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Rwanda & The Scramble for Africa
Transcript of Rwanda & The Scramble for Africa
By Albert Zhao
Batteries not included
Rwanda was first colonized by Germany in the 19th century.
Similar to the later colonizers, the Belgians, the German expedition was privately funded by individuals, as opposed to publicly funded by the nation.
The first German explorer who showed an interest in Rwanda was Count Gustav Adolf von Götzen - who led the first expedition into the country
He met up with the king of the area, however, with only 2,500 soldiers, his explorers did little to change the social structure in the country.
However, in 1897, civil war in the East African region opened the door wide open for colonialism.
Civil War in Africa...
The Germans this opportunity to attempt to colonize Rwanda...
...and succeeded this time.
In 1897, German colonialists and missionaries arrived at in Rwanda, at the local royal court and local government.
"we have come to take over your land"
The local government was divided - half were wary and the other half believed that German rule was preferable to Belgian rule (who were attempting to colonize this area as well).
Important to note that the Congo, which was a Belgian colony, was right next to
But before we begin...
Rwanda is a small African nation.
Yeah not exactly big...
To the left is Congo, which was historically a Belgian colony!
its also a war zone...
This is their flag
They became an independent
country on July 1st, 1962.
Population - just over 12 million.
Believe it or not...
Rwanda has very little
corruption its government
compared to neighboring
But they've still been accused of plenty of
human rights infractions...
Such as intimidation and restrictions
on Freedom of Speech
And in major news, in 1994 there was a major
genocide in the country. More on that later.
Eventually, a German-run government was put into place...
and that was that...
For the first few years, the Germans had little influence in the affairs of the locals, and were almost completely reliant on the indigenous government.
Even now, a lot of the world's
coffee comes from slave labour
in African countries, such as...
However, they introduced "cash taxes" (which were
paid to the government by the locals) as a way to
increase profits from the cultivation of the coffee crop.
After World War 1, Germany lost it’s grip on Rwanda.
During the war, it was colonized by Belgians.
Belgium accepted an offer by the “League of Mandate Nations” to govern Rwanda alongside it’s neighbour colony, Burundi. The new nation was called “Rwanda - Urundi”
which are now two separate
However, Belgium would lose
it's grip on Rwanda yet again.
Tensions between the
different ethnicities of Rwanda
civil war in Rwanda
Rwanda became an
independent country in
2) Effects of Imperialism
Imperialism had plenty of effects on Rwanda.
For one, pre-existing trade between African tribes and colonies completely fell apart. When the Germans arrived and colonized Rwanda, they re-aligned the economy to suit their own needs. For example, the Germans introduced coffee as a cash crop, and much of what they produced in Africa was sent back to Europe for profit.
Due to superior technology, German colonizers had much more power over the locals.
Rwandan locals who didn’t agree with German ideas were often simply slaughtered - the Africans had very primitive weaponry such as wooden spears and swords while the Germans had very advanced weaponry, such as guns.
Although there was no genocide when the Germans first colonized Rwanda, in the mid to late 20th century, genocide would become a much bigger problem.
As well, certain ethnic groups in Rwanda were preferred over others. For example, the “Tutsi” ethnic group in Rwanda was preferred over the “Hutus,” because apparently due to their appearance (they were taller and therefore more “eloquent and honorable” and their willing to convert to Roman Catholicism made them superior to the “Hutus.”) The king and ruling family of the region at this time was also “Tutsi,” therefore the Germans supported them and worked closely with them throughout their colonial expedition.
Lastly, at the Berlin Conference of 1884, the European colonial powers drew boundaries and countries in Africa based on their own needs, without consulting the locals. This led to many African tribes who did not like each other very much being put very close together. The war in Rwanda and Burundi in the 1990s was a direct result of poor planning and Eurocentric views during the Berlin Conference.
Do as I say, or else...
except for with Africans
At 1994, there were three
ethnic groups in Rwanda -
the Tutsi, the Hutu and the
The population is made up of three major
ethnic groups - the Hutus (85%), the Tutsis (14%) (which were favored by German colonists, as well as being the ruling family at that point in time) and the Twa, which made up 1% of the population
except with less friendship
In the early 1900s, the Hutu blamed
the ENTIRE Tutsi minority on the
country's increasing social, political
and economic problems.
The Tutsi were also supporting their
own rebel force, the RPF.
Rwandan Patriotic Front
IN 1992, Hutu extremists shot
down a plane carrying Rwanda's
Violence began immediately
Hutu extremists launched a plan
to destroy all of the Tutsi population.
About 800,000 were killed
in the genocide... women were
raped systematically... and the
country descended into chaos...
It is estimated that about
200,000 people took part
in the genocide.
The slaughter only ended when the
Tutsi rebel group (RPF) defeated the
Hutu regime and installed one of their
own as President.
How does this link back to imperialism and globalization?
The Hutu felt a need to attack
due to past history of oppressive rule
by the Tutsi...
which was partially caused by the
Germans... who preferred the Tutsi over
Policymakers in both Germany and
Belgium (the former colonizers) were
both aware of the slaughter, but
did not take action until it was too late
Actually, the survey finds
that Rwanda is the LEAST
corrupt African country..
Mainly due to the government's
unique approach to corruption -
they attempt to "link back" to
the local population and interact
As well... the Belgian colonial administration
further strengthened the hate between
the two ethnic groups
It was only due to colonialism that one group was favoured over the other.
Due to Belgium declaring
Rwanda a free country,
certain ethnic groups are no
longer preferred over others.
The Rwandan government figured
out a way to govern themselves!
After the genocide and ethnic tensions
were released, their corruption level
is now the LOWEST in Africa!
James Radcliffe, 11/04/2004, socialistworld.net,
Retrieved 08/10/2013, http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/1169
Erica Penfold, Date Unknown, globalintegrity.org,
Retrieved 08/10/2013, http://www.globalintegrity.org/blog/Rwanda
Author Unknown, Date Unknown, Sponsor Unknown, Retrieved 09/10/2013, http://www.unitedhumanrights.org/genocide/genocide_in_rwanda.htm
Author Unknown, Date Unknown, United Nations Website, Retrieved 09/10/2013, http://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/rwanda/education/rwandagenocide.shtml
Author Unknown, Date Unknown, Official site of the Rwandan government, Retrieved 10/10/2013, http://www.gov.rw/