African studies - Essay Example

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European countries were competing for huge quantities of land in Africa in search of resources and this led to partitioning of the African continent. This paper focuses on the…
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Major consequences of European colonization of Africa A few centuries preceding the twentieth century saw the colonization of Africa by European countries. European countries were competing for huge quantities of land in Africa in search of resources and this led to partitioning of the African continent. This paper focuses on the major consequences of European colonization of Africa.
One of the major consequences of European colonization of Africa is widespread poverty. According to Mammo, "The colonial legacy is responsible for African underdevelopment, the primary cause of African poverty and all the crises which followed was the exploitation of human as well as natural resources by the colonizers" (24). Mammo elucidates the fact that the rate of development in Africa cannot be considered to have been substandard as compared to other parts of the world. African development was significantly affected after its colonization by European countries. It is worth noting that colonization was characterized by slave trade between the seventeenth century and twentieth century. Instead of Africans developing there continent, there were sold as slaves in other parts of the world particularly in America to work in the farms. Therefore, Africa remained underdeveloped as other parts of the world were developing at a very rapid rate (Mammo 24). The partition of Africa into colonies led to disproportionate allocation of resources since some of the colonies had higher quantities of mineral resources than others. Subsequently, this has led to some African countries enriching themselves from these resources leaving others poor (Europa Publications 33).
European colonization also led to the discrimination of Africans. According to Europa Publications, racial discrimination against Africans was rampant in the 19th century whereby the colonizers considered Africans as lesser humans (33). Africans were not allowed to mix with Europeans and were therefore forced in selected villages. It is worth noting that the effects of discrimination against Africans is still felt today especially in America.
The partitioning of Africa and the fact that Africans were forced to live in segregated villages is one of the contributing factors of ethnic conflicts that are prevalent in African countries. When colonization came to an end in the twentieth century, most of the African countries were left subdivided into ethnic regions. Therefore, there has always been a struggle for power between these ethnic communities in Africa. In the fight for independence in many parts of Africa, individuals united devoid of their ethnicity or cultural background under one objective i.e. to fight against oppression. After the attainment of independence, the threat imposed by ethnicity was not addressed and hence leaders in Africa have continued to marginalize or discriminate those opposing their rule based on ethnicity. This causes ethnic tensions in many parts of Africa hence leading to ethnic conflicts and wars (Kieh 152).
In conclusion, European colonization of Africa contributed to the high prevalence of poverty, disproportionate allocation or distribution of natural resources, and also ethnic conflicts. During the period of colonization, slave trade was prevalent and hence Africans were shipped to European nations to work in their farms. This meant that Africans were forced to develop other European countries leaving their own continent underdeveloped. The partitioning of Africa according to colonies led to subdivision of African countries according to ethnicity. After the end of colonization therefore, the issues of ethnicity were not addressed and therefore there has been ethnic conflicts as different ethnic groups compete for political positions.
Works cited
Europa Publications. Africa South of the Sahara 2004. London: Taylor & Francis Group, 2004. Print.
Kieh, George Clay, eds. Beyond State Failure and Collapse: Making the State Relevant in Africa. Plymouth: Lexington Books, 2007. Print.
Mammo, Tirfe. The Paradox of Africas Poverty: The Role of Indigenous Knowledge, Traditional Practices and Local Institutions-The Case of Ethiopia. Asmara: The Red Sea Press, 1999. Print. Read More
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