During the First World War, Africans were taken by the colonial masters to fight on their side in the war along the frontlines. Although the colonial masters had established the colonies to for other financial benefits the need for manpower during the war led them to recruit soldiers from their African colonies. After the war, the defeated powers like Germany lost their colonies which were taken by other powers such as Britain.
Lugard gave reasons for Exploitation of Africa
According to Lugard Britain had a policy of free trade and hence it obliged to seek for new markets (Rist, 2009). The reason for seeking new markets was because the previous markets that Britain had had been closed by the respective nations but the use of tariffs that were unfriendly to the British. Also, other markets that used be consumers of British goods had now become producers. Hence, Lugard views this as a situation which he has only two option, to develop new fields and hence markets or to let other nations do that and they remain backward. It is obvious a power like Britain by then could not relax and let that happen. The British Empire had already proved that it could handle natives of the countries that it governed. It did this further at a lower cost compared to other powers such as Italy, Germany, and France among others.
The rationale that was given by Lugard
According to Lugard Britain at the time was enjoying the fruits of their ancestors will to expand, at the time the vast territories provided outlets for their products. He viewed the investment to exploit Africa was not a loss since there was anticipation that the investment in this territories would generate revenue in the future (Taiwo, 2010). He compared other powers like Germany who had spent a million sterling in East Africa alone while France had spent 15 million pounds on the conquest to acquire Algeria. He believed that if other powers were ready to incur high costs to maintain their colonies in Africa because they hoped for returns in the future why shouldnt Britain. According to him if these territories were carefully managed there will be high profits in return.
How Europeans should behave in Africa
Lugard purposed that it is critical that Africans develop prestige and respect for the white man. If the Europeans made the Africans respect them, they would after that develop a dependence on their existence on the motherland, Africa. The Europeans could achieve this respect by ensuring that everything that was associated with them was superior to the Africans. He proposed that the Europeans will receive the respect that was proportional to the superiority that they showed the Africans. He warned the Europeans that greatest mistake that they could commit when exploiting Africa was by trying to gain influence by adopting the mode of life of the native Africans. An action like was viewed as a sacrifice that no one would appreciate even the Africans themselves.
He did not expect the European missionaries in Africa to act any different towards the Africans. They were also expected to show superiority over the Africans. He purposed that Europeans who did this will promote their health and will even the requests for replacements due to sickness and death.
Rist, G. (2009). The history of development: From Western origins to global faith. New Delhi: Academic Foundation.
Taiwo, O. (2010). How colonialism preempted modernity in Africa. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
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