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The Scramble for and Partition of Africa

The Meaning of Scramble for and Partition of Africa.

The scramble for Africa:A competition among European powers to obtaining colonies.

Partition: This was a process of dividing colonies to their respective colonial masters. This acts as a solution for the scramble of Africa.

Periodisation:Scramble for Africa started more in 1870's while involving almost 7 European countries, which are:-

  1. Britain.
  2. Germany.
  3. France.
  4. Italy.
  5. Portugal.
  6. Belgium.
  7. Spain.

The Causes of the Scramble for Africa leading to the Partition.

“Scramble” for and partition of Africa was a result of several factors, some of which included:-

  • National balance of power while other European countries demanded colonies to be equal or similar to Great Britain.
  • Prestige (pride) of the nations: The number of colonies controlled by the colonial master/nation was the measure of wealth of a nation.
  • Industrial Revolution led to the demand of raw materials from Africa hence competition among the European nations to obtain many colonies as possible in Africa.
  • Industrial revolution led to overproduction in Europe hence creating a need to find external markets (outside Europe) thus resulting in competition.
  • Change of monopoly system: In Europe few capitalists started to own land while others failed (those who failed to obtain land in Europe they started to find in Africa hence competition).
  • Conflicts between capitalists and labourers in Europe while labourers demanded bigger salaries capitalists started to look for cheaper labour thus started economic activities in Africa.

Why Areas in Africa Experienced more Intensive Scramble than Others?.

During the scramble for and partition of Africa some African areas like Egypt, Congo basin, Niger delta, East Africa, Central Africa and South Africa experienced more intensive scramble than others due to their potential. These included natural resources that existed in the colonies i.e. minerals in South Africa, fertile soil in central Africa, water bodies in East Africa, Egypt and Congo.

The Impact of the Scramble for and Partition of Africa.

The scramble for and partition of Africa affected both European powers and the African continent as well. Some of the impacts included:-

  • the Berlin conference,
  • cultural interference,
  • disputes and rivalries,
  • occurrence of war among European powers,
  • establishment of colonial rule,
  • colonial economy and monopoly companies in Africa.

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