a famed family of paleontologists - her parents were Richard and Meave Leaky and her grandfather paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey - at age 5 she was the youngest person to discover a humanoid fossil. Her work with the Koobi Fora Research Project in Kenya has made the most important 21st century discoveries of humankind’s ancestors.
Ethiopian athlete, in Bekoji, Ethiopia. She was the first black woman from sub-Saharan Africa and Ethiopia’s first woman to win a medal at an Olympics, taking gold in the Women’s 10,000 metres at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games.