African Imperialism: Violence And Violence In Africa
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Morocco maintains control over Western Sahara despite an established independence movement, and this remains a point of contention between Morocco and Algeria. The conflict flared up again in Following years of civil war, South Sudan became independent after a referendum was held in Europeans divided Africa with complete disregard for the cultures and ethnic groups in Africa, often dividing a people between two or more countries and forcing peoples with a history of fighting or differing religions into one country. Additionally, a lack of training in civil service before and even after independence left most countries with dysfunctional governments.
Leaders tended to reward their own ethnic groups with jobs and money, and in many cases oppressed other ethnic groups. During the cold war some leaders played the big power blocs against each other while others stayed in power mostly because they were backed by either side. Especially after the cold war ended, some countries such as Somalia descended into protracted internal fighting and are considered failed states as nobody really has any power over the state as a whole and local rackets and militias are unable to provide more than the most basic government functions with the exception, in that case, of the formerly British-occupied area of Somaliland.
The discovery of valuable natural resources such as oil, uranium, diamonds, and coltan columbite—tantalite, an ore from which the rare earth metals niobium and tantalum, in very high demand for technological products such as cell phones, are extracted is one of the reasons separatist movements have sprung up, motivated in part by the greed of warlords and in part by the neglect of resource-rich areas that want a share in the profits, like the oil-rich exclave of Cabinda , Angola and the Niger Delta in Nigeria. Fortunately, there are numerous examples in Africa where past conflict has made way for functional and stable governments, offering some hope for the future of Africa.
The bleak picture often painted of Africa as a whole could not be further from the truth in many places and thanks to tourism, more stable and accountable governance and rapidly growing economies, some African countries are now looking towards a bright future of which the first signs are already visible. As the second largest continent, there is a wide range of climates to be found. There are a few bastions of cooler weather, however.
Peaks on islands such as Reunion , the Canary Islands , Cameroon and other countries are cool enough to necessitate a jacket much of the year. Timing varies a bit even in neighbouring countries, so check the page of the country you are visiting for more info. While rain may not be a huge factor when travelling to southern or East Africa, it is very problematic in West Africa and on islands in the Indian Ocean. In West Africa, rains will often flood and make many roads and railways impassable and, due to poor drainage, can literally result in rivers of water flowing down streets and sewage lines overflowing. In the Sahel, it can result in flash floods in low-lying areas. In fact it is said that drowning is the most common cause of death in the desert, as flash floods can surprise people walking in wadis dry riverbeds.
The largest weather-related dangers for travellers to Africa other than flooding are lightning and tropical cyclones. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has more lightning strikes each year than any other country on earth, especially in the eastern part of the country near Goma. After Africa's messy divorce from its European colonial powers, many African countries became mired in political power struggles and civil war.
Most African countries are developing democracies—struggling with corruption, but moving towards democratic values, like free and fair elections, freedom of speech, and involvement in government by several strata of society. Nevertheless, there are a few countries which still retain authoritarian governments, dictatorships, and kleptocracies. Equatorial Guinea and Eritrea remain among the most authoritarian countries on Earth, with severe repression of opposition. The problem of "tribalism" that plagues many African countries is somewhat of a misnomer, as many of these "tribes" are ethnically and linguistically more diverse and different from each other than most European ethnicities, and often they were forced to live in one state due to the arbitrary nature of colonial borders.
Still in some African countries ethnic and personal loyalties were more important than party ties or ideologies and the marginalised ethnicities often strived to overturn these regimes, only to replace them with one dominated by their ethnicity. Today, more than at any time in the continent's history, the nations of the continent are cooperating on important issues and increasingly relying on themselves to stop conflict and broker peace, rather than allowing the UN and Western powers to do so. The African Union AU is the continent's answer to the United Nations and promotes unity and the resolution of conflicts. It was established in , with its administrative seat in Addis Ababa , Ethiopia , and represents all African nations and territory, and various European possessions in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
European colonial powers remained active in many nations post-independence; France retains close diplomatic ties with many of its former colonies, and many of the others, such as the United Kingdom, Portugal and Belgium, have large African immigrant communities originating from their respective former colonies. The U. While there has been a change in focus from large-scale projects such as dams and highways to more local initiatives such as rural electrification or public transport for individual cities, the topic remains controversial and some African voices have even called for an end to development aid altogether.
Another problem with the World Bank credits is that new democratic governments often have to pay back old credits that their authoritarian, kleptocratic predecessor have taken out and wasted or outright embezzled, thus forcing their political agenda to conform to the wishes of the World Bank in large part instead of their own people. The question whether some or all of those "onerous loans" should or could be forgiven is another contentious issue between the mostly European and North American creditor nations and the African debtors. Another source of money for many people as well as countries is so-called "remittances" — that is, money that emigrants from African countries send back to their friends and relatives in their former home countries.
While this has sometimes helped grow local economies and bring direly needed investment, the extreme dependence of some areas on this source of revenue has created a great deal of economic problems. As a traveller you will probably notice that Western Union and similar services are available almost ubiquitously, as they are frequently used for the purpose of receiving remittances. China has notably been a major player on the continent since and Western diplomats are now trying to play catch-up and fight for influence with China. The Chinese demand for natural resources is great and the Chinese have accosted many African governments without the stigma of being a rich, Western nation or caring much about the values human rights, political freedom, etc.
Another selling point for them is the large number of state-run companies they have and the integration between the Chinese government and the state-owned companies they use to mine and build roads and infrastructure compared to the relationship between Western governments and private businesses. China has largely sought mineral rights by building infrastructure and seeking lucrative concessions for their state-owned companies as up-front "payment" for resources to be later extracted.
There is also an increasing number of African students choosing to study at Chinese universities, and several scholarships offered by the Chinese government for that purpose. Whether the Chinese involvement proves beneficial or is just another form of neo-colonialism remains to be seen, and is a controversial topic both inside the countries China is involved in and outside of them. Religion and spirituality are important all across Africa.
Christianity is spread across a large region, encompassing nearly all of Southern, Central and Eastern Africa, and has a long history in Africa. Egypt is closely associated with early Christian Church history. Ethiopia was among the first nations to adopt Christianity as their official religion in C. Most Christians are Protestant or Roman Catholic and mix it with indigenous beliefs, except for the Orthodox populations of Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Christian missionaries and the desire to "civilise" tribal Africans through conversion was a major drive of European colonisation. Ramadan is the 9th and holiest month in the Islamic calendar and lasts 29—30 days.
Muslims fast every day for its duration and most restaurants will be closed until the fast breaks at dusk. Nothing including water and cigarettes is supposed to pass through the lips from dawn to sunset. Non-Muslims are exempt from this, but should still refrain from eating or drinking in public as this is considered very impolite. Working hours are decreased as well in the corporate world. Exact dates of Ramadan depend on local astronomical observations and may vary somewhat from country to country. Ramadan concludes with the festival of Eid al-Fitr , which may last several days, usually three in most countries. If you're planning to travel to Africa during Ramadan, consider reading Travelling during Ramadan. Islam is the largest religion on the continent by number of adherents according to most sources but, bolstered by the large Muslim populations of Egypt and Nigeria, covers a smaller geographic footprint.
All North African countries are overwhelmingly Muslim with only Egypt having a sizable Christian minority, but irreligion is growing, especially among urban youth. Nigeria, Chad and Cote d'Ivoire are all about equally split between Muslim populations in the north and Christians in the south. Islam was first brought to the continent in the centuries after its birth, spreading across northern Africa and later being spread down the Indian Ocean coast by merchants and seafarers to the coasts of Kenya, Tanzania and the Comoros. The Swahili language is strongly influenced by Arabic. An attempt has been made to promote more conservative forms of Islam since the s, through Muslim NGOs and Saudi Arabian assistance, although this coincides with a fear of radicalisation and the emergence of al Qaeda and other Islamist groups in parts of North Africa and the Sahel particularly Mali, Niger and Algeria.
In certain Muslim regions, adherence to religious law is expected such as no alcohol consumption but khat is fine, where legal and the covering of women's limbs, and extreme offence is taken when these rules are broken or, worse, Islam or its prophets are insulted. Traditional African religions are practiced by many Africans either exclusively or as syncretic elements woven into their practice of Christianity or Islam.
There is no single uniting aspect to these religions beyond the fact that they all rely on oral tradition and animism. In some cases, the belief isn't in particular deities, but rather "magic". Among common, but certainly not universal, elements of indigenous African religions are:. Magic plays a role in many traditional African beliefs. In some places, witches are believed to be the source of terminal illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. The Vodun religion practised in Togo and Benin a precursor to Haitian Voudou and related religions among the African Diaspora in the Americas believes that all creation is divine and thus carries the power of the divine.
Hinduism is practised by the large ethnic Indian populations in former British colonies of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, the Seychelles and Mauritius, where many Indians were indentured servants under British masters. Judaism has a long, if not well known, history on the continent. There is also a large Jewish community in South Africa, mostly descended from immigrants from Lithuania in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many Jewish communities existed throughout North Africa, some from the early Diaspora while others fled persecution in Iberia in the 7th and 15th centuries.
Those communities are now almost entirely gone, having emigrated to North America, Israel and France to escape persecution or being outright forced out after the founding of the state of Israel, though vestiges of these communities do still survive in Morocco and Tunisia. The continent has perhaps the least extensive air route network of all the world's inhabited continents. When flying to major destinations like Johannesburg , Nairobi , or Accra , there's a good amount of choice and airfare costs about average when compared to routes of similar length around the world. Airfares tend to be cheaper when booked from a European capital that has a strong colonial link to your destination, which typically means from London , Paris , Brussels and Lisbon.
However, less popular destinations like Brazzaville or Niamey may only be served by a few flights per week operated by major airlines and the cost of airfares can be expensive. Some African airlines such as Air Namibia only service their neighbouring countries, with one or two or no flights to Europe. Few other African airlines operate inter-continental flights and many have poor or questionable safety records and offer poor levels of service. Keep in mind that many airlines are part of alliances and code share agreements and you will likely fly on more than one airline. See your destination's article for more specific information on flights.
Bear in mind that many African countries only offer a few international flights each day, or in some cases, each week. There are more flights to Africa from Europe than from any other continent. The cheapest flights to African cities are often through the African country's former colonial power. Cities with large immigrant populations such as London, Marseille, and Paris have a good number of flights to Africa. Turkish Airlines flies to 39 destinations in 30 African countries as of Middle Eastern airlines such as Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways have greatly expanded their services to Africa, and offer connections to many major African cities at competitive rates than European airlines.
Delta's Johannesburg to Atlanta flight is the second-longest flight in the world by both distance 13, km and scheduled time 16 hr 40 min. There are only a handful of direct flights connecting Johannesburg to Perth and Sydney. Additionally there is a connection between Mauritius and Perth. The only land connection to another continent is the km-wide Isthmus of Suez, which is found in Egypt although the Sinai peninsula is sometimes considered a part of Africa for geopolitical reasons. Thus the only way to drive into Africa is to drive through Egypt. Despite there being just one, narrow land crossing into the continent, there are other ways to bring vehicles into Africa by short car ferries. The short crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco is crossed by several ferries daily and relatively inexpensive.
Other car ferries include:. Elsewhere in Africa, cruises are limited to luxury or 'boutique' cruise lines often aboard small vessels and quite expensive or " freighter cruises " which do not offer much to "passengers" but may spend a few days in a handful of ports. Grimaldi Freighter Cruises has weekly departures to West Africa making the round-trip from Amsterdam in 38 days. The Seychelles, Reunion and Mauritius are popular destinations for yachts and private vessels, but piracy around the Horn of Africa has kept a lot of the European vessels away.
The general rule that visas are more difficult to obtain for countries that have more authoritarian governments and are less "classical" tourist destinations is true for Africa as well, although there are exceptions. Also with few exceptions it is easier to get into most countries if you are from a "first world" country. Many countries in southern and eastern Africa have visa-free or visas available at the airport or border crossing for EU, American, Canadian, and a few other nationalities with a minimal amount of paperwork and wait.
On the other hand, some countries have burdensome requirements that often differ among their embassies and border crossings. Most countries in West Africa require visas for travellers from outside the region. In some cases these visas can be arranged at airports or less commonly at borders, but this is often not an option. West African embassies are not widespread outside of the region generally limited to former colonial metropoles , and visa services are sometimes not available in some neighbouring countries.
Sometimes visas are issued rapidly, sometimes it's a lengthy and costly process. Check before starting a trip across the region, as regulations and practices often change. Many other African carriers offer flights to more remote locations. If you want to drive your own car around Africa see also Carnet de Passage. For sightseeing trips, it may be less expensive to hire a taxi than to rent a car, but be sure to negotiate taxi fares beforehand. Travel on rural roads can be slow and difficult in the dry season and disrupted by floods in the rainy season. If you plan on travelling in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, avoid the rainy months of May through October above the equator and the rainy months of November through April below the equator.
Some roads may be flooded or washed out during these months. Travel by car outside large towns can be dangerous. Major roads are generally well maintained but there are few divided highways in Africa. In addition, rural auto accidents are fairly common because of high speed limits and the presence of wildlife in these areas. Night driving, especially in rural areas, is not recommended, and visitors are encouraged to hire reputable tour operators for safaris or other game viewing expeditions.
Bus service is extensive in Africa and in almost all countries it is the main means of transportation for locals and tourists alike. Styles of busses and minibusses vary across the continent, refer to country pages for more info. Locals hike rides in vehicles with strangers throughout Africa, often paying a fee to the driver in return for the favour or service. The distinction between a private vehicle and a taxi is blurred and in many countries, informal taxi business flourish, by picking people up from the side of the road who want a lift. In some areas, such as Johannesburg, specific hand signals are used by hitchhikers to indicate where they wish to go and it is common for vehicles to carry several people at the same time a particular area.
Foreigners may expose themselves to considerable personal risk by travelling in this way, and it is important to understand the political and social climate of each region before doing so. Some people with limited amounts of time or who would prefer not to make their own arrangements opt for the "overlander" experience. Many operators run tours in large trucks that are comfortable and equipped with facilities for around persons. They're generally run on a pretty tight schedule and cover a lot of distance, such as "Nairobi to Johannesburg in six weeks".
These tours are run throughout the whole continent but East and Southern Africa are by far the most popular destinations. Accommodation is mostly camping with tents provided. Most meals are arranged and many are prepared by those on the trip cooking duties rotated throughout the trip , and free time like everything else is scheduled. However, there is plenty of time to participate in the adventure activities that certain areas of Africa are famous for such as Victoria Falls , Swakopmund , Zanzibar, and Serengeti National Park. Some people really enjoy these tours, especially when they do not have enough time to organise all travel arrangements themselves.
Others loathe the very thought of travelling in a group and think that they keep you way out of touch with the "real" Africa. Whatever the case, they're a very different way to travel through Africa. The people that go on these tours tend to be young at heart and slightly adventurous; these tours are not luxury trips. Most railway lines in Africa were built by the colonial powers, often with great human cost, with the main purpose of extracting wealth from the interior to coastal cities for export. After the fall of colonialism, many lines haven't been extended or maintained. However, during the s, Chinese and European investment have rehabilitated several lines and also built new standard gauge railway lines in several countries.
The North African states of Algeria , Egypt , Morocco and Tunisia all have rail networks of adequate quality, some of them even comparing favorable to a few European or East Asian countries, with connections to most major cities. In , Morocco opened Africa's first true high speed rail line between Tangier and Rabat. Due to political tensions and in part the sparse population in border areas there are however no international train services between these countries.
For travellers to and from Egypt the old Wadi Halfa to Khartoum , in Sudan , train is useful as it connects with the ferry across Lake Nasser to the Egyptian rail terminus in Aswan. An unique experience, but not very useful as a means of transportation, is to ride the longest train in the world in Mauritania , either in the caboose or atop open iron ore carriages. Libya has no railways and plans to change that were derailed by the political troubles that have shaken this country since the s.
South Africa has a long history with passenger rail, there are overnight trains from most major cities several times per week. Additionally Gauteng province is served by the fast Gautrain , connecting the major cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria with O. Tambo International Airport. There are no proper international trains to South Africa but several lines terminates at border cities, making it quite easy to travel from neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Most other countries in Southern Africa have some form of passenger services, but quality and frequency varies greatly. Finally, for those with money to splurge, there are luxury trains like the Blue Train and Rovos Rail which offers luxurious old world charm. East Africa has had declining services for a long time but due to recent investment several new lines have opened between major cities.
Both Ethiopia and Kenya now boast brand new trains connecting major cities. Central African countries have fared worse with little to no investment, and railways to show for it. Angola has rehabilitated its railway lines but services remain spotty. Very limited and erratic services are available in other countries. Nigeria is however investing heavily in rail and several new intercity trains have sprung up. Where there is water, there are usually boat services to some extent. Some noteworthy river journeys in Africa are:.
Travelling by pirogue is slow, but the Sahelian scenery and people you meet on the boat and during stops make this a memorable African experience. Small boats from villages come out and moor themselves to these ferries to sell food and merchandise and the boat is a bustling marketplace of hundreds of people much of the time. Conditions aboard these ferries are poor and bearable only by the most seasoned of travellers. Talk to the captain to see if you can use one of the handful of rooms to sleep. There is no dominant language in Africa, but if you are travelling in West or Central Africa, French and English will be the most useful across these nations and regions.
Arabic is the dominant language in North Africa, although French is also widely spoken. English is also useful in many countries, and dominant in much of Southern Africa. Swahili is the most useful language in East Africa. In Ethiopia, most people speak Amharic , which is indigenous to Ethiopia. Even if you know a blanket language like French, it is always a good idea to bring phrasebooks for the native languages. In Senegal , for example, despite being part of Francophone Africa, visitors are likely to find Wolof very useful and sometimes necessary when dealing with residents. It also helps if you have a basic understanding of the language used by a country's former colonist e. German is useful to know if you are going to Namibia, since there is a large German-speaking white population.
The more you wish to interact with locals or go out of the cities, the more important it will be for you to have resources to communicate in the local African languages. Other Ancient African Societies. Greek and Roman Africa. Ethiopia and Christianity. Africa and Islam. The Impact of Slavery. European Imperialism. The Fight for Independence. Modern Africa. Further Resources on African History. The specific electronic form, and any notes and questions are copyright. Permission is granted to copy the text, and to print out copies for personal and educational use. No permission is granted for commercial use. During the second half of the nineteenth century, for example, in what is now Ghana, conflict between the Fante and Asante, which predated British designs on the kingdom of Asante, motivated the Fante to join the British against the Asante, who at the time seemed to be their greatest threat.
The complexity of Africans' political relationships among themselves, then, influenced the nature of their resistance to colonial rule. As they resisted European invasions, they confronted both European and African soldiers. That is, they confronted a political hierarchy imposed by Western Europeans that included African proxies. The power was European, but the face of it on the local level was often African. Despite these seeming contradictions, it remains insufficient to speak of African responses to the imposition of colonial rule as a choice between either collaboration or resistance.
It was possible to resist colonial rule through collaboration with the colonizers in one instance and in the next to resist European authority. It was also possible to limit European political control through some form of collaboration with European generals or colonial administrators. This is all to suggest that Africans evaluated their circumstances, assessed possible actions and consequences, to make rational responses. Some form of resistance, moreover, remained constant during the period of formal European political dominance. Ethiopia stands alone, however, as the one African society to successfully defend itself against an invading European army and remain free of direct European political domination.
Samory's legacy remains controversial, yet he is a significant example of pragmatic resistance for the ways in which he contended with French aggression. He manufactured firearms, relocated his kingdom, and engaged in diplomacy with both the French and the British. Yet as he conquered African territory and engaged in conflicts with African competitors, the French pushed deeper into the West African interior from Senegal, under the direction of Louis Faidherbe and his Senegalese Tirailleurs—a corps of African soldiers—and the British pushed northward through Sierra Leone and the Gold Coast with a large contingent of Hausa soldiers. Each time the French attacked his territory or the trade routes and goldfields at the heart of his economy, he mounted a series of successful counterattacks, until he was captured by the French, dying in exile in Ethiopia's history and political structure fostered a broad-based, unified military response to the Italian invasion.
Ethiopians rallied around Menelik II and took pride in the kingdom's glorious history. Between and in Algeria, Islam became another source of unity, as Abd al-Qadir led his resistance against the French. In other territories conflicts among African societies hindered the effectiveness of their resistance. In the s, for example, in what is today Zimbabwe, the British used existing disputes between the Ndebele and neighboring communities to foment a conflict in which the British would have to intervene and would ultimately gain a position to claim control over Ndebele land.
Ndansi Kumalo, a Ndebele chief and a subject of Lobengula, the Ndebele king, described the events that took place between and when Cecil Rhodes and Lobengula disagreed about the terms of the treaty signed in Lobengula believed that he had extended only mineral rights to the diamond magnate; Rhodes argued that the entire territory had become his personal fiefdom, and gave his name to the territory: Rhodesia. The British attacked, the Ndebele surrendered, and the British imposed Africans from a different territory to police the Ndebele.
The Ndebele fought tenaciously even though with each charge British Maxim guns mowed them down. Yet they managed to kill enough British soldiers to force them to retreat. But for the Maxims, it would have been different. In a longer passage of which this quote is a part, we witness not only the overwhelming effects of European military technology, but also the tensions existing within African societies that inhibited their ability to withstand European incursions. The British succeeded in playing the Ndebele and neighboring Mashona against each other, and this, combined with the spread of smallpox, placed the Ndebele at a severe disadvantage. Much to the detriment of African societies, the enmity between them often fostered alliances between Africans and Europeans against a common African enemy.
Hendrik Witbooi, a Nama chief and early Germany ally against the neighboring Herero, in what is now Namibia, illustrates shifting European allegiances and the strategies that placed Africans at a distinct disadvantage. Initially, Witbooi and the Nama were allies of the Germans against the Herero. But after the Germans asserted increased control over the region, in , Witbooi revolted and joined with the Herero to resist them. On August 17, , Witbooi wrote a letter to the colonial administrator Theodor Leutwein, who had accused Witbooi of recalcitrance.
Despite Witbooi's pleas, the Germans defeated the Nama and the Herero. But Witbooi rose again, at the age of eighty, to fight once more. In he was killed leading a charge against a German column. As the example of Hendrik Witbooi illustrates, African individuals and groups who resisted European colonial authority were aware of the challenges they faced. At the same time, the larger picture of European colonial rule and its implications were not always readily apparent; nor could they have been. Political and economic competition with neighboring communities remained the highest priority, particularly when the European presence appeared to be an economic and political advantage. In the aftermath of their conquest of the Nama and Herero, the Germans waged a war of extermination.
Those who survived hunger, thirst, and exhaustion were placed in concentration camps that foreshadowed the death camps of Nazi Germany. By the population of the Herero had declined by four-fifths in ten years, and there were half as many living Nama. Witbooi, never failing to inspire tenacious defense of the Nama, was killed in an attack against a German column. Not all resistance during the early years of European colonial rule took the form of pragmatic violence. Most was more subtle and directed toward local issues of political and economic autonomy.
Particularly in British territories, Africans commonly used local movements to resist European colonial policies or practices by the colonial administrations' African proxies. What is unique about the movement that produced the revolt is that its leadership was composed entirely of rural women. It is also unique because it was the only mass protest to take place in Nigeria prior to the years leading to independence in There was a history of economic and social autonomy among Igbo women, and they were well organized through communal associations. In Igbo women felt that their autonomy was threatened by an impending tax imposed by the local colonial administration.
Rumors of this tax spread after the district administration's census of men, their wives, and cattle. Within days of the census's completion, up to ten thousand women reportedly confronted the Warrant Chief Okugo, who had overseen the census on behalf of the district administration, and demanded that he resign. The protests spread throughout the region and resulted in the death of fifty-five women.
The Aba Women's Revolt was an effort on the part of Igbo women to protect their economic and political interests. It was not a movement against European colonial rule; rather, it aimed at particular policies that the women perceived to originate with the British-imposed warrant chiefs. Struggles with maintaining political autonomy and control over culture created tension within African societies and between the colonial administration and Africans throughout Africa, often leading to subtle forms of resistance as African individuals and groups sought to remove themselves from the colonial sphere of influence rather than challenge it. Yet doing so was in and of itself a challenge to the colonial order and a threat to European authority.
Ahmadou Bamba aimed to sustain a level of social and economic autonomy, and his case illustrates the fear that colonial administrators had of Africans' continued capacity to organize themselves outside the European sphere of influence. During the s and early s he gained a broad following that included influential chiefs and their followers. The French feared Bamba's potential ability to organize a resistance. Yet his goal was to protect Islam from the corruptive forces of European rule. He waged war not on the French occupiers but on European culture and colonial politics. Still, as a safeguard against his potential political influence, the French repeatedly exiled Ahmadou Bamba between and Yet his exile enhanced his standing among Senegalese as stories of his miraculous survival of torture and attempted executions spread.
The French allowed him to return to Senegal in After World War II most African leaders engaged the colonial state through formally organized political parties and trade unions. Between and , many of these parties ushered in the transition to independence and became the ruling parties of independent Africa. As such, they had little alternative but to cooperate with the outgoing colonial powers. Yet there were parties and politicians that refused to compromise and sought to define their nation's transition to independence on their own terms. He famously remarked, "We prefer poverty in liberty than riches in slavery. He thoughtfully assessed his choices and made what he believed, considering the circumstances, to be the decision that best served the interests of his people.
The discussion of pragmatic resistance in Africa comes full circle with the former Portuguese colonies, South Africa, and Kenya. In these territories, violent resistance brought colonial rule to a close.