Colonialism refers to the domination or control of one country by another economically, politically and socially. The development of capitalism in Europe led to the industrial revolution which started in Britain in 1750 and by the end of 18 th Century Britain was the only industrialized nation in the world. However, in the 19 th Century, other European countries such as France, Belgium, Germany and Italy also industrialized.
Therefore, it was these demands which made capitalism to change to its monopolistic stage called imperialism. Colonialism was therefore linked with the development of capitalism in Europe, in the sense that it was undertaken to meet the demands of monopoly capitalism. There are various factors which show how missioi, explore and traders paved away for the establishment of colonial rule in Africa;-
(1) They reported about the wealth in Africa which would enrich the European capitalist countries. The information given by the Missionaries, Explorers and Traders excited the interests of European countries to come and seek their fortune in Africa. Dr. Living stone reported that East Africa had fertile soil and the environment was suitable for European settlements, given the economic conditions in Europe, such as the need for raw materials, they had to rush to Africa.
(2) They encouraged African chiefs to sign treaties which later became justified claims for the occupation of African territories. Moffat, an Anglican Missionary, encouraged chief Lubengula to sign a treaty with British, which eventually led to the British colonization of Zimbabwe.
(3) Some of the agents for example Christian missionaries brain washed the minds of the Africans through their preaching and teachings. They softened the minds of the Africans to be God fearing because of the preaching, devour African Christians believed that Christianity was the greatest gift from Europe and this was reflected in Nigeria and Buganda where the Africans welcomed colonization.
(4) The Christian missionaries paved way for the establishment of the colonies rule because they regarded colonial rule as necessary for both the spread of Christianity and the abolition of slave trade in Africa
(5) They chartered companies laid down the initial infrastructure those later facilitated colonial administration policies. The roads and railways became a source of reinforcement in terms of troops and manpower.
(6) They appealed to European government to come and occupy parts of Africa which they have visited and developed. For example Dr. Livingstone appealed to Britain to come and occupy central Africa and Britain responded by colonizing central Africa.