Remembering, reconciling and bearing united responsibility for our future

 Berlin Conference 1884/85.

  That is, the degradation, deprivation of rights and dispossession of the African people, as well as the destruction of foreign cultures of the African continent through autocracy and greed, the nationalist and racist spirit of partaking countries.

 On 15th November 1884, the Berlin Africa Conference, also known historically as the West Africa Conference or the “Congo Conference”, took place at this site. The German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, invited the European and overseas powers which held a presence in Africa at that time to take part, including England, France, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Spain, the Ottoman Empire and the USA. Africa and the African people were present at the Conference only through their opposition to European politics; they were excluded as political subjects: not one African participant was invited. The King of Belgium, in particular, asserted private interests in the area of the Congo, which would have led to disagreements and conflict between the colonial powers. Bismarck’s intention was to mitigate conflict and to find resolution through multilateral agreement. In the foreground of his politics, rather than the splitting-up of Africa, stood the reconciliation of European and non-European superpower interests. The result was an efficient colonisation through the mutual acceptance of colonial powers. As a consequence, however, the interests of conference members on the coast of Africa were carried out. The Conference thus indisputably marks the turning-point from the stepwise expansion of diverse colonies to the total dividing-up of Africa (as far as Ethiopia and Liberia), essentially concluded until the beginning of the 20th Century.

 

 

   

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