Neocolonialism in Africa: 21st Century

Conveners: Prof. Vasiliy R. Filippov (Institute for African Studies, Moscow, Russia);
e-mail:, Prof. Elena I. Filippova (Institute for Ethnology and Anthropology, Moscow, Russia); e-mail:

The collapse of the colonial empires of the past and proclamation of independence of African countries did not mean the end of an era of exploitation of former dependent countries, both from the former colonial powers, and by the other industrialized world-powers. Classic colonialism, based on military coercion and implying incorporation of colonial territories into the political system of the metropolis, has given way to neocolonialism. The latter is a latent form, not based on direct coercion and deprivation of sovereignty exploitation of developing countries by the developed world-powers. This is the particular system of discriminatory economic and political relations, imposed by the world powers to developing states of Africa. Neocolonialism in the past century, as a special form of expansion of developed countries to African countries, included the whole arsenal of specific methods of political and economic manipulation. These methods include the planting of corruption and outright bribery of African political elites, uncontrolled arms political favorites, the system of bonded loans, the use of so-called humanitarian aid as a tool of manipulation, the use of armed force, allegedly in the name in the name of maintenance of peace, and the use of inciting tribalist conflict just to transfer state power to controlled leaders. There is no doubt that contemporary competition for access to African raw materials will generate serious conflicts among the countries of the Old World, retained significant influence in its former colonies, the United States, and the new centers of the global economy - China, India, and possibly Russia and Japan, which, though slow, but recovers lost ground in Africa. Also the appearance of new participants of scramble for African wealth not excluded. To large companies have moved from the export of raw materials to its processing and production of finished products in the field, it's necessary to provide them security of tenure of the property. In other words, political stability needs to be. And this can be possible only if the political situation in recipient countries will fully controlled by the armed forces of the donor states. This will mean the actual return to a classic case of colonial relations. It may be supposed that the contingent of military groups stationed in African countries will be largely recruited with the local population. Thus, there will be a gradual merging of the armies of the colonial powers and re-colonized territories. Brief period of post-colonial history made the Dark Continent neither richer nor happier. Why do young African states have failed to produce immunity against neocolonialism? Why the second coming of colonialism becomes visible at the turn of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries?