Africa Notes: Africa in the 1990's - January 1990
January 29, 1990
Since the dawn of the postindependence era in the early 1960s, Africa has been pushed and pulled by the tides of the Cold War. Although the influence of the European powers, especially France, survived the demise of colonialism, the axes on the charts used to plot the flow of events on the continent shifted dramatically. The challenges facing African leaders (the range of their options, the resources available to pursue different strategies, and the risks involved in doing so), as well as the issues confronting officials in the governments of the major powers, came to be defined in terms of simple dichotomies: East versus West, socialist versus capitalist, Moscow versus Washington. Both the East and West now face the challenge of developing new ways of understanding the continent and new means of addressing its problems.