What are the educational and religious impacts of colonialism on Africa?

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The European powers that colonized Africa used education and religion to strip the Africans of their culture and identity. While Africa had an effective education system that sculpted well-rounded adults that benefited their societies, Europeans attempted to force their schooling methods on them. Europeans used education as a means of social control. They taught that Europeans were superior to Africans. The notion that the imperialists had come to save Africa was indoctrinated. Africans were left to feel confused with a sense of needing Europeans to survive. They were not familiar with the formal schooling models of Europe. The effect was that Africans felt hopeless and were not taught things that could benefit them or their people.

A similar thing happened to Africans in terms of their religious identity. Thousands of missionaries flooded Africa to convert the masses to Christianity. Most Africans that came in contact with missionaries converted and passed the religion on to their children. This was done at the expense of a deep indigenous religious tradition that had existed for centuries in Africa. The loss of cultural identity that occurred as a result of colonialization has hurt the political and economic development of the continent in profound ways.