The continental crust of East Africa was formed during the late Proterozoic ‘Pan-African’ orogenic cycle (ca. 900–550 Ma). This comprises predominantly remobilized older crust in the Mozambique belt (MB) in the south and predominantly juvenile crust of the Arabian-Nubian shield (ANS) in the north. Together these make up what is here termed the ‘East African Orogen’ (EAO). Differences along the EAO are mimicked by differences between their forelands, inferred to be the eastern flank of West Gondwanaland. The MB is flanked by the Kalahari, Congo, and Tanzanian cratons, whereas the ANS is flanked by the enigmatic crust of the ‘Nile craton’. Although there is abundant isotopic evidence in the ‘Nile craton’ for the presence of older crust, the latter was not a craton during the late Proterozoic because it was remobilized during the Pan-African orogenic cycle.