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Chapter 6 Section 4
“Geopolitical Framework: Legacies of Colonialism
& Conflict”
COLONIAL LEGACY…
 “The arrival of Europeans in Africa changed that continent forever.”
(HWQ#1)
 Europeans instituted policies that in some cases worsened
tensions between existing tribal/ethnic groups;
 They drew arbitrary political boundaries that either
created or worsened pre-existing conflicts;
 Imperialism attributed to struggles over national identity &
political control among ethnic groups.
 Africa is considered to be the place where humankind
originated (discovery of fossils in Great Rift Valley)
 http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/australopithecus-
afarensis
INDIGENOUS KINGDOMS…
 (HWQ#2) 3,000 yrs. Ago in central & N. Sudan –
Kingdom of Nubia;
 1,000 yrs. Later – Axum rose in N. Ethiopia & Eritrea
(Christian trade center);
 AD 700 – Ghana, Mali, Songhai grew in the Sahel
(exported gold to Med. & imported salt from
Sahara);these kingdoms dominated until
Imperialism began
 AD 500 –West African kingdom states developed
(also based on gold/salt trade).
SLAVE TRADE…
 From the 1500’s to the 1800’s slave traders sent an
estimated 10-15 million Africans across the Atlantic
to the Americas. Referred to as the “Atlantic Slave
Trade” this “triangular” trade dominated relations
among Europe, Africa & the Americas.
 The first African slaves were taken by Port. Traders
to Europe in the 1400’s. European rulers required a
large labor force to make their American colonies
profitable & once Native Latin Americans died from
war/famine/disease they turned to Africa to fill
that labor void.
SLAVE TRADE
 Although slavery had long existed in Africa, the
Atlantic slave trade was different. Once slavery was
introduced on a massive scale (around 1700) &
demand & profits grew quickly, racism took root &
was used to justify treating Africans as property
rather than as human beings.
 The slave trade also introduced guns to the African
continent as some African rulers accepted guns as
payments for their own people or for people they
captured from neighboring tribes. They used the
guns to establish strong states. (HWQ#3)
Ending Slave Trade
 Abolition movements grew throughout Europe in
the late 1700’s; Britain outlawed slavery in its empire
in 1833; slavery lasted in the US until 1865.
 Industrialization also helped end the demand for
slave labor as machines replaced humans. Once that
happened, Europeans looked to Africa for raw
materials for their factories so the end of the slave
trade was followed by the rush to colonize the
African continent in order to take advantage of the
raw materials the continent had to offer.
EFFECTS OF SLAVE TRADE
 400 years of the slave trade had lasting effects on Africa.
Coastal Africa was most impacted because people in the
continent’s interior were somewhat protected.
 HWQ#4 – The “disease factor” in Africa was opposite to
what we saw occur in Latin America. In Africa it was the
Europeans who died in large numbers because of their
inability to fight off malaria & other diseases endemic to
Africa’s climate, insects & animals. It wasn’t until the
discovery of the drug quinine (HWQ#5) in the 1800’s
that Europeans were able to survive illnesses contracted
in Africa.
EFFECTS OF SLAVE TRADE
 Some African rulers used the guns they gained in the slave
trade to strengthen trade & grow their empires;
 The overwhelming effect of slavery on Africa, however, was
NEGATIVE. It led to a diaspora (scattering of people) &
removed an estimated 20,000,000+ Africans from their places
of origin. Their disappearance had a lasting economic &
social impact on Africa.
 Slavery did help spread the ideas, customs & beliefs of
African peoples to other regions of the world, where they
had significant cultural impact (music, foods, art, religion,
etc.)
 The “1-2 punch” of the Atlantic slave trade followed by colonialism
dealt a devastating blow to Africa that many blame for the lack of
development on that continent up to the present day.
COLONIALISM IN AFRICA
 HWQ#6 – Once Europeans were able to withstand
African diseases & driven by the need for raw materials
for their factories, they pushed to claim colonies in all
parts of the continent. By the late 1800’s increasing
tension among Europeans & the fear of all out war for
control led to the Berlin Conference (Germany 1884). At
that conference, where NO AFRICAN LEADERS WERE
PRESENT, European powers agreed on how to divide
Africa among themselves. As a result, by 1914 almost the
entire continent was partitioned & controlled by one of
several European Imperial powers. Liberia, Ethiopia & S.
Africa* were the exceptions.
END OF APARTHEID
 *Although S. Africa was an independent nation by 1910, remember
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that the British had left the white South African minority
(Afrikaners who had defeated the Zulu) in charge & they officially
adopted Apartheid (racial segregation) as the law of the land.
African National Congress led opposition to Apartheid within S.
Africa, sometimes peacefully & sometimes with violence (Mandela,
Biko, etc.)
By 1960’s attention from outside world in the form of economic
embargo’s & political isolation added to the pressure to end
Apartheid.
1989 ban on ANC lifted;
1990 Mandela freed from prison & helps re-write Constitution;
1994 first free & open election is held & Mandela becomes Pres.
HWQ#7 (DUTCH – wanted a colony; ZULU – were indigenous group
so were protecting their land; BRITISH-wanted gold/diamonds.
They won control BUT…see above for the rest of the story!
DECOLONIALIZATION OF SSA
 HW2-Q#1 PAN AFRICAN MOVEMENT – was dedicated
to establishing independence for African nations and
cultivating unity among black people all over the world
(remember the DIASPORA caused by slavery). The
movement was led by W.E.B. DuBois & Marcus Garvey &
was aided by labor unions, newspapers & other black
intellectuals who had studied throughout Europe. It
was called a “trans-Atlantic liberation effort”
 Decolonization started around 1957 & occurred rather
quickly & peacefully. By the mid 1960’s the entire
region was comprised of independent nations.
DECOLONIALIZATION OF SSA
 Some early leaders of the new African nations wanted to see
the entire region united politically. That didn’t happen,
however, the ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY,
established in 1963 & now called the AFRICAN UNION,
remains an important continent-wide organization. Its goal
is to mediate disputes between neighbors. It also played a
key role in opposing & ending Apartheid in South Africa.
HW#2 Q3
 Browse the African Union's web site here...
POST APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA
 FOR HW2 q#4 – This was covered on slide 10.
 HW2 Q#5: From his election in 1994 until he retired
in 1999, Nelson Mandela worked to build a
multiracial South Africa. Homelands were
eliminated & residential segregation became illegal,
however, most neighborhoods remained segregated.
It’s very hard to erase ½ century of racial
discrimination & the fact that black South Africans
were not formally educated through Apartheid also
made it difficult for them to obtain employment &
improve their economic situation.
POST APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA
 In 1999 Thabo Mbeki replaced Mandela as President. He
faced many challenges including black political & economic
disadvantage; tribal conflicts; AIDS – which hit South Africa
very hard. Mbeki’s position on treating HIV was very
controversial & may have caused the epidemic to worsen
before it improved.
 BBC news article on Mbeki's Aids controversy
 Due to valuable natural resources & location, however, South
Africa remains one of the best economies in SSA with a
higher standard of living than most.
Enduring political conflict…
 POLITICAL INSTABILITY and TRIBAL/ETHNIC
RIVALRIES continue to cause conflict in the region. In many
of the new nations, rival ethnic groups found themselves
sharing a national identity. New governments had to deal
with imposed political boundaries & the problems that came
with them because coming up with all new borders would
have been impossible.
 HW#2 q#5: TRIBALISM is loyalty to an ethnic group or
tribe rather than to your nation/state. In some African
nations tribalism is so strong that it tears apart the national
unity of the country.
EFFECTS OF POST-COLONIAL
CONFLICTS…
 HW#2 Q#6: Because of all the post-colonial wars & conflicts in
the region, (see figure 6.37 on page 257) there are many
REFUGEES and INTERNALLY DISPLACED persons in SSA.
 REFUGEES – people who flee their country because they fear
persecution based on race, ethnicity, religion or political
orientation.
 INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE – basically same
definition as above but they still reside in their country of origin
but flee to another location in that country.
 Ethnic conflicts & secessionist movements in SSA (see p. 258 &
259) have caused millions of refugees & IDP’s in the region.
BIG MAN POLITICS
 HW#2 Q#8: This refers to the fact that throughout SSA’s
post-colonial history there have been many men who have
come into power and refused to let it go. Called “dictators”
“strongmen” “presidents-for-life” these men have ruled as
ruthless leaders who would not allow political freedom.
Their reliance on the military & violence to maintain total
control led to the “bullets over ballots” reference in your
book. EXAMPLES – see p. 260 in your text if you are
considering researching any of these men. Also this link…
 Top 10 Dictators of the World
FUTURE OF THE REGION???
 Discovery of oil (Algeria, Gabon, Sudan) in various
countries is a promising sign for economic growth
if the resource is well-managed;
 AIDS/HIV while still high the numbers of people
infected/deaths are slowly decreasing;
 Women are playing a significant role in growing the
economies of developing nations as they are
becoming more entrepreneurial & getting better
educated & more active in politics ;
 Cautious Optimism! Many problems remain…