Top 4 African Countries Colonized by the Germans.
Have you ever heard of the “scramble for Africa”? It was a phenomenon where many European countries rushed to establish colonies in Africa. As a result, it is very popular to hear of the “Commonwealth Countries”, referring to nations that were once Colonized by Britain.
Germany was, at the beginning of this craze, not into the race for colonies in Africa. Chancellor Otto von Bismarck was then preoccupied with the unification of Germany and positioning of Germany in a preeminent position in European politics.
Germany attained this goal in 1871 and thus, was a political power to contend with. However, in addition to political superiority comes the demand for economic superiority which could be attained by acquiring colonies. With pressure from lobbying groups, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck after the famous international Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, joined the norm of colony establishments.
Here are some African countries Colonized by the Germans and how they fare now.
Rwanda is one of the African Countries colonized by the Germans.
Unlike many other parts of Africa, Rwanda and the Great Lakes region was not decided by the 1884 Berlin Conference.
In an 1890 conference in Brussels, Rwanda and Burundi were given to the German Empire for renouncing all claims on Uganda.
Thus, the countries Burundi and Rwanda were for some time one territory until the Belgian government divided “Ruanda-Urundi” into two separate countries; Rwanda and Burundi.
This happened when the attempt at sharing power between the Hutu and Tutsi failed.
Rwanda gained independence in 1962 but this was followed by successive wars and conflicts including the unfortunate genocide of 1994.
Between July and August 1994, Kagame’s Tutsi-led RPF troops captured the country. The Tutsi rebels defeated the Hutu regime and ended the genocide.
After the Tutsi RPF took control of the government, in 1994, Kagame formed a government of national unity headed by a Hutu president, Pasteur Bizimungu. Kagame became Minister of Defence and Vice-President, and was the de facto leader of the country.
Today, he is the President of Rwanda and despite all the dark past even under Kagame, Rwanda has one of the fastest growing and well-managed economies in Africa coupled with great social intervention in energy, housing and education.
After the First World War and Germany’s defeat, it ceded the territory to Belgium.
Both Germans and Belgians ruled Burundi and Rwanda as a European colony known as Ruanda-Urundi.
Burundi gained independence in 1962 and initially had a monarchy but like its counterpart, Rwanda, it was plagued by wars and conflicts which left it undeveloped.
The sovereign state of Burundi’s political system is that of a presidential representative democratic republic based upon a multi-party state.
On 13 March 1992, Tutsi coup leader Pierre Buyoya established a constitution, which provided for a multi-party political process and reflected multi-party competition.
Six years later, on 6 June 1998, the constitution was changed, broadening National Assembly’s seats and making provisions for two vice-presidents.
Burundi remains primarily a rural society, with just 13.4% of the population living in urban areas as of 2019.
Roughly 85% of the population are of Hutu ethnic origin, 15% are Tutsi, and fewer than 1% are indigenous Twa.
The official languages of Burundi are Kirundi and French, with Kirundi being recognised officially as the sole national language.
They are one of the countries colonized by the Germans.
From 1884, Namibia was a German colony. It was called the German South West Africa.
After the First World War, the League of Nations Mandated South Africa to administer the territory.
Following World War II, the League of Nations was dissolved in April 1946 and its successor, the United Nations, instituted a Trusteeship system to bring all of the former German colonies in Africa under UN control.
South Africa objected arguing that a majority of the territory’s people were content with South African rule.
Legal argument ensued over the course of the next twenty years until, in October 1966, the UN General Assembly decided to end the mandate, declaring that South Africa had no further right to administer the territory, and that henceforth South West Africa was to come under the direct responsibility of the UN by an Acct drawn on 27 October 1966).
In the period, four UN Commissioners for Namibia were appointed but South Africa refused to recognize any of these United Nations appointees.
Many negotiations and mediations ensued over the years until by 9th February 1990 when the Constituent Assembly had drafted and adopted a constitution.
On 21st March 1990, Namibia attained independence.
Sam Nujoma was sworn in as the first President of Namibia by the UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar and President of South Africa F. W. de Klerk, who jointly conferred formal independence on Namibia.
In March 2005, Namibia’s founding president Sam Nujoma stepped down after 15 years in power. He was succeeded by Hifikepunye Pohamba.
In December 2014, Prime Minister Hage Geingob, the candidate of ruling SWAPO, won the presidential elections, taking 87% of the vote.
His predecessor, President Hifikepunye Pohamba, also of Swapo, had served the maximum two terms allowed by the constitution. In December 2019, President Hage Geingob was re-elected for a second term, taking 56.3% of the vote.
So, in parts, Namibia is one of the African countries colonized by the Germans.
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Beginning on July 5, 1884, all of present-day Cameroon and parts of several of its neighbours became a German colony, Kamerun, with a capital first at Buea and later at Yaoundé.
Germany was particularly interested in Cameroon’s agricultural potential and entrusted large firms with the task of exploiting and exporting it.
After World War I, this colony was partitioned between the United Kingdom and France under a June 28, 1919 League of Nations mandates.
When the League of Nations ceased to exist in 1946, most of the mandate territories were reclassified as UN trust territories, henceforth administered through the UN Trusteeship Council.
The object of trusteeship was to prepare the lands for eventual independence. The United Nations approved the Trusteeship Agreements for British Cameroons to be governed by Britain on December 6, 1946.
French Cameroon achieved independence on January 1, 1960 as La République du Cameroun. On October 1, 1961, the largely Muslim northern two-thirds of British Cameroons voted to join Nigeria; the largely Christian southern third, Southern Cameroons, voted, in a referendum, to join with the Republic of Cameroon to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon.
Ahidjo was chosen president of the federation in 1961 and he suppressed democracy for a long time.
In 1962, the Francs CFA became the official currency in Cameroon. Paul Biya has been serving as the president of Cameroon since 6 November 1982 till date.
Cameroon suffers insufficient creation of wealth, especially in the primary sector, thus, increasing poverty.
Also, there is strong tensions on the job market and the ineffectiveness of the redistribution policies established in 2008. Cameroon is aiming at emerging economy status by 2025, via diversification of its economy.
The impact of colonialism on African countries are similar and repetitive across board irrespective of which European power ruled the territory.
Wars, conflict, political instability, poor economic growth and exploited systems are residues of colonialism which many African countries still battle with.
The fact that Germany ruled and passed these territories on to other European countries is a factor for the recurring traits of the current political systems of Rwanda, Burundi,Namibia and Togo.
We hope you enjoyed this read of the top 4 African countries colonized by the Germans.
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