Colonialism in Africa Essay example

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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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Section one will focus on the colonial conquest in Africa. Section two will look at the operation of colonial legacy with emphasis on the political and economic practice. Lastly, the third section will look at the impacts of the colonial legacy on the African continent.


The term colonialism developed a more precise meaning during the late nineteenth century. This in Europe was a period of industrialization. There was a hunt for fresh market, raw materials and also new field for investment by the European factories in Africa. Politics and economic inspiration as a result took a huge role in the colonization of Africa. After the Second World War, most of the developed European and American countries turned to tropical African states in order to acquire industrial raw materials to rebuild their economies. The West defended in their capture of alien terrains for the purpose of exploiting the natural resources for instance gold: a situation that left the exploited colonies with negative impacts[2]. Majority of the lives of the African people and their societies were affected causing transformations and interruptions as a result of the policies implicated by these colonial masters during.

Nationalism in the Western states during this period was identified with pride in one’s nation bringing about stiff competition within the European nations. In addition it brought about the formation of nation-states within the European

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