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African Studies- jan 24.docx

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New College
Thomas Tieku

African Studies- jan 24 1/24/2012 8:16:00 AM The Triple challenge of Nation-building First was how to build a nation out of different, desperate ethnic groups How to create strong unified state out of different ethnic groups who in some cases didn’t have good relationships for s o many reasons such as colonial authorities using them against each other - colonial authorities also used past history of animosity between ethnic groups second was how to improve material condition of Africans—colonialism left a legacy of poverty in which majority of African countries considered very ppoor when colonial authroiteis left--- a lot of African countries had reserve in colonial territories. - ppl large majority were illiterate, and developed infrastructure was put in areas where ppl did not live, and African countries didn’t have manufacturing base, except settler colonies. Zimbabwe, south Africa, Mozambique wehre infrastructure was laid - African countries materially poor third element was that colonialism created cash crop managed by few ppl, and the bulk of ppl had no jobs—mass unemployment, and mass rural urban migration. - African countries got independence when most of the country—over 60% under 30 with no jobs - also fourthy? Had to manage high expectations in the sense that the independent leaders, to be able to rally and mobilize ppl, had to raise expectations of ordinary Africans that somehow independence would bring dramatic improvement in their material lives - every problem blamed on colonial masters, so our own masters have to fix all of em firstly they created one party-states, and economic nationalism one party states is a situation where everyone in the country belongs to one political party easy because constitutions were drafted in metropoles- paris, Brussels, London… where elite were--- ordinary Africans had no contribution to constitution - decolonilaztion was a deal between African elite and European elite -In zimbavwe for example--- given independence if 20/100 seats of parliament for the less than 2 percent of the settler ppl there - in SA, u can have the country (decolonize) but not the land - euroepeans didn’t care as long as economic interests were not interfered with to some extent there was good reasons behind one party states - wanted loyalty to the state, not to ethnic groups - most of these countries didn’t have the resources to engage in ―winner takes all‖ type of politics - if only 5 percent of population educated, cant afford situation in such a way where u cant call on other equally good ppl to help – wanted everyone capable involved in building nation - post colonial independent leaders felt that after working so hard to gain independence for African countries—needed reward, so president of particular political party—rule till they don’t wanna any more impact on one party states - emerged big man syndrome or personality cults - titles, leaders elevated among everyone else - Kwame Nkrumah got the name osagyefo meaning redeemer from economic bondage and colonial strife - he modeled himself along the lnes of jesus Christ, like some prophet - soooo how can u advice or challenge a redeemer, and the people around them became sycophant - leaders became all knowing and all powerful—barely/never took advice or ppl didn’t provide advice because they were afraid economic nationalism the government is sole producer and in most cases marketer and distributer of goods and services within the country leaders became autocratic within 3-5 years - started curtailing human rights, newspapers couldn’t criticize them - personalized the state - no space for amvbitious political leaders to compete fairly till president dead, so had to turn to violence, coups d’etat and civil wars became very common - colonial authorities developed military so well among African continent, so most of the African soldiers returned with a very exaggerated ego about what they can do - forceful removal of African presidents - some of the brightest minds in Africa was to go through the military - a lot of rebel movements became common - end result was that by 1980 a quarter of the 40 million refugees in the world happened to be Africans, and by 2005, almost 12 million Africans were considered displaced – (majority within African continent) and others moved into neighbouring states and few crossed to western world -- violence and ppl fleeing was partly kus of no opportunity - because military was afraid (once they got power) that they would be usurped, used more violence to secure position centralized economic system as an instrument to promote national unity - also to provide jobs for the increasing number of unemployed youths so as to prevent unrest and civil disobedience particularly in urban areas - created state enterprises, these enterprises were govt owned businesses/ manufacturing companies that were meant to produce goods and services for Africans - also the attraction by african countries of the idea of socialism that the best way to develop a country is to allow the state be the engine of growth - partly interested in this because ideas were being articulated by non western states without colonial histories in Africa - African leaders themselves were also reading alternative literature – gave them language ot fight colonialism and understand colonial projects--- if it gave them a good understanding of what the problem was, can also provide solution implications - was the state that borrowed money to invest - ownership of that property was collective (everyone in the state) -if everyone owns it, no one owns it ppl given jobs not kus of skill but because of connection/loyalty to one party state--- appointment not based on merit but political attributes - inefficiency spread across the system - more ppl employed than necessary for job--- system was bloated - ppl were idle – expenditure high, productivity low -spent so much, got nothing -by 1980, African countries in debt -corruption spread through the system African countries to be able to produce had to borrow money from elsewhere In most cases, they purchased things on credit - by 1980, there was balance of payment problem - c
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