The administrative systems set up by European powers that had acquired colonies in Africa

The administrative systems set up by European powers that had acquired colonies in Africa

Indirect Rule

which was a British policy of the administration in which the African traditional chiefs were allowed to rule their people with instructions from British officials.

Direct Rule

which was another British system of administration whereby indigenous political and administrative institutions and leaders were replaced with European systems. In it, the British officials ruled directly without intermediaries.


which was a French system of administration in which the Africans were to be similar to the French in terms of their culture and other aspects of life.


which was another French system of administration that implied partnership, whereby the French government was to respect the culture of people in her colony and allow them to develop independently rather than force them to adopt the French culture and civilization.

European colonial powers governed their colonies through one or a combination of these four systems of administration to facilitate maximum exploitation of the human and natural resources in their respective territories.

The Germans ruled for only a short period, then their colonies in Africa were taken over by the League of Nations as Mandated Territories after the First World War. In their rule in Africa, the Germans applied Direct Rule, just like the Dutch and Italians.


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