This title may come as a surprise to many as I bet most of you, if not 40% of you, never knew that there was ever a conference held by Germans and other country or countries just because of Africa. Surprisingly, yeah, well let’ s get the whole story and understand what makes Africa so special that a Conference was held just for its sake.
The Berlin Conference
It is no news that colonization was one of the topmost practiced acts by Europeans on Africans during the 90s if not the 80s. This period was undoubtedly one of the most horrible and trying periods for Africans as they were, at that time, subjected to numerous inhuman treatments, slave trade and maltreatment, injustice and fowl judgment passed on most Africans at that time by the Europeans.
Africans became a trading ground for different European countries. Ideally, when we talk about trade, everyone thinks of animals or food or animals or clothes trade, yeah, but at that time, these weren’ t what was sold.
Humans were sold and traded into slavery- like animals, separated from their families, and moved from different parts of the world just to work as slaves for Europeans.
Slave trade became quite popular and famously practiced by so many European countries around the world and was at that time seen as a normal business just like every other business. Slave trade became a well- known business practiced by mainly Europeans in Africa.
Seeing how popular and famous the business had grown and how many different major countries were involved in it, this was unarguably going to become a big problem.
You know what they say about having more than a Captain on a ship.
It never ends well. This was the case of Africa at that time. Seeing the number of different countries trooping in for business, the Europeans knew they had to do something or end up fighting and this was what resulted in the Berlin Conference.
Organized or called by Germany’ s very first Chancellor ‘ Otto Von Bismarck, The Berlin Conference, sometimes referred to as the West African conference, was a conference that opened and held on the 15th of November 1884 and ended or closed on 26th February 1885.
Otto Von Bismarck, in light of the Berlin Conference, was said to have invited or called 14 representatives from different European nations to take part in this conference in other to work together in dividing the different countries in Africa for Europe’ s colonial benefits.
The 14 Countries Involved
Germany, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, United States, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Ottoman Empire, Sweden, Norway, and Russia.
The Berlin Conference was said to have been more like a meeting held mainly to discuss how African territories can be shared, ignoring natives and citizens of each country, thereby taking over every right to any said territory allocated to a European nation.
A brief Agenda from the Berlin Conference shows how these territories were shared- Between France and the United States, their territories were divided by a line running from say
– France and Germany were both divided by an intersection formed from an area of the north of the line.
The United Kingdom and Germany had their territories separated from a line passing through Yola.
These are just a few examples of how African territories or countries were planned, divided and shared amongst European nations during the Berlin Conference.
Good Side Of The Berlin Conference
But one positive fact about this conference was that the conference resolved and ended slavery or the slave trade in Africa. Even though they did this to gain public acceptance. Africans, however, gained from this.
Even though Africans had their territories shared by Europeans and were not given any rights whatsoever, they were, however, free for the very first time in a long while.
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