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Babangida - General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, b.1941, was the military ruler of Nigeria from 1985 until 1993, having come to power in a coup against Muhammadu Buhari.
Baganda - An ethnic group indigenous to the Buganda kingdom in Uganda.
Bandung - The 1955 conference in Bandung, Indonesia, was a major meeting of Asian and African nations that condemned colonialism.
Banyoro - The people of Bunyoro, a kingdom that forms part of Uganda.
Barack Obama - Barack Obama (b.1961) is an American political figure who was elected President of the United States in 2009. Obama was previously United States Senator from Illinois (2005-08) and had taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago from 1992 to 2004.
Barbara Ward - Barbara Mary Ward, Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth, (1914-1981) was a British economist and writer who spent her career as an adviser to policy makers in the UK, the United States and within the United Nations. An early advocate of ‘sustainable development’, Ward founded the International Institute for Environment and Development, acting as its President (1973-80) and then Chairman.
Barend du Plessis - Barend du Plessis (b.1940). South African politician, was a member of the National Party and Minister of Education and Training (1983-84) and Minister of Finance (1984-1992).
Barisan Sosialis - Barisan Sosialis was a political party in Singapore founded in 1961 and dissolved in 1988. A prominent opposition party in the 1960s and 1980s, Barisan Sosialis followed a left-wing programme in favour of a united independent and democratic Malayan nation, eventually merging with the Workers’ Party of Singapore.
Baroness Val Amos - Valerie Ann Amos, Baroness Amos (b. 1954). British politician and diplomat. A member of the Labour Party, she was the first black woman to sit in the UK Cabinet. In 2010 she became Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the United Nations.
Basil D’Oliveira - Basil D’Oliveira (1931-2011). South African-born cricketer who played for England. England’s 1968 tour to South Africa was cancelled because of D’Oliveira’s inclusion in the squad.
BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation. Broadcasting organisation semi-autonomous from the British government, originally founded in 1922.
BBC World Service - The branch of the British Broadcasting Corporation dedicated to broadcasting overseas. Founded in 1932 as the Empire Service.
BEA - British European Airways. British airline, merged with BOAC in 1974.
BEE - Black Economic Empowerment. A South African government policy, formulated in 2001, of affirmative action favouring black entrepreneurs.
Beefeaters - The Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London, often considered symbolic of London or Britain
Beeld - Beeld is a South African Afrikaans-language daily newspaper established in 1974.
Begum Zia - Begum Zia (b. 1945). Bangladeshi politician and Prime Minister (1991-1996, 2001-2006).
Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology - The Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology (BEST) is a Belmopan-based civil society body which focuses on economic issues among poor communities in Belize, specifically working to encourage community-based enterprise and micro-enterprise initiatives. It was founded in 1985.
Ben Bernake - Ben Bernake (b.1953) is an American economist who served as Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve from 2006 to 2014. Bernake had previously been Chair of the Department of Economics at Princeton University (1996-2002) and Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (2002-05).
Ben Gethi - Ben Gethi was head of Kenya’s General Service Unit, a paramilitary wing of the army and police, from 1967 to 1978. He was then appointed Police Commissioner by Daniel Arap Moi in 1978, before being fired and detained in 1982 following the abortive August coup.
Ben Muda - Dr Muhammad Ben Muda is a senior Malaysian diplomat who acted as Advisor to the Commonwealth Business Council from 2006 to 2012. He has also served as Chairman of the ASEAN-UK Business Forum and Founder-member of the Malaysia-Europe Forum (MEF), in addition to his diplomatic experience in South Korea, the Former USSR, and Namibia.
Ben Mwabueze - Ben Mwabueze (b. 1931). Nigerian lawyer and politician.
Ben Nwabueze - Professor Ben Nwabueze (b.1932) is a Nigerian educator, legal scholar and administrator who was appointed Minister of Education and Youth Development in 1993. He has been a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee for Zambia (1973), the Constitution Committee for Nigeria (1986) and a Constitutional Adviser to the Government of Kenya (1992).
Benazir Bhutto - Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007). Pakistani Prime Minister from 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996.
Benjamin Mkapa - Benjamin Mkapa (b.1938) is a Tanzanian politician who served as the third President of Tanzania from 1995 to 2005. He previously served under President Ali Hassan Mwinyi as Minister for Information and Broadcasting (1990-92) and Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education (1992-95).
- Synonyms: Ben Mkapa
- Synonyms: Ben Mkapa
Bereng Seeiso - Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso (b.1966) is a diplomat and member of the Lesotho royal family, the House of Moshesh. He previously served as the Lesotho High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Berg Report - The Berg Report is the shorthand name for a 1981 document published by the World Bank called ‘Accelerate Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Plan for Action’. Authored by the American economist Elliot Berg, the Report endorsed a move away from state-run economies in favour of free market policies in Africa. Berg was highly critical of African government bureaucracies and levels of corruption in the continent, advocating a smaller role for government in the economy and a greater degree of involvement from private industry. The Report followed the 1980 Lagos Plan of Action.
Berhanu Dinka - Berhanu Dinka (1935-2013) was an Ethiopian diplomat who served as Ambassador for his country to Dijbouti, Canada and the United States. He was Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in the 1980s, and in 1992 joined the UN as an official. He was Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Sierra Leone from 1995 to 1997, working also in the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa (1997-2002) and Burundi (2002-04).
Berlin Wall - The breaching of the Berlin Wall that divided East and West Berlin in November 1989 was a major milestone in the ending of the Cold War.
Bernard Coard - Bernard Coard (b.1944). Grenadian revolutionary politician who served as Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister from 1979 to 1983. His attempted coup in 1983 helped to precipitate the US invasion of Grenada.
Bertha Wilson - Bertha Wrenham Wilson (1923-2007) was a Canadian jurist who served as Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1982 to 1991. Nominated by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, she was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. Wilson later served as Commissioner of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1991-96).
Bertrand Russell - Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was a British philosopher, writer and political activist. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy and is recognised as one of the twentieth century’s premier logicians. Russell was an anti-war activist, an anti-imperialist and a pacifist campaigner, a vocal proponent of nuclear disarmament and a critic of totalitarianism.
Bharrat Jagdeo - Bharrat Jagdeo (b. 1964). Guyanese politician and member of the PPP. He was President of Guyana, 1999-2011. In December 2011 his term of office came to an end, and he was succeeded by Donald Ramotar.
- Synonyms: Jagdeo
- Synonyms: Jagdeo
Biketawa Declaration - The Biketawa Declaration was issued in 2000 by the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum to establish a framework for responding to crises in the region. It was prompted in part by the 2000 Fijian coup d’etat and ongoing ethnic tensions in the Solomon Islands. The Declaration, announced during the 31st Summit of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at Kirbati in October 2000, has led to new regional peacekeeping efforts and stabilization operations.
Bill Clinton - William Jefferson ‘Bill’ Clinton (b.1946) is an American political figure who served as 42nd President of the United States (1993-2001). Clinton remains active in politics as an adviser to the Democratic Party, and also oversees the William J Clinton Foundation and its work on the prevention of AIDS and global warming. In 2009, he was United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti.
Billie Miller - Dame Billie Antoinette Miller, b. 1944, is a Barbadian politician and member of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Beginning her political career in 1976, she served in a variety of cabinet positions before being appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1994. In 1999 she headed the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Miller was Chairperson of the Executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Vice-Chairperson of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.
Billy Hughes - Billy Hughes (1962-1952) Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923.
Binaisa - Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa (1920-2010) was a Ugandan lawyer who served as President of Uganda between 1979 and 1980. Binaisa had served as Uganda’s Attorney General under Milton Obote from 1962 to 1968, and went into exile in 1971 following Idi Amin’s coup. He was member of the US-based Uganda Freedom Union during the 1970s.
Bingham Report - The Bingham report was published in 1978, following a request by the British Foreign Secretary. It investigated allegations of the evasion of sanctions against Rhodesia by oil companies.
Bishakha Mukherjee - Bishakha Mukherjee is an economist who served the Commonwealth Secretariat as an Economic Adviser from 1985 to 2006. Mukherjee contributed significantly to the development of the Commonwealth Private Investment Initiative, an umbrella private equity fund facilitating the set up of regional funds across the Commonwealth. Following her time in the Secretariat, Mukherjee acted as Senior Adviser at Aureos Capital (2006-13) and Head of Institutional Relations at the Acumen Fund (2013-15).
Bisho massacre - A South African massacre of 1992. Twenty-eight African National Congress supporters, and one soldier, were killed by troops of the independent Ciskei homeland.
Bishop Muzorewa - Bishop Muzorewa (1925-2010). Briefly Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia from June-December 1979, following the Internal Settlement, an agreement between Muzorewa and then Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Ian Smith. Muzorewa was defeated in elections following the Lancaster House agreement.
BJ Vorster - Balthazar Johannes 'John' Vorster (1915-1983). South African politician, served as Prime Minister (1966-1978) and State President (1978-1979).
- Synonyms: John Vorster
- Synonyms: John Vorster
BJP - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is one of the two largest political parties in Indian national politics, along with the Indian National Congress. It was founded in 1980 and grew out of opposition to the Congress-led ‘Emergency’ suspension of democratic rule in the late 1970s. The BJP is closely aligned with the right-wing Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Black Consciousness Movement - A South African anti-apartheid movement informed by Christianity, that emerged in the 1960s.
Black Sash Movement - The Black Sash Movement was founded in South Africa in 1955 as a non-violent white women’s movement against apartheid. It campaigned for the end of apartheid from within white communities, holding regular demonstrations and acting as volunteer advocates for black communities affected by racist legislation.
BMATT - The British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT) is an arm of the UK Ministry of Defence and co-ordinates security co-operation programmes within developing or post-conflict countries.
BOAC - British Overseas Airways Corporation. British airline, merged with BEA in 1974.
Bob Hawke - Bob Hawke (b. 1929). Australian Prime Minister (1983-1991).
Bob Marley - Bob Marley (1945-1981). Jamaican musician.
Bob Menzies - Sir Robert Menzies (1894-1978). Australian politician, served as Prime Minister from 1939 to 1941, and from 1949 to 1966.
- Synonyms: Robert Menzies
- Synonyms: Robert Menzies
Boipatong massacre - The Boipatong massacre took place on 17 June 1992, when around 40 people in the South African township of Boipatong were killed by supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). After the massacre, the African National Congress abandoned the Congress for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) negotiations, accusing the government and South African police force of being complicit in the massacre. It was alleged that the raid formed part of the South African Defence Force's Operation Marion. The ANC resumed negotiations in September 1992.
Bola Ontiri - Bola Ontiri is a Nigerian economist who has served as policy advisor to the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations. Ontiri contributed to the formation and operation of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) and was also involved in preparing an economic blueprint for the emergence of Zimbabwe as independent state.
Bongo - Omar Bongo Ondimba (1935-2009) was President of Gabon from 1967 until his death in 2009. Bongo led the single-party state as head of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) until 1990, when he bowed to public and international pressure to introduce multi-party politics in the early 1990s. He was, however, re-elected as President in the 1993, 1998 and 2005 elections.
Bophuthatswana - An quasi-independent state established within apartheid-era South Africa as a homeland for the Tswana people, that was a legal entity from 1977 to 1994.
Bougainville Agreement - The 1967 Mining (Bougainville Copper Agreement) Act was passed by the Australian Territory of Papua New Guinea to implement an agreement made with Bougainville Copper Limited regarding the development of certain mineral deposits in Bougainville. The Agreement was renegotiated with the emergence of Papua New Guinea as an independent state in 1974.
Bouteflika - Abdelaziz Bouteflika (b. 1937). Algerian politician who acted as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1965 to 1978. He assumed office as President of Algeria in 1999.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali - Boutros Boutros-Ghali (b. 1922). Egyptian politician and diplomat. He was Secretary-General of the United Nations (1992-96) and Secretary General of La Francophonie (1997-2002).
- Synonyms: Boutros-Ghali
- Synonyms: Boutros-Ghali
Brad Morse - Frank Bradford Morse (1921-1994) was an American politician who served as Under-Secretary General of the United Nations (1972-76) and Administrator of the UN Development Programme (1976-86). Morse was also a Member of the US House of Representatives for Massachusetts from 1961 to 1972.
Bram Fischer - Abram Louis Fischer (1908-1975) was a South African lawyer and anti-apartheid activist. Commonly known as ‘Bram’ Fischer, he is famous for defending African National Congress leaders in the 1963-64 Rivonia Trial. Fischer was himself later convicted for his involvement with the South African Communist Party, serving eleven years in prison.
Brand Fourie - Brand Fourie (1917-2008). South African politician. Secretary of Foreign Affairs during the 1970 and early 1980s. From 1982 to 1985 he was South African Ambassador to the United States.
Brandt Report - The Brandt Report (1980) was the outcome of an independent commission chaired by the former German Chancellor Willy Brandt. It reported on issues of international development, suggesting that a gulf in living standards existed between a global north and south.
- Synonyms: Brandt Commission
- Synonyms: Brandt Commission
Bretton Woods Institutions - Shorthand for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), now part of the World Bank. These were established in July 1944 as outcomes of the Bretton Woods Conference.
Brian Barder - Brian Barder (b.1934) is a British diplomat who served as British High Commissioner to Nigeria (1988-91) and Australia (1991-94) and Ambassador to Ethiopia (1982-86) and Poland (1986-88). As Assistant Head of the West African Department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the 1970s, he was closely involved with the civil war over Biafra in Nigeria.
Brian Mulroney - Brian Mulroney (b. 1939). Canadian politician, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (1983-93) and Prime Minister of Canada (1984-93).
Brian Urquhart - Sir Brian Urquhart (b.1919) is a British political figure and writer who served as Under-Secretary General of the United Nations from 1971 to 1985.
British Commonwealth - The term used to describe the Commonwealth until 1949, reflecting British pre-eminence within it.
British Overseas Territories - British Overseas Territories are territories that remain under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom even if they are not a formal part of it. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, all of which have their own internal leadership but share the British Monarch as head of state. These include: Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Bruce Mackenzie - Bruce Mackenzie (1919-1978) was a Kenyan political figure who acted as Minister of Agriculture during the presidency of Jomo Kenyatta. His support for Mossad agents during Operation Entebbe – the successful effort to rescue Israeli hostages from a high-jacked plane receiving protection in Uganda in 1976 – is popularly held to explain his death by assassination in 1978.
Brundtland Commission - The Brundtland Commission – officially the World Commission on Environment and Development – was a UN initiative set up in 1983 to address concerns about the deterioration of the human environment and natural resources. It was chaired by the former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and issued an influential report in 1987 entitled ‘Our Common Future’.
Buganda - A kingdom within Uganda.
Burke Trend - Burke St John Trend, Baron Trend, (1914-1987) was a British civil servant who acted as Cabinet Secretary from 1963 to 1973, in the governments of both Harold Wilson and Ted Heath. Trend had spent most of his career in the Treasury and was later Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford.
Bush House - London headquarters of the BBC World Service from 1941 to 2012.
Buthelezi - Mangosuthu Buthelezi (b. 1928). South African politician, founded the Inkatha Freedom Party in 1975, and served as South African Minister of Home Affairs from 1994 to 2004.