Effect of colonial rule

Effect of Colonial Rule in Africa

Negative effects

  • The Africans lost their political independence.
  • Some traditional political institutions were destroyed and replaced with foreign ones.
  • Foreign culture was imposed on Africans without regard for their own culture. This led to the loss of the African culture.
  • Many followers of traditional religion were converted into Christianity. They were made to believe that their traditional beliefs were primitive.

Below is an image of early missionaries

  • Africans lost large tracts of their land to the European settlers.
  • Many Africans were forced to live in crowded areas and were never able to regain their land again.
  • Africans were discriminated against and mistreated in their own countries.
  • Africans were viewed as slaves rather than free people. Africans provided free forced labour on settler farms.

Below are images on forced labour

  • The African continent was broken up into political units that later became independent countries.
  • People from the same traditional communities were divided and placed in different countries or colonies.
  • The Africans were forced to trade with the colonial master much more than with fellow Africans living in neighbouring states.

  • Development within the colonies was not balanced or uniform. It tended to favour areas occupied by white settlers.

Positive effects

  • Colonial rule brought an end to slave trade.
  • Modern health facilities, formal education and other social services were introcuced into the country.
  • New breeds of animals and crops that could do well under the African climate were introduced.
  • The African people developed the desire to control their own future and worked towards achieving justice and equality.

Below are images of africans fighting for justice and equality

  • Colonialism introduced a common currency which had not existed in the past.
  • It introduced a new legal system.
  • It brought manufactured goods some of which could not be produced locally.
  • It introduced modern machines which are now used in agriculture and industries.


The following images show improvement in education an medical services

  • Colonial governments introduced modern methods of communication.
  • Cash crop farming was introduced.
  • Traditional farming methods were improved through research and adopting new methods.

  • africans_conversion_to_christianity by Preceden used under CC_BY-SA
  • africans_forced_labour by Robert Guthrie used under CC_BY-SA
  • forced_labour by Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin used under CC_BY-SA
  • africans_mistreated by The Dallas Weekly used under CC_BY-SA
  • africans_resisting_arrest by Southern Spaces used under CC_BY-SA
  • africans_seeking_justice by International Finance used under CC_BY-SA
  • formal_education by The East African used under CC_BY-SA
  • modern_health_clinic by Edited used under CC_BY-SA

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