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Meanings of African Countries’ Names

Africa…Land of Pharaohs and cradle of civilization, but also a land of constant wars and civil strife. On the other hand, here is a history lesson for you. Follow us through this article and learn what some names of the countries mean…

Meanings of African Countries Names

1. Angola

The name comes from Ngola, a country of king Ndongo. The Portuguese continued to call all of this area like that because the king was their ally.

Meanings of African Countries Names

Meanings of African Countries Names

2. Algeria

The name comes from the name of the city Alger (in french), that is from Arab word Al-Jazair which means ‘The Islands‘, referring the four islands in front of the Alger port. The second explanation is that the name Djazair was connected to the Zirid dynasty – Clear of the Moon in Berber. The third explanation is that there was such a fertile soil, so people called it Island of Life - or Al-Jaza’ir in Arab.

Meanings of African Countries Names

Meanings of African Countries Names

3. Benin

Its name reminds of one ancient African leader, whose name was Benin.

Meanings of African Countries Names

Meanings of African Countries Names

4. Botswana

The name originates from an ethnic group Batswana, who were immigrants from central part of the south African region from 15th century. But in Satswana language the correct name is Botswana.

Meanings of African Countries Names

Meanings of African Countries Names

5. Burkina Faso

In local languages it means ‘Land of the Horizontal People’, ‘Land of the Honorable People’ and ‘Uncorrupted Land’. This name was given by Thomas Sankara, who raised the rebellion in 1983. He changed the old name of the State and took the names of two most significant language dialects in the country – Burkina (More) and Faso (Dioula).

Meanings of African Countries Names

Meanings of African Countries Names

6. Burundi

In the local language it means the land of the Kurundi-speaking.

Meanings of African Countries Names

Meanings of African Countries Names

7. Cape Verde

This country got this name when it was discovered by Portuguese, because of its thick green forests all around the country.

Meanings of African Countries Names

Meanings of African Countries Names

8. Cameroon

The Portuguese exploring the country in the 15th century, gave this name to the country because of the Wouri river that flows through Rio Camaroes zone. Not so logical, but you can find a connection.

Meanings of African Countries Names

Meanings of African Countries Names

9. Chad

Chad got its name after the same-named lake in its territory.

Meanings of African Countries Names

Meanings of African Countries Names

10. Comoro Islands

The name is derived from Arab name ‘Djazair al Qamar’ which means ‘Moon Islands’.

Meanings of African Countries Names

Meanings of African Countries Names

11. Congo

Congo got its name in the 15th century after the same-named king.

Meanings of African Countries Names

Meanings of African Countries Names

12. Ivory Coast

The French named this country Cote de Ivore because there was very big ivory market.

Meanings of African Countries Names

Meanings of African Countries Names


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