World History

Ancient Africa Timeline and History Highlights


5000 – Beginning farming along Egypt’s Nile River.

2950 – Menes, the first pharaoh of Egypt, unifies Egypt for the first time.

2600 – The Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt’s first pyramid, is built.

2500 – Building of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

2000 – Southward migration of the Bantu peoples into central and southern Africa starts to happen.

1279 – Egypt’s new pharaoh is Ramses II.

1070 – Egypt is overthrown, and the Kingdom of Kush becomes independent.

814 – The Phoenician Empire founds the city of Carthage.

715 – Egypt is conquered by the Kushites, who stay in power until 662 BCE.

650 – Carthage gains its own independence. It develops into one of the Mediterranean Sea’s most important cities.

590 – Kush’s capital relocates to Meroe from Napata.

550 – The Nok people start smithing iron implements and weapons.

525 – Iran takes control of Egypt.

332 – Egypt is conquered by the Greeks under Alexander the Great.

264 – In the First Punic War, Carthage battles Rome.

146 – Rome annihilates Carthage. Roman troops obliterate the city.

30 – The final Egyptian pharaoh, Cleopatra VII, passes away. Rome adopts Egypt as a province.


Ethiopia see the ascendancy of the Kingdom of Aksum.

In West Africa, the Ghana Empire starts to gain prominence. Up until roughly 1100 CE, it will govern the area.

Aksum’s new king is Ezana. Under his leadership, the Aksum Empire will achieve its pinnacle.

Arab Muslims are in charge of North Africa.

The European Iberian Peninsula is invaded and taken over by the Moors of North Africa.

In Central Africa, the city of Great Zimbabwe is established.

Sundiata Keita establishes the Empire of Mali.

In Central Africa, the Kongo Kingdom consolidates its control. It will dominate until Portugal colonizes it in the 1900s.

Mali’s Emperor Mansa Musa travels to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for his well-known pilgrimage.

Under Sunni Ali’s direction, the Songhai Empire gains control of Western Africa.

1493 –
Askia Muhammad is appointed Songhai ruler. The empire receives Islam thanks to him.

1497 –
On his voyage to India, the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama circumnavigates Africa’s southernmost point.

1500s –
Slaves are first transported to the Americas through the Atlantic slave trade. Over the following 400 years, some 12 million slaves will be transported to the Americas.

In Central Africa, the Kingdom of Luba is established.

1591 –
Moroccan invaders seize possession of the Songhai cities of Gao and Timbuktu.

1610 –
The Mali Empire is overthrown.

1652 –
In South Africa’s Cape Town, the Dutch found a colony.

1869 –
The Suez Canal’s construction is complete.

1889 –
Between the Boers and the British, the Second Boer War starts in South Africa.

1962 –
In South Africa, Nelson Mandela is detained and imprisoned.

1994 –
South Africa declares the end of apartheid.