Hundreds of different languages and ethnic groups were all confined into Africa.
In the Boer War, the Zulus, Dutch, and British all fought for land in Africa during 1876. The British came out on top.
The Berlin Conference in 1884 was a meeting where 14 European countries divided Africa.
The Crimean War (1853) was initiated because the Ottoman Empire was losing power and Russia wanted control of Crimea. Britain and France wanted to stop Russia from gaining power so they fought with the Ottomans and defeated the Russians.
Egyptian leaders knew that if they didn't adapt to the world, they would be done for. So, Muhammad Ali started cultural and social reforms as well as took lands like Syria. Generations later, his descendant Isma'il created the Suez canal which allowed access from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.
The East India Company ruled over India with indirect control. They had Indian soldiers called Sepoys be in charge of the locals.