Features of the Crown Colony System of British Colonial Administration in West Africa

Reading Time: 2 minutes

You are welcome to yet another important WAEC/WASSCE tutorial on Government, a General Arts Subject.

The focus in this post is on the key features of the Crown Colony system of British colonial administration in West Africa.

We are going to first find out the meaning of the term “Crown Colony”. It is only after this that I will give you a concise, easy-to-follow outline of the features of the Crown Colony system.

Ready? Let’s go!

You Might Also Like:

Meaning of “Crown Colony”

“Crown colony” was the term used by the British to refer to their overseas dependent territories in order to emphasize the control the monarch (Crown) had over their administration.

This administrative system was practiced in places like Ghana and Nigeria.

Cryptocurrency Certification

The major eatures of the Crown Colony System were as follows.

1. The British Monarch

  • Ceremonial head of colonial administration
  • All actions carried in his/her name

2. Secretary of State for the Colonies

  • Cabinet minister in Britain
  • Member of parliament


Check the Nigerian Naira (NGN) equivalent of the Ghanaian Cedi (GHS). And other currencies too!

  • Responsible for general colonial administration
  • Recommended appointments or dismissal of governor

3. Governor

  • Appointed by and represented the crown
  • Responsible for secretary of state for colonies
  • Administered affairs of the colony
  • Appointed legislative council members
  • President of legislative and executive councils
  • Ensured the passage of laws consistent with British colonial policy
  • Exercised veto power (could reject bills from legislative council)


Education is the most effective key to personal progress. CegastAcademy.com is here to assist you achieve your educational and life goals. We don’t care about your age, location or socio-economic background.

  • Exercised the power of certification (could enforce/implement bills rejected by legislative council
  • Assented to bills

Related question:

Discuss the functions of the Governor during the colonial period in British West Africa.

4. Executive Council

  • Before the 1940s, membership was reserved for British officials only. But educated Africans allowed in after the 1940s.
  • Advised the governor on policy formulation and implementation

5. Legislative Council

  • Made up of official and unofficial (nominated) members.
  • Official (British) members were in the majority before World War II
  • Africans became majority members after World War II.

How to Get Your WASSCE Certificate Without Attending Senior High School

  • Passed bills into ordinances (laws)
  • Deliberated on policies
  • Responsible to the governor.

Related Question:

What were the functions of the Legislative Council during the colonial period in British West Africa?

Before you go …

Discover how you can begin to prepare for life in the real world after leaving school. CLICK HERE.

Ralph spends his day working as an online entrepreneur and e-learning strategist. He is a freelance writer, website designer and WordPress trainer. Ralph is the CEO of RN Digital Media Ent, a digital publishing and content marketing company he founded in 2017. He blogs on CegastAcademy.com and BloggingtotheMax.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.