THE FOLLOWING ARE REASONS FOR THE DELAY OF THE EUROPEAN PENETRATION IN WEST AFRICA.
- Geographical factor. They lacked geographical knowledge on the interior and the same time there were natural harbors such as water solids, deserves, thick vegetation average etc hindered their penetration.
- Tropical pests and diseases like malaria and religious factor. This mainly concerned the political spread of Islam in West Africa which was a barrier between West Africa and the Europeans.
- The colonialists were Christians for therefore viewed Islam as a barrier for their penetration in West Africa because the indigenous people were already addicted to it.
- The opposition of African rulers. The chiefs in particular stopped Europeans from penetrating into the interior because they did not want any encroachment on their sovereignty.
- Language barrier. Africans had a multiplicity of language.
- The presence of aggressive societies. Some West African societies were very aggressive and hostile to the Europeans e.g.. the Asante invaded the coastal protectorates which made the Europeans get defeated.
- The problems in some European countries like the existence of great revolutions.
- Absence of colonial ambitions by some European countries. It is noted that a country like Germany had no interest in West Africa e.g. Bism’k was opposed to colonial possession in West Africa until 1884 when he reluctantly responded to the pre-colonial pressure groups.
- The presence of Islam which had entranced itself among the people of West Africa. Islam prepared the people of West Africa for serious resistance especially during the time of the Jihads therefore when the Europeans came to colonize West Africa, they met stiff resistance from personalities such as Samouri toure and Mandrike state.
- In the early days of their trades, Europeans had contacts of Asian countries i.e. they used to pass the Suez Canal which was a short cut to West Africa. However after the conflicts between the Europeans and Arabs over the probian peninsular, they had to look for an alternative route to access them to West Africa thereby delaying them to penetrate into the interior of West Africa.