African Colonialism Is a Problem to Africa's Future

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Using Colonialism to Stop it’s Own Problems: A Future for Africa

Since the 19th century when colonialism began to sweep throughout the African continent, European nations have been the scapegoats for Africa’s economic, political, and social issues. In Paul Johnson’s article, “Colonialism’s Back-and Not a Moment Too Soon”, we see that the present-day generation in Africa has grown to believe that colonialism is “inherently evil”, due to many historical realities. In Wangari Maathai’s The Challenge For Africa, our eyes are opened to the multitude of issues that Africa faces everyday, many of which stemmed from nineteenth century colonialism itself. But, the inhabitants of Africa have yet to recognize the severity and consequences of the problems they have. These issues did in fact root from colonialism but the expansion of these problems comes from the African people themselves. It is true that Africa has a multitude of social and economic problems but, there is a definite way to fix them and to stop them from growing.

Africans have been battling against colonialism since the nineteenth century. Samori Tuore fought against French expansion in the Western Sudan for years until he was eventually defeated. Lobengula was tricked into allowing the British into present day Zimbabwe, and they eventually took over his land. But, it wasn’t until The Berlin Conference in 1884 that truly sparked a turning point for African colonization. Countries like Great Britain, France, Portugal, Italy, and Germany began to expand their dominant reigns across the entire continent. However, instead of colonizing for the good of the people, they instead took over African land to solely benefit themselves and the European economy. Many European leaders took advantage of the rich land that Africa had to offer. Africa’s fertile soil was a feeding ground for European leaders who could easily produce raw materials and ship them back to their native country in order to make a hefty profit. As the twentieth century began, colonization only became worse for Africa. “…many colonial administrations had deliberately kept local Africans undereducated and prevented them access to the professional classes in order to avoid unnecessary competition…” (1). This form of oppression left newly formed, independent states, without educated leaders, causing many African nations to begin their decline in the early twentieth century. Angered by their dependence on the European nations, internal wars for political and economic control erupted in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Hundreds of thousands of African’s lost their lives but, it was a risk that they were willing to take in order to gain independence from the European nations. Although many nations, like Ghana, achieved this independence, their uneducated natives were not able to possess the qualities of a proper leader, taking their independence on a turn for the worst.

Not only has the continent struggled due to the lack of strong leaders, Africa has developed many economic, social, and political issues since the time of decolonization in the 1960’s. In a speech from Kenneth Kuanda, the first president of Zambia, he states that most of Africa’s weaknesses are derived from lack of finance and trained personnel (2). Africa’s economy was on the line after decolonization. Colonialism forced many Africans into farming for cash crops but, after many nations declared independence, the prices of these cash crops fell drastically. For instance, the price of cocoa, which was produced in Ghana, fell in the 1960’s, beginning an economic decline for this newly formed independent country. Africa’s past proved to be a major contributor to its future problems. From early on, Africa had struggled with forming international allies. Rarely did any networks of communication, administration, and transportation between countries work effectively. It was true that the African people did not have the necessary tools or education in order...
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