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HomeNotesHISTORY NOTESTHE ESTABLISHMENT AND IMPACT OF OMANI RULE AT THE EAST AFRICAN COAST

THE ESTABLISHMENT AND IMPACT OF OMANI RULE AT THE EAST AFRICAN COAST

THE ESTABLISHMENT AND IMPACT OF OMANI RULE AT THE EAST AFRICAN COAST

THE ESTABLISHMENT AND IMPACT OF OMANI RULE AT THE EAST AFRICAN COAST

The Omani Arabs (Imams of Omani) replaced the Portuguese as the rulers of the East African coast after the capture of fort Jesus in 1698.The new rulers initially administered the region through some Arab families;

~  The Mazrui (Mazaria) family which ruled Mombasa

~   The Nabahan Family which ruled Lamu.

The civil wars back home made it hard for the Omani Arabs to control the coast immediately. There were also threats of Persian invasion. Constant rebellion from coastal towns against Omani governors posed a serious challenge to Omani rule. Pate for example refused to pay tax and even murdered the imam’s messengers. Towns they were loyal to Oman were attacked.The Mazrui established themselves as independent rulers of Mombasa and ordered towns like pate, Pemba and Malindi to pay allegiance to them. Their greatest allies were the Mijikenda who promised them support in case of Omani attack.The struggle between the Mazrui and the Imams of Oman (1741-1840)

The coastal towns led by Mombasa resisted Oman’s conquest due to the following reasons.

a) The Omani wanted the revenue from the taxes levied on trade.

b) The towns also wished to maintain their independence as they were during the Portuguese rule.

c) The towns were also encouraged by the prevailing weaknesses in Oman due to civil wars and the Persian threat.

d) The harsh and ruthless rule and manner in which the Oman rulers collected taxes.

e) Mombasa had fought against the Portuguese and did not wish to be under control of another foreign power.

The struggle

The appointment of Mohammed Ibn Azthman al Mazrui as the new governor of Mombasa coincided with the death of the Oman Imam Saif Ibn- Sultan of the Yorubi and his replacement with Ahmed Bin Said al-Busaidi.The new Mombasa governor refused to recognize the new imam and declared the independence of Mombasa from Oman. The sultan had him murdered and fort Jesus seized. A year later, the brother of the murdered governor recaptured the town and the fort. This became the century long struggle between the al-busaidi and al-Mazrui families.Taking advantage of the problems in Oman, Mombasa expanded her power and control over the coastal towns (she took over pate in 1807 and attacked Lamu in 1810). Lamu appealed to Oman for assistance.

Seyyid Said and the struggle

Further political changes happened in Oman. Seyyid said rose to power as the imam (Seyyid) of Oman. His father, the ruler of Oman had died in a sea battle in 1804 when he was only 13 years. His cousin Badr Ibn saif took over. In 1806, Said stabbed Badr to death fearing domination. With the assistance of the British he had entrenched his position as the Seyyid of Oman at the age of 15 years. The British even promised him support in claiming the east African coast.He then sent a governor to build a fortress in Mombasa and to order all towns to recognize the power of Oman. Mombasa’s new governor Abdullah Ibn Ahmed defied the order and even continued to attack Brava.

By 1817, Seyyid said had succeeded in freeing Pate from Mazrui rule. In 1822, with the help of Zanzibar, an Oman ally, he liberated Pemba and Brava from Mombasa. In 1823, he gained control of the Bajun Islands. He ordered that no town should trade with Mombasa.In 1824, the sultan of Mombasa offered Mombasa to become a British protectorate to protect him from the Oman rule. The new powerful position of Mombasa was however short-lived upto 1826 due to the terms of the Moresby anti-slavery treaty between Seyyid said and the British.The animosity between Mombasa and Oman continued. In 1837, there was a dispute in Mombasa over the succession to the vacant office of the Liwali. This became an opportune chance for Seyyid said to lure the members of the Mazrui family into fort Jesus where he killed them.

Seyyid Said; Sultan of Zanzibar 91840-1856)

After that Seyyid said consolidated his power and control over the coast as well as the interior of east Africa. He then transferred his capital from Muscat to Oman.

The transfer of the capital to Zanzibar from Muscat was due to the following reasons:

a) Seyyid said desired to effectively control the coastal towns through the centrally located Zanzibar.

b) Zanzibar had a pleasant climate compared to Muscat which was hot and dry. It also had fresh water, adequate rainfall and fertile soils that favoured clove growing.

c) Zanzibar was easily defensible as an island. It was easy to sea the enemy from far and launch an attack from the island.

d) The good deep harbours of Zanzibar I which ships could anchor were attractive. Zanzibar’s central position also favoured development of long distance trade.

e) The town had a long history of loyalty to Oman throughout the Mazrui- busaidi struggles. Seyyid said appointed Liwalis to rule important towns. They were give the responsibility of collecting custom dues levied at each port. The Arabs in the local towns were allowed to rule themselves. Seyyid said was keener on the commercial empire than p olitical leadership. He stated “I am nothing but just a merchant”. Seyyid said developed an economic programme based on agriculture and international trade.

The development of plantation Agriculture

Seyyid sad encouraged settlers from Oman and Zanzibar to take advantage of the fertile sols and good climate at the coast to settle in Mombasa. Malindi, Lamu and Pemba venture into agriculture.Plantation agriculture largely depended on slave labour.The people of Mombasa extended plantation agriculture into the mainland, acquiring land from the Mijikenda in exchange for gifts. They planted rice, maize, millet, beans, sesame and sorghum. Along the island, large plantations of coconut mango trees, cashew nuts and citrus fruits were developed. Grain plantations were developed around Malindi and Takaungu whose land was largely unoccupied and the orma were no longer a threat.

By 1870, about 1400 to 1500 slaves worked on plantation farms in Malindi which had become the granary of Africa producing all kinds of grains, mangoes, coconut, mangoes and oranges.Seyyid said also established a clove plantation in Zanzibar. He also encouraged people to grow coconut trees by putting in place a policy that for eve coconut tree cut, three were to be planted. Plantation agriculture intensified slave trade.

The Slave Trade in East Africa

Slave trade: The buying and selling of human beings

Slavery: The state of being enslaved: It’s a system where by some people are owned by others and are forced to work for others without being paid for the work they have done.

It involves capturing, transporting of human beings who become the ‘property’ of the buyer. The slave trade was one of the worst crimes against humanity. The trade was started by Arabs who wanted labour for domestic use and for their plantations. However, they were later joined by Europeans..

Reasons for the rise of slave trade

~  During the second half of the 18th century, France opened up larger sugar plantations on the islands of Reunion, Mauritius and in the Indian Ocean. African slaves were thus recruited from East Africa to go and work in those plantations.

~  Africans were considered physically fit to work in harsh climatic conditions compared to the native red Indians and Europeans. This greatly increased the demand for the indigenous people (slaves).

~  The increased demand for sugar and cotton in Europe led to their increase in price and therefore more labour (slaves) was needed in the British colonies of West Indies and America.

~  Strong desire for European goods by African chiefs like Mirambo and Nyungu ya Mawe forced them to acquire slaves in exchange for  manufactured goods such as brass, metal ware, cotton cloth, beads, spirits such as whisky, guns and gun powder.

~  The existence and recognition of slavery in East Africa societies. Domestic and child slavery already existed therefore Africans were willing to exchange slaves for European goods.

~  The huge profits enjoyed by middlemen like Arab Swahili traders encouraged the traders to get deeply involved in the trade.

~  The suitable winds and currents (monsoon winds) which eased transportation for slave traders greatly contributed to the rise of slave trade.

~  The Legalization of slave trade in 1802 by Napoleon 1 of France increased the demand for slaves in all French Colonies.

~  The increased number of criminals, war captives, destitute forced African chiefs to sell them off as slaves.

~  The Oman Arabs contributed to the rise in the demand for slaves. This is because they acted as middlemen between the African Swahili people, the Portuguese and French traders. They therefore worked very hard to get slaves in order to obtain revenue from them.

~  The invention of Spanish mines in West indices increased slave demands to work in the mines.

~  The exodus of slaves from East Africa to Northeast Africa, Arabia and Persia contributed to the increase in the demand for slaves. It led to an enormous number of slaves obtained from East Africa being transported to other countries.

~  The movement of Seyyid Said’s capital to Zanzibar led to an increase in slave trade. This is because when Seyyid said settled in Zanzibar in 1840, he embarked on strong plans to open up slave trade routes to the interior of East Africa. This boosted slave trade, whereby the number of slaves being sold at the slave market in Zanzibar annually by that time, reached between 40000 and 45000 thousand slaves.

~  The outbreak of diseases like Nagana led to an increase in slave trade. This is because the beasts of burden (i.e. camels, donkeys, etc) could not be taken on many of the caravan routes. It therefore necessitated people themselves to be involved in the transportation of the trade goods and ivory. Such people included porters who were regarded as slaves, or free Africans who could sell their services in return for cloth and other trade goods.

~  Development of long distance trade that needed slaves to transport goods from the interior of East Africa.

~  Plantation farming increased in some areas, especially the clove plantations were slaves worked.

Organization of slave trade in E. Africa

The middlemen involved were;

  Arab Swahili traders

  African chiefs.

Ways of obtaining slaves

  Selling of domestic slaves in exchange for goods like beads, guns, glass etc

  Selling of criminals, debtors and social misfits in society by the local chiefs to the Arab slave traders.

  Prisoners of war could be sold off.

  Porters were sometimes kidnapped, transported and sold off to the Arab traders.

  Raiding villages, this would begin at night with gun shoots and people would scatter consequently leading to their capture.

  Through inter tribal wars many Africans become destitutes and these would be captured by the slave traders.

  Tax offenders were sold off by the African chiefs.

  They were also captured through ambushes during hunting, travelling and gardening.

  Slaves would be acquired from the main slave trade market in Zanzibar.

  Other Africans are also said to have gone voluntarily in anticipation of great wonders and benefits from the Arab Swahili traders. Slave journey: - Slaves’ journey was a difficult one. They moved long distances on foot.

  Chained, whipped and sometimes killed on the way.

  Had little food and water and experienced extreme suffering.

This is illustrated by a Quotation from Dr. David Livingstone’s Last Journal.  London 1878:“We passed a woman tied by the neck to a tree and dead …we saw others tied up in a similar manner, and one lying in the path shot or stabbed for she was in a pool of blood. The explanation we got invariably was that the Arab who owned these victims was enraged at losing the money by the slaves becoming unable to march.”

~  The main slave market where slaves were auctioned was at Zanzibar.

~  The journey across the India Ocean was horrible.

~  Crowded in ships with hardly any space to breath. Ships carried anything from 250 to 600 slaves. They were very overcrowded and packed like spoons with no room even to turn.

~  Whenever they saw anti-slave trade people, slaves would be thrown in the ocean

~  As a result many died in the process.

Effects/Impact of slave trade on people of E. Africa

Positive effects

a) New foods were introduced through trade routes like maize, pawpaws, rice, groundnuts both at the coast and in the interior.

b) Plantation farming increased in some areas, especially the clove plantations were slaves worked.

c) The interior was opened to the outside world this later encouraged the coming of European missionaries. Many European Christian missionaries came to East Africa to preach against slave trade and to campaign for its abolition.

d) The trade routes became permanent routes and inland roads which led to growth of communication networks.

e) Swahili was introduced in land and is now being widely spoken in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Eastern Congo.

f) Islam as a religion was introduced by Arabs and it spread, especially in Yao land and in Buganda land.

g) A new race called Swahili was formed through intermarriages between Arabs and some Africans.

h) There was growth of Arab towns such as Tabora and Ujiji inland.

i) There was emergence of dynamic leaders such as Mirambo and Nyungu ya Mawe in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

j) Slave trade strengthened the large and powerful states, which could easily get access to guns at the expense of small ones.

k) Slave trade led to a situation whereby power became centralized and no longer with the small, local authority (segimentary societies) mainly to enable African chiefs directly control slave trade.

l) Slave trade encouraged large-scale trade whereby contact was established between the trade masters and indigenous/local population.

m) Africans were dispersed to other parts of the world e.g Arabia, America and West Indies. In Africa, Sierra-Leone and Liberia were founded to accommodate former slaves from Europe and America.

Negative effects

a) African population was reduced; people who would have been great leaders and empire builders were killed. It is estimated that over 15 to 30 million people were sold in to slavery while other millions died in the process being transported.

b) Slave trade brought misery, suffering and lowered the quality of people in East Africa this is because they were reduced to ‘commodities’ which could be bought and sold on land.

c) Villages and families were destroyed and broken up by slave raiders and never to be reunited this later resulted in to loss of identity.

d) Diseases broke out among the overcrowded slaves for example the Spaniards introduced Syphilis and soon it spread to other traders.

e) Slave trade led to displacement of people and many became homeless and destitute many and stayed in Europe with no identity.

f) Economic activities such as farming were disrupted. This is because the young and able craftsmen, traders and farmers were carried off, causing economic stagnation as the economic workforce depleted.

g) Progress slowed down, which resulted in famine, poverty and destitution and helplessness.

h) There was a decline in production of traditional goods such as coffee, beans, bark cloth and iron which greatly hindered the cash economy.

i) There was a decline in African industries which also faced a lot of competition from imported manufactured goods for example the Bark cloth and iron working industries.

j) Guns were introduced into the interior which caused a lot of insecurity and increased incidences of wars for territorial expansion.

k) Clans and tribal units, languages were broken and inter-tribal peace was disturbed for example Swahili language replaced the traditional languages in the interior.

Abolition of slave trade

Reasons why it was difficult to stop slave trade

~  Slavery existed before in Africa societies that is to say, domestic slavery and internal slave trade, which provided a favourable situation for continuation of the lucrative  slave trade.

~  The Abolition movement which had begun in Britain and her overseas territory first took effect in West Africa. The decline in West African trade encouraged the expansion of trade in East Africa especially with America and West Indies.

~  Slave trade was difficult to stop because of division of African tribes against each other .This meant that African tribes would find it difficult to unite together and resist the slave

traders, who raided their societies using organized bands of men.

~  Disregard of human life, many African rulers tended to put less value for the lives of their subjects whom they ruled for example quite often, a ruler of a tribe would easily order his warriors to attack the villages of his subjects and seize their property, kill some of them.

~  Active participation and willing cooperation of African chiefs and coastal traders who were making a lot of profits made the slave trade last for so long.

~  Many European countries depended on the products of slave labour in West Indies and America for example, British industries depended on raw sugar, raw cotton and unprocessed minerals from America which she was not willing to lose.

~  European slave merchants and Africans involved in the trade were blinded by the huge profits made from the trade.

~  There was smuggling of slaves outside the forbidden areas. Slave traders would pretend to sail northwards when sighted by British patrol ships but would change course after British navy ships had disappeared.

~  Other European countries refused to co-operate with Britain to end slave trade because they had not yet become industrialized, and therefore they still benefited from it for example Portugal and Spain.

~  The only economic alternative of slave trade was Agriculture which was not reliable compared to the booming slave trade.

~  The anti slavery campaign was too expensive for Britain alone to compensate slave owners.

~  Stopping slave trade in the interior was difficult because Arabs were in control  of large areas.

~  The East African coastline was long which delayed the anti-slavery group penetration in the interior.

~  Due to the tropical climate, most British personnel were affected by malaria which hindered the stopping of Slave trade.

~  Seyyid Said and Barghash were always unwilling to end slave trade at once due to fear of losing revenue and risk of rebellion by Arabs who found it profitable.

~  The anti-slavery group was small compared to the East African Coast.

~  European powers continued with slave trade, they shipped the slave cargos in to ships bearing American Flags.

Factors that led to the abolition of slave trade

It was the British government that began the abolition of the slave trade during the years,1822 – 1826 . This was because of the pressure by various groups based on different factors;

a) Rise of humanitarians in Europe such as Christians and scholars condemned it on moral grounds. The missionaries wanted it to be stopped because they wanted good conditions for the spread of Christianity. The formation of the humanitarian movements in England aimed at stopping all kinds of cruelty including slave trade, flogging of soldiers and child labour.

b) Industrialization in Britain was one of the main forces behind the abolition .E.g. Britain industrialists urged its abolition because they wanted Afr icans to be left in Africa so that Africa can be a source of raw materials for their industries, market for European manufactured goods and a place for new investment of surplus capital.

c) Formation of Anti-slavery movement and the abolitionist movement in 1787. Its chairman was Granville Sharp and others like Thomas Clarkson, William Wilberforce who gathered facts and stories about the brutality of slave trade and slavery to arouse public opinion in Britain.

d) Religious revival in Europe, Anglicans preached and condemned slave trade as being opposed to laws of God and humanity. Catholic popes also protested against the trade and prohibited it. In 1774, many religious leaders served as examples when they liberated their slaves in England.

e) The French revolution of 1789 and the American revolution of 1776 emphasized liberty, equality and fraternity (brotherhood) of all human beings. As a result, people began to question whether anyone had a right to deprive fellow man of his liberty when he had done wrong.

f) The British desire to protect their national interests, British planters wanted slave trade stopped to avoid competition with other European planters .This is because other planters were producing cheaper sugar, British sugar accumulated hence the need to stop over production.

g) The rise of men with new ideas e.g. Prof. Adam Smith(challenged the economicNarguments which were the basis of slave trade when he argued convincingly that hired labour is cheaper and more productive than slave labour, Rou sseau spread the idea of personal liberty and equality of all men.

h) Slaves had become less profitable and yet had led to over population in Europe.

i) Influential abolitionists like William Wilberforce ( a British member of parliament ) urged the British government to legislate against the slave trade in her colonies.

j) The ship owners stopped transporting slaves from Africa and began transporting raw materials directly from Africa and America to Europe, which led to a decline in slave trade.

Steps in the abolition of slave trade

The movement to abolish slave trade started in Britain with the formation of Antislavery movement. The British government abolished the slave trade through anti slave laws (Legislation), treaties and use of force. The Anti – slavery movement was led by Granville sharp, other members were Thomas Clarkson, William Wilberforce and others.

~   The first step was taken in 1772 when slavery was declared illegal and abolished in Britain. The humanitarians secured judgment against slavery from the British court.

~   In 1807, British parliament outlawed slave trade for British subjects.

~  1817 British negotiated the “reciprocal search treaties” with Spain and Portugal.

~  Equipment treaties signed with Spain 1835 Portugal 1842 and America 1862.

~  In E. Africa in 1822 Moresby treaty was signed between Captain Moresby and Sultan Seyyid Said it forbade the shipping of slaves outside the sultan’s territories. British ships were authorized to stop and search suspected Arab slave-carrying dhows. ~  In 1845, Hamerton treaty was signed between Colonel Hamerton and Sultan  Seyyid Said. It forbade the shipping of slaves outside the Sultan‘s East African possessions, i.e., beyond Brava to the north.

~   In 1871 the British set up a parliamentary commission of inquiry to investigate and report on slave trade in E. Africa.

~  In 1872 Sir Bartle Frere persuaded Sultan Barghash to stop slave trade but not much was achieved.

On 5th March 1873, the Sultan passed a decree prohibiting the export of slaves from main land and closing of slave market at Zanzibar. Zanzibar slave market was to be closed within 24 hours.

~  1876 the Sultan decreed that no slaves were to be transported overland.

~  1897 decree left slaves to claim their freedom themselves

~  1907, slavery was abolished entirely in Zanzibar and Pemba.

~  In 1927, slavery ended in Tanganyika when Britain took over from Germany after the 2nd world war.

Effects of abolition of slave trade

a) The suppression of slave trade led to loss of independence that is to say, it confirmed among the Arabs and Swahilis that the Sultan had lost independence over the East African coast, and that he was now a British puppet .

b) The suppression of slave trade led to development and growth of legitimate trade which provided equally profitable business to both Europeans and African traders.  Many ship owners diverted   their ships from transporting slaves to transporting raw cotton and raw sugar from Brazil and America.

c) It accelerated the coming of European missionaries to East Af rica who emphasized peace and obedience thus the later European colonization of East Africa.

d) Disintegration of the sultan Empire. This is because it loosened the economic and political control which the sultan had over the East African nations .His empire in E.A. therefore began to crumble .This gave opportunity to other ambitious leaders like Tippu-Tip to create an independent state in Manyema ,where he began selling his ivory and slaves to the Belgians in Zaire.

e) The abolition of slave trade was a catalyst to the partition of East Africa where by Britain took over Kenya, Zanzibar and Uganda and Germany took over Tanganyika.

f) Slave trade markets were also closed for example Zanzibar in 1873 following the frère treaty signed between Sultan Barghash and Bantle Frere.

g) Islam became unpopular as many converted to Christianity.

h) African societies regained their respect and strength as they were no longer sold off as commodities.

Development and organization of long distance trade

Local trade refers to the exchange of goods among members of a community.

Regional trade involves exchange of goods between a community and her neigbouring communities.Long distance trade was the exchange of trade goods between communities over long distance, for example between the east African interior and the east African coast.

The organization of long distance trade

~  The communities that participated in the long distance trade were the Akamba, Swahili, Arabs, Yao, nyamwezi, Mijikenda and Baganda.

~  The trade developed because of the demand for ivory in Europe and the United States of America, slaves for plantation agriculture at the coast and in Mauritius and reunion sugar plantations

~  Ivory and slaves from the interior were exchanged for cloth. Utensils, ironware, zinc and beads at the coast.The system of trade were barter.

~  The middlemen included the Mijikenda and the Akamba who obtained slaves and ivory from the interior. The Akamba adopted the long distance trade after the outbreak of famine in 1836 and due to the central location of their country.

~  The Akamba organized caravans that left for the coast on weekly basis to sell ivory, gum copra, honey, bees wax, rhinoceros horns and skins. They had prosperous traders like chief Kivoi who is remembered for organizing the trade.

~  They set up markets and routes in the interior.

~  The source of slaves and ivory extended as far as Mt. Kenya region, Baringo and the shores of Lake Victoria.

~  The trade led to the development of Mombasa and Lamu as important market points.

~  The Waswahili and Mijikenda traders were also used in the trading caravans to the interior.

~  By 1860s, Arabs and Swahili traders started penetrating to the interior of Kenya as far as Uganda.

~  In Kenya, the main trading centres were taveta, Mbooni hills, elureko in Wanga and Miazini near Ngong and along Lake Baringo.

~  By 1870, the Akamba dominance in the trade declined as a result of competition from the Arab and Waswahili traders who began penetrating into the interior to get goods from the source.

~  Movement between the interior and the coast was carried out in caravans along well defined routes.

~  The trade routes became insecure due to the Oromo and Maasai raids.

~  The abolition of slave trade also affected the long distance trade.

~  In Tanganyika, the Yao, nyamwezi, Arabs and Waswahili were great traders. The Yaoexchanged tobacco, hoes, and animal skins at Kilwa with imported goods like cloth and beads. They were also the principal suppliers of ivory and slaves to Kilwa. The Yao were the most active long distance traders in east Africa.

~  The Arabs and Waswahili traders organized caravans into the interior and set up markets and trade routes. They were given security by Seyyid said who signed treaties with Chief Fundikira of the Nyamwezi to allow the Arab traders to pass through his territory.

~  They established interior Arab settlements at Tabora which became the centre of Arab culture.

~  The nyamwezi organized trading expeditions under their chiefs upto the coast with ivory, copper, slaves, wax hoes, salt and copra. They returned with cloths, beads and mirrors. They established trade routes such as the route from Ujiji via Tabora to Bagamoyo. They travelled to Katanga in DRC for iron, salt and copper. By 1850 nyamwezi merchants such as Msiri , and leaders like Nyungu ya Mawe and Mirambo played a key role in the trade development.

~  When the Arab and Waswahili traders arrived in Buganda, the kabaka welcomed them because he needed their goods such as beads, cloths, guns etc. He also wanted assistance in aiding his neighbours. E.g the invasion of Busoga in 1848 was assisted by the Arab traders. From the raids to Bunyoro, Toro, and ankole and Buvuma and Ukerewe islands, the Baganda acquired cattle, ivory, slaves and grains which the sold to the Arabs.

~  The Khartoumers also practiced long distance trade. They raided the northern part of Uganda for ivory and slaves.

~  Arab and Waswahili traders ventured into the Bunyoro kingdom by 1877 for ivory.

~  There were three main trade routes that linked east African coast and the interior;

a) From Mombasa through the Mijikenda area onto Taita-taveta then branching into two. One leading to Kilimanjaro onto the Lake Victoria region the diversion was to evade the hostile Maasai. . The other branch proceeded northwards from taveta across Galan River into Ukambani then to mt Kenya region and further west. Taveta became an important point on these routes.

b) The route from Kilwa to Yao then branching southwards to Cewa in Zimbabwe.

c) From Bagamoyo to Tabora where it branched northwards to Buganda and another branch to Ujiji then to Zaire.

MAP OF EAST AFRICA SHOWING TRADE ROUTES

Effects of the Long distance trade on the people of East Africa

a) The trade led to Development of towns e.g. Mombasa, Lamu, Kilwa, Pemba and Zanzibar.

b) It increased the volume of local and regional trade as varieties of new goods were introduced.

c) There was the Emergence of a class of wealthy Africans along the coast and the interior as Arab, African and Waswahili merchants acquired a lot of wealth. E.g. Kivoi of Ukambani, Ngonyo of Mijikenda, Tippu tip, Msiri, Nyungu ya mawe of nyamwezi, Mwakikonga of the Digo etc.

d) There was Introduction of foreign goods such as beads, cloth and plates to the peoples of East Africa.

e) The trade led to Introduction of new crops to the coast e.g. bananas, rice sugarcane and mangoes.

f) Arab and Waswahili traders introduced Islam to the East African Coast. They also introduced Islamic culture along the coast.

g) Development of plantation agriculture in Malindi and Mombasa due increased slave trade.

h) It led to the development of trade routes and market centres in the region. Such routes later became important highways during the colonial rule and upto today.

i) Traders gave reports about the coast, its strategic and commercial stability leading to the colonization of East Africa.

j) It led to the development of a money economy that replaced barter trade

k) The trade facilitated the colonization of east Africa as the interior was exposed to the outside world.

Development and organization of international trade

The east African coast also participated in international trade during the 19

Th century with traders from different countries such as USA, Britain and France.

Factors that facilitated the development of international trade

a) The existing earlier trade links between east Africa and the Far East before this period.

b) The existence of regional trade which became a means through which goods such as ivory were acquired from the interior to be used in the international trade.

c) The role played by Seyyid said through encouraging the foreign traders to come to the coast. He even signed treaties with them. He also gave letters of introduction to the Arab caravans leading into the interior.

d) The improvement of the monetary system by Seyyid said facilitated the trade. He introduced the small copper coins from India to supplement the silver currency (Maria Theresa dollars and the Spanish Crown). He also employed the services of the Indian Banyans or Baluchis (Money Lenders) who organized credit facilities for the caravans going into the interior.

e) There was a high demand for goods from the coast and the international community. Trade goods on demand were also readily available. E.g Gold ivory slaves cloths, beads, and guns.

f) The existence of deep natural harbours and the attractive beaches lured many foreigners to the region.

g) The existence of a class of wealthy merchants facilitated the trade.

h) The establishment of specific trade routes and markets such as Zanzibar, Kilwa and Mombasa facilitated the movement and exchange of goods.

i) The sultan’s identification of Britain as the sole trading agents in the interior overcame any rivalries which could have led to competition and decline of regional trade which would have in turn affected the international trade.

j) The development of a sound trading policy by Seyyid said to ensure international market for his grains, coconuts and ivory. He developed trade links with Europe and America by signing treaties with USA in 1833 that opened a consulate in Zanzibar in 1837. He signed a similar treaty with Britain in 1839 that opened a consulate in Zanzibar in 1941. With France in 1844 and Germany in 1871.The arrival of IBEACo with William McKinnon further strengthened international trade links and increased the volume trade.

Consequences of international trade

a) Through the trade, the east African coast was exposed to the outside world.

b) Some of the European traders later spread their faith thus leading o the spread of Christianity in east Africa.

c) The international trade fostered good relations between the east African coast and European nations and USA.

d) The contacts between the coast and European powers later contributed to the colonization o east Africa by Britain and Germany.

e) New trade goods and crops were introduced to the coast.

f) Participants in the trade grew richer and exhibited high standards of living.

g) The slave trade led to sufferings, killings and increased warfare.

 

 

 

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