How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
Before a bomb ended his life in the summer of 1980, Walter Rodney had created a powerful legacy. This pivotal work, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, had already brought a new perspective to the question of underdevelopment in Africa. His Marxist analysis went far beyond the heretofore accepted approach in the study of Third World underdevelopment. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa is an excellent introductory study for the student who wishes to better understand the dynamics of Africa s contemporary relations with the West.
series of legal devices such as patents. Furthermore, because the U.S.A. was by then the world’s leading capitalist state, it also had to assume active responsibility for maintaining the capitalist imperialist structure in all its economic, political, and military aspects. After the war, the U.S.A. moved into Western Europe and Japan both to establish its own stranglehold and at the same time to give a blood transfusion to capitalism in those areas. A lot of the blood was definitely African. It
The banks did very little lending locally. In British East Africa, credit to Africans was specifically discouraged by the Credit to Natives (Restriction) Ordinance of 1931. Insurance companies catered almost exclusively to the interests of white settlers and capitalist firms. The policy of colonial reserves in metropolitan currencies can also be cited as a “service” inimical to Africans. The Currency Boards and central banks which performed such services denied Africa access to its own funds
individuals owned large coffee, cocoa, or cotton shambas, and others rose to some prominence in the colonial administration through education. As individuals, they had improved their lot, and they became models of achievement within the society. Any model of achievement is an educational model, which directs the thoughts and actions of young and old in the society. The model of personal achievement under colonialism was really a model for the falling apart and the underdevelopment of African
by exchange. This trend was displayed in the principal African manufactures, and notably in the cloth industry. Cotton fiber had to be ginned (separated from the seed), then carded and spun into yarn, before being woven. Either the yarn or the woven cloth had to be dyed, and the making of the dye itself was a complex process. There was a time when all these stages would be performed by a single family or rather by the women in a single family, as in Yoruba-land. But economic development was
work out a more manageable constitution, or to contribute to new techniques of war, or to advance agriculture and trade. Of course, it is also true that the benefits of all such contributions went mainly to a small section of African society, both within and without the zone of slaving; for, as communalism receded, the principle of egalitarian distribution was disregarded. These various points can be illustrated by concrete historical examples drawn from all over the continent during the