Zimbabwe – History and Politics
Sociology of Developing Countries
Professor Emmanual Obi
Slavery, according to historical accounts, played an important role in Africa’s underdevelopment. It fostered ethnic fractionalization and undermined effective states. The largest number of slaves was taken from areas that were the most underdeveloped politically at the end of the 19th century and are the most ethnically fragmented today. Without the slave trade, 72% of Africa’s income gap with the rest of the world would not exist today. The parts of Africa that are the poorest are also the areas from which the largest number of slaves were taken in the past. (Nunn, 2007). The Shona Tribe had long been subjected to slave raids, they drove out the San people who were the original inhabitants of Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe is named after Great-Zimbabwe the twelfth to fifteenth century stone-built capital of the Rozwi Shona Dynasty. Cultural and religious traditions among the Shona, Ndebele, and smaller groups of Tonga, Shangaan, and Venda have similarities in regard to marriage practices and the belief in supernatural ancestors’. All those groups call on the support of the spirit world in the struggle for independence; which was achieved in 1980. European culture and values indelibly shaped the urban and rural landscape; particularly in the terms of the use of space, the structure, and practice of government. Black Zimbabweans have assimilated more white Zimbabweans culture vice versa. In these distinct cultures, which are referred to as African and European, the most obvious differences are economic. While the white minority lost political power after independence, it has retained a disproportionate share of economic resources. Zimbabwe is in Central Southern Africa, it’s national languages are Bantu and English, the present-day Shona can be traced to a group that moved into the area around 1200...
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