There is an ongoing debate between many scholars on how contemporary political and economic failures in the continent of Africa can be traced back to the advent of colonialism. There is a great deal of evidence that illustrates the impact that colonialism and an imperialistic intervention has had a negative impact on the development of present history of Africa. This essay will attempt to examine the geographic, political and ethnic impact European colonialism has played on the development of the African, and these contributions have put Africa on its current trajectory.
Initial Europe interest in Africa appeared as humanitarian. Many of the imperial nations appeared interested in acting on behalf of the African states, in issues of
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Several European nations took it upon themselves to assimilate the people of Africa to what the Europeans considered as civilized. Peter Schraeder put it best in his article, Political and Economic Impacts of Colonialism, when he said, “Britain’s portrayal of its efforts as the ‘whites man’s burden’ and France’s pronouncement of its “mission civilisatrice”, were offered to justify European domination over peoples deemed ‘backward,’ ‘ignorant,’ ‘uncivilized,’ ‘barbaric,’ ‘savage,’ and ‘godless heathen.’” It certainly must make one wonder why, would one country take the role of a protectorate if it viewed the African’s in this light. This must have also been on of the reason that the Britain established the institutions they did during colonial rule.
One of the most significant impacts and methods introduced by the colonial powers to civilize the African people was the implementation of nation-state system. Many pre-colonial African nations and kingdoms varied in respect to their polities and general structure. For instance, some lived in small families or clans, with authority and leadership usually given to the elders, while governed under kingdoms encompassed large areas. In pre-colonial Uganda, there were an array of kingdoms ranging from the Buganda to the Ankole and even the Toro. Before the advent of present day Uganda, the area “was a heterogeneous area, with a variety of customary practices, social and