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Colonial legacy refers to the long lasting effects which African states inherited from colonialism at independence. Since independence; African government have attempted various ways of bringing about real independence by improving communication system and expanding education, yet the whole it has proved very difficult for most of African countries to achieve real independence, partly due to colonial legacy. There are many effects but the outstanding ones are the following;

1. Effects on the African economies:-

(a) Export oriented economies: African countries are still exporting raw materials (cash crops and minerals) and importing manufactured goods from the developed countries. African countries produced what they did not consume and consumed what they did not produce. This is a typical feature of distorted economy.

(b) Monoculture economies: Colonial African countries specialized in the production of one majority commodity. Cocoa in Ghana, copper in Zambia and sisal in Tanzania. The danger of this is that market prices may fluctuate any time causing a disadvantage to the producer country.

(c) Subsistence peasant agriculture: Since independence, there have been so fundamental attempts made to mechanize agricultural sector. The production in agricultural sector has qualitative and quantitative low because the main tool of production was the hand hoe.

(d) Poor transport system: Post colonial state inherited a poor transport system, most of the roads and railways are still concentrated in production areas, with this type of transport system, and it was very difficult to attain real development.

(e) Small and weak industrial sector: During the colonial period, the capitalist powers destroyed the African traditional industries so as to make sure that Africa is remaining the market for European manufactured goods and the producer of raw materials. The colonial powers only established import substitution industry and semi processing plant. Africa today has consumer producer industries with these industries; it is very hard to achieve real development.

2. Cultural effects; African culture has been despised; it has been substituted by western values, production and consumption patterns, music and dance. As a measure to control the deterioration of African culture in Tanganyika, there was establishment of ministry of education and culture in 1962 so as to revive and initiate all that was useless in the colonial pattern.

3. Distortion of political systems of African states:
(a) Tribalism: The colonialists encouraged ethnicism and tribalism; they did so in order to discourage tribal unities or affinities which could emanate into potential threats to the colonial state. This exercise was in accordance with the colonial policy of divide and rule.

(b) Class and class structure: In post colonial Africa, classes have mostly or often being associated with racial grouping were the elites, middle class and the working class stand on racial lines for example the elites and the middle class have continued to dominate commerce while the African majority became peasants and members of the working class.

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