How did Africa get to become such an undeveloped and “backwards” continent?

Question by saudyganja: How did Africa get to become such an undeveloped and “backwards” continent?
While Europe has advanced greatly within the last 500 years, why is the continent of Africa continue to be poor and undeveloped. I know the Industrial Revolution began in Europe, but look at North America, technology certainly spread throughout there. When the Europeans began to first colonize North America, they brought the technology with them. Africa too, has been colonized be the Europeans, but the conitinent of Africa is far behind most other countries in the world. Now forget about the Europeans spreading their technology. Japan, having a history of being one of the most islotated countries, is far more advanced than Africa. Why is all this true? Will Africa ever catch up to the rest of the world?

Best answer:

Answer by Wednesday
Because Africa was exploited as a source of cheap materials and labor, and after colonial imperialism ended the country was left in shambles. In some other parts of the world (such as parts of Korea) although the country was used for goods, the imperial countries also built up things in Korea such as roads, water systems, etc . which left Korea able to fend for itself and prosper once the imperial country left. Africa was basically left with everything a mess…pollution, the land stripped, racial tensions caused by arbitrary segregation of tribal peoples by European Imperialists, and the like.

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3 comments to How did Africa get to become such an undeveloped and “backwards” continent?

  • Scott  says:

    I think africa is used as the worlds whipping boy. It is a vast, vast continent with unimaginable resources. Keeping them behind the rest of us allows the world to rape them. Put them on our level, and the daimonds industry would collapse on itself. Various other natural resources would be put in the hands of the locals. Aint gonna happen as long as some people currently in power have anything to say about it. By the way, some of these people who are in power; are in power in Africa. $ $ $ $ $ $

  • Uhohuhoh  says:


  • Seiry?  says:

    The industrial revolution did affect most of the European colonies, however, the anwers go back to the colonial periods (or earlier). As previously stated, the resources of Africa, including the people (slaves) were eploited. At this time there was not much development in technology in Africa so once the colonies were let go, the various tribes and peoples had to fend for themselves/decide what to do/how to live/how to make a living.
    Not given experiences/opportunity = won’t learn/know other possibilities

    Several points/reasons:
    1. With the colonization by Europeans their lives were interrupted and social development somewhat delayed.
    2. Although the Europeans had colonized some of Africa, there were many diverse tribes, so not everyone was exposed to the Europeans
    3. There were missionaries but not many so not all were given education, nor did the Europeans think it important. – So where could it come from?
    3. After Europe released its hold on its African colonies the natives had to start over/find some way to live/support their families.
    4. They had experienced a culture which had used force to control them
    5. Agriculture is an important resource for the country, so someone has to grow the food, someone has to sell it. Leaves less room for being interested in technology.
    6. Not much money = Little education/literacy = ignorance of health/hygene = not many doctors = many die of disease.
    7. Potental leaders or world-changers die from disease as children
    8. Some parts are not interested in industry, others are, education is usually needed but not much education is recieved, most would have to leave home/country/continent for education, need money.
    9. Different ideas on what should/has to be done to survive. Several different countries/peoples.

    There is a Very Big difference between Japan and Africa.
    Africa is a large continent = many countries = many isolated tribes of people live within the counries. (May be isolated by choice or not)
    Japan does not have many resources – not much land to grow food, but surrounded by the sea so it had to resort to something to prosper.~technology/ business.

    There are so many factors that affect what’s going on.
    Something major enogh to unite the people might cause change.

    You think of Africa a backwards? That’s harsh. What about Afghanistan? Afghanistan’s development has been delayed because of war. Look back at Africa, there is war, there are those who do not want to change from their traditional way of living, food has to be grown to survive.

    Japan entered WW II as a unified nation after having years of civil/feudal wars. By focusing on WW II, Japan was somewhat united. One of the reasons on entering the war was to become less dependant on other contries, so they decided to control other countries. Also, did not want Japan to be controlled by other countries. After realizing defeat, a new government and policies were installed, Japan had to be careful from then on while occupied by US forces; needed to focus on repairing the country.

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