How did the Cold War affect Africa?

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Africa, like all continents, was affected by the Cold War. It was probably less strategically important than Europe and Asia, though. The United States fought two large conflicts in Asia—Korea and Vietnam—during the Cold War but none in Africa. The US strategy of containment was applied less strictly in Africa than elsewhere, and the US did not have a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for Africa.

Most of Africa had been divided into colonies until after World War II. Western European nations, exhausted by WWII, were no longer able to maintain control of their colonies in Africa. Africa's newly independent states were confronted by a choice: Western-style democracy or Soviet-style communism? In this competition between East and West for Africa, the Soviet Union could rightly claim that it had not previously colonized and exploited African nations. Africans remembered, on the other hand, the injustices they had endured under Western control. Nevertheless, most African nations...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on March 5, 2020