n Conflict Trends - Editorial

Volume 2002 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


The twentieth century was not kind to Africa. It started with almost the entire continent under the rule of some or other European power. However, there were high hopes for Africa with the start of the decolonisation process in Nkrumah's Ghana. Sadly, the continent's hopes were not realised. Decolonisation was followed with new forms of control. For example, multinational corporations and international financial institutions imposed various structural adjustment conditionalities. In addition, state structures inherited from former colonial powers were both authoritarian and weak. Consequently, independent African States could not meet the basic needs of their citizens. The inevitable result was social agitation and conflict - hallmarks of contemporary African polity. Authoritarian despots - in the form of the Amins', Bokassas' and Mobutus' - began to appear and further entrenched the notion of a crisis-prone continent.

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