When Elizabeth the second became Queen, she inherited a vast empire spanning the African continent, and during her reign, all 14 African British colonies gained independence, beginning with Sudan in 1956.

Except for two countries, the British Empire and other European countries colonized all of Africa.

This would imply that Queen Elizabeth, the second born in 1928 and who died in 2022, supervised the emancipation of all British African territories. Sudan first gained independence from a joint British- Egyptian rule. Then Ghana became the first African country to attain independence from full British colonial rule in 1957, when the queen was 31 years old. She was crowned Queen of England in 1952, making her the ruler 5 years before the first African liberation.

The following are some of the countries that obtained independence during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign:

  1. Sudan: Sudan means “black people’s land” in Arabic. It was colonized in 1899. Following Leopold’s death, parts of this region that were ruled by Belgium fully became a British colony. In 1956, the country declared independence. Sudan obtained independence from the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium, the joint British and Egyptian administration that administered Sudan, on January 1, 1956.
  1. Ghana was colonized in 1902 after enormous gold riches were discovered. This gave it the name” Gold coast”. It became independent in 1957. 
  1. Nigeria- Nigeria was officially colonized in 1914, 12 years after Ghana. This region also witnessed one of the most drastic amalgamations, with over 200 distinct tribes compelled to coexist within a defined boundary. Nigeria became independent in 1960.
  1. South Africa: In 1497, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach the Southern Coastline. Centuries later, in 1965, Dutch settlers arrived, until Britain annexed the country in 1815. South Africa attained independence in 1961.
  1. Sierra Leone was the first British colony. It was founded in 1808 by freed English slaves. In 1961, the country declared independence.
  1. Tanzania: Previously known as Tanganyika, Tanzania was a German colony. As part of the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles, Britain acquired sovereignty of the region following World War I. The British colonized it in 1919, and it won independence in 1961.
  1. Uganda: They became a British protectorate in 1894, this region of the world was rife with religious strife as four religious factions fought for power. The Native Religion, Catholicism, Islam, and Protestantism were among them. The country achieved independence in 1962 but the Queen was still Head of the state till 1963.
  1. Kenya: Prior to its annexation in 1920, the Sultan of Zanzibar ruled over the region now known as Kenya. The signing of the Heligoland Zanzibar Treaty transferred possession of Kenya to England and Germany. Kenya became independent in 1963.
  1. Zambia was colonized by the British in 1888 after they obtained mineral rights in the region, but it became a British protectorate ten years later. Zambia achieved independence in 1964.
  1. Gambia: Following a convention in Paris in 1889, France relinquished sovereignty of the Gambia River to Britain, and the Gambia’s current borders were established. In 1900, Britain imposed indirect authority, or protectorate (formed in 1894), over the interior, separating it into 35 chiefdoms, each with its own chief. In February 1965, it was ultimately granted independence within the Commonwealth. On April 24, 1970, The Gambia became a republic.
  1. Botswana: Botswana was colonized by the British in 1885 in order to prevent an alliance between the Boers (Dutch settlers in South Africa) in the Transvaal and the Germans in modern-day Namibia. Bechuanaland, now Botswana, was given British protection in 1885. Botswana became independent in 1966.
  1. Zimbabwe, formerly known as South Rhodesia, became a self-governing British colony in 1923. Zimbabwe was colonized in 1890 and attained independence in 1980, making it the last country to be free of British influence.

Other relationships with African countries
Somalia: In 1887, Britain became anxious about maintaining the Suez Canal, which opened in 1869, open to India, and as a response, Britain declared Somalia a British protectorate and renamed it British Somaliland.

Native uprisings posed a threat to British power around the turn of the twentieth century. The British abandoned the interior of Somaliland in 1910, retreating to the coastal regions. Italy took advantage of the chance to expand its power inland, capturing many of the districts that the British had abandoned. Following WWII, Italy ceded the authority of Somalia to the United Nations. It was a UN trust territory under the Italian administration for ten years until 1960, when Somalia gained independence and joined with the old British protectorate and became the Republic of Somalia.

Moving forward
In terms of the economy, many colonized countries remain sour. Experts remark that, despite the fact that the late Queen Elizabeth was not responsible for colonization and tyranny. The monarchy itself is heavily responsible for where Africa is now in terms of economy and growth.

During her 70-year reign, she visited more than 20 African countries.

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