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Chinwe Ogbonna

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Phd project: "An Investigative Study of the Effect of Imperialism on the Indigenous Cultural Leadership Institution of Igbo in Eastern Nigeria"

The scramble for Africa was a decision from the Berlin conference (1884-1885) that led to colonialism and imperialism of most African Colonies. The sixth decade of the twentieth century was remarkable for Africans, as it witnessed the attainment of Independence by a host of African states from European imperialists. However, independence didn’t prevent or put to an end to the manifestation of Western influence in decisions and direction of events and policies on the continent till date. In spite of structural changes, the processes and objectives of imperialism remain same as they were in the late nineteenth and twentieth century. The lack of harmony in religion, political culture and general cultural belief systems make it difficult for tensions not to exist even presently, as agitations for self-determination are on the rise. This study therefore, problematizes the renewed tensions for self - determination due to western imperialism that has forced changes on the cultural settings of the Igbo, especially, leadership culture. This has caused various changes, agitations and struggle for power amongst the major tribes in Nigeria. My dissertation project investigates and examines the effects of post colonialism on the indigenous cultural leadership institutions of Africa using eastern part of Nigeria as a case study. Igbo people are industrious people with a unique cultural trait that cuts across political, social cultural and economic life. They are located in the south eastern part of Nigeria and constitute one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. My research seeks to compare the cultural institutions that existed before and after contact with the western imperialism. Hence, this research confine itself to events during and after the colonial period of Nigeria before and post-imperial period. It will give an analysis of the continuity and change in the dimension and process of imperialism in contemporary Africa. Hence, qualitative research techniques will be adopted based on the content analysis of both primary and secondary sources of data collection, making use of discussions, interviews with Traditional rulers and custodians of culture and data from sources such as peer-reviewed journals, books, articles and other publications will be used to achieve this study.