European Imperialism In Africa Essay

European Imperialism In Africa Essay-34
Regarding the colonial impact, the case for the prosecution, which a generation ago was urged most strongly by dependency theorists and radical nationalists (Amin 1972; Rodney 1972), is now championed by “rational choice” growth economists. Robinson (2001; 2002) have argued that Africa’s relative poverty at the end of the 20th century was primarily the result of the form taken by European colonialism on the continent: Europeans settling for extraction rather than settling themselves in overwhelming numbers and thereby introducing the kinds of institution (private property rights and systems of government that would support them) that, according to Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson, was responsible for economic development in Europe and the colonies of European settlement in North America and Australasia.2 Colonial extraction in Africa could be seen most decisively in the appropriation of land for European settlers or plantations, a strategy used not only to provide European investors and settlers with cheap and secure control of land, but also to oblige Africans to sell their labour to European farmers, planters or mine-owners (Palmer and Parsons 1977). where the land remained overwhelmingly in African ownership, we will see that major parts of the services sector were effectively monopolised by Europeans.

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It identifies an emerging African comparative advantage in land-extensive forms of production, which West Africans in particular were already exploiting and, by their investments and initiatives, deepening.

In this framework, chapter 5 then introduces the colonial regimes, highlighting their fiscal constraints and comparing different national styles of colonial rule, focusing on the largest empires, those of Britain and France.

The following discussion has three preliminary sections.

Thus, chapter 2 first attempts a summary of the economic record since independence in order to define the pattern for which colonial legacies may have been partly responsible.

In policy, structural adjustment in the 1980s marked a watershed: a fundamental shift from administrative to market means of resource allocation.

European Imperialism In Africa Essay Ocr As Pe Coursework

The change, however, was less dramatic in most of the former French colonies, where (except in Guinea) the maintenance of a convertible currency had enabled governments to avoid some of the supplementary price and quantity controls which had increasingly been imposed in the mostly former British colonies outside the franc zone.Botswana averaged 9.3% annual growth (Berthélemy and Söderling 2001, 324-5).A feature of the theoretical and ideological debate about the history of economic development in Africa is that it is possible to reach rather similar conclusions from very different scholarly and political starting-points.This article reviews how colonial rule and African actions during the colonial period affected the resources and institutional settings for subsequent economic development south of the Sahara.The issue is seen from the perspective of the dynamics of development in what was in 1900 an overwhelmingly land-abundant region characterised by shortages of labour and capital, by perhaps surprisingly extensive indigenous market activities and by varying but often low levels of political centralisation.At its strongest, legacy takes the form of “path determination”, implying that colonial choices determined post-colonial ones, or at least conditioned them, such that departure from the colonial pattern was, and perhaps remains, difficult and costly.Besides asking about the strength of the influence of the past on the future, we need to consider the nature of that influence.Chapter 3 outlines contending views of those legacies.Chapter 4 tries to define the economic and political structures and trends within Africa on the eve of the European partition of the continent.There were notable exceptions to the general growth trends, both before and after the turning-point in the early to mid-1970s.Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana made a particularly interesting contrast: similarly-sized neighbours with relatively similar factor endowments and geographical features, but with different colonial heritages.

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