Reaction Paper to Nyang’oro: Africa’s Road Synopsis Nyang’oro’s article, Africa’s Road to Independence, discusses matters regarding how African nations attained their independence. The article starts with a discussion of the colonization procedure, as well as the resistance by Africans to their colonial powers. The article also discusses how nationalism went through changes right after the Second World War. According to Nyang’oro, African forces, after the Second World War, started to replicate what other forces were doing in order to overcome the European rule. Such forces were the Indians, as well as the United Nations. The article is divided into sections where it discusses the importance of Italian invasion to Ethiopia and how it led to independence. It also talks about the United Nations’ role in Africa’s decolonization and African leaders and the role that they also played in Africa’s decolonization among others.
Italy played a leading role in the decolonization of Africa. The role Italy played could be compared to the same role which Europeans losing in World War II had in the decolonization of Africa (Nyang’oro 164). After losing the Second World War to America, Europeans were considered non superior by African nations. Same case took place when Italy lost its war with Ethiopia. Ethiopia fought successfully to keep Europeans, Italians in particular, out of their country. This was after the Italians had manipulated the agreements between them and Ethiopia to only control Eritrea among the two nations. Italians wanted control over both Ethiopia and Eritrea, but Ethiopia was not ready to be ruled by a European country (Nyang’oro 164). They, therefore, fought and defeated the Italians, which gave them full sovereignty over their land. This also influenced other African nations to fight for their independence since. they saw that Europeans were not that superior.
Portugal, unlike other European colonial powers, was quite reluctant in releasing its African colonies such a Mozambique, Angola and Guinea-Bissau. Around the 50’s and 60’s, other European powers had allowed self rules in quite a number of African nations, but not even a single Portuguese protectorate enjoyed self-governance (Nyang’oro 169). In fact, self-governance to Portugal was announcing their African protectorates as overseas provinces of Portugal. This was after Portugal granted its African colonies permission to form national political parties, but still under the rule of the Portuguese government. By holding steadfast to their African protectorates, Portugal inevitably radicalized the resistance of the political parties in its colonies. Portugal held its colonies till the mid 70’s. At this point, only South Africa was being colonized by the British (Nyang’oro 169). It was through armed resistance that the countries being ruled by the Portuguese attained independence.
The United Nations played a vital part in the decolonization of African countries. After its unification in 1945, the United Nations had an onset of spreading the doctrine of self-governance, particularly in African countries (Nyang’oro 168). This doctrine was an unusually powerful tool in the world politics in that if a country refused to follow it, then it would receive sanctions from the United Nations. This forced the European countries to give African nations their independence (Nyang’oro 168). Finally, trusteeship territories referred to the successors of the remaining mandates of the League of Nations. They came to being after the collapse of the League of Nations.
Nyang’oro, Julius. Africa’s Road to Independence (1945-1960). Carolina: Carolina Academic Press, 2005. Print.