1885-2007, the place of colonization in Africa
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In 1885, at the Berlin conference, the major Western cities defined the 'rules' of colonization and engaged in a race in the establishment of colonial empires in Asia and Africa. On the eve of the declaration of the First World War, Africa was 95% colonized. Then, driven by national demands and legitimized by the Western idea of the rights of peoples, an era of decolonization opened in 1955. African states began gaining their independence through negotiation or by force. The cities withdrew their administration and their military links, but economic ties were still persistent in most cases. This was known as economic cooperation (in the case of England with its Commonwealth).
However, the balance of power in trade had absolutely not advanced and the acceleration of globalization in the 1980s has continued to widen the gap. This situation is completely asymmetric in world trade between DMECs and their former colonies, sometimes leading to the talk of 'economic neo-colonialism'. Cities continue to receive the balance of power established during the colonial administration, but are now completely cleared of their obligations to these territories.
The Third World view tends to incriminate the past and present attitude of the DMECs and assign the problems facing Africa today. Is this a legitimate vision? Can the military, economic and administrative past or present colonization alone explain the delayed development of the African continent? We shall see how the colonization of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth was actually a handicap for the development of the continent.
Tags: Berlin Conference, Third World countries, African Colonization