Why Nationalist Activities Were Slow In French West Africa
(i) Educated elites were absorbed in the civil service. They were not discriminated against.
(ii) Existence of indigenatThis policy stated that West Africans could be arrested and detained for two years without trial by the French administrators. It was an obnoxious policy that received world condemnation. Indigénat is... More Policy, Forced labour and other obnoxious policies discouraged agitation for reforms.
(iii) Education was restricted to a few. The majority of Africans in the interior had limited access to education. This affected nationalism as it was the enlightened people that knew the importance of nationalism.
(iv) The few Newspapers that were in existence were owned and controlled by French Personnel. This made it difficult to criticize the French Colonial Administration.
(v) Trade Union activities were restricted.
(vi) Political Parties or Associations were not encouraged to exist. They could not criticize colonial administration nor contest for seats.
(vii) Employment opportunities were open to Europeans and their African counterparts.
(viii) Africans were elected into the French Chamber of Deputies in France. Assimilated Educated Africans were integrated into the system. French African Colonies were taken as an integral part of France. The colonies were considered an extension of France.
(ix) Assimilation1. the process of taking in and fully understanding information or ideas. 2. the absorption and digestion of food or nutrients by the body or any biological system. More policy allowed assimilated African citizens to enjoy equal rights with their French counterparts.
(x) The French extended full French citizenship to African inhabitants in the four communes.
(xi) The Policy of association resulted in a loi-cadre (Law Outline) of 1956. Loi-cadre recognized the separate identity and existence of each territory in West Africa. The colonies were no longer a Federation. It also created a separate legislative assembly and executive council for each colony.
(xii) In 1958, General De Gaulle established a French community, an association for France and all her territories were members but Guinea, led by Sékou Touré, refused to join and was granted independence.