31.2 Post-Colonial Africa

Africa and the Middle East
Post-Colonial Africa
• Main Idea / Reading Focus
• Political Challenges
• Quick Facts: Political Trends in Post-Colonial Africa
• Economic and Environmental Challenges
• Revival of African Culture
Section 2
Africa and the Middle East
Section 2
Post-Colonial Africa
Main Idea
Newly independent African nations struggled with poverty, conflict and
ineffective governments. In recent years, some countries sought better
government by holding democratic elections.
Reading Focus
• What political challenges did Africans face after
• What economic and environmental challenges did Africans
face after independence?
• How did Africans revive their culture after independence?
Section 2
Africa and the Middle East
Political Challenges
• 1950s–1960s, many former European colonies ruled by dictators
• Some nations fell into civil war
• 1990s brought renewed hope with the return of democracy; end of the
apartheid system in South Africa
Protesting Apartheid
• Early 1900s, African National
Congress formed in South Africa
• ANC petitioned government, held
peaceful protests against apartheid
• 1940s, younger, radical members
joined, including Nelson Mandela
Change of Philosophy
• 1952, Mandela organized
campaign urging blacks in South
Africa to break apartheid laws
• 1960, changed from peaceful
philosophy after police killed
demonstrators in Sharpeville
The Sharpeville Massacre was a turning point in the anti-apartheid
Africa and the Middle East
Section 2
Protesting Apartheid
Meeting Violence with Violence
• Mandela, other ANC leaders decided to meet violence with violence
• Government banned ANC, jailed Mandela
• 1976, major student protest movement in township of Soweto
Soweto Uprising
• Soweto Uprising set off by decree for black schools to teach Afrikaans—
language of white South Africans
• Police killed protesting student; peaceful march turned into revolt
Trade Sanctions
• Police crushed uprising, but over 600 killed, 4,000 wounded
• ANC fought to end apartheid; violence erupted in many black townships
• International community imposed trade sanctions on South Africa
Africa and the Middle East
Section 2
Democracy in South Africa
• 1990, President F.W. de Klerk legalized ANC, began
negotiations to enact new constitution, end apartheid
– Released Mandela from prison
– Lifted long-standing ban on African National Congress
• De Klerk also abolished homelands, held South Africa’s
first democratic elections
– ANC swept elections
– Mandela became first black president of a democratic South
Section 2
Africa and the Middle East
Military Dictatorships
One–Party System
• End of 1960s, nearly all newly
independent African nations
adopted one-party system
• Single political party controls
– Elections rarely competitive
– Opposition parties outlawed in
many countries
• Dictators ruled many nations,
maintained power through
patronage, giving loyal
followers well-paid positions in
Bribery and Corruption
• Some corrupt officials required
bribes for government
contracts, licenses
• Also ran government
enterprises for personal profit
• New generation of dictators
robbed countries of wealth
– Mobutu Sese Seko, dictator
of Congo, amassed personal
fortune of about $5 billion,
while his people fell into
Africa and the Middle East
Section 2
Ethnic Conflicts and Civil War
When the European powers divided Africa into colonies, preexisting
political units were not maintained.
Ethnic Conflicts
• After independence, rival ethnic
groups competed for control,
some by destructive civil wars
• 1967, Igbo-speaking group of
eastern Nigeria proclaimed
independent state of Biafra
• Bloody civil war erupted; 2
million died from fighting,
another 2 million from starvation
Civil Wars
• 1992, civil war, drought led to
suffering in Somalia
• Hundreds of thousands of
Somalis died when warring
militias stole food sent from
international relief agencies
• 1990s, tensions between Hutu,
Tutsi erupted in violence
• 1994, 1 million Tutsi, moderate
Hutus massacred in Hutu-led
government genocide
Section 2
Africa and the Middle East
Democracy for Some
• Despite conflicts, war throughout late 1900s, many African countries
still dictatorships
• Cold War: U.S., Soviets gave large amounts of money to dictators
friendly to their side
• Cold War ended, money dried up; weakened some dictators’
• Many Africans saw weakness as
opportunity to create democratic
governments, demanded elections
• By 2005, more than 30 African
countries had abandoned one-party
systems, held elections
• Election results mixed
• Some former dictators resorted to
fraud, intimidation to win elections
• Others elected because people
preferred them to alternatives
Africa and the Middle East
Section 2
Africa and the Middle East
Section 2
Draw Conclusions
Why did most African states adopt a oneparty system?
Answer(s): U.S. and Soviet Union each provided
large amounts of money to dictators friendly to
their side.
Africa and the Middle East
Section 2
Economic and Environmental Challenges
After achieving independence, many African nations faced economic
challenges that came with their new status. In addition, Africans had
to combat the spread of disease and environmental problems.
Farming, Mining
• After independence
most African
nations’ economies
• African nations not
depended on
farming, mining raw
• For loans, turned to
organizations, like
World Bank; bad
planning, corrupt
leaders left nations
with huge debts, no
• Depended on only
one, two exports for
• Example: Ghana
depended on
cocoa; Nigeria, oil
Africa and the Middle East
Section 2
• African nations also challenged by management of deadly diseases
• Malaria continues to be one of most common causes of death today
• 1980s, new disease, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
spread rapidly throughout Africa
• HIV virus that causes AIDS weakens body’s immune system, results
in death
• Social costs in sub-Saharan Africa staggering; millions of orphaned
children because parents died from AIDS
• Only small percentage of infected Africans receiving AIDS treatment
Section 2
Africa and the Middle East
Environmental Challenges
Desertlike Conditions
• Scarcity of fertile farmland,
pastures for livestock challenge
for many Africans today
• Result: soil in these areas dries
out, natural grasses cannot
• Farmers must plant crops in
poor soil
• Sahara, Sahel deserts
expanding due to
desertification, spread of
desertlike conditions
• Herders have to graze animals
in extremely dry regions
• Desertification contributes to
cycles of drought, famine that
plague many African countries
Africa and the Middle East
Section 2
Identify Cause and Effect
What causes desertification in Africa?
Answer(s): planting crops in poor soil and grazing
animals in dry areas, causing soil to dry out even
Africa and the Middle East
Section 2
Revival of African Culture
• In spite of the challenges African countries have faced since
independence, Africans have experienced a cultural revival.
• A new generation of African writers, artists, and musicians has
emerged to establish a powerful African identity.
Language and Literature
• During colonial rule Africans
preserved culture, used as means
of expressing dissatisfaction with
colonial rule
• Many East Africans continued to
study Swahili language
Change of Philosophy
• Early 1960s, after independence,
Swahili became national language
in Kenya, Tanzania
• Swahili writers maintained strong
tradition of poetry, plays, novels
Meanwhile a new type of African literature developed in the Frenchspeaking colonies of West Africa.
Africa and the Middle East
Section 2
Revival of African Culture
Changes in Literature
• 1930s, group of African,
Caribbean students living in
Paris founded negritude
• Writings rejected European
culture, focused on African
culture, identity
• After independence, African
writers shifted from criticism of
European colonialism to
criticism of African leaders
Censorship, Harassment
• Many writers faced censorship,
harassment by African
governments they ridiculed
• Writers like Wole Soyinka spent
time in prison for opposing
Nigerian government
• Other African writers fled Africa
to escape possible
Section 2
Africa and the Middle East
Art, Music, and Dance
• Traditional arts like sculpture, music, dance also became new means
of expressing African identity
• Artists began to produce traditional pieces like masks, musical
instruments, sculptures carved from wood, cast in bronze
• Artists incorporated new ideas, materials into work, revival of African
art with new vitality, creativity—highly valued on world market today
• Musicians traditionally played to
honor history, mark special
• Traditional dances performed to
celebrate specific events, special
Blending Styles
• 1960s, began to blend traditional
African with Western music styles
• Used common Western
instruments in addition to African
• 1980s, Afro-Pop music became
popular; many African musicians
internationally known today
Africa and the Middle East
Section 2
Find the Main Idea
What subject did many African writers focus
on after independence?
Answer(s): criticism of African leaders