The Role Of Colonialism In Sub-Saharan Africa

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Sub-Saharan African countries suffered from different kinds of problems: poor health care systems, corrupt governments, low life expectancies, and poverty (Stein, 2015). Lenin blamed colonialism for exploiting Africa and concluded that this exploitation caused Africans to live in a low economic status (Stein, 2015). The word “exploit” should be clearly defined here. Lenin defined this “exploitation” in Africa as “monopoly capitalists securing new political entities which ensured cheap raw materials, new protected markets and higher rates of profit (Stein, 2015).” Based on this definition, if Africa is “well exploited,” it will produce cheap raw materials and have a highly developed commerce and businesses.
Before examining the relationship
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It is fair to say that colonialism had a great impact on Africa’s current economical and social status. As the problems being identified, the original quote “the problem with the colonization of Africa was not that the colonizers exploited Africa, but they did not exploit the continent enough” could be interpreted as: because colonizers did not exploit Africa enough, Africa is underdeveloped. This also implies that if Africa is “well exploited,” African countries will develop good infrastructures, satisfactory education systems, and competent commercial environments. However, numerous pieces of evidence prove that Africa was not “well exploited” in terms of the development of the financial market and industrial progress. Was Africa being exploited for cheap raw materials? The raw materials extracted from Africa were marginal to the European economic activity at 19th centuries (Stein, 2015). This means that the raw materials extracted from Africa presented little industrial value to Europe: the raw materials from Africa were used by more obsolete industries because most of the materials from Africa were available elsewhere (Young, 2014). Thus there was little motivation for European countries to exploit Africa as a cheap source of raw materials (Young, 2014). European countries did not exploit African countries as markets for dumping their goods either. African imports to Britain lowered from 1.2% to -0.8% between 1875 and 1890 (Stein, 2015). French exports to Africa fell from 1.5% to 0.5% from 1875 to 1905 (Stein, 2015). These statistics show that European countries failed to expand commerce in Africa. As a result, many charters failed and went bankrupt: charters including BSAC (Stein, 2015). Thus we can conclude that Africa was not “well exploited” in terms of industrial and commercial

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