The legacy of colonialism in Sub Saharan African is still very much a part of geo-politics today. First, there is the matter of the current boundaries. African’s political map is very much a result of colonialism where European powers redrew political boundaries without any concern for ethnic or tribal tensions. Although these modern nations could negotiate their own borders, this part of colonialism’s legacy had led to innumerable tensions within these countries today.
For decades, European powers robbed African nations of their mineral wealth. Nations were used as pawns in global political games played by European countries, and more often than not this process lent itself to cruelty. The Belgian Congo is one such example of a nation being “raped” by a European power in its quest for raw materials, and the people of the Congo are still recovering from this occupation decades later.
There are some positive part to the legacy of colonialism. Colonial rulers left many things behind after Africans countered and began asserting their independence. Foundations of law, government, forms of administration and military organization were all in place when they left. Also, many countries inherited the infrastructures built to transport raw materials back to Europe. Rail lines, telephones, heavy industry, water, sewers and power were all in place after colonial powers left.
One could definitely argue about the state in which all the above-mentioned “contributions” were left. Political structures that worked in Europe don’t always work in countries that are split between different ethnic groups who have a history of violence. In Rwanda, when the Hutu’s came into power one of the first things they did was slaughter the Tutsi’s, their ethnic rivals.
One could also argue that the above benefits are useless without the skilled labor needed to properly run them, but for the most part these have been beneficial contributions.