African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 192

Full Length Research Paper

An assessment of impact of neglect of history on political stability in African countries: The case of Cote d’Ivoire

Bassey, Joseph Robert
  • Bassey, Joseph Robert
  • Department of History and International Studies, Akwa Ibom State University, (AKSU), Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 19 June 2011
  •  Accepted: 19 September 2014
  •  Published: 30 November 2014


African countries had been engulfed in political crises soon after they regained independence from their respective European colonial masters. Almost all the conflicts witnessed in post-independence Africa were blamed on the former colonial Powers. This article argued that rather than blaming the West for political instability, African political leaders should be blamed for neglecting the discipline of history that should have guided them to enact laws and formulate policies that would play down on negative ethnic differences. African countries went adrift because of neglect of history or refusal to learn from the lesson of history. The paper used Cote d’Ivoire as a case study. In order to go into the distant past, a descriptive historical analysis method was adopted to interrogate relevant sources of information about Cote d’Ivoire. The paper argued against the claim that France instigated the political crises in that country. Rather, the article submitted that the political crises originated from the claims by political leaders that some persons were “aborigines”/ “true Ivoirians”, and others “settlers” or “non- citizens” of Ivory Coast. The article revealed that almost all the ethnic groups in Ivory Coast migrated from various parts of West Africa into the country. Using the case of Alassane Ouattara to illustrate the problem of national identity, the article submitted that people whose forebears had lived in the present- day Ivory Coast, since about 600 hundred years ago should not be denied the universally recognised political and nationality rights.  The article finally called on African leaders to borrow a leaf from other countries of the world such as the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and Malaysia that had been managing their citizenship issue without fighting civil wars.


Key words: History, migration, settlement, citizenship, aborigines.