2020 in West Africa

The following lists events that happened during 2020 in West Africa, including Benin Benin, Burkina Faso Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde (English: Cape Verde) Cape Verde, The Gambia The Gambia, Ghana Ghana, Guinea Guinea, Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau, Côte d'Ivoire (English: Ivory Coast) Ivory Coast, Liberia Liberia, Mali Mali, Mauritania Mauritania, Niger Niger, Nigeria Nigeria, Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha United Kingdom; Senegal Senegal, Sierra Leone Sierra Leone, and Togo Togo.

The 16 independent countries and one territory have a combined population of 401,861,254.[1]



  Benin declared itself a republic as the Republic of Dahomey on December 4, 1958, and gained its independence from France on August 1, 1960. The name People's Republic of Benin was adopted in 1975 and Republic of Benin on March 1, 1990. The capital is Porto-Novo.[2]

Burkina FasoEdit

  The Republic of Upper Volta gained its independence from France in 1960. The name Republic of Burkina Faso was adopted in 1984. The capital is Ouagadougou.[4]

Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)Edit

  There are ten islands in Republic of Cabo Verde. It became independent from Portugal on July 5, 1975, and the capital is Praia.[6]

Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)Edit

  The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire became independent from France on August 7, 1960. The political capital is Yamoussoukro and the economic capital is Abidjan.[8]

The GambiaEdit

  The Gambia achieved independence on February 18, 1965, as a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth. It became the Republic of The Gambia within the Commonwealth on April 24, 1970. It was part of the Senegambia Confederation from 1982–1989. It left the Commonwealth in 2013 and rejoined in 2018. The capital is Banjul[10]


  Ghana was the first black country south of the Sahara to gain its independence when it became an independent self-governing member of the Commonwealth on March 6, 1957. The Republic of Ghana was established on July 1, 1960. The capital is Accra.[12]


  On October 2, 1958, the Republic of Guinea proclaimed itself independent from France. The capital is Conakry.[14]


  Republic of Guinea-Bissau unilaterally declared its independence from Portugal on September 24, 1973. The capital is Bissau.[16]


  The Republic of Liberia declared its independence from the United States on July 26, 1847, but it was not recognized until February 5, 1862. Liberia was the first independent modern republic of Africa. The capital is Monrovia.[19]


  The Mali Federation became independent after negotiations with France on June 20, 1960 and broke up to months later. The Republic of Mali was founded on August 22, 1960, which is recognized as Independence Day. Liberation Day is celebrated as November 19, 1968. The capital is Bamako.[21]


  The Islamic Republic of Mauritania gained independence from France in 1960. The capital is Nouakchott.[23]


  The Republic of the Niger gained independence from France on August 3, 1960. The capital is Niamey.[25]


  The Federation of Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom on October 1, 1960, while retaining the British monarch, as nominal head of state and Queen of Nigeria. In 1963 the nation established the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The capital is Abuja[27]

Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da CunhaEdit

  St. Helena,   Ascension, and   Tristan da Cunha are British Overseas Territories. Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha includes Gough Island The capital of the territories is Jamestown.[29]


  On April 4, 1959, Senegal and French Sudan merged to form the Mali Federation, which became fully independent in 1960. The Federation broke up on August 20, 1960, and each country proclaimed independence. The Republic of Senegal and The Gambia formed the Senegambia Confederation on February 1, 1982; the union was dissolved in 1989. The capital of Senegal is Dakar.[31]

Sierra LeoneEdit

  On April 27, 1961, Sierra Leone became an independent state within the Commonwealth. In 1971 the Republic of Sierra Leone was established. The capital is Freetown[33]


  On April 27, 1960, the Togolese Republic proclaimed its independence from France. The capital is Lomé.[35]

Monthly eventsEdit




  • March 1 – Republic Day, Benin
  • March 6 – Independence Day, Ghana[13]
  • March 8 – International Women's Day
  • March 12
    • Senegal reports 13 cases of COVID-19. Testing results are available in four hours (compared to a week in the U.S.), and scientists at Dakar's Pasteur Institute are working on a test that can produce results in ten minutes.[82]
    • At least 18 African countries, including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Togo report cases of the novel coronavirus. Most are in single figures, and no deaths have been reported in Sub-Saharan Africa. All major public events and air travel have been restricted in Kenya.[83]
  • March 14
    • Canadian Edith Blais and Italian Luca Tacchetto, who were kidnapped in Burkina Faso in 2018, are released in Mali.[84]
  • March 15
    • Senegal imposes travel restrictions, bans cruise ships, and closes schools for three weeks in response to the coronavirus. They also ban public gatherings for a month including Muslim and Christian pilgrimages.[85]
    • Mauritania imposes travel restrictions and closes schools for three weeks in response to the coronavirus.[85]
    • In a historic first, all Peace Corps volunteers worldwide are withdrawn from their host countries.[86]
  • March 16 – Joseph Jenkins Roberts' Birthday, Liberia
  • March 17 – The Niger Armed Forces say they have killed 50 members of Boko Haram in Toumour.[87]
  • March 22 – 2020 Guinean legislative election and a constitutional referendum: Voters approve changes to extend the presidential term for twelve years.[88]
  • March 24 – Between 50 and 75 Nigerian soldiers are ambushed and killed by Boko Haram in Goneri village, Yobe State, Nigeria.[89]
  • March 26
  • March 29 – The 2020 Malian parliamentary election, originally scheduled for November 25 and December 16, 2018, then moved to April 2019 and then to June 2019, is held on Sunday amid kidnappings and bombings; nine people are reported dead.[91]
  • March 30 – Sierra Leone removes restrictions on pregnant girls who wish to go to school. Around 30% of girls in Sierra Leone become pregnant and 40% are married by the age of 18.[92]


  • April 3 – Four soldiers and 63 jihadists are killed in fighting in the Tillabéri Region of Niger.[93]
  • April 4 – Senegal Independence Day
  • April 6 – Protesters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, destroy a coronavirus center, saying it was too close to a residential area.[94]
  • April 11 – Moussa Faki, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, invites the Chinese ambassador to the AU to discuss allegations of discrimination and mistreatment of hundreds of Africans in Guangzhou, southern China.[95]
  • April 13
    • Easter Monday
    • 14,000 cases of COVID-19 and 788 deaths have been reported across Africa. Cases by country: Benin – 35, Burkina Faso – 497, Cape Verde – 8, The Gambia – 9, Ghana – 566, Guinea – 250, Guinea-Bissau – 38, Ivory Coast – 574, Liberia – 50, Mali – 105, Mauritania – 7, Niger – 529, Nigeria- 323, Senegal – 280, Sierra Leone – 10, Togo – 76[96]
  • April 15 – Finance ministers from the Group of 20 agree to put a hold on debt service by poor countries so they can concentrate their efforts on health service and ending the pandemic. 76 countries will be able to participate in the plan, including 40 from Sub-Saharan Africa. $8 billion in private loans and $12 billion in loans from other countries will be frozen for the remainder of 2020 and possibly beyond. Another $12 billion in multilateral loans from organizations such as the World Bank is also under consideration.[97]
  • April 17 – Considerable fake news about the coronavirus is circulating in Africa.[98]
  • April 20 – COVID-19 pandemic: Ghana lifts lockdown rules in Accra and Kuasi, citing improved coronavirus testing and the "severe" impact of the restrictions on the poor and vulnerable. Ghana reports 1,042 cases and nine deaths from the virus and 68,000 people have been tested.[99]
  • April 22 – The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that the number of malaria deaths in Africa may double this year as efforts to curb the disease wind down.[100]
  • April 24 – Concord Day, Niger
  • April 25 – COVID-19 pandemic: Burkina Faso has 629 cases and 41 deaths, including Rose Marie Compaore, the second Vice President of the parliament. About 50 doctors were confirmed positive this week.[101]
  • April 28 – Former Ivory Coast Prime Minister and leader of the Patriotic Movement of Côte d'Ivoire Guillaume Soro is fined $7.6 million (£6.1 million) for embezzlement and money laundering. Soro, who lives in exile in France, says the move is designed to remove him from the 2020 Ivorian presidential election.[102]
  • April 27
    • Independence Day, Sierra Leone[34]
    • Independence Day, Togo[36]
  • April 29
    • A new polio outbreak is reported in Niger, unrelated to last year's outbreak.[103]
    • COVID-19 pandemic: Infections surge 24% in ten days to over 2,000 cases as Ghana lifts lockdown.[104]


  • May 1 – Labour Day and International Workers' Day
  • May 2 – A french soldier is killed during Operation Barkhane by terrorists in Mali. Two other soldiers were injured in the April 23 attack in the Liptako region of southeast central Mali.[105]
  • May 6
    • Nine-year-old Joselia Kollie of Liberia writes a popular song about the COVID-19 pandemic.[106]
    • A sandstorm covers Niamey, Niger.[107]
  • May 8 – Guinean-born Roman Catholic Cardenal Robert Sarah finds himself in the middle of a controversy over COVID-19.[108]
  • May 9 – Jihadist activity in Burkina Faso forces the closing of gold mines.[109]
  • May 13
    • The Defense Ministry in Niger says that 75 Boko-Harum extremists have been killed in operations this week.[110]
    • COVID-19 pandemic: A COVID-19 survivor is stoned in Ghana.[111]
  • May 14 – National Unification Day, Liberia
  • May 17 – COVID-19 pandemic: Fears grow of spread of the virus as mosques reopen in the region.[112]

Predicted and scheduled eventsEdit

April and MayEdit

June and JulyEdit

  • June 1 – Youth Day (Dia da Criança), Cabo Verde
  • June 12 – Democracy Day, Nigeria
  • July 5 – Independence Day, Cabo Verde[7]
  • June 21 – Martyrs' Day, Togo
  • July 22 – Revolution Day, The Gambia
  • July 26 – Independence Day, Liberia[20]
  • July 30 – 31: Eid al-Adha Islamic Festival of the Sacrifice

August and SeptemberEdit

October through DecemberEdit


Film and videoEdit

The New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs released a list of more than fifteen videos in Wolof, Fulani, and Arabic languages in February 2020.[115]

African Film Festival at the University of California, Berkeley, March 4-May 8, 2020.[116]


Nobel Lauret Wole Soyinka gives the keynote address at the regional African Humanities Program assembly in Abuja, Nigeria, on February 11.[117]



January and FebruaryEdit

March and AprilEdit

May and JuneEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


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  42. ^ French summit aims to boost counterterror fight in W. Africa
  43. ^ Niger army chief fired after 89 killed in extremist attack
  44. ^ Cote d'Ivoire: Ivory Coast Rescues 137 Child Trafficking Victims
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  50. ^ Armed group frees kidnapped hostages in Nigeria Al Jazeera, 16 Jan 2020
  51. ^ Liberia: S. Leone Arrests Council of Patriots Leader Henry Costa - Turning Him Over Wednesday
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  59. ^ Senegal Turns to Eco-Farming to Protect Food Supply As Climate Changes
  60. ^ Trump expands travel ban to six additional countries Al Jazeera, 27 Jan 2020
  61. ^ Cote d'Ivoire: Government Says Gbagbo's Return Would Destabilize the Ivory Coast By Wairagala Wakabi, allAfrica, 31 JANUARY 2020
  62. ^ Mormon missionaries being cut in Liberia over supply worries AP, 2 Feb 2020
  63. ^ United Arab Emirates gives Mauritania $2B for development AP, 2 Feb 2020
  64. ^ Gunmen kill at least 18 civilians in northern Burkina Faso By ARSENE KABORE, AP, 3 Feb 2020
  65. ^ Africa: SWEDD 2 kicks off as the SWEDD initiative goes to scale
  66. ^ Jersey bank's £230m seizure set to be returned to Nigeria BBC News, 4 Feb 2020
  67. ^ Ghana, AfDB Sign $81.67m Loan Agreement to Finance Eastern Corridor Road Phase 1
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  69. ^ Female Genital Mutilation Still Prevalent in West Africa By Annika Hammerschlag, Voice of America, February 06, 2020
  70. ^ US customs dismantled 'impossible to replace' instrument, Mali musician says by Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian, 6 Feb 2020
  71. ^ Africans in Wuhan: Homesick and fearful of coronavirus by Clarissa Herrmann, DW (English), 6 Feb 2020
  72. ^ Ghana: Tree Crop Development Authority to Develop Cashew Farming - President
  73. ^ Liberia: Weah Issues Executive Order Suspending Tariff On Rice
  74. ^ Liberia, EU Sign 3.5 Million Euros Development Cooperation Pact
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  78. ^ Niger aid stampede: At least 20 killed in Diffa BBC World, 17 Feb 2020
  79. ^ Togo’s president wins, keeping family’s long hold on power By LEKAN OYEKANMI and DIDIER ASSOGBA, AP, 24 Feb 2020
  80. ^ New Army training team heads to Africa By LOLITA C. BALDOR, AP, 24 Feb 2020
  81. ^ Nigeria confirms 1st case of new virus in sub-Saharan Africa By BASHIR ADIGUN and CARA ANNA, AP, 28 Feb 2020
  82. ^ Senegal is reportedly turning coronavirus tests around 'within 4 hours' while Americans might wait a week by Jeva Lange, The Weel/Yahoo! News, 12 March 2020
  83. ^ Coronavirus spreads to more African countries Al Jazeera, 12 March 2020
  84. ^ Canadian, Italian freed in Mali 15 months after abduction AP/Yahoo! News, 14 Mar 2020
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  88. ^ Guinea voters back change that could extend president’s rule By BOUBACAR DIALLO, AP, 28 Mar 2020
  89. ^ At least 50 Nigerian soldiers killed in Boko Haram ambush Al Jazeera, 24 Mar 2020
  90. ^ Mali opposition leader abducted with campaign team in north By BABA AHMED, Associated Press/ABC News, 26 Mar 2020
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  117. ^ Wole Soyinka to Deliver Keynote Address at African Humanities Assembly
  118. ^ Cameroon drawn to face Ivory Coast in World Cup qualifying AP, 21 Jan 2020
  119. ^ Liberia: Chinese Engineers Want Sports Complex Maintained
  120. ^ Issiaka Ouattara, from rebel chief to controversial general
  121. ^ Chukwuemeka Ike is dead
  122. ^ Former Chief of Defence Staff Quashie is dead
  123. ^ Le poète Charles Carrère n'est plus (in French)
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  125. ^ WCC joins tribute to Rev. Canon Prof. John Samuel Pobee
  126. ^ Décès de James Houra: L’un des arbres tutélaires de la peinture ivoirienne s’est couché (in French)
  127. ^ Liberty great Peter Aluma dead at the age of 46
  128. ^ Former Ogun Assembly Leader, Yinka Mafe, Dies After Celebrating 46th Birthday
  129. ^ Victor Olaiya, Nigerian highlife musician, dies at 89
  130. ^ Katsina-Ala Catholic Diocese loses Bishop, Most Rev Dr. Peter Iornzuul Adoboh.
  131. ^ Mali : le doyen de la photographie Adama Kouyaté n'est plus (in French)
  132. ^ Décès en France de Erickson le Zulu, l'ex star du Coupé décalé (in French)
  133. ^ Breaking: Nigeria’s ex-Minister, Emovon, is dead
  134. ^ Veteran Yoruba actor, Pa Kasumu is dead
  135. ^ TV3 Journalist Edward Kwabi Jnr Has Died
  136. ^ Sierra Leone’s former Vice President Solomon Berewa has died
  137. ^ Le triple champion ivoirien de boxe, Bessé Mobio Henry, dit Sonny, est décédé (in French)
  138. ^ Décès de l’ancien président bissau-guinéen Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo (in French)
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  140. ^ Choral composer Ken Kafui dies
  141. ^ Professor Eldred Jones passes away
  142. ^ Enugu Rangers striker Ifeanyi George killed in car crash
  143. ^ Un grand patron de la microbiologie (in French)
  144. ^ Opoku Afriyie ‘Bayie’: Asante Kotoko, Ghana Legend Passes Away At 75
  145. ^ Prince Narkortu Teye, Ghana loses second legend in two days as Kwasi Owusu passes away, Goal (March 30, 2020).
  146. ^ De nombreux joueurs réagissent à la mort de Pape Diouf (in French)
  147. ^ Football: Founeke Sy, l’ancien joueur du Djoliba AC, est mort (in French)
  148. ^ Mensah
  149. ^ Nuamah Donkor mourns Jacob Plange-Rhule
  150. ^ Edem Kodjo: Togo mourns ex-Prime Minister, Africa remembers ex-OAU chief
  151. ^ Akin Euba, the father of African pianism, dies at 84
  152. ^ Nigerian president's chief of staff dies from coronavirus -presidency spokesman
  153. ^ April 18: Sékou Kourouma: Guinea’s chief of staff succumbs
  154. ^ Décès de Marie Rose Guiraud : Meiway est inconsolable (in French)
  155. ^ Richard Akinjide, Former Justice Minister, Is Dead
  156. ^ Mali: Le député Belco Bah mort de Covid-19 (in French)
  157. ^ Kumawood actor Bishop Bernard Nyarko dies
  158. ^ Niger: décès du ministre du Travail (in French)
  159. ^ Former Sokoto governor dies at 82