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Colonial Legacy and Influence on Modern Africa

From the 1880s to the 1970s, the Western powers ruled over Africa with an unprecedented system of governance – colonialism. Countries such as France, England, Italy, Belgium, and Germany managed to occupy vast territories and turned them into resource bases for the metropoles. Some colonial regimes were more humane than others. However, even the more benevolent colonial powers like France left a mostly negative legacy, which is still affecting the African continent and its development.

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From the political perspective, the worst consequence of the colonial period is the unnatural borders of the contemporary African countries. The Western powers marked the political boundaries of their African holdings according to their considerations. As a result, the independent African nations inherited artificial borders, which did not match the actual living areas of local peoples. That mismatch led to dire ethnic and political tensions, brutal wars, and numerous dead and displaced.

Social consequences of colonialism can also be considered hampering. Quite often, the colonial powers neglected the educational and social developments of the colonies. The Western rulers treated Africa as a resource base, so when they left, the independent African states faced a massive lack of competent specialists. Even the most basic education was a luxury, which explains why incompetent and corrupt dictators often governed the independent African countries.

The negative economic consequences of the colonial age are twofold. First of all, the colonial period left Africa in a primitive state of the economy. While the world is rapidly entering the post-industrial age, most African countries had barely developed to an industrial level. To mitigate that problem, the global powers and institutions implemented various aid programs, which are essentially a new form of colonialism in disguise.

Considering all those negative factors, I have a pessimistic look at the future. Not only at the African – but the global as well. As Africa’s population rapidly grows and living conditions are not improving, millions of Africans, especially – the most educated and professionally competent, will abandon the continent and move to the wealthy Western world. As a result, Africa will mostly remain underdeveloped, and the global West will face events similar to those that crushed the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, December 25). Colonial Legacy and Influence on Modern Africa. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/colonial-legacy-and-influence-on-modern-africa/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, December 25). Colonial Legacy and Influence on Modern Africa. https://studycorgi.com/colonial-legacy-and-influence-on-modern-africa/

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StudyCorgi. "Colonial Legacy and Influence on Modern Africa." December 25, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/colonial-legacy-and-influence-on-modern-africa/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Colonial Legacy and Influence on Modern Africa." December 25, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/colonial-legacy-and-influence-on-modern-africa/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Colonial Legacy and Influence on Modern Africa'. 25 December.

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