Question Details

Effects of Missionary activities in Africa

asked : 10 months, 14 days ago General History

Visitor 1548669493 posted an answer
10 months, 14 days ago

Missionary societies wherever they worked, left a lot of social, political and economic effects. All of them were imbedded in positive and negative categories as explained by;-
The missionary societies converted the west African people and generally in the whole of Africa into Christianity. This reduced the number of people who would have been Muslims and African traditionalists. This formed a class of converts who eventually played a big role in assisting the colonialists when they were taking over African territories in the last quarter of the 19th century.
They encouraged and developed agriculture through introducing new crops, distributing
seeds to native fanners, establishing plantations (development of Legitimate trade) and putting up experimental farms characterised by better methods of farminu all of which were aiming at increased raw materials for European industries. Examples of major crops include: Coffee, Cloves, Sisal and orange plantations that were set up m Ghana by Methodists missionary group. Basel Missionary Group also established Cocoa plantations at Akropong in Ghana. Similar cases were in east and central Africa where missionaries operated.
Missionaries encouraged commerce and trade through formation of trading companies and
developing cordial relationship with chartered companies that were operating in Africa. Example, in 1892 the Imperial British East African Company (IBEACo) in East Africa ran bankrupt and it was financially assisted by the Church Missionary society (C.M.S) until
1893. They went ahead and established trading centers through which Agriculture products would be sold off to Europe while the manufactured goods brought would be marketed to Africans in these towns. In west Africa, the Basel Missionary Society formed the Basel Trading Company while the C.M.S formed the west African trading company in
They introduced, new architecture suitable for the tropics e.g. brick laying, stone houses, tile roofing, corrugated iron roofing all were introduced in Africa by missionaries. This improved the standard of living of Africans who formerly lived in grass-thatched houses and huts. Missionaries all over Africa used such methods of Construction which colonialists inherited as their offices i.e. in former mission stations.
Missionaries checked inhuman African cultural practices that were quite backward and barbaric e.g. they preached against polygamy, human sacrifice, murder of twins, all of which created social development, peace and stability in Africa.
They embarked on systematic study of African local languages and even taught Africans how to speak foreign languages. They taught Africans how to read and write and read their languages, they taught them Germany, French and English languages depending on the origin of the missionary society. Grammar books and dictionaries were written in local languages so as to make their converts be able to read and write. ego In Uganda books were written in Luganda, Iteso, Rukiga and Runyaokole while in West Africa books were written in Tiv, Ewe, Hausa and Yoruba language. Similar impact was witnessed in central Africa.
They also encouraged education through the establishment of both elementary and secondary schools as well as training colleges. In West Africa by 1841, the C.M.S had established 21 elementary schools in Sierra Leone and in 1845 it found secondary schools one for boys and another for girls at Abeokuta in Nigeria. In East Africa missionaries built a secondary school in Mengo, Gayaza which began as educational centers for daughters of Buganda chiefs while Buddo college was established to educate the sons of Buganda Chiefs. Included also are Rabai high school in Tanganyika, Kakamega Agriculture school in
Kenya and in central Africa, missionaries established Shire college and Magomero High School in Malawi while in Zambia missionaries established Maclean Training college etc.

However, missionary education concentrated in elementary subjects like bible study, reading and writing. Such subjects taught to Africans prepared them to be good servants to the colonialists as they worked In position of secretaries, office messengers, Clerks and interpreters.
Nevertheless missionary education has been credited to have established schools in African continent that educated nuportant personalities in Africa like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Kenneth Kaundo of zambia Ben Kiwanuka of Uganda, Dr. Milton Obote of Uganda, Jorno Kiuyatta of Kenya etc, who led the 1960’s Nationalistic movements that assisted in the attainment of africa independence from the hands of colonialists.

Creation of disunity awl divisionism among Africans. The competition for converts between . Catholics, protestants and Orthodox missionaries left a lot of enemity planted
among Africans that madethem weak to resist against colonialism. e.g. in Uganda in
1886-1893 period there were religious war in Buganda among the Muslims, Wangereza
(Protestant) and Wa franza (Catholics) which were silenced by Lord Lugard in 1893 which saw the triumph of the protestants In politics of Uganda up to now.

Missionaries established some infrastructural developments in Africa e.g. roads, hospitals, railways etc. however such infrastructure was a priority of the objectives of these missionaries forexample, roads and railways were established in resourceful areas, Schools were primarily for sons and daughters of the white settlers and the African chiefs while hospitals were to treat mainly the whites, followed by the chiefs and fmaly the Africans who offered crucial forced labour e.g. experts in mining: farming, close secretanes etc
Missionaries came to expose the African continent to the outside world, This was done through offering of scholarships to notable Africans such as Sir. Apollo Kaggwa who went to London for sometime when he came back, Baganda named him Apollo Kivebulunvu. Also central africa Chief Lewanika of Lozi was taken to London for sometime and when he returned, he had this to say:
“Now 1 have seen lets come out of our darkness. our ancient heathenism: come
and hear’ the teachings on Sundays, Send your children to school that we
too become a nation”.
Post Your Own Answer