The country of France had control over most of Western Africa. The trade in these colonies were very important, and so they decided to protect many of the trade outposts.
Though unfortunately, a new and very powerful empire called the Samori Empire was rising alongside the Niger River, and in the course of over 20 years, the French had won the war between them and captured their leader
Meanwhile in Northeastern Africa, mostly Britain and France were colonizing the land areas, but mostly protecting the one canal route to British India
Britain eventually took over Egypt, as Britain had offered to help Egypt financially, as it was crumbling and was in a horrible state. But it was not soon until a religious Muslim leader, Mahdi had fought Egyptian troops and won the revolt. It wasn't until 1896 until Britain and France finally reconquered the place that the Mahdi had overrun.
But in South Africa, things were different. People sought the valuables and riches of the land, and one settler by the name of Cecil Rhodes had struck great fortune whilst this was happening.
Rhodes had a railroad company and had the dreams to extend it further up North, so he finally decided to convince or try to talk his way through to Britain to conquer up North.