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Some Features of Urban Place Names in Central Africa

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DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1102914    1,111 Downloads   1,475 Views


More than fifty years after African countries independence, the colonial system continues to reveal its heritage. This is particularly true with urban place names among which a number of currently used are of colonial origin. Through a number of readings, the authors analyze the present situation in Central Africa and question its meaning. The article provides therefore an understanding of urban geographical names in nine countries colonized by French, Germans, British, Belgians and Spaniards. It appears that if Belgium was the colonial power that gave most of its place names to towns in Central Africa, it has been, after the independence, the only country that experienced a total decolonization of urban geographical names. In addition, the heterogeneity of the current urban toponymic situation lays, both on the contrasting profile of the colonial powers and on the different reactions of the colonized countries after independence.

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Simeu-Kamdem, M. and Koulbout, D. (2016) Some Features of Urban Place Names in Central Africa. Open Access Library Journal, 3, 1-7. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1102914.

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