The impact of neoliberalism on post-colonial Africa in the 20th century

Ric Yeboah

The decolonisation of Africa in the 1950s and 1960s was seen as the great opportunity for the continent to finally realise its potential independently. Spurred by the sustained demands for self-determination by leading nationalists such as Jomo Kenyatta and Kwame Nkrumah, many countries throughout Africa would take back their sovereignty from their European possessors. For the first time in more than a century, Africans had once again acquired control of their resource-rich continent, and could now build upon their individual liberation movements and fulfil their ambitions to not only compete with, but overtake their former oppressors. However, merely twenty years after independence several African countries encountered severe economic complications. Thus, asAfrica’s principal development partner,the World Bank, alongside its partner organisation theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF)stepped in by supplying loans to cash-strapped African economies throughStructural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs). However,the SAPs – and the programme’s specific…

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