The Bi-Polar World System and the Contradictions of African Independence: A Retrospective Reflection



The Cold War International system which polarized Europe and other world continents into two hostile camps: the West dominated by the United States and the East by the Soviet Union after 1945 had profound implications on African security, stability and independence. As response to Cold War diplomacy, Africa and other emergent states in the international system formulated the non-aligned movement as a way out of the ideological posturing of superpowers. Poverty and ideological deficiency undermined the non-aligned movement which states flirted between the two camps with dangerous consequences to the stability of their nation-states. African states which pursued independent paths to modernity and prosperity were either denied, neglected or destabilized; while others compromised their independence, collaborated with the forces of imperialism and became arrowheads in the hands of capitalist predators. This paper attempts an overview of the bi-polar world system and its implications for United States policy towards Africa between 1945 and 1990. Inter-alia, the paper posits that the continued chase for a place in the orbit of occidentalism from idealist viewpoint rather reinforces dependency than reconcile the contradictions of underdevelopment. The paper also decries the ideological deficiency and reechoes the call for African development to be anchored on an ideological beacon as a sure way of giving succor to its independence.  


Ideology; Imperialism; Dependency; African independence; Cold war

Full Text:



Ake, C. (1978). Revolutionary pressures in Africa. London: Zed Publishers.

Asogwa, F. C, (1999). Understanding int’l relations. Enugu: Vougasen ltd.

Cabarl, A. (1966). The weapon of theory. Speech delivered in in Cuba. Retrieved from

Enor, F., & Chime, J. (2013). Revolutionary eruption in the Maghreb States of North Africa: A discourse on their implications for United States – Africa relations. Canadian Journal of Politics and Law, 6(1), 163-172.

Enor, F. (2012) United states policy towards Africa since the Cold War Calabar: Saesprint (Nig) Co.

Gabriel, K. (1988), Confronting the Third World U.S. foreign policy, 1945-1980. New York: Panthem Books.

Gbenenye, E. M. (2004) An introduction to diplomacy and european history in the 19th and 20th centuries. Nigeria: Springfield Publishers Ltd.

Higgins, H. (1984) The cold war (2nd ed.). London. Heinemann Educational Books Ltd.

Igwe, S. C. (2010), How Africa underdeveloped Africa. Port-Harcourt, Nigeria: Professional Publishers and Printers.

Ihonvbere, J. (1989). (Ed). The political economy of crisis and underdevelopment in Africa: Selected works of Claude Ake. Lagos: JAD Publishers Ltd.

Obama, B. (2009). Obama’s speech in Accra, Ghana. Retrieved from http:// july/2009.htm

Obiozor, G. (1992). An uneasy friendship: Nigeria-US relations. Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishing co. ltd.

Ojo, O., & Sesay, A. (2002). Concepts in int’l relations. Ile-Ife: Clean Print Publishers.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

Share us to:   


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.
  • We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in Canadian Social Science are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada.

Website: Http:// Http://,

Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture