[August 7, the Ivory Coast celebrated the 50th anniversary of its independence from France. An army parade marked the day, amid speculation that the national elections, now postponed for several years, may soon occur. What has become of the hopes for independence? How do they measure against the reality of today? And what needs to be done? These are questions being asked, and debated, in the 17 countries of Africa which are celebrating their 50 years of independence in 2010. This article, published a year ago, discusses the legacy of French colonialism and neo-colonialism in the Ivory Coast.-ed.]
Ivory Coast soldiers parade take part in a celebration commemorating 50 years of Ivorian independence as they carry the flags of African nations also celebrating their 50th independence day at the presidential palace in Abidjan
by Godsway Yao Sappor
ModernGhana.com, February 05, 2009
French Neo-Colonialist ideas in Africa after Independence (Cote D’Ivoire a Case Study)
The brutal legacy of European colonialism and neo-colonialism as forms of imperialism manifests itself in various ways in Africa. In the 19th century, French imperialism colonized more African territory than any other of its European counterparts. Many countries colonized by France gained their formal independence in the early 1960s due to heroic anti-colonial national liberation struggles that spread throughout the African continent. Despite the formal declaration of independence for the colonized countries, France among other colonizing European countries, maintains deep economic, military and administrative ties to almost all its former colonies among them Cote D’Ivoire. Like so much of Africa, Cote D’Ivoire is rich in natural resources, especially oil, natural gas, cocoa beans, and coffee. Despite this abundance of resources, the per capita income in 1996 was only $600.
When independence was granted to colonized African states, many were happy because they thought the Colonial masters had packed their package and were gone for good. The euphoria of independence for Cote D’Ivoire, just like most African countries, lasted up to the early 1980s. New imperialists and the former colonial master have made a triumphant comeback in Ivory Coast in the form of neo-colonialism. Until recently, Neo-colonialism has been chiefly associated with political and economic matters. Today, it is also inextricably tangled with so many other things such as conflict resolution and peace-keeping in so many African countries. The comeback of the colonial masters to Ivory Coast, just like any other African country, is keeping the country artificially poor. Continue reading →