Reasons why Central Africa was decolonised (GB believed they could have a…
Reasons why Central Africa was decolonised
GB believed they could have a partnered government so the Central African Federation in 1953. However it was full of white settlers from South Rhodesia.
But its constitution did not protect African rights, discriminatory legislation could be vetoed by GB and federal assembly had limited African representation.
But this still created nationalist movements in all 3 states, however most black Africans were opposed to the movements.
White Central African Federation governors responded in anger- nationalist leaders were imprisoned but in March 1959 Nyasaland government declared a state emergency and 51 Africans killed
Enquiry accused Nyasaland government of running a ‘police state.
No British colonial government had ever been so harshly judged
Britain knew disorder was coming if they didn't act, so, in 1960-61 GB ordered release of nationalist leaders in N. Rhodesia & Nyasaland
New constitutions written to provide majority (black) rule & independence
1963 CAF dissolved
1964 Kenneth Kaunda led N. Rhodesia to independence as Zambia
Dr Hastings Banda led Nyasaland to independence as Malawi
GB countered-balanced S. African influence by developing other colonies in central/southern Africa
N. Rhodesia (copper)
70,000 white settlers, 2 million Africans
S. Rhodesia (agriculture & substantial white settlement)
220,000 white settlers and 3,500,000 Africans
Nyasaland (economically undeveloped)
7,000 white settlers and 2,500,000 Africans
During WW2, these 3 colonies collaborated to help GB war effort so they believed they could become self governing and loyal.
South Rhodesia was more problematic
White settlers wanted to avoid living under a black majority so in 1961, white population switched political support to Rhodesian Front Party – aimed to achieve independence under WHITE control – leading to electoral victory
1965, Rhodesian PM Ian Smith illegally declared S. Rhodesia independent as Rhodesia (called UDI – Unilateral Declaration of Independence)
1969 Rhodesia became a republic & entered a long civil war between its ruling white people & African nationalists (ended in 1980 when Mugabe became President)