He who laughs last laughs best. For decades, European countries were the colonial masters of Africa, dividing the continent at their own whim and exploiting the abundant resources available for their own purposes. Yet today, there has been a paradigm shift where African nations are now leading the world in economic growth and can more hold their own against their ex-colonial masters.
Throughout history, the African continent and its people have been victims of unfair discrimination and exploitative practices. Africa’s main oppressors have always been its former European colonial masters, who dubbed the region as the “Dark Continent” back during the early 19th century. While the origins of the term reflected how little Europeans knew about Africa (map makers back then would often leave the region dark as they had no clue of its interior geography), the term soon began to carry racist undertones with it as rampant discrimination began to spread across the region in the wake of a mad scramble for colonies among the European powers.
For decades, the European powers exploited Africa’s resources and its people, often possessing attitudes of superiority and a sense of mission. Even as the decolonisation of Africa began, the Europeans took it upon themselves to carve up Africa by drawing up arbitrary colonial-era borders rather than attempting to correspond to traditional African territories. This in turn led to internal conflicts within African countries, further destabilising the region and hindering economic progress for a prolonged period of time.
Yet something strange happened at the recent IMF/World Bank meetings in Washington last week.
While their former colonial masters were bickering over possible solutions for a debt crisis that is slowly eating away at the heart of Europe, some African states were quietly presenting their own structural reforms that have helped them to manage national debt and public finances.
Read the full story by Raymond Tham on EconomyWatch: Africa Rising: Can “The Dark Continent” Outshine Its Former Colonial Masters?
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