Gabon and Togo have been admitted to The Commonwealth of Nations as the 55th and 56th members respectively.
The Commonwealth was originally founded as a club of former British colonies but has been steadily diversifying its composition.
Rwanda joined in 2009 and Mozambique came into the group in 1995.
None of these states had particular past historical ties to the UK.
Experts say the fact that they have opted to join the Commonwealth suggests that they see the organization as a useful network of diplomatic and cultural influence, and for exercising "soft power" on the world stage.
It also testifies to the importance of English as a language of business, science and international politics and the necessity of building a range of connections to support economic development and get diplomatic messages heard.
For Gabon and Togo, Rwanda offers an encouraging precedent: just 13 years after joining, it has now hosted the organisation's summit meeting, attended by heads of state and government from all over the world.