Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/8169
Colonial Legacy in the Great Lakes Region. Has British and Belgian colonialism affected economic development differently in Burindi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda?
The effects of Belgian and British colonization strategies on the subsequent post-independent economic growth in colonies in the Great Lakes region are studied with a comparative analysis of certain key economic and socio-economic indicators. Different explanations of cross-country disparities in post-colonial development are examined with a focus on the impact of institutions on economic growth. The choice of countries was based on the fact that they share certain characteristics, such as: all six countries belong to the Great Lakes region and share important geographic and climatic characteristics, all have multi-ethnic societies, the Bantu cultural impact is significant in them all and Swahili can be used as a language to some degree in all six countries. These similarities help isolate the impact of different colonial models as determinants or co-determinants of economic development. The Belgian colonization strategy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi was heavily extractive, while Britain favored a more subtle form of settler colonization strategy in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The pre-independence economic statuses of the Belgian and British colonial states are explored as well as the development and progress of these colonies after independence. Finally, the six countries are grouped according to their colonizer and compared according to factors such as gross national income, Human Development Index, average years of total schooling and governance indices. The analysis show that the British colonies have fared far better after independence than the Belgian colonies when it comes to these key economic and socio-economic indicators. This indicates that the differences in institutional development may have played an important role.