THE IMPACT OF ASIAN COUNTRIES ON AFRICAN NATIONALISM

THE IMPACT OF ASIAN COUNTRIES ON AFRICAN NATIONALISM

After the Second World War, many Asian states got their independence including India and Pakistan in 1947, Burma and Indonesia in 1948, china in 1949 experienced the communist revolution, and many others followed in the 1950s.




The methods they used to get self-rule and shed off foreign influence were copied by Africans in their struggle.

The independence of Asian countries influenced African nationalism as follows:-

  • Asian countries like Japan influenced African nationalism for example in 1905 it repulsed Russian influence and during World War II it defeated Britain and France in South Eastern Asia. Similarly the Dutch were driven a way by the Japanese in Indonesia and the Americans had been defeated in Philippians. Such courage by Japan encouraged African nationalists in their struggle for independence since they realized that these colonial powers could easily be defeated.




  • Between 1946-1954 France was defeated in a war with Vietnamese nationalists and in 1954 they attained their independence, accordingly African nationalists had to learn some lessons in this war. In the first place many Africans fought in this war like Ben Bella of Algeria on the side of France. Jean Bedel Bokasa also gained military experience in this war. They used the experience gained in revolutions against the French in Africa.
  • The idea of waging guerilla war was learnt from Asian fighters like at Burma Indonesia during the Second World War and during the 1946-1954 Vietnams war of independence. Africans later put this in practice in the jungles of Africa through Liberation struggles like MPLA rebels in Angola, FLN in Algeria and PAIGC in Guinea Bissau.




  • India was also significant in raising African nationalism. It had been under British Colonialism since 1847-1947. They had experienced the colonial injustices and colonial exploitation of their resources. Such problems generated resistance and with the help of Mahatma Ghandi they got their independence in 1947, therefore the similarity of conditions led Indian nationalists to impress upon their African counter parts in the struggle for independence. India gave scholarships and even military assistance to those fighting for independence like the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya in 1952.
  • The series of Japanese victories especially in south eastern Asia revealed that Europeans were not invisible therefore in the war sitiuation, Japanese heroism inspired African nationalists they then drew strength to resist colonial rule on the basis of Japanese experience.
  • Mahatma Ghandi of India preached passive resistance as a method of preventing colonialism through non-violent means such as demonstrations, boycotts, and non violent strikes. Therefore some African countries emulated this example such as Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia and they were in positions to attain independence.




  • China was also another Asian country that influenced African nationalism. In 1949 the Chinese communist party defeated Kuomintang and its chairman Mao Tse Tung became a leader of china and his leadership was more interested in Africa because he wanted to frustrate the penetration of USA in Africa. China devoted more broadcasting time to African listeners in trying to raise their nationalism; she even recognized the provisional government in Algeria against the French. This naturally attracted the attention of African leaders like Seku Toure of Guinea Conakry, Kwame Nkrumah Ghana thus China became their patron in the struggle for independence.
  • Asian countries organized the Bandung Conference in 1955 and agreed to form the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) as a go-between organization against Eastern and Western conflicts. This conference was inspiring to African observers from Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Algeria and South Africa. The conference declared its full support to the principles of self determination for the peoples’ and nations in Africa and other parts still under colonial rule. Accordingly African nationalists came back with a concept of positive neutrality as a strategy to fight colonialism.




  • The adoption of the Christian ideology was emulated from Asian states for example Ghandi said “Christianity is also in line with equality of all people and so colonialism that is super imposed is not line with the Christianity ideology”. This was adopted by Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia to decampaign colonialism as it was done in India. This also saw the emergency of various independent African churches.
  • The independent Asian countries that is India and pakistan in 1947, and Indonesia in 1948, became members of the UNO; they now used this chance to condemn colonial existence in Africa. India pressurized the trusteeship council to quicken the independence of the mandated states. Asian countries now became a voice of the Africans, this attracted international sympathy and Africans were in position to get moral, financial and military state in a bid to attain independence.
  • Asian countries also became the architects of the Afro-Arab-Asian solidarity where member countries resolved that rich countries like India, Egypt, China were to extend financial and military support to poor ones in Africa so as to attain independence. This gigantic organization acted as a strong voice against colonialism. Such gave determination to the already discontented masses in Africa against the colonial aggressors.




  • Asian countries like India gave scholarships to African students who acquired Western education, on their return, such students like Obote led the independence struggles in their countries.
  • The idea of political parties was copied from Asian countries for example Musaazi in 1952 formed the Uganda National Congress similar to the Indian National Congress. Besides Asian countries taught Africans political dynamism which could enable people see the good fruits of independence. This was expressed through freedom of expression, speech and press and when Africans demanded for those ideals nationalism surged to the fore.
  • Asian countries led by India opposed the super control of Britain as the leader of the common wealth countries as a way of resisting neo-colonialism. This made African nationalists not to allow the supreme control of their countries by the former colonial masters. Such countries included; Ghana, Nigeria andKenya.

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