An Atlas of African Affairs

By Andrew Boyd; Patrick Van Rensburg | Go to book overview

31. The Rhodesias

The Rhodesias were brought under British control by the driving ambition of Cecil Rhodes. He organized the chartered British South Africa Company with the aim of by-passing the Transvaal republic (36) and securing the mineral wealth farther north. He bought mining concessions from Lobengula, chief of the Matabele (Ndebele). They ruled most of what is now Southern Rhodesia from Bulawayo (having subjugated the (Ma-)Shona in the 1830s). In 1890 Rhodes's men founded Salisbury in Mashonaland; in 1893, picking a quarrel with Lobengula, they occupied Bulawayo. Though both Matabele and Mashona later rebelled, the company soon had control of most of the Rhodesias. Southern Rhodesia did not, in the end, yield such great mineral wealth as Northern Rhodesia, but it attracted white farmers, to whom half its land was allotted. In 1923, its white settlers voted to end company rule and become a self-governing colony. Northern Rhodesia became a British protectorate in 1924.

Southern Rhodesia's white population (now over 220,000) grew fast, and, virtually free from control from London, withheld political power from the Africans (now 2•9 million). Northern Rhodesia's whites (now nearly 80,000, to 2•4 million Africans) fretted under control from London and sought links with Southern Rhodesia.

In 1953 federation (27) of the two Rhodesias and Nyasaland (33) was put through by a British Conservative government. African opposition was strong in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland; they feared that rule from Salisbury (the federal capital) meant white domination, despite professions of 'partnership'. Britain's hope was that a bigger economic unit would attract investment, facilitate projects like Kariba hydro-power (Q, 32), spread the benefits of Copper- belt (32) revenues, and speed independence. Southern Rhodesian whites voted 5 to 3 for federation.

Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland remained protectorates, and a complex voting system gave Africans some say in federal politics, though Sir Roy Welensky's United Federal party dominated them, with mainly white support. But discontent erupted in Nyasaland in 1959 (33). The subsequent Monckton commission, while envisaging continued federation (with racial parity in the federal parliament, and African majorities in the protectorates), found African opinion strongly against it. Tension continued in 1961, with little prospect of the Federation surviving, despite limited concessions to African nationalist parties -- in Northern Rhodesia, United National Independence party, led by Kenneth Kaunda, and African National

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An Atlas of African Affairs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Foreword 7
  • A. Population 10
  • B. Regions and Barriers 12
  • C. Languages and Peoples 14
  • D. European and Asian Settlement 20
  • E. 'Pre-European' History 22
  • F. Europeans on the Coast 24
  • G. the European 'scramble' 26
  • H. the New Political Map 28
  • I. British and French Heritages 30
  • J. United Nations Activity 32
  • K. Pan-Africanism and Regional Unity 34
  • L. Africa Overseas 36
  • M. Education 38
  • N. Health and Pests 40
  • O. Minerals 42
  • P. Transport 44
  • Q. Power, Development And Research 46
  • 1. the Maghreb 48
  • 2. Morocco and Mauritania 50
  • 3. Algeria 52
  • 4. Tunisia and Libya 54
  • 5. Egypt and Its Neighbours 57
  • 6. Suez Canal 58
  • 7. Suez-Sinai Conflict, 1956 60
  • 8. the Nile 62
  • 9. Egypt 64
  • 10. the Sudan 66
  • 11. Ethiopia 68
  • 12. the Somalis 70
  • 13. West Africa 72
  • 14. Ex-French Africa 74
  • 15. Ex-French West Africa 76
  • 16. 'Equatorial' Africa 78
  • 17. Commonwealth West Africa 80
  • 18- Senegambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia 82
  • 19. Ghana and Its Neighbours 84
  • 20. Nigeria 86
  • 21. Cameroons 88
  • 22. Two Congos 90
  • 23. Post-Belgian Congo 92
  • 24. Lower Congo 94
  • 25. Between the Lakes 96
  • 26. Ruanda-Urundi 98
  • 27. British East and Central Africa 100
  • 28. Uganda 102
  • 29. Kenya 104
  • 30. Tanganyika and Zanzibar 106
  • 31. the Rhodesias 108
  • 32. Katanga and Copperbelt 110
  • 33. Nyasaland 112
  • 34. Angola and Mozambique 114
  • 35. Malagasy (madagascar) 116
  • 36. South Africa and Its Neighbours 118
  • 37. Protectorates and S.W. Africa 120
  • 38. Eastern South Africa 122
  • Index 125
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