Effects of Colonialism in Sudan
The Holdovers of Colonialism
Stereotypes of Africa, holdovers from colonial times, affect Western thinking.
A woman in the Southern Sudan village of Yondoru. Families here are rebuilding their lives after returning from refuge in Uganda in 2006 following the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the north and south. Photo by Paul Jeffrey.
There is a persistent image of Africa as chaotic, unlearned, and voiceless. For years Africa was called the “Dark Continent” by many outside Africa. These are images of colonialism that made every effort to stamp out indigenous systems of governance, worship, art, economies, and culture.
The negative impact of colonialism cannot be overstated as a draining of natural resources. The “scramble for Africa,” as described by Adam Hochschild in his book King Leopold’s Ghost, did more than harm the land through the unsparing removal of resources to enrich outsiders. Though set in Congo, the story is the same for Sudan. The harm to coherent, indigenous cultures is still being mended.
Today, the efforts to silence indigenous cultures in favor of the governing elite, whomever they may represent, are holdovers from those times. These also play a huge role in the ongoing civil conflicts in Sudan.