The Berlin conference was the meeting of European powers which was held in Berlin the capital town of Germany from November 1884 to February 1885 at the invitation of Otto von Bismarck the chancellor of Germany. The conference was attended by the 14 powers, where USA and Denmark attended as an observers.

The meeting was called at the time when Europe was at the stage of monopoly capitalism/imperialism. The objectives (Goals) of the conference were:
1. To solve the Congo and Niger problems.

2. Need of Bismarck to diverge France’s interest from France to Africa.

3. To develop Africa for imperialism.

4. To discuss views from different European nations on how to abolish the slave trade in the African territories.

1.5.1. The resolutions [agreements] of the Berlin conference [the principles reached]

1. Principle of notification

Each power which claimed any part of African territory was required to inform the other European power that had signed the treaty in order to avoid crushes among themselves.

2. Principle of effective occupation or control.
European power which claims to any part of Africa would be recognized by the other powers if it was effectively occupied by such European power lie under this clause. The claimants were supposed to develop the areas through their missionaries trading companies’ explorers starting plantations and other economic activities.

3. King Leopold was allowed to rule Congo, but the Congo river was left to be a free zone for all nations. In this case the basin was an international highway.


4. Freedom of navigation

The conference declared that Congo, the Niger River and other big rivers as free zones for international navigation i.e. Niger River under the authority of Great Britain and Congo River under the authority of Belgium.

5. Abolition of slave trade. Each European power which attended the meeting had to abolish the slave trade in African territory and should further extend its sphere of influence from the coastal regions to the internal land and draw political boundaries.


1. It resolved the international rivalries that ivoted in areas like Congo, Egypt and Nile.
2. It speeded the partition of Africa under the principle of effective occupation.
3. The Conference highligtened the unity and degree of cooperation among European powers.
4. The Conference opened the interior of African land for colonization.
5. it avoided the possibility of the emperior powers to inter into war during the scramble for Africa.
6. It led to the setting of colonial boundaries in African Continent.

Melkisedeck Leon Shine

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