The year 1960 was often described as the Year of Africa. Seventeen nations across the continent gained independence from their colonial masters, following in the footsteps of Ghana. In southern Africa independence was inextricably linked to the demise of the Central African Federation. It is, indeed, difficult to understand the period of decolonization and independence in isolation from the Cold War, which informed and complicated all relationships between former colony and colonial master from the 1950s onward. The impact of the Cold War, along with economic and political realities, finally became inescapable by 1966. As the fighting neared an end and it became clearer that the federal government would prevail, Britain finally threw its support behind the government. As African economies struggled in the 1960s and 1970s it remained economically successful, in large part owing to its close association with the South African apartheid regime.