Sub-Saharan Africa Essay

2751 Words Apr 7th, 2013 12 Pages
Sub-Saharan Africa:
The Causes of Postcolonial State Failure

On the vast continent of Africa, there are fifty-three countries; of these only six are not located below the Sahara Desert. This leaves the Sub-Saharan region of Africa to encompass a total of forty-seven countries. Many of these countries south of the Sahara have been in state failure, either partial or complete collapse of state authority. This has led to an inability to
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In colonial Africa, colonial officials created political borders based on the claims of European powers. This arbitrary boundaries making failed to take into consideration the previous settlement patterns , which created political systems that, bunched and split distinct pre-colonial communities. Scholars suggest that colonial officials would systematically grant favorable treatment to the members of those groups who seemed intellectually superior or more cooperative while all the others were demoted to the lower echelons of society. Evidence of this is provided in Rwanda where the Belgian colonial officials granted social and political privileges to the Tutsis in order to catalyze colonial domination. The Hutus faced discrimination and exploitation at the hands of the colonials, which promoted ethnic violence between the Hutus and Tutsis cumulating in the death of more than 800,000 people during the mass genocide in 1994. * In Sub-Sahara Africa, during the last four decades thirty-five major armed conflicts have occurred, taking the lives of almost ten million people. There is a high correlation between the risk of conflict and a low ranking on the Human Development Index (HDI), due to the weak capacities and inability of these poor countries to guarantee the security of its citizens, rebellions and conflict have a high occurrence rate. United Nations has observed that conflicts
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