International African Association

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Flag of the International African Association
Henry Morton Stanley explored the Congo under the mandate of the Association.
Maximilien Strauch was the Secretary-General of the International African Association

The International African Association (in full, "International Association for the Exploration and Civilization of Central Africa") was a front organization established by the guests at the Brussels Geographic Conference of 1876, an event hosted by King Leopold II of Belgium who volunteered space on his private grounds at the Palace of Laeken in Brussels for the Association's headquarters. The Association was succeeded by the short-lived "Committee for Studies of the Upper Congo", and the International Association of the Congo, which eventually dissolved and merged into the Congo Free State.

Quotes about the International African Association[edit]

  • The International African Association, formed for purely philanthropical purposes, was the outcome of a geographical conference which met at Brussels in 1876. Leopold II, King of the Belgians, was made its president by the unanimous agreement of distinguished representatives, men from nearly all of the European countries and from the United States. The programme which was adopted had the treble end in view “of organizing the scientific exploration of the still unknown regions of Africa, of opening up paths to civilization, and of seeking the means of gradually extinguishing the traffic in slaves."

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