Map of Colonial Powers in Africa


Map on the left was produced in 1889 by George Cawston titled “Africa South of the Equator” showing the existence of boundary treaties. For the first time in African maps, you begin to see straight lines; however they are not drawn by Africans nor for Africans.

The map is also colored coded:

Orange = Belgium sphere of influence
Yellow = German sphere of influence
Green = Portuguese sphere of influence
Pink/Red = English sphere of influence (notice how it creeps slowly northward)

The large areas in the center are intentionally left blank, denoting that it’s a free for all; no one lives there. You can see the empty, dark Africa ready for exploitation. This is the legacy of Africa, see map on right.

Nothing else to write…the map says it all.

Thanks for reading,


BBC Audio Slideshow: Mapping Africa:

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