British Colonization of East Africa

2021-05-11 17:09:29
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Colonization in East Africa came after the report from missionaries and explorers that there exist mountains with snowy peak such as Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. Missionary Ludwig Kraph had pointed out to the existence of these mountains. The British came from the already South Africa and the United Kingdom to settle in the East Africa region. It was until the after the construction of the Uganda railway by the British so as to enable the ferries raw materials and agricultural products from the interior to the coast for exportation that the idea of colonization came up. White settlers and already settle in the fertile highlands with good soil, water and timber since most of the communities were scattered pastoralist. The white settlers invited others to come to settle in the African region. Consequently, the British had imported coolies to provide labor for construction of the railway and most of them did not go back to India and preferable settled along the railway.

The British started introducing administrators in the region to govern, and it wasnt long before they added more administrators before they declared East Africa region a British protectorate. British settlement in the region was not a smooth process because some communities revolted against white settlement in the region like the Nandi, Agikuyu and Maasai revolted. At first, the Nandi did allow the construction of the railway across their land and up to the railway was not constructed through their region. To defeat the revolt against the Nandi, the British used other tribes to conquer the Nandi. Because the Nandi and other allied tribe in the western region knew the geography of their mountainous region, the forest and plain were a boost to their revolt against the British. They employed guerilla warfare tactics such hit and ran to try to destabilize the British soldiers. However due to the inferior weapons they didnt know how to use guns and most of them were killed with the support of rival communities to defeat the Nandi and take their land.

A few communities collaborated with the British and had no problems with them since they signed agreements with them but later with the British influence they were pushed away from their land and introduction of taxes were introduced which saw the Africans start working for the Whiteman to pay taxes to the white man. As this went on and on the British administrators influence had taken root in the region, and more and more British were flocking into the region and started living. They began exploiting the region and setting up offices for good governance of the East African region.

Many Africans were pushed out of their lands and rendered being slaves in their land to pave the way for the settlement of the whites. The whites employed the Africans and paid them little wages while again forcing them to pay taxes. The living conditions were poor and slavery was the order of the day. Moreover, while this went on in the interior region, the white settlers and the Indians started the establishment of industries in the region and towns came up that were run by the whites and the Indians who remained after the construction of the railway. Most of them had already taken the administrative position, and the East African region was declared a British protectorate. The British had by then have a firm grip on the region that is Kenya and Uganda occupying all the fertile regions and strategic locations in the region, at the same time the Uganda railway taking course effectively despite the charges were high. The British moved the capital from Machakos, which were closer to the coast to a more central location for easy governance. The British had more advantage because of the increasing number of whites in the region that they governed the region well when it was declared a British colony. This led to the employment of Africans as village guards and others as chiefs to take control of the colony. The African village guards harassed their fellow Africans and curbed their movement around. This led to the introduction of kipande system that, so Africans carry with them identification cards everywhere they go. No one was allowed to move from one region to another that was a gross mistake that would lead to severe punishment.

This oppression and harassment resulted in the rise of aggression against the whites, and the Africans started making demands to the whites such as removal of the kipande system and forced taxation, but it took long before all their grievances were listed to and solved before more and more Africans united to press for their grievances. The missionaries had built schools and churches and had started educating the few who had collaborated. By then, a few Africans could read and write, communicate with the white in English. They few who had learnt were the once in the forefront in pressing demands for their fellow Africans. They united and formed parties to push their grievances but again the British were aware of their plans and only agreed to a few of their demands.

The whole process of colonization took place gradually to the greater benefit of whites as compared to the Africans had to bear it all. The process went on up to the helm of Africans and aggression when the white granted the independence.

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