Nationalism in Africa was the desire of African people to terminate all foreign rule, Basically nationalism is the politically will of the people of Africa in apposition of foreign domination but in favor of Africa rule.

Nationalism is the feeling of national consciousness by the people that they are members of a nation state and desire freedom from colonial rule.

Nationalism in the African context refers to a desire of African people to terminate all foreign rules and live under a government of their own choice so as to preserve their political, economic and social interest.

The hostility against colonial rule was due to the fact it was hindrance in the struggle for the creation of nation state, hence nationalism was identified with struggle for independence.

National consciousness was a gradual process i.e. was not over right phenomena.

Phases of Nationalism conciorine

1. Before 1945 – The process of decolonization or national liberation was fundamental in Africa. It allowed African state to regain their independence which they had lost for more half century

Nationalism before 1945 was elitist i.e. it was not directly related to a political goal. It was intended to seize political power. The main aim of the Africans at this stage was to have reforms in colonialism such as end of land alienation, taxation and forced labor.

2. After 1945 – The rise of Africa nationalism data back to the period of colonial conquest and the imposition of colonial rule on one hand and primary African resistance against colonial rule on the other hand . But later the intensification of exploitation stimulated the nationalistic struggle.

Nationalism was seriously nationalistic. It aimed at over throwing alien rule.The African were not interest in just changes, but complete independence. These were those that stimulated hostility from within Africa.


The main factor was colonialism which is divided into two sub–factors.

(i) Exploitation

· Land alienation.

Land alienation involved grabbing of land from the natives by the white settlers. Land was taken so that the colonialists get areas where cash crops production and mining activities can take place to produce the required raw materials. Land alienation was common in settler colonies such as Zimbabwe.

· Taxation

The colonialists introduced various taxes as an indirect way of getting cheap labor. The taxes which were introduced included poll and hut taxes, but these taxes were collected with a lot brutality. Some people were flogged and even failed to pay taxes

· Forced labor.

The colonialists introduced labor laws that completed or forced the Africans to provide cheap and sometimes free on European economic enterprises. Laws such as Kipande system in Kenya competed all able bodies to provide cheap labor on white settlers’ farms, failure to provide labor punishment was given.

(ii) Payment of low prices to peasants’ products.

-Peasant were exploited, these group increase cooperation among themselves and boy cotts, strike and other movements threatened colonialism and establish the great challenge that led to the freedom and way to form political parties which were the main venue for forming government. -These cooperatives were, Kilimanjaro Native planter Association KNC) The Bataka Association -Uganda and The Bukoba Cooperative Union.

The peasants produced products which they sold to the colonial government, but they received low prices for their products yet the white settlers were given higher producer, prices. This prompted them to fight for independence.

(iii) Dictatorial nature of the colonial government.

The colonial powers established their governments in African by using the barrel of the gun. The Africans hated the oppressive resistance such as the army, police and prison. To make matters worse, Africans were not allowed to be in any higher position in colonial government.


(iv) Role of colonial Education:-

-Colonial education resulted into emergence of education group elite -These group had a great hope and constitutions, after their education, their hope was to get while color job like good employment was difficult, low wages and segregation in work was common -These educated Africans started to mobilize their fellow Africa to stand up for for the independence -These educated Africans formed the political parties to demand Independence constitutional with other organized gorilla fighting.

Colonial Education produces elites who played a crucial role in the rise of African nationalism. People like Nyerere in Tanganyika, Nkurumah in Ghana and Banda in Malawi organized Africans to form political parties that contributed to the rise of African Nationalism.

(v) Formation of independent churches.

These were churches that were formed by the Africans as a reaction to which they were facing in the European churches. These churches addressed not only religious issues, but also political and economic grievances. The examples of these churches are the African National church in Tanganyika contributed to the rise of Nationalism by exposing the evils committed by colonialism.

(vi) The role of trade unions.

The trade unions were formed by workers as a reaction to their exploitation and oppression under colonialism. The trade union had numerous demands e.g. increased wages and better conditions. The examples of Trade union included Tanganyika Territory Civil services Association in Tanganyika, Nyakato Agricultural Institution.

The trade unions contributed greatly to the rise of African nationalism by putting pressure on the colonial power to implement changes in colonialism.

(vii) Italian and Ethiopian conflict.

The Italian–Ethiopian conflict contributed to the development of African nationalism. They fought from 1935 to 1941 between the Italians under Mussolini and Hailee Selassie respectively, though the Ethiopians were defeated but their determined resistance to protect their independence encouraged Africans to fight for their independence.


(viii) The role of returned soldiers,

– The ex soldiers from WWI and WWII contributed to the rise of nationalism. These promises were promised employment and good life and return. -The promises were not Fulfilled from there, these soldiers started to question the colonial government. -These soldiers came with new ideas and technique for fighting one of the ideas used that “white man can be defeated” Example: Dedan Kimath during Maumau was in kenya 1952, the soldiers were abandoned false idea, that white man can not be defeated”. the experience in the war seen white man dying and other running away.

This gave them hope that it was possible to fight the white man as Samora Masheli once said “in sawing the seen evolution …………..and whenever a peacefully means fail, violence is inevitable. -This was also applied by Frantz Fanon when advised Africans to use violence as means of maintain Independence and history.

(ix)Independent of Ghana,

-Some few analysis that, Ghana contributed a lot towards the independence African countries in different way. -After attained her Independence during 1957, this independence stimulated and encourage other African countries to struggle for nationalism, the country also take as case study and centre for training liberation armies and from the thought obtained in Ghana It was easy for other country to speed up the nationalist movement.


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