The mid 20th century saw a lot of changes in the social, economic and political arenas on the global scene. These changes contributed to a shift in the structures of the above named areas. One of the areas that received a lot of attention and as a result both support and resistance is the decolonization of Africa. In line with this point, the African decolonization meant the end of formal European colonial empires in Africa. As such, the decolonization took in the 1922 Egypt restoration to Monarchy to the latest downfall of the apartheid in South Africa which took place in 1994. As a matter of fat, the decolonization involved times of peace and violence as far as the process was concerned. It actually involved liberation wars, local acceptance and the conflicts from the international point of operation.
In connection to this, several factors have been associated with African decolonization and as such they comprise of the rise of the pan-Africanism, emergence of new international movements and in the larger perspective the transformation of the global order taking place after the Second World War. In this context, there were movements that were formed following the end of the 19th century and they were actually dedicated towards the realization of the African liberation and solidarity of the people thereof (Zeleza and Eyoh 135).
To begin with, emerging new international movements contributed to the desire for African states to free themselves from their colonizers. In reference to Zeleza and Eyoh (2002), the emerging new international movements challenged European colonization (137). It is important to understand that these movements emerged both before and after the Second World War. Notably, some of the international movements that contributed to the development or rather expansion of decolonization in Africa were communism and nationalism. Firstly, communism in Asia contributed to a non-violent but heightened increase in resistance against the Europeans without necessarily focusing on violence as the ultimate way of winning against them. This spread to other parts of the globe and majorly in Africa.
Notably, this movement proposed or rather supported the decolonization of countries as a way of exercising liberty and their freedom. Furthermore, the nationalism movement also played an important role in the decolonization of the African continents. Stanley (2003) argues that the nationalism of the elite who chafed about their exclusion from power was central to igniting the process of decolonization (259). Note that most elites in the African countries were excluded from the politics of the day and power.
As a result, they crafted out strategies that were meant to overthrow the European leadership in Africa and install African leadership which could give them an opportunity to lead their own people. These strategies and means of taking over leadership from the Europeans by the African elites often resulted in the use of force and other different means of eliminating Europeans from the African leadership. This led to the decolonization process. For instance, Kwameh Nkrumah, who led the process to the independence of Ghana in 1957, not only created a platform for decolonization process in much of Africa by way of funding anticolonial movements in West and South Africa but he perpetuated it by providing intellectual inspiration (Davies 469).
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On the other hand, there is the aspect of the rising pan-Africanism of which it has been stated that it contributed to the aspect of decolonization. As a matter of fact, Pan-Africanism has been pointed out as an important influence that contributed to the rise of the nationalist's movements especially in the first half of the twentieth century. It is as well important to bring out the point that pan-Africanism strengthened the belief that wherever African lived had to share cultural and spiritual values from a common point of view. More to this point, the pan-Africanism sought to claim the nation-state. As well, Pan-Africanism called for nationalism along with its quest to find a social and economic reform given to the conditions that the Africans lived in (Le Sueur 36).
In particular, Pan-African movement had emerged in Caribbean and United States whereby the African intellectuals who happened to be active in French colonies in western African called for union. In line with this, they promoted the Negritude movement which was meant for the celebration of the black race and its eventual achievements. Apart from this point, In Ghana, kwame Nkrumah who has studied in US had gained the soviet union support and as a result his riots and boycotts gained great success. Following this point, Ghana was the first to gain independence under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah. Needless to say, the Pan-African movement in particular served to create an Africa ruled by Africans and as a result, there was the establishment of the pan-African congress in 1945 and organization of African Unity in 1963.
The transformation of the global order is another factor that contributed to the African Decolonization. In this milieu, the United Nation came into the scene in the 1960s to help in the liberation of all the colonized countries from their colonizers. Barnett and Barnett (2009), points out to 1960 as the year that brought about the defining moments. This came as a result of the United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to colonial countries and peoples (50).
Again in this context, establishment of the Special committee on Colonialism back in 1961 proved to have had a strong anti-colonial composition (Barnett and Barnett 50) As such, this is a factor that contributed to the issue of African decolonization. Needless to speculate, The United Nations being in active facilitation of the global transformation to bring about international order contributed largely to the African decolonization. Generally, the main factors that contributed to the decolonization of Africa involve the pan-Africanism, emergence of new international movements and in the larger perspective the transformation of the global order under the leadership of the United States to restore international order.
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