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British Central Africa, Rhodesia-Nyasaland or simply Rhodesia is a colony of the Imperial Commonwealth Federation (former British Empire) in southern Africa. It consists of the Colony of Southern Rhodesia, Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland Protectorate.
Rhodesia was created after the referendum in 1922 rejected the incorporation of Southern Rhodesia to South Africa . In 1923, the British government chose not to renew the Company's charter, and instead accorded 'self-governing' colony status to Southern Rhodesia and protectorate status to Northern Rhodesia. In the late 1920s because of increasing of political rights from the African population and the politics of segregation of South Africa set the stage for a constitutional conference of all parties in the South and North Rhodesia along Nyasaland. The result was the creation of Rhodesia-Nyasaland as a federal colony with limited Dominion status.
The British South Africa Company (BSAC), keep mineral rights and its interests in mining, railways, real estate and agriculture. Only the UK government and later ICF could seize or force their obligatory sale.
The constitution of Rhodesia-Nyasaland established a federal colony. The British Government keep extensive reserve powers.
- Governor-General, representative of the Crown, designated by the UK government.
- Federal Government, integrated by Federal Prime Minister and Federal Executive Council. Federal Government has control over external affairs, foreign trade, immigration, electricity, economic policy, all higher education, federal law, financial and fiscal policies, mining and labor relations, communication and defense.
- an elected unicameral Federal Assembly, with separate representation for Europeans and Africans elected for a term of five years.
- an African Affairs Board consisting of members with special responsibilities for African interests and selected African members from each territory. The main function of the board is to protect Africans from discriminatory legislation and promote their welfare.
- and a Federal Justice Court
The member territories keep their own institutions: Lieutenant-Governor, State Premier, State Cabinet and State Assembly. The jurisdiction of the territories remains in primary and secondary education, housing, law and order, local government and taxation, land and water management, Native affairs, African and European agriculture.
The territories are:
- Southern Rhodesia (Salisbury)
- Northern Rhodesia (Livingstone until 1930s, Lusaka)
- Nyasaland (Zomba)
The Barotseland region of Northern Rhodesia has lobbied unsuccessfully to become a separate state. There have been official requests to incorporate Bechuanaland as a fourth state.
A separate franchise exists for all citizens over 25 year and have the qualifications of their respective electoral rolls. 'A' roll for Europeans, that can read and write in English and have a continuous residence of 3 years in the federation, and 'B' roll for Africans that are head of tribes, ministers of religion or have certain educational requirements.
Industrialized farming, mainly done in Southern Rhodesia produce maize, wheat, soybean, cotton, coffee and tobacco . Other crops of importance are sugar, sunflower seeds, sorghum, pearl millet, cassava and peanuts. More important and one of political reasons to create federal Rhodesia-Nyasaland are the abundant deposits and copper-mining industry in Northern Rhodesia. Southern Rhodesia also as large deposits of chromium, platinum, coal, iron ore and gold.
Rhodesia forms part of the South African Customs Union Agreement (SACU) along South Africa and the High Commission Territories of Bechuanaland, Basutoland, and Swaziland and the general previsions of the Import Duties Act of 1927.
The armed forces of Rhodesia-Nyasalan are composed of the Rhodesian Army and Rhodesian Air Force. Police is organized in the British South Africa Police (BSAP) that was the police force of the British South Africa Company (BSAC).