The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade

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CHAPTER ONE
RESEARCH DESIGN

1.1 Background to the Research Problem
For nearly five centuries – from the 15th century at the onset of the trans-Atlantic slave trade up to the 1950s when African states began to win the struggle for independence, Africa was exploited as a continent. The natural as well as the human resources were taken with no returns. This great pillage led to a complete halt of trade in Africa. Trade implies an exchange, yet the human resources were taken as slaves and the former colonial masters took the natural and mineral resources without the consent of Africans through imperialism.

By the 1950s, several trade agreements were made to address the results of the pillage of Africa. Two Yaoundé agreements and four Lome agreements brought about the Lome Partnership Agreements between individual countries of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Regions (ACP). These regions were similarly exploited, with Africa being the worst devastated because of the slave trade. The agreements assured the colonialists of continued access to the raw materials of Africa, which they needed. These agreements have led to the current Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations between regional blocs of the ACP and the European Union.

Currently, the world market determines the prices of African natural resources, the reason being that Africa does not have enough industries to process its raw materials and use them on a large scale. Africa’s current participation in World

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