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European colonists in 1884 were wholly indifferent to existing groups and cultures as they laid down the State borders, and most of these borders still exist today.
Pre-colonial Africa was dominated by tribal religions.
Considerations for Africa’s rapidly evolving future must now include a new element that we have not seen before on the continent: a younger, globally aware generation, with increasing social expectations and demands, and a willingness to militantly take matters forcefully into their own hands.
The recent events of the revolutions of the so-called Arab Spring graphically demonstrated the inspiring and sometimes tragic spectacle of youthful activist willing to suffer grievous injury and even death for their social aspirations.
In the Post-Colonial period this boundless font of hope and energy has morphed into a less focused, less cohesive, and energetic phase in a general war against poverty.
Yet it is possible perhaps, that the seminal and rapidly unfolding events of the Arab Spring will prove a catalyst for something else.
The Times quotes Stephen Mc Inerney of the Project on Middle East Democracy explaining, “We didn’t fund them to start protests, but we did help support their development of skills and networking.”Clearly, the recent onset of anti-government demonstrations against US client states, across Africa and the Middle East, has brought the blatant hypocrisy of U. foreign policy into uncomplimentary and certainly undesired focus and Washington’s foreign policy inconsistencies, in Africa and the Middle East most prominently, stand exposed.
Fundamentally, while various powerful elements of U. influence have been attempting to promote a wave of democratic revolutions in the regions, at the same time, equally powerful elements of Washington policy have worked to maintain regional status quo by providing substantial support for anti-democratic, albeit politically pliable, autocrats.
The persistent challenge always remains — even in the developed nations with democratically selected institutions — how to protect the rights of minorities and other marginalized groups, from both democratically imposed “tyrannies of the majority” and the frequently intolerant and authoritarian tendencies of absolutist religious belief.Islam subsequently spread into Africa from the northwest, while European colonizers brought Christianity to much of Sub-Saharan Africa.Whereas a process of acculturation occurred in the Islamic areas (Islam completely replaced earlier religions), transculturation occurred in many of the European controlled areas as Christian beliefs blended and combined with existing tribal religions creating different, unique, Christian, or African-Christian, religions.there was always the emergency escape-hatch of out-migration to the developed world, or at least, to a less chaotic world.
Today, for the people of Africa and others, this option has been severely restricted and effectively no longer exists. Paradoxically, the African continent’s revolt against colonial powers provided a centralizing common cause to which all Africans could rally and feel committed.
We Africans have unfortunately seen this scenario before — various nation states increasingly viewing our continent as an area of major geopolitical importance and contention. China, India, Europe, and others are aware of this and are all competing with each other and the United States for access to Africa’s abundant oil, natural gas, and other natural resources. More recently, terrorist organizations are said to have established footholds in West Africa’s Sahel region.