HOW COLONIALISM UNDER-DEVELOPED UGANDA By Walubo Jude Tadeo, Makerere University Kampala Uganda - East Africa

Topics: Colonialism, British Empire, East Africa Pages: 15 (4659 words) Published: May 22, 2005
Under development is the failure of a country to rich maturity.(WW.Rostows) Afro centric scholars have traced the roots of the present state of poverty and misery in Uganda way back to the early days of imposition of British rule who established a dis-articulated economy. Rodney (1981) stresses the negative social, economic, and environmental impacts of the colonial period when he states: "The only positive development in colonialism was when it ended" (Rodney:1981, 261). Rodney (1981) accurately deconstructs the European colonization of Africa as a fundamentally oppressive relationship which fostered African dependency and alienated the African peoples from their cultural identities, their traditional sociocultural organization, and their sustainable relationships with the environment

"More often than not, the term development is used in an exclusive economic sense-the justification being that the type of economy is itself an index of other social features" (Rodney: 1981, 4). This simply states that social, political and religious development all depend on whether or not the culture is economically developed. A culture's economy is the driving force behind how quickly and extensively that culture develops. The economy is what finances development and the culture's ability to progress. Rodney then goes on to state that "A society develops economically as its members increase jointly their capacity for dealing with the environment" (Rodney: 1981, 4). Uganda's under-development therefore can trace its roots into colonial practices of condemning and complete erosion of traditional African culture.

The core of Rodney's definition of development states that in order to develop, a society must understand the power of nature and technology. This point introduces the idea of using nature to boost the economy by means of production. Nature and technology must be applied hand and hand in order for a culture to fully benefit. Through understanding nature, a culture can invent different types of technologies that will allow for the use of nature as an economic resource. When a society has mastered this ability then that society is on its way to becoming fully developed (Rodney 4). It can be argued that any culture can increase their ability to live a better life through exploiting nature's resources. If a culture is recognized for extending its control over nature, the culture is showing signs of economic development (Rodney 4). The British did not give Ugandan chance to exploit their natural resources through appropriate technology. Instead, the made them primary producers of raw materials for British industries. This led to underdevelopment.

The British also constructed Uganda railway and a network of roads as the first step in the "process of domesticating nature" (Collett, 1987: 139), connecting preferential land exploitation, and the alienation of traditional East African societies from land and resources they had managed sustainably for millennia. The construction of the Uganda railway represented the beginning of British colonial efforts in East Africa, based on a sociocultural and ideological framework stressing the domination and "domestication" of the African "wilderness" - including human communities and the environment - and the imposition of an extractive and exploitative relationship benefiting British economic and technological expansion at the expense of East African sustainability of human and natural resources.

It is grimly appropriate that the old Ugandan Train Station is now surrounded by trash and poverty-stricken slums, physical manifestations of the impoverishment and environmental degradation imposed upon the lives of most East African peoples by the destructive models of British colonialism which had their origins in the railroads constructed out of this very train station. The British introduction of this parasitic model of human and environmental interactions was to create a colonial legacy of...

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