Brussels Geographic Conference
(1876)
   The Brussels Geographic Conference was convened by King Leopold II in September 1876. Held at the Palais Royal, the conference was called to establish a European presence in central Africa, and attendees set goals of charting routes into the interior, establishing peace among the natives, curbing the slave trade, engaging in scientific research, and teaching practical skills to the inhabitants. The guests, who numbered 13 Belgians and 24 foreigners, including explorers, scientists, and businessmen, agreed to establish the International African Association. National committees were created in each of the participating countries with an international committee, of which Leopold was elected first chairman, headquartered in Brussels. The association marked the initial step that led to Leopold's acquisition of the Congo.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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