History of Modern Africa

History of Modern Africa

a key to global education: Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

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The history of modern Africa takes up where the Scramble for Africa left off. Rival European empires had by 1900 carved up almost all of Africa. Only Ethiopia and Liberia remained free. Europeans created political, economic and social instability throughout their rule, until World War II brought a rise in nationalist sentiment which led to independence movements. As a result, many colonies gained their independence in the 1950s and 1960s. While African independence movements were mostly peaceable, others were not. Algeria and Kenya experienced bloody wars of independence from France and Britain, respectively. The borders of many new African states bore no relation to those of their pre-colonial tribal polities. In fact, they led to frequent tribal conflict and sometimes civil war. Nationalism replaced both the traditional and the colonial political and social ethos with African leadership and indigenous political, educational, religious, and social networks.

Although rich in natural resources, Africa is the world’s poorest continent and its human capital remains under-developed. The usual culprits figure prominently: corruption, human rights violations, inefficient central planning, little access to investment capital, and frequent tribal and inter-state conflict. At times these conflicts have involved foreign guerrilla forces and even led to genocide. And Africa’s social problems are no less formidable. Poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, poor sanitation, water-borne diseases, and many other maladies affect large numbers of Africans.

However, the World Bank expects that most African countries will achieve at least a “middle income” of US$1,000 per person per year by 2025 if the current lively economic growth persists.

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Modern Africa Index | Society | Culture | Power: NationalismIndependence | Economy: Challenges | Central Africa: AngolaRwandaZaire | East Africa: EthiopiaSomalia | Southern Africa: Namibia | South Africa: SocietyPower: Union of South AfricaElections | Economy | Zimbabwe | Ghana | Nigeria

history of Modern Africa

Modern Africa: Index

history of Modern Africa | society


history of Modern Africa | culture


history of Modern Africa | power


history of Modern Africa | nationalism

Power: Nationalism

history of Modern Africa | independence

Power: Independence

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history of Modern Africa | economy


history of Modern Africa | economy | challenges

Economy: Challenges


Central Africa: Angola


Central Africa: Rwanda


Central Africa: Zaire


East Africa: Ethiopia

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history of Modern Africa | Central Africa | Somalia

East Africa: Somalia

Central Africa | Angola | Namibia

Southern Africa: Namibia

history of Modern Africa | South Africa

Southern Africa: South Africa

history of Modern Africa | South Africa | society

South Africa: Society

history of Modern Africa | South Africa | power

South Africa: Power

history of Modern Africa | Union of South Africa

Power: Union of South Africa

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history of Modern Africa | South Africa | elections

Power: Elections

history of Modern Africa | economy


history of Modern Africa | Zimbabwe

Southern Africa: Zimbabwe

history of Modern Africa | Ghana

West Africa: Ghana

history of Modern Africa | Nigeria

West Africa: Nigeria

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