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NEO-COLONIALISM AND THE DEVELOPMENTAL CHALLENGES OF POST-COLONIAL AFRICA

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Abstract

Liberal political economists typically ascribe the reasons, natures, and dynamics of development and security in the global South, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America, to internal deficiencies. As a result, among other things, weak institutions, policy deficits, ethnicity, corruption, bad leadership, and all other signs of an entity in desperate need of salvation have been recognized as dangers to the corporate existence and survival of African and other developing countries. While the decolonization of African and other developing countries has provided impacted peoples a sense of political belonging, the historical processes required to promote these nations' economic potential have been weakened. As a result, the capacity of postcolonial states to chart their development paths and reinvent themselves has been malignly berated, denied, and frustrated by neo-colonialist aspirations, strategies, and actions, those who had grudgingly and dishonestly foisted cancerous independence on the entire continent of Africa and other Third World regions. Relying, as it should, given the qualitative nature of the study, the study assesses the implications of the neo-colonial legacies for Nigeria's development aspiration.
Akinrinde and Oyewole/Jurnal Pertahanan Vol 7. No. 3 (2021) pp. 398-410
398
Jurnal Pertahanan
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yang Mengedepankan Identity, Nationalism dan Integrity
e-ISSN: 2549-9459
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NEO-COLONIALISM AND THE DEVELOPMENTAL CHALLENGES
OF POST-COLONIAL AFRICA
Olawale Olufemi Akinrinde
The Department of Political Sciences, Osun State University
Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria
olawale.akinrinde@uniosun.edu.ng
Samuel Oyewole
The Department of Political Science, Federal University Oye-Ekiti
Oye-Are Road, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
samueloyewole47@yahoo.co.uk
Article Info
Article history:
Received : September 7, 2021
Revised : October 1, 2021
Accepted : December 20, 2021
Keywords:
Colonial Legacies,
Decolonization,
Development Crisis,
Neo-Colonialism,
Post-Colonial Africa
DOI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.33172/jp.v7i3
.1390
Abstract
Liberal political economists typically ascribe the reasons,
natures, and dynamics of development and security in the global
South, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America, to internal
deficiencies. As a result, among other things, weak institutions,
policy deficits, ethnicity, corruption, bad leadership, and all
other signs of an entity in desperate need of salvation have been
recognized as dangers to the corporate existence and survival of
African and other developing countries. While the
decolonization of African and other developing countries has
provided impacted peoples a sense of political belonging, the
historical processes required to promote these nations' economic
potential have been weakened. As a result, the capacity of
postcolonial states to chart their development paths and reinvent
themselves has been malignly berated, denied, and frustrated by
neo-colonialist aspirations, strategies, and actions, those who
had grudgingly and dishonestly foisted cancerous independence
on the entire continent of Africa and other Third World regions.
Relying, as it should, given the qualitative nature of the study,
the study assesses the implications of the neo-colonial legacies
for Nigeria's development aspiration.
© 2021 Published by Indonesia Defense University
INTRODUCTION
The causes, nature, and dynamics of
development and security in the global
South, including Africa, Asia, and Latin
America are commonly attributed to
internal inadequacies by liberal political
economists. Accordingly, weak
institutions, policy deficit, ethnicity,
corruption, poor leadership, and all other
symptoms of an entity that is in dire need of
salvation have, amongst others, been
identified as threats to the corporate
existence and survival of the African and
other developing countries (Omitola,
Akinrinde and Oyewole/Jurnal Pertahanan Vol 7. No. 3 (2021) pp. 398-410
399
Akinrinde, Omodunbi, Adegboye, &
Adedire, 2021). However, these among
other internal social, political, and
economic contradictions have diverted
required attention away from the neo-
colonial system imposed on the global
South to ensure continuous exploitation
amidst the non-physical colonization of
African and other developing countries.
While the decolonization of African and
other developing countries has given a
sense of political belonging to the affected
peoples, the historical processes needed to
facilitate the productive capacity of these
nations have been undermined.
Accordingly, the capacity of the
postcolonial state to chart its development
course and reinvent itself has been malignly
berated, denied, and frustrated by
aspirations, strategies, and actions of neo-
colonialists, those that had grudgingly and
dishonestly foisted cancerous
independence on the whole of Africa and
other third world region. This is aimed at
sustaining their colonial legacies and
continuing, albeit physical impoverishment
and colonization, the neo-colonialization of
the global South. More alarming, little or no
appreciable results have been recorded in
the quest to break free from the tentacles of
these imperial and neo-colonial systems
that have consistently emplaced Africa and
other developing continents under almost
unbreakable prison of social, economic,
political, and technological dependence and
subservience (Amin, 1977; Nkrumah,
1965; Rodney, 1973).
In the contemporary time, the undue
advantages in past colonial adventurers in
Africa and elsewhere around the globe are
used by neo-colonialists for negativity and
loss of faith in the historical uniqueness and
productive capacity of Africa by the
African people (Ake, 1981; Amin, 1976;
Frank, 1972; Wallerstein, 1979). Whilst
trying not to fall into the lure of a mono-
causal explanation of Africa’s internal
contradictions that were mostly bequeathed
to it by the departed colonial masters and
the present weaponization of neo-
colonialism, this study examines the notion
of neo-colonialism and the African
experiences in this consideration, as evident
with the constant denigration, downplaying
and exploitation of its resources in the 21st
century as well as the challenges that this
poses to the development of the region.
METHODS
This study adopts the qualitative
methodology and philosophy of research.
Data were scooped qualitatively from
archival and secondary sources and
analyzed using content and thematic
analytical methods.
The Notion of Neo-colonialism
The concept of neo-colonialism was coined
by the first President of independent Ghana,
Nkrumah (1965) describes a new phase of
imperialism that he observed in the early
1960s, as many African countries started to
throw away the gamut of colonialism. The
concept was intended to capture the new
form of imperialism beyond political
independence, whereby the former
colonial master continue to control the
economic resources and dictate the
direction of political decisions of their
former colonies. The notion of neo-
colonialism has become one of the central
theses that underscored dependency theory.
The idea behind the concept has its roots in
Karl Marx, Fedrick Engels, and V.I Lenin's
thoughts on capitalism and associated
stages of economic development.
Marxism sees capitalism as the root of
the greatest evil known to humanity,
exploitation of one human by another
(Marx & Engels, 1848; Marx, 2010; Owen
& Sutcliffe, 1972). The exploitative
relations among individuals have divided
the society into the bourgeoisie and the
proletarian, based on primitive
accumulated capital. Accordingly,
economic development has been defined
across ages, from communalism to
capitalism, by historical materialism. The
earliest human society was primitive
communalism, where all properties were
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400
owned communally. The division of labor
and institutionalization of private property
led to the emergence of the slavocracy,
where some individuals were able to
dominate, coerce, enslave and own other
humans. The revolt of the slaves, however,
ushered in feudalism, where the serfs were
exploited over the land they tilled under the
feudal lords. The final stage of exploitation
for Marx, therefore, is capitalism, where
those that control the means of production
exploit the laborer (Marx, 2010; Jale &
Klopper, 1977; Jhingan, 2011).
Accordingly, the contradiction of
capitalism is expected to give birth to
proletarian consciousness, forces, and
revolution, which will produce a classless
society known as socialism and
communism, where the state and the
masses of the people will be in charge of
their affairs in terms of productions as well
as distributions based on equality and need
respectively (Marx & Engels, 1848; Marx,
2010).
For Marx and some of his followers, the
contradictions of capitalism will lead to the
unavoidable demise of the system. It was
expected that capitalists will become more
reliant on the machine than one human, and
create a pull of unemployed laborers that
will drive revolutionary movement. It was
also expected that the capitalists will soon
run out of sources of raw materials and
markets, with the pace of their exploitation
(Marx, 2010; Jale & Klopper, 1977).
However, instead of for these among others
to mark the end of capitalism, (Lenin, 1996)
observed that it only transforms and made
the system more international. Hence,
imperialism became the highest stage of
capitalism, whereby exploitation
transcended interpersonal relations to
international relations, where one nation
exploits another (Lenin, 1996; Owen &
Sutcliffe, 1972; Wallerstein, 1979). In this
process, colonialism became a stage of
imperialism, whereby exploitation of
foreign territory is done with direct
occupation and political administration by
a more powerful nation (Ake, 1981;
Nkrumah, 1965; Rodney, 1973). It is on the
basis, that neo-colonialism was conceived
as the highest stage of imperialism,
whereby the departure of the colonial
masters and the formal granting of political
independence to colonized territory does
not prevent or undermine the desire and
capacity of the former in continuous
exploitation of the latter (Amin, 1973;
Nkrumah, 1965; Wallerstein, 1979).
Neo-colonialism and associated
historical materialism have continued to the
defined concentration of development
globally, as the Northern hemisphere is
dominated by developed countries and the
Global-South is dominated by
underdeveloped or developing countries
(Amin, 1976; Frank, 1972; Wallerstein,
1979). Accordingly, there are many
indicators of neo-colonialism in extant
literature. One of the most pronounced
pieces of evidence of neo-colonialism is the
control of the resources that are domiciled
in developing regions by the capitalists that
dominantly domicile in advanced
economies that built on colonialism and
imperialism. Other prominent indicators
include manipulation of the international
monetary system and trade by the
developed countries against the developing
countries; imposed development paradigms
on the developing countries by developed
countries, and indirect control of political
power in the developing countries by the
developed countries. Some of these
permutations are operationalized in form of
foreign direct investment (FDI) by
transnational/multinational corporations
(TMC/MNC), support and regulation by the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and
World Bank, foreign aid and loan, and
capacity building. It is against this
background that the attention of this chapter
will be turned to African experiences.
Development Tracks in Africa Before
Colonialism and Neo-colonialism
Before colonialism and neo-colonialism in
Africa, the different entities (city-states,
kingdoms, empires, or caliphates) in the
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continent were pursuing their development
interests at the various pace that is
indigenously satisfied by the peoples and
their traditions. Many advancements of
socio-economic, political, and scientific
notes were made by some of these pre-
colonial African states with little or no
intervention of the foreign imperialists. It is
important to review some of the records of
these achievements to appreciate the
impacts of colonialism and neo-colonialism
in Africa.
On the economic front, many
precolonial African states were prosperous
in their rights. One of the prominent cases
in Mali under Mansa Musa (1307-32),
which some historians believed to be one of
the richest men in history. His wealth and
extravagant spending caused inflation that
endured for years in Egypt and Arabian
Peninsula after his pilgrimage to Mecca,
attracting so many highly-paid skill
workers to Mali, from far and near (Niane,
1984). Musa also sponsored two
expeditions to search for the end of the
Atlantic, more than a century before the
European expedition to Sub-Saharan
Africa. Many pre-colonial African states
developed different technological know-
how that supports their productive capacity
and economic advancement. By 1843, the
first modern mines in the world were
opened in Algeria and Ghana in the 1870s.
While Egypt established its first printing
press in 1822, Portugal, after years of
contemplation, eventually built its printing
press in 1841 (Boahen, 1987; Rodney,
1973). The development of textile, cotton,
and wood mills, as well as glassworks and
paper mills, were all evident during
Muhammad Ali's reign in Egypt (Boahen,
1987).
The continent of Africa was also
advanced in trade relations before
colonialism. The whole of western and
northern Africa had been commercially
integrated ever since pre-European times
by caravan routes, which grew in
complexity with the centuries. The same
thing can be said of North Africa and some
parts of East Africa that were already
connected, Arabian Peninsula and Europe,
among other areas of international markets,
thousands of years before European
colonialism (Boahen, 1987; Elfasi &
Hrbek, 1988; Niane, 1984; Ogot, 1992;
Reader, 1999; Rodney, 1973). Following
the abolition of the slave trade, had by 1880
developed a viable global economy that
was notable for the trading of Ivory, Gum,
Copal, Cloves, Beeswax, Honey, Wild
Coffee, Peanuts, Cotton, Palm Oil ad
infinitum. By this time, for instance, Ghana
was the largest producer of rubber in British
West Africa and the third-largest in the
world. Central and Equatorial Africa had
become the leading exporter of Ivory
coupled with the export of Wax, Copal, and
Rubber (Boahen, 1987; Ajayi, 1989). At the
same time, Africa had considerably
succeeded in achieving a certain level of
commercial unification or integration of the
continent. In many ways, Africa displayed
signs of economic progress in the wake of
its contact with the West.
Although few amongst the totality of the
African societies such as the Asante and
Oyo Empires of West Africa and the Luba
Empire of Central Africa had disintegrated
by the nineteenth century, many societies
remained united and coherent politically.
Ethiopia, Egypt, Madagascar, Buganda,
Bunyoro, Tanganyika, Sierra Leone, and
Liberia are, for instance, states that had
developed strong and highly centralized
polities by 1880. Politically, also, it is
interesting to note that democratic practices
and a sort of constitutionalism can be found
in some African societies before 1880.
Between 300 and 900 BC, there are
indicators of the election of governors in
many parts of Maghreb (Elfasi & Hrbek,
1988). As evident in Tunisia between 1591
and 1598, representative bodies were
established in a way that operationalized
democracy (Ogot, 1992). Popular and wide
participation was also evident in many city-
states across eastern Nigeria before
colonialism (Ajayi, 1989). In the wake of
colonialism, some African societies equally
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402
made attempts to institutionalize the ideals
of constitutionalism, as most evident Egba
in Nigeria (1865-1874) and Fante in Ghana
(Hayford, 1970; Pallinder-Law, 1974;
Wilson, 1969).
On the military front, contrary to what
the West has constructed in the minds of
Africans, African states, most especially,
the North and West Africa regions, had
considerably modernized their militaries.
Morocco, for instance, set up an
engineering and Artillery school at Fez to
train men of its armed forces in artillery,
surveying, and cartography before
colonialism (Adeyeye & Akinrinde, 2021).
Similarly, Ethiopia, under Menelik,
restructured and modernized its feudal
army by replacing it with a more
sophisticated and professional army that
was equipped with better weaponry and
military strategy. Between 711 and 788,
Muslims of North Africa conquered and
control the Iberian Peninsula, in Spain,
which marked an incursion into Europe
(Elfasi & Hrbek, 1988; Reader, 1999). With
superior weaponry supplied by Russia and
France, and numerical force strength, the
Ethiopian army defeated Italian in the
colonial war of 1896, which made it
possible for this African country to
maintain its independence in the age of
colonialism in the continent (Boahen, 1985;
Reader, 1999). A similar experience was
recorded with the initial defeat of the
British empire in the Boer War in South
Africa. Many others pre-colonial African
states equally modernized their militaries
and recorded substantial expansion and
developed into an empire with large
territory within the continent.
Historically, imperialism and
colonialism derailed the indigenous
development paths of African societies.
Africa was underdeveloped to developed
Europe and America (Rodney, 1973). More
than eleven million Africans were shipped
to the new world (Americas) by Europeans
through the transatlantic slave trade
(Boahen, 1987; Rodney, 1973; Reader,
1999). The Europeans used these slaves in
their farmlands and factories as cheap
laborers. This was the foundation upon
which modern accumulation of capital was
built, and the globalized capitalism came
into existence with blood dripping from
every one of its pores. When the age of
colonialism finally came, eradication of the
transatlantic slave trade was seen as a
barbaric enterprise and used as a tool by the
European powers, who sealed the fate of
Africa at the Berlin conference of
1884/1885 and executed it at gunpoint, to
prepare the continent for another phase of
imperialism, exploitation, and slavery.
With the partitioning of the continent,
more barbaric efforts were made (in
comparison to the slave trade) to conquer
and subjugate African peoples to a series of
unwanted foreign rules. Many Africans
were raised, deceived, organized,
encouraged, coerced, and rewarded for
fighting fellow Africans (and many more in
some cases like the World Wars) in the
name and for the interests of the
colonialists, from where many precedents
of wars, political instability, and insecurity
were set (Boahen, 1985; Ekpo & Omoweh,
2001). Equally, colonialist-imposed alien
structure on Africa, which alienated the
majority of the population in politics,
economic and socio-cultural sphere of
lives. This created two publics, one of
which is natural, moral, and traditional for
the people, while the other is alien, amoral,
and imposed and super-imposed on the
people (Ekeh, 1975). In this process,
traditional justice systems were destroyed,
setting the stage for corruption in the
continent. In the wake of the First World
War, millions of African peasants had been
forced off their lands and led to earmark on
the plantation of rubber, cotton, nut, cocoa,
and coffee among other colonially desired
products for European monopolies. In this
way, Africa was inducted into the global
capitalist system, which redesigned its
states, enterprising spirits, labor forces, and
resources to serve the interests of the
advanced capitalist states and not its people
(Amin, 2011; Ake, 1981; Rodney, 1973). In
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403
development terms, this is the reason why
Africa has realized very little of its
potentials with so much of its wealth going
out of the continent through different
capitalist antics.
It is against this background that the
Eurocentric worldview and claims that
Africa was lacking in development terms
before its contact with the West are
questionable. Africa like Europe equally
had a rich history as evident in its pre-
colonial political, economic, and socio-
cultural compositions. These among other
things constitute a reflection on the
destructive impacts of imperialism and
colonialism on Africa's development paths
and provide us with some bases to
understand neo-colonialism in the
continent.
Background of Neo-colonialism in Africa
Postcolonial African countries have been
faced with myriad challenges since their
decolonization, of these, none of them
threatens and limits their survival,
existential and developmental capacities as
neo-colonialism (Amin, 1973; Asante,
2007; Na’im Akbar, 2013; Ake, 1981;
Nkrumah, 1965). If true independence and
liberty from all forms of imperialism and
colonialism is a critical part of human
existence and its sustenance, any attempt to
ingloriously and craftily distort or frustrate
it for exploitative economic, political, and
racial ends, may end up being devastating
and inimical to development potential and
capacity of the affected population
(Thiongʼo, 2009). This has been the fate
and sad history of African development for
so long. Postcolonial African states have
been at the mercy and dictates of the Neo-
colonialists who now see themselves as the
custodian of their development, history,
belief, and social system, economy which
they have never impacted positively (Naʼim
Akbar, 1998; Ake, 1981; Ake, 1982;
Asante, 1990; Madhubuti & Madhubuti,
1991; Mazrui, 2002).
The crux of the problem lies in the fact
that the needed social firepower to usher in
Africa’s development has been crushed and
damaged almost beyond repair through the
instrumentality of neo-colonial
international agencies like the Bretton
woods institutions (IMF, World Bank as
well as General Agreement on Trade and
Tariff (GATT) and its successor World
Trade Organisation (WTO) as well as
corporations, who are tacitly responsible
for maintaining the prevailing global order
in the interests of advance capitalist
economies. Whereas, glaring evidence
abound as to how Africa had developed its
peculiar mode of governance, economic
system, socio-cultural system, even before
its contact with the European among other
explorers, mercantilists, capitalists,
imperialists, and colonialists that had come
to dehumanize its people and rape its
history and resources (Ajayi, 1989;
Boahen, 1985; Asante, 2007; Rodney,
1973). This development has been
compounded and made worse by the
current wave of neo-colonialism, from
where the advanced capitalists have
constructed a postcolonial African
continent that will remain subservient and
continue to serve the interests and needs
exploiters on a global scale (Bond, 2006;
Ebo, 1999).
Before the introduction of the
dehumanizing transatlantic slave trade and
colonial incursions into Africa, the region
was seen by the arrogant colonialists as a
dark continent whose history and
developmental capacity were reduced to
barbarism, salvages, brutality, and
primitiveness (Reader, 1999; Rodney,
1973). These narratives and histories were
not only constructed but also deployed as a
basis for kick-starting their imperialistic
agenda in the continent through slavery and
colonialism. The constructed African
history and maligning of the indigenous
developmental system subsisted even after
the abolition of the slave trade and
colonialism. The implication of this is the
continued denigration, maligning, and
downplaying of the African people, history,
and development by the neo-colonialists
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404
through the instruments of globalized
Western ideas and agencies.
One of the most potent instruments and
strategies that neo-colonialists and
associate imperialists have consistently
used is globalization. The claim
immediately after granting shady and
vested independence to Africa was the
inevitability and indispensability of
globalization as a phenomenon and the
pathway to the development of African
states among other decolonized nations
(Toyo, 2002; Southall & Melber, 2009).
Yet, globalization represents the
universalizing of Western values, and
specifically American (or preferably
Anglo-Saxon) values, predicated on a
normative, indeed moral foundation. In the
modernization literature, the convergence
is towards liberal and not social democracy,
and modernity is defined as industrialized
economic development which is
characterized by a limited state apparatus
under market dictated invisible hand of
demand and supply (Amusan & Oyewole,
2012; Toyo, 2002). In terms of liberal
democracy, the emphasis is on John Locke
and not Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that is,
political equality without economic
equality. In economic development terms,
it is the Anglo-Saxon classicism of Adam
Smith rather than the 'Continentalism' of
Friedrich List. Accordingly, the values
professed by modernization theorists bear a
startling resemblance to the popular stream
of contemporary globalists (Jones, 1995).
Globalization can be characterized
functionally by an intrinsically related
series of economic phenomena. These
include the liberalization and deregulation
of markets, privatization of assets, retreat of
state functions (particularly welfare ones),
diffusion of technology, cross-national
distribution of manufacturing production
(foreign direct investment), and the
integration of capital markets. In its
narrowest formulation, the term refers to
the worldwide spread of sales, production
facilities, and manufacturing processes, all
of which reconstitute the international
division of labor, where developing regions
are condemned to the producer of raw
materials for the advanced capitalist
economies. In praxis, rather than promote
even and fair economic exchanges between
the advanced economies and those
developing, globalization has only, further
compounded the heart-breaking economic
exploitations of the developing world by
the advanced economies that are mostly the
champions of the present neo-colonial
world. As a result of globalization, MNCs
and TNCs owned mostly by the enablers of
neo-colonialism have continued to milk out
the economies of their host countries.
Neo-colonialists and their international
institutions like IMF, World Bank, and
WTO are also central to the enduring trend
of devaluation of currencies of struggling
developing economies; structural
adjustment program (SAP) for the
developing economies and liberalization
and privatization of national assets and
social schemes; incessant borrowing and
debt crisis; FDI and unrestricted illegal
financial flow from developing countries to
the developed countries; restriction on
technological transfer; and unfavorable
trade terms and unequal relations. the
currencies of virtually all the postcolonial
African countries have increasingly lost
their values. Africa has been reduced, in the
contemporary international division of
labor, to producers of cheaply valued raw
materials to feed the industrial capacity of
the advanced capitalist economies, while
the latter produce and supply finished
products at exorbitant prices for the latter
(Amin, 1976; Ake, 1981; Rodney, 1973).
Different international institutions have
been deployed to ensure that Africa remains
a ready-made market for finished products
of the West, through imposed SAP,
liberalization, privatization, and currency
devaluation. These among other elements
of neo-colonialism that have undermined
the development potential of post-colonial
Africa.
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405
RESULT AND DISCUSSION
This section presents content and thematic
analysis of the elicited archival and
qualitative data which highlight the
intersections between Neocolonialism and
Development in Postcolonial Africa.
Neo-colonialism and Development in
Post-colonial Africa
Despite the termination of colonialism,
Africa's development remains largely tied
to the dictates of those that had balkanized,
raped, and dehumanized her existence,
people, history, and sense of dignity during
the inglorious years of colonialism. The
colonialists have now been joined by new
imperialists like China. There is virtually
no section of Africa's development that
Chinese presence would not be found.
Zambia is one of the African countries
feeling the neo-colonial scourge of China
recently. Aside from several of her national
assets ceded to China, her Police are now
being populated by a good number of
Chinese. Through loans and construction of
infrastructures, China is now taking over
many national assets of most African
countries. In a very hapless situation, most
African states would be lured into taking
loans and infrastructural aid from China
with terms and conditions of taking over
such national assets in case the loans are not
repaid as at when due.
Economically, Africa, before its
inglorious encounter with European
colonialism had a viable economy that was
thriving on a barter system where every
family was largely subsistent (Ake, 1981;
Olawale O. Akinrinde, 2019; Rodney,
1973). Colonialism ended this by
introducing money into the African
economy, hence, the value of all goods,
including lives and deaths are now valued
on this basis. This traded the African spirit
of communalism for the colonial and
imperial capitalist system and its inhuman
survival of the fittest ethics. Neo-
colonialism has continued this trend, as the
capitalist system is justified on the ground
that Africa can only develop if it emulates
an exploitative model of monetized lives
and insatiable profiteering. This is leading
Africa towards mal-development. Notably,
the indigenous knowledge systems and
values such as Ubuntu, Ujamaa, and
African communalism among others
powered the development quests and
achievements of many pre-colonial African
states, as they flourished with abundance in
food security, arts, culture, harmony, and
governance (Oyetunbi & Akinrinde, 2021).
One will have wondered why African
states have not reverted to their peculiar
ways of life, socio-culturally,
economically, and politically, since the end
of colonialism! Instead, the continent has
continued to wallow in the shadow and web
of colonial legacies and neo-colonialism
(Ebo, 1999; Olawale O. Akinrinde, 2019).
Notably, the international capitalist
institutions especially the Bretton Woods
institutions have tactfully aided the
continuation and full propagation of the
neo-colonization of the African continent,
its situation, philosophy, and history
through exploitative and imperialistic
policies being continually dished out to the
developing countries, mostly channeled
through foreign aids, devaluation of
currencies, liberalization, privatization, and
FDIs. These neo-colonial institutions and
their sponsors have succeeded in
implanting in the minds of the governments
and peoples of Africa among others in
Global-South with the belief that
development can only be achieved through
capitalism.
Politically, one of the challenges
bedeviling the polities of African states is
the adoption and the continuous practice of
the western model of liberal democracy that
is imbued with capitalist ethics after the
attainment of independence (Omitola,
Aderire, Akinrinde, Omodunbi, &
Sackflame, 2021). This has made the
United States of America, the United
Kingdoms and to an extent France the
models of democracy globally, a status that
comes with significant soft power.
Accordingly, America has been at the
Akinrinde and Oyewole/Jurnal Pertahanan Vol 7. No. 3 (2021) pp. 398-410
406
forefront of the campaigns, external
imposition, and forceful domestication of
liberal democracy in Africa and the rest of
the Global-South. This is one of the major
reasons that the U.S.-led other Western
countries to intervene in many countries
across the world. In this way, the U.S.-led a
military intervention with a lot of atrocities
in Iraq and Libya, where Saddam Hussain
ad Mohammed Ghaddafi were disposed
respectively. Yet, the attempt to replace
social democracy, which made Libya rank
high in the standard of living and among the
richest countries in the world, with liberal
democracy, has led the country to the path
of state collapse and reverse its years of
progress made in socioeconomic
considerations. Some other efforts to
develop indigenous values in politics and
economy in Africa have been attacked,
frustrated, and in most cases derailed and
destroyed by the neo-colonialists in the
name of democracy. This is the fate of
deeply-rooted African values and
philosophy promoted by Kwame Nkrumah
of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania,
Ahmed Seko Toure of Guinea, Patrice
Lumumba of Congo among others. Nyerere
operationalized Ujama with the common
good, communitarianism, communalism,
brotherhood, and African socialism. South
Africa's Ubuntu philosophy equally
advocated for peaceful coexistence, the
doctrine of we are because they are and
collectivism amongst Africans as against
economic and social competition and
rivalry that defines capitalism.
Culturally, neo-colonial worldviews and
constructions of African history and
peoples through imperialist agents have
undermined the cultural, moral, and
traditional values of the continent. Africa's
way of life, philosophy, beliefs, ethos,
tradition, and African mode of dressing has
been replaced by the erroneously and
purportedly superior western values and
philosophies. African Traditional Religions
(ATR) have been denied followers and
demonized with the introduction and
expansion of Christianity from Europe as
well as Islam from the Arabian Peninsula.
Africa languages are also undermined to
promote neo-colonial and imperial
languages of the global capitalist system
(Olawoyin, Omodunbi, & Akinrinde,
2021). This is how deep the neo-
colonialists have reconstructed the culture,
values, and traditions of African peoples.
This explains why governments and
peoples of the region have lost trust in
Africa's indigenous capacities and
continued to promote the culture of global
oppression. These have discounted many
African populations from their origin and
uniqueness.
Historical and ancient African clothing
like the Adire attire and Jalamia attire in the
Yoruba and Hausa lands respectively in
Nigeria are now less appalling amongst the
Yoruba and Hausa peoples (Omitola,
Akinrinde, & Omitola, 2021). In several
public and private services across Africa,
dressing in African attire is forbidden,
demonized, and unthinkable, and at best
restricted to particular days of the week,
while English wear and dressing are made
compulsory. This is the sad reality in most
African states, in the attempt to fit in the
global neo-colonial cultural demands and
system. The implication is not far-fetched.
First, mandating Africans to dress in
western styles to work signifies both
physical and mental slavery of the people.
Second, promoting the idea of foreign wear
(corporate) at the expense of the indigenous
attires and cultures amongst the African
people would only bring about a cultural
decline in the continent. Third, this retains
Africa as a dumping ground for the fabric
produced in the West. All these are neo-
colonial antics that fit well into the global
capitalist system, worldview, and
constructions of Africa, its peoples, and
their existence as well as their development
as backward.
As a continuation of cultural
imperialism, African arts, music, movies,
media, sports, and literature have equally
shared in these neo-colonial burdens;
despite the progress that has been made in
Akinrinde and Oyewole/Jurnal Pertahanan Vol 7. No. 3 (2021) pp. 398-410
407
this consideration, they remain subjected to
western legitimization (Olawale O.
Akinrinde, Osuwa, Babalola, & Irhue,
2020; Olawale Olufemi Akinrinde &
Tegbe, 2020). The neo-colonization of
Africa and the developing world has
undermined Africa’s indigenous music and
its promotion. The neo-colonialists have
succeeded in constructing and projecting
western music as the most modern and
acceptable globally, while indigenous
African music among others is considered
less fashionable and civilized. Through
promotions, supports, aids, and neo-
colonial monopolization of the global
music industry, African music and
performances have largely remained less
attractive in comparison to the Euro-
American arts, music, movies, literature,
sports, and performances. Again, the
breakthrough in media enterprise in Africa
remains largely subject to western
dominated and led mainstream
international media, which have continued
to brand, dilute and undermine the core
values of Afrocentric perspective, history,
and philosophy with neo-colonial agenda
(Harris, 1998).
Technologically, the neo-colonization of
Africa has undermined faith in the
indigenous capacity and technology of the
peoples of the continent to kick-start their
developmental course. Traditional
knowledge systems for medicine, politics
and the economy have now been replaced
by western knowledge systems no matter
their levels of availability, suitability, and
effectiveness (Olawale, 2020). Indigenous
knowledge in clay and iron melting,
molding, and design as well as textiles have
been surprised for years to allow for the
importation of these unessential goods, at
the detriment of balance of payment of
many African countries. In this way, many
indigenous inventions have been replaced
with the purportedly superior modern
western systems in Africa. Moreover, the
promises of technology transfer that are
associated with neo-colonial globalization
have reduced to leap service and dirty
investment at best. Some of the
technologies that are relocated to the
continent by many TNCs and MNCs are
environmentally unfriendly ones that have
been banned in their home states. With
these, Africa nations are on worrisome and
unsustainable development paths (O.
Akinrinde & Ololade, 2021).
Educationally, neo-colonial effects on
African indigenous knowledge have
undermined this basis of African
exceptionalism, by replacing it with the
western educational system through the
imperialist grip of the global knowledge
production, instead of finding a common
ground. Ake (1982) aptly captured this in
his seminal work entitled "Social Sciences
as Imperialism". In this way, African
curriculums pay more attention to teaching
history, philosophies, achievements, and
challenges of faraway Western countries
than their immediate environment (Ake,
1982; Traore, 2002). In most cases,
contemporary African social science
research is of little or no benefit to the
advancement of the African governments
and their peoples. African researchers have
been turned to "data-gatherers" for many
neo-colonial institutions through research
aids, contracts, fellowships, grants, and
scholarships. Research with the capacity of
contributing to the development of Africa
and challenging the global capitalist system
is depopulated, while those that extol neo-
colonial values of liberal democracy,
capitalism, globalization, and associated
philosophies are growing. Through
aforementioned enticements and global
domination of literature, various neo-
colonial institutions that are based in the
West now dictate the type and nature of
research African scholars must prioritize,
thus confirming the adage that says who
pays the piper dictates the tune.
CONCLUSIONS AND
RECOMMENDATION
This study examined neo-colonialism as a
philosophy and a theoretical framework, as
well as its relevance for analyzing
Akinrinde and Oyewole/Jurnal Pertahanan Vol 7. No. 3 (2021) pp. 398-410
408
developmental challenges in Africa. In
conclusion, we argue in this study that the
emancipation of Africa from the claws of
neo-colonial merchants truly lies in the
hands of Africans. Africa's survival and the
actualization of her development quests
should be the motivation for Africa to seek
for and work against further
institutionalization and continuation of the
neo-colonization of her territories. To
escape the neo-colonial grip of Africa's
existence and development aspirations,
there is a need to deconstruct and
reconstruct the imperial, colonial, neo-
colonial constructions and imprinted
stereotyping of African race, histories,
philosophies, culture, politics, economics,
and the developmental achievements,
challenges, and solutions as well future
trajectories of the region.
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