In an effort to stay informed about the global world, you might come to the same realization as me: there is insufficient coverage of African countries. And in relation to current events, our school systems are doing us a disservice in not sufficiently covering African history in school. It is saddening to admit that I didn’t learn that the first evidence of humans was found in Africa. The continent has a rich history that needs to be taught and shared, especially pre-colonialism. I make this distinction because of most of the sub-Saharan African history that I was taught (as well as other regions like MENA) was always focused on viewing them through a frame of colonialism or post-colonialism. It wasn’t until some college classes that I was able to move beyond these pre-constructed lenses and allow myself to seek out the narratives that aren’t heavily disseminated.
But for my African Economics class, we were tasked with focusing in on a more specific topic. So to narrow my scope I decided that I wanted to take a look into the distribution of wealth in Angola as an informal case study of what could explain the high levels of inequality that exist today. I found that colonialism played a major role in underdeveloping the country due to the highly extractive institutions and systems put into place during colonialism, unequal trade dynamics that favored the colonizers, and the resource curse. All of which has persisted into today. I’ve attached my paper for more details.