Africa was characterized by a distinct sociocultural system that is based on ethics. The family is the basic unit of society. Communities were organized culturally. But, the community’s economic power and influence in relation to neighboring communities was determined by its gold commerce wealth. Because of their emphasis on tribal or cultural categorization, Africans created nation-states after the Civil War. Each tribe was seen as an autonomous state that had different administrative systems such as chiefdoms or kingdoms. Duiker, 2018, says that the outside force behind the demise of the African nation state was the chaos and division in Africa during the 1884 Berlin Conference. Colonialization had an impact on Africa’s socio-political structure, which led to new nation state borders. Europeans established borders in order to divide their influence spheres, leading to most of today’s African nations. Although Africans were able to establish formal borders and identities, European colonial power expansion led to new boundaries. In order to avoid post-independence conflict, African leaders used the 1963 Addis Ababa Conference to preserve European borders.
European colonial forces played an essential role in the establishment of African nation states by either working with, or eliminating, existing chiefdoms. To increase their trade and expand their influence, European power signed many treaties with African rulers. For example, in 1880 the British made the Rudd Concession to Matabele chiefs, which was a concession that established colonial government. The French and Samori Touré negotiated the Treaty of Bissandugu so they could transit the Niger River and expand their power in Western-Africa. To increase their influence and revenues, the European imperial power partnered with chieftains in transatlantic slavery trade (Wilder 2020). European power overthrew chieftains who were against their rule and replaced them in a new set of supreme leaders. The European power allowed them to form new nation-states that were not bound by the existing African political institutions.