UN committee rejects educational progress, refuses to respect the choices of the poor.
get out of the way!! UN & advocacy groups keep Africa and Developing Countries where the entire Preindustrial world was in the past
Much of Africa and the developing world are where the whole world was before the advances in technology and knowledge in the 19th and 20th century; the entire world was struggling, poor and sick, so that even the more well-off people had short lifespans due to preventable and curable diseases, poor nutrition and infections. In the developed world, widespread acceptance of germ theory and the development of antibiotics and vaccines only occurred in the early to mid 20th century. Malaria, meaning “bad air,’ was only eradicated in the developed world, in the mid 20th century due to 20 plus years of spraying pesticides for effective mosquito control, development of anti-malaria medicines and window screens. Likewise, malaria in poor countries could be reduced or eradicated by allowing proper pesticide use and providing malaria medicines.
Even into the late 20th century, some isolated areas in the developed world did not have electricity, purified water or paved roads and some people still lived in drafty shacks or log cabins, sometimes with dirt floors. Before the improvements in infrastructure, large multi-generational families were the norm because of high childhood death rates and the need for surviving children to care for their parents in a world where there was no social safety net for the disabled and elderly. Large families also filled the need for labor in a world where mechanical devices were few or lacking and back breaking work was needed for every job, whether agricultural, industrial or domestic. Without reliable electricity, transportation systems and industrial and agricultural development, we all could be back there now.
This is where rural Africa and underdeveloped countries are now. What will it take for developing countries to catch up with the developed world? First, we need to end counterproductive and damaging interference by international organizations that are working under wrong assumptions from the distant past about supposed overpopulation as a cause of environmental harm. Wrong practices include imposing population control and blocking effective insect and disease control, as well as modern agriculture and infrastructure development while putting cultural and wildlife preservation above the real immediate needs of the people. Poverty, not overpopulation, causes environmental harm. Improving the economy can stabilize the population and preserve both cultural heritage and wildlife. Modern agricultural practices can end slash and burn deforestation and feed everyone.
Africa needs Investment, Infrastructure, Employment, Education and Disease Control.
Education in hygiene can end much of the disease burden, facilitate clean water and sanitation systems, and provide a healthy workforce. Education in agricultural, industrial and technical skills can open opportunities for employment, small business earnings and raise their standard of living. Transportation in the form of improved and extended roads and railroads can end isolation, encourage foreign investment and provide access to markets, employment opportunities, education and medical facilities.
Reliable electricity is important for economic growth and can facilitate the development of transportation systems, medical facilities and industrial investment, all of which cannot run on intermittent and varying power as provided by wind and solar power. Solar panels on huts are a start, but should only be a temporary energy solution until reliable electrical systems can be installed and extended into rural areas. Solar panels should never be used as a substitute for true energy security or an excuse for neglect.
Poor countries cannot afford to skip the reliable types of energy generation that has made the developed world what it is today. The solution should include all means possible, including hydroelectric, geothermal, fossil fuel and nuclear power. Africa has enough hydroelectric potential to supply all of their needs for the foreseeable future. Hydroelectric power is both clean and reliable. In Africa alone, over 200 hydroelectric dams have been blocked by environmentalists. This must stop!
Africa needs Investment, Infrastructure, Employment, Education and Disease Control.
Foreign aid must be replaced by investment in infrastructure. Most of the foreign aid is given to prop up corrupt governments. Leaders become rich while most of the aid is not used for famine relief or to build rural infrastructure and seldom reaches the people in need. Government to government foreign aid props up corrupt leaders, makes them accountable only to their donors, not the people, and prolongs poverty. Leaders that depend on foreign aid, not the tax base, are less likely to want to attract investment in new businesses or to invest in infrastructure that facilitates economic growth. As long as the problems are not solved, foreign aid money keeps coming, so corrupt leaders benefit from keeping their countries poor and controlled.
Foreign aid, other than temporary disaster relief, must be replaced with investment in infrastructure including extended electrical systems, powered by all means available, and improved and extended roads, railroads, airports and bridges, as well as education and medical facilities, and industry. The aim is to raise the economy so that poor countries no longer need outside help, but rather are net contributors to the world economy, or at least are self sufficient. It can be done and you can help.
What can you do? Lots! Here are a few suggestions from my book. Start by contacting government officials and elected representatives to demand that perpetual government to government foreign aid be replaced with accountable infrastructure investment, and that abuses by the UN and other organizations be eliminated and better practices be implemented ASAP. Donate to charities that help build infrastructure such as World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse. Volunteer to go and work with these organizations in poor countries. Invest in businesses/industries that are selling or buying African goods or are locating new businesses in Africa, or are offering real infrastructure assistance, or are improving medical and educational facilities.
My new book, Saving Africa From Lies That Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries is now available online and in book stores everywhere. In print and eBook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million. Note: some bookstores may not have it yet, but asking for them to order it for you will help to get it on the shelves faster.
After reading the book, please remember to review it on Amazon; share it with a friend and do your part to end bad practices. Visit my blog for more information to sign up for email updates at https://savingafricafromliesthatkill.com/ and like my Facebook page.
African Economic Development through Foreign Investment
Rand Merchant Bank report, “Where to Invest in Africa,” among other business information services, ranks African countries for their business environment including ease of doing business and a corruption index to help foreign and domestic investors identify good investments. Most of the data comes from UNCTAD, UN Conference on Trade and Development, or other public sources but is compiled to help potential investors. Rand Merchant Bank is an investment bank headquartered in South Africa. RMB “Where to Invest in Africa” brochure can be downloaded without charge by those seriously interested in learning about investing in Africa at https://www.rmb.co.za/where-to-invest-in-africa-2018-edition/
African Development Bank Group is another source of economic and investment information, among other sources. You can download the brochure “African Economic Outlook 2018” for free at https://www.afdb.org/en/knowledge/publications/african-economic-outlook/. In addition to private investment and business information services, you can find financial information about any countries or regions through the International Monetary Fund, IMF, at www.imf.org, the World Bank, at www.worldbank.org and UN Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, at http://unctad.org, which publishes an annual World Investment Report. Most of the information in the private investment and financial databases are summaries from one of these public sources.
Personal remittances that immigrants send back home are an important cash flow into the economy for most of the countries in Africa. Remittances to families in the impoverished areas benefit the most from it, but it helps the overall economy. Let me give you an example closer to home. Mexico officially receives $26.1 billion in remittances sent back to families by Mexican immigrants, mostly from the United States. That’s roughly 2.5 percent of Mexico’s GDP, which is a significant contribution to the country’s economy. Generally, remittances have been on the rise since 2000 worldwide due to increased migration from poor countries to developed countries. For this reason, it is beneficial for developing countries to encourage migration.
Table 1: Top Ten Recipients of Foreign Direct Investments in 2016
|Country||Percent of Total Foreign Direct Investments||Year Over Year Percentage Change|
|1 Angola (US$14.4bn)||24.2%||-11.2%|
|2 Egypt (US$8.1bn)||13.7%||17.1%|
|3 Nigeria (US$4.4bn)||7.5%||45.2%|
|4 Ghana (US$4.4bn)||7.5%||45.2%|
|5 Ethiopia (US$3.2bn)||5.4%||45.7%|
|6 Mozambique (US$3.0bn)||5.2%||-20.0%|
|7 Morocco (US$2.3bn)||3.9%||-28.7%|
|8 South Africa (US$2.3bn)||3.8%||31.3%|
|9 Congo (US$2.0bn)||3.4%||7.5%|
|10 Algeria (US$1.5bn)||2.6%||17.1%|
77.2 percent of all FDI in Africa is included in these top ten countries. Countries suffering from violence and political unrest account for the reductions in the table above.
Source: UN Conference on Trade and Development, (UNCTAD)
“A number of emerging and developed markets acquired a keen eye for African assets in 2016, with capital investments from the Asia-Pacific region firmly outpacing traditional markets . . . Egypt, South Africa and Tanzania were among the largest destinations for Chinese and Japanese investors seeking strategic investments in technology, media and telecommunications (TMT), diversified industrial products (DIP), and the automotive and business services sectors.” — Rand Merchant Bank, Where to Invest in Africa, 2018
Table 2: Top Ten Investors in Africa in 2016
|1. UK||US$ 66 billion|
|2. US||US$ 64 billion|
|3. France||US$52 billion|
|4. China||US$32 billion|
|5. S. Africa||US$26 billion|
|6. Italy||US$19 billion|
|7. Singapore||US$17 billion|
|8. India||US$15 billion|
|9. Malasia||US$14 billion|
|10. Germany||US$13 billion|
Source: UN Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD
Table 3: Top Ten Most and Least Corrupt Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
|Rank worldwide||Most Corrupt||Score||Rank worldwide||Least Corrupt||Score|
|175||South Sudan||11||38||Cape Verde||59|
|164||Angola||18||62||São Tomé and Principe||46|
|159||Republic of Congo||20||64||Senegal||45|
Table 4: Leading Mineral Production in Africa
|Material||Percent of world production||Countries|
|Diamonds||73%||Botswana 35%, Congo (Kinshasa) 34%, South Africa 17%, Angola, 8%|
|Gold||89%||South Africa 56%, Ghana, 13%, Tanzania, 10%, and Mali, 8%|
|Uranium||16%||Namibia 46%, Niger 44%, South Africa less than 10%|
|Bauxite (for aluminum)||9%||Guinea 95%, Ghana 5%|
|Steel||2%||South Africa 54%, Egypt 32%, Libya 7%, Algeria 6%|
|Aluminum||5%||South Africa 48%, Mozambique 32%, Egypt 14%|
|Copper||5%||Zambia 65%/77%, South Africa 15%/19%, Congo (Kinshasa) 13%/0%, Egypt 0%/3%|
|Platinum/Palladium||92%||South Africa 97% / 96%|
|Coal||5%||South Africa 99%|
Source: Wikipedia “Mineral Industry in Africa”
Figure 5: Top Five of the Twenty-nine Stock Exchanges in Africa
|Exchange||Market Capitalizations||Number of Listings|
|1. Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)||$987 billion||388|
|2. Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)||$44 billion||176|
|3. Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX)||$46 billion||222|
|4. Casablanca Stock Exchange (Casa SE)||$48 billion||75|
|5. Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX)||$76 billion||36|
Source: © Copyright 2018| Nairametrics
Table 6: Intended use of selected sovereign bond issues in selected African countries
|Côte d’Ivoire, 2014||750||Public investment, especially in health care and education|
|Côte d’Ivoire, 2015||1,000||National Development Plan (NDP), which focuses on infrastructure, education, health care, and poverty reduction|
|Ethiopia, 2014||1,000||Infrastructure, notably the Renaissance Dam|
|Ghana, 2013||750||Capital expenditure and refinancing of public debt to reduce the cost of borrowing|
|Kenya, 2014||2,000||Infrastructure projects and repayment of a $600 million loan that matured in August 2014|
|Nigeria, 2013||1,000||Projects in the electricity sector, which is undergoing privatization, and support of the shift from domestic borrowing toward cheaper foreign credit|
|Rwanda, 2013||400||Construction of a 28-megawatt hydropower plant, construction of a hotel, and payment of some state-owned RwandAir debt|
|Senegal, 2014||500||Construction of a major highway and the upgrading and repair of energy infrastructure|
Source: AfDB compilation, based on various sources.
“African Economic Outlook 2018,” African Development Bank
The new hope for Africa involves improving infrastructure, attracting foreign and domestic investment, and ending internationally funded government corruption that discourages investment and permits interference by international programs that keep populations low and the rural poor isolated, ignorant, sick and helpless. Governments that rely on taxes from a growing economy are more accountable to the people, so that they will be prompted to develop infrastructure, such as roads and electricity, and maintain political and economic stability, all of which will encourage increased investments and grow the economy. Corruption is the number one deterrent to global investment, so it is important to end foreign aid that props up corrupt politicians, clean up the government and stabilize the economy.
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The book: Saving Africa from Lies that Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries is available in print and eBook online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million and in bookstores. If you like the book, please leave a review online at Amazon.com.
Plagued by pest, African farmers may soon have access to insect-resistant GMO cowpeas—for free
A project begun nearly 15 years ago is finally coming to fruition, as Nigeria is poised to become the first country to release a genetically modified variety of insect-resistant cowpeas to farmers.
“The cowpea growers have been very supportive. They like the GM crop. They have seen it perform and they are ready to grow it,” Issoufou Kollo Abdourhamane, the project’s manager at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), told me.
Cowpeas, known as black-eyed peas in the United States, are a key source of protein for over 200 million people, mostly in West Africa. However, the destructive pod borer insect can cause yield losses of up to 80 percent, and conventional breeding methods have been unable to help.
The GMO crop has shown strong resistance to the pest in field trials so far. Scientists used genetic engineering to insert a single gene from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a soil bacterium commonly used as an approved natural insecticide and sprayed on crops by organic farmers.
Several crops now utilize the Bt technology to protect against insects, including corn and soybeans in the US, cotton in the US and India, and eggplant in Bangladesh. Monsanto developed the first Bt crop, corn, in 1996. Today, over 75 percent of the corn grown in the US is Bt.
The intellectual property for the Bt gene was provided by Monsanto to the project royalty-free. This, along with initial funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and sustained funding for the past decade from the US government’s Agency for International Development (USAID), will allow the seeds to be distributed to farmers at no cost. Monsanto has also provided Bt traits royalty-free for other development projects, such as eggplant in Bangladesh and corn in Africa.
Africans need Investment, Infrastructure, Education, Employment and Disease Control, not Foreign Aid
Africa is two worlds: the cities, which are growing economically at a fast pace, and the rural poor who lack infrastructure needed for raising themselves above poverty and disease. Between these are fairly prosperous market agricultural areas and unemployed job seekers who inhabit substandard housing encircling cities.
Poverty is prolonged by long-standing wrong attitudes and practices that are so entrenched in our world view that many do not see any other way. The colonial powers failed to develop the needed infrastructure for development except marginally in the cities, so the rural poor remained isolated and stuck in poverty, disease and unemployment. Upon independence, communists or their puppets replaced colonialists in most of these countries, but continued the same bad practices and attitudes.
Foreign aid has been a disaster for these countries because of the lack of accountability and corruption of local governments. Country leaders kept/keep most of the money and grew/grow extremely wealthy, while at the same time, failing to build roads, railroads, electrical systems, education systems and health facilities, and to develop job opportunities by encouraging investment. Corrupt leaders were/are only accountable to donor nations/organizations and unaccountable to the people. Relying on foreign aid and not the tax base of the country meant there was/is no incentive to encourage investment and to develop infrastructure that would support business expansion and job opportunities.
Communist attitudes toward free markets and propaganda against foreign investment only deepen the tendency to keep these countries poor and under top-down control. At the same time, this situation has fostered violent resistance by factions not favored by the government, which had to be strictly controlled and squashed as it arose. Violence and unrest in any form and government corruption serve to discourage foreign investors as well as charitable organizations that could help raise the health and economy of the rural poor.
Investment and infrastructure are key to economic development and ending extreme poverty. Government to government foreign aid should be stopped immediately except for short-term emergency assistance during disasters, and only with complete accountability about how the money is spent, as well as assurances that the distribution is done fairly. Any foreign assistance for infrastructure projects should involve paying engineering firms directly, not funneling funds through corrupt officials who might pocket most of the money and promise but never deliver results.
African economies have historically been based on agriculture and extraction industries. Most of Africa’s agricultural businesses have been based on small to medium farms, but are profitable only in areas where transportation infrastructure permits access to markets. Development of roads and railroads is important to expand agricultural opportunities and markets. With improved crop varieties and modern agriculture Africa can provide much needed food for the world, but only if markets and ports are accessible.
The exploitation of natural resources by colonial powers without just compensation has been used as an excuse to discourage foreign investment in mining and extraction activities. It is only exploitation if the country and its people do not benefit and profit from the activity. Communist propaganda confuses the two approaches, so that businesses that could benefit the economy are discouraged. Agricultural and extraction industries with their associated infrastructure development can help to raise economies and standards of living by providing jobs and putting an end to high rural unemployment.
In the cities, manufacturing, banking, service, technical and communications industries are rapidly developing in areas where governments have improved business opportunities and practices. Ease of doing business, stable governments with low corruption levels and adequate infrastructure encourage investment that can raise economies. Opportunities and workforce availability make African countries a good place to invest and open new businesses.
Energy Poverty as a Reality
42.6 Percent of Africans have access to electricity, mostly in cities and towns. 600 million Africans have no access to electricity
Source: International Energy Agency
Let’s take a mental trip to what life is like in most of Africa. Imagine what would happen if the developed world suddenly was without electrical power, maybe a massive snowstorm or an electromagnetic pulse, (EMP), wiped out the grid for months or years. At first, it would be inconvenient to be without lights, phones, cell phones, TV, radio, heating and cooling, cooking, or refrigeration at your home or business. Hospitals and other emergency facilities would go to emergency backup generators that run on gasoline, diesel, or natural gas. Most gas stations without backup generators could not pump gas because the pumps run on electricity. Without gasoline or diesel fuel, transportation would soon grind to a halt.
No deliveries mean even these backup generators would soon be useless. No deliveries would mean gas pumps, pharmacies, grocery, and other stores would run out of supplies. You would not be able to buy food or gasoline or refill needed prescription medicines. You would have to walk or ride a bicycle to a doctor, your job, a school or a library because cars would be useless. Many businesses would grind to a halt. Hospitals would not have power to preserve medicines or lighting to perform surgeries.
Without electricity, municipal or private water pumps would not work, so you would need to collect water from gutters or streams. Water purification would be a problem because water from streams is not usually safe to drink due to chemicals and biological contaminants. Filtering through sand, along with chemically treating with bleach and/or boiling would be required to avoid diseases and parasites. Sewer systems would not function, so alternative outdoor toilets would need to be dug and built. For those on private septic systems, it would be possible to use existing toilets by pouring water into them for flushing, but that would require carrying and storing more water from sources. What about toilet paper? That would run out and alternatives would be needed: newspaper, other papers, leaves, corncobs like they did in the not too distant past. All frozen and refrigerated food would spoil unless immediately preserved in another way, such as canning, drying, or pickling. If a disaster like this happened in winter, some foods may keep temporarily outdoors or in sheds.
Even if you had stored several months of survival foods, your chances of survival may depend on what season of the year such an event occurred. If it occurred at the end of winter, the chances would be best for nonperishable food supplies to last until you can plant and harvest your own food, but if it happened in the fall, you would have to keep yourselves warm and fed, not just until spring, but until harvest the following summer and fall, assuming you have seeds and a place to plant them. Nicely trimmed lawns would be impossible and would have to be turned into gardens for food production or pastures for livestock. If you have a fireplace, trees could supply wood for a time, but most trees would be destroyed in a few months to supply wood for heating and cooking. Would you make it through the first winter? Many would not.
If you are in a safe community, neighbors would probably help each other, and working together would offer the best chance for survival. In an urban setting, criminal activity by helpless and desperate people may be a problem. You would be on your own, stranded, relying on your meager food supplies that would soon run out. You would need to cook many of the foods, but even with gas grills, fuel would only last a short while. You may end up burning furniture, fences, sheds and trees for cooking and to keep you from freezing to death. Then what?
If you are lucky enough to own a little land and have seeds to plant, in several months, through backbreaking manual labor, you could have garden vegetables to eat, but you wouldn’t be able to get fertilizer or insecticides after initial supplies run out. You won’t have refrigeration, much less a freezer, to preserve your crop, so you will need a cellar for fresh vegetable storage and would need to can, pickle, or dry foods that can’t be saved that way. Canning requires heating a water bath, using precious firewood or dwindling supplies of propane from leftover tanks, so it is less desirable than drying.
Obtaining and preserving meat would be more difficult unless you were able to either raise chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, or small game, or to fish and hunt enough game to support yourselves. Remember, everyone else would also be hunting and fishing those same areas, so raising your own would be more secure. If such a condition continued for years, seeds would need to be saved for subsequent years, small animals would need to be kept, fed and bred to provide an on-going supply of protein from meat, milk, and eggs. Those that survive would necessarily become small farmers just to live. Over the years, homes and farm buildings would need repairs and you may not be able to get needed supplies so you must improvise with whatever you can find. It would also be important to protect gardens and farm animals from poaching and from animals.
Such a disastrous loss of electrical power is about as close to the conditions in Africa as developed nations would come. Even at that, we still have certain advantages many Africans don’t have because of the infrastructure already present, such as secure, insulated houses with doors and windows to keep out the cold, insects, and rodents; roads and railroads to get from place to place by foot, bicycle, or horse; trained medical personnel, albeit with dwindling supplies; hospitals; and schools. There would be no more Internet or YouTube videos to learn almost any skill needed, so books would make a big comeback. We also have the advantage of knowing about the microscopic world that causes disease and food spoilage.
Now imagine if most of Africa and other underdeveloped countries had electricity. Everything involved in economic development and community well-being runs on electricity, including the infrastructure that provides gas and oil, water purification, sewage systems, development and maintenance of transportation systems, industry, medical clinics and hospitals, and schools, trade schools, and universities. Clean water and sewage systems could replace unsafe water carried from streams and open pit toilets at best, or open defecation in fields and streams that breed disease carrying flies. Screens on doors and windows could prevent insects from getting inside, and electric fans could be used for cooling. Refrigeration could provide safe food storage. Clean electric or natural gas burners could replace smoky bio-based heating and cooking fires that cause indoor air pollution.
With electricity, gas and oil exploration, pumping and refining could supply needed fuels for transportation and heating. Gas pipelines could pump natural gas to local community service centers and into homes. With adequate fuels and gas stations, roads and railroads could be built to accommodate trucks, buses, and cars and provide transportation to get to doctors, hospitals, schools, and other places. Industry, agriculture, and mines can provide jobs for millions and raise people’s living standards; improved roads and railroads could transport products and produce to markets. Needed fertilizers, insecticides, and medicines could be manufactured locally and transported to areas where they are needed.
The two greatest needs for Africa are power and disease control.
With these two needs met, Africa has a bright and promising future. Without them, much of Africa will continue to wallow in disease, poverty, and misery. Of these two, electrical power is the greatest need because it will facilitate solving the other problems and connect isolated areas. Disease control is also very important because healthy workers are needed for industry, agriculture, infrastructure, medicine, and mining. It would be very difficult to run any kind of business if a significant portion of the workforce is absent each day because of diseases such as malaria, TB, or dysentery. It is important to address both power needs and disease control simultaneously, along with education, to raise their standard of living and kick start a potentially booming economy.
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The book: Saving Africa from Lies that Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries will be published on October 23, 2018. Print and e-book will be available online and in bookstores.
My first book, Perverted Truth Exposed: How Progressive Philosophy has Corrupted Science was published in 2016. It is available in print and e-book, on line only, through World Net Daily store, Amazon, Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble. See the companion blog at www.realscienceblog.com for related posts and pages.
Africa was divided up between European powers which thought they were superior to Africans, who were assumed to be genetically inferior and in need of being “taken care of” by superior “civilized” peoples. Unfortunately, colonial powers failed to develop the infrastructure, the economy and to educate the people, so Communists found it easy to enslave the people while tearing down existing systems in the name of independence, without preparing the people for building a better one. In many ways, this same belief system of inferiority and hopelessness is responsible for the continuing deprivation and abuses based on eugenics, the overpopulation myth and environmental myths that value wildlife and “saving the planet” over developing indigenous peoples and their economy. Poverty, not overpopulation, causes environmental damage. Developing a healthy, educated workforce and a strong economy make is possible for indigenous peoples to care for their environment. See short article below about the European partition of Africa from the Oxford Reference website.
Berlin Conference of 1884–1885 Meeting at which the major European powers negotiated and formalized claims to territory in Africa; also called the Berlin West Africa Conference.
The Berlin Conference of 1884–1885 marked the climax of the European competition for territory in Africa, a process commonly known as the Scramble for Africa. During the 1870s and early 1880s European nations such as Great Britain, France, and Germany began looking to Africa for natural resources for their growing industrial sectors as well as a potential market for the goods these factories produced. As a result, these governments sought to safeguard their commercial interests in Africa and began sending scouts to the continent to secure treaties from indigenous peoples or their supposed representatives. Similarly, Belgium’s King Leopold II, who aspired to increase his personal wealth by acquiring African territory, hired agents to lay claim to vast tracts of land in central Africa. To protect Germany’s commercial interests, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who was otherwise uninterested in Africa, felt compelled to stake claims to African land.
Inevitably, the scramble for territory led to conflict among European powers, particularly between the British and French in West Africa; Egypt, the Portuguese, and British in East Africa; and the French and King Leopold II in central Africa. Rivalry between Great Britain and France led Bismarck to intervene, and in late 1884 he called a meeting of European powers in Berlin. In the subsequent meetings, Great Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, and King Leopold II negotiated their claims to African territory, which were then formalized and mapped. During the conference the leaders also agreed to allow free trade among the colonies and established a framework for negotiating future European claims in Africa. Neither the Berlin Conference itself nor the framework for future negotiations provided any say for the peoples of Africa over the partitioning of their homelands.
The Berlin Conference did not initiate European colonization of Africa, but it did legitimate and formalize the process. In addition, it sparked new interest in Africa. Following the close of the conference, European powers expanded their claims in Africa such that by 1900, European states had claimed nearly 90 percent of African territory.
by Elizabeth Heath for Oxford Reference