Africa had a rich history of culture and prosperity. Civilizations based on commerce existed well before Europeans took over. The ancient Egyptians were pioneers in the fields of mathematics and astronomy. The Kingdom of Sheba was considered the first true African indigenous state. It was not established by foreign conquerors and was said to be the site of the enigmatic Ark of the Covenant. In present-day Mali, one of the wealthiest African empires thrived for more than 800 years. Valuable goods like gold and salt were mined and traded with merchants who hailed from faraway places including China and India. Although slavery was a product of intertribal warfare and existed before European settlers invaded, colonizers took an existing practice that was already immoral and dehumanizing and amplified it on a global scale to extract profit for themselves. The entire continent of Africa was drained of both its natural resources and its people.
Colonization didn't give countries in Africa a chance to progress on their own. Instead, colonizers intruded on their land and exploited the naturally abundant wealth in Africa. In essence, colonization stunted the growth of countries that were controlled, and now that nations have gained their independence, it is going to take time for them to catch up with the Western world. This is a travesty that cannot be overlooked.