THE neo-colonialism of today represents imperialism in its final and perhaps its most dangerous stage.
In the past it was possible to convert a country upon which a neo-colonial regime had been imposed —
Egypt in the nineteenth century is an example — into a colonial territory. Today this process is no
longer feasible. Old-fashioned colonialism is by no means entirely abolished. It still constitutes an
African problem, but it is everywhere on the retreat. Once a territory has become nominally independent
it is no longer possible, as it was in the last century, to reverse the process. Existing colonies may linger
on, but no new colonies will be created. In place of colonialism as the main instrument of imperialism
we have today neo-colonialism.
The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has
all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its
political policy is directed from outside.
Kwame Nkrumah (1965)
These are the opening paragraphs from Kwame Nkrumah’s Book on Neo-Colonialism which he aptly describes as the last stage of imperialism. This book is a very insightful read. Nkrumah highlights a lot of phenomena, that at that time might have seemed to be prophecies but in light of the current sociopolitical climate in sub-Saharan Africa, the truth.
I picked up this book out of sheer curiosity. I wanted to know why Nkrumah coined the phrase Neocolonialism and what necessitated it. What exactly neocolonialism was and how detrimental it is or was or will be to the Africa. published in 1965, Nkrumah really foreshadows a lot of. He was in every possible connotation of the word, a visionary. Enigmatic maybe.
You can disagree with the ideology, the methods, the persona, but you have to respect the knowledge at least. This is a must read for anyone wishing to understand the intricacies of post colonial politics on the African continent. Fifty years on, and this book still contains the possible solutions to problems we face in Africa today.
I look to engage anyone who has or is going to read this book. It is relatively short, but has a lot to offer both young and old minds.