NATIONALISM AND DECOLONIZATION IN AFRICA
What is African Nationalism?
There has emerged as many definitions of African nationalism as there are scholars who have tried to define the word. However, the following descriptions are useful.
African nationalism is a desire of African people to terminate all foreign rules. Basically, nationalism is the political will of the people of Africa in opposition of foreign domination but in favour of African rule. It represents African struggles against Western colonialism and imperialism (by Ndabaningi Sithole).
Nationalism is an expression of hostility to alien rule. In the colonial context, nationalism is anti-colonialism. Colonialism, therefore, should be regarded as one of the major progenitors-ancestors of African nationalism, because any people subjected to alien rule will struggle to overthrow that rule. The process may take a generation or a century, but it is inevitable stage (by S. Kiwanuka).
Nationalism is a consciousness on the part of individuals or groups of people regarding their membership of a nation state either already existing or to which they aspire. It is also a desire to achieve political and economic freedom over all social and economic development, as well as the cultural revival of that national state (by Adu Boahen)..
Nationalism is a patriotic sentiment or activity on the part of a group of Africans held together by the bonds of common language and common historical experience to impose their right to live under a government of their own making for the preservation of their political, economic, and social interests (by K.B.C. Onwubiko).
Nationalism is the feeling of national consciousness or awareness by the people that they are members of a nation state and desire freedom from colonial rule (by Michael Crowder).
THE PROCESS OF DECOLONIZATION
The process of decolonization or national liberation was fundamental in Africa, for it allowed African states to regain their independence, which they had lost for more than half a century.
The rise of African nationalism dates back to the period of colonial conquest and the imposition of colonial rule on one hand and primary African resistance against colonial rule on the other hand. But later, the intensification of exploitation stimulated the nationalistic struggle.
FORMS OF AFRICAN LIBERATIONS
It should be noted that, the colonial state did not intend to create a sense of national hood among the colonized people. Its major aim was to undermine all ethnic or regional loyalties. There was very little feeling of national hood among the colonial subjects. Almost every body thought of him self as belonging to a certain ethnic group or region.
The colonialists had different sentiment about granting independence to African states it should be put clear that for the bourgeoisie in the metro pole were interested in maintaining colonial exploitation, but they differed in the best way to do it. They were three types of different opinions how to maintain this among the colonialists.
The liberal who realized that the only way to silence ant colonial struggle was to was through reform of granting flag independence to the colonized subjects thus between 1950 and 1960 liberal government of France and Britain began to grant flag independence. That is why the form of liberation were peaceful
The conservatives thought that maintaining the status-quo was the best way to preserve the capitalist interests, thus when ever these people were in power the question of granting independence to Africa never rose, and this was especially in Portugal thus the form of liberation in such Portuguese colonies were different.
The third opinion was that of the settlers their interest crushed with those of the bourgeoisie in the metro pole. If the neo colonial government, under black skinned leadership, believed that there interest could not be maintained no matter how neo colonialism was. If the worse came to worse they seized power as in case of U.D.I in 1965 in then Rhodesia.
FORMS OF LIBERALIZATIONS
They were four types/methods that Africans applied in their struggle to liberate themselves from the colonial domination,
a) Liberation by constitution/ dialogue/ peacefully.
This involved intensive negotiation between the colonialists and African nationalists e.g. the political independence of Tanganyika, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia etc. all applied negotiation or peaceful means to get their independence.
b)Liberation by revo1ution
This was the type of liberation which involved complete overthrow of the existing political system. This existed in colonies where independence was given to the minority at the expenses of the majority, the case in point is in Zanzibar where minority Arabs were granted independence by the British which prompted the majority blacks to make a revolution in 1964, and replaced with another new political system that is supported by the masses. It took place even Egypt and Libya. Liberation by revolution is always sudden and involves blood shed.
c) Liberation by armed struggle/arbitration:
This was conducted In the situation where peaceful means failed and the imperialist were reluctant to negotiate or to give independence to the Africans. In such situation the Africans picked up arms to fight the imperialists by force as a method to achieve their independence it involved bloodshed use of guerrilla warfare. For example in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Angola, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique
d) Combination of constitution and armed struggle:
These liberations combined both methods. Firstly the Africans resorted to armed struggle as a way to achieve their independence and then applied dialogue/peaceful means to solve the problems of their independence, this happened in Kenya and Zimbabwe.
FACTORS THAT DETERMINED THE FORMS OF DE-COLONISATION/LIBERATION.
Existence of settler in the colonies that had a number of white settlers like Kenya Zimbabwe where by they had made some developments in form of investment the colonialist were not willing to surrender their wealth to Africans and were not sure of their future incase Africans take over the government, thus giving independence was very difficult. This made the Africans to apply armed struggle as the means of getting their independence
The nature of the colony. Those colonies that were regarded as overseas provinces of the colonial nation and view them as their mandatory land this was mostly to colonial masters like Portugal and France in such cases the colonialist were not ready to grant independence until the African decide to use the barrel of the gun to give independence; therefore armed struggle was the only solution for example in Kenya, Angola, Mozambique and South Africa.
The economic strength of the colony. In those colonies were development was very high and colonial investment was huge like South Africa and Zimbabwe the colonialists were not able to grant independence to the Africans in a peaceful way, the only solution remained to apply forceful means.
The financial economic position of the colonial power. Many colonies that belonged to Portugal applied armed struggle because Portugal economic position was not good highly depended ion Africa colonies for domestic development so she was un willing to give independence.
The status of the colony those colonies that were under the trust ship of UN managed to achieve their Independence easily through peaceful means because of the pressure from UN and USA, like Tanganyika got her independence early enough than other east African sister nations of Kenya and Uganda, but those who were mandatory colonies could not get their independence so easily thus armed struggle
The minority rule like UDI in Zimbabwe and the white racist regime in SA where by the minority white settlers declared the unilateral independence, in case of Zanzibar where minority Arabs where given independence by the British to the expense of the majority Africans on the islands this also caused armed struggle through a revolution
Existence of peasant cash crops; colonies that had developed peasant cash crops like, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, and Tanganyika, achieved their independence through peaceful means, the colonialist could not delay this independence after realizing that they can continue exploiting their resources through neo colonialism and they had nothing to lose in granting independence
The nature of reaction the African had towards the colonialist, also determined the form of liberation, those African societies who were very collaborative to the colonialist and forged class alliance with the colonialist in most cases dialogue or peaceful means were applied to decolonize e.g. in Uganda the Ganda were used as sub imperialist to Other areas of Uganda to spread the colonial rule so independence was through peaceful means in Uganda as to pave. way for the Ganda to dominant other tribes.
Existence Of wealthy especially minerals like gold diamond sliver, industries, well developed social over heads like in south Africa, Kenya, independence could not be given easily why because the colonialist were not ready to leave such wealthy un exploited armed struggle became the only solution’ in case of such situations and on the other side in colonies where development was minimal no infrastructure independence was easily given through peaceful means e.g. in Tanganyika .
AFRICAN NATIONALISM AND STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE
Nationalism literally refers to the desire, love, or sprit for ones nation. In Africa the term nationalism has been used to signify the struggle of independence or self determination against foreign domination, in case of Europe the term nationalism has been used to signify Struggle for national unification in Germany and Italy and to acquire oversea colonies.
Some scholars define nationalism as feeling of national consciousness or awareness by the people of the same state and desire for freedom from colonial rule.
Nationalism in Africa is divided into two phases according to the period;
i. Nationalism before 1945
ii. Nationalism after 1945 before 1945.
In the first decades of colonial rule most East African communities experienced only spasmodic contacts with the white man. But by the mid of 1 920s, the activities of the government officials, missionaries and settlers were beginning impinge or to affect much more direct on the lives of many Africans. Acts like land alienation, forced labor injustice and taxation now were affecting the Africans more. As in most other part of tropical Africa the missionaries proved themselves the most vigorous alien stimu1ators of change and their success measured in the statistics of conversion, was often remarkable. But excessive missionary pressure could serve to produce countervailing African nationalism as to protect their culture.
The struggle for self determination and resistance against the intruders begun in Africa immediately after the inception of colonialism in around 1890s. The Africans started to resist colonial domination in the early time e.g. Abushiri and Bwana Hen in Tanganyika, Shona and Ndebele in Zimbabwe, Nama and Herero in Namibia. Some of the resistance was passive, while others collaborative and others active.
The period and the intensity in which the early African resistance occurred in various societies depended on the intensity of colonial activities and its impact. For example as early as the 1 890s the people of Ghana had already forn1d the Gold. Coast Aborigine’s Right Protection Society which was to fight against laws which had been enacted to expropriate African land. Also in 1920 the biggest welfare association in the region was the National Congress of British West Africa in Accra. It was largely formed by the emerging African elites who wanted increased and effective representation in various organs of the state especially n the legislature.
FEATURES OF AFRICAN NATIONALISM BEFORE 1945.
Were spontaneous and ethnic based in nature /regional oriented. It lacked national scope,every tribe was resisting alone and fight for tribal or regional interests. e.g. Kagera Coffee Growers, Kilimanjaro National Cooperation Union [K.N.C.U.] etc
Were apolitical and lacked clear political focus, i.e. it lacked political elements they were fighting for social welfare of their society’s e.g. high wages, land alienation, and poor working conditions e.g. the kikuyu central association fought for the return of the lost land the restoration of kikuyu culture and rejection of missionary teachings which interfered with the culture of female circumcision which became common among the kikuyu in 1 920s which they regarded that the operation of clitorodectomy or female circumcision is a sign of woman hood.
They were elites’ based mostly organized by those who were working for the colonial government in urban areas they organized themselves and begun to ask for their rights, the interests they represented were mainly related to the cooperation with colonialism. E.g. Harry Thuku a clerk in colonial government services in1922 who started the younger kikuyu association in Nairobi.
Most of the resistances were easily suppressed by the colonialist in other words registered limited success e g the Maji Maji uprising, the Shona Ndebele uprising, the resistance of the Dembe people of Angola in 1907-10.
They lacked well organized and systematic form of resistance most of the uprising were sporadic in nature and generated internally rather than externally e.g. cattle confiscation, land alienation etc
It lacked the element or uniformity;- and effectiveness it was characterized by uprising in different areas and in different time.
They were mostly motivated by the restoring of the pre-colonial social order, which had been over thrown by the colonialists.
CAUSE S OF NATIONALISM IN AFRICA BEFORE 1945.
They lost their independence to the foreigners thus nationalism to regain their lost independence.African rulers were thrown away and replaced them by foreign rulers who were imposed on the African that they detested and wanted to restate their traditional rulers.
Forced labour to work on the colonial plantations to provide cheap labor any African who resisted was punished heavily Imposition of heavy taxes to initiate money economy taxes like hut tax, poll tax, matiti tax were introduced as to force the indigenous to work in the plantation
Cattle confiscation as to deny African from engaging in other economic activities and resort on supplying cheap labour.
Land alienation to keep African away from practicing their subsistence agriculture and begin to supply cheap labor in plantations
Loss of control of their trade like Long distance trade and Trans-Saharan trade and the introduction of the so called legitimate trade
Destruction of African agriculture. Which was self sustaining that based on the needs of Africa and in place cash crop plantation were introduced
Colonial injustice and oppression like long working hour’s social abuses and separation of men from their families.
Heavy punishment like chopping off ribs of the Africans in case of the Congo colony under Belgium, corporal punishment in Tanganyika under Carl Peter
Racism and segregation of Africans, by insulting them by their color and making them the third grade citizens on their own land
Destruction of African values and traditions and implanting foreign culture like religion language education and culture.
NATIONALISM AFTER 1945.
This refers to nationalistic activities that occurred after 1945, after the Second World War it was in this period that African was successful in their struggle at times is referred as modern nationalism. It was characterized by the following
Well organized and planned by elites African leaders those were educated from colonial schools.
It was a national wide that it covered the whole nation through opening up many branches in the whole state both in the rural and urban areas
It was led by the elites i.e. educated leaders who were focused e.g. Nyerere ,Kenyatta, Nkrumah, Obote
It was political in origin i.e. they struggled for political independence of Africa.
It was dominated by both dialogue and armed struggle, where dialogue proved a failure.
It ware motivated by both internal and external factors unlike those before 1945 which were motivated by internal factors.
It led to the independence of some nations i.e. it was successful in getting independence for African nations.
FACTORS FOR THE RISE OF NATIONALSM AFTER 1945.
The factors that gave birth to African nationalism are of two kinds;
• Internal factors
• External factors
These were forces that were internally motivated, that generated within Africa societies that brought about nationalism in Africa. These included the following factors.
Formation of peasant cooperative union in rural areas to defend the interest and welfare of the farmers some associations were formed by the colonialists as to speed up the production and the marketing of cash crops as well as sensitizing peasants about cultivation, through their associations. But later alone developed nationalistic feelings and turned against the colonialists using their association’s structures in rural areas. Some of the associations included The Kilimanjaro Cooperative Union, Victoria Cooperative, Buhaya Cooperative Union etc.
Intensive exploitation after the Second World War, in the colonies the colonizers wanted to revamp their ruined economies, which ware heavily damaged by the war, large scale colonization was carried out. New measures to increase production in the colonies and to reduce metro pole expenditure on the colonies were introduced like; Land alienation to establish more plantations for the white settlers, Forced labor to work on the colonial plantations as to increase out put. New, taxes like gun tax hut tax were introduced. Etc. Such exploitation awakened African to start fighting for their self determination thus rise of nationalism mace African aware.
Formation of independent churches .These were the churches that were lead by the Africans breaking away from main stream white churches, to challenge their misdeeds over the Africans, they addressed not only religious but also social political and economic grievances of the Africans such churches included. Joseph Ejayi in West Africa, the Kikuyu Native church, the Watch tower church movement in Malawi 1906, the African national church in Tanganyika The people God and religion of Jesus in Kenya United native church in Cameroon etc Such churches openly criticized the colonialists and encouraged their followers to fight them thus the rise of African nationalism
Formation of segregated African schools, after realizing that the missionary and colonial schools taught nothing but European based syllabus some African societies began their own schools, like among the kikuyu in Kenya Africans were taught African syllabus .this helped in educating Africans and developing the sprit of nationalism.
Rise of elites who had attained colonial education like Nyerere in Tanganyika, Nkrumah in Ghana, Kamuzu Banda in Malawi Abafemi Awolowo of Nigeria ,etc this education helped them to get used to the white language to get exposed to various struggle and liberation of the world, but on top of that some elites came from outside Africa the combination of both helped to the rise of nationalism through provision of leadership for nationalistic struggles
Ghana independence in 1957, it was an example to stimulate other African nations to begin fight for their freedom so it as possible for them also to attain independence from their colonial powers
The Italy against Ethiopia war of 1935- 1941 under Mussolini and Haile Selasie and Ras Imra increased the momentum of African nationalism Italy an industrialized nation was heavily and bravery resisted by an African nation Ethiopia this boosted, African confidence to wards their struggle for independence was defeated.
Formation of social welfare association these aimed to improve the working conditions of African workers discriminations and colonial abuses to the Africans such associations largely based in urban centers and comprised colonial civil servants like; The kikuyu central association in Kenya that was formed by Harry Thuku The railway territory civil association in Tanganyika, Tanganyika Territory Civil Service Association (T.T.C.S.A)which was formed by Martin Kayamba the peoples union in 1908 in Nigeria. Such association exerted more pressure on the colonialist to consider giving African independence which led to nationalism.
Mass media especially news paper played a big role in spreading awareness among the population in both rural and urban areas such news paper included Sauti ya TANU in Tanganyika The pilot and the comet in Nigeria.
Colonial social infrastructures also played a big role in facilitating the spread and the rise of African nationalism that’s why some historian do say that colonialism sown a seed of it own destruction, infrastructures like railways roads facilitated the nationalistic activities in rural and urban centers by spreading the massage of liberations in all parts of Africa.
These were factors that motivated nationalism but being generated from out side Africa such forces included.
The returning ex-soldiers who participated in the war on the side of their colonial masters assisting them as porters and security guards of army camps, this participation brought awareness since these soldiers were exposed to western democracy, freedom, and liberation massage some veterans like Dedan Kimathi who ware latter a leader of Mau-Mau in Kenya. Jonathan Okwiriri who became the president of the younger Kavirondo formed movements that directly opposed the colonialists.
Formation of U.N which replaced the league of nation where independent African states were allowed to participate as members it become an organization of all nations African and Asian nations through the UN opposed the colonialist and demanded for self determination, unlike during the league of nation where African colonies became mandatory colonies of European nations
The India Pakistan independences. These acted as an external pressure for the Africans to emulate both were British colonies that attain their independence in 1948 as one nation which later separated in two nations, African quoted such incidences as a negotiative tool to argue for there independence.
The Bandug conference of April 17th 1955 where Asians and Africans nations like South Africa Ghana Nigeria Egypt Libya met in Indonesia to discuss their problems which include colonialism and economic development, they emphasized solidarity, it was during this conference that. N.A.M. was formed in this conference.
Rise of communism in U.S.S.R the Second World War witnessed the expansion and consolidation of the communist bloc Russia begun to provide material and moral support for anti-colonial struggle for African e.g. it supported rebel groups in Angola and Namibia to fight colonialists.
Marshal plan, this was initiated by George Marshall the prime minister of U.S.A, whereby he began giving loans to the war ruined European nations on conditions that they should decolonize in Africa arid Asian nations, by granting independence to those nations.
Open- door policy of U.S.A. U.S.A introduced a policy of conducting business with Independent African states thus it begun requesting colonialist to give independence to the African countries so as to do business with US.
Formation of Pan-Africanize in 1900 by William Sylvester from the new world which later led to the formation of O.A.U an organization that united all African independent nations to helped in fighting for African independence.
The British labor party which assumed power in 1945 its policies were against colonialism which, they viewed as oppression of humanity and wastage of British tax payers money thus such ant colonial sentiments in Britain made many nationalistic movement to agitate for their immediate Independence.
The rise of USA as a leading capitalist nation after world war two US became the chief supplier of war materials and the war did not affect her economy negatively made her to became a leading capitalist nation and begun to advocate for decolonization of African nations as a trick to compensate for not colonizing through establishment of neo colonialism to get market for her finished goods area of investment for her international corporations.
The after math of Second World War to the colonialist who incurred a lot of losses and could not continue with spending to the colonies so they were forced to grant some independence to some African states. But on top of the above some European powers adopted intensive exploitation to revamp their economies, which awakened many Africans to resist thus rise of nationalism
THE INDEPENDENT CHURCHES.
These were religious Christian’s churches which broke away from European churches because of dissatisfaction/discontent with Christian missionary churches .Some of their discontents included the following:
The European churches preached salvation equality of human being before God ,while African were segregated oppressed not allowed even to lead prayers, they were taken as third citizens
The European churches also involved in helping colonizers for land alienation taxation forced labor and administration which had no any relation with the teaching of the bible.
They also realized that European churches and colonialism were two sides of the same coin that the Christian missionaries were only to pave way for the colonization process of Africa as always its said that the “flag followed the cross”.
They advised Africans concerning political and economic problems by breaking their resistance e.g. through preaching biblical doctrines like the humble people are the blessed for them will enter the kingdom of God, forgive those who wrong you.
They intervened in African culture like girl circumcision among the kikuyu people in Kenya who vehemently detested the missionary activities. That prompted them to start independent schools and begun to spread.
SOME OF THE INDEPENDENT CHURCHES FORMED INCLUDED;
i. Joseph Enjayi of West Africa.
ii. The Kikuyu Orthodox church of Kenya.
iii. The African National church of Tanganyika.
iv. The Independent church movement in Zaire by Simon Kimbanga.
v. The Ethiopian church in Rhodesia.
vi. The United Native Church of Cameroon
vii. The Watch Tower Church Movement in Malawi 1906
viii. The people of God and the Religion of Jesus Christ in Kenya.
CHARACTERISTICS OF INDEPENDENT CHURCHES
• They were founded by Africans as to preserve African values and customs
• Most of the independent churches were formed in urban centers
• Initially they were apolitical but after 1945 they started to practice political activities and economic problems were addressed.
• Unlike the peasant cooperative associations which practiced tribalism the independent churches included all tribes without segregation.
• They used indigenous languages in their church services (local languages) e.g. Kisukuma.
THE ROLE OF INDEPENDENT CHURCHES TO THE RISE OF NATIONALISM
They carried the Liberation message to the Africans during their church services which brought awareness among the local Africans
They condemned and criticized the white missionary churches as true agents of colonialism who came for their interest but their not godly people
They provided moral support and Devine guidance for the Nationalists.
They trained and groomed Nationalistic leaders in their churches were they learn how to speak to the congregations e.g Jomo Kenyatta, Nyerere, Kamzu Banda, Milton Obote, Samola Michael, Sam Nujoma.
They also provided education for many African leaders through their Seminary schools.
They provided physical assistance to Nationalistic activities like transport and financial assistance, which contributed to gain their independence
They participated in forming of Nationalistic political parties which late alone became he dominant political parties that took over the independence
Also independent churches become centers for the meetings of Nationalist to discuss their plans or activities.
They also encouraged unity among the Africans to the struggle of self-determination. Using the church as a uniting, factor
PEASANTS COOPERATIVE UNION (ASSOCIATION)
These were initially established by the colonial government especially during the inter-war period, their primary aims were to promote peasant produce by searching for market and improvement of agriculture methods of farming, but latter alone turned into nationalism organs that begun to agitate for political demands.
For example in northern Tanzania the Chagga who occupied the fertile slopes of mountain Kilimanjaro, had been the first East African people to take over the growing of cash crops.
In 1925 a group of Chagga coffee growers formed the first modern peasant association yet to be seen in the rural areas. The Kilimanjaro native planters association (K.N.P.A.) which had 10,000 members with in one year, its’ major aim was to provide efficient means of marketing coffee of local peasants but its’ leaders latter alone turned to be more political activists using the peasant association to promote nationalism. Other peasant associations included;Bataka association formed in 1927 in Uganda, led by Clemens Kiiza.
The Victoria cooperation union in Sukuma land MwanzaCentral Kikuyu Association of 1928 whose general secretary was Jomo Kenyatta.Bahaya native growers in Tanganyika 1936.
The Kilimanjaro native planters’ association (K.N.P.A) 1925 under Joseph Mwinyi with about 10,000members.Usambara native growers Association 1932.
The Ukambani association in Kenya formed in the late 1930s.The Taita association.
Kavirondo tax payers and welfare Association.The Abangine Association in Ghana, and The Nigeria Youth Movement.
CHARACTERISTICS OF PEASANTS COOPERATIVE UNION (ASSOCIATION)
They lacked National scope i.e. they were not National wide only based in regions e.g. the Bahaya based in Kagera region and Kilimanjaro native planters association based in Kilimanjaro region etc
They concentrated to demands of peasant welfare e.g. good price for cash crops, removal of middle men etc but not political.
It was dominated only in agricultural productive areas.
In mining areas and labor reserves they did not exist.
Most of the members were peasant and non elites
It largely based on tribalism e.g. the Haya, Chaga and Sukuma and the Gandas etc.
OBJECTIVES OF PEASANT COOPERATIVE UNIONS.
Their primary aim was to provide an efficient of marketing the cash crops produced by the local growers, cash crops such as coffee, cotton, sisal. But latter alone the leaders of the association became increasingly involving into national politics.
To fight for the betterment of peasant welfare and resist the colonial government attempts of introducing agriculture improvement schemes. E.g. in 1938 the colonial government in Kenya wanted the Kamba people to de-stock of their cattle. The Ukambani peasant cooperation resisted it.
They were formed to fight against intensive exploitation like land alienation, forced labor, taxation oppression and through provision of low wages especially to the office boys and domestic servants. During the economic depression of 1930s the colonial government cut their wages by a third, the younger kikuyu association resisted the colonial government measures.
To stabilize and maintain agricultural prices by eliminating middle men who took the big share of their prices. Also to struggle in breaking the settlers’ monopoly of cultivating certain, cash crops that visibly, enjoying supernormal profit especially during the postwar boom. the Africans had been prohibited to cultivate some cash crops, this was especially in the settlers economies
The aimed to promote agricultural output by searching for good methods of farming and providing their members with agricultural equipments, like hoes ,fertilizers, axes, pangas, etc through credit facilities and loans
They also aimed to unite all the farmers for their general cause of fighting oppression and exploitation. And also to gain full control of their political and economic independence.
They also aimed to act as an adviser to the farmers, by instructing and advising about new methods of cultivation
It also acted as a representatives of boards for the peasants to the colonialist they reported all grievances the faced the peasants
THE ROLE OF PEASANT COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATIONS TO THE RISE OF NATIONALISM.
It brought unity and solidarity between the peasants in rural areas and working class in urban centers to fight against colonialism; it was such solidarity between peasant and elites that led to independence
It became a source of information feedback to the nationalistic movements who based in urban centers
They participated in strike and demonstration against colonialists which weakened the colonial economy that eventually led to the collapse of rule.
They provided leadership for political parties e.g. Jomo Kenyatta who was a general secretary of the peasant association in Kenya later alone become the leader of a political party called KANU in Kenya.
They provided moral support and material support like funds and manpower to the nationalistic to continue with the struggle to achieve independence
Peasant cooperatives played a role of representing all the peasants’ grievances with one voice in the struggle against colonialism.
They supported the education of the students who came from poor families e.g. the Bukoba cooperative union in Tanganyika assisted very many needy students to acquire education which later was used in nationalism
They openly criticized the exploitation of the colonial marketing boards and always were ready to participant in any demonstration and strikes against the colonialist exploitation.
ROLE OF SECOND WORLD WAR TO THE RISE OF AFRICAN NATIONALISM
The Second World War which occurred 1939-1945 was a necessary evil to the rise of African nationalism. The after math of Second World War witnessed vigorous nationalistic feelings in Africa which resulted into African independence. The following were the contribution of Second World War to the rise of African nationalism.
The returning ex-soldiers (war veterans) brought awareness and consciousness. During the war African had worked along side with the Europeans, and found them little difference from them selves. They had fought against and killed Europeans in the name of freedom and democracy. They had observed European poverty in Europe and savagery in warfare. Africa with their range and level of experience would never come back at home as docile and subservient colonial labor force. Thus their returning had added more momentum in the process on nationalism.
The Second World War also helped in the changing of attitudes of Europeans them selves towards their colonies. Allied forces especially France, was made accurately aware of its indebtedness to Africa during the war. In order to ensure the continuing African support European administrators had been obliged to promise the social political and economic reforms would fall the allied victory in the war. At a free French conference held at Brazzaville in 1944 Gaulli had promised a ‘new deal’ for the subject of the French African territories. The promise of the Brazzaville was followed up in 1946 with the abolition of the hated indige ‘nat and the corvee labour system. Some European powers became reluctant to implement their promises. Thus rise of intensive nationalism.
The second war also contributed to the rise of African elites who played a big role in organizing and mobilizing Africans for large scale nationalism campaign. In British West Africa the war years saw educated African being increasingly brought in the high administrative positions and on the elected local councils. British colonial administrators begun to contemplate a time in distant future when African would be allowed some degree of self-governance few ex-service men actually played a significant role in the leadership of the ensuing independence movements. But their influence in undermining the aura and prestige of the European was considerable.
The economic hard ship of European nations after the war most of their economies were badly ruined that were not able to continue running vast over sea colonies of Africa and Asia they begun preparing them for self determinations, this explain the independence of India Pakistan Burma Egypt and Ghana immediately after world war two thus made other colonies to increase demanding for their independence.
The Second World War brought intensive exploitation or large scale colonization of Africa. Most of the European countries wanted to revamp their ruined economies by increasing qualitative and quantitative production in the peripheries e.g. new taxes were introduced, land alienation, forced labor, forced cropping in west Africa, grow more campaign in Tanganyika such exploitation awakened the Africans to fight for their independence as to avoid exploitation.
Formation of UN came as a result of Second World War after the failure of the League of Nations. UN became an international body where independent African states were permitted as members; they voiced their grievances through UN and got support from Asian countries that had experienced a similar problem of colonialism this made the process of decolonization possible.
Rise of USSR as leading communist bloc the Second World War enabled USSR to consolidate and expand her influence in Eastern Europe and Asia as well as in Africa. It should be noted that the socialist ideology was against colonialism used her influence in UN by Appling her veto power to oppose the colonialism in Africa. On top of that USSR provided moral and material support to anti- colonial struggles in Africa and Asia.
The rise of USA as a leading capitalist nation. The aftermath of world war two was witnessed with the rise of USA as a leading capitalist nation because of the role it played during the war; it was the chief supplier of raw materials and extended loans under her Marshall plan with conditionality of decolonizing African states by the Europeans and establishment of open door policy by USA, a policy which meant African nations to open up their doors to do business with USA.
The formation of NAM in April 1955 In Bandung Indonesia which was an afro-Asian conference that welcomed delegates from all parts of Africa and Asia who belonged to neither side of capitalism or communism. In this conference it was greed upon that Africans should struggle by all means to get their independence. It brought awareness and new force in Africa for indepen4ence struggle.
The Manchester conference of 1945 after world war two. It was called by pan-Africanist activities that invited all Africans from various parts of Africa and resolved that Africans should use all means peace or forceful to attain their independence.
THE ROLE OF USSR TO THE RISE OF AFRICAN NATIONALISM
The USSR adopted communism after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin, USSR became a strong bloc. Her strength reached the climax after the Second World War which enabled her to consolidate and expand her communist ideology in the world. She helped the rise of African nationalism in the following ways;
Ideological support: Many African nationalists adopted Marxist theory as a tool to fight and oppose the capitalist exploitation and oppression. As Karl Marx had advocated views that showed the possibility of doing away with the capitalist ideology. Many Africans were conscious to implement the idea and, this gave the Africans hope that they could at one be successful in their struggles thus the rise of African nationalism.
Alternative for capitalism: socialism did provide the best alternative for capitalism as it clearly spelt out the ills of capitalism which were characterized with exploitation and oppression of man. Basing on this many Africans wanted to adopt an alternative that was fair to the common man for example Ujamaa villages in Tanganyika, common man’s charter in Uganda.
Provided material and immaterial, support to many African nationalists’ e.g. military equipments and military Skills.
It provided scholarships to many African nationalists to go and. study in Russia who later became leaders of independent Africa.
It used her veto power in UN to oppose colonialism in Africa and used UND to support African struggle.
USSR established class alliance with the revolutionary forces in Africa which gave confidence and determination to fight capitalism.
Russia supported military and armed struggle to liberate them V selves through the barrel of the gun through the provision of equipments and training African man power to carry on the fighting
The USSR was against imperialism and extended sympathy to the African and Asian and she was ready to support nationalist movement to get rid of the colonialists
THE EMERGENCE OF THE USA AS A LEADING IMPERIALISTS POWER AND ITS ROLE FOR THE RISE OF AFRICAN NATIONALISM
USA emerged as a leading imperialist power after world war two why? Because both wars first and second war ware not fought in the land of USA thus no destruction that occurred that might have affected industrial production. During the war USA became the major suppliers of military equipment and food for many European nations during the war which made her to emerge as richest nation after the war, on the addition to the above through the Marshall plan that was launched by USA prime minister George Marshall where USA begun to provide loans, to the war toned European nations charging high interest rate made USA to emerge as a leading capitalist nation.
Decline of Britain as a leading capitalist nation after world two due to mass destruction and high expenditure during both wars; because both wars affected Britain very badly that could not regain her economical status back this enabled USA to rise as a leading capitalist nation. There fore after rising as a leading capitalist nation USA begun to advocated for decolonization process in Africa, for her own economic Interest, the methods applied in the decolonization of Africa included the following,
USA championed the struggle for African nationalism through UNO by high fighting the Evil of colonialism to African countries
Giving moral support to African nationalist parties struggling for Independence through her veto power.
Providing loans to support economic venture in African countries to colonizing power at conditions for decolonization
REASONS FOR THE DECOLONIZATION IN AFRICA BY USA AFTER 1945.
It should be born in mind that USA was a colony of Britain which struggled for her independence in 1 770s and got the independence in 1776 from Britain, USA inherited all the wealth which included slaves’ plantations and the industries, USA began to industrializes in 1 880s, the first and second world war made USA the leading industrialized nation in the world, which made her to begin demanding raw materials, market and area for investment, since it had no colonies in Africa it began to campaign for decolonization of Africa and Asia, so as to establish neo colonialism. It uses human rights as a pretext to achieve her military and economic interest in the colonized and independent world Had no colonies in Africa Therefore she wanted African countries to be free so that she can share the benefits of African economically under establishment of the new form of colonialism called, neo- colonial relation
They wanted to establish open door policy so as to establish direct trade with Africa. To exploit the market for their industrial out put Independent African states would be a better ground for USA investment for there surplus capita1 thus the establishment of international corporation companies.
To spread capitalist ideology in the Africa and to check on the spreading of socialism in Africa
USA wanted places to establish her military bases, in every part of the world including Africa so as it can maintain her military status-quo.
WHY MOST OF THE AFRICAN STATES RESORTED ‘TO ARMED STRUGGLE AFTER 1945?
It’s true that armed struggle became dominant after 1945 especially in Zimbabwe, Kenya’ Angola, and South Africa etc as compared to other forms of liberation this was due to the following facts that accelerated the application of armed struggle among such factors include the following,
Military assistance from USSR. After 1945 USSR consolidated her strength to the zenith it was ant-colonialism and a sympathizers to African ant-colonial struggles .It was ready to provide military support and moral to liberate the Africans from colonialism, thus military struggle due to military assistance of USSR.
Manchester conference. During the Manchester the major agenda of the conference was to liberate Africans by all means peaceful or force, this gave courage to the Africans to use force where the colonialists became reluctant to grant independence.
Role and influence of the ex soldiers. The war veterans of Second World War came back with military skills which they had acquired during the war it were these skills that encouraged very many African nationalists to apply force to overthrow the colonialists who were not ready to grant independence to Africans.
The support from U.N Under U.S.A and USSR were ant-colonialism and supported the African nationalist struggle to use all means to get rid of colonialism.
Failures of other methods. Other methods like peaceful means and constitutional failed, the armed struggle became as the last resort for getting independence from the colonialists.
Impact of India and Pakistan independence. The independence of Asian countries especially Pakistan and India was a big challenge for the Africans to emulate, they used all means including armed struggle to get independence.
Influence of pan Africanism. Especially after shifting her headquarters from the new world to Africa .The plan of action of pan Africanism was to liberate African nations by all means.
The un willingness of the colonial power to grant independence. Especially Portugal and British colonies that , were not willing to grant independence. The Africans resorted the use of force.
Influence of front line states. That provided military and man power support to the ant-colonial struggles in Africa e.g Tanganyika during the struggle in South Africa and Zimbabwe
Intensive exploitation after world war two. It awakened Africans against the colonialists who had increased exploitation of Africa resources as to revamp their ruined economies, this made Africans to use all means to liberate themselves.
Emergence of cold war after 1945. This was the struggle between USSR and USA, every bloc wanted to win more countries in Africa as to spread their political ideologies of socialism or capitalism, this witnessed the giving up of weapons to fight the colonialists.
GENERAL PROBLEMS FACED DURING THE STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE IN AFRICA
The unwillingness of the colonial power to grant independence. Some European nations came in Africa to stay for ever and regarded their African colonies as oversea provinces, thus they were very reluctant to grant independence this was mostly on Portuguese colonies like Mozambique, Angola.
The colonial state apparatus ware very oppressive and coercive to the nationalistic movements in many Africa nations these included colonial army, police and judicially/prison which were put in place to facilitate colonial production, e.g. in 1958 Nyerere was arrested, Kenyatta was also arrested in I954, Mutesa of Buganda was exiled to Britain.
Also there was lack of political structures to mobilize the people to the common struggle for independence; in rural areas most of the political parties lacked branches which would have been used as centers to create awareness and mobilization of the masses most of the nationalistic activities centered in urban areas.
Tribalism also was a problem in for the nationalistic struggle it brought disunity and weakened the nationalistic struggle for independence. Some tribes did not participant in national struggle in steady they involved secessionist politics, e.g. Buganda in Uganda which demanded for her separate independence at the expense of the entire nation of Uganda.
The low level of education also affected the struggle for independence many masses in Africa were not educated and lacked political awareness about the essence of their independence this was a big hindrance in the path of independence since most of the indigenous did not know the significance of the struggle.
Financial problem to meet their expenditure, nationalistic movement in Africa lacked clear source of funds since most of their members were financially sick to fund the activities of the struggle like mobilization for support from the masses for independence.
Poor infrastructure especially in up country, during the movement of the nationalistic to mobilize support and sensitizing the masses about their aim it was very difficulty to penetrate in other regions during rainy season like southern Tanzania, because there was no railway roads ports etc.
Internal disputes and insecurity also brought a hindrance in the way of independence e.g. tribal wars regional imbalance
The policy of divide and rule that were established by the colonialist played a big role in making African not united some Africans were favored while others were not cared by the colonialist this made national struggle very difficulty.
A religious difference was also another problem .e.g. For Tanganyika to attain her independence the AMNUT all Muslim national union of Tanganyika. Were not willing Tanganyika to be given their independence until a Muslim candidate is graduated to take over the government.
The colonial tactics to divide and rule, that kept African divided were always at loggerhead that kept them divided along tribal lines e.g. the Gandas in Uganda were favored to other tribes that made the Ganda to be reluctant to support the struggle for independence.