Communism in Africa can be analyzed along two dimensions: Communist movements that generally developed between the two world wars and were subjected to state repression and communism as a post-colonial state policy. During the colonial era communists built alliances with democratic and anti-colonial movements; any success reflected their ability to forge links with trade unions and nationalist organizations. Following independence, many new states adopted communist ideology and policies to facilitate international alliances and promote development. Those regimes form a subset of African one-party states that span the ideological spectrum. In post-colonial Africa communist and socialist movements have made episodic political gains during turbulent periods, but they have found it difficult to capitalize on such advances when faced with multiparty elections.
The long arc of sport in Africa is examined in this chapter through the prism of the Anglophone and Francophone colonizations, which established the two big Western empires on the continent. In addition, the chapter traces postcolonial developments throughout the twentieth century. A particular focus is the internationalization and then globalization of African sport as part of the imperial project and the role that pioneering African sportsmen and local elites played in the process. The chapter also summarizes the growing English- and French-language scholarship on African sport and emerging perspectives on the topic, as well as suggests some possibilities for future research on sports in Africa.