Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ayo Sogunro ― How would Africa be today if colonialism never happened?

Ayo Sogunro is a Nigerian social critic, human rights activist and writer. He is notable as an essayist and satirist with right-wing libertarian tendencies.

On Quora, I turned some attention to the “what if?” in alternate African history: How would Africa be today if colonialism never happened?
Africa would simply be (no) more or less like Europe or the Middle East is today.
Political Geography: A number of folks think the modern political geography would simply align with the ethnic groups in existence today. But this is unlikely. At the time the Europeans came, large African empires had already started assimilating small tribes or forming alliances with other large ethnicities. Languages would have further diffused and solidified until regional lingua franca are established. These empires and large tribes (like the historical Malian and Songhai, and the newer Oyo, Benin, Zulu, etc) would have maintained their military might to expand their territories and built even stronger city-states through regional commerce while also trading (slaves, minerals and other local commodities) with the Arabs and Europeans (who would have been forced to learn the local languages and acknowledge the regional administrations). Most likely, the Arabs would remain on the fringes of the Sahara while the Europeans stayed on the coast.

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