I Want a Nation: Africa

Africa is truly a remarkable place.

It’s always interesting to me to hear people refer to Africa (unlike any other continent) as one big country.  (No one would ever say “Oh, I’m going to North America.”)  For those of you have haven’t had an African exposure, the diversity is incredible.

However, for the purposes of this blog, continents have a collective sense about them.  Africa is no different.  So in considering how Africa got its name and what that means prophetically, we’ll look at the whole before looking at the parts.

Many of these continent names have quite varied opinions on the etymology of what they are now called.

In one article I researched, the writer made a case that Africa was actually named from the Bible, that the “Queen of Sheba” that came “from the South” (widely accepted as Africa) came to King Solomon.  When she heard his wisdom she converted to following the God of Israel, which her homeland refused to acknowledge.  This particular writer claims that this rejection is why Jesus prophesied in the Gospels that the “Queen of the South” will rise and cast judgment on the unbelieving generation. (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31)  The Queen’s name and some of her declarations eventually became the word for “Africa.”

However, most etymological research led me to some more mainstream and consistent beliefs.


sunny, dusty, the land without cold

I won’t bore you with the names and breakdowns, but these meanings came from Greek and Roman translations.  Walk with me through this:

Here’s what I got when I saw this meaning.  Do you remember The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?  Do you remember what was said of Narnia?  “It was always winter and never Christmas.”

Why did this matter?  Some people in extreme environments live like this all the time and don’t consider it oppressive, yet in the story, it’s supposed to be see that way.

Now in Africa, the reverse is true (yes, I’ve been in South Africa when it snowed, but it’s still rare).  It’s hot.  Hot a lot of the time.  But beyond the temperature, I want to think about the prophetic meaning wrapped up in the phrase “the land without cold.”

What happens when there are no seasons?  Cold matters.  It’s been an unprecedentedly warm winter in Georgia, but seasons have a place, a purpose.  It’s supposed to get cold, it’s supposed to go dormant.  NEW LIFE DOESN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT THE CHANGE OF SEASONS.

If what we learned in studying our own names is true, then names can be descriptive, redemptive, and containing responsibility.  In looking at the continent of Africa and its fifty-something countries, how has the continent done with embracing the change of seasons?

When we prophesy, we speak and release life, so even though a continent is a “land without cold” it’s the responsibility of a generation of African people to stand up in the face of a name that could be descriptive and declare:


It’s time to come out of dormancy Africa!  It’s time to spawn new life, to bud, to bloom, to release the life-giving pollination!  You are not destined for drought; you are destined for life!

Many countries in Africa are named after landmarks, but here are a few interesting meanings I found:

Algeria – moonlight               Angola – conquering chief/king

Benin – tribe, home of vexation               Botswana – equal and free

Burkina Faso – land of honest men               Cameroon – shrimp

Comoros – islands of the moon               Gabon – cloak

Democratic Republic of Congo/Republic of Congo – land by the river of the hunters

Ethiopia/Sudan/South Sudan – land of the blacks

Ghana – warrior king               Kenya – land of the White Mountain

Liberia – freedom               Malawi – flaming water, tongues of fire

Mali – hippopotamus               Morocco – sanctuary of God

Namibia – the land where there is nothing               Niger/Nigeria – flowing water

Rwanda – land occupied by a swarm or scattering               Sierra Leone – lion mountains

Tanzania – the island where the waters meet               Uganda – brothers and sisters of God

Zimbabwe  – house of stones

I invite you to join me in prophesying over this continent.  If a particular country is close to your heart, or if you agree in this declaration of hope and life, leave a comment and release it!  I’m very interested to see what you all have learned about prophetic names, so look at the list above and pray into that meaning and see what God may be speaking through these meanings.  Share it with us!

5 Replies to “I Want a Nation: Africa”

  1. All I keep thinking: I’m going to go to each one of those countries one day and BACK to Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania! Whoaaa… also, Uganda’s name ‘brothers and sisters of God’ makes sense because as soon as you meet those who believe there, you immediately become family. “Daddy, I declare your love and truth over each of these countries. I declare that Sierra Leone will meet the Lion of Judah and be radically transformed for your Gospel. I declare your freedom and truth over all your children in the ‘land without cold’ and say you will shine brightest in the times ahead and that my brothers and sisters throughout Africa will begin to rise up and unite under ONE banner, Jesus Christ, to bring redemption and restoration to the whole continent! Break out Holy Spirit all across the country and reveal yourself to the people in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.’ ~Well, that’s what I got.

  2. I believe and declare that out of Africa will become a rumbling. A rumbling within the deep that will release and break forth freedom to all the nations. The cry and worship of your people will drown out the drums of witchcraft and warfare. You are victorious and so are your children. We stand in agreement that health and healing will break forth, that fullness and abundance will be what is known there, and that your children will no longer live in lack and insufficiency. That the fire within Malawi will catch and spread like wildfire throughout the entire continent. That your name is known within every tribe, every nation, and every tongue. Rise up land of redemption, new life is born!

  3. I got chills when I read this + jumped out of my seat:
    Malawi – flaming water, tongues of fire

    The children of God in Malawi are calling for God to bring a great outpouring of His love upon their land, upon their people. Malawi is a land of HOPE, a land of victory, a land of overflow. No longer a barren and desolate land – it is the warm heart of Africa. And if from the heart of a land, flows flaming water and tongues of fire, so shall that spread throughout the other nations of this land. God is igniting the people of Africa – the many tongues, tribes, and nations…they are unified on one land – and there is an outpouring…but not an ordinary one. God is calling forth that flaming water. Water that quenches thirst, water that fills up and overflows. Living water. He is sending cleansing fire, refining fire, Holy fire.

    Africa we bless you! Africa we bless you! Africa we bless you!!!!!!!

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