Colonialism in Africa

2843 words 12 pages

How does the legacy of colonialism affect contemporary African international relations?

If questioned today about Africa in general the first reactions I would have are poor governance, poverty, conflict, economic instability and hunger. These are the major characteristics that dominate most of the states within the continent as a whole. The question would be has it always been this way? Different debates and differences have been focused on the colonial legacy for post-colonial Africa and the nature of colonialism. Various characterizations and conceptions tend to differ considerably among the international relations and African scholars.

Between 1800 and 1900, majority of the European powers colonized
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This competition was greatly witnessed between the resilient European states during this century which were Germany, Britain and France. None of the major nations wanted to be without a colony resulting to the Scramble of Africa in just twenty five years. The techniques of administration that were adopted by each colonial power were fundamentally different in both theory and practice.[3]

In addition to the above, principles of racial order were very predominant in the European states during the nineteenth century period. Most of the Europeans saw themselves with the most progression and development. This created a mission for some towards enlightening and civilization of the “backward” societies characterized by the inferior people who occupied the rest of the world. A good example to showcase how the West portrayed the sentiment of racial greatness would the poem written by Rudyard Kipling the British poet in 1899, The White Man’s Burden. Most of the justifications towards the colonialism in Africa during this particular period of the nineteenth century were set across through the stereotypes of the African peoples that were in existence.

Christian missionary activities in Africa coincided with the colonialism legacy. The Christian missionaries were on the verge of expansion of Christianity in various parts of Africa. Christianity also emerged during


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