Negative Effects of Colonialism
(i) Colonialism led to the exploitationTo use someone or something unfairly for your own advantage. More of the economy of West Africa. They totally controlled the economy of West African countries. African raw materials were bought at ridiculously reduced prices to service European industries. When the goods were produced, they were exported to West Africa and sold at exorbitant prices.
(ii) It transformed the West African economy into a dependent one through colonial policies and neo-colonial policies. That is to keep these economies serving the needs of Western developed economies.
(iii) No regard for African Culture and Tradition: There was the imposition of British and French Languages and culture on the people of West Africa. Tradition rules were imposed and disposed of without regard to African tradition. E.g. imposition of Warrant chiefs in Igbo land, the dethronement of Eleko of Lagos.
(iv) The imposition of political units called states was done without consideration of the political, social history, and culture of the people. This has made national integration and national building difficult.
(v) These former colonies have links and were seriously loyal to their former colonial masters. They were more loyal to their former masters than to the other Africans.
(vi) Colonialism had divided Countries in West Africa into two major lines: Anglophone and Francophone countries. This division still affects ECOWAS.
(vii) Colonialism destroyed the African socio-economic system of collectivism and communalism. It ushered in the system of capitalism.
(vii) It imposed Western Social and Cultural values among West Africans. this influenced the African mindset; They started to prefer everything western, their language, mode of dressing, food, etc. to the detriment of their culture.
(viii) Divide and rule policy of the colonial governments created a disparity in the social, political, and economic development of the people of West Africa.
(ix) European dominant interests in banking, commerce, and mining were detrimental to African interests. They made no conscious effort to develop and diversify the West African economy.
(x) Electioneering democracy was limited to a few areas of the colonies. In French West Africa, Suffrage was initially only extended to citizens in the four communism in Nigeria, suffrage was initially granted to qualified people in Calabar and Lagos colonies and not the entire people.