colonialism

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How should we evaluate colonialism? The colonial era lasted for 50-80 years in most African countries and left a lasting legacy. But many years pass before the definitive balance of its legacy can be properly struck. On the one hand, it is easy to see the destructive forces that were set loose; on the other hand, there was also a record of high-minded devotion and desire to serve the interest of the people who had come under foreign rule.

Although Western countries had been in contact with Africa since the 16th century, it was not until the late second half of the 19th century that explorers opened its interior. And it was only in the last quarter of that century that land-hungry Western European powers divided among themselves, Africa
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No understanding and appreciation for the democratic process were fostered. Hence, when colonies became independent their people were not prepared to choose their own leaders and parliamentary representation. They suffered more than 30 years of military dictatorships and African elites who legitimized oppression of their fellow Africans. In these newly independent states wealth was developed for a privileged few and not for the use of many people. Products were manufactured for the upper crust of society and the rest were for exports.

But there is also another - but nearly forgotten - side to colonial history. Although it is not politically correct to say it: colonialism was a blessing in disguise. Until 1900 there were still some Arabs practicing slavery in east Africa but colonial laws wiped out this practice. In the interior, slave raids between warring tribes were also ended. The large number of tribal wars, which had weakened Africa for many centuries, were also greatly reduced. Some European powers developed the territories they colonized. They built roads and railways to connect strategic places. Telegraph lines were constructed. The Africans were amazed that these lines going through their valleys and over the hills were able to carry messages to people at various stages along the lines. A line connecting Cape Town with Cairo was

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