Could I get a brief summary of Belgium's colonization of Africa?
Although Belgium was and is a very small country, it was something of a colonial power in Africa. It did not control as many colonies as Britain or France did, but it controlled some very large and important areas.
Belgium had colonies in Africa that now make up three countries. These included Congo -- the one that was once Zaire -- Rwanda and Burundi. The Belgian Congo was by far the biggest of these.
Belgium got the Congo when King Leopold sent an expedition to explore the area in 1876. The rest of the colonies were obtained after WWI when they were taken from Germany and given to Belgium.
Congo became independent in 1960 and the other two countries became independent two years later.
King Leopold II sets up a private venture to colonise Congo in the 1870's and tricked hunderds of illiterate indigenous leaders into signing an agreement to give away their land to the Belgium king. Soon after, industrialization occured in Eurpore and American and the demand of rubber, for bikes and automobiles, increased. Since Congo was spotted with rubber vines, the Belgiums adapted a cheap and effiecent way to collect rubber - force labor. Soon, the King accumulated a vast personal fortune. However, because of the king's brutal explotation of Congo, it eventually became and international issue. So, agitation for independence forced the king to grant freedom/independance to Congo on June 30th, 1960. Hope that helped!