What would Africa's political map have looked like right now if it wasn't for colonialism?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,269
SoCal
What would Africa's political map have looked like right now if it wasn't for colonialism?
 
Apr 2017
1,655
U.S.A.
Impossible to say, many regions were at the tribal level and could have developed in multiple ways. This is like asking what the political map of the Americas would look like without colonialism.
Also what do you consider colonialism? What about Carthage, Rome and Egypt? They created several colony like zones.
What about Spain/Portugal's conquests in North Africa in the 15/16th centuries?
What about the Ottoman empire's conquests of the east African coasts?
What about the Swahili culture, they were fusion of Arabic/Persian culture and native bantu.
What about Morocco's campaigns into the Sahara?
If you cut off European influence then other states will fill the gap. If no one takes it over then the natives will develop very slowly as they have little contact with the outside world. If southern Africa is left in a vacuum for centuries they may be like the un-contacted tribes of the world.
 
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AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,216
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Carthage was Phoenician as for origins, and after Greeks and Romans also Muslims were a "colonial" power as well. So that in Northern Africa, the only not "colonial" power was Egypt. Considering the natural defense of Sahara desert, sure Northern Africa would have been full of pyramids, stone temples, sphinxes ...

Central Africa would have seen the growth of two powers: the Axumite Empire [and actually Italian colonial armies fought against Ethiopians] and Mali.

About Southern Africa, I admit I'm a bit ignorant.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,269
SoCal
Impossible to say, many regions were at the tribal level and could have developed in multiple ways. This is like asking what the political map of the Americas would look like without colonialism.
Also what do you consider colonialism? What about Carthage, Rome and Egypt? They created several colony like zones.
What about Spain/Portugal's conquests in North Africa in the 15/16th centuries?
What about the Ottoman empire's conquests of the east African coasts?
What about the Swahili culture, they were fusion of Arabic/Persian culture and native bantu.
What about Morocco's campaigns into the Sahara?
If you cut off European influence then other states will fill the gap. If no one takes it over then the natives will develop very slowly as they have little contact with the outside world. If southern Africa is left in a vacuum for centuries they may be like the un-contacted tribes of the world.
What about if we will exclude only European colonialism but also have European countries offer to share new technologies with various African states? This is what the US did in regards to Japan; it didn't try to conquer Japan but did share various new technologies with the Japanese--thus eventually helping to pave the way for the Meiji Restoration and the subsequent industrialization in Japan.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,269
SoCal
FTR, here's a map of Africa in 1880:



France's invasion of Algeria is real easy to prevent. Just avoid having the Algerian Dey be an ass and Algeria should be good. The Dey's stupidity resulted in a lot of unnecessary suffering for his people as a result of his actions bringing the French into Algeria for a whopping 132 years.
 
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Apr 2017
1,655
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What about if we will exclude only European colonialism but also have European countries offer to share new technologies with various African states? This is what the US did in regards to Japan; it didn't try to conquer Japan but did share various new technologies with the Japanese--thus eventually helping to pave the way for the Meiji Restoration and the subsequent industrialization in Japan.
Are you excluding Rome as well? If so what about the Greeks?
Dutch and Portuguese colonies existed for hundreds of years, what about them?
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,269
SoCal
Are you excluding Rome as well? If so what about the Greeks?
Dutch and Portuguese colonies existed for hundreds of years, what about them?
How about we simply avoid all post-1880 European colonialism in Africa but allow all pre-1880 European colonialism in Africa with the exception of Algeria?
 
Apr 2017
1,655
U.S.A.
How about we simply avoid all post-1880 European colonialism in Africa but allow all pre-1880 European colonialism in Africa with the exception of Algeria?
That's problematic, Portugal had colonies in Africa for hundreds of years, do they inexplicably not expand them? This would make them less likely to hold them as native states expand.
What about South Africa and the Boer republics? Do they still war with each other? Can they expand?
If Europe isn't expanding into Africa, then where are they spending their resources? Conquering the Ottoman empire or China? This could drastically effect events.
What about Liberia? Can it expand?
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,269
SoCal
That's problematic, Portugal had colonies in Africa for hundreds of years, do they inexplicably not expand them? This would make them less likely to hold them as native states expand.
Fine, they can expand.

What about South Africa and the Boer republics? Do they still war with each other? Can they expand?
Yes, they can expand.

If Europe isn't expanding into Africa, then where are they spending their resources? Conquering the Ottoman empire or China? This could drastically effect events.
You decide.

What about Liberia? Can it expand?
Yes, it can.

For the record, maybe a better rule here would be that expansion of existing European colonies in Africa is acceptable but the creation of new European colonies in Africa is unacceptable.
 

civfanatic

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
3,318
Des Moines, Iowa
What would Africa's political map have looked like right now if it wasn't for colonialism?
By "colonialism" are you referring to European colonialism specifically, or colonialism in general? Because Islamic colonialism was also a potent force in Africa.

In the absence of European colonialism, much of Sub-Saharan Africa would have been dominated by Islamic powers, since the 18th-19th centuries saw a steady expansion of Islamic power into the African heartland. Egypt under the Muhammad Ali dynasty would have continued its colonial expansion towards central Africa around Lake Victoria (in our real life timeline, they made it as far as Wadelai in Uganda), and might have conquered Ethiopia. Oman would continue to have influence over Zanzibar and the Swahili coast, and Arab merchant-soldiers would have probably expanded their ventures south into Mozambique and South Africa if Europeans were absent from those regions. In the dark interior of Africa, our real life timeline saw Arab adventurers like Tippu Tip carving out their own private empires in the Congo. Without Belgians or other Europeans, all of Congo would probably be Muslim today. As for West Africa, Islam was already present in the savanna regions since medieval times, but the 19th century saw further Islamic expansion and state formation (as seen in the Fulani jihads), and without Europeans we would probably see Islamic states reach the Gulf of Guinea.