This chapter outlines the importance of postcolonial approaches for the study of Africa-EU relations. It contextualises such approaches in negotiation practices and outcomes of the EU proposed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). Though academic literature on Africa-EU relations tends to define such relations as being asymmetrical, the politics around the negotiations of the EPAs through postcolonial lenses reveals contestations around the assumptions of such asymmetries. The very constitution of the EU was also a product of colonial legacy. The pursuits of European colonisers stretched throughout the world, but unlike the Americas and Asia, Africa held a special place in the efforts to construct European economic integration. Since the 1990s, Africa-EU relations have been based on neoliberal principles, with the EU considering trade and market liberalisation as central to poverty reduction while African leaders have also equated it with development.
The question of how Europe ruled Africa relates to the crucial issues of settlernative identity as constructions of colonialism as well as political consciousness formation and development among the colonized as well as the colonizers. Because colonialism operated ambiguously throughout its life to the extent of hiding its adverse contours of epistemological and mental invasion that have come to haunt during the post-colonial era, it deserve to be subjected to systematic theorization and historicization. This article deploys various conceptual tools culled from post-colonial theories to delve deeper into the dialectics and ontology of colonial governance in Zimbabwe and it simultaneously historicize the phenomenon of colonial governance on the basis of how white Rhodesians inscribed themselves in Matabeleland in the early twentieth century. It also systematically interrogates the development of Ndebele political consciousness under the alienating influences of settler colonialism up to the mid-twentieth century. The article contributes to the broader debates on colonial encounters and colonial governance that have left an indelible mark on ex-colonies across the world. Colonialism was not just a footnote in African history. It had long term pervasive impact of altering everyone and everything that it found in Africa.
Keeping in mind the variety of social, cultural and economic conditions distinguishing African Societies, the author divides the continent into three macro-regions: (1) Africa of the colonial economy (enlarged West Africa) (2) Africa of the concession companies (Congo Basin) (3) Africa of the labor reserves (East and South Africa).The dialectics between colonial policies and social formations and modes of production in ternal to the regions are seen as a major determinant in shaping the history of underdevelopment in Black Africa. On this basis, four historical periods are analyzed : (1) The pre-mercantilist period (2) The mercantilist period (3) The preparatory phase for colonization (4) The colonization period. Concluding the discussion of the colonization period, the author points to the necessity of viewing African socities as dependent, peripheral ones, shaped according to the needs of dominant, capitalist societies.
Text description here