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Importance of Africa's resources to other countries after World War II

Bambura emphasized critical importance of colonial exports for dollar revenues that Britain desperately needed after World War II, dollar deficit was a huge and long-term problem common to all Western European countries after war, European Economic Cooperation Organizations such as OEEC and European Commission made a lot of efforts to solve this problem.

What is answer? Africa!

Immediately after its creation in 1948, OEEC decided to set up an Overseas Territories Working Group to promote European cooperation in colonial affairs, especially in Africa. In a lengthy 1951 report, OEEC focused on investment in sub-Saharan colonial territories, stating that "it is in interests of free world as a whole that colonial territories that make up it should strive to speed up and increase production." from scarce materials.

Importance of Africa's resources to other countries after World War II

Equally important, report absolutely does not indicate that colonialism in Africa will one day end, on contrary, that colonialism in Africa will one day end, in an African territory characterized by "political security", planning of African colonies Unequivocally described as a "long-term mission" .

The authors contend that European Commission's Strasbourg Plan also called for joint Western European massive investment to exploit vast but largely untapped natural resources of African colonies. Thus, Western Europe will be able to reduce its dependence on dollar imports of raw materials, which, in turn, will facilitate transition of Western Europe to "the third economic bloc located between communist zone and dollar zone."

As representative of France, Raphael Sall, explained during discussion of Strasbourg Plan at consultation meeting of European Commission: “Without support and cooperation of foreign countries with constitutional ties to Europe, inability of any European political community to survive is an omnipresent economic reality, and Europe must admit it if she is not doomed.”

At same time, representative of Great Britain, Lord Leighton, believed that "it is obvious that we should consider these overseas territories as property of any one country, and they should be united with all European countries and all overseas territories" . Almost all delegates agreed with this, for example, Helmond Lannon from Denmark emphasized that “if we do not want Africa to be replaced by European influence, culture, trade, etc. of another continent, increased cooperation and joint European efforts in Africa are of paramount importance.

Importance of Africa's resources to other countries after World War II

Lannon argues that Europe has just lost "Battle for Asia" and now its members need to unite in order not to lose "Battle for Africa", where we have a great and practical task that requires our maximum cooperation. This view also permeated EEC system of colonial alliances agreed upon in 1957 Treaty of Rome.

During treaty negotiations, colonial affairs were taken over by an ad hoc intergovernmental task force on overseas territories, which presented a report in December 1956 outlining benefits of linking French and Belgian African colonies: common market urgently needed cooperation and support that could provide overseas territories, especially African territories, to establish a long-term balance in European economy.

The diverse and abundant sources of raw materials at disposal of overseas territories can ensure that entire European common market economy will become an indispensable basis for economic expansion, with added advantage of being located in countries. whose direction European countries themselves can influence Advantage. In addition to various minerals, agricultural and exotic products of overseas countries, it is fair to mention as specific incentives results of recent oil exploration, which is associated with a systematic inventory of vast metal deposits in Africa. , phosphates, hydropower, etc.

Importance of Africa's resources to other countries after World War II

A brief impressionistic survey of attitudes towards colonialism in Western Europe up to late 1950s helps to understand why Bambura's arguments have a general influence that goes far beyond British context. At same time, its approach should be adopted throughout Western Europe and beyond, including in those Western European countries that either were not colonies or played a small role in post-war colonial relations.

The authors argue that various organizations of Western European unification, cooperation and integration are crucial here, as they include non-colonial states, but they may be very eager to preserve and reap benefits of colonialism within European cooperation. Take, for example, West Germany. It is true that post-war West Germany had neither colonies nor an empire, but its government, led by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, was an ardent friend of European colonialism and hoped to use European Economic Community to strengthen and develop it. for benefit of West Germany and to strengthen Europe's geopolitical and cultural resilience against Soviet Union and Anglo-American bloc.

As a staunch supporter of Egypt at Franco-British Battle of Suez in 1956, and like many European politicians who equated Nasser with Hitler, Adenauer believed that Western Europeans, especially French and Germans, should unite in support of an invasion. . Thus, for Adenauer, Suez confirmed his view that a united "third force" in Europe was only antidote to what he considered policy of US and USSR to divide world.

Adenauer also showed his moral support for French intervention in Egypt, citing France's unconditional right to hold Algeria and protect its soldiers from rebels, Paris believed rebels had Nasser's backing. Adenauer argued in November 1956: "Algiers is not a colony of France, but a province of France since 1830, inhabited by 1.5 million white French men and women.

Importance of Africa's resources to other countries after World War II

Adenauer not only believed in "superiority of Western civilization", he also believed in inherent racial inferiority of Africans, so, in his words, "Africa, as a black continent, can be compared to other continents . Independence together. As Schwartz points out, Adenauer spoke of "the presence of non-white people in political arena of world events" and found it deeply disturbing, as he believed it could have implications for future of UN. adverse consequences for organization.

In fact, when US President Eisenhower visited Indonesia of Ahmed Sukarno, one of most prominent leaders of Bandung Movement, in May 1956, it "made Bonn shudder." Not only was Eisenhower's visit friendly, but president's open recognition of non-alignment or neutrality of some of newly independent countries was anathema to Adenauer, whose hostility to elimination of colonialism continued unabated.

In early 1960, Adenauer notified his cabinet that during recent consultations he had received a note from de Gaulle describing expected new members of United Nations. Adenauer, Schwartz writes: “Thirty black countries, twenty Islamic countries, eighteen non-Muslim Asian countries, twelve Soviet countries, eighteen Central and South American countries, ninety-eight in total. Compare with fifteen states in West." These are prospects for future world politics.

1960 marked end of colonialism in much of Africa, a surprise that European leaders could not have foreseen two or three years earlier. Adenauer is certainly one of them. On February 15, 1957, Adenauer explained to cabinet great advantages of colonial association system of European Economic Community. The cabinet agreement mentioned: “The Prime Minister believes that in long run economic prospects of France are much better than those of Great Britain. Much. France is potentially rich, remember Sahara desert with its oil and uranium deposits. Equatorial Africa is also an important reserve. On contrary, developments in UK point to a significant decline ."

Importance of Africa's resources to other countries after World War II

Just three years later, however, world was turned upside down when, in June 1960, German newspaper Die Welt published an article with disturbing headline "Ewg Davon Africans? Rome, "the fact that Europe would collide with independent states of Africa in a few short years could hardly have been foreseen."

The authors argue that such independence risks undermining entire building of African Union's EEC, article concludes, in order to avoid a quick launch of a new EEC strategy for Africa that could soon turn out to be "very important". whole West is dangerous." Le Monde was certainly right in his decision that negotiations for Treaty of Rome were entered into on assumption that colonialism in Africa would continue for foreseeable future.

As Émile Benoist, a Columbia University economist and adviser to United Nations and US government, observed in 1961, “The assumption contained in Treaty of Rome that respective overseas territories were essentially dependent territories is no longer valid. To this he added: The Community is aware that rapid changes in Africa are undermining some of assumptions on which its original proposal to associate EEC with African countries was based.

He is also aware of enormous risks involved and is working to reshape his program to meet emerging needs, and if he succeeds, his historic role will far outweigh his achievements in Europe. In 1962, Henry Kissinger, Secretary of Economic Council of Council of Europe, commented on provisions of Rome Treaty of Colonial Union, saying: These provisions are based on political relations between African countries and mother countries. Basic static concepts." strong>

Importance of Africa's resources to other countries after World War II

Over past three years, relationship has exceeded all expectations. This key point was also noted by Carol Ann Cosgrove a few years later: "The treaty was drawn up at a time when rapid decolonization was being ignored by European overlords, and as a result, with exception of Somaliland, no mention was made of possible sovereign independence of associated countries.

The gloomy prospects for relations between EEC and Africa, expressed by Le Monde in 1960, thus contrast sharply with prosperity of Europe, Africa and colonies, when Treaty of Rome was signed three years earlier. In fact, if on June 2, 1960, Le Monde was tormented by prospect of "Africa's escape from European Economic Community", then on March 26, 1957, Treaty of Rome The day after ceremony At signing, New York Times noted latest step in Europe's southward movement, or rather DeLonge's: "The Germans are going to Africa: Bonn's mission is to explore and develop ways to extract resources.

It is reported that a German delegation is sent to "French colonies in Africa to investigate joint development of industrial raw materials needed in Western Europe." This is also relevant in framework of "signed today in Rome" agreement on EEC, purpose of which is to provide "co-financing of economic development of French African colonies."

Importance of Africa's resources to other countries after World War II

A few months later, another New York Times headline read: "Europe May Get New Sources of Oil, Common Economic Market May Mean Transition from Middle East to Africa: Resources Matter." In 1957, we were again reminded that EEC's ownership of Africa was seen as self-evident stability and permanence. Here, after agreement on European Economic Community, New York Times reports optimism about great economic prospects of new European Community for joint development of Algeria and "overseas possessions" of its member states.

The authors argue that in just 5 or 6 years, ECE is likely to "bring most important, perhaps permanent changes to European oil landscape and partly solve acute currency problems." As stated earlier, "the ultimate goal of EEC seems to be self-sufficiency in oil and some other types of raw materials obtained from overseas territories, mainly in Africa."

With independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, European colonial empires in Asia and Middle East began to decline, though not completely. But this was not case in Africa, where a reverse movement emerged after 1945, based on belief that Europeans could work to insulate Africa from logic of Cold War, and through creation of joint structures such as European Economic Community, bringing together colonial sovereignty, investment and interests in synergy to keep Africa within its own orbit of power.

For Nkrumah, Ghana's first president, EEC "represents a new system of collective colonialism that will be stronger and more dangerous than old evil we are trying to eradicate". For leaders of European Economic Community and other countries, national independence of France and Belgium was not considered until late 1950s, and for Algeria, an integral part of mainland France, it would have taken much longer.


Mazoll, A Palace Without Magic: The End of Empires and Ideological Origins of United Nations.

Nkrumah "Africa must unite".

Saville. Succession politics: British foreign policy and Labor government

Schwarz, Konrad Adenauer: German statesman and statesman in war, revolution and reconstruction

The Spark, The Never-ending Battle: Memoirs of a European, 1936-1966

Uri "Action Terminator: The Fate of Europe"

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