Posted by Emmanuel Mgina on 21:00 with 1 comment
The term decolonization has been defined different by historians as shown here below.
Norman Lowe (1997:425) defines decolonization as the natural desire to get rid of their foreign rulers so that they could have the government run by the people of their own nationality.
Not only Norman but also, Harold Macmillan describes it as the strong wing of change to overthrow the white regime. He says:-
“A wind of change is blowing through the continent of Africa,
And whether we like it or not, then growth of national
Consciousness is a political fact and our national policies
Must take account of it” (Assa: 2)
Moreover Garraty (1972) define decolonization as the period that if one goes and also the period where by others are pressured to go. This refers to the period where by the Africans where now able to rule themselves.
Lastly on defining Mwijage J.F.K (2004:275) define it as the fundamental process in Africa that allow African state to regain their independence which they had lost after the coming of the colonialist.
The process of delonization started date back to the period of colonial conquest and imposition of colonial arrival inWest Africa during the 18th century .they establish their rule in Gold coast, Senegal, Nigeria and Gambia.
FORMS OF DECOLONIZATION PROCESS.
In Africa, there were three forms of decolonization process employed by the colonialist in Africa. The peacefully or constitution or masspolitical organization.
Arbitration and armed struggle.Refers to the decolonization process accompanied with bloodshed in the process of people’s effort to liberate them from colonial exploitation to regain their loss political freedom that they had before the coming of the Whitemen .this took place in Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and Senegal. In most of these places the colonialist did not want to abandon their colonies due to the richness of some places.
Ethnicism. Although ethnic and religious solidarity were all the role to play in the independence movement, the actual organizations that that carried for independence they had connection with particular ethnic group that had strong ethnic background for example three main parties in Nigeria shortly before independence were representatives of three main group Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa.
Having strong ethnic group were the main root for the African people to resist against the colonial rule who were under imperialist exploitation with a lot of grievances.
Underground. Some of the African were not able to resist against the colonial rule by armed struggle or mass political organization they resist by destructing the infrastructure such as railways, uprooting plantation, cutting vegetation and sometimes frighten the seeds for example in Togo and some areas in east Africa. Most major features of these different were natured of the colonial master and colonial economy established in each country.
Another aspect was the altitude of colonialist had toward their colonialists also determines the form of decolonization.
III.FACTORS FOR DECOLONIZATION OF BRITISH IN WEST AFRICA
Economic development. Most of the West African societies were economically powerful compared with other black African countries by the end of the WW II. It had a long history of protest this was due to the good number of educated elites of teacher, lawyers ,business men who provide later on provide political leadership. Ghanaian was dissatisfied with the colonial exploitation of their economy done by the British firm. The West African countries were great producers of palm oil, cocoa in Ghana .therefore drastic fall of cash crop price bitterly affect the farmers. Moreover the bulk of the mining profit went to European shareholders instead of being used to develop the country, thus the West African people had a powerful grievances against the colonial government.
The role played by the African elites such as Kwame Nkrumah and Nnamdi Azikiwe. In 1945 a genuine African nationalist movement were introduced .South of the Sahara mass parties were first come from west were most people were educated. In gold coast, the main post war nationalist parties were united example gold coast convection UGCC, The voice both of the western education urbanelite and some chiefs. In 1949 KwameNkrumah a young man returned from his education in America. Such political organization as did exist demanded changes by fighting against injustice, discrimination of the colonial government, colonial exploitation and the national independence for their countries
Colonial exploitation of resources. Most of the African natives were not satisfied with the exploitation of economy done by the British .most of cash crops such as coffee, cocoa were sold under lower price in the hands of expatriate. Moreover the bulk of mining profit went to European share holder instead of being used to develop their countries this give Ghana economic grievances to react against colonial power
“The national liberation movement in African colonies has arisen
Because of the continuous economic and political exploitation by
Foreign oppressors. The aim of this movement is to win freedom
and independence”.(Boahen: 243)
Ripeness of the most territories in Africa. This refers to the maturity of the African to self rule by their fellow Africans by formation of mass political parties, social and economic welfare. After the World War II most of the West African countries emerge the African nationalist by formation of political parties, social and economic welfare such as West African farmers association, clerk, teachers and other workers associations which fight for better salaries, improvement of working condition. Being aware of all colonial evil and obstacle to their hope and ambition Africans decide to struggle for their independence.
‘The straits of the colonial period had began to reach to the critical point
Urban elites were beginning to batty hard against the limitation to their
advancement inherent to colonial situation.” (Garraty:1111)
Colonial situation in Africa. .the dictatorial nature of the British that were introduced in their coming in some places were by the barrel of gun African hated such oppressive institution such as army, police, and prison. Some of the African leaders were detained without trial for example Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Walter Sisulu were all imprison The rural peasants were no happier with their situation .peasants turbulence and rebellion had been constant of the colonial scene.
The first nationalist breakthrough came in Ghana, which colonial
administration stunned first by the disorder in Accra 1948, and
subsequently by the striking success of Nkrumah’s conventional
peoples party in 1951( Kimambo and Temu:171)
The decline of authority of most tradition chiefs combined with the increase usurpation of land for cash crop production were the leading to acute discontent. The situation grew up after 1945 due to the increase of significant number of victims of colonial rule in what they call the recession of the early years after the world war one.
The role of italo-Ethiopian conflict. The development of west African decolonization process on the attainment for independence drawn some of the ways, techniques from the war fought from 1935 up to 1941 between the Italy and Ethiopia under Mussolini and Haile Selasie and ras imru as they were able to stand firmly against one of the most industrialized state in Europe.this help to boost the African morale as they struggle for their independence.
Formation of UNO and the power of the world opinion. The formation of united organistion lead to the assumption of the world opinion which become a significance party of the policy consideration of the colonial power that small countries could not stand for their own decision. Such opinion crystallized the United Nations which becomes the foremost agency for hastening decolonization process. The period after the World War II provide a moral right of the colonies in Africa for what they go for “self-government” by being under the mandatory territories under British government colonies while they are waiting to rule themselves. Colonies such as Nigeria, Senegambiaand Gold coast were now backed by the fact that the colonial powers were exhausted and could no longer ruled by the foreigners.
Influence of the philosophers such as francois-Marie Aroite (Voltaire), Frederick, baron Montesquieu who were famous worldwide as the tragic dramatist and the poet .they contribute to the societal awareness ,equality by promoting proper and equal treatment among all citizen .they set out an encyclopedia which would be an account of all existing knowledge as it articles were on politics and religious subject which were against injustice existing in church and state by emphasize on equality among members.
Impact of Asian development on African affair. The social, political and economical development resulted to what they call “Asia interference in Africa”. In 20th c Africa and Asia shared many things before both were under developed and were under colonial subject
“the problem of 20 th century is the problem of colour line
Of the darker to the lighter raced of men in Asia and Africa,
In the America and the Ireland of the sea”(Assa:10)
Soon after the independence of India they assist the West African countries in fighting for their independence.
The role played Pan Africanism. This include the nationalist movement both in Europe and its empire especially India and Irish nationalism. The great emphasize was made by the American Negroes in the emergence of African as Nkrumah says:-
“Many have made no small contribution to the cause of
African freedomNames that spring to mind are those of
Marcus Garvey and WEB Dubois.Long before many of
us were even conscious of our own degradationThose
men fought for our African nation and racial equality”. (Garraty:1078)
Two conferences 1929 and 1945 were regarded as the change of the coincidence; it suddenly serves as the new epoch to arise the political awareness for the Africans self-rule.
Effect of WWI and WWII. The two wars were the factors of enormous significance for decolonization of West Africa. The coming of 1939 war did not hit the Africans with the same forces as 1914 which brought about a deep and fundamental change in the relation of the African people with great unknown world which suddenly fell upon them and insisted that they must become a part of it. The Africans served in Africa and overseas, in World War II they come into contact with the whole world. Through this they become personally witness with the visibility of the white men. They saw that they were better able to fight with the white. White disunity was a powerful factor helping the black soldier looks at the colonial master race realistically
Africans soldiers develop a deeper political consciousness as the result of travelling widely and of their participation in war. In war:-
“they learn new technical skills advanced weaponry driving
military vehicles reading newspaper listening to the wireless
Independence of India and Pakistan 1947.the impact of the West African decolonization nationalist movement was greatly affected by the independence of the two countries as they provide material and idea support in helping them to struggle for their independence of the west African countries .Gandhi’s idea who distinguished Ghana barrier and founding father of nationalism
West African have discovered today what the Indians discovered
Thirty five years ago, that played as they were under the controlling
influence of the foreign power, it was essential for their well being
that they should make a common cause and develop national unity (Assa:12)
The rise of united state of America as the super leading nation. After the world war II both British and France were bitterly affected they both depend on Americans aids.under the leadership of Roosevelt he purposely propose the decolonization process by what he beneficial went for open door policy for the following reason to have access of market for its manufactured goods, areas to produce raw materials, areas for investment, areas to extend its trade in free counties, entrance of private enterprises to assume trade competition without political interference agriculture development project could be done in Africa, building military bases in Africa and spread of capitalistic ideology in Africa.
Super power opposition between capitalism and Soviet Union. The ramification of the World War II was felt worldwide. The West African environment was profoundly altered the prior to the world war Britain and France dominated the world war scene. But the war precipitated the united state of America and the Soviet Union as the super powers, about global constellations formed in the immediately post war period capitalist countries were blame to be the cause of the wars there for as the socialist were against colonialism the capitalist also intentionally decide to abolish the colonial system so as to transform to neocolonialism
It is true that the period of one to go especially the British in west Africa has seriously come to knock the door soon after the world war II 1945 as it is also been referred to as the turning point .this has been due to both internal and external factors that has been occurred in west Africa within themselves and what has occurred worldwide such as the role of pan africanism, the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947. But the most important fact is the ripeness of the west African territories such presence of strong political parties, patriotic and ambitious leaders who were able to fight for their independence.
Assa, O (2006), A HISTORY OF AFRICA VOL. 2, Kampala east Africa education publisher’s ltd.
Boahen, A.A (1990) AFRICAN UNDER COLONIAL DOMINATION VOL. 7, USA: Califonia press
Kim ambo, I. N and Temu, I.J.A (1969) A HISTORY OF TANZANIA, Dar es Salaam, East Africa Publishing House.
Mwijage J.F.K (2004),MAJOR EVENT INAFRICA,Salvatoriunum, Morogoro,Tanzania
Norman Lowe (1997) MASTERING MODERN WORLD HISTORY 3RD EDITION, London, England, Macmillan Press LtdGarraty, John. (1972) A COLOMBIAN HISTORY, USA.Mc Graw Milan pub