Long distance trade in east africa

Ancient history[ edit ] Africa has the longest and oldest economic history.

Long distance trade in east africa

The trade involved foreign trade goods from Europe and India e g. The foreign trade involved Arabs mainly and the mode of language used was Swahili Indeed by long distance trade had developed such that many African personalities and communities depended on it to form large empires, develop large tribal armies and acquired a lot of wealth.

Long distance trade was conducted through three main routes namely the southern, central and northern routes. The southern route began from coastal ports in towns of Kilwa, Malindi and Sofala. This ran through southern, Tanganyika, modern Mozambique and south of Lake Malawi into corridors of Yao and Biza region.

Slave trade was a dominant activity carried out along this route and the Yao tribe dominated it. The central route from the port of Bagarnoyo and penetrated the interior across Tanganyika to Ujiji on lake Tanganyika from where it crossed the lake to reach the resourceful Congo basin.

From Taborn, the route diverted northwards to link the kingdoms of Karagwe, Buganda, Ankole and Bunyoro from Tabora, again this central route branched Southwards to enter the corridors between Lake Tanganyika, Lake Rukwa and Lake Malawi.

The Nyamwezi people dominated this route and the main trading item was ivory.

Long distance trade in east africa

The northern route started from ports of Pangaru, Mombasa and Tanga. The Akamba, Kikuyu and Mrina people were prominent traders along this route dealing in Ivory, Slaves, traditional medicine, poisoned arrows etc. The fourth route important to note which partly belonged to the Indian Ocean but largely the Mediterranean Sea system of trade was the Nile valley route.

It passed by and sometimes through the navigable section on River Nile. It was dominated by Khartoumers from Sudan who traded with segmentary societies of northern Kenya and northern Uganda. This route mainly dealt in slaves and ivory. This was the most notonous slave trade route in North Eastern Africa.

Arabs in this route could do anything to get slaves. Increased demand for interior goods; The primary reason for growth and expansion of trade was high demand for slaves, ivory and other mineral items from the interior of Africa.

What is long distance trade

Ivory was needed for making bangles in India and variable in making piano keys, bells and other ornaments in both Europe and America The increased demand for slaves on the other hand was in turn the result of economic development in Indian Ocean.

This followed the growth of commercial activities in Pemba and Zanzibar islands during the reign of sultan Sayyid Saidi.

After transferring his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar. Pemba became important for plantation agriculture, which made the demand for slaves to offer labour. The vital role played by the Indian and other Arab merchant resident in Zanzibar greatly contributed to the growth and expansion of the professional caravan traders.

The Long Distance Caravan Trade in East Africa

The Indians advanced mainly the caravan traders, which greatly motivated them to carry out adventures in the interior of East Africa leading to the development of long distance trade.

The French sugar industries on- the islands of Mauritius, Madagascar and Reunion also played a big role in the expansion of slave trade. It was this cheap free labour in combination with island climate that favoured the growth of sugarcane. Introduction and availability of firearms was also instrumental in contributing to the growth of long distance trade in the 2nd half of the 19th century.

The presence of firearms made it easier for Chokwe, Bisa and Nyamwezi people to transform their traditional skills into modem ones to attract the available market and it also aided those who were involved in slave trade to easily acquire captives.

The division of labour or specialization among the Chokwe and seasonal pattern of land use among the Nyamwezi West Central Tanganyika IS also seen as having led to the growth and expansion of long distance trade. After preparing the land for plantmg, men would leave the work of harvesting to women.


Men would then travel far off hunting for ivory and transacting trade for several months without checking back on their homes. Among the Nyamwezi also their growing season lasted from March to November and men would find themselves free to join the long distance trade caravans into the mtenor of East Africa.

This was a great contribution, which led the Nyamwezi people and Chokwe to travel long distances in trade activities as they wait for a growmg season to start. The growth and expansion of long distance trade was also encouraged by existing inner demand for imported European and Indian products e.

Reasons for the decline of long distance trade. As the Yao, Akarmba and Nyamwezi societies as discussed above, each controlled its own trade routes efficiently until the last quarter of the 19m century when It started declining Steadily. The causes for its decline were many and complex but the follow ing can be singled out most outstanding.

They could either torture or force them pay high taxes in order to let them pass through their land e. Presence insecurity created by Bandits; Almost in all trade routes, they had a problem of way layers eg the central route that was occupied by the Nyamwezi had a group of Bandits known as Rugaruga and Mvui who molested tortured traders from the central routes whereas hostile Zararno, Ukimbu, Pokorno molested traders from Kenya.

Mirambo, Nyungu ya Mawe and Kabaka Muteesa 1 of Bugznda all died in the same year of whose active participation and organizational abilities had led to the success or growing of the long distance trade and unfortunately their successors lacked such abilities.

Time for scramble and partition of Africa; In the hcentury period it led to the coming in of very many Europeans who were interested in legitimate trade that led to the closure of this long distance trade e.

Perhaps if European industries had not arrived in East Africa at the end of! To a large extent, long distance trade in East Africa and central Africa constituted a crisis and revolution as it had both positive and negative effects in its social, political and economic consequences as for example:: Long distance trade led to interaction of diverse societies which led to the spread of various cultures like language and other ways of living in east and central Africa.According to (Walter, ) East African countries were first African countries to be involved in long distance trade.

Long distance trade resulted in the development of partnerships between the rulers of European countries and those of Africa who saw each other as equals.

Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries, (East Africa) and from Arabia. Evolution of Indian trade networks. The main map shows the routes since Mughal times, Inset A shows the major prehistorical cultural currents, B. Long-Distance TradeTHE PROFITABILITY OF TRADE IN THE INDIAN OCEAN IN Sources Source for information on Long-Distance Trade: All the while, they set up new trading posts, drawing more of Africa into the European trade network.

When Bartholomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope in Southern Africa in , he proved that a sea route to. Trade in East Africa is the so called “the long distance caravan trade”. It is different from the caravan trade of other areas; the Sahara, Arabia peninsular, Middle East.

the world—India, Arabia, Africa, and the Hellenic lands—could use the Indian Ocean effectively and safely for travel and trade. People could exchange more at.

Culturally long distance was destructive to east African countries, because of the long distance trade Europe managed to gain control over east African leslutinsduphoenix.come of long distance trade European managed to spread Christianity among East African people, and they introduce the newly invented technological innovations.

Economic history of Africa - Wikipedia