So far, I have only made it to page 100 out of 688 in the incredibly fascinating book, The Fate of Africa. The endorsement on the front cover by Sir Bob Geldof accurately sums what I have read so far, “You cannot even being to understand contemporary African politics if you have not read this fascinating book.”
Many people wonder why Africa is plagued by all the wars and poverty and disease. While not all of it has a direct correlation to each country’s colonization and independence, Africa has been deeply and forever affected by it.
“When marking out the boundaries of their new territories, European negotiators frequ
ently resorted to drawing straight lines on the map, taking little or no account of the myriad
of traditional monarchies, chiefdoms and other African societies that existed on the ground
.In some cases, African societies were rent apart…In other cases, Europe’s new colonial territories enclosed hundreds of diverse and independent groups, with no common history, culture, language or religion.”
“Nigeria is not a nation. It is a mere geographical expression. There are no ‘Nigerians’ in the same sense as there are ‘English’, ‘Welsh’, or ‘French’. The word ‘Nigerian’ is merely a distinctive appellation to distinguish those who live within the boundaries of Nigeria and those who do not”, said a Nigerian leader in 1947.
“As the haggling in Europe over African territory continued, land and peoples became little more than pieces on a chessboard. ‘We have been giving away mountains and rivers and lakes to each other, only hindered by the small impediment that we never knew exactly where they were,’ Britain’s prime minister, Lord Salisbury, remarked.”
“By the time the Scramble for Africa was over, some 10,000 African polities has been amalgamated into forty European colonies and protectorates.”
If it doesn’t seem so bad to you, imagine some other country in the world telling you that Mexico and the US were now one country or Scotland and Ireland becoming one. All of the sudden, it doesn’t seem fair, huh?