Argue for the view that underdevelopment in sub-Saharan Africa today is due primarily to the legacy of colonialism.

Topics: Africa, Colonialism, Imperialism Pages: 4 (1623 words) Published: March 20, 2014
Argue for the view that underdevelopment in sub-Saharan Africa today is due primarily to the legacy of colonialism.

Justify your argument using two countries as primary examples.

The impact of the colonial powers is often identified as the primary explanation for underdevelopment in today’s Sub-Saharan Africa. Although the colonial period is often seen as short, the long term effects have had a deep impact upon the infrastructure of the continent with subsequent failure of numerous governments. Paul Bairoch, in his book Economics and World history mentions how this legacy of economic underdevelopment has “historical roots going back to European colonization.”1 Additional matters that have also been seen to have an impact vary from economic, political and social. It is important to understand that the reason why underdevelopment has been so prevalent is due to the knock on effect of colonialism and its long lasting impact, which is still visible today in Sub-Sahara Africa. Although Africa did not evolve and develop on its own, the presence of the colonial powers was important. With the presence of large empires much like the British Empire, which at its peak covered one quarter of the world, it is easy to map the spread of colonialism. With the conquest of Africa by the colonial powers, it was to be devolved into colonies. This in a sense was one of the first signs of globalization becoming integrated into Africa. Over a decade onward, this is not necessarily reflected as a good thing. The majority of Sub-Sahara African nations exist outside the global market and as former colonies of the western industrial nations, have remained subsistent economies. Although rich in resources, they possess little or no capital. The colonial powers used colonialism to exploit the raw materials for export and gain. This is why today the majority of Sub-Sahara nations lack the most basic of physical and social infrastructure. Often little investment was made by colonial...
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