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Answer.

The scramble for Africa refers to the way European powers struggled to acquire colonies in Africa. Partition of Africa refers to the difference steps taken by the colonial powers to divide Africainto territories and fixing colonial boundaries. The major powers that were involved in this exercise were Britain, Germany, France and Belgium.

Afrocentric theory this theory claimed that the factors that led to the scramble for and partition of Africa were economic as:-

(i) The need for monopoly markets: The need for monopoly markets came due to increase production of industrial products that lacked enough demands in Europe. To make matters worse, between 1823 and 1896, the world passed through a stand still economic depression where by trade came to stand still, prices were law and profits were small hence the capitalists put a lot of pressure on their government to acquire colonies for selling the manufactured commodities.

(ii) The need for tropical raw material: The tropical treasure theory, put forward by Nobson and Lenin assert that Africa was partitioned because it was highly endowed with a lot of raw materials for industrial development in Europe hence the European powers rushed to Africa to acquire colonies that would act as sources of raw materials.

(iii) The need for cheap labour: There was a contradiction between the employers and the workers whereby to maximize profits, the employers had to decrease wages and intensify exploitation. The workers, however resisted this through trade unions, they demanded higher wages and good working conditions all of which reduced the profit of the employers. The solution to this problem was to look for colonies in Africa where they can get cheap labour.

(iv) The need for investment areas: Scholars such as Adam Smith claimed that the availability of excess capital for investments in European countries forced Europe to take part in the scramble for Africa. The capitalists had accumulated a lot of capital that they could not invest in Europe because the markets were saturated, to solve this crisis, they decided to look for colonies where they can invest their capital and obtain high rates of profits.

(v) The need to resettled surplus labour force: The industrial revolution and the capitalist system produced not only surplus capital but also surplus labour force. As more and more machines came into use, more and more people found themselves out of work, the solution to this problem was found in the acquisition of colonies where surplus labor force could be settled.

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