This essay aims at discussing the extent to which the colonial legacy explains the poor development record of most African countries today.
According to Furtado (cited in Msiska: 2000:1), the development of a nation entails an increase in the efficiency of the production system of a society, the satisfaction of the population's basic needs and the attainment of the objectives sought by various groups in a society in which certain conditions prevail for human beings. Therefore, poor development means being unable to attain the standards mentioned above or in other words it means being unable to move from a simple primitive stage to a complex modern and advanced one.
Indeed to a certain extent, colonial legacy had an impact to the poor development record of most African countries today. In the first place, according to Otim (1992:12), the bringing together of ethnic groups intensified division among the people and these had the effect in the post independence era of hampering and weakening Africans' capacity to administer the affairs of multi-ethnic states that were previously homogenous entities.
Because of this, then, it was not surprising to see the new artificial independent states at independence states at independence time not matured enough to build a solid base that could support sustainable development.
In relation to this point, because of the fragmentation, which according to Otim (1992:11), was seen as a blessing to colonisers point of view because it provided an enabling environment for multi national companies exploit cheap African labour and the abundant resources which helped western industrial development in the North and resulting affluent society. This resulted in the coercive aspects such as the wide spread abuse of forced labour for railway building, porterage and road construction. This legacy explain the poor development record of most African countries because people were...