Africa, a continent which many people aren’t familiar with. How many countries you know in Africa? Very few right? Do you ever plan a vacation to any of those countries in Africa? You have to think about it because it is not like going to some European countries. We knew there are many people below the poverty line but do we ever wonder why Africa has a slow rate of development? Do we know what is Colonising and colonisation that happened in Africa?


Colonisation is the act by which a country or state exerts control and domination over another country or state. During a period lasting from 1881 to 1914 in what was known as the Scramble for Africa, several European nations took control over areas of the African continent.

The African coastline had been explored in the sixteenth century and a few European settlements had come about. But the interior of Africa was unknown to the outside world until the last quarter of nineteenth century. European colonisation began after about 1875. The Berlin Colonial Conference of 1884–85 resolved that Africa should be divided into spheres of influence of various colonial powers.

European colonisers were able to attain control over much of Africa through diplomatic pressure, aggressive enticement, and military invasions. In fact, European countries competed with one another to see who could attain the most power and growth.

Racist Policy against the Blacks

The Afrikaners pursued a harsher, racist policy towards the blacks and the minority Indians. In 1923 an Act was passed to confine the native residents to certain parts of towns. Already an Act of 1913 had segregated black and white farmers, which made it impossible for the blacks to acquire land in most parts of the country. The 1924 elections were won by the National Party with the support of the Labour movement, composed mainly of white miners. The Act passed in 1924 prevented blacks from striking work and from joining trade unions. In the Cape Province the voting right to blacks was abolished. Native Blacks suffered in all spheres: social, economic and politics.

Apartheid in South Africa

Apartheid, which means separateness, became the racial policy of the Nationalist Party in 1947. From 1950 onwards a series of laws came to be enforced. The whole country was divided into separate areas for the different races. Marriage between white and non-white was forbidden. Nearly all schools were brought under government control so that education different from that of the Whites could be implemented for Africans. University education was also segregated. Apartheid is based on the belief that the political equality of White and Black in South Africa would mean Black rule. Since this would imperil the European interests, it was decided to keep the Africans in permanent subjection through force.

The Rise of a Leader

The African National Congress (ANC) founded in 1912 fought the practice of racism. Repression was let loose against the leaders of the Congress. The ANC was banned and its leader Nelson Mandela was put behind bars. Mounting pressure at the global level helped to end the racist regime in South Africa. In 1990 the ban on ANC was lifted and Mandela freed after 27 years. In the elections held subsequently the Africans were allowed to vote and ANC won the election and Mandela became the first black president of South Africa.


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