The importance of the role played by the educated elite in the process of decolonisation in africa

The importance of the role played by the educated elite in the process of decolonisation in africa

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africa came under the direct jurisdiction of Europe after the initial carving out of the continent referred to as the 'Scramble for Africa'. This partition was fulfilled at the Conference of Berlin 1884-85 resulting in the political mapping of the continent. Thus, Africa facilitated the extension of the European hegemonic powers overseas. This colonization rendered the African continent the play-toy of wealthy European imperialists who raked the profits from the resource-rich territories. The period between 1880 and 1919 saw an upsurge of African resistance to colonial rule this was the period of African nationalism. The Africans were now exasperated with their economic and social situation. Thus discontent and protest was bound to surface. During colonialism generally there was the raising of a small group usually through education and a diffusion of European culture. For the French and the British the style of education was different, the French was one of making French men in Africa while the British was more indirect. However it was this group that benefited from education whether French or British were to play a key role in the decolonisation process. Crowder states that the First World War raised the hopes of this emergent class all over Africa that they would be given positions of significance and respect from the colonizers; however these hopes were never realised. The traditional elites were also disgruntled with colonisation as many of them lost their positions and respect not only from the colonizers but also from their people. Moreover, where they retained their positions many of them became puppets of the colonisers. The loss of real power, respect and social standing became a source of discontent among many of them. Neither set of elites were satisfied with colonial rule. An international congress which was convened under the auspices of the comintern at Brussels on February 1927 resulted in the formation of the league against imperialism and for national independence; this provided further impetus for the decolonisation schemes. The congress was attended by 180 delegates from Western Europe, north central and South America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. The congress brought together socialists like the independent labour party, the radical leaders in colonial territories and representatives from Africa including Messali Hadj, Abd al-Kadir f...


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... In some parts of Africa, European control ended by the early 1970's however a visible and dramatic legacy of colonial rule remained in the form of white colonial elites. due to the apartheid restrictions attempts were made to form political organizations there was the south African native national congress under the leadership of Clements Kadalie, there was also the industrial and commercial workers union whose membership grew to two hundred thousand despite the whites despite attempt to hold on to power. And although they did not receive full sovereignty until later the significance of the political groups played a significant role. Thus, in the former British colonies of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and South Africa, the small white minority held onto power over the disenfranchised and repressed black African populations well into the 1980's. It was only with the ending of white rule in Rhodesia in 1980, and the final crumbling of the racist policies of apartheid in S. Africa in 1990 that decolonization finally reached all parts of this continent. Nevertheless although their struggle was long it was still through the educated elite with mass support that final independence was achieved.

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