Effects of Colonialism on State Fragility in Africa

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue X, October 2018 | ISSN 2454–6186

Effects of Colonialism on State Fragility in Africa

Yahaya Yakubu

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dept. of Political Science & Int’l Relations, Nile University of Nigeria

Abstract:-This research interrogates the uneasy nature of relationship that defines cohesion and social interactions across underlying ethnicities in contemporary Nigeria. Upon review of relevant literature, and posits that while the underlying nations and ethnicities collectively fought colonial domination as a nation, they soon regressed to their pre-eminent ethnic identities. A manifestation of this fragile relationship is depicted in amongst other instances, the 1966 civil war, the Niger Delta Insurgency and the renewed demand for Biafran state as well as the dreaded Boko Haram Insurgency. To address the uneasy relationship between ethnicities in Nigeria, the study posits constitutional amendments in the areas of resource exploration, wealth redistribution, abolishment of centralized fiscal control and revenue allocation as it propagates fiscal autonomy for states and regions.

Keywords: Colonialism, State Fragility, Biafra, Africa South of the Sahara


The literature on colonialism continues to attract considerable attention across the range of social science endeavors; this is thought to be so, owing to the centrifugal role colonialism with recourse to the emergence of nation states in Africa South of the Sahara (ASS). Arguably, colonialism was driven by the material conquest, economic exploitation, political cum cultural domination and European self-aggrandizement. The incidence of colonialism interrupted the indigenous models of civilization and development in ASS, imposing alien conceptions of modernization and institutions of governance on the continent. The inherent implication of institutional imposition is manifested in amongst others fonts, a continent trapped between weak, fragile, failed and in other times collapsed states respectively. Consequently, the hurriedly assembled post-colonial states find it cumbersome to perform central statutory state functions like; provision of public goods and services, security of lives and properties and legitimate monopoly of coercive apparatus.

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