Decolonization of Africa

By: Helimana P. Nakanyala


The First World War strengthened the native African resistance movements;’ the Second World War provided the opportunity to achieve success. The declaration of principles by Churchill and Roosevelt in the Atlantic Charter in 1941, with its promise of self-determination and self-government for all, brought new hope. As the Second World War progressed, there emerged a new genera­tion of black leaders intent on obtaining self-rule. Among them were Kwame Nkrumah (1909-72) of the Gold Coast, LĂ©opold SĂ©dar Senghor (b. 1906-) of Senegal, Jomo Kenyatta (1891-1978) of Kenya, Ahmed SĂ©kou TourĂ© (1922-84) of Guinea, Patrice Lumumba (1925­61) of the Belgian Congo (Zaire), Kenneth Kaunda (b. 1924-) of Northern Rhodesia, and Julius Nyerere (b. 1922-) of Tanganyika. Britain’s postwar relinquishing of India (1947), coupled with Dutch and French defeats in Asia, further strengthened the movement for African independence.

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