Czechoslovak Diplomats in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Jaroslav Olša
Keywords: Africa, diplomacy, embassy, consulate, Union of South Africa, Rhodesia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Belgian Congo, Gold Coast, French West Africa


Czechoslovak interwar diplomacy was unique in many ways, compared with the diplomacy of the other states established after World War I. Unlike that of Poland or Yugoslavia, for example, Czechoslovak diplomacy sought to establish the type of global consular and diplomatic presence which was generally the prerogative of world powers. This article describes the construction of Czechoslovakia's network of effective and honorary consulates in the "remotest" of continents. The article highlights the errors, the occasional fumbles, and the achievements of the Czechoslovak Foreign Ministry in Sub-Saharan Africa. The article also looks at the plans for establishing diplomatic contacts with the first independent African states, which, however, had never materialised in the early years. The article then turns to the operations of the Czechoslovak diplomatic missions in Africa after World War II, when the network of Czechoslovak diplomatic missions was revitalised and extended even further to cover more countries. The essay ends with a short sketch of Czechoslovak diplomatic efforts in Africa in the late 1940s and early 50s, which marked the end or one era of Czechoslovak diplomacy and the beginning of a new era, where Czechoslovak African diplomacy became important for the ascendant Soviet Union and the socialist block.

Author Biography

Jaroslav Olša