World: what's in a name?

In emerging economies, governments are putting their own stamp on history by renaming cities and even countries. Not everywhere, however.

Beira (Mozambique), named in 1907 after a Portuguese crown prince, Dom Luís Filipe, the Prince of Beira (an historic Portuguese province).

Buchanan (Liberia), named after Thomas Buchanan, first Governor of Liberia and a cousin of American president James Buchanan. 

Cameron Highlands (Pahang, Malaysia), named after a British colonial surveyor, James Cameron, sent in 1885 to map out the area.  

Cox's Bazar (Bangladesh), named after Captain Hiram Cox, Superintendent of the Palongkee outpost, whose compassion resettling refugees induced the Bengalis to commemorate his efforts by calling the town after him. 

Francistown (Botswana), named in 1869 after Daniel Francis, an English prospector and landowner.  

George Town (Penang, Malaysia), named after the UK's King George III.

Melbourne (Victoria, Australia), named after William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, a British Prime Minister.   

Napier (Hawke's Bay, New Zealand), named after Sir Charles Napier, a general in the British Empire and Commander-in-Chief in India. 

Osorno (Chile), named in 1558 by the Spanish Governor of Chile, García Hurtado de Mendoza the 5th Marquis of Cañete, in honour of his grandfather, the Count of Orsono.

Philippines (Republic of), named after King Philip of Spain by Miguel López de Legazpi, first Governor-General.   

Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape, South Africa), named after Elizabeth Donkin, wife of Sir Rufane Donkin, Acting Governor of the Cape Colony. 

Port Harcourt (Nigeria), named in 1913 after Lewis Harcourt, 1st Viscount Harcourt, a British Secretary of State for the Colonies. 

Speightstown (Barbados), named after William Speight, a member of Barbados' first Assembly in around 1630.

Trujillo (Peru), named in 1534 by Diego de Almagro, a Spanish conquistador, after the Spanish city of Trujillo in Extramudura, birthplace of his leader, Francisco Pizzarro.

Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada), named after George Vancouver, a British Royal Naval officer who charted America's northwestern Pacific seaboard.

Despite Zimbabwe's decision to rename Salisbury as Harare, the Gambia's renaming of Bathurst as Banjul, and the Congo's renaming of Léopoldville as Kinshasa, it appears that in many places around the world historical references remain despite prevailing revisionism.

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