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Part.5 African’s Peacefull Means: Macro-cultural aspects

Four forces have been major cause of the development of violence in the African macro-cultural level: religion, technology, economy, and empires. These have not always acted separately and often have supported each other. For example, the expansion of Christianity started with the conversion of Emperor Constantine I of Rome in the year 313. The religious conversion of an emperor started the process under which Christianity became the dominant religion not only in Europe but also in several other societies later ruled or settled by Europeans, including Africa. The expansion of Islam began not with converting a ready-made empire, but with building  an  empire  almost  from  scratch.  The  Umayyad  and Abbasids  dynasties  put  together  bits  of  other  people’s  empires (e.g., former Byzantine Egypt and former Zoroastrian Persia) and created a completely new civilization. Prof.  E. Possoz of Brussels, Bantu Philosophy, made the following important observation: up to the present, ethnographers have denied all abstract thought to tribal people (Africans). The civilised Christian (“colonist”) people were exalted, while the savage and primitive man (“African”) was denigrated and defamed. The theory of colonisation is based on this concept.


V.1. Theory of colonization:  “diviser pour mieux regner” in



The Berlin Conference was Africa’s undoing in more ways than one.  The  colonial  powers  superimposed  their  domains  on  the African continent. By the time independence returned to Africa in

1950, the realm had acquired a legacy of political fragmentation that could neither be eliminated nor made to operate satisfactorily. (de Blij, p.340).


In 1884, at the time of the conference, only the coastal areas of Africa were colonized by the European powers. At the Berlin Conference  the  European  colonial  powers  scrambled  to  gain control over the interior of the continent. This new map of the continent was imposed and disregarded the cultural and linguistic boundaries already established by the indigenous African population.


By  1914,  the  conference  participants  had  fully  divided  Africa among themselves into fifty countries:


* Great Britain desired a Cape-to-Cairo collection of colonies and almost succeeded though their control of Egypt, Sudan (Anglo- Egyptian Sudan), Uganda, Kenya (British East Africa), South Africa,  and Zambia,  Zimbabwe,  and Botswana  (Rhodesia).  The British also controlled Nigeria and Ghana (Gold Coast).

* France took much of western Africa, from Mauritania to Chad (French  West  Africa)  and  Gabon  and  the  Republic  of  Congo (French Equatorial Africa).

*  Belgium  and  King  Leopold  II  controlled   the  Democratic

Republic of Congo (Belgian Congo).

* Portugal took Mozambique in the east and Angola in the west.

* Italy’s holdings were Somalia (Italian Somaliland) and a portion of Ethiopia.

*   Germany   took   Namibia   (German   Southwest   Africa)   and

Tanzania (German East Africa).

* Spain claimed the smallest territory – Equatorial Guinea.


The authoritarian character of governance in African countries perpetuated by Belgian, French, British and Portuguese colonial rule was not overcome by the post-independence regimes. Militarism reinforced authoritarian rule and favoured an economic injustice which resulted from the failure of governments to redress economic imbalances between the members of local communities. For example, between Tutsi and Hutu (Rwanda-Burundi), Northerners and Westerners (Uganda), Baganla and Baswahili (R.D.Congo, Ex-Zaire), Arab and Black in Sudan, and  generally throughout Nilotic and Bantu in Africa.


The development of a free market economy also favoured foreign and local exploiters of the poor. The free market adoption imported new alien behaviours and words to the African culture, such as corruption and prostitution, which reinforced a social and cultural oppression that is characterised by nepotism, ethnic chauvinism, sectarianism and discrimination.


Ethnic problems that are constant in the African corporations are an artificial phenomenon maintained by those who need to satisfy their political and economic appetites. All ethnic, tribal or clan differentiations in Africa are very volatile because Africans usually identify themselves with a particular group, based on family tradition and reputation. One is Ashanti or Zulu because we have learned it from our family, mother, father, and brothers or because the neighbouring environment identifies it.


It is necessary to save the fragments that remain of the population structures. It is also necessary to make sure that violence does not become an epidemic for Africa. African intellectuals and their colleagues in other continents must analyze the problem in all its dimensions, beyond simple opportunistic manipulations. The African problem clearly must be questioned by disciplines that are uninfluenced by military-economic pressures. The development of a theoretical basis may be the beginning of a  durable political and educational solution.


Meanwhile some positive initiatives have been taken by African states to resolve the crisis that maintains them behind the global transformations  process. For example, the N.E.P.A.D (The New Partnership  for Africa’s  Development)  is a vision  and strategic framework for Africa’s renewal; its objectives are to eradicate poverty; to bring African states onto a path of sustainable growth and development; to halt the marginalisation of Africa in the globalisation process and enhance its full and beneficial integration into the global economy; and to accelerate the empowerment of women.


It may be necessary to work on of a process of international cooperation  to help  African  states  reach  their  goal  through  the N.E.P.A.D. We know that   conflict appears when there is an unbalance in the needs among the members of a given society. The present  area  of  study  consists  of  investigating  the  different problems in social and cultural settlement Africa that will allow citizens to understand and work more effectively in strengthening a foundation of a lasting peace in the continent.


Africa can be seen as some kind of ambassador of the poor in the world. The daily deep poverty in which African families struggle, can only generate more conflicts. Insecurity and instability are common problems for most states in Africa; as well as uansett – the diverse cultural backgrounds of African people


Ordinary  individual  are  victimized  by  increase  violence  and  a moral global economy that only benefits a Groupuscule elite class of the rich. The propagation of violence in the continent has destroyed most of the former structures inherited from colonisation and earlier times. The result is the killing and impoverishment of innocent people..


The large majority of the states are lead by dictatorial rulers that clothe themselves  in the trappings  of democracy.  The power is either military or monolithic: one group tries to preserve power using violence, corruption, and other cynical abuses and crimes. Poverty and brutality are the daily reality for the population. In the African reality, great advantage is taken of widespread illiteracy and ignorance.  In this society  of despotic,  fanatic   and corrupt rulers, many people perish from the lack of knowledge.


War always starts in the minds of people when there is a sudden appearance of lack of trust in the society. When people consider each  other  as  potential  enemies,  then    racism,  xenophobia  and other types of clan nepotism follow.


Poverty and Underdevelopment Factors:

Historical Factors

Cultural and social factors

Economic factors

Political factors

Late internal rivalities


Poor-cultural investment

Poor infrastructure or urbanisation development

Poor institutional development


High illiteracy and Ignorance

Global economy and capital market

Inequitable economical distribution

Colonization: Diviser pour mieux regner

Aid dependence-external debt problem

Political immaturity and weak leadership



A vitalizing Transcendental Culture as proposed by Prof. Galtung In Peace By Peaceful Means. P138; through the establishment of a new academic field which he calls Culturology: the science of human culture, would enable us to move towards a culture of peace. Transcendental Culturology will allow us to extract the different areas of our culture and our mentality that contain a potential for violence to create possible peaceful interaction between cultures and civilizations. De betyr; we must identify the structural violence in local corporations and cultures and be conscious of the racist and fascist ideologies introduced into our Bantu-Nilo-Hamitic vision.

The  African  dilemma  has  given  rise  to  five  types  of  cultural feelings:


–         Shame to be African.

–         Shame to be Black,

–         Self-slavery,

–         Humiliation

–         Victimization.


These feelings tend to be a kind of nihilism which implies that humans are born as perverted animals instead of the rational beings defined by the Greek philosophers.  This nihilism has created a failure of human reason  and  civilization  for  the  benefit  of barbarism.



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