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Sat, 08.01.1953

The Central African Federation is Established

*On this date in 1953, the Central African Federation, CAF was established.

This was a colonial federation that consisted of three southern African territories. The self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland for ten years. The Federation was established with a Governor-General as the British Queen's representative at the center. An interesting and novel feature was the African Affairs Board, set up to safeguard the interests of Africans and endowed with statutory powers for that purpose, particularly regarding discriminatory legislation.

The constitutional status of the three territories – a self-governing Colony and two Protectorates – was not affected, though certain enactments applied to the Federation as if it were part of Her Majesty's dominions and a Colony. The economic advantages to the Federation were never seriously called into question, and the causes of the Federation's failure were purely political: the strong and growing opposition of the African inhabitants. The rulers of the new Black African states were united in wanting to end colonialism in Africa.

With most of the world moving away from colonialism during the late 1950s and early 1960s, the United Kingdom was subjected to pressure to de-colonize from both the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU). These groups supported the aspirations of the black African nationalists and accepted their claims to speak on behalf of the people. The federation officially ended on December 31, 1963. In 1964, shortly after the dissolution, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland became independent under the names Zambia and Malawi, respectively. In November 1965, Southern Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence from the United Kingdom as the state of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe.

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