YONA F MARO
1. The World is a composition of different entities and each entity is faced with peculiar challenges either from within or outside its environment. The need to survive has made man to interact with individuals, groups and societies. In some instances, man has had to leave his immediate domain temporarily or permanently in search of food, better shelter and raw materials to satisfy other necessities of life. Accordingly, the search for raw materials for the factories and mills during the Industrial Revolution was one of the reasons that made the western world colonise Africa.
2. Colonialism had a destabilising effect on Africa. Some of these effects are still being felt. Notable among these is the issue of national boundaries, which before colonialism, were not much of much concern in Africa. The colonialists’ insistence of drawing borders around territories to isolate them from those of other colonial powers often had the effect of separating otherwise contiguous societies. This sometimes resulted in separating people that were supposed to live together. In some instances, those that ought to be separated were brought together. For example, the Congo River at some points along its course was used by colonialists as natural boundary between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. However, groups of people that share common language, culture and other similarities live on both sides of the River. The division of the Congo Area between Belgium and France along the River isolated these groups from each other. Additionally, many Africans who lived in the Sahara or sub Saharan Africa had traded across the continent for centuries, crossing borders that existed only on colonial maps.
3. The colonialists had often altered the local balance of power, created ethnic divides and introduced cultural dichotomy detrimental to the native inhabitants in the areas they controlled. These ethnic divides created by the colonialists have over the years brought about some influences on the socio-economic development of Africa. Such influences include cultural, scientific, religious and technological influences. These interactions among nations are today known as globalisation.
4. The growth of globalisation which is facilitated by advancements in Information and Communication Technology further bridged the gap among nations turning the world into a global village. Globalisation has integrated the socio-economic and political realities of various societies. Consequently events in one part could either have a positive or negative impact on events in some other part of the world. For instance, the persistent crisis in the Middle East is having an adverse effect on the price of oil and the economies of many nations around the World. Similarly, terrorists attack on the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001 has affected diplomatic relations between the United States of America and some Arab states.