Slave Trade in East Africa
involves capturing, transporting of human beings who become the ‘property’
of the buyer. The
slave trade was one of the worst crimes against humanity. It involved burning
people's houses capturing them by force,flogging, chaining and walking long distances
to the markets once in the market, slaves were sold as you would sell cows, goats,
hens and other commodities.
trade was started by Arabs who wanted labour for domestic use and for their plantations.
However, they were later joined by Europeans.
study of slave trade, will help you to appreciate the historical facts that took
place e.g. the suffering the people of East Africa went through and how it was
overcome to gain freedom, liberty and brotherhood. It will also help you to understand
why people behaved the way they did, its consequences for the lives of individuals
and how a change of attitudes brought an end to the slave trade.
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.
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
- 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.
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 Swahilli 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
- The Legalization of slave trade in 1802 by Napoleon
1 of France increased the demand for slaves in all French Colonies.
increased number of criminals, war captives, destitutes 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
- Plantation farming increased in some areas, especially
the clove plantations were slaves worked.
Job related life skills
Communication: ability to read, write,listen and speak using appropriate language.
Team work: ability to cooperate and share tasks with colleagues.
Personal attributes : creativity, enthusiasm, reflective thinking, self awareness
Information skills : ability to identify information needs,observe and collect evidence and present findings appropriately
Application of number: - numeracy (as they compare crop yields in treated and untreated plots)