Vitamin A deficiency A few salient facts An estimated million preschool children are vitamin A deficient and it is likely that in vitamin A deficient areas a substantial proportion of pregnant women is vitamin A deficient. An estimated to vitamin A-deficient children become blind every year, half of them dying within 12 months of losing their sight. The challenge Vitamin A deficiency VAD is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children and increases the risk of disease and death from severe infections. In pregnant women VAD causes night blindness and may increase the risk of maternal mortality.
Nonetheless, the book became much better, in my opinion, when it arrived at the main subject, the exploitation of Africa and Africans by Europeans. The last three chapters cover the period of slavery, the period of colonialism, independence, and "the supposed benefits of colonialism for Africa".
These chapters are full of excellent material that remains highly relevant given that Europeans continue to assert that colonialism was beneficial and to exploit African countries and other regions.
Like many texts, this one makes clear how Europeans gained our wealth through plunder and exploitation. Among the many things pointed out by Rodney that I hadn't known or realised the importance of before, or just found especially salient, were: It seems obvious that this would cause economic problems for the preyed-on region, but I had never thought of this, because I had not grasped the sheer scale of that slave trade.
Bythe amount of European manufactured goods purchasable by the same quantity of African raw materials had fallen still further.
There was no objective economic law which determined that primary produce should be worth so little. Indeed, the developed countries sold certain raw materials like timber and wheat at much higher prices than a colony could command.
The explanation is that the unequal exchange was forced upon Africa by the political and military supremacy of the colonizers, just as in the sphere of international relations unequal treaties were forced on small states in the dependencies, like those in Latin America" - Colonies were taxed.
Africans paid for "the upkeep of the governors and police who oppressed them and served as watchdogs for private capitalists In effect, therefore, the colonial governments never put a penny into the colonies.
A great deal of this forced labor went into the construction of roads, railways and ports to provide the infrastructure for private capitalist investment and to facilitate the export of cash crops.
Taking only one example from the British colony of Sierra Leone, one finds that the railway which started at the end of the nineteenth century required forced labour from thousands of peasants driven from the villages.
The hard work and appalling conditions led to the death of a large number of those engaged in work on the railway. In British territories, this kind of forced labor including juvenile labor was widespread enough to call forth in a "Native Authority Ordinance" restricting the use of compulsory labor for porterage, railway and road building.
More often than not, means were found of circumventing this legislation. An international Forced Labor Convention was signed by all colonial powers inbut again it was flouted in practice.
It is our contention that this is completely false.
Colonialism had only one hand - it was a one-armed bandit. What did colonial governments do in the interest of Africans? Supposedly, they built railroads, schools, hospitals and the like. The sum total of these services was amazingly small.
For those chosen few, the British colonial government maintained a segregated hospital service of 11 beds in well-furnished surroundings.
There were 34 beds for the half-million blacks [ Social services to which Africans did have access were provided solely to facilitate exploitation. Where exports were not available, roads and railways had no place.
The only slight exception is that certain roads and railways were built to move troops and make conquest and oppression easier" "Apologists for colonialism are quick to say that the money for schools, hospitals, and such services in Africa was provided by the British, French or Belgian taxpayer [ Colonialism created the conditions for neo-colonial exploitation and dependence.
But the one thing I found most interesting and impressive about Rodney's work is his discussion of education. Pre-colonial education in Africa was outstandingly relevant, he explains, in contrast to colonial education, the main purpose of which "was to train Africans to help man the local administration at the lowest ranks and staff the private capitalist firms staffed by Europeans.
In effect, that meant selecting a few Africans to participate in the domination and exploitation of the continent as a whole [ Education in Europe was dominated by the capitalist class.
The same class bias was automatically transferred to Africa; and to make matters worse the racism and cultural boastfulness harboured by capitalism were also included in the package of colonial education.In her final blog in the series Lee Wengraf celebrates the life and work of Walter Rodney, the scholar, working class militant and revolutionary from Guyana who was murdered 37 years ago.
His book How Europe Underdeveloped Africa remains a classic that must be carefully studied by activists and scholars today. Illegal immigration from Africa to Europe is significant.
Many people from underdeveloped African countries embark on the dangerous journey for Europe, in hopes of a better life. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney The Strengthening of Technological and Military Aspects of Capitalism Chapter Six. Colonialism as a System for.
The myth of Neo-colonialism. By Tunde Obadina.
More than three decades after most African nations became independent, there is no consensus on the legacy of colonialism. A developing country (or a low and middle income country (LMIC), less developed country, less economically developed country (LEDC), or underdeveloped country) is a country with a less developed industrial base and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries.
However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. . In order to logically explain how Europe Underdeveloped Africa Walter Rodney tak He (Walter Rodney) makes it clear from the beginning of the book that For a better understanding of the challenges and present political and socio-economic situation faced by most African countries despite the fact that the are independent, one have to visit the past/5.