The white man’s burden? The new scramble for Africa

A James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Hakim Adi, an internationally renowned scholar on Africa and Pan-Africanism.

7pm, Tuesday, March 20 • Room 303, Dalhousie Student Union Building • 6136 University Avenue • Halifax, NS

IN THE nineteenth century the European powers justified their imperial conquest, division and exploitation of Africa with high-sounding phrases about ‘the white man’s burden’ and their ‘civilizing mission.’ Their scramble for African colonies and Africa’s resources resulted not just in the impoverishment of Africa but also contributed to imperialist rivalries that culminated in World War I.

Today, following many years of struggle and sacrifice engaged in casting off the shackles of colonialism, Africans confront a new scramble for the continent. The new scramble for Africa is spearheaded by the big multinationals, by AFRICOM, the IMF and World Bank as well as by other means including economic sanctions and military intervention. As in the nineteenth the new scramble and imperialist intervention in Africa is justified by a variety of phrases ‘advancing security and stability,’ or ‘humanitarian intervention,’ or as in Libya by an alleged ‘responsibility to protect.’  At the same time the impoverished people of Africa are also demanding an end to all forms of neo-colonial oppression and the consequences of neo-liberal globalisation. It cannot be forgotten that the so-called Arab Spring actually began in Africa.

However, this situation has only intensified the rivalry between the big powers in Africa and their attempts to maintain their domination over the continent. The old imperialist powers have been joined by Brazil, Russia, India and particularly China, which are all contending for Africa’s mineral resources and growing markets as well as for strategic advantage. The new scramble for Africa is spearheaded by the big multinationals, by AFRICOM, the IMF and World Bank as well as by other means including economic sanctions and military intervention. As in the nineteenth the new scramble and imperialist intervention in Africa is justified by a variety of phrases ‘advancing security and stability,’ or ‘humanitarian intervention,’ or as in Libya by an alleged ‘responsibility to protect.’

A reception starting at 6pm will be held prior to the public lecture.

The James Robinson Johnston lecture series aims to create dialogue between the African Canadian community and Dalhousie University on issues that impact the African Diaspora locally, nationally and internationally. Following the mandate of the Chair to increase the profile of Black Canadian Studies, the lecture series creates bridges between the university and wider African Canadian communities. This event is also co-sponsored by NSPIRG.

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