Africa

Seven moments from African history on archive film

Top left: Kwame Nkrumah stroking a lion in 1958 ; Bottom left: Nigerian secessionist Emeka Ojukwu in 1969 and Right: Nelson and Winne Mandela in 1990 Image copyright AP

Among the half a million archive videos recently uploaded by the Associated Press news agency and British Movietone are some key moments from Africa's past.

We have selected seven highlights:


1936: Ethiopia's Emperor Haile Selassie in exile

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Media captionEmperor Haile Selassie thanks the British people in 1936 for their welcome

In this film Emperor Haile Selassie, exiled in the UK a year after the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, speaks about his hope for the "the final triumph of justice".

He was restored to his throne in 1941, four years before the end of World War Two.

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1958: Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah meets Ethiopian emperor's lion

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Media captionEmperor Haile Selassie meets Ghana's Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah in 1958

Ethiopia's emperor and Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah were among the leaders of the pan-African movement.

This 1958 footage shows a meeting between the two men in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia - also then known as Abyssinia, when Mr Nkrumah was Ghana's prime minister - and an encounter with a pet lion.

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1969: Biafra secessionist leader urges on his troops

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Media captionNigeria's Biafra leader in 1969 urges on his 'brave boys'

Nigeria's civil war began in 1967 after Biafra declared independence from the rest of the country.

In this film from 1969, Biafra's leader Colonel Emeka Ojukwu talks about how Biafran soldiers "have turned the tide of this war", but a year later Biafra's army was defeated.

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1978: Scenes in Rhodesia after desegregation

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Media captionRhodesia desegregation scenes in 1978

As Rhodesia's leaders were negotiating a new multi-racial future for the country - which became Zimbabwe in 1980 - bars, schools and other public places began to desegregate.

This shows desegregation in different parts of the capital in 1978, known at the time as Salisbury, black people are shown walking down one of the city's main streets which had been out of bounds to them.

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1990: Nelson Mandela walks free in South Africa

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Media captionSouth Africa's Nelson Mandela walks free in 1990

After 27 years in prison South Africa's anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela walked free in 1990.

The footage shows that moment as well as the start of his emotional address to people in Cape Town a few hours later.

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1997: Zairean rebel leader predicts quick victory

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Media captionKabila's move to take Kinshasa in 1997

Zairean rebel leader Laurent Kabila was on his way to peace talks in South Africa in April 1997 when he spoke briefly to reporters at Lubumbashi airport.

When asked about his goal, he says he will reach the capital Kinshasa "in three weeks". He took just a bit longer and overthrew Mobutu Sese Seko in May, become president and renamed the country the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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2003: Liberia's Charles Taylor offered asylum in Nigeria

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Media captionLiberia's Taylor offered asylum in Nigeria

In this film from July 2003, Nigeria's then-President Olusegun Obasanjo flies to Liberia's capital, Monrovia, to offer his Liberian counterpart Charles Taylor asylum as a way to help end instability in the country.

Lurd rebels were besieging Monrovia and Mr Taylor was wanted for war crimes in Sierra Leone. He eventually went to Nigeria that August, but he was arrested nearly three years later and tried by a UN-backed court and found guilty.

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You can discover more old footage by exploring the AP and British Movietone archives.

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