What challenges faced African nations as a result of colonialism?

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After World War II, the European powers that dominated Africa for the better part of a century started to leave. African nations were now faced with the challenge of political independence. The policies of these imperial nations toward the continent of Africa made it very difficult for these states to...

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After World War II, the European powers that dominated Africa for the better part of a century started to leave. African nations were now faced with the challenge of political independence. The policies of these imperial nations toward the continent of Africa made it very difficult for these states to have a strong start. To begin with, the boundaries that were drawn in Africa were drawn for the economic benefit of Europeans and did not account for ethnic or tribal rivalries. These boundaries tended not to change after colonialism. As a result, civil wars and sectional conflicts were the norms in Africa. The irrational placement of borders also made it difficult for fledgling democracies to stabilize. As competing ethnic groups struggled for control in these new governments, brutal military dictatorships emerged.

The economies of the new African nations were also greatly hampered by imperialism. Europeans were not interested in educating or training the Africans, they only used them for labor in an effort to make a profit. Most economies were based around one or two cash crops. When Africans were faced with independence, they did not have a viable economy because of the cash crop system. Africans still depended on foreigners for manufactured goods. As a result, large trade deficits became the norm for the newly independent states.

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