Earlier, Africa had vast land resources and minerals which attracted the European powers to establish plantations and mines which could be exported to Europe. But there was shortage of labour because the African people rarely worked for a wage because they had abundant land and enough livestock for the livelihood of the small population.
To solve the problem of labour shortage, recruitment and retaining the labour, heavy taxes were imposed, inheritance laws were changed and confined the mineworkers in the compound itself.
To pay the heavy taxes, the Africans were bound to work for wages on plantations and mines. According to the new inheritance law, only one member in the family was allowed to inherit the land and thus the other members of the family were displaced from the land and pushed into the labour market. The mine workers also did not have the freedom of movement.