A Queen Elizabeth II (Elizabeth II), who died at Balmoral, Scotland, aged 96. His death plunged the UK into mourning, but they weren’t the only ones mourning his death. For many, she was the personification of the United Kingdom. She was Head of State of 16 countries, Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and as British monarch she was also head of the Anglican Church.
Regardless of what you might think of her and her reign, she literally marked generations of people, but above all, her unique relationship with Africa. She turned 21 on a visit to South Africa and was visiting Kenya when her father died and ascended the throne and as British monarch she made many trips to Africa.
Another interesting aspect of her life was the fact that she gave independence to 16 countries, 11 of which were African.
The 20th century, for Africa, marked an era of liberation, after wars and revolutions. This era brought public lighting that is still felt today. Communities and individuals took responsibility for changing the status quo and took charge of their destiny. The struggle for individuality intensified as people formed social groups.
Innovative inventions accelerated the Industrial Revolution, and political and economic systems were debated and contested as various wars ravaged mankind and more elaborate global trade channels were established.
In the heart of Africa, the founding fathers began to see the possibility of self-government after decades of colonialism. In the West, civil rights leaders mobilized against segregation, while in Africa, intellectuals sold the idea of liberation to their people.
Before long, Africa began to gain independence. Europe began to loosen its administrative grip on the colonies, and before the 21st century was reached, most African nations had achieved independence.
This means that Queen Elizabeth II, born in 1928, oversaw the liberation of all British colonies in Africa. Sudan was the first African country to gain independence in 1956. On that date, the queen was only 30 years old. We must not forget that she had inherited the throne in 1952, only 4 years earlier.
During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II granted independence to the following countries:
- Sudan: The name Sudan in Arabic means the country of the blacks. Settled in 1899. Sections of this region were under Belgian rule before becoming a British colony after the death of Leopold. The country gained independence in 1956.
- Ghana: Ghana was colonized in 1902 after the discovery of huge gold reserves in the region. Independence acquired in 1957. Before colonization. The Ashanti people ruled the region.
- Nigeria: Nigeria was officially colonized in 1914, 12 years after the colonization of Ghana began. This region has also seen one of the largest and most extreme cultural amalgamations, as more than 200 independent tribes were forced to coexist within a designated border. Nigeria gained independence in 1960.
- Sierra Leone: It was the first British colony in Africa, created in 1808 by former English slaves. The country gained independence in 1961.
- Tanzania: Formerly known as Tanganyika, Tanzania was originally a German colony. After World War I, Britain took control of the region under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. It was colonized by the British in 1919 and gained independence in 1961.
- South Africa: This nation has seen its fair share of foreign invaders. The Portuguese were the first European settlers to reach the south coast in 1497. Centuries later, in 1965, Dutch settlers arrived, before the nation was finally settled by Britain in 1815. South Africa South finally gained independence in 1961.
- Uganda: Before becoming a British protectorate in 1894, this region of the world experienced intense religious conflict as four groups battled for supremacy. They were Native, Catholic, Muslim and Protestant religion. The country gained independence in 1962.
- Kenya: Prior to its colonization in 1920, the Sultan of Zanzibar had sovereignty over the area now known as Kenya. The signing of the Heligoland Zanzibar Treaty gave England and Germany ownership of Kenya. Kenya gained independence in 1963.
- Zambia: This country was settled in 1888 after the British obtained the mining rights in the region, but it officially became a British protectorate 10 years later. Zambia gained independence in 1964.
- Botswana: The British colonized Botswana in 1885 in order to block the alliance between the Boers (Dutch settlers in South Africa) in the Transvaal and the Germans in present-day Namibia. In 1885, the British placed Bechuanaland, present-day Botswana, under their protection. Botswana gained independence in 1966.
- Zimbabwe: Formerly known as Southern Rhodesia, this country became a self-governing British colony in 1923. Colonized in 1890, Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, becoming the last country to break free from British rule.
What do you think of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II? Do you agree that his influence extended to Africa? We want to know your opinion, do not hesitate to comment and if you liked the article, share and give a “like / like”.
African literature in Portuguese language
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