The year erupted with deadly ethnic clashes in Kenya following disputed elections. More than 1,500 people were killed and some 300,000 displaced before a power-sharing deal was reached.
The rest of the continent was caught up in watching the Nations Cup taking place in Ghana, where defending champions Egypt beat Cameroon in the February final to win their sixth title.
A joint United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission took over in Sudan's troubled Darfur region this year, but by March the force remained unchanged at 9,000.
Zimbabweans spent the whole of April waiting for the results of March's presidential poll. When the results were finally released, they said a run-off was needed in June, which was marred by violence.
In May, South Africa was hit by a wave of xenophobic violence in which 60 people died when armed groups attacked foreigners, who are often accused of taking jobs and fuelling crime.
In June, the UN warned it would cut food aid to Somalia if it did not receive more naval protection against pirates, many of whom are ex-fisherman whose livelihoods have been affected by foreign trawlers.
In July, Nigeria's oil militant group, Mend, ended its ceasefire after UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the UK would help train the Nigerian military amid efforts to tackle violence in the Niger Delta.
Months of events to celebrate Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday culminated in August in an ANC celebration attended by his wife Graca Machel (l) and his ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Heavy downpours hit West Africa for a second year, displacing thousands. According to the Red Cross, Senegal's capital, Dakar, received twice its usual rainfall for September in just four days.
An upsurge in fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo between Laurent Nkunda's fighters and the army displaced 250,000 people by October. The year ended with UN-brokered talks.
In November, the election of Barack Obama to the White House saw celebrations across Africa, especially in Kenya where his step-grandmother (centre) was the centre of media attention.
In December, the world's attention was once again focused on Zimbabwe, where chronic water shortages led to a deadly cholera outbreak which has spread across her borders.