Africa's Cultural Pluralism

Topics: Africa, West Africa, Colonialism Pages: 4 (1415 words) Published: August 22, 2008
Once the unexplored frontier, yet with a spiral decay of stability, Africa has become a continent rot with strife. The partition of Africa at the Berlin Conference had a profound effect on the continent’s well being. Dividing an immensely diverse nation without taking into consideration the traditional boundaries of the people living there created a conflict-ridden continent. The clash of tribes within the imposed boarders and the natural movement of people in pre-colonial Africa made an ill foundation for the West’s imposed governments. Cultural pluralism in these new regions sparked the disintegration of unity between the African people. The inexperienced governments could not handle the conflict of interests. Their inability to suit the diverse countries’ ruling needs led to the crumbling societies in which a proliferation of conflict developed. With this came a general decay in infrastructure and social stability, leading in turn to impoverished conditions and civil war. These environments created a huge proliferation of light weapons in the struggling countries. Western countries competed for control of resources in Africa. The Berlin Conference took place to sort out this competition, and create a more efficient colonization of Africa. The Europeans’ main aims were to establish “spheres of influence,” to access, monopolize, and ensure a steady supply of raw materials, to control and structurally compel African labor to produce raw materials cheaply, and to establish and control markets in Africa for goods manufactured by the industries of the competing European powers. Land was passed around the conference at the representatives will, often distributing the most mineral rich land for permanent settlement and cultivation. Not a single African representative attended the conference. The “imaginary boarders” drawn at this conference and the means of governing these new countries disrupted the natural state of Africa in that they almost...
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