The Africa of 1960: Social Fragmentation and Economic Disruption

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Harsh realities, occasioned by historical truths, have often dampened the fondest wishes of Africans. While academics and governments today talk of debt relief for African nations, the year of 1960 was little different in terms of attempting to revitalize a continent facing economic crises, social fragmentation, and administrative decay.


This essay will begin with a brief social and economic description of Africa in 1960 before attempting to identify what role certain events in Africa's history played in creating the conditions of Africa in 1960.
As an initial matter, when describing Africa in terms of its social and economic structures at the time, it is important to note that there were many inherited philosophies and organisational mechanisms. Independence did not eliminate the influence of so many years of colonial domination; quite the contrary, traditional notions of social organisation and economic ideology had been forgotten to some extant and replaced by the foreign preferences and behaviors. From the point of view of social organisation, for instance, clan-like allegiances had been replaced, in part, by ideological and religious allegiances (Routes to Independence, 2003: np). Both political and social leaders, as well as aspirants for power, rallied around philosophical platforms based upon capitalism or Marxism. Granted independence, social groups began to align themselves with leaders devoted to a sort of African self-determination based upon ideas borrowed from the Soviet Union at the expense of those previously implemented by the colonialists. ...
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