“The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one.”

–Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart

Amongst the leading European powers of the 19th century, there was a race to occupy more and more land and subjugate more and more people. In Africa, the process of invasion, occupation, colonisation and annexation was known as the Scramble for Africa. In the years between 1881 until World War I, the race continued. Europeans nations came up with a plan of the partitioning of Africa to avoid Europe-wide war over Africa.

Historians have credited the beginning of the scramble with “The Berlin Conference” that was held in 1884 that aimed at regulating the process of colonisation and establishing conduct for European colonisers to carry on their trades in Africa. It was Bismark, the German chancellor, who called for this meeting to deliberate on the process of colonising Africa and avoid any war amongst the civilised. The six powers slicing up Africa like a cake included Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Belgium. Thomas Pakenham’s The Scramble for Africa is one of the best books ever written about the white man’s conquest of the dark continent from 1876 till 1912 when the process completed.