The introduction of the Europeans in Africa
The period between 310 and 1450 was marked by several advanced civilizations in Africa. During this period, Ghana, Mali and Songhai showed signs of development and this before Europeans arrived in Africa. Songhai was the trade center that harbored Timbuktu. The city center had all forms of occupations from doctors, priests, merchants, and judges. Timbuktu was also the learning center in Africa where traders hawked books and schools were sponsored by the king. Ghana was similarly an advanced society in Africa. In Ghana, the focus was on trade in salt and gold. African traders traveled from different countries because of the demanding trade, security, locality, and organization. Ghana was regarded as an advanced civilization due to its food surplus, successful trading activities, and profits from levies, high social stratification, political management and peace. All of this organization and development came from the proper management of the gold and salt trade.
The original intention of the Europeans, when they sailed to Africa, was to set up missionary stations and attempt to spread the gospel of Christianity. Some of the earliest Europeans that had managed to explore the shores and part of interior Africa were missionaries with the intention of coming into contact with Africans. They had the goal of converting the natives to Christ. Early missionaries, for example, Johannes Rebmann and Ludwig Krapf who entered Africa from the Indian Coast in 1846 worked different countries especially in Kenya to ensure that churches were built wherever they visited, and the surge of Islam was kept at bay. In the archives, Rebmann commented on his efforts at spreading Christianity in Africa at a time when very few Europeans had anything to do with the Third World. It was only after the missionaries, and the church was firmly established that other European travelers started arriving in Africa around 1900 (Nosotro 45). This second batch of Europeans came with the intention of colonizing and exploiting the vast resources such as fossil fuels, cheap labor and land.
Nosotro Rit. Europe’s Colonization of Africa. Hyper history.net. Accessed on 18 January 2013. Retrieved from http://hyperhistory.net/apwh/essays/comp/cw25colonizationafrica.htm