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Banjul SPOT 1045

A satellite image of Banjul, Gambia.

Gambia satellite fires

A satellite image of Gambia.

Satellite image of Senegal in May 2002

A dry season image of Senegal and Gambia.


A wet season image of Senegal and Gambia.

Satellite image of Guinea-Bissau in January 2003

A satellite image of Guinea-Bissau.


A 1881 colonial map of Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Sierra Leonine, Liberia and the native tribal states like the Bamiko (Bamako) state.


An 1885 map showing the Bechuanaland Protectorate prior to the creation of the crown colony of British Bechuanaland and the Heligoland–Zanzibar Treaty.

The phenomenaEdit

Colonial powers arbitrarily divided Africa's tribes and nations because of ease of administration, ceasing resources such as lakes and native trading hubs, looking after friendly native factions, out doing rival colonial powers and local security issues. 

The Tswanas' exsampleEdit

The Tswana (Tswana: Batswana, singular Motswana) are a Bantu-speaking ethnic group who are native to Southern Africa. The Tswana language belongs to the Bantu group of the Niger–Congo languages. Ethnic Tswana made up approximately 79% of the population of Botswana in 2011.

In the nineteenth century, a common spelling and pronunciation of Batswana was Bechuana. Europeans therefore referred to the area inhabited by the Tswana as Bechuanaland. In the Tswana language, however, Botswana is the name for the country of the Tswana.

The tribesEdit

The three main branches of the Tswana tribe formed during the 14th century. Three brothers, Kwena, Ngwaketse and Ngwato, broke away from their father, Chief Molope, to establish their own tribes in Molepolole, Kanye and Serowe, probably in response to drought and expanding populations in search of pasture and arable land.

The principal Tswana tribes are the:

  1. Bakgatla
  2. Bakwena
  3. Balete
  4. Bangwato
  5. BaNgwaketse
  6. Barolong
  7. Batawana
  8. Batlokwa
  9. Bahurutshe
  10. Batlhaping
  11. Banogeng
  12. Batlhalerwa
  13. Bakalanga


Botswana (/bɒtˈswɑːnə/), officially the Republic of Botswana (Tswana: Lefatshe la Botswana), is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens refer to themselves as Batswana (singular: Motswana). Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Since then, it has maintained a strong tradition of stable representative democracy, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections.

The Bechuanaland Protectorate /bɛˈtʃwɑːnəˌlænd/ was a protectorate established on 31 March 1885, by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in southern Africa to prevent possible expatiation by the racist Germans and Afrikaners. It became the Republic of Botswana on 30 September 1966.

The modern republic of Botswana (formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland) is named for the Tswana people. The country's eight major tribes speak Tswana. All have a traditional Paramount Chief, styled Kgosikgolo, who is entitled to a seat in the Ntlo ya Dikgosi (an advisory body to the country's Parliament). The Tswana dynasties are all related.

South AfricaEdit

The largest number of ethnic Tswana people actually live in South Africa. They are one of the largest ethnic groups in the country, and the Tswana language is one of eleven official languages in South Africa. Until 1994, South African Tswana people were nationally citizens of Bophuthatswana, one of the few Bantustans (or Homelands, roughly analogous to American Indian reservations) as planned by the Apartheid regime, 1948–1994. There were over 4 million Tswana speakers in the country in 2012.

Bophuthatswana (/ˌboʊpuːtətˈswɑːnə/, meaning "gathering of the Tswana people"), officially the Republic of Bophuthatswana (Tswana: Repaboleki ya Bophuthatswana; Afrikaans: Republiek van Bophuthatswana), was a Bantustan ("homeland"; an area set aside for members of a specific ethnicity) and nominal parliamentary democracy in the northwestern region of South Africa. Its seat of government was Mmabatho.

Bophuthatswana was the first area to be declared an independent state whose territory constituted a scattered patchwork of individual enclaves. During its last days of existence, events taking place within its borders led to the weakening and split of right-wing Afrikaner resistance towards democratizing South Africa.

In 1994, it was reintegrated into South Africa, and its territory was distributed among the new provinces of the Orange Free State (now Free State), Northern Cape, and North West Province.


Tswana are notable minorities in a number of neighbouring countries, especially Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Other casesEdit


  1. Nigeria
  2. Niger
  3. Benin
  4. Ivory Coast
  5. Cameroon
  6. Chad
  7. Ghana


  1. Zimbabwe
  2. Mozambique
  3. Botswana
  4. Zambia
  5. South Africa


  1. Mauritania
  2. Morocco
  3. Western Sahara
  4. Algeria
  5. Tunisia
  6. Libya


  1. Chad
  2. Libya
  3. Niger
  4. Sudan


  1. Mali
  2. Guinea
  3. Burkina Faso
  4. Senegal.

Also seeEdit

  1. Africa
  2. Portuguese Colonial War


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