Examine the role of European imperial powers in African nation state development.

Africa was characterized by a distinct sociocultural system that is based on ethics. Socioculturally, people were organized into groups, with the family being the core unit of the society. But, the community’s economic power and influence in relation to neighboring communities was determined by its gold commerce wealth. Due to the emphasis placed by African culture on tribe or cultural categorizations, nation-states were formed later. Every tribe was considered an autonomous state, with its own administrative system (chiefdoms and kingdoms). External forces such as the scramble for Africa and the division at the Berlin Conference (1884), delayed the birth of an African nation-state. (Duiker (2018) Colonization had a profound impact on the social-political structures of Africa. This led to the creation of new borders for nation-states. Europeans established borders in order to divide their influence spheres, leading to most of today’s African nations. Even though Africans already had formal identities and fixed borders, European colonial forces led to the creation of new national borders. African leaders sought to prevent post-independence wars by preserving European borders at the 1963 Addis Ababa Conference.
European colonial power played an important role in the creation of African nation-states by working with or eliminating existing chiefdoms. To increase their trade and expand their influence, European power signed many treaties with African rulers. For example, in 1880 the British made the Rudd Concession to Matabele chiefs, which was a concession that established colonial government. The French and Samori Touré negotiated the Treaty of Bissandugu so they could transit the Niger River and expand their power in Western-Africa. In order to expand their power and revenue, European imperial forces partnered up with chieftains for control of the transatlantic slave market (Wilders 2020). European powers removed the chieftains who resisted their rule, and replaced them by supreme leaders that could be managed. The European power allowed them to form new nation-states that were not bound by the existing African political institutions.

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