Africa and Colonialism

Topics: Africa, Colonialism, African Union Pages: 6 (1828 words) Published: September 10, 2008
When we look at Africa for that past couple of years wee see Genocide in Rwanda and Darfur ,instability in Sierra Leone, lack of a government in Somalia, Civil War in Sudan , land grabbing and AIDS in Zimbabwe, Diamond and Oil wars in Angola, Crime in South Africa. . Not to mention the problems caused by foreign debt, and affected by international ignorance and exploitation. In this paper I will try to you asses the political economic legacy of colonialism in Africa. the legacy is substantially based on the fact that that the Europeans wanted to extract resources from Africans by any means possible, even if that would lead to the instability in and destruction of the content political, economic, and social institutions up to the present time.

The most crucial economic legacy that colonialism left on Africa’s economy was the integration of the African economy into the world economic system. in the Conference of Berlin in 1884-85, europians established the rules by which Africa would be involed in the world economy ,these rules forced africa "to produce raw materials and agricultural goods to meet the needs of Europe's industries and consumers. what resulted is that traditional agricultural economies were forced to specialize in cash crops meant for export. This transformation led to dependence on foreign distribution and consumption. So there system brought all the economic benefit to the Europeans at the expense of their colonies by making them dependent on the europian seystem. Presedent Munro, for example, argues that integration into the international economy was the key factor that exacerbated colonial dependencies; He said “Being unprepared to compete in the global market, the integration of these new states into the world economy merely deepened their colonial dependency”

This impact of colonialism effected both the internal and external causes of underdevelopment in africa today . Internally, the political and economic structures of the colonial state were bult to meet the needs of the europians ,which left africans with no abilitilty to develop after the fall of the british empire empires. And Externally, colonialism created dependencies that african states faced after the fall of formal colonial control, I say formal colonial control because many say that africa now is living in a stage of neo-clonolism since their substanstilly depend till now on many europians countries. So, if we take a step back and take a look at africa we see that all components of modern social and economic life in Africa are a direct or indirect result of colonialsm

Its very important to maention that a lot of African countrys economies depend fully on one single export. The integration of the these economies to the world market made these countries fully dependent on the world price of its single export. Abid Rashed in his essay “The Enduring Impact of Imperialism and Colonialism on Africa “ said “if the world supply of copper were to double because of new deposits in Brazil or Chile; the boom in Katanga and Zambia would quickly come to an end. Similarly, the prosperity or poverty of Ghanaian farmers depended directly on the price of cocoa on the world market”. And also, many of the African countries produce the same export, escpicially in the agricultural countries in east Africa and West Africa, so colonialsm forced them into an economic system that is based on competition while they don’t have the ability to compete with each other. Africa, as a result of all that, became so weak to the ups and downs of the world market

Also, colonialism made African economies end their reliance on local manufacturing in . Most manufactures currnely are controlled by multinational corporations, and a lot of African countries are welcoming these corporations more and more because they want to get a share of the outsourcing that these corporation are involved in, in places like India and China, to manufacture...
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