also use these lands to grow cash crops to sell abroad for national income. As discussed in chapter two, pre-colonial African societies remained self-sufficient until the advent of the AtlanticSlave Trade and colonialism on the continent, which disrupted the lifestyles and livelihoods of the people.In Europe, cash crops were turned into manufactured goods such as chocolate, coffee, clothing,footwear, and textiles, which were then sold both in Europe and in Africa. The profits gained were reinvested in European economies,ensuring their rapid growth and expansion and providing stability and a high quality of life for Europeans. The result is that African resources, labor, and expertise were utilized by Europeans to build European economies, while African economies were underdeveloped, leading to the creation of widespread poverty on the continent.In some cases, Africans were employed as wage laborers on settler farms, and also by plantation and mining companies in Kenya, Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia), Malawi, and South Africa. This also removed people from agriculture and resulted in a decrease in food production.
African peasants now produced raw materials for the world capitalist market and purchased imported foods and manufactured goods, which were readily available in African markets. African economies became export-oriented without any modern industrial growth. Africans became fully dependent on European imports since they had no industries to turn their raw materials into manufactured goods. These imports consequently destroyed the local traditional industries, since Africans now preferred European manufactured goods to the locally produced ones. European imports into the African market also destroyed African handicraft industries. For instance, by 1923 the tin-producing industry of the Hausa of Northern Nigeria had completely disappeared (Davidson, 1991). Furthermore, Nigerian iron-smelting which had lasted for about 2000 years had died out by the 1930s. Traditional guilds, including blacksmiths and goldsmiths, had also declined, leaving their members impoverished and facing social deprivation. According to Davidson (1992), in the 14thcentury, the Algerian weaving center of Tlemsen used 4000 hand-looms, but by 1954 it had exactly 105 looms. The traditional rural economy declined rapidly and yet the urban economy had no real alternatives to offer Africans.The general level of non-commercial investment remained very low, while raw materials exports increased. These exports from the African interior were conducted by the few railways constructed only to the cultivating areas and thus limiting the development of transportation networks both within and between the various African territories.In addition to raw materials, minerals were mined and exported to Europe. These included gold, diamonds, bauxite, manganese, cobalt, zinc, iron ore, and tin. These exports drew several powerful European multinational companies into African economies, assisting with the spread and creation of western capitalism in the heart of Africa.