Posted by / Monday 18 April 2016 / No comments

The reasons for the colonization of west Africa

London Bridge, Night, Clock, Thames
Colonization refers to the process by which the stronger nations created dependencies, either close by or very far away to serve mostly the economic interest of the colonizing nation. By 1900, the British colonies in West Africa included the Gambia, Gold Coast, now Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Search for raw materials
The industrial revolution in Europe brought about massive production of goods but with time the raw material base of the European countries had dwindled. They needed to look for newer and cheaper sources of raw materials to ensure the continuation of production. Africa had most of the raw materials they needed so they headed to Africa. They colonized Africa to ensure adequate supply of raw materials to feed their factories.

Search for overseas markets
At the height of the industrial revolution, the European countries had produced far more than they could absorb locally. They could not the products to expire, they needed to sell them. So they turned to Africa. So another reason for the colonization of West Africa was to look for markets where they could sell or dump their surplus productions.

Re-investment of surplus capital
As the industrialized countries got richer and richer, there was a lot of surplus capital which could not be allowed to stay dormant. So another reason for coming to Africa was to allow them to invest their surplus capital.

London, England, Hdr, Boats, Ships
Outlet for surplus labour
With the introduction of machines in the industrial revolution, the labour that used to do the work became redundant. Only a few hands were needed to do a lot of work. All the extra hands had to be laid off and this created unemployment problems for European. There was the need to find employment for the jobless people. One other reason for colonizing Africa was therefore to find a place where they could be engaged.

Civilizing mission
The Europeans believed that their culture and civilization was superior to the African culture and civilization. They therefore sought to export their civilization to other parts of the world. So another reason for colonizing Africa was to make them more civilized.

National prestige
Some of the European nations just wanted to counted as also having colonial territories. The powerful nations of the world were acquiring colonies and therefore the possession of colonies was a symbol of greatness, hence, the desire to acquire some too.

1. a. What is colonialism?
    b. Highlight five reasons for the colonization of West Africa.

2. Highlight any six reasons for the colonization of West Africa.

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