Would Africa have industrialized if the colonialists did not show up?

Were African kingdoms and polities on the road to industrialization before the Europeans came by to disrupt their progress? Were the colonial powers stifling all attempts at industrialization by Africans under their control? These are questions that far too many people imagine have straightforward unimpeachable answers. The countries that colonized Africa were industrialized nation states.... Continue Reading →

THE OTHER SIDE OF COLONIALISM part 2 (continued)

Another odious practice outlawed by colonialism is slavery. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, there is amnesia among Africans about indigenous African slavery.  Some West Africans don’t know much about this slavery, and, like many North Americans, imagine that the only form that existed is Atlantic slavery where whites enslaved Africans and worked... Continue Reading →

THE OTHER SIDE OF COLONIALISM part 2

According to family history, my Uncle Justin and his twin Aunt Monica were the first twins in my ancestral home of Eke in South East Nigeria to survive birth. They were born just after the British colonial authorities stamped out the practice of twin infanticide in that part the country. There was a time when... Continue Reading →

THE OTHER SIDE OF COLONIALISM part 1

Ask an educated African today whether colonialism did anything good for Africa, and you are likely to get the answer, “Absolutely not!” Most—especially those Africans living and educated abroad—will give you a litany of evils that colonialism allegedly brought to the continent. However, at the great risk of being roundly abused for telling obvious truths,... Continue Reading →

THE SCRAMBLE FOR….WHAT?

Why did the Europeans colonize Africa? The answer is not as simple as many people think. In university, I was certain—as is often the case, without having done any research or read anything that supported my view—that they were driven by a need to control the resources of the continent. A history professor of British... Continue Reading →

AND THIS TIME, NO ONE DIED

The Scottish doctor William Balfour Baikie led the first expedition up the Rivers Niger and Benue in which not a single European succumbed to malaria. The expedition was sent out in 1854 by a previous explorer, Macgregor Laird, who was supported by the British Government. There were 12 Europeans, and 54 “persons of colour” on... Continue Reading →

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