African Studies Essay On Colonialism

Topics: Colonialism, Africa, Colony Pages: 8 (3199 words) Published: March 21, 2015
Africa and Neo-colonialism
Over the past years, Africa has indeed been hit by horrible events which had seen the loss of many African lives in the process. The colonial period was one of the earliest tragedies which could be said to have shaped the destiny of the African continent. Currently, several years after decolonisation, the continent is still faced with the same issues that were faced before their independence from the colonial rule. In this essay I am going to explain neo- colonialism, assess the current conditions of the Democratic Republic of Congo while assessing if whether or not it fits under the description of Neo- colonialism. Colonialism (old colonial regime) versus Neo- colonialism

Africa with all its blessings in mineral resources has sadly been a victim of the atrocities imposed by the world towards it. It is often said that colonisation can be viewed as a process that shaped the African continent’s destiny in every way. According to Horvath (1972: 47) colonialism refers to the practice of inter group domination in which settlers migrate to the colony from the colonizing power. Colonialism in this sense can be seen as a way of exercising power unjustly, towards those who are less powerful, which in this case are the African countries. Power in this sense can be seen as a force that allows the settlers or rather the colonial powers to have the authority to claim and use land that does not belong to them for their own benefits. For Horvath (1972: 48) when it comes to the economy, colonialism can be seen as a form of exploitation, through it exploiting the resources of the colonies for their own economic advancement. Colonialism then was a harsh system that robbed Africans off their natural resources. Neo-colonialism on the other hand, is often referred to as a policy that makes use of the political and economic influences from the colonial power to control weaker states (subject country). Nkrumah (1965:200) states that neo-colonialism occurs when a foreign country controls the economic system as well as the political policies of a subject country, while the subject country still maintains its full autonomy and independence. With the system of neo-colonialism the colonizers do not have to be permanent settlers in the colonies or the territories that they have conquered in order for them to have dominances. The neo- colonial powers have the ability to control a foreign country’s economic system as well as its political system from a distance. Arguably the system of neo-colonialism is a tricky practice because it can justify its existence by not having any obvious resemblance of the old colonialism regime. By obvious resemblance of the colonial regime, I am referring to the fact that the neo-colonial powers do not necessarily dominate the conquered territory through great physical movements into the colony, but through dominating its weak economy which in turn results to the controlling of the subject country’s politics. From the above said we can then deduce that neo-colonialism is a new version of colonialism. Neo-colonialism can be said to be a progression from the old colonial regime into a modified regime that has direct control and influences of the economy and culture of the subject state. Neo-colonial powers do not have to be states, in fact now they constitute of multinational corporations. Arguably this makes it easy for these corporations to treat these subject states in any way that they like since they do not have to justify their actions to anyone. Functions of Neo-colonialism

The system of neo-colonialism targets the states that had been previously under the colonial rule, which as a result of the previous colonial rule tend to have weak economies. Neo- colonialism then portrays itself as a solution to assist these former colonies with their economic development (Nkrumah, 1965: 203). This way it attracts the territories that end up being colonized by the neo-colonial powers and prevents...

References: BBC News Africa, 2015
Curtis, D. 2013. China and the Insecurity of Development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), International Peacekeeping, 20(5): 551-569. Available here.
South African Government News Agency
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