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Vol 50 No 24

Published 4th December 2009

Africa dons its Commonwealth cap

Africa has played a critical role in the Commonwealth since its Secretariat was launched in 1965 at Marlborough House, a royal palace provided rent-free by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Although only one of the five secretaries general has been African, Africans have shaped the Commonwealth's identity and evolution. The first Secretary General, Arnold Smith, depended greatly on the advice of a Ghanaian civil servant, Yaw Adu, just as the second, Shridath 'Sonny' Ramphal, promoted and worked closely with Nigeria's Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who later became Secretary General.

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