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Business, Women, Africa, Commerce, Trade, Slavery, Countries, Slave
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The slave trade in Africa lasted four centuries. Nowadays, slavery is illegal in most countries and is called by another name, human trafficking. The British parliament voted over two-hundred years ago to abolish slavery. This was prior to the United States outlawing it. However, now two-hundred years later, the region is still experiences the effects that the slave industry wreaked upon the continent.
Africa as a continent has its fair share of complicated social problems that it must contend with. These have a myriad of causes, but the lasting effects of the slave trade is certainly one of them.
Ghanaian historian and lawyer Mohamad Shaibu Abdulai, being quoted in the BBC’s article “Slavery’s long effects on Africa,” said that “Africa’s loss of millions of the strongest men and women during the slave trade is one reason for this underdevelopment.” (Ross, 2007).
As Africa workers were building up the economies of the countries where they had been relocated, Africa was missing the agrarian revolution in Ghana and other places partly because they lost free manual labor due to the slave trade.
The BBC article goes on to speculate that the population in Africa would have been double what it was in 1850 had it not been for the slave trade.
The slave trade also led to conflicts between African peoples that otherwise would not have had a cause. It is basic supply and demand. Africa had a supply for able bodied men and women, and Europe and the New World had a market where this was profitable, and so sometimes it was Africans themselves who were capturing people from other tribes and selling them to European slave traders.
The effects of slavery will always affect the trajectory of Africa. It is a sad chapter of history, but luckily it is one that is closed, and Africa is free now to move forward and carve it’s own destiny.
Ross, W. (n.d.). BBC NEWS | Africa | Slavery's long effects on Africa. BBC News - Home. Retrieved April 4, 2013, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6504141.stm
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