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Why did the policy of assimilation fail in Senegal?

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Assimilation policy failed in Senegal because;

  • The policy was expensive, especially the costs of privileges it provided such as education.
  • There was problems of cultural differences between Africans and the French
  • African chiefs who had lost their authority over their subjects strongly opposed policy of assimilation.
  • French lacked adequate personnel to supervise the process
  • French feared that its application would result to the loss of labour on their farms
  • Politically the system threatened their status quo: French feared if Africans were elected to join French chambers of deputies they would outnumber the Frenchmen.
  • Disregard of African laws based on African culture & Islam caused a lot of African resentment
  • High standards expected by the French for one to be assimilated made the policy unworkable.
  • Fear by some Frenchmen that assimilated Africans could be their economic rivals.
  • French were unable to agree to destroy the French colonial empire, they began to agitate for abolition of the policy.
  • The rise of African nationalism undermined the policy.

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