November 27 : African State System
Lecture 11: The Formation of the African State System
• First wave of decolonization was an intellectual revolution. There were demonstrations and
publications that made the arguments for decolonization. Libya was the first. Didn’t involve
any settler states and they were only seen as places to make money, get people from there to
join their army, sell their goods and gain prestige.
• Second wave is from the 1960s were most states got independence. Mostly francophone
states. There were few settler states except for Kenya and Algeria. There was a mix of arms
struggle and intellectual struggles. The arms struggles were mostly in the settler states.
• The third wave started from 1975 to 2011(South Sudan). Warfare was the major instruments
for the colonization process. There were a large number of settler states. The settlers didn’t
want the colonizers to leave. Africans forced the settles for incorporation into the political
• The international pressures ended up crippling the development of African states
• There was a demystification of the idea of European superiority. The pillars built on myths
and legends crumbled. This was influenced by the Second World War were Africans
participated and saw Europeans die on the battlefield.
Causes of Decolonization
• The African intelligence was mostly university degree holders. If you got a degree you were
considered a big person. There are 2 types of African intellectuals.
o The diaspora African intellectuals.
§ These were Africans who lived outside of Africa and they saw decolonization
as an important mark in the fight against racism, for more civil rights and the
respect of Africans. They felt that despite of the achievements they won’t be
respected were they were until de colonization. For example W.E.B Bubois.
He felt his own fight within the US could only be one with decolonization.
The argument that if why are you in superior if you allow for people to
§ They arranged the Pan African Congress. The first was in 1900 and the last
was 1945 in Manchester. They were supposed to bring African intellectual
together to talk about how to claim right for Africans, how to fight racism
and how best to asses the African personality or how to decide how to make
people respect Africans as individuals
§ Some of those people are: W.E.B Bubois; Marcus Garvey was a Jamaican
who because of interest in Pan Africanism he moved to the US. He organized the back to the Africa movement. He wanted people to go back to
the continent if they so chose. George Padmore was from Trinidad. He was
passionate about civil rights. He settles in Soviet Union then France and
latter settled in London. He was to coordinator for the European movement.
§ Without the coordination of these individuals, decolonization would have
been more difficult. They helped the African independence leaders
o The Residential African Intellectuals
§ These people attended the last pan African conference. They realized that
mass organization and student movements were important. When they can
back they joined student unions such as the West African Student Union.
The reason the first wave was as such was because of the African
intelligence, partially abroad. Some leaders are Kwame Nkrumah; Jomo
Kenyatta; Obafemi Awolowo.
• What system should we build now that we have control over their own affairs? This question
• There were 2 apposing groups
o The Pan Africanists
§ Casablanca Group or the Thick Pan Africans because they believe the best
way to organize Africans was to create 1 single African state.
§ They thought the United States of Africa could compete with the rest of the
§ They called for one single army, currency, and the development of a
indigenous African language.