OUR STORY

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Most of the countries in the Commonwealth were once governed by Britain as part of the British Empire. After they became independent many became part of a family where they could work together and help each other. This is our story.
1931

Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa were the first countries to join Britain in the Commonwealth of Nations.

1947

When India joined after its long struggle for independence, the modern Commonwealth was born.

1957

Ghana was the first of many African countries to join. Some had fought wars for their freedom yet most wanted to be part of the Commonwealth.

1961

South Africa’s racist laws led to its leaving the Commonwealth until, in 1994, a democratic South Africa was allowed to return.

1965

The Commonwealth Secretariat in Marlborough House, London became our official home. The people who work here come from all over the world.

1973

The Commonwealth Youth Programme was created to help all of our young people.

1990

Namibia was the first country that was never governed by Britain to join the Commonwealth – Cameroon and Mozambique followed shortly after.

2000

Our first Youth Games took place with young athletes competing against and inspiring each other.

2009

We celebrated our 60th anniversary and welcomed Rwanda, our latest member, to the Commonwealth.

2016

We are now a family of 52 countries from every part of the world. We have different cultures, languages and faiths but we work together with one purpose.