French Colonial Policies in West Africa: Power Dynamics, Cultural Impositions and Economic Legacies


  • Kehinde Tola Benjamin Department of Political Science and International Relations, Covenant University, Canaan Land, KM. 10 Idiroko Rd, 112212 Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria



Imperialism, French Colonialism, Assimilation, West Africa


The complex dynamics of French colonial policies in West Africa during European imperialism played a crucial role in streamlining administrative procedures and consolidating control over the indigenous African population. This colonial framework not only imposed a distinct sense of identity on African communities but also created deep stratification within these societies. Implementing the direct rule system, an essential aspect of French colonial administration, facilitated imposing laws and regulations that often marginalized traditional authority structures. As a result, a symbiotic relationship emerged between the African colonies and France, with the former serving as essential suppliers of resources crucial for sustaining France's growing industrial enterprises. This paper delves into the intricate nuances of the French colonial policies and their enduring impact on West Africa. By critically examining the assimilation and association policies, the study elucidates the power dynamics, cultural impositions, and economic implications that characterized the colonial experience of French colonies in West Africa. Unpacking the complexities of the colonial governance framework highlights the systemic disparities and cultural alienation perpetuated by the French colonial apparatus, underscoring the persistent socio-economic challenges and cultural subjugation that continue to shape the contemporary West African landscape. By exploring historical injustices and postcolonial complexities, the study emphasizes the urgent need for a holistic and inclusive approach to postcolonial development, advocating for preserving cultural heritage and promoting equitable socio-economic progress within the region.


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How to Cite

Benjamin , K. T. (2024). French Colonial Policies in West Africa: Power Dynamics, Cultural Impositions and Economic Legacies. International Journal of Advances in Social Sciences and Humanities, 3(1), 8–17.
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