The postcolonial period dates from 1957 to today. Many African countries achieved formal independence during the 1960’s
In this post-colonial period, the majority of African states operate under some form of Presidential rule. Only a few of the states were able to maintain democratic governments permanently. As a result, many states produced military dictatorships during the 1970’s and early 1980’s. The military was seen as being the only group that could maintain order in an effective way. From the early 1960’s to the late 1980’s, Africa had 13 Presidential assassinations and more than 70 coups. There were many border and territorial conflicts, which were contested through armed battles as a result of European imposed borders. The Second Congo War has been the most devastating military conflict that modern independent Africa has ever seen. This conflict and its aftermath killed 5.4 million people by 2008. The ongoing conflict in Darfur since 2003 has become a humanitarian disaster. AIDS has also been a serious problem in post-colonial Africa. The amount and source of humanitarian aide and support has varied from Soviet military aid, United States, and France. A major famine took place in Ethiopia where hundreds of thousands of people starved to death. Many people believe that Marxist/Soviet policies made the situation worse. . Since gaining independence many West African nations have undergone political instability. There have been many wars in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire. Since the end of colonialism, West African states have often been affected by instability, corruption, violence, and authoritarianism. The region has seen the most brutal and serious conflicts that have ever taken place, such as the Nigerian Civil War, First Liberian Civil War, Second Liberian Civil War, Guinea-Bissau Civil War, Ivorian Civil War, and the Sierra Leone Civil War.
Cultural life is important in West Africa with strong tradition of...
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