African countries have some very powerful meanings behind their names.

Below are 10 African countries with some very powerful name meanings.

1. Sierra Leone

The name Sierra Leone dates back to 1462 when a Portuguese explorer sailed down the coast of West Africa.

Experts still argue that the shape or climatic conditions influenced Pedro da Cintra to come up with “Sierra Lyoa” meaning Lion Mountains.

Some say the coastal regions looked like “lion’s teeth”. Others suggest he thought the thunderstorms over the mountainous peninsula sounded like the roar of a lion. The British officially adopted the name Sierra Leone in 1787.

2. Mozambique

Mozambique, itself is a derivative of the name of the Arab Sheikh, Mussa Bin Bique, who ruled the area at the time when the Portuguese arrived. Mozambique is the Portuguese interpretation of Mussa Bin Bique.

3. Burkina Faso

The name 'Burkina Faso" means Land of Incorruptible People,” which was adopted in 1984.

The country was given a new name in 1984 by then President Thomas Sankara

4. Tanzania

On 26 April 1964, Tanganyika united with Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

The country was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania on October 29 of that year. The name Tanzania is a blend of Tanganyika and Zanzibar and previously had no significance.

5. Ethiopia

The name Ethiopia derived, from the Greek form, aithiopia, from the two words aitho, “I burn”, and ops, “face”.

The former name of Ethiopia is Abyssinia, a word of uncertain origin. Some people consider it comes from an Arabic word meaning “mixed”, a reference to the country’s many ethnic groups; others believe that the name belonged to an early Ethiopian tribe.

6. Zambia

The territory of what is now Zambia was known as Northern Rhodesia from 1911. It was renamed Zambia at independence in 1964. The new name of Zambia was derived from the Zambezi river (The Zambezi may mean "River of God").

7. Eritrea

"Eritrea" is an ancient name, associated in the past with its Greek form Erythraia, derived Latin form Erythræa. This name relates to that of the Red Sea, then called the Erythræan Sea.

Eritrea simply means "Land of the Red Sea".

8. Mali

The name was originally derived from the Mandinka or Bambara word mali, meaning “hippopotamus”, but it eventually came to mean "the place where the king lives".

9. Uganda

Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom. "Buganda" was the kingdom of the 52 clans of the Baganda. Baganda ("Brothers and Sisters" or "Bundle People") is itself short for Baganda Ba Katonda ("Brothers and Sisters of God"), a reference to an indigenous creation story.

10. Sudan

First, the origin of the term Sudan and the source from which it is derived. Second, what part of Africa is said to be known as Sudan in ancient history. With regards to the name Sudan, originally it comes from the term`Bilad -al- Sudan` which means “Land of Blacks”.