Africa in the Modern World:Angola


Within today’s global epoch many theorists have argued, that several of the challenges faced by a majority of states within Sub-Saharan Africa with regard to poor economic, social or environmental hardships is a consequence, not of the masses of these regions inability to continue the process of augmentation and expansion with regard to socio-economic standing as a collective but the dimensions brought about by the process of colonialism. Nevertheless, it is as a result of this veracity that we ask ourselves, what were the nuances of colonialism and what was the impact of this process with regard to development upon African States? It is however as a consequence of this veracity that in this essay I will first provide a brief definition with regard to what the process of colonialism entailed followed by a brief description on several theories which conceptualize this process. I will then secondly discuss this quandary with regard to its impact on the state of Angola. I will then conclude this discussion with my conclusion regarding this subject matter.

1.1) what was colonialism?

The occurrence of Colonialism in the 21st century put simply refers, to the relationship upon which one country is subject to the authority of another. This process usually entails a hegemonic power exercising ‘domination’, a political practice which usually involves subjugation of another states culture, ethnicity, values, and or goods or materials (Bishop, David & Nassali, 2018) .This incidence usually involves the settlement of a populace from an imposing power establishing a colony within the region (Bishop, David & Nassali, 2018) .Nevertheless, the term colonialism has also been seen as a form of exploitation with great emphasis on economic variables when dealing with less developed states (Horvath, 1972). Comparatively, Marxist Leninist literature view this occurrence as the culture-change process whilst, controversially in accordance to the principles of anthropology although these various points of exodus should not conflict, the preference of domination in due course results in the exclusion of culture change (Horvath, 1972) .

The process of domination with regard to colonialism is related to the concept of power in state politics (Horvath, 1972). Extensive evidence does however suggest that colonialism with regard to Africa in the early 19th century referred to group domination not social associations (Horvath, 1972). Two basic types of group domination can however be distinguished when analysing colonialism, intergroup and outer group domination. This procedure was however employed as a means to differentiate between homogeneity and heterogeneity (Horvath, 1972). Intergroup domination does nonetheless involve the domination process taking place in a culturally heterogeneous society, whilst outer group domination refers to the same process taking place with regard to relations in the intercontinental facilitations (Horvath, 1972).The question of how we should judge the historical implications of colonialism has however remained a subject of great debate and discussion amongst many academics even within today’s epoch. For many the practice of passing judgement on the past is taxing since it involves holding historic actors to account on the basis of basic contemporary morality standards (“Colonialism/post colonialism”, 2016).


In the 21st century much study in present-day political theory and ethics, has however taken a different perspective and focused on the lasting effect of this occurrence on future generations. This perspective does however analyse the present day legacy of this administration with regard to the distribution of benefits and burdens, this approach is however referred to as ,” post-colonialism” (“Colonialism/post colonialism”, 2016). The theory of post colonialism places emphasis on a variety of topics relating to the cultural consequences brought about by colonization. Nevertheless, this theory aims to not only explain the events which transpired after decolonization but seek a critical perspective regarding its ongoing problematic legacy (“Colonialism/post colonialism”, 2016) Moreover, many critics view post colonialism as a means of examining unconsciously changed cultures through literature. Controversially, it can however be noted that a majority of post –colonialist issues do however rotate around boundaries, ethnic rivalry and an unequal circulation of wherewithal.

By the 1960’s, after many year of ceaseless belligerent, many Western territories gained self rule, political self-determination and sovereignty (“Effects of Colonization”, 2018). Nonetheless regardless of this actuality, colonial legacies became visible to populations as emphasis became placed on the boundaries that were created throughout the course of the colonial ages (“Effects of Colonization”, 2018). Additionally, these new governments promoted ethnic rivalry as well as the continued prejudice and merciless actions towards minority populations(“Effects of Colonization”, 2018) .According to Robert Young, a majority of post-colonial critique focuses on the forces of not only oppressive but tyrannical domination imposed by this regime and its impact on the present day populace, the process of imperialism was however ultimately the system which set the foundation of many colonialist theories(Young,2001).

Origins of Colonialism: Imperialism

Imperialism does however refer to the earliest manner of European exploration upon which one country exerts direct control over another, this role has however almost always been an industrial hegemonic state in accordance to human history(“Effects of Imperialism in Africa — Video & Lesson Transcript |”, 2018). Countries that did however experience the subjugation of imperialistic outreach where nevertheless, often non-industrialised and none-white states (“The Impact of European Imperialism in Africa”, 2018). This veracity can be noted through an observation of states like Cuba, India, Indonesia and Africa. Many nations did however justify both imperialism and colonialism as a mean to civilize non-European societies (“Imperialism and socialism in the context of Africa”, 2018) .Towards the beginning of the 18th century the phrase mercantilism did on the other hand become used to characterise what is now regarded as colonialism (“The Colonization of Africa”, 2018).By the end of World War II it seemed that imperialistic expansion had ended with the Great Depression. Since this incident almost all countries that where once colonies have become free and independent states. (“Effects of Imperialism in Africa — Video & Lesson Transcript |”, 2018) Nonetheless, this does not necessarily mean the rule of imperialist powers has ended nor has their influence over the countries they once ruled (“The Impact of European Imperialism in Africa”, 2018).

Colonialism in Angola

Although in today’s global epoch Angola remains an independent state, this region has had a history consisting of a past lined under the colonial jurisdiction of the Portuguese empire. The process of colonial expansion within this region was however accelerated by Dutch occupation Portugal in the 1640’s(Rodgers, 2018).Even so, the colonial rule of the Portuguese lasted almost 300 hundred years until; October 20th 1950 when Angola became designated a sovereign overseas province recognized by the global community(Rodgers, 2018). Portuguese interest in Angola did however materialize from its supposed capacity with regard to gold, diamonds and other valuable resources (Rodgers, 2018). Yet, the Portuguese empire soon found that Angola better served as a labour commerce, and as such deemed slavery the single most valued industry within the constituency (Rodgers, 2018). This conclusion did however; lead to the destruction of not only families but communions as a consequence of the mass exportation slavery imposed on a subjugated populace (Rodgers, 2018).Angolans were sent as slaves to North and South America to evocate on mines and plantations, whilst minerals mined and crops harvested were sent to Europe (“Angola from past to present”, 2018).

Geographical history

Angola is however a country located in the South western part of Africa (“Portuguese Exploration, Positive or Negative?” 2018).The Republic of Angola has a total land mass of about 1 246 700,sq km and a total populace of about 18.5 million and rate of 2.03% with regard to population growth(“Major problems facing Angola today”, 2018). This region is incredibly vast and as a result takes on a variety of landscapes from the semi desert Atlantic bordering Namibia’s Skeleton coast to rain Forrest of the upper highlands (“Angola | Culture, History, & People”, 2018).In the nineteenth century, the export of slaves from this region did however become banned, after much opposition from the inhabitant hamlet of this nation state (Rodgers, 2018). This development did nevertheless lead to the end of one of the Portuguese empires richest and most common export, slavery.

Struggle for independence in Angola

Many Portuguese did however still attempt to conduct dealings regarding slavery even though it was outlawed within the region in 1875.In response to the worsening situation for the populations of Angola, in the 1950’s and 60s three guerrilla groups formed to not only liberate it’s people from a oppressive regime but gain independence. The guerrilla groups formed where however known as the MPLA(Moviment Popular de Libertoccoa de Angata),FNLA(Frente Nacional de Libertaco de Angola) and the UNITA(Unia Nacional Para Independent Total de Angola) (Angola | Culture, History, & People”, 2018).These groups where responsible for signing the ‘’Alvar’’ agreement in January 1975 granting Angola its independence (“Angola becomes independent of Portuguese colonial rule”, 2018).Nevertheless, as a result of political differences amongst the parties that signed the “Alvar’’ agreement a civil war broke out between the MPLA and UFTA(“Angola becomes independent of Portuguese colonial rule”, 2018). Conversely, the MPLA’s claim became supported by Cuba and the Soviet Union whilst the MPLA was supported by South Africa and the United States (“Angola becomes independent of Portuguese colonial rule”, 2018).The independence of Angola did however pave the way for the “liberation” in Southern Africa to on the bases of Military training (“Reverse colonialism: Angola snaps up Portuguese media”, 2018). Colonization in Angola did however usher in the successful expansion of industrial activity within this region as well as the spreading of Christianity. Colonialism has however had several implications for the populace of this region that can be noted today.

Effect of Colonialism in Angola

The civil war which transpired in this expanse severely damaged not only the state’s basic infrastructure but agricultural facilities as well as socio-economic amenities. The government of Angola does however depend less on farms for food as they have now all but been destroyed by the dimensions of civil war. With 50% of all food that enters the state needing to be imported by foreign aid (“Positive/Negative Effects”, 2018). Furthermore, education and medical care within this constituency has become insufficient, with over 70% of the population being unemployed experiencing the anguish of absolute poverty. (“Positive/Negative Effects”, 2018).The Portuguese did not train the Angolans, they did however teach the Angolans to read (“Portuguese Exploration, Positive or Negative?” 2018) .This skill was facilitated so that the Angolan populace could read the bible and read instructions. This resulted in the Angolans being unable to get jobs that did not involve physical labour (“Portuguese Exploration, Positive or Negative?” 2018). Moreover, even in today’s global community there still remains a great deal of violence in Angola, with people incessantly attempting to seek shelter from the ongoing brutality by moving to cities where they overwork public services (“Positive/Negative Effects”, 2018).Furthermore, when the workers had to leave Angola the economy became weakened as there were no workers to facilitate the agricultural economy and produce goods. Additionally, millions of hidden land mines left from the Portuguese colonial rule still injure and kill many citizens every year. Consequently, it can however be noted that after gaining independence Angola’s economic progress has declined.

The aquatic venture between Norway and Angola

On March 20th earlier this year it was announced that, the Angolan Ministry of Fisheries and the ocean in affiliation with Norway are working on the drafting of multinational strategic plan with regard to the aquatic milieu of the Southern African region(Angola, Norway work on strategic plan for sustainable sea exploration-Xinhua/,2018). This union aims not only as a means to gain new knowledge regarding Angola’s resources along their coast line but the management marine resources in a manner that not only ensures sustainability but prosperity for the people of this constituency(Angola, Norway work on strategic plan for sustainable sea exploration-Xinhua/,2018). The hidden potential with regard to development if this endeavour is successful has significant possibilities with regard to improving not only its internal socio and ecological conditions but, its standing within the global community as a collective(“Doing business in Norway”, 2018).


Given the extensive long history with regard to Norwegian trawling industries and aquatic research the Angolan minister of fisheries requested the support of Norway to help his administration draw up viable strategies with regard to the sustainable exploitation of the Angolan sea (Angola, Norways strategic plan for sustainable sea exploration-Xinhua/, 2018). Shortly after Norway’s Charge d’ affaires ,Howard Hokness expressed his gratitude in a statement saying,” The Republic of Angola’ has invaluable possibilities and a vast coastline which could possibly guarantee food security for not only the local population but Africa as a constituency (Angola, Norway work on strategic plan for sustainable sea exploration-Xinhua/,2018)


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International Relations and Political Science Graduate from the Monash University of Australia/Writer/Journalist