Why did the British annex Bechuanaland?

Why did the British annex Bechuanaland?
  • It was the time for scramble and partition of African by the European countries because of social, political and economic reasons.




  • The instigation of Cecil Rhodes who had benefited from minerals in Kimberly. He believed that probably the area had minerals too. The only way to have access to the area was to annex it.
  • The enmity between the British and the Boers made the British to annex Bechuanaland so as to prevent Transvaal from expanding west words.
  • The German occupation of South West Africa (Namibia) in 1884 made the British nervous and decided to annex Botswana before it would be taken by another European country.
  • The need by the British to protect their settlers who had started settling in Botswana.
  • The need by the British to consolidate their position in South Africa made them to annex Botswana.




  • Salbury, the British prime minister wanted the way for the British expansion north from the cape colony hence he declared a protectorate over Botswana.
  • The dream of Rhodes of painting the map of Africa red from Cape Town to Cairo. So Bechuanaland was in way of his dream.
  • The request made by chief Khama in 1875. As one of the leading political figure headers chief Khama requested the British to annex Bechuanaland.
  • The hope of minerals deposits in Botswana by the British South African Company led to the annexation of Botswana.
  • They wanted to have access to the mineral wealth for example near the Bamangwato.
  • The need to create a united South Africa under the British influence by Cecil Rhodes who put pressure on the British government to declare a protectorate over Botswana.
  • The British wanted an inland route to connect them to Transvaal and the Kalahari areas.




  • The hut burning incidents of 1931 in which the Huts of the Ratshosa were burnt as a traditional punishment by Tshekedi.
  • The whipping incident of 1933 in which Tshekedi sentenced a white youth to be whipped for assaulting an African girl.
  • Tshekedi’s rejection of Seretse Khama’s marriage to white Girl; a London-born Ruth Williams.
  • The British wanted to get market for their products in Botswana
  • Pressure from European missionaries who invited the British Government for protection.

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