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The Ministry of the Colonies was the ministry of the government of the Kingdom of Italy responsible for the government of the country's colonial possessions and the direction of their economies. It was set up on 20 November 1912 by Royal Decree n. 1205, turning the Central Direction of Colonial Affairs within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs into a separate ministry. Royal Decree n. 431 of 8 April 1937 renamed it the Ministry of Italian Africa after the Italian annexation of Ethiopia and the birth of Italian East Africa. It was suppressed on 19 April 1953 by law n. 430.