n Conflict Trends - Editorial

Volume 2003, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818



The twentieth century was not kind to Africa. It began with almost the entire continent under the rule of some or other European power. With the start of the decolonisation process - which began with Nkrumah's Ghana - there were high hopes for Africa. Sadly, these hopes have been dashed. Decolonisation was followed with new types of control, in the form of multinational corporations and international financial institutions imposing various structural adjustment conditionalities. In addition, state structures inherited from former colonial powers were essentially weak. Consequently, independent African States could not meet the basic needs of their citizens. The inevitable results were social agitation and conflict - hallmarks of contemporary African polity. In this situation, authoritarian despots - in the form of the Amins', Bokassas' and Mobutus' - started to appear. They further entrenched the notion of a crisis-prone continent characterised by repressive regimes, where state security was often purchased at the expense of human security.

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