The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, also known as Central African Federation (CAF), was
a semi-independent state in southern Africa that existed from 1953 to the end
of 1963, comprising the former self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia and
the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland.
The Federation was established on
August 1, 1953, with the goal of creating a middle way between the newly
independent and socialist black independent states and the white-dominated
governments of South Africa,
Angola, and Mozambique. It
was intended to be a perpetual entity, but ultimately crumbled because the
black African nationalists wanted a greater share of power than the dominant
minority white population was willing to concede.
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 this time (late
1950s – early 1960s), the United
Kingdom was subjected to pressure to
de-colonize from both the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity.
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 31 December 1963, when Northern Rhodesia gained independence from the UK as the new nation of Zambia and Nyasaland gained independence as the
new nation of Malawi.
Southern Rhodesia became known as Rhodesia
and is now Zimbabwe.