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How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

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Chapter three which is entitle : Africa’s contributions to the capitalist development of Europe-the colonial period.] Here Walter talks about how surplus was drawn from Africa to develop capitalism in the metropolitan sector. “Colonialism was not merely a system of exploitation but one whose essential purpose was to repatriate the profit to the so called mother land” [page 177].It means that the development of Europe as a part of the same dialectical process which Africa was
Underdeveloped. African labourwas cheap. The employer often required more from the worker but paid him less not even enough to maintain his physical self. This was not the case in Europe when feudalism gave way to capitalism. Employers paid their employees a living wage. Wages paid to workers in Europe and North America was far higher than that of Africans. The Africans were discriminated from occupying official positions and even when they did they were paid less compared to the wages of the European officials. This chapter’s main point is to explain how much greater was the exploitation of African workers.

Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa Part 4-6
The fourth chapter is entitled Europe and the Roots of African underdevelopment to
1885. It evaluates the European slave trace as a dominant factor in African underdevelopment, all in the interest of European capitalism. Further, a penetrating discuss on the advancement of Europe technology as against that of Africa which is stagnant (this culminating into a distorted economy) was evaluated.
Again, the continuing political/military development in Africa from about 1500 to 1885 was attributed to the imperialist incursion /scramble were African territories were partitioned in accordance with the sphere of interest of the colonizers with colonialism as a major expression in the entire process. An assessment of African contribution to the capitalist development of Europe during the colonial period was discussed in chapter five. The author argued that the unequal non-monetary proceed to the colonizers asides the conventional monetary rewards.

Chapter five with the title ; colonialism as a system for under developing Africa] talks about how colonialism underdeveloped Africa. Following the encounter Europe had with Africa, some Bourgeois writers agree that the relationship was a two-sided thing. This reasoning can be said to have some sentiments. This two-sided argument said that there was exploitation and oppression on one side and development on the other hand. This is false according to Walter; colonialism was a one-sided affair and favoured only the Europeans. The Europeans did very less for Africa and yet took much and almost all form Africa.Even some of the infrastructures they provided were for their comfort. Workers in the mining jobs were exposed to a lot of diseases and yet no proper health service was provided despite all these, the Europeans for some reasons are praised for bringing Political upliftment in Africa. For example they helped in settling fights between some ethnic groups. They brought Nationalism. Walter argued this by saying Nationalism is a form of unity or oneness in a social group trying to control its environment and said that all these characteristics were present in the African community before the coming of the Europeans. Also it is said that capitalism and colonialization meant greater individual freedom for Africans.This freedom as explained by Walter was narrowed and dictated by the colonialists. Africans were mainly free to participate in the money economy and to pass the European oriented culture at a very low and uncreative level. The negative impact of colonialism on Africa can be seen the loss of power by the Africans. According to Walter “power is the ability to defend one’s interest and if necessary to impose one’s will by any means available” [page 271].He further said that “when a society finds itself forced to relinquish power entirely to another society, that itself is a form of underdevelopment.[page 271-272].In the pre-colonial trade, social, political and economic power was retained by some Africans but during colonialism, it went further than trade to Europeans taking control of various social institutions. Political life of Africans was changed. Political power was put in the hands of foreigners. In summary, colonialism brought about the disintegration of the African economy and European technological improvement. This chapter also looked at how Education brought about underdevelopment. Europeans education to Africans was mainly to develop Africans to assists in administrative work. Sometimes, those educated were those close to principal towns and were mainly to occupy positions of junior clerk.

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