A map of Africa before partition

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes:Scramble and Partition of Africa:Conditions in Africa that led to colonisation

  • Explorers and adventurers had produced reports of economic potential in Africa invited many European countries to rush to acquire colonies
  • Traders operating in Africa called upon their mother governments to acquire colonies so that they are protected against rivalries
  • Missionaries thought it wiser for mother countries to establish political control so that their missions are successful
  • Businessmen like Cecil John Rhodes also wanted to control Africa from Cape to Cairo
  • Africa was weak economically and could not resist invading forces due to limited capacity
  • Africans also were lagging behind in technology and could not match the weapons used by European settlers
  • There was lack of unity among African communities and states

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