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Saturday, June 2, 2018




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These are some impacts or effects of Colonialism in African Continent:

1. European colonial powers did not plan to industrialize or modernize Africa. Africans were used to solely produce raw materials, export them to Europe, and then re -export them Africa as final products, sold at high prices. Africans could not afford to pay for these products. There were several negatives of colonialism for the Africans like resource depletion, labor exploitation, unfair taxation, lack of industrialization, dependence on cash crop economy, prohibition of trade, the breaking up of traditional African society and values, lack of political development, and ethnic rivals inside countries.


2. Poor technological base of most of the present day African states, which has been responsible for their underdevelopment stems from their poor foundation of education laid by the colonialists. Colonial education essentially aimed at training clerks, interpreters, produce inspectors, artisans, etc., which would help them in the exploitation of the Africa’s rich resources. Colonial education did not aim at industrialization of African territories or at stimulating technological development within the African environment. Colonial education brought about distortion and disarticulation in African indigenous pattern of education which was rooted in African technology. Before fully embracing colonial education, Africans were good technologists, advancing at their own rates with the resources within their environment.

For example, Africans were good sculptors, carvers, cloth weavers, miners, blacksmiths, etc. They were able to provide and satisfy the technological need of the various African societies. The introduction of colonial education made Africans to abandon their indigenous technological skills and education in preference to one which mainly emphasizes reading and writing. This was the prelude or foundation for the present poor technological base of African states which has perpetuated their underdevelopment. As we know, education that is not deeply rooted in a people’s culture and environment cannot bring about any meaningful technological advancement. This has aptly been shown in the unsuccessful attempt at the so-called technological transfer, which is more of a myth than reality.


3. The economic structure of African society was changed by Europeans. Cash crops were introduced to meet industrial needs of European countries. Cocoa, coffee, tea, and cotton were the main cash crops produced on a large scale. Several minerals were mined extensively. The problem with this was cash crops were focused on instead of food for basic needs, leading to famine among many Africans. Europeans changed the economy from a model of producing foods for need to mainly the production of cash crops. All crops produced by Africans were exported and prices were set by the colonies. Africans were not allowed to grow these cash crops to benefit themselves. Trade was prohibited between Africans, so they were forced to export all cash crops produced and minerals mined.

4. Disarticulation in the type of goods produced by Africans. The colonialists compelled Africans to concentrate in the production of goods meant for export. Africans were not encouraged to produce those goods required by the local population. This made many Africans to abandon the production of food items required to feed the teeming and growing population. The effect of this was food shortage and escalation in food prices. The present day situation where Africans now import their food is a carry-over from colonialism. The point being stressed here is that colonialism distorted the satisfaction of local needs in terms of food production and other requirements in preference to production and satisfaction of foreign needs especially the industries.