The process of African decolonization largely occurred in the years following World War II, as European colonial powers were weakened by the war and global sentiments shifted toward self-determination.

The early 1950s marked the beginning of the first wave of African countries gaining independence, with Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast) being the first to do so in 1957, led by Kwame Nkrumah.

By the early 1960s, many African countries had successfully negotiated their independence from colonial rulers. This period is often referred to as the "wind of change" by British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

Various colonial powers, including the British, French, Belgian, Portuguese, and Dutch, relinquished control over their African colonies during this time.

The rise of nationalist movements and leaders played a pivotal role in demanding independence and self-governance.

Influential leaders such as Jomo Kenyatta in Kenya, Julius Nyerere in Tanzania, and Patrice Lumumba in the Democratic Republic of Congo played crucial roles in their respective countries' struggles for independence.

South Africa's struggle against apartheid culminated in independence from apartheid rule in 1994, with Nelson Mandela becoming the country's first democratically elected president.

Independence processes varied from peaceful negotiations to violent conflicts, depending on the circumstances in each country.

Some countries faced challenges in overcoming the legacy of colonialism, including economic disparities, ethnic tensions, and border disputes.

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