Map of Africa
In this post I will quote a few hidden root causes of Africa’s problems for our consideration, for example: the legacy of European Colonialism, the artificial boundaries created by the colonial rulers, and strategies used that helped them to take hold, the natural struggle to rebuild is proving difficult, and the strategies and results of European scramble for Africa. In my next post I plan to point us to Biblical solutions to overcome the legacy of European Colonialism which is the Way Forward.
Topic: Hidden root causes that make difficult Africa and African Descendant’s freedom from the negative influence of slavery by imperial powers must first be dealt with at the highest level of the Spirit, in order to affect a smooth transition.
Beloved, concerning Africa’s Problems, and Mental and Spiritual Enslavement of African Descendants to this date, if we take for granted that things just happen without a cause or reason, well, let us think again because for every cause: there is an effect. In his comment concerning Africa’s Problems, Bob Geldof wrote, “… And imagine how 4 centuries of enslavement might have seized the entire social and cultural ethos of an undeveloped continent.” (Bob Geldof, Why Africa? Bob Geldof Speaks at St. Paul’s Cathedral, DATA.org, April 21, 2004)
And in Anup Shaw’s recently updated page ( Last Updated Wednesday, May 12, 2010)
on “Conflicts in Africa – introduction,” he wrote, “Despite decades of conflict, death and tragedy, coverage of issues in Africa has often been ignored, oversimplified, or excessively focused on limited aspects. Deeper analysis, background and context has often been lacking, so despite what seems like constant images of starving children in famines, news of billions in aid to Africa from generous donor countries, the background context and analysis is often missing.
Whether aid makes the situation worse, or why there is famine and hunger in Africa when African nations are exporting crops to other parts of the world are rarely asked by the mainstream.”
Subsequent to Anup Shaw’s introduction is a list with the following sub-sections:
- Africa Hardly Attracts Media Attention Despite Pressing Concerns
- Many Conflicts Throughout Africa
- Root Causes of Problems
- The Legacy of European Colonialism
- Unequal International Trade; Comparative Disadvantage
- Cold War by Proxy; Supporting and Arming Dictatorships in Africa
- Corporate Interests, Exploitation, Corruption and Other Issues
- These And Other Causes Reinforce Each Other
- China and Africa; concerns over rights and exploitation
- Africa Maps Showing Modern and Pre-Colonial Areas
However, the main focus in this post is on Root Causes of Problems and finally a series of posts on a possible solution.
According to Anup Shaw, “Political corruption, lack of respect for rule of law, human rights violations are all common reasons heard for some of the causes of Africa’s problems. Although, not the only reasons, some often overlooked….” root causes also include the following:
The Legacy of European Colonialism
European colonialism had a devastating impact on Africa.
The artificial boundaries created by colonial rulers as they ruled and finally left Africa had the effect of bringing together many different ethnic people within a nation that did not reflect, nor have (in such a short period of time) the ability to accommodate or provide for, the cultural and ethnic diversity. The freedom from imperial powers was, and is still, not a smooth transition. The natural struggle to rebuild is proving difficult.
Artificial Borders Created by Imperial Europe are as follows
In the 1870s European nations were bickering over themselves about the spoils of Africa. In order to prevent further conflict between them, they convened at the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 to lay down the rules on how they would partition up Africa between themselves.
The Strategies and results of European Scramble for Africa
- Between 1870 and World War I alone, the European scramble for Africa resulted in the adding of around one-fifth of the land area of the globe to its overseas colonial possessions
- Colonial administrations started to take hold. In some areas, Europeans were encouraged to settle, thus creating dominant minority societies. France even planned to incorporate Algeria into the French state, such was the dominance and confidence of colonial rulers at the time, and
- In other cases, the classic divide and conquer techniques had to be used to get local people to help administer colonial administrations. Some were only too willing to help for their own ends.
It is noteworthy that, “ In most areas colonial administrations did not have the manpower or resources to fully administer the territory and had to rely on local power structures to help them. As a result, “Various factions and groups within the societies exploited this European requirement for their own purposes, attempting to gain a position of power within their own communities by cooperating with Europeans.” One aspect of this struggle included what Terrence Ranger has termed the invention of tradition.
In order to legitimize their own claims to power in the eyes of both the colonial administrators, and their own people, people would essentially manufacture traditional claims to power, or ceremonies. As a result many societies were thrown into disarray by the new order.” (History of Africa, Wikipedia, accessed February 2005)
Interesting Notes: (This site’s section on Rwanda notes how this invention of tradition was one of the contributing factors to the eventual genocide, as well as other factors.)
Throughout Africa, Europe staked a claim. Many post war conflicts, such as that in Uganda, had a some root cause in this scramble for Africa as a documentary called Uganda Rising notes:
About the natural struggle to rebuild is proving difficult
According to Anal Shaw, some have commented that pointing to colonialism is not an excuse as many African countries have had decades to try and resolve this. The implication of the argument is that the effects of centuries of colonialism, in effect, are supposed to be overcome in just a few short years. Yet Richard Robbins, professor of anthropology suggests, “if countries like Canada have been struggling with accommodating different groups, then in Africa the problem is more complex:
“We must remember,” said Richard Robbins, “that the European agreements that had carved up Africa into states paid little attention to cultural and ethnic boundaries and ethnic groups had little opportunity or need to form political alliances or accommodations under repressive colonial rule.… Think of countries such as Canada, which has been trying for hundreds of years with mixed success to accommodate only two linguistic groups — English and French — and you get an idea of the problems of African states with far greater cultural and linguistic divisions.” (Richard H. Robbins, Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, (Allyn and Bacon, 2002), p. 302)
Think again on what Bob Geldof said, “Consider the extent to which the Second World War of just 6 years (1939-1945) duration has pervaded the consciousness of our developed world for 2 generations and imagine how 4 centuries of enslavement might have seized the entire social and cultural ethos of an undeveloped continent.
To establish a type of nationwide government, [European] colonial administrators effectively set about inventing African traditions for Africa that would make the process more acceptable to the indigenous population. The most far-reaching inventions of tradition in colonial Africa occurred when the administrators believed they were respecting age old African custom whereas a commentator notes What were called customary law, customary land-rights, customary political structure and so on were in fact all invented by colonial codification. By creating an image of Africa steeped in unchanging tradition the colonizers condemned the continent to live in a reconstructed moment of its past. A vast continental theme park — Africa-land that hindered development for decades. But perhaps the most pernicious (destructive) of the traditions which the colonial period bequeathed to Africa was the notion of Tribalism. (Bob Geldof, Why Africa? Bob Geldof Speaks at St. Paul’s Cathedral, DATA.org, April 21, 2004)
Finally, Anal Shaw commented, “In some parts of Africa, slavery and/or colonial administration had almost erased cultures and community with an education and civilizing program that gave Africans only a minimal skill set that served European colonial interests. Rebuilding from decades and centuries of this has been a tough struggle.
In spite of the “artificial boundaries created by colonial rulers,” Ethiopia (meaning burnt face) is in Africa and it is geographically located on the West of Egypt which is also in Africa among others. Having said thus, I want to establish that our Site and this post is concerned with the eradication of the effects of invisible inner artificial boundaries created in the mind of our people by negative influence of ungodly colonial rulers, even after four hundred years of slavery to this date of writing.
The following is a short list to show how messed-Up is the mind of Africa and African Descendants living specifically in an European tailored world of illusion, for example:
(1).”By creating an image of Africa steeped in unchanging tradition the colonizers condemned the continent to live in a reconstructed moment of its past”
(2) “The most pernicious (destructive) of the traditions which the colonial period bequeathed to Africa was perhaps the notion of Tribalism”.
(3) “Tribes became (and continues to be) the object of passionate African imagination,” and
(4) The evidence of the modern day corrupt political and spiritual leaders, local chiefs, ambitious individuals and groups, who go to the extreme to achieve positions of status, dominance, and wealth that might otherwise have been unattainable is a reflection of “4 centuries of enslavement.”
Now let’s consider this [European] colonial administrators created pseudo image of Africa bent in “unchanging tradition” destined to condemned the continent to live in a reconstructed (modernized) moment of its past: and the way forward.
The Way Forward is what I will share with us in my next post, by the will of God.
Well our time is up
Well, our time is up. It was a pleasure sharing with you spiritual things on Moment of Inner Change Coffee/Juice Break. See you at our next MIC Coffee Break Chat, with Redeeming Luv. May God richly bless you. Shalom.
Yours in His love,
Motto: Charity Chase Conduct Cheerfulness Change inwardly