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Forum 5 : Colonialism

After centuries of trade Europe carved up Africa in the l880's in less than a decade. Colonialism brought taxation, forced labour, two world wars and new concepts of land-ownership disadvantageous to the people in Africa. But colonialism also brought education, increased trade, and improved communications.

Would Africa have been better off with no contact with Europe?


Would Africa have been better off with no contact with Europe? This question could only be asked by a person who is wearing blinkers. What colonialism has taken and still takes from Africa is not something that can be measured. It is not resources, land or political power; it has taken something far more valuable: it disrupted civilizations, cultures and political systems, it changed the course of African history for the worst. In the words of Aime Cesaire,"out of the colonial expeditions that have been undertaken, out of all the colonial statutes that have been drawn up, out off all the memoranda that have been despatched by all the ministries, there could not come a single human value"
The inability of European powers to admit and accept responsibility for this aggression only points to their continued engagement in the marginalization of the African continent. In the words of Aime Cesaire again,"a civilization that proves incapable of solving the problems it created is a decadent civilization".

Ikram Jama, Canada

My family have been in Africa since the late Eighteenth Century, yet the the site gives the impression that you have to be black to be an African, and that the culture and history of white Africans is entirely negative. This is not to say that many white people have not been involved in oppression in the continent but to generalise in the way the site does fuels the types of anti-white oppression as is happening in Zimbabwe today. I briefly browsed through the site & didn't find a single photo of a white african & neither could I find any factual description of the Afrikaans or their customs or traditions that didn't focus entirely on racialism.
Simon de Beer, Zimbabwe

Simon de Beer states that he is upset that there is no reference to "White Africans". In my opinion that is true, and it is because there is no such thing. Settler Colonialism is the barbaric combination of slavery, oppression, colonization and apartheid regimes against Africans. You are European. Period. Not African. When an Italian moves to the US he is Italian,when a Chinese person lives in Africa he is Chinese and when a white person resides in Zimbabwe he is European, more so an Invader rather than settler,
George

I was disappointed in the article on mining on the site. Where is the analysis of the contribution of mining to the economies of post-colonial Africa? Why are only the negatives highlighted? If the mining industry is such a pariah, why are so many African countries changing their mining laws to encourage and facilitate foreign investment? Come on BBC, let's have balanced reporting.
Ian Townsend, UK

Interesting. Just two points for the Boer war. Many black people fought on both sides, also for the Boers. Why isn't it stated that approximately 16,000 black people died in British concentration camps?
Henri, South Africa

The Indian community played a part in the making of Africa. Why is there no mention of this in your so called Story?
W.J. Lobo, UK