In this insightful book, development historian Bekeh Ukelina Utietiang addresses the crisis of development in Africa by locating it in its colonial historical past. Using Nigeria as a case study, he argues that the nature and practice of British colonialism in this colony created social and economic deficiencies that have left a legacy of underdevelopment. Utietiang outlines the processes that led to the 1945 Nigerian Development Plan and the evolution of colonial agricultural policy and practices in Nigeria. He argues that a few key factors led to the failure of development in the late colonial period: the imperial and neocolonial imperative to exploit African resources and people, poor planning as a result of this imperative, and the racial ideologies of the colonial state that resulted in a total rejection of local African experience and knowledge in favor of Western 'experts.' The Second Colonial Occupation uncovers and analyzes the short and long term impact of colonialism. It reveals that though colonial rule was promoted as a benevolent mission, at heart, it was a system that guaranteed that Africans continuously paid for their own exploitation.
Utietiang argues that 'postcolonial' Africa will continue to face development challenges unless it breaks free from the intellectual relics of colonial rule and the economic shackles of neocolonialism.
Bekeh Utietiang is assistant professor of African history at the State University of New York, Cortland.