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  1. State the term of the Berlin Act.
  2. Explain the factors that led to scramble for colonies in Africa.

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    1. Any state laying claim to any part of Africa had to inform other interested parties. The claims had to be discussed and ratified if they were justifiable.
    2. All signatories had to declare their sphere of influence. i.e the area under each nation’s occupation
    3. Effective occupation had to be established in an area once the area was declared a sphere of influence.
    4. Any power acquiring territory in Africa had to undertake stamping out of slave trade and safe guard Africans’ interest.
    5. The River Congo and River Niger basins were left free for any interested power to navigate
    6. If an European power claimed a certain part of the African coast, the land in the interior or behind the coastal possession became the coastal claimant’s sphere of influence
    7. Any country that wished to declare a protectorate in Africa had to show that its authority in the region was firm enough to protect existing European rights and guarantee free trade.
    1. The industrial revolution in Europe, which increased the need for raw materials like cotton and palm oil, which could be obtained from the colonies.
    2. Colonies provided market for manufactured goods from the European countries.
    3. Increased/surplus capital which the Europeans wanted to invest in the colonies.
    4. Speculation that Africa was rich in minerals like gold and copper.
    5. Unification of Germany after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871. Germany became powerful under Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, while as France lost her two mineral-rich provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. France turned her attention to Africa for colonies to compensate for her loss. Germany, not wishing to be left behind, was also out to acquire colonies.
    6. National prestige. Germany and Italy joined the race for colonies because of national glory and pride.
    7. European military officers encouraged their governments to participate in colonial expansion to give them an opportunity to be recognized and promoted.
    8. Public opinion in Europe favored acquisition of colonies. For example. De Brazza signed a treaty with Chief Makoko due to public opinion in France, creating a French colony, Congo.
    9. The Egyptian question. Egypt was of strategic importance to the Europeans because of the Suez canal, built by the British and the French, which shortened the route to British colonies in India and the Far East.
    10. French activities in west Africa and the Congo alarmed other powers, who joined the race for colonies.
    11. Africa was rich in raw materials and had good harbors
    12. Britain and Germany encouraged their surplus population to settle in Africa.
    13. Missionaries came to spread Christianity, western education and culture and invited their mother governments to occupy the areas to protect them.
    14. Europeans believed that they had a superior culture as compared to other races. They felt they had a duty to “civilize” the blacks on the African continent.
    15. African communities were weakened by war, diseases drought and famine. This made the Europeans to easily conquer the Africans.
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