The policy of assimilation was the type of colonial administration the French government
imposed on its West African colonies. This system of
administration was meant to substitute the culture, language, religion, law, mode of dressing, etc of the people of West
Africa with that of the French people. This was imposed on the
people of West Africa as a result of the arrogant belief in the superiority of French civilization and inferiority of
African civilization. The French therefore, deemed it as a duty to
extend this “superior” civilization to the “backward
people of West Africa”. Under the policy, the French regarded the West
African colonies under them as an arm of France in West Africa. The people from these French colonies were equally
accorded French citizenship. As a result of this French citizenship, the people enjoyed all legal rights and privileges, enjoyed by the French people in France. In order to
enjoy all these, the people of West Africa must embrace the policy, by throwing away their traditional ways of life in place of
that of France.