On the other hand, these people weren’t exactly living in advanced peaceful, civilized societies when the Europeans arrived. Ill-defined borders are one cause of conflicts in the region, the other is vicious tribal rivalries that pre-date European colonialism.
While the colonialists took (slaves, resources, etc.) they also gave. They gave directly, in terms of infrastructure, like buildings, railroads, but also indirectly; the governments, judiciaries and education systems are all based on European models learned from the colonial powers.
It’s interesting to note that South Africa is by far the most advanced nation in Sub-Saharan Africa, ranking well above other nations in the region in the Human Development Index, and was also the most, and longest, colonised country in the region. The only nation not colonised in Africa is Ethiopia, and despite its thousands of years of civilization, it ranks 170 out of 177 on the HDI. Coincidence? Maybe.
For me the biggest problems facing Sub-Saharan Africa these days that is borne of the legacy of colonialism, isn’t that legacy itself, but the attitude of dependency it has created. African nations tend to blame the former colonial powers for all their problems, and expect to have these outside powers solve all these problems for them.
As with individuals, as with countries: as long as people refuse to take responsibility for their situation, that situation will persist. People who continue to push the view that colonialism is the root of all their problems, whether they are African or Westerners, help ensure that these African nations continue to rot.