Browsing: Former British colonies in Africa

Queen Elizabeth II’s leadership of the Commonwealth for the past seven decades has remained admirable. She steered the institution’s evolution into a forum for effective multilateral engagement whose potential to drive tremendous socioeconomic progress remains incontestable and redounds to the Queen’s historic legacy.

Over the years, Britain’s interactions with its former colonies in Africa have grown to diplomacy, aid, trade and economic growth. The Queen has, over the years, remained highly revered and recognized as the head of the Commonwealth. The Queen has now rested. Her death breeds a wave of uncertainty about the future of the organization. The possibility of the status of the British monarch also disappearing becomes more visible. At this point, the rout of the British monarchy in Africa could be complete.

Africa is considered largely the main source of natural resources needed to support and sustain the economic growth of developed and emerging developing countries, and, as noted above, the engagement is often concentrated in a few countries, particularly where they have strategic interests.

African countries do not have adequate capacity to engage emerging developing economies individually.

According to Aileen Kwa, Coordinator, Trade for Development Programme, South Centre, one of the Commonwealth’s mission is to reduce poverty in its member countries, especially the developing ones.

But looking at the poverty levels in Africa, they have been high over the last 30 years, at 74 per cent and 73 per cent in 1981 and 2005, respectively, despite policy reforms undertaken over that period. When translated into absolute numbers, the number of people living on less than US$ 2 per day increased from 295 million in 1981 to about 556 million in 2005.