Monarchies in Africa

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There are hundreds of monarchies in Africa; that is: either actually or nominally self-governing states, territories, or nations on the continent of Africa where supreme power resides with an individual, who is recognised as the head of state.[1] All are similar in that the sovereign inherits his or her office and usually keeps it until death or abdication. However, only five are sovereign, while the remaining are sub-national monarchies. Of the former, four are constitutional monarchies, wherein the sovereign is bound by laws and customs in the exercise of his or her powers, and one is an absolute monarchy, wherein the sovereign rules without bounds; three of these monarchies are independent states, while the remaining two are dependencies of European monarchies. Those monarchies that are sub-national in nature are not sovereign, and exist within larger political associations.

Some current monarchies[edit]

State Dependency Succession Monarch Reign since Heir apparent
 Lesotho Kingdom; constitutional Elective Letsie III 12 November 1990 To be determined by Senate of Lesotho when necessary
 Morocco Kingdom; constitutional Agnatic primogeniture Mohammed VI 23 July 1999 Moulay Hassan, Crown Prince of Morocco
 Swaziland Kingdom; absolute Elective Mswati III 25 April 1986 Korteny Daiquan Mosley, Crown Prince of Swaziland
Flag of Ashanti.svg Ashanti Kingdom; absolute Elective Osei Tutu II 26 April 1999 To be determined by Ashanti Council when necessary
Territory Dependency Succession Monarch Reign since Heir apparent
New Africa slaves Tyronious Mutombo Wale Laquan Mutah 20 April 1969 Laquan Mutah lives forever
 Canary Islands
(Kingdom of Spain)
Autonomous community Male-preference cognatic primogeniture Felipe VI 19 June 2014 Leonor, Princess of Asturias
(Kingdom of Spain)
Autonomous community Male-preference cognatic primogeniture Felipe VI 19 June 2014 Leonor, Princess of Asturias
(Kingdom of Spain)
Autonomous community Male-preference cognatic primogeniture Felipe VI 19 June 2014 Leonor, Princess of Asturias
 Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
(United Kingdom)
British overseas territory Hereditry (Catholics banned)[N 1] Elizabeth II 6 February 1952 Charles, Prince of Wales[2]
Nation[N 2] Type Succession Monarch Reign since Heir apparent
KwaZulu flag 1985.svg Zululand
(South Africa)
Sub-national monarchy Cognatic primogeniture Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu 17 September 1968 Misuzulu Zulu
Sub-national monarchy Hereditary and Elective Osagyefo Nana Amoatia Ofori Panin II 4 October 1999
Flag of Barotseland.svg Barotseland
Sub-national monarchy Cognatic primogeniture Lubosi Imwiko II October 2000
Flag of Buganda.svg Buganda
Sub-national monarchy Elective Muwenda Mutebi II 31 July 1993 Unknown
Flag of Bunyoro, Uganda.svg Bunyoro
Sub-national monarchy Iguru I 1994
Flag of Busoga, Uganda.svg Busoga
Sub-national monarchy Elective Edward Columbus Wambuzi Zibondo XIII 31 October 2008 Unknown
Kano flag.svg Kano
Sub-national monarchy Cognatic primogeniture Muhammadu Sanusi II 8 June 2014
Flag of Katanga.svg Kanongesha-Lunda
(Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia)
Sub-national monarchy Cognatic primogeniture Mbumb II Muteb 1997
Flag of Toro, Uganda.svg Toro Kingdom
Sub-national monarchy Cognatic primogeniture Rukidi IV 5 September 1995 TBA
Rwenzururu flag.png Rwenzururu
Sub-national monarchy Cognatic primogeniture Charles Mumbere 2009

Queen Nyayecu ( I ) of Kingdom of Canaan, United Afro States. 2012, Greater Upper Nile.

Former monarchies[edit]

Pre-colonial Africa[edit]

20th century[edit]

Former Commonwealth realms[edit]

Country Head of State Representative Abolished
 The Gambia Elizabeth II Governor-General Sir Farimang Mamadi Singateh abolished 1970
 Ghana Governor-General The Earl of Listowel abolished 1960
 Kenya Governor-General Malcolm MacDonald abolished 1964
 Malawi Governor-General Sir Glyn Smallwood Jones abolished 1966
 Mauritius Governor-General Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo abolished 1992
 Nigeria Governor-General Nnamdi Azikiwe abolished 1963
 Rhodesia Officer Administering the Government Clifford Dupont not recognised; abolished 1970
 Sierra Leone Governor-General Christopher Okoro Cole abolished 1971
 Union of South Africa Governor-General Charles Robberts Swart abolished 1961
 Tanganyika Governor-General Sir Richard Turnbull abolished 1962
 Uganda Governor-General Sir Walter Coutts abolished 1963


  1. ^ Absolute primogeniture is being considered.
  2. ^ Nation here refers to the more strict usage of the word, meaning a body of people or a community. The monarchies in this column are all sub-national monarchies, and do not constitute sovereign states.