Decolonisation and Pan-Africanism Essay

No I do not agree with the soviet cartoonists impression of the decolonisation process of Africa after the Second World War. The image gives us the impression that Africans swept the Europeans out of Africa with ease and over a short period of time. The Europeans left Africa because the countries they controlled were of no use to them anymore as they had already exploited most of the resources in those countries. The Europeans pulled out of Africa on their own accord and granted most African countries their independence.

The decolonisation of Africa followed world war two as colonised people agitated for their independence. The colonial powers eventually withdrew their administrators from Africa.

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The Effects of slavery and colonialism made African people want to establish a new identity. They wanted to unite Africans in a common cause and they wanted political and psychological liberation.

The decolonisation of Africa was mainly due to world war two because it led to urbanisation in Africa. The Europeans had to create local industries in Africa because German U boats were patrolling the Atlantic Ocean which reduced the amount of raw materials that could be transported to Europe. These local industries caused the creation of new towns and the expansion of already established towns. Urbanisation brought about the growth of trade unions and increased literacy rates which allowed for pro independence newspapers.

In 1941 United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill established the Atlantic Charter. It said that there is a right of all people to choose the government under which they live. This led to some africans wondering if this pertainted to Africa.

The Manchester Conference in 1945 was another event which played a role in the process of decolonisation. Dubois, Padmore, Appiah, Nkrumah, Kenyatta were all delegates at the conference. The conference was organised because they wanted the independence of Africa and the union of the African states. They also encouraged strikes and boycotts.

There were many strikes and boycotts organised by parties such as the CPP which had many supporters. These strikes and boycotts were not successful as the Europeasn would just arrest the parties leaders.

The decolonisation of Africa was a process from the end of World War Two to the end of the 1960s. The cartoon gives us the impression that it took place over a short period of time because it shows a African man sweeping the europeans out of Africa with apparent ease. This was obviously not the case because twenty years after decolonisation began the Europeans finally decided to leave.

The Europeans colonies in Africa were an asset for the Europeans for a long time. However these colonies started to become a liability because their amount of resources were diminishing rapidly.

The cartoon depicts that africans forced the Europeans out of Africa. If this were true the decolonisation of Africa would not have taken as long as it did. The Colonial powers had already planned to leave Africa before the protests, strikes and boycotts so the Africans definetly did not sweep them out the continent. The Europeans set a pace for decolonisation. The Africans just managed to speed up this pace which is hardly forcing the europeans out the continent.

If Africa still had plentifull resources like it used to when The Europeans first came to Africa, Africa would not be such a poor continent because they would be able to generate an income from those resources. Africa struggles economically today from colonisation and because of the Europeans exploiting the land. I feel this is proof that the Europeans pulled out of Africa and were not swept out as the cartoon suggests because after the Europeans left, suddenly Africa was very poor and had very little resources left.Africa had become no use to Europe anymore so they granted their colonies their independence. Of course Pan-Africanism, high literacy rates, urbanisation, the manchester conference etc did have a role in the decolonsation of Africa but it was mainly a voluntary decision by the europeans to leave Africa.

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