Regional Focus (Africa)

From this weeks readings and lectures, there were main themes of the racist nature of representations of Africa and the different experiences of decolonization. The racist nature of representations of Africa, brought growth and advantages to European countries and African countries being controlled, but also disadvantages  in some instances to these African countries. The racist representations of Africa brought growth and advantages to Europe through money from ivory and slaves and new places to inhabit and rule after conquest. This lead to a better economy for European countries and more global power. The racist nature of representations of Africa also brought a few advantages to some African countries, like growing populations due to new world crops and new medicines that essentially cured the plague. These advantages lead to muslim revitalization movements around Africa, that brought a sense of traditional culture back to Africa. Disadvantages included all of the negative repercussions of slavery, inequalities, unnecessary ethnic divisions and artificially drawn boundaries just to name a few.

The different experiences of decolonization were caused by Europe’s past unfair control of African countries. This unfair control led to competition between Britain and France; that caused divisions in power over African countries which later led to easier rebellion for some African countries, because most European powers were unwilling to spend massive sums used to suppress the movements. Other countries like Algeria, Kenya, Congo, Southern Africa and Nigeria were not as fortunate in rebellion efforts due to, ethnic divisions, lack of preparation for independence, Cold War policies and large European settler communities. These setbacks caused these countries along with others to decolonize slower which had negative effects in the long run.

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