Topic- Part of static series under the heading – “History of the world will include events from 18th century such as colonization, decolonization”
3) The anti-colonial struggles in West Africa were led by the new elite of Western-educated Africans. Examine.(250 words)
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to explain that freedom struggles in several West African countries were also led by such western-educated Africans. It expects us to bring out the role played by leaders in African National movement and the impact of their struggles.
Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Give a brief introduction to the anti colonial upsurge in western Africa – Anti-colonial upsurge in West Africa was a part of the larger rush of decolonization after the massive wanton destruction of the World War II.
- Highlight that just as Indian freedom movement, in the 20th century, found a leader in M. K. Gandhi, a western-educated lawyer, freedom struggles in several West African countries were also led by such western-educated Africans
- Discuss the role of leaders such as
- Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, educated in London and US, led Gold Coast to freedom in 1957, and rechristened the country Ghana.
- Nnamdi Azikiwe, educated in US, led Nigeria to a successful anti-colonial struggle, leading to its independence in 1960.
- Amilcar Cabral, educated in Portugal, led Guinea-Bissau to freedom from Portugal. He was assassinated before the official independence declaration of the country, but served as an inspiration for other revolutionary leaders elsewhere, such as Fidel Castro.
- Tovalou Houenou, defended the equality of race, opposed Eurocentricism and founded the Negritude movement, the writings of which gave a fillip to anti-colonial struggles in West Africa.
- Leopold Sedar Senghol and Felix Houphouet- Boigny were western educated individuals who respectively led Senegal and Ivory Coast to independence.
- Explain the nature of movement led by them – Some of these struggles were peaceful and constitutional while some had the blueprint of non-cooperation and civil disobedience. Some struggles were outright violent revolutions.
Conclusion – Nations of West Africa, however, have seldom witnessed stability and peace after independence. The countries have been marred by civil wars, brutal dictatorships and military coups.