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The Commonwealth of Nations - African History

The Commonwealth of Nations, or more commonly just the Commonwealth, is an association of sovereign states consisting of the United Kingdom, some of its former colonies, and a few "special" cases. The Commonwealth nations maintain close economic ties, sporting associations and complementary institutions.

When was the Commonwealth of Nations Formed?

In the early twentieth century, the government of Britain was taking a hard look at its relationship with the rest of the British Empire, and particularly with those colonies populated by Europeans – the dominions.

The dominions had reached a high level of self-government, and the people there were calling for the creation of sovereign states. Even amongst the Crown Colonies, Protectorates, and Mandates, nationalism (and the call for independence) was on the rise.

The "British Commonwealth of Nations" was first noted in the Statute of Westminster on 3 December 1931, which recognized that several of the United Kingdom"s self-governing dominions (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) were "autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations." What was new under the 1931 Statute of Westminster was that these dominions would now be free to control their own foreign affairs – they were already in control of domestic affairs – and to have their own diplomatic identity.

There are 19 African states who are currently members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

See this Chronological List of African Members of the Commonwealth of Nations, or Alphabetical List of African Members of the Commonwealth of Nations for details.

No, Cameroon (which had only partially been in the British Empire following World War I) and Mozambique joined in 1995. Mozambique was admitted as a special case (ie could not set a precedent) following democratic elections in the

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