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Forum LockedThe problems with decolonization in Africa

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richard XIII Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The problems with decolonization in Africa
    Posted: 14-Apr-2008 at 08:59
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2008 at 09:29
Well consider Zimbabwe.
 
Before its current government wreaked havoc, they could happily feed themselves AND export food to other parts
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Aussiedude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2008 at 13:39
http://www.freeworldacademy.com/globalleader/africa.htm
Read this, it is a concise summary of the problems in Africa
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Nov-2008 at 00:51
 
 
 
Propaganda is used or manipulated extensively during periods of war and peace. Propaganda during WWII was organized to counteract or infiltrate intelligence; considered crucial to the interests of a country. In this respect propaganda as a tool of war time nations had similar methods: name calling, extrajudicial punishment, films,  photographs, 'pillow talk', entertainment,  radio, posters, race, manipulation of information  etc. 
 
While researching  "Malaria control" at the Public Records Office in Ghana; the use of propaganda to further medical  interventions amongst Africans, during WWII, came to my attention. Interventions were applied; by the then British colonial government; with the intention of managing the prevalence of malaria amongst the segregated African population. The records indicate that this was carried out so that Africans in particular areas of the Gold Coast, such as British Accra, would use drugs manufactured by the British government for treatment of malaria. To some extent these conditions were influenced by segregation of medical and health facilities based on color and so-called race. It is generally recognized that segregation as a feature of military and civilian hospitals, characterized colonization, as well as WWII.
 
Public records in Ghana also indicate that the application of most propaganda during WWII for the Gold Coast was approved from London. Africans that spoke to the advantage of the German Government, during WWII, were freguently taken to court and imprisoned.  This treatment was based on discussions about the outcome of German military activities in Europe even if they were from public sources such as press or radio. The strategic defence of Germany, in West Africa, had been compromised following the terms of WWI. Therefore it made it possible to carry out effective surveillance and restriction of: German citizens, economic interests (shipping), telegraphic information, supporters  and other areas during WWII.
 
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
 
Dr. I.M. Spence-Lewis
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Nov-2008 at 01:45

What do you mean by "propaganda"?

Africa is in very bad shape. People die of HIV and other disseases by the millions. Life expectancy declined from 55 to 40 in less than a decade. Most countries have negative growth. Population explosion booms without control. The continent is full of violence and civil wars. People dies of hunger. It is the most analphabet region of the planet.

That isn't propaganda but the real Africa, whether we like it or not.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Nov-2008 at 03:00
 
Pinguin;
 
Thank you for your prompt response.
 
The meaning of propaganda is to be defined within the context of the material which was written.
 
Your description of Africa is a very unfortunate global image about the status of Africa which many maintain today. However I look, work and hope with diligence for an Africa that is destined for a brighter future.
 
 Why has it taken so long for Africa to develop a civilized image when billions of dollars from Western countries (who were initially colonizers in some form) are and have been introduced into African countries to remedy the very circumstances you describe.  
 
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Nov-2008 at 07:00
Originally posted by pinguin

The question is, would Africa be better if never colonized by the European powers?
 
Would it?
 
Pinguin

Good question. Right off the bat, I can think of some benefits: they'd still be growing their own domesticated crops, which are highly suited and very productive under African conditions but not very good for export (Europeans don't like to eat African grains and cereals ... it's estimated about 2000 domesticated plant species have vanished since heavy colonization began in the 1800s). So their food supply would be a heck of alot more stable, since imported grains and crops tend to be highly vulnerable to some of the African conditions, resulting in periodic famines.

But I think the overall answer kind of depends on what you mean by "colonization" and "better". If it's just not the European powers, well then the Muslims colonize it (as they did most of North and East Africa) and exploit it economically, with probably a similar result (its not as if places like the Sudan are much better off than the rest of Africa). If it's just that there's only economic involvement, and no colonization, then you have a situation like today where they're just exploited for resources without even getting the benefits (roads, schools, etc) that go with colonization. If it's like there's a wall separating Africa from the rest of the world - no colonization, no economic interaction - then African civilizations like Mali never develop, and there's no exploitation but no development - the Africans would be like the Papuans or Amazonian tribal groups. Which might not be so bad, depending on your perspective. But I can't think of any plausible scenario in which Africa can come out as a developed, prosperous continent.

That's kind of up to us, the people of the present day. We could do that, if we had the will.



Edited by edgewaters - 23-Nov-2008 at 07:03
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Nov-2008 at 10:17
@ edge, I don't see how the major African civilization were related with the non-African world...

@ pin err a few thing, most African countries have a positive growth, actually the continental growth has been around 6% since the beginning of the century, IIRC. Life expectancy is around 48 not 40 (true still not too good).

Secondly the "human bomb" (i.e. demographic expansion) is slowly being defused) due to quick urbanization (people have 35% less kids in the cities than in the countryside).

I'm not trying to be appear cheerful about Africa, the situation IS dramatic indeed. But we'd be wrong to forget some important points:
- if the famous long-distance electric lines are finally created, the enormous hydrolic capacities of Africa (some huge dams in West and Central Africa are virtually unused while South Africa and Europe and the Mid East are desperate for clean energy).
- some local agricultural projects are finally proving beneficial (mainly due to urban demand)
- some US, Chinese and European companies are about to invest massively in agriculture and Africa may well become a new eldorado for Chiquita and Uniliver or Nestle (production wise). Angola, Ethiopia and Congo are particularly in line. While other countries such as Bostwana and Mozambique are doing well.

Some governments are finally takling the issue of ridiculous high transaction and transport costs. Anyway, it can difficultly get worse.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Nov-2008 at 12:50
Originally posted by Maharbbal


@ pin err a few thing, most African countries have a positive growth, actually the continental growth has been around 6% since the beginning of the century
 
That's too little. In fact, that's what certain Asian and Latin countries grow in a year.
 
Originally posted by Maharbbal

, IIRC. Life expectancy is around 48 not 40 (true still not too good).
 
It is a disaster. That was the life expectancy during the 19th century.
Originally posted by Maharbbal

Secondly the "human bomb" (i.e. demographic expansion) is slowly being defused) due to quick urbanization (people have 35% less kids in the cities than in the countryside).
 
Still too slow. Going down from  7 children a couple to just 5 won't make any difference for Africa.

Originally posted by Maharbbal

I'm not trying to be appear cheerful about Africa, the situation IS dramatic indeed. But we'd be wrong to forget some important points:
- if the famous long-distance electric lines are finally created, the enormous hydrolic capacities of Africa (some huge dams in West and Central Africa are virtually unused while South Africa and Europe and the Mid East are desperate for clean energy).
- some local agricultural projects are finally proving beneficial (mainly due to urban demand)
- some US, Chinese and European companies are about to invest massively in agriculture and Africa may well become a new eldorado for Chiquita and Uniliver or Nestle (production wise). Angola, Ethiopia and Congo are particularly in line. While other countries such as Bostwana and Mozambique are doing well.

Some governments are finally takling the issue of ridiculous high transaction and transport costs. Anyway, it can difficultly get worse.
 
Well, many of those projects are still in the potential state. You must to convince investors to go for them. That could be done but it won't be easy.
 
With respect to converting Africa in another "Chiquita", the competition with other more developed countries would be though. In Central and South America, for instance, agriculture is amazingly fertile, and can produce with few people and high tech a lot of food a very low prizes.
 
Still, I hope Africa find the way better sooner than later. I hope the Chinese investments in Africa's agriculture get materialized. That would make things a little bit easier, I guess, but has the risk of falling in a new kind of colonialism.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Nov-2008 at 12:57
Originally posted by edgewaters

But I think the overall answer kind of depends on what you mean by "colonization" and "better". If it's just not the European powers, well then the Muslims colonize it (as they did most of North and East Africa) and exploit it economically, with probably a similar result (its not as if places like the Sudan are much better off than the rest of Africa). If it's just that there's only economic involvement, and no colonization, then you have a situation like today where they're just exploited for resources without even getting the benefits (roads, schools, etc) that go with colonization.
 
 
Agreed. The Americas and Oceania developed much more because european settlers came in mass to get established in the New World forever. In Africa, with the exception of the Afrikaners and some British in South Africa, the few settlers that arrived just wanted to make money and leave as soon as possible back to Europe. There wasn't much compromise at all with the new land.
 
Originally posted by edgewaters

If it's like there's a wall separating Africa from the rest of the world - no colonization, no economic interaction - then African civilizations like Mali never develop, and there's no exploitation but no development - the Africans would be like the Papuans or Amazonian tribal groups.
 
Absolutely. They won't be like Amazonia which was invaded by foreigners, but Africa would be a place very similar to New Guinea, with the same problems that exist in that island.
 
Originally posted by edgewaters

Which might not be so bad, depending on your perspective. But I can't think of any plausible scenario in which Africa can come out as a developed, prosperous continent.
 
Only the future will tell if that ever happens
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Post Options Post Options   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2008 at 00:15

Originally posted by Maharbbal

@ edge, I don't see how the major African civilization were related with the non-African world...

Well, Mali, at least, was built on trade with both the Muslim and European world. Empires practically never rise in isolation. This is as true for the civilizations of Asia, Europe, and the Americas as it is for Africa - they are all products of trade, diffusion of ideas and technology, etc.

- if the famous long-distance electric lines are finally created, the enormous hydrolic capacities of Africa (some huge dams in West and Central Africa are virtually unused while South Africa and Europe and the Mid East are desperate for clean energy).

some US, Chinese and European companies are about to invest massively in agriculture and Africa may well become a new eldorado for Chiquita and Uniliver or Nestle (production wise).

Again, it's the same old, same old. They said the same thing about mining, cotton farming, and the Green Revolution, all of which impoverished Africa rather than enriching it. 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2008 at 11:03
Originally posted by pinguin

Originally posted by Maharbbal


@ pin err a few thing, most African countries have a positive growth, actually the continental growth has been around 6% since the beginning of the century
That's too little. In fact, that's what certain Asian and Latin countries grow in a year.
I was of course talking year-on-year growth. True enough the term 'growth' is maybe not the most fitting since a lot comes from rising commodity prices. Still Africa is growing.

Originally posted by Maharbbal

Secondly the "human bomb" (i.e. demographic expansion) is slowly being defused) due to quick urbanization (people have 35% less kids in the cities than in the countryside).
 
Still too slow. Going down from  7 children a couple to just 5 won't make any difference for Africa.

I'm afraid you are missing the point. Maternal mortality is down. The result is that women live longer and thus have more children. So even if the children/per woman/per year rate is falling rapidly, absolute population growth is only decreasing slowly. It's the typical "things get worse before they get better". Besides, talking about "Africa" as if it was a whole as such is misleading. Several countries are doing better and for some of them they are even doin reasonably good (Senegal and Ghana are among them).
 
With respect to converting Africa in another "Chiquita", the competition with other more developed countries would be though. In Central and South America, for instance, agriculture is amazingly fertile, and can produce with few people and high tech a lot of food a very low prizes.

True but: exploiting new lands in Africa would be more respectful of the environment than say in Brazil where the lobby in favour of the preservation of the rain forest is growing. Second, Africa has a privileged access to the EU. Third many CEOs and the Chinese government would rather deal with weak African states than with left-leaning American ones. Besides not rely on a single food source may be smart for Asia. Fourth, Africa also enjoys some comparative advantage including (cheap labour, potentially lesser transportation costs, high productivity for some crops such as dry rice, and of course lots of virgin land). Finally, it is a well know fact that diasporas are very useful for both trade links and the spread of taste for different food, so I'd say it is only a matter of time of these forces to swing into action in which case the African countries would be very well positionned on the European and South Asian markets.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2008 at 12:08
Originally posted by Maharbbal

...True but: exploiting new lands in Africa would be more respectful of the environment than say in Brazil where the lobby in favour of the preservation of the rain forest is growing. Second, Africa has a privileged access to the EU. Third many CEOs and the Chinese government would rather deal with weak African states than with left-leaning American ones. Besides not rely on a single food source may be smart for Asia. Fourth, Africa also enjoys some comparative advantage including (cheap labour, potentially lesser transportation costs, high productivity for some crops such as dry rice, and of course lots of virgin land). Finally, it is a well know fact that diasporas are very useful for both trade links and the spread of taste for different food, so I'd say it is only a matter of time of these forces to swing into action in which case the African countries would be very well positionned on the European and South Asian markets.
 
First: Latin America is a lot more fertile than Africa.
Second: We have the trade deals with Europe already in place.
Third: The Americas had produced half the foods the world consume today.
Fourth: It has been a century since "Chiquita" got established in Central America, and by now our countries have theirs own agroindustrial companies, which are huge and have their own resources.
Fifth: We produce food for export with more high tech than cheap labour.
Six: Brazil alone is compiting with the U.S. in grain production, for instance.
Seven: We have our own local manufacturing of machinery, fertilizers, and even our own research facilities.
Eight: Do you know that Chileans, for example, are teaching Chinese to grow several crops and plants? That's just an example of what Latins do.
 
It won't be easy.


Edited by pinguin - 24-Nov-2008 at 12:09
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2008 at 05:09
 
 
Many posts have considered and briefly examined African development within a global and historical context.
 
However for African leaders and governments to resolve or stabilize conditions that evolved in Africa over centuries there must be consensus reflecting the needs of communities and the people they serve.  Requirements for sustainable development of the region and continent must also be considered keeping in mind the vast resources of Africa and the African Islands.
 
The aforementioned must be based on transparent and varied policies which reflect African demographics and extensive indigenous history.  This will ultimately support the full security of Africa.
 
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Nov-2008 at 21:27
Originally posted by pinguin

First: Latin America is a lot more fertile than Africa.

Source? Last time I checked you were getting your ass kicked in cocoa production...

Second: We have the trade deals with Europe already in place.

African and Caribbeans countries can export to Europe some agricultural produce tax free (Lome treaty). It may be reversed soon because of WTO but a new version of the treaty is still standing.
 
Third: The Americas had produced half the foods the world consume today.

Not sure what you mean

Fourth: It has been a century since "Chiquita" got established in Central America, and by now our countries have theirs own agroindustrial companies, which are huge and have their own resources.
Good. I don't see what it has to do with the debate. Brazil is also investing in Angola.

Fifth: We produce food for export with more high tech than cheap labour.

Which proves my point, there is a market for labour intensive crops out there.

Six: Brazil alone is compiting with the U.S. in grain production, for instance.

Once more not sure of what it has to do with the debate, but it is certain that the companies moving to Angola or Morocco are only going to compete where the currently producing countries have short-comings in terms of timetable, price or production capacities, so that's unlikely to include wheat and soya.
 
Seven: We have our own local manufacturing of machinery, fertilizers, and even our own research facilities.

Once more, great for you. Why are you saying that now?

Eight: Do you know that Chileans, for example, are teaching Chinese to grow several crops and plants? That's just an example of what Latins do.
OK you were officially drunk when you wrote that.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Nov-2008 at 23:50
Originally posted by Maharbbal

Source? Last time I checked you were getting your ass kicked in cocoa production...
 
Which country? There are some product some countries here don't produce simply because it is not a good business And I meant the whole regional production.

Originally posted by Maharbbal

 
African and Caribbeans countries can export to Europe some agricultural produce tax free (Lome treaty). It may be reversed soon because of WTO but a new version of the treaty is still standing.

So? South America export lot of agricultural products and have a lot of deals. So, I don't see your point there.
 
Originally posted by Maharbbal

 
Third: The Americas had produced half the foods the world consume today.

Not sure what you mean
 
I mean, the Americas are rich in agriculture production since thousand of years ago. Half the foods you consume today comes from the Americas. Never heared about tomatos, potatoes, strawberries, corn, and a thousand products more?


Originally posted by Maharbbal

 
Good. I don't see what it has to do with the debate. Brazil is also investing in Angola.
 
You didn't get it. I said that what is happening today Africa happened in Central America a century ago with the famous "Chiquita" company. And what I mean is that Africa is heading toward the same troubles this continent had in the past.
 
Originally posted by Maharbbal

 
Which proves my point, there is a market for labour intensive crops out there.
 
In modern agriculture you don't need much cheap labour. Rather, you need water, machinery and capital.
 
Originally posted by Maharbbal

 
Once more not sure of what it has to do with the debate, but it is certain that the companies moving to Angola or Morocco are only going to compete where the currently producing countries have short-comings in terms of timetable, price or production capacities, so that's unlikely to include wheat and soya.
 
 
Yes, Africa should produce its own food. I agree with that. But compiting in the international market of foods for exports won't be easy. For instance, it is very difficult to compite with the United States or Russia in grain production, because they have huge land to spare, fit to produce with machinery. It is very hard to compite with meditarrean weather countries in fruits production or wine, because nature is at theirs side. Africa have te problem of water to solve, and perhaps will be able to develop an agriculture to supply its people. In tropical foods perhaps they have a lead, but they will have to compite with lot of tropical countries around the world, like Phylippines, Malasya, India, Central America and the Caribbean, among others.

Originally posted by Maharbbal

 
Once more, great for you. Why are you saying that now?
 
 
Aren't we talking about competitive advantages.

Originally posted by Maharbbal

 
Eight: Do you know that Chileans, for example, are teaching Chinese to grow several crops and plants? That's just an example of what Latins do.
OK you were officially drunk when you wrote that.
 
Nope. And I am not drunk when I say we have a trade balance in our favor with China, and most countries we trade. And it is not lie either that our agricultural technicians have adviced several projects in China, among others of our experts.
I was just saying Latin American countries are though competitors in food markets (among other markets) simply because we have capital, technology, an excelent land, water and also a large number of biologist, researchers and college educated agriculturalists. We even own fleet of ships to put our product abroad.
 


Edited by pinguin - 26-Nov-2008 at 23:52
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Post Options Post Options   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 01:14

Originally posted by pinguin

Yes, Africa should produce its own food. I agree with that. But compiting in the international market of foods for exports won't be easy. For instance, it is very difficult to compite with the United States or Russia in grain production, because they have huge land to spare, fit to produce with machinery.

Well, also countries like the US and Russia are rich, and they subsidize their farmers with billions of dollars, both in direct cash handouts and infrastructure projects that benefit farmers. Because they are so heavily subsidized, they can bring their produce to market much more cheaply.

Another problem is that the native cereal crops of Africa are now mostly extinct, or are not desired by other cultures, who prefer the cereal crops they are used to, like corn, wheat, and rice. These crops are not well-adapted to African conditions.

Africa have te problem of water to solve

Not all of Africa has this problem ... in fact, some areas of Africa are among the richest in the world in terms of watered land. For instance, Uganda has excellent water and soil resources. The DRC (Congo) has massive precipitation and more thunderstorms than any other place on the planet, and supports a rainforest second only to the Amazon. Kenya has the Great Rift Valley which is incredibly fertile and well-watered. 

In modern agriculture you don't need much cheap labour.

Even in Canada, our cash crops (eg soybeans, tomatoes, etc - not wheat) are dependant on cheap labour in the form of guest workers, and we're a rich, highly industrialized country and a major agricultural exporter.



Edited by edgewaters - 15-Dec-2008 at 01:17
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dieheart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 16:12
Yes,

Many Empires have existed in Africa , and then exploitation came, and destroyed them. Male, Zimbabwee, hell even the Zulu had unified its tribes. The thing is that these cultures didnt have enough time to grow and expand normaly like all the other European countries did. Everything that was stable was raped, and then left the people just... there.

So yea imo, there would be more respect for Africa, and it would be alot more stable.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Apr-2009 at 00:23
 
 
Dieheart;
 
Your conversation was brief and interesting, particularly the general reference regarding the ebb of African territorial influence. Perhaps the largest and earliest empire in Africa was that of the Cushite (Nubia). The Greeks called Nubia, Ethiopia. Cush or Nubia extended from what is now the Sudan and included Northeast Africa, Palestine, (what is now) Israel as well as Asia and other regions. For detailed references regarding Cush one may refer to the Bible. The earliest  is in Genesis 2:13, 10:6. Cush was a son of Ham. There are varied accounts of the land of Cush in the Bible and the peoples in Cushite territory. 
 
Independent of the Bible there are many modern scholars who have written about the Cushite Empire: Cheikh Anta Diop, J. A. Rodgers (Rogers), Yosef Ben-Jochannan and Ivan Van Sertima. I have heard most of these scholars (exception J.A. Rodgers (Rogers) speak during their visits to Lonon, England.  There are earlier scholars. However the names noted have published material that is more accessible to the interested public.
 
It is unfortunate that there is not enough general education in the schools regarding the vast world influence of the Cushite Empire. My interest developed through association with the Garvey Movement and their study of all aspects of history:  European, Asian and a special regard for the study of African history from antiquity to the present.  My particular interest in Cushite or Nubian history is medicine and science. All the above scholars noted included these subjects in their research.
 
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
 
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