Political map of Sub-Saharan Africa 06 March 1957 (Independence of Ghana): Following World War II, the European colonies in West Africa began demanding self-rule and then independence. The first to succeed was the British Gold Coast, which became the independent Dominion of Ghana in 1957. Meanwhile European imperialism suffered another major blow when the British and French attempted to regain control of the newly-nationalized Suez Canal, but were forced to withdraw in the face of hostile international opinion (Suez Crisis).