Table of Contents
The West African colonialism began when conflicts on many issues rose up. The Europeans especially, the British wanted everything in the African countries to be done the way they did in their home areas. They were describing to the Africans on how there state should be conducted and governed. These colonialists (Europeans) were competing on imperialist’s national capitalisms hence there was even British naval supremacy for their state at the military level. The thirty years war of 1915 to 1945, were between Germany and the United States. This war between the two colonialists led to the rise of the British colony which was made easier and well established by Giovanni Arrighi. The Africans began to fight for their own system of trade since they wanted to do away with the British one.
These powers wanted by the British were extreme because they wanted to rule the African people which led to establishment of a very considerable nationalist organization based in Africa known as the National Congress British West Africa founded by J. E. Casely Hayford, a lawyer from the Gold Coast in 1918.
Among the religions that were present in West Africa were Christianity and Islam. They both worked in order to get new African members by creating religious schools and brotherhoods. Islam started theirs in areas that the religion had already reached while the Christians avoided such places. The Christian missionaries built hospitals, Dr.Albert Schweitzer being an example that built one at Lambarene in Gabon and also wrote a book on philosophy and theology. These missionaries also felt that it was necessary for the converts to learn reading and writing skills so as to get an understanding of the Holy Scriptures.
The world of today is living with the consequences of World War 2 which has been a history. The Africans managed to succeed in their war against the colonialists. The Africans began to do things their own way and there was democracy, though they were later on faced with economical challenges.
Development from 1914
After the outbreak of the First World War between French and Germans, France experienced great loses in terms of resources and the man power. They had to embark to their country and seek the support of their fellow nationalists. At the same time the people of west Africa sought to find various ways of attaining their political independence. A political movement that had been established in Guinea differed with the rule of French colonialists in various ways. First, they were not happy with the way the colonialists were leading Africans. They were also not satisfied by the effectiveness of various forms of leadership that had been established by the Africans to fight for the rights of the people. They also criticized the power that rested on the various leadership organizations set up by Africansand the extent to which this
African political parties were involved in decision making for matters that affect the state. Most political parties had been established based on economic, religious and political terms all linked with the colonial masters and were used to the benefit of the colonialists. The Guinean association had been formed to fight against the harmful rules of the colonialists. This political party cut across people of various ethnic groups and societies and also gender. It emphasized the need for democracy in ruling and encouraged participation of various members of the community. In early 1950s the party pushed for more reforms from their fellow Africans at the grass roots. In the year 1956 the political party succeeded in bringing various reforms and was able to do away with chieftaincy by December 1957. This acts brought about the referendum of 1958.
Paths did the Ivory Coast and Senegal
In 1958 Guinea became of the counties that rejected the French colonial rule. It then got its independence through the rejection of the French colonial rule. The referendum that was conducted in 1958 in Guinea was a show that the country has attained its independence and could now elect there own leaders. The referendum of 1958 had various reactions both from the colonial masters, and activists who had fought tirelessly for the attainment of independence in these countries. The election of an African leader raised a lot of concern for the colonizers. The rise to power of Sékou Touré who became a dictator paved way to the French colonial masters to straighten their way towards employing new ways of ruling. The post referendum also brought about the ban of guinea from accessing the foreign policy as it was the first African country to reject colonial rule.
Development of Ghana and Nigeria
At the end of Second World War most countries in Africa were still dominated by their colonial masters. The present political parties in the region had their masters in France and hence those found in the country acted as branches of these parties found in France. A conference held in Brazzaville brought mixed hopes for the Africans. It emphasized less participation of Africans in management of their own affairs. Few Africans were elected to represent the entire African community in the assembly. Senghor was among those elected. They were given freedom and there was an end to forced labor. In the year 1946 various African leaders called for an African rally. This move was not supported by the colonial masters who tried all ways to suppress it. The outcome of this conference was a creation of an African movement to represent various political parties who were active in their struggle for independence. In 1956, this party fought for independence and France found it hard to supppress their rise for power. This was the initial path that was to be used by both Senegal and Ivory Coast to attain their independence. The other path that was to be employed was to seek ways of unifying the colonies of French West Africa so as to work together in attaining their independence. Ivory cost was opposed to this as it saw that it could not function without the support of the colonial masters. Mali Federation that successful brought the independence failed due to lack of economic support and the break away of various countries that had unified to form the federation
Both Nigeria and Ghana are countries located in the northern Africa and were colonized in the 20th century. Ghana was the first country to gain independence in Africa in the year 1954. Before the colonial government had started administering their leadership, they had made a couple of development so as to fool the Ghanaians and the Nigerians. The Africans used these developments in influencing the others for the need for independence. Nigerians used the media while the Ghanaians used some audio devices invented by the colonial government.
The establishment of military coups was meant to overthrow the colonial government in order to gain independence. Gaining independence was to end human degradation, end slavery, exploitations and other sufferings that Africa countries experienced. Education and civilization that was brought by the Europeans in Africa enlighten Africans, and they understood the need for fighting for their independence. Civilization contributed to the formation of political organizations and different people from African countries had met and discussed on the best strategies to use in order to send the Europeans back to their land. Formation of military coups was one of them because this would unite the Africans in their countries to fight for their freedom.
In Ghana kwame Nkrumah was among the civilized Ghanaians who opposed the colonial government. Since the Europeans had no enough soldiers, they had trained some Ghanaians and used them to exploit the others. The role of Nkrumah in fighting for freedom was to unite the Ghanaians including the soldiers and influencing them to fight for their independence. Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi was among the Nigerian leaders who formed military coups in opposition of the colonial government. Nigeria gained independence in 1960, and this was contributed by the unification of the Nigerians. Although the colonial government had superior weapons than the Nigerians, the Nigerians leader received support from the countries that had gained independence in Africa such as Ghana.
In both countries, the establishment of military coups was to oppose the government colonial and struggle for independence. Fortunately this was achieved by those who strived and fought hard regardless of the loss of thousands of lives.