At the dawn of independence in Africa, colonial rulers hastily introduced new structures such as national parliaments, local councils, and opposition parties in a bid to channel popular demands into responsive policies. These structures while all laudable were no match for the ethnic identities that had been created during the colonial period. Colonial rulers had drawn ethnic and geographic boundaries arbitrarily perhaps as part of the divide and rule policy which are said to have contributed immensely to the development of ethnic identities. This seems to give credibility to Mngomezulu argument that the concept of ‘ethnicity’ itself was imposed by colonial administrators upon an otherwise undifferentiated group of people. Thus, while it may be true that Africans in the pre-colonial societies were not homogeneous as evidenced by the migration of various groups across the continent, the colonial era played on the divisions making them rigid.
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2011.