When in the 1950s and 60s, most colonized countries and territories across the world threw off the yolk of colonialism, there was tremendous hope and anticipation that a new era of hope, independence, freedom and self – determination was about to unfold.
In most cases, it was with great reluctance that the colonial masters granted independence to their erstwhile colonies from where they had for generations held the total control that had enabled them to exploit human and material resources and perpetuate themselves in the social economic and political lives of their subjects. In Kenya and Algeria for instance, it was with extreme violence that independence was won. Thus, the Mau-Mau Movement of Kenya and the Algerian War of Independence remain to this date, significant watersheds in the movement for independence especially among African countries.
However, independence has not always resulted in the anticipated changes. In some countries, once the common enemy in form of the colonial masters was rid of, local differences manifested, sometimes resulting in bitter wars. The 1947 Indo – Pakistani war is a case study. There are many other instances including Congo, Nigeria, Malaya, and even recently in Western Sahara, Eritrea and East Timor, among others where the fight for independence and independence itself has resulted in wars and strife. Sometimes, independence has come along with baggage of grief, blood and a plethora of painfully crushed hopes.
Some thinkers argue that the colonial powers put in place mechanisms to ensure that the new states fail, or to allow them to continue to control the newly emergent countries even after independence. The close social, political and economic ties and relationships between former colonies and former colonial powers seem to favor this argument. Thus, 44 years after independence, Britain is still one of Nigeria’s biggest trading partners. The close ties between France and...