The scramble of africa


Before European colonization. 7th to 16th century

European territorial claims on the African continent in 1914

Postcolonial era: 1945-1990


History of Africa borders after slavery and how, when, who created the borders of africa countries. Before Africa was divided into tribes that it was the way they knew the borders of each tribes. Despite current borders of africa countries people still devided mentally into tribes. That why some of conflicts in some Africa countries are originated by tribes issues. Therefore, let have little bit of explanation about the Africa maps above to have better understanding of "The Scramble of Africa":

Before European colonization. 7th to 16th century

Colonialism had a destabilising effect on a number of ethnic groups that is still being felt in African politics. Before European influence, national borders were not much of a concern, with Africans generally following the practice of other areas of the world, such as the Arabian Peninsula, where a group's territory was congruent with its military or trade influence. The European insistence of drawing borders around territories to isolate them from those of other colonial powers often had the effect of separating otherwise contiguous political groups, or forcing traditional enemies to live side by side with no buffer between them. For example, although the Congo River appears to be a natural geographic boundary, there were groups that otherwise shared a language, culture or other similarity living on both sides. The division of the land between Belgium and France along the river isolated these groups from each other. Those who lived in Saharan or Sub-Saharan Africa and traded across the continent for centuries often found themselves crossing borders that existed only on European maps.

European territorial claims on the African continent in 1914

In the mid-nineteenth century, European explorers became interested in exploring the heart of the continent and opening the area for trade, mining and other commercial exploitation. In addition, there was a desire to convert the inhabitants to Christianity. The central area of Africa was still largely unknown to Europeans at this time . A prime goal for explorers was to locate the source of the River Nile. Expeditions by Burton and Speke (1857-1858) and Speke and Grant (1863) located Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria. The latter was eventually proven as the main source of the Nile. With subsequent expeditions by Baker and Stanley, Africa was well explored by the end of the century and this was to lead the way for the colonization which followed.

The Berlin Conference of 1884-85

The Berlin Conference of 1884-85 regulated European colonization and trade in Africa during the New Imperialism period, and coincided with Germany's sudden emergence as an imperial power. Called for by Portugal and organized by Otto von Bismarck, the first Chancellor of Germany, its outcome, the General Act of the Berlin Conference, is often seen as the formalization of the Scramble for Africa. The conference ushered in a period of heightened colonial activity on the part of the European powers, while simultaneously eliminating most existing forms of African autonomy and self-governance. From 1885 the scramble among the powers went on with renewed vigor, and in the 15 years that remained of the century, the work of partition, so far as international agreements were concerned, was practically completed.

The African continent in 1914

In the late nineteenth century, the European imperial powers engaged in a major territorial scramble and occupied most of the continent, creating many colonial nation states, and leaving only two independent nations: Liberia, an independent state partly settled by African Americans; and Orthodox Christian Ethiopia (known to Europeans as "Abyssinia").

In nations that had substantial European populations, for example Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Angola, Mozambique, Kenya and South Africa, systems of second-class citizenship were often set up in order to give Europeans political power far in excess of their numbers. In the Congo Free State, personal property of King Leopold II of Belgium, the native population was submitted to inhumane treatment, and a near slavery status assorted with forced labor. However, the lines were not always drawn strictly across racial lines. In Liberia, citizens who were descendants of American slaves had a political system for over 100 years that gave ex-slaves and natives to the area roughly equal legislative power despite the fact the ex-slaves were outnumbered ten to one in the general population.

Europeans often altered the local balance of power, created ethnic divides where they did not previously exist, and introduced a cultural dichotomy detrimental to the native inhabitants in the areas they controlled. For example, in what are now Rwanda and Burundi, two ethnic groups Hutus and Tutsis had merged into one culture by the time German colonists had taken control of the region in the nineteenth century. No longer divided by ethnicity as intermingling, intermarriage, and merging of cultural practices over the centuries had long since erased visible signs of a culture divide, Belgium instituted a policy of racial categorization upon taking control of the region, as racially based categorization and philosophies were a fixture of the European culture of that time. The term Hutu originally referred to the agricultural-based Bantu-speaking peoples that moved into present day Rwanda and Burundi from the West, and the term Tutsi referred to Northeastern cattle-based peoples that migrated into the region later. The terms described a person's economic class; individuals who owned roughly 10 or more cattle were considered Tutsi, and those with fewer were considered Hutu, regardless of ancestral history. This was not a strict line but a general rule of thumb, and one could move from Hutu to Tutsi and vice versa.

The Belgians introduced a racialized system; European-like features such as fairer skin, ample height, narrow noses were seen as more ideally Hamitic, and belonged to those people closest to Tutsi in ancestry, who were thus given power amongst the colonised peoples. Identity cards were issued based on this philosophy.

War world I

During World War I, there were several battles between the United Kingdom and Germany, the most notable being the Battle of Tanga, and a sustained guerrilla campaign by the German General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck. After World War I, the former German colonies in Africa were taken over by France and the United Kingdom.

During this era a sense of local patriotism or nationalism took deeper root among African intellectuals and politicians. Some of the inspiration for this movement came from the First World War in which European countries had relied on colonial troops for their own defense. Many in Africa realized their own strength with regard to the colonizer for the first time. At the same time, some of the mystique of the "invincible" European was shattered by the barbarities of the war. However, in most areas European control remained relatively strong during this period.

In 1935, Benito Mussolini's Italian troops invaded Ethiopia, the last African nation not dominated by a foreign power.

World War II

Africa, especially North Africa, was an important theater of war. French colonies in Africa supported the Free French. Many black Africans were conscripted to fight against the Germans. Italy had a presence in Libya and also in Ethiopia. In the North African campaign, the Deutsches Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rommel were eventually defeated at the Second Battle of El Alamein. The Allies used North Africa as a jumping off point for the invasions of Italy and Sicily in 1943. Germany wanted to expand its interests in Africa, while Britain was anxious to protect its interests in Egypt and the route to the east.

Postcolonial era: 1945-1990

Today, Africa contains 53 countries so called "independent and sovereign countries" , most of which still have the borders drawn during the era of European colonialism.

Decolonisation

Vincent Khapoya notes the significant resistance imperialist powers faced to their domination in Africa. Technical superiority enabled conquest and control. Africans recognized the value of European education in dealing with Europeans in Africa. They noticed the discrepancy between Christian teaching of universal brotherhood and the treatment they received from missionaries. Some established their own churches. Africans also noticed the unequal evidences of gratitude they received for their efforts to support Imperialist countries during the world wars: "Many British veterans were rewarded for their part in saving Britain and her empire with generous pensions and offers of nearly free land in the colonies.

The African soldiers were given handshakes and train tickets for the journey back home. They could keep their khaki uniforms and nothing else. These African soldiers, after returning home, were willing to use their new skills to assist nationalist movements fighting for freedom that were beginning to take shape in the colonies."

Decolonization in Africa started with Libya in 1951 (Liberia, South Africa, Egypt, and Ethiopia were already independent). Many countries followed in the 1950s and 1960s, with a peak in 1960 with the independence of a large part of French West Africa. Most of the remaining countries gained independence throughout the 1960s, although some colonizers (Portugal in particular) were reluctant to relinquish sovereignty, resulting in bitter wars of independence which lasted for a decade or more. The last African countries to gain formal independence were Guinea-Bissau from Portugal in 1974, Mozambique from Portugal in 1975, Angola from Portugal in 1975, Djibouti from France in 1977, Zimbabwe from Britain in 1980, and Namibia from South Africa in 1990. Eritrea later split off from Ethiopia in 1993.

Effects of decolonization

In most British and French colonies, the transition to independence was relatively peaceful. Some settler colonies however were displeased with the introduction of democratic rule.
In the aftermath of decolonization, Africa displayed political instability, economic disaster, and debt dependence. In all cases, measures of life quality (such as life expectancy) fell from their levels under colonialism, with many approaching precolonial levels. Political instability occurred with the introductions of Marxist and capitalist influence, along with continuing friction from racial inequalities. Inciting civil war, black nationalist groups participated in violent attacks against white settlers, trying to end white minority rule in government.

Decolonized Africa has lost many of its social and economic institutions and to this day shows a high level of informal economic activity. In another result of colonialism followed by decolonization, the African economy was drained of many natural resources with little opportunity to diversify from its colonial export of cash crops. Suffering through famine and drought, Africa struggled to industrialize its poverty stricken work force without sufficient funds.

To feed, educate, and modernize its masses, Africa borrowed large sums from various nations, banks and companies. In return, lenders often required African countries to devalue their currencies and attempted to exert political influence within Africa. The borrowed funds, however, did not rehabilitate the devastated economies. Since the massive loans were usually squandered by the mismanagement of corrupt dictators, social issues such as education, health care and political stability have been ignored

The by-products of decolonization, including political instability, border disputes, economic ruin, and massive debt, continue to plague Africa to this present day.

Due to on-going military occupation, Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara), was never fully decolonized. The majority of the territory is under Moroccan administration; the rest is administered by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

In 2005, the European Union agreed to a Strategy for Africa including working closely with the African Union to promote peace, stability and good governance. However, inter-tribal war in Rwanda during the genocide of 1994, in Somalia over more than 20 years, and between Arabs and non-Arabs in Sudan indicates to some observers that Africa is still locked in tribalism and far from ready to assume its place at the global table of mature, stable and democratic states.

The Cold War in Africa

Africa was an arena during the Cold War between the U.S., Soviet Union, and even China and North Korea. Communist and Marxist groups, often with significant outside assistance, vied for power during various civil wars, such as that in Angola, Mozambique and Ethiopia. A Marxist-oriented president, Julius Nyerere, held in power in Tanzania from 1964-85, while from 1955-75, Egypt depended heavily on Soviet military assistance. The communist powers sought to install pro-communist or communist governments, as part of their larger geostrategy in the Cold War, while the U.S. tended to maintain corrupt authoritarian rulers (such as Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire) as the price to keep countries in the pro-democracy camp.

Pan-Africanism

In 1964, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was established with 32 member states. It aimed to:

1. Promote the unity and solidarity of the African states;
2. Coordinate and intensify their cooperation and efforts to achieve a better life for the peoples of Africa;
3. Defend their sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence;
4. Eradicate all forms of colonialism from Africa; and,
5. Promote international cooperation, having due regard to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 2002, the OAU was succeeded by the African Union.
Several UN peacekeeping missions have been either entirely composed of African Union forces, or they have represented a significant component as the strategy of Africans policing Africa develops. These include Liberia in 2003; Burundi in 2003; Sudan in 2004. Others speculate that since the U.S. withdrew its UN peacekeepers from Somalia-after 18 soldiers died, with 70 wounded, in Mogadishu, Somalia in October 1993 the Western powers have been very reluctant to commit ground forces in Africa. This may explain why the international community failed to intervene during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, stationing less than 300 troops there with orders "only to shoot if shot at."

To summarised what happened in past in Africa can't been change but future generation and future leaders of Africa can change things around. African can't keep blaming foreigners for causes of their suffering and lack of development in Continent. If you look in deep, African leaders or African presidens are partialy to blame for suffering of African people. African leaders are putting themselve first to stay in power then to stand for what it's right for their people. These are best lessons for african future generation and leaders to learn from past history of Africa itself and to try to have better Africa continent in future!


Comments

comments about the immigration

The scramble of Africa should be included in every history books in Africa specially in primary school in Continent. Might help future African leaders also stop stupid tribes issues in Continent.
Kengo , Tanzania, London


Always it's good to know about our history. Because some of our own books in Africa school are lack of these type of information. Busy trying to teach us European history I don't know why.
James , South Africa, Pretoria


Many of us don't know even about the roots of our borders.
Diof , Senegal, Paris


im a stundent and there r to many big words
mackenzie , largo


If our goverments in Africa could really understand history of Africa. Many Africa issues about tribes in Africa could be avoid. Now we can introduce this type informations in every school books in Africa for future generations to have better understand of our tribes.
David , Ghana, Accra


Africa is still not yet independent, many African states still receive their educational syllabus, teaching programes based on Eurocentric ideology, West still control Africa by the back door, there's no sense of political independence without economic, policy independence, uniformity is a must.
Asuma Azima , Libya, Tripoli


It really pains me that africa has gone through a lot of pains and still has not learn anything.When are they going to start showing something for we to know that they have started learning and not really for themselves only(leaders)?A fool at 40 is a fool for ever and i really believe in this
Prosper , Port harcourt,Nigeria


With african leaders becoming,Selfish egocentric, greedy,it would be good to empower young people with their origins and possibility of change of colonial borders, so that we the young can creat & find our own countries asis happening is s.sudan
ndiri bayo , DRC


Most Africans are not aware of this aspect of their past and the neccesary details to gear them up to agitate for a revolution which would bring development on the long run. Like our forefathers we are myopic. This discussions should be integrated into the school syllabus of growing children.
aduke , nigeria


Please know it Oromia in East Africa is now a part of Modern Ethiopia. This Oromo country was colonized by Abyssinians based from Current North Ethiopia. That is why Oromo Liberation Front is fighting for freedom of Oromia and Oromo people. This was the result of the scramble for Africa by EU. Th
Belachew Ibsa , Oromia


Ibsa, Be real. Oromo is a region in central Ethiopia and its inhabitants are Ethiopians of Oromo tribe,the largest ethinic group in Ethiopia. No one is colonizing them.
Mark , USA


Now I have learnt at least a little bit of my home country Africa I am glad that I can help increase our population and famousity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kwame Kufuor Ntim , Ghana


but i thought all our boarder should open and easy for all african to enter neighbouring countrys for an open transactions among us
ABIODUN SODUNKE , NIGERIA, ABEOKUTA


this was a load of ballsack thank you very much.
ballsack , tazmania


i am joseph kony..all you parents sleeping better watch out, im coming for your kids.
Joseph Kony , Uganda, in a tree


that is a great information need to be spread rapidly in Africa so that our future generation would be able to become more suspicius of our history and fix what went wrong using the history
Goodenough .S. Dlamini , South Africa, Durban


Dear writter, I was just surprised when I read Eritrea was split off from Ethiopia in 1993, as really true , If you said all the border remark during Era-European period and still on, how itthen Eritrea split off from Ethiopia then , If you knew History Eritrea is the frist African country knew its border in the year of 1900-1909 in the world during Italian colonized so it is split off then in 1993 if it has its owen border which recognized during the Era-European period,its not why they marked a border. So tell me if you dont then pleas ask to the people Eritrea and you may even you dont writer others African history as well. Zack Nathan
Zack Nathan , Eritrea


Zack, don't be tribalist. I believe in part of article that said Eritrea later split off from Ethiopia because there where time Eritrea was united with Ethiopia. That what meant about split. United Africa will better and stronger for all us African.
Nas , Ethiopia, Addis


ALL AFRICANS MUST HAVE PASSPORT WHEN THEY WANT TO GO TO OTHER COUNTRY IN AFRICA
JACOB , NABOOM,SOUTH AFRICA


Interesting,thought-provoking,sobering.My Dear Brothers and Sisters of Africa,its ok now to forgive ourselves for being colonized.Time to move forward with our children in mind.Let's start by learning about each other,trading with each other,visiting and loving each other.Lets start there please.
Lundi , South Africa


I really really like this article. I have read a number of textbooks and anthropology books that try to address this issue, and this ranks among the best of them.
Andrew Henrichsen , China


I want to understand your post, but need clarity. There were no boarders before European colonization . Groups who spoke the same language and shared customs and rituals were grouped into tribes--tribes not being an official word they would describe self?
Tre' , USA


love the website gets me a lot of information
shaniece , wadley


ugly not useful
shiniah , Tre',USA


So, I would like to ask everyone here a question, what the actual fuck is wrong with all of you.
LIME , Wat


This is very information and i thing each an every african must know this. we start by teaching our own african history at primary level. colonialism killed this continent and it will continue to do so if we do not free our selves mentally.
Aifheli , South Africa, JHB


to much better
olga , mozambique


For peace, stability and economic development to be achieved squarely in Africa, state boundaries should be redrawn to pre-colonial era, all countries should engage Africa in free trade - not aid and the west should keep off African politics.
Ogwal Elor , Redhill, UK


This is empowering
Danie Mangena , South Africa


im a fan of africa country
Nikhil Kaimal , India


We have need to educate not only our children but the general masses of our beloved continent. African History should be a compulsory subject from Primary education right through to university, then our young can align their careers to Africa's Rebirth
ZiphoZihle , South Africa


It is my hope that Africans stop using foreign made weapons to kill other Africans. The Africans must develop a continental consciousness in order to form a more perfect union that can advance the people and civilization of Africa. #NewUnitedAfricaNation
LD GREENJR , Center Valley


As a white African I can only wonder at the horrors of the past. However, we Africans have to go forward and make ourselves strong. History is history but should not be neglected or harped on nor to be repeated. Good is good and bad is bad.
Greg , South Africa


Race Frist!!! Greg You are not African!! you are white you said so, so shut up!!
ThePrince , Kingston, Jamaica


The Path and wheel of history trace origin, trends and developments. I have not seen anything in Afrika to condemn the erstwhile colonialists. The Afrikan alphabets, where did they come from; can we read history without letters? Can Afrikans survive with abrasive religions? Can Afrikans irrespective degrees be enlightened without looking back to where the dredging rain began to beat them? Back-biting, greed, corruption and dishonesty are the great barriers that hold and keep Afrika down; such that even if they know the true that 1 is 11 and a is a; they still argue. They behave like people without roots, will they have branches? They betrayed to slavery and pay homage with vice; how can Afrika turn to blame and not accept blames?
Fabian Ukaegbu , London


Listen! There aren't many different races, only One race! And that is the race for the survival of Mother Earth. ;) Dear sisters and brothers of Mother Earth and of Africa, i'm horrified of the colonization of the greatest continent of this world. Please teach us how to build a sound environment!
Johnny , Copenhagen, Denmark


"If you look in deep, African leaders or African presidens are partialy to blame for suffering of African people." No. 'African leaders' who went against the trasnational corporations were: Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara - they were killed. Mobutu et all were propped up.
MrK , EU


What's more, it are the same corporations(De Beers, SocGen) which made money during colonialism, that are extracting wealth from Africa right now. They are also behind breaking Katanga from the DRC, South Sudan from Sudan, etc. This is done to control and exploit territory, not for democracy.
MrK , EU


Sir/Madam Will you please me with bordering counties of Africa
William G. Miller , Liberia


Very incredible history of Africa.It increase my love for Africa .
patrick L sam , sierra leone


may god blees africa, our leaders to work united and use education as the main weapon to comunicate and brake the tribal and racial boundries of this continent and more over to embrace our history and celebrate it instead of being shamefull about it.
A.T LEGOABE , SOUTH AFRICA


glad to see some little bit of history about the origin of Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda.
yvette kayirangwa , atlanta


The writer mentioned South Africa as a country that gained its independence earlier than 1951, is that so, didn't we gain it in 1994/04/27? May be I got it wrong.
Ndifelani , Durban- South africa


The "Scramble for Africa" (also known as the "Race for Africa" or the Partition of Africa) was the invasion, occupation, colonization, and annexation of African territory by European powers during the period of New Imperialism between 1881 and 1914.
Patrick Daniel Tobias , Phuthaditjhaba


Good historical material.But what criteria ,method and machinery was used to create boundaries of the African continent?
Charles mwape , Zambia


Its a good write-up filled with essential information on the History of African but the boundries surrounding Africa were not icluded.
Amusa Kabiru Babatunde , Ibadan / Nigeria




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