The Destruction of African Nation States Due to the Western World

Topics: Africa, World Bank, Economics Pages: 9 (2921 words) Published: January 29, 2012
The Destruction of African Nation States due to the Western World

The western world hindered Africa’s potential to be an economic superpower. The destruction of African nation states illustrates an ongoing struggle and sheds light to many of the major crisis the continent is encountering. Africa’s economic dependency on the global north is a direct result of the western world’s influence throughout the continent. The lack of great productivity on this continent has victimized millions and led to its stunted economic growth. The west can be held accountable for such issues. African countries have been forced to depend on the west due to their encouragement of neediness through structural adjustment programs (SAPs), national debts and the western political control in African countries. Such factors have caused, less developed countries in African to become economically dependent on the economically developed countries in the global north through modern day colonial rule.

Neo-colonialism is a policy whereby a major country such as the United States of America and European nations use economic and political means to perpetuate or extend its influence over undeveloped nations. This had been proven with several African nation-states. Africa’s economic potential has been interfered with the Western world. Over the decades the western grip on Africa seems to have loosened however, this is not the case at all. The global north’s control throughout Africa is less abrupt when compared to the 15th century during the times of slavery and colonization. The Western World’s grip on this continent has taken a new form—neo-colonialism. Americans and Europeans maintain control over Africa with indirect colonial rule. This is shown with: structural adjustment programs, national debts and the western political control. These factors nonetheless encourage dependency with many African countries.

At a first glance foreign aid to a struggling African country seems as the ideal solution to alleviating poverty. However, this is not demonstrated within African countries. Foreign aid encourages Africa’s dependence on the West. Kwame Nkrumah in his book Neo-Colonialism wrote that in Guinea after its supposed declaration of independence from France in 1958 was forced to receive French aid in order to exist as an independent nation state. He states that aid of this type can be extremely dangerous to its recipients.1 Foreign aid to formal colonies ensures that ties are being kept strong. The French were aware of this, they knew that if they were to lend money to Guinea, the African country would be unable to pay it back thus, would have to attempt to make payments through structural adjustment programs (SAPs). SAPs causes fewer investments in vital social structures such as education, health care, infrastructure and other possible development strategies. According to an article released by Global Issues, SAPs have been imposed to ensure debt repayment thus restricting economic development. They have required poor countries to reduce spending on basic necessities like education, development and health care.2 An example of the harmful effects of SAPs that lead to dependency on the west can be seen with past negotiations between Tanzania and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). During the 1979 budget for the African country the IMF insisted on what they deemed to be standard SAP packages. The package consists of a little less than seven main points: the country had to devalue their currency, restrict imports, freeze nominal wages or salaries, dismantling of price controls, reduction in real government capital spending and also reductions in productive sector inventories.3 These requirements imposed by SAPs caused countries like Tanzania to be dependent on the International Monetary Fund a western agency. African countries will never be able to free themselves from the negatives ties to the global north as long as structural adjustments...

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2. Anup Shah, “The Scale of the Debt Crisis,” Global Issues, July 2nd, 2005, pg. 4.
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