“LOPSIDEDNESS”: AN APPRAISAL OF ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BRITAIN/FRANCE AND THEIR COLONIAL TERRITORIES IN EAST AND WEST AFRICA
This essay attempts to reassess the colonial economies of East and West Africa under British and French administrations. An appraisal of vital sectors of colonial economies forms the basis of analysis; and this shows that the two regions of Africa were ‘open economies’, as aptly observed by A.G. Hopkins. For instance, while agriculture and mining sectors attracted ‘special attention’, no concerted effort was made in the vital industrial sector that could have laid the foundation for the desired post-independence economic growth and sustained development of the two regions of Africa. Relying on diverse sources of data, the essay argues that contrary to the portrayal of the colonial enterprise by Lord F.D. Lugard as a ‘Dual Mandate’, it was rather a ‘Lopsided Mandate’ solely undertaken by colonial officials and their agents. The paper concludes that the purported benefits to East and West Africa manifested in socio-economic exploitations, which effects lingers till date and have contributed to the current low level of economic growth and underdevelopment witnessed in this two regions of Africa.
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