Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Germany may have seemingly apportioned land in the Berlin conference but the macabre truth is they were also sharing the African people on it.
Africa was shared around a table in Berlin like it was a large teapot shaped pizza. Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Germany may have seemingly apportioned land in the Berlin conference but the macabre truth is they were also sharing the people on it. Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society in Britain says, "They didn't want to be seen to be fighting amongst themselves, because then Africans would realize that white men could be killed. Instead they drew lines on a map of places they had never been to, with no regards for existing kingdoms, geography or the people that lived there."
The effects still reverberate through the entire continent a whole century and several decades after. Africans were killed. Those who survived were dehumanised and appropriated by their colonisers. They fought back and pressurised their oppressors culminating in the great wave of independence in 1960. 17 countries got their independence setting the tone for pro-independence movements throughout the continent.
On the very first of January in 1960, Cameroon flipped over a new page and gained its independence. Togo attained its independence on the 27th of April just two months before Madagascar became a free nation. Four days after the independence of Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo attained self-rule while Somalia was declared independent a day later. The gusty winds of change were blowing but the tornado was yet to come. In the August of 1960, Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, and Senegal all got their independence. Mali was to attain its independence in September while on the first of October, Nigeria also got its independence. Mauritania closed off this unprecedented chapter on the 28th of November setting the tone for a future where Africans had rights to their homes and a say in the determination of their future.
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