The Cold War in Africa

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:History

Document 1

However, each supported some countries in various proxy wars worldwide. African countries were not left behind in the push by these superpowers to showcase their strengths. Countries such as former Zaire, Egypt, Algeria, and Angola played a prominent role in the cold war. In Guinea and Ghana, the choices taken by their leaders were judged mainly on the basis of being either capitalistic or communist. In Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser was able to highlight the full effects of the cold war after his victory in the battle for the Suez war. These were further exhibited in Ghana and Guinea. In Ghana, the Eisenhower did not provide economic assistance through its refusal to fund the River Volta hydroelectric power project. In Guinea president, Ahmed Sekou Toure was perceived to be a socialist because he refused capitalist financed projects.

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The Soviet Union took this opportunity to increase its reach in the continent through assisting these countries with the required funding. In the former Belgian Congo was at play when the President Woodrow Wilson had to protect Belgian interests in the country. Lord Cherwell remarks that if Britain were to rely entirely on the United States for weapons, it would end up being a second rate country hence the desire to increase its interests in South Africa. Another casing point is in Iran where the two superpowers are competing against each other in the nuclear wars. Russia is attempting to fund the nuclear process in Iran while the United States is entirely against this as it sees Iran as being unstable and also as a threat its ally Israel.

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Former Iran leader Ahmadinejad played down the role of sanctions stating that this had not worked in South Africa during the apartheid era. Due to difficulties that would be experienced with a hostile takeover of these countries, strategies such as orientalism shad o be developed, for example, France had begun to find the link between knowledge and power in the imperial period. The administration is said to have only focused on the activities of the Soviet Union despite the fact that the Soviet Union was clearly falling. Their focus on the Soviet Union made them to be unresponsive to the rest of the world. In Algeria for example more emphasis ought to have been placed on Islam rather placing more thoughts on race wars.

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Islam was the uniting factor among the North African states. Due to having a common religion and the fact that there was huge population in the growth in this African Arabic states, more focus should have been eliminated from the cold war and placed on civilization and development of this states. France operations in Zaire were majorly based in Shaba province through a mining company called e Bureau de Recherches G´eologiques et Mini`eres (BRGM). A downturn in economic activities in the 1970s primarily for copper raw materials and mass nationalizations meant that Zaire experienced harsh economic realities. This was further compounded by regional politics. This led to French and Belgian business owners to have a casual outlook towards the Zaire environment as they did not fear communist invasion as they saw that their investments were already secure4.

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The 8 March 1977 invasion of Zaire by Angolan rebels was a sign of Soviet Union interference to African countries that were deemed to have a moderate outlook on the cold war. Cuba activities affected thousands of people. For eample in 1983 the deteroriation of medical conditions was due to lack of aid from Cuba. Cuba was also feeding twenty five thousand Angolan soldiers. Jorge Risqué was Fidel Castro’s aide to matters Africa. He was so vital that it was said that issues dealing with Angola could not be discussed without him being present. This is in comparison to the effect that the cold war had on other continents such as Europe where the continent was divided into. This however is not to under estimate the impact of the cold war as it had a huge role in the shaping of modern Africa.

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Africa’s founding presidents were chosen majorly by their principles of either being communist or capitalist. The availability of resources was dependent on these principles. The superpowers choice to not involve themselves in war but instead, fund proxy wars in other countries such as Angola shows the selfish nature of the leaders of this countries at the time. This led to an appreciation of diversity. The notion that people from western nations were superior as compared to other nations was also researched on and found out that people became equal if they were exposed to the same experiences. The Cold War had significant consequences some of which were positive and others negative. The cold war indeed shaped the modern world as lessons learned during that period have far-reaching consequences regarding time.

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