The Worst Impact of Africa: Non- Division of Ethnic Groups

posted Jan 27, 2011, 6:56 PM by Erwin Pedia
    We all know of the colonization of Africa. We all know they had big effects, but did you know that the BIGGEST of them all has got to be this seemingly small issue of division? That's right. So, back in Berlin in the 1800s, the land mass was given out according to choice, etc. However, the leaders there had no thought about the conflicts that would result. This carelessness caused a culture of violence and lots of ethnic conflict within the colonies; never a good thing to have in a (seemingly) stable European colony. The colonist wanted nothing to do with conflict, they only wanted the resources, and that's right, folks, the $CHA-CHANG$!
    So, why did this happen? Well, as you all know, European colonialism happened for 4 main reasons: resources, places to sell goods, religion, and (well, sadly) bragging rights. So, Europe rushed into Africa seeing this huge hunk of land uncolonized, and well, uncivilized. Greed blinded them and they took whatever land seemed useful. So, in the end, a conference was held, and naturally, no voice was given to the natives of Africa. In fact, no thought was even given to them at the conference. The land was divided how countries saw fit and useful, paying no attention to the important 4 ethnic cultures that lived there: the Bantu, Ashanti, Swahili, and Arabs.
    As a result, borders, etc. were created and sometimes 2 or more ethnic groups wound up within the same boundaries. The newly "civilized" governments ordered them to live peacefully together. Something that they would not see through to. As you may already know, these groups have similar beliefs and traditions, yet their cultures are EXTREMELY different. Still don't get where I'm going? Here: let me help; Say you were a Buddhist Indian. Suddenly, Muslim Arabs migrate to India. You guys live together avoiding contact and everything is fine. Now what if Britain steps in, points a gun at you, and tells you to live together peacefully and share the same beliefs? If you a devout worshiper, there would be no way to resolve this whatsoever. Thus, fighting would break out. Just like it did in Africa. And these effects would remain there for a 100+ years to come.
    So, you look at Africa and you think, "Wow, the biggest impact was probably the resources, etc." Well, you probably thought wrong. The resources were never being used in the first place. The Europeans were making things with them and selling them back to you. Great! But, because of this division, people died. Even today, people are dying, because of one simple error the Europeans made: to try to make 2 or more ethnic groups live together, and live together... peacefully.

-Erwin Pedia