Underdevelopment: Colonialism and African Continent

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Is colonialism to blame for Africa’s underdevelopment? By a broad definition, colonization is said to be the encroachment and consequent takeover of the sovereignty of another country. A greater part of the African continent suffered colonization which had its fair share of both positive and negative impacts. Development on the other hand can generally be defined as a growth process. Defining development is sometimes very complex, difficult and to some extent a contentious issue. It may refer to a significant happening or event in a given setting. According to the United Nations, development is the act of extending human life expectancy and mortality rate, accessing major resources for decent living, increased education levels and participation in the life of the society. Development attempts to free people from obstacles, which refrain them from improving their lives and communities (Bennaars, 57). People are empowered to take the full control of their lives, be able to freely express their demands and be able to find solutions to local problems and challenges they face. This paper therefore seeks to address whether the underdevelopment in Africa is to be blamed on colonization of the continent and the impact of the process in the continent.
Africa has recognized some considerable growth since its general independence. However it clear to point out that liberation of the continent came at the same time as different countries were under different colonial protectorates. This implies that there were basically different timeframes when total independence was actually achieved. There are parameters that have been used by economic researchers to study the development of the African continent. Globally, it is estimated that 6.5 billion people earn a living of less than $2 dollars a day. These are sharp economic statistics as majority of the people are in Africa. However there has been an improvement over the past as recent



Cited: Ake, Claude. Democracy and Development in Africa. Washington, D.C: Brookings Inst, 1996. Print. Bennaars, Gerard. Ethics, Education, and Development: An Introductory Text for Students in African Colleges and Universities. Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers, 1993. Print. Igwe, Stacey. How Africa Underdevelops Africa. Iuniverse Inc, 2012. Print. Muriithi, Samuel M. African Development Dilemma: The Big Debate. Lanham: Univ. Press of America, 1997. Print.

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