Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Federation of
Rhodesia and Nyasaland
Motto: Magni Esse Mereamur
"Let Us Achieve Greatness"
Anthem: "God Save the Queen"
and largest city
LanguagesEnglish, Shona, Ndebele, Bemba, Chewa
GovernmentFederal monarchy
Elizabeth II
The 1st Baron Llewellin
The 16th Earl of Dalhousie
Sir Humphrey Gibbs
Prime Minister 
The 1st Viscount Malvern
Sir Roy Welensky
1 August 1953
31 December 1963
1,261,674 km2 (487,135 sq mi)
CurrencyCAF pound
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Northern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
Today part ofMalawi
Administrative divisions of the federation

The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (also known as the Central African Federation, CAF) was a colonial federation that consisted of three southern African territories—the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland—between 1953 and 1963.

The Federation was established on 1 August 1953,[1][2] with a Governor-General as the Queen's representative at the centre. An interesting and novel feature was the African Affairs Board, set up to safeguard the interests of Africans and endowed with statutory powers for that purpose, particularly in regard to discriminatory legislation.[3] The constitutional status of the three territories  a self-governing Colony and two Protectorates  was not affected, though certain enactments applied to the Federation as a whole as if it were part of Her Majesty's dominions and a Colony.[4] The economic advantages to the Federation were never seriously called into question, and the causes of the Federation's failure were purely political: the strong and growing opposition of the African inhabitants.[4]

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 the late 1950s and early 1960s, the United Kingdom was subjected to pressure to de-colonise from both the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). 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.[5][6] In 1964, shortly after the dissolution, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland became independent under the names Zambia and Malawi, respectively. In November 1965, Southern Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence from the United Kingdom as the state of Rhodesia.