Sample Essay on Effects of Cold War on Africa
The effects of the cold war on Africa can be seen in different aspects. Africa was caught up in the cold war between the Soviet Union and America. However, the impact of the cold war among the African countries differed. For instance in South Africa, the government of the white minority was haunted by communism.
From the 1950s, South Africa feared that communism would collapse the rule of a single party just like it did in Eastern Europe in the 1980s. South Africa and Egypt were among the first countries in Africa to establish communist parties in the 1920s. However, the impact of this on the domestic politics of the countries was experienced after World War II.
After World War II in 1945, African countries were caught up in a confrontation that ensued between the Soviet Union and America. Almost all aspects of the government of South Africa were informed by anti-communism policies. Most foreign and domestic policies of the majority of the African governments were informed by the foreign countries.
The African countries had to prove their support for either the American or the Soviet Union to get their support in return. For instance, the stand of South Africa was supported by the colonial regimes of the Portuguese in Mozambique and Angola. This support remained till 1975. The Majority rule yielded support from the white governments of Ian Smith in Zimbabwe which was then Rhodesia in 1980.
The Soviet Union and the West equated any political opposition in Africa as a desire to change or overthrow the existing political systems established by the colonialists. Nationalization of the private sector, as well as capitalism in Africa, was supported by America and Western Europe. On the other hand, Soviet Union supported countries that adopted communism.
The Western European countries were ready to ignore institutionalized racism in Africa as well as the minority rule system as long as it implied that they could continue mining and establishing commercial investments in Africa. For instance, the West supported President Joseph Mobutu of Zaire for his stand against communist ideals. He declared his anti-communism stand while systematically stripping the country of its resources and wealth.
The Soviet Union in Mozambique and Angola offered military support. It also supported ANC. This is because they wanted to help African countries establish majority rule via peaceful means. However, they did not succeed and that is when they tried using violence. The Soviet Union also offered educational scholarships and aid in trade.
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