21st Century Colonialism: The New Scramble for Africa 3.0


During the last scramble for Africa in 1884, European powers met in Berlin to discuss the rules of invading and taking over territory in Africa. There were no Africans invited to the table. In 1947, the scramble for Africa 2.0 began when Western nations led by United States and its NATO allies fought Russia. Russia and United States took their fight into ideological territory and when African countries sought to attain independence from colonialism Russia and China were there with ammunition and an alternate philosophy of governance to the brutal barbaric western colonial regimes.

In the century, we have a new scramble for Africa occurring. The scramble for Africa 3.0 is not being televised and though it is not directly apparent when exactly it began the effects on the African continent are well evident. France never left the continent even after African independence it still has a large footprint on the continent. “Francafriq” is the term that is used to describe the effect of France on the African continent.

Facts about France in Africa

  • France holds the reserves of 14 African nations
  • France has countless military bases across nations
  • France created narrative of political instability in Africa when it participated in 16 coups in which legitimate anti-French leaders were deposed in favor of puppets that were in line with French imperial agenda
  • French sponsored coups took place in Central African Republic, Mali, Togo, Burkina Faso, Zaire Congo with the help of the Americans

Facts about China in Africa

  • In 1990s in its quest for global dominance China joined the scramble for Africa 3.O with their policy of economic advancement and non-interference in politics
  • China has invested between $10-200BN in infrastructure in Africa
  • China has invested $3.5BN to upgrade the port of East Africa
  • China is contributing to the construction of the East Africa railway which is expected to be 750km cost about $4BN in order to connect Ethiopia to Djibouti
  • China is also assisting in the $13BN Kenyan railway which will link Mombasa to Nairobi

This will increase regional trade in East Africa. See our article on Effects of Transportation Networks on AGOA.

Facts about the United States in Africa

  • When the United States realized that Africa was the next frontier and it had no foothold on the continent President Clinton introduced AGOA to signal friendly tone from Washington after Reagan had been friendly to the apartheid government relations with Africa were cold and strained.
  • US military aid to Africa is the new strategy that America is employing to gain a foothold into Africa. AGOA did not take off as Americans would have wanted and so the Bush Administration set up military bases in Djibouti and Botswana under AFRICOM under the guise of stopping the spread of terrorism.
  • US strategy into African occupation is security, while the Chinese occupy through promises of economic advancement and the French make the same old promises of helping to spread democracy. It isn’t that democracy is not important, democracy is the foundation of advancement in any society but when it comes from the colonial master many are skeptical.

The African nations continue to welcome their ‘partners’ because they feel that they come in peace. However, many citizens are beginning to realize that just as the first colonialist said they came in peace their ancestors soon found their mines and cattle & land in foreign hands. Africans realize that those who do not learn from their history are bound to make the mistakes of the past. The continent has entered a new phase of colonialism 3.0.


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