History is an account of events that took place in the past. History may also be defined as a branch of knowledge which deals with past events of human beings and their response to their environment over the years.R.G Collingwood, in his book The Idea of History (OUP 1994) defined history as a “science concerned with the human actions in the past, pursued by interpretation of evidence for the sake of Human self knowledge.”

That history is a science because it involves finding out things about the past Humankind. For example, the origin of Man, why he was a toolmaker, why he domesticated animals and plants.

These are questions that provoke scientific curiosity.

The three definitions of History from the above are:

 History is the past of anything; of earth, man, disease or animals

 History is a branch of knowledge dealing with past events

 History is a science concerned with past Human actions

Since History at secondary level is specifically concerned with the past as it relates to humankind and his response to his environment over the years, the working definition of history is therefore;

 History is the endless story of mankind’s actions and events affecting him in the past.

Closely related to the term history is the term PREHISTORY.Prehistory refers to the unrecorded history- those activities that humans engaged in before writing and drawing were invented as ways of storing information. Such information is gained from songs, myths, stories, artifacts, fossils and the language of a people.

A historical event needs to have recorded evidence in order to be referred to as a historical fact.

Read and download more free history resources below;


History Paper 1 Topic By Topic Questions And Answers



History & Government notes and exams for forms 1, 2, 3 and 4 free downloads

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History Paper 2 Topic By Topic Questions And Answers (All Topics)

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History KCSE revision questions and answers.

FORM 4 free exam questions and answers.

Characteristics of historical events

 They must have evidence.

 Historical information must be written or unwritten.

 Historical events only concern man.

 Historical events dwell mainly on the past happenings.

 Historical events must contain elements of truth.

The study of humankind’s past can be classified systematically into three;

 Social history- dealing with the traditions, values and cultural practices of a people

 Economic history; dealing with the means of livelihood of a people, such as hunting, gathering, agriculture and trade.

 Political history; dealing with the control system in a society, for example maintenance of law and order, leadership and security.



Derived from the verb govern, government means to exercise authority over. To rule or control. Or having power to direct or conduct the policies and public affairs of a country or an institution. In our study, the term government refers to a group of people within a state or a country given authority to organize, direct and control the affairs of the state or country.In Kenya, the government has three arms.

The legislature: – Commonly referred to as parliament, this is a law making arm of government.

It includes the National assembly and the president.

The executive: – this is the arm of government which implements laws. It includes the president, the cabinet and the civil service.

The judiciary: – this is the arm of government responsible for seeing that the laws made are constitutional, that they are followed and that those who break them are punished. It is commonly referred to as the courts.Jean Jacques Rousseau, in his book, The Social Contract, describes government as “an intermediate body set up by the subjects to ensure equity (fairness) and the execution of laws while maintaining social and political liberty”

In this sense, government is not dictatorial since its authority is derived from the people. People must however be free to choose their leaders, even remove those in power and replace them with others, in order to ensure the existence of the principal of fairness.


There are four forms of government:

Democratic government

This is a type of government in which rulers regularly seek public mandate through popular vote. Such governments are based on the principles of free and fair elections.

According to Abraham Lincoln, an American statesman, they are “governments of the people, for the people and by the people”.In such a government, freedoms and rights are provided for in the constitution that governs the law of the nation.

Aristocratic government

Aristos – best

Kratos – powers

An aristocracy is a form of government in which a group of people from the highest social class the royalty- in a society rule over others. Any member of the nobility can seek election or appointment to a government office while other citizens who are less privileged are there to be ruled.The King or Queen is the head of government while senior positions in the gover-nment are given to the privileged members from among the nobles. The nobles are considered superior to others human beings because of the wealthy family back-ground they are born into and their superior education. They are considered a rare breed of people.



Monarchical government

This is a form of government where democracy is practiced but aristocratical power is respected. Parliament is the supreme organ but the monarchy- the royalty that are in power be it the king or queen is retained as a tradition, and respected as head of state.

Monarchical governments are classified into two;Absolute monarchy: – which refers to the unrestricted power of the Head of State. The monarchy is dictatorial.

Constitutional monarchy;- The monarchical power , which is restricted is determ-ined by what is spelt out in the constitution. Such a system of government is found in Lesotho and Britain.

Dictatorial government

Dictatorship is a system of government where the ruler has total power over his subjects. Dictators are the sole authority where they rule. They make the law and execute justice and exercise their rule forcefully, suppressing their subjects at will. They curtail freedom of other subjects and impose their will over others.Examples of world dictators; Adolf Hitler of Germany who instigated the Germans into believing they were superior race and incited them against the Jews. Idi Amin of Uganda who ruled with a ‘rod of iron’

NB; the most ideal form of government is where the subjects go to the ballot to elect the people to lead them. Governments play the important function of maintaining law and order.

Importance of studying history

  1. a) History enables us to appreciate people’s evolution, origin of cultures and development and hence further good relations and remove biases and prejudices about other people.
  2. b) When we study history, we appreciate people’s contribution to national develop-pment. E.g. freedom fighters hence the importance of mutual and social responsi-bility.
  3. c) It helps us to know the origin of mankind, his development and the progress he has made to this day.
  4. d) We are able to understand our culture and appreciate the culture of other people.
  5. e) it instills a sense of patriotism and nationalism among citizens as they learn of the past political developments of their country. Its study inspires strong feelings of one’s heritage and the sense of belonging to a particular country.
  6. f) It helps us understand the interdependence of mankind and hence the need for cooperation.
  7. g) It influences career choice. The study of history leads to various professions. E.g. law, diplomacy, church, politics, teaching, and administration.
  8. h) The study of history helps us comprehend the social, economic and political developments of our societies
  9. i) It gives time and space to past events. Through the study of history, we learn about the time and place where an event took place. E.g. we know when Mau Mau uprising broke out (1948) and know when Kenya gained independence.
  10. j) It helps us develop a critical mind as we try to explain historical events. Historians will ask why, when and how.
  11. k) It provides intellectual fulfillment to the learner. Through an in -depth study of history, one’s mind is enriched.

Importance of studying government

  1. a) It helps us to appreciate the importance of government.
  2. b) Helps us understand how laws are made and enforced
  3. c) Helps us understand the organs of the state and the powers vested in them
  4. d) Helps us understand how government raises and spends revenue.
  5. e) Helps us compare our government system with other systems of government in other countries.
  6. f) Understand how development policies are formulated and implemented.
  7. g) It makes us know our roles as citizens and the roles of the leaders who govern us. This makes better law-abiding citizens.
  8. h) Its study helps us understand our responsibilities as well as the limitations within which e must operate for the well-being of every member of the society.
  9. i) It helps us appreciate the constitution and the process of making and reviewing laws and statutes.
  10. j) It influences career choices. For example, those who choose to specialize in public administration will find the study of government very useful.


There three main sources of information on history and government;

  1. a) Unwritten sources.
  2. b) Written sources.
  3. c) Electronic sources

 Unwritten sources

This refers to historical information which is not recorded in writing.Unwritten sources of historical information include oral traditions, linguistics (languages), Anthropology (culture) archaeology, paleontology and genetics.

Oral traditions

This refers to the practice of handing down historical information by word of mouth from one Generation to the next. This forms a very important source of historical information especially where exists a non-literate society who might not be able to read.

Oral traditions include folk tales, proverbs, songs and stories. Songs, proverbs folktales and stories told to a younger generation have been very instrumental in the passing of information from one generation to the other. For example, a song about our struggle for independence in Kenya passes very important information to the younger generation, who not yet had born at that time.



Advantages of oral traditions as a source of information

  1. Oral traditions hands over historical facts from one generation to another in the absence of written records.
  2. It is the best source of historical information since even the illiterate can learn their h history using oral traditions
  3. It is also a form of entertainment. For example through songs, folktales stories and proverbs, people get entertained.
  4. It complements other sources of information.
  5. The source of information is captivating especially if it is narrated by a person who participated in the event himself. For example, an Ex- World War II veteran narrating about the war.

Disadvantages of oral traditions as a source of information

  1. The truth and correctness of oral traditions become unreliable especially when the narrator deliberately conceals some information or lies. People tend to conceal their failures while talking so much about their success.
  2. Information can b exaggerated as they are transmitted by elders to successive generations.

At times it is difficult to differentiate between what is real and what is imagined.

  1. Some information or facts may be forgotten or omitted since oral traditions depend heavily on human memory. This makes the information passed unreliable.
  2. Dates of information may be lacking. The source may not give correct chronology of events because it depends on human memory. It is common that people forget important dates and information about a particular past event.
  3. It is an expensive method. One has to pay for the informant’s transportation, lunch and accommodation. A historian may also need to travel to far places to find information.
  4. It is time consuming. One requires a lot of time to interview one individual. Where many people are to be interviewed, it may take a long time.


This refers to the scientific study of languages.

Historical linguistics is the study of language as it changes n the course of time. It seeks to trace the principles of language change and establish the current genealogical classification of a particular language. Such a study helps in discovering language form, content, vocabulary and historical experiences of the people who speak the language.

Distribution of language and relationship between languages is important to a historian. People who speak related languages may be assumed to have a common origin, be connected, or had been in close contact at sometime in the past.Variations between languages of the same family can show how long ago the break in contact occurred.




Advantages of linguistics as a source of information

  1. Through linguistics, Facts can be obtained about the movement of people and their relationship. Such information helps experts to correctly group languages according to language families.
  2. It helps us understand communities better as people with a common language may have common origin. It is good for establishing facts on origin, migration and settlement.
  3. Linguistics complements other sources of historical information. For example, language as a medium of communication helps those using oral tradition to gather information from various sources.
  4. Language has enabled historical linguists to discover links between different people which were previously unknown. E.g. it is now known that the Bantus had a common origin and possibly spoke one language. However due to long periods of separation between various

Bantu groups, through migrations, these groups may not understand each other’s language today.

  1. Linguistics helps in the dating of migration of people. Language drawn from a parent language will change in a certain way and rate through time. When comparing parent language with derived language, it is possible to know how long the derived language has independently from the parent language. E.g. Sheng language and Kiswahili (parent language).

Limitations in the use of linguistics as a source of information

  1. It is time consuming/learning a language takes a long time therefore delaying acquisition of information.
  2. There is a danger of omitting a word when translating a language. In the process, vital information about a people’s history may be lost.
  3. Inaccurate information can be passed on where wrong words are borrowed from other languages.
  4. Some words may just be difficult to understand.
  5. Some languages have become archaic and irrelevant hence difficult to translate.
  6. Misinterpretation of words may make them difficult to understand.
  7. Linguistic analysis for classification purposes may fail to take into account languages with time.
  8. One word may have different meanings in different languages. This can easily confuse a researcher. For example, Nyoro in Kikuyu means ‘smooth’, while the same word in Luo means ‘yesterday’.
  9. Lack of original speakers in the language under study limits research findings.


This is the study of human beings, their origin, development, customs, beliefs, and social attributes like music, dance, drama, and religious beliefs and practices.

Anthropologists have to live among the people under study in order to experience their way of life in order to understand and explain structures of societies, forms of social organization, institutions, descent, marriage, forms of government, systems of inheritance, religious customs and cultural values.The anthropological description of the beliefs and customs of a people will help the historian to determine the cultural past of the people

Advantages of anthropology as a source of information

  1. By living among the people, anthropologists help to discover, understand and explain structures of societies, forms of social organization, cultures, etc.
  2. Anthropologists assist historians to determine the cultural past of the people.
  3. It also gives a deeper understanding of a particular aspect of a people’s culture.

Limitations in the use of anthropology as a source of information

  1. It is an expensive method as it involves living among the people.
  2. It is a time-consuming method of acquiring information.
  3. It is difficult for a researcher to adapt to the environment since the people they are studying may be of a totally different culture. Where they succeed in adapting, they face the risk of losing their own culture.
  4. People under study may try to behave differently when the researcher is around. A researcher may therefore miss important details.

Genetic studies

Genetics is the scientific study of the ways in which characteristics are passed from parents to their offspring. (The study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics.) It deals with the ay human beings adapted to the circumstances in their environment and utilized available plants and animals to meet their needs.When used in relation to pants genetic studies helps us trace the origin of various species by identifying them with the region where large numbers of them are found today. After this, interpretation of their movement is made. The appearance of new cultivated varieties can be identified with the people whose economy they form a part. Also, common genes or characteristics among a group of people may indicate some relationships.

Archaeology and paleontology

Archaeology is the study of man’s past through scientific analysis of the remains of material remains of his culture, e.g. weapons, tools, houses, clothing, utensils, paintings sculpture, pottery, coins, jewellery, cutlery, beads and work o arts.The archaeologist reconstructs the activities and way of life of people who lived in prehistoric times from various evidence remains of the material culture.Other items that can be used in archaeology include remains of charcoal and carbo-nized seeds, remains of cloth or garments, remains of dwelling laces.After studying the available artifacts, the archaeologist formulates his concept of a people’s civilization at the time the artifacts were used. The existence of artifacts in an area can enable the historian to deduce the material culture of the people who lived n the past.

Palaeontology is the scientific study of the evolution and structure of extinct plants and animals (fossils) through scientific examination of fossil remains.Historians and archaeologists work with natural scientists like paleontologists, geologists and ecologists and chemistry in discovering fossils, getting information about soil structure, interpreting man’s relationship to his environment and dating of fossils.

Methods used by archaeologists and paleontologists in discovering a historical site.

  1. a) By looking at areas where tectonic forces (faulting) or erosion have occurred. In such areas, surfaces which may give important clues to the point of finding fossils and artefacts are exposed.
  2. b) Use of vision. Sometimes vision may help them find on the surface a small part of an early settlement such as a few stones in a regular pattern.
  3. c) Use of historical research. A place that may be mentioned in a historical document or in an oral narrative may give a clue to the geography of the area and open up further inquiries into the past civilization of such a clue.e.g Omo River Valley, Olduvai Gorge, Ur and Babylon.
  4. d) Use of experience. An archaeologist may also use his long experience and skill to identify a potential site for archaeological excavation.
  5. e) During cultivation and building construction, farmers and builders may accidentally expose ancient objects that could arouse the curiosity of researchers. For example ‘Nyayo ya Mungu’ in Tanzania was a single footprint on a rock surface that was found in 1995 and became evidence of the existence of early human beings.

Advantages of using archaeology

  1. a) Archaeology gives us detailed information on material culture that other sources may not have.
  2. b) Archaeology gives a sense of time, as the artifacts are dated.
  3. c) It complements other sources of information and thus ensures authenticity of the information.
  4. d) It provides information of varied nature depending on the materials found on the site. For example, if tools, weapons, coins, bones, rock paintings and other items are located, at a site, a lot of information maybe deduced.

Limitations of using archaeology

  1. a) It is an expensive source of information. This is because one has to hire labourers to excavate the site and get artefacts and take them to laboratories for analysis.
  2. b) It is a time-consuming method. The researcher needs a lot of time to prepare for an excavation and take material for analysis in laboratories.
  3. c) It is sometime difficult for archaeologists to locate an archaeological site.
  4. d) Some artefacts and fossils are fragile and can therefore break or disintegrate during excavation. This may result in distortion of the analysis of the artefacts.
  5. e) Archaeology is only limited to the study of the ancient period and therefore cannot be used to study recent history.
  6. f) Archaeological information may sometimes be inaccurate since it is often bases on inferences (conclusions) and reconstructions.
  7. g) With archaeology, it may not be easy to accurately determine the date when events took place. It is only estimated through the method of dating fossils.
  8. h) There are very few archaeological experts and facilities for interpreting archaeological evidence in Kenya. Quite often, artefacts excavated from Kenya are taken to European countries for dating and analysis.

What things do archaeologists use to construct the activities of people who lived in pre-history times?

  1. a) Looking for regions of tectonism (faulting) associated with fossils and artifacts.
  2. b) They look for unique features e.g. stone patterns.
  3. c) Remains of fossils and artifacts dug out by farmers and constructors.
  4. d) They dig, excavate for artifacts and fossils.
  5. e) They study artifacts and fossils found.
  6. f) They make research in regions associated with evolution of man e.g. rift valley.
  7. g) They classify the artifacts and fossils.
  8. h) They use chemical and scientific methods to find ages of their findings e.g. carbon 14-dating method

What problems face archaeologists in their work of re writing history using unwritten sources?

  1. a) The exercise is too expensive.
  2. b) It is dangerous and tedious. Animals like wild dogs can attack scientists.
  3. c) Identification of the site is not easy because some artifacts are buried.
  4. d) Some artifacts can be destroyed in the process of digging.
  5. e) Dating of fossils is difficult.
  6. f) Personnel are few hence more work.
  7. g) Poor infrastructure in rural areas where their researches are mainly based
  8. h) Archaeologists may suffer from diseases caused by changes in climate.
  9. i) Sometimes the climate of their residence differs from that of the place they are taking


There are six methods through which scientists may use to arrive at the age of fossils.

  1. Geological periods

These are periods that have been given names by paleontologists and geologists for the past ages. They are characterized by the successive type of pants and animals found, and the climatic changes.The recent period is the Holocene period which began 10,000 years ago at the end of the Pleistocene.

  1. Chemical dating

They exist in two types:

(a)  Radio- carbon dating

This method involves a measure of the rate of decay of carbon -14 in fossils and organic substances. Carbon -14 is a naturally existing radioactive element (isotope) of carbon of relative atomic mass fourteen and is found in the Carbon Dioxide which is present in the atmosphere.It is absorbed by plants and consequently by all living organisms during their lifetime. When plant or animal dies, absorption stops. Carbon -14 already absorbed begins to disintegrate at a fixed rate from the time of death. If the amount of carbon -14 still remaining in an organic sample can be measured and related to the content of the isotope in the modern plant or animal, the rate of decay will be known. The date at which the sample was buried will e known. The measurement tells us how long it is since the organism died.The unit of measuring is known as half-life- the number of years it takes for half the carbon -14 to decay.However the accuracy of radio-carbon dating is limited to up to 40,000 years ago.

(b)  Potassium argon method

This is the method used to date volcanic ash. During volcanic eruptions, potassium is emitted. As soon as the potassium is deposited, the radio-active potassium-40 immediately begins to decay into the gas argon. It is assumed that the argon is retained in the mineral or rock unless there is earth movement.Given that the rate of decay of potassium is known, the amount of argon-40 compared with the amount of potassium, gives a direct measure of age.Because of the slower rate of decay of potassium than the decay of carbon-14, the potassium –argon method is used for dates ranging from hundreds of millions of years to 30,000 years.Recently methods have been developed for measuring the potassium and argon simultaneously on the same sample using nuclear.

  1. Stratigraphy

This is the study and interpretation of the layers of rock successively deposited at one place. It is useful in determining dates for areas affected by sedimentation. Through Stratigraphy, a geological time-chart is obtained showing which rock was formed earlier or later.

  1. Fission-track dating

This is a method developed for dating Pleistocene samples. The ages of glass and other mineral objects estimated by observing the tracks made in them by the fission fragments of uranium nuclei they contain. It requires that Uranium must be present. The age obtained dates from the time the object solidified. This method has been proved reliable by being able to provide same reading from a sample of glass with a lump of pumice from Olduvai Gorge corresponding with the potassium –argon dates from the same layer.

  1. Lexico-statistics dating

Lexico-statistics is the statistical study of the vocabulary of languages with the intentions of determining their ages and their historical links with other languages.The study is based on the assumption that all languages have a basic vocabulary which will change slowly at a common rate for all languages at all times. The existence of reconstructed vocabulary of the parent language in derivative languages shows the

Relationship between the two

Glottochronology, a subdivision of Lexico-statistics, attempts to establish that languages are historically related .by this method, there is an effort to express rates of language development by formulae precise enough to enable dates when change occurred to be calculated

  1. Statistical dating

Through a system of averaging, the length of a generation can be determined for a

Particular society and dates estimated for events associated with certain generations.

If the number and names of successive age-sets are remembered, the same system of averaging can be used.

Advantages of using unwritten sources of information on history and government

  1. a) Information about people’s movement and relationship is given.
  2. b) It is very efficient where there still existed illiteracy and people could not write or read.
  3. c) It informs us of events in the absence of written materials.
  4. d) Data received is primary/ firsthand so accuracy is enhanced.
  5. e) Materials collected or excavated can be stored in museums for future reference.
  6. f) They create employment in museums where they are stored.
  7. g) Information not captured by written sources can be obtained from oral traditions.
  8. h) There is a sense of reality as it involves things that are seen and touched.
  9. i) Unwritten sources especially linguistics help in discovering the links between different people, which were previously unknown.
  10. j) Detailed information on material culture may be obtained.
  11. k) Dating of the migration of people is more accurate in unwritten sources e.g. In linguistics.

Written sources

These are sources in which letters or any other symbols have been put on the surface for the purpose of communication. They include books, archives, constitutions, journals, novels, plays, newspapers, magazines, documentaries, dairies, annual reports, periodical and paintings.

Written sources are classified into two;

  1. a) Archives and early manuscripts

Archives are a collection of historical documents or records, especially those carrying classified information of a government or an organization, which after a period of time are accessible to the public.

They are also places where government, public and other historical records are kept.-they are resource centres for information.A manuscript is an author’s handwritten or typed text that has not yet been published. Early manuscripts include stone tablets and scrolls. The bible and Quran are based on these two.


  1. b) Printed sources

They include books, journals, novels, plays, newspapers, magazines, documentaries, dairies and annual reports. Photographs employ both electronic and printing processes but basically fall under printed sourcesWorks of fiction such as films plays and novels are important source of historical information. (Fiction is literature in form of prose, especially novels that describe imaginary events and people).Since work of fiction involves feelings and emotions, they can give more information about history. Also reading good historical novels arouses interest in history and gives the reader intellectual fulfillment. Newspapers convey new or fresh events, which with the passing of time becomes history.

Advantages of written records

  1. a) Written records preserve history since events are recorded for future reference. They are a store of information.
  2. b) Written information can reach or be distributed to all literate people all over the world.
  3. c) Written sources are less costly compared to those of anthropology or archaeology.
  4. d) Unlike oral tradition sources which are largely dependent on human memory, written sources are more accurate as information is preserved exactly as it was recorded.
  5. e) Written records may be written or translated into different languages thus reaching different people all over the world.
  6. f) Written records are in most cases reliable as biases and prejudices coming from authors can be limited. This can be done by comparing written material with statistical data from other sources.


  1. a) Where an author omits essential information for one reason or another, a written source may be rendered quite unreliable.
  2. b) Written information may be misunderstood or misinterpreted by readers either with the intention of discrediting others or to suit one’s needs.
  3. c) Writers at times are biased since the write from their particular point of view. For example, the writings of early explorers and missionaries.
  4. d) Written records are only limited to literate people within the society. – are not useful to illiterate people in the absence of literate members of the society.
  5. e) At times, depending on the society involved, acquiring written records may be very costly.
  6. f) Reading written records is often time-consuming.

Electronic sources

These include microfilms, films, videos, radio, and television


These are films on which extremely small photographs (microphotography) of documents and printed matter are stored. They are tinny but when magnified can be clearly read.

The importance of converting documents into microfilms is for preservation purposes and saving storage spaces.


This is an authoritative source of historical information that captures words and emotions of an event as I was. For example radio news on the president’s speeches gives listeners the actual information on national matters. However, radio lacks the vividness found in television and films.

Audio- visual sources

These include television, films and videos.

Films carry indisputable historical facts as action is recorded live. They also give better understanding of some aspects of the social history of a given people with regard to their music, dress and leisure activities. Videos and films make the past come alive.

However, since films are acted, they can sometimes be unrealistic as they may not present facts but an exaggerated version of an event.Television on its part gives good historical information as it depicts the situation as it was.

Databanks and databases

Databanks are large stores of organized information which can be accessed in number of ways. E.g. if it is a book, information can be accessed through an index, a table of content or by browsing.Electronic databases are stored in computer and facilitate easy and faster retrieval of information. One can search for information by use of a number of search terms.Information in a database can be printed when required but can also be accessed instantly on computer.

Limitations of using electronics as a source of information in history and government

  1. a) They are Subject to bias since most audio visuals contain foreign materials carrying the bias of the producer.
  2. b) Some are limited to the literate only e.g. information in data bases and microfilms can only be accessed by literate people and even computer literate people only.
  3. c) The information may be inaccurate only giving what is appealing to the public. TV crew depict only what they want to. Censorship may leave out vital information.
  4. d) Electronic sources of information are too expensive; most people cannot afford e.g. TV, Radios.
  5. e) Some acted films are unrealistic and therefore contain exaggerated information.


In the study of early man, we will seek to answer questions that human beings have always sought to answer about how they appeared on earth, whether they were created and where the universe came from.

The origin of Human Beings

A number of theories have been put forward to explain the origin of human beings.

  1. The creation theory.
  2. The mythical/ traditional theory
  3. The evolution theory

The Creation theory

The Jews, Christians and Muslims recognize the creation story as narrated in the first book of bible and in Qur’an. That the whole universe was created by god. That God also created man, woman and all living things and all non-living creatures. Man was created in God’s own image and woman created to provide man with companionship.

The Mythical Theory

Among African communities, there are myths about their origin all of them pointing to the fact that the first man was created by God.


Among the Agikuyu, their God (Ngai) created the first man, Gikuyu. He the provided him with a wife, Mumbi. He gave him land at Mugurwe wa Gathanga.

One of the myths among the Nandi state that the first two people, male and female came from the knees of a giant man, when the knees began swelling and later burs for the two to come out from each of the either knees.

The Evolution Theory

Charles Darwin, an English man living between 1809 and 1882 questioned the acceptance of the creation theory. Through scientific expedition to South America and the pacific islands in 1831, he developed interest in fossils (remains of plants and animals found beneath the earth’s surface.) in 1859; he published his ideas in a book titled The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. The ideas enlisted instant battles from the Christian fraternity save for one supporter, Huxley.

Clearly the theory of evolution was not accepted but it helped to make people aware of the new ideas concerning the origin of man.

What is evolution?

Evolution can be defined as the process of change in living organisms over a number of years, frequently involving the beginning of new species from earlier species.

According to Charles Darwin, man transformed from simple life slowly over millions of years through environmental mutation, natural selection, isolation and adaptation.

 Mutation was a stage of abrupt change.

 Natural selection is an instinct by which the stronger species out compete the weaker for resources.

 Adaptation is where the surviving species isolate themselves from others as they adapt to new environment through body changes and technological changes e.g. ability to grow crops and make shelter.

Darwin’s theory of natural selection comprises the following points.

All organisms or creatures are uniquely different and this uniqueness is based on heredity factors which an organism has from birth.

Although many young organisms are produced, few manage to develop to maturity.

The organisms that manage to grow to maturity and reproduce are those that are able to constantly adapt to the existing environment.In view of the limited resources, even after mutation, Darwin argued that only the fittest organisms survive as the weak species become extinct. This theory is popularly known as ‘survival for the fittest’.According to Darwin, isolation and adaptation is the final stage in the evolution process. Having survived through mutation and natural selection, the merging species increase in number. This leads to search for basic needs and in the process a species may be isolated from the rest and then finally adapt to the new environment.The theory of evolution holds that Humans belong to the animal kingdom and that man has evolved over the years. Man is a primate just as apes like gorillas, chimpanzees and monkeys. However, man belongs to the family of hominidae, while apes belong to the family of pongidae.

Man according to Darwin developed over the years from his ape-like ancestors.

Evolution and adaptation of man

The earliest Mammals lived on trees for two reasons;

  1. a) There was more supply of food o trees such as insects, leaves and birds’ eggs
  2. b) Animals were more secure from their enemies while up on trees

Man evolved from this kind of animals

Archaeological evidence points at East Africa as the cradle of mankind.

Reasons why East Africa is regarded as the place where man first evolved

  1. a) Evidence from archaeologists’ show that the earliest apes first evolved around lake and rift valley areas. And if man evolved from apes, then the first man must have appeared in east Africa.
  2. b) The savanna landscapes found in east Africa favored evolution while the conditions elsewhere (forests and deserts) Were unfavourable.
  3. c) The bones and weapons and tools which archaeologists are finding are proofs to this. These findings are widespread in Olduvai Gorge, Olorgesaillie, and Ngorongoro and around lakes of east Africa.
  4. d) The discovery of remains of early hominids and their material culture which form a pattern of human evolution prove this. E.g. we can trace the evolutionary process from Dryopithecus to Ramapithecus to Australopithecus to Homo habilis to Homo erectus to Homo sapiens.

Important archaeological sites found in East Africa

In Kenya; – Rusinga Island, Fort Ternan near Kericho, Kariandusi near Elementaita, Gambles cave, Olorgesaillie, Kobi For a near Lake Turkana, Hyrax Hill and Njoro River cave.

In Tanzania; – Olduvai Gorge, Eyasi Simila, Apis Rock and Garusi

In Uganda; – Nsongezi, Napak, Magosi, Paraa, Ishanga, Mweya and Nyabusora

In Ethiopia; – Omo River Valley and Hadar.

Over a long period of time, man’s ancestors lived in thick forests. Later about 15 million years ago, the forests transformed into savanna grasslands causing man’s ancestors to change both physically and mentally so as to cope with the new environment.

The changes

  1. a) The tail which no longer had any value in the savanna disappeared.
  2. b) Man became more upright as there were no more impeding vegetation as was the case of too much foliage and intertwining vegetation in the forests and also to reduce surface area onto which solar insolation had effect. These also enabled quicker movement.
  3. c) The leg and foot formation changed to enable the weight of the body to be supported and balance to be achieved while moving or at a standstill.
  4. d) Gradual use of front limbs (hands for holding objects) enabled man to make tools which made work easier. The limbs also found another role of protection from other predators.

As the forests disappeared, competition for food intensified and humans had to change their earlier eating habits. Some fossil evidence clearly give distinctive evidence of the break-off point between apes and hominids (mans ancestors.)The changes which Homo sapiens underwent as a break-off from apes to modern man.

  1. a) The skull size of the early human beings became larger indicating bigger brains. For example, Australopithecus, who lived between 5 and 1 million years ago, had a brain capacity of

530cm3. Homo erectus who lived later on had an improved brain capacity of between 775 and 1225cm3.

  1. b) Their jaws and teeth became more powerful compared to earlier forms indicating their use in tearing and cutting tough fibres and even the need for defence as a weapon. The size of the jaws and teeth became smaller.
  2. c) They developed a refined speech as compared to earlier forms.
  3. d) They were taller with less hair on their body.
  4. e) The forearms and hands underwent some changes. They developed a thumb for grasping objects. Their arms and hands became shorter, more appropriate for an upright posture.
  5. f) Their leg and foot formation also changed. Their feet and toes were smaller than earlier hominids in order to support the weight of the rest of the body while motionless or mobile. The toes were no longer in need for holding onto branches.

From apes to homo sapien sapiens

Between 40 and 25 million years ago, the first apes appeared on earth. The first man

(Austropithecus) appeared around 4.5 million years ago.

The following are the stages through which the evolution of man passed.

1)  Aegyptopithecus – An Early African Monkey

~ Aegyptopithecus was reconstructed from a monkey like skull found at Fayum Depression in Egypt. He forms earliest evidence of probable man’s ancestors.

~ Its Teeth were those of a herbivore

~ It had a Small, about 4kg and was named Egyptian ape.

~ It was highly adapted to forest life. Had stereoscopic vision. It could jump skillfully from one tree to other using hands. It Dated 33 million years

2)  Dryopithecus Africanus (proconsul)

~ Its Remains were found at Rusinga Island within Lake Victoria by Mary and Louis Leakey in

  1. Its Skull appearance was more close to modern man than to Aegyptopithecus.

~ He had a quadrupedal movement like a chimpanzee. He had a Smooth forehead.

~ He had long teeth like other animals. The shape of his teeth and jaws indicated that He ate fruits. It is his remains that strengthen the belief that east Africa was the first homeland of mankind.

3)  Kenyapithecus (Ramapithecus)

~ He is believed to have appeared between 15 and 12 million years ago

~ First remains found Fort Ternan in Kericho District, Kenya, in 1961 by Dr. Louis Leakey and Mary. Other fossils found at Samburu Hills, near Lake Baringo as well as in the Lake Turkana basin.

~ The equivalent species found in the Siwalikis Hills in northern India near New Delhi was named Ramapithecus

~ He had small canines and could occasionally walk on twos without falling.

~ The creature was small and weighed 36kg with bigger brains than earlier hominids.

4)  Australopithecus (southern ape)

~ By 4-2m years ago a series of species known as australopithecines begin to appear. Perhaps it was the earliest homid closer to modern man.

~ The pelvis and leg were similar to that of modern humans.

~ They were bipedal and this was important in defence, grasp of objects and vision of an impending danger from a distance.

~ His Brain size was smaller than that of a human but larger than gorilla’s.

~ He was one of the most hairy hominid that ever existed.

~ He was Short but strong with a low forehead. Had large teeth and skulls

~ His remains were first discovered at Taung in Botswana by Raymond Dart in 1924.

~ The broken up skull found in East Africa at Olduvai Gorge in 1959 by Mary Leakey, was called Zinjanthropus- ‘Nut-Cracker man ‘since it had big jaws that suggest it kept on chewing.

~ Other fossils found in South Africa, Omo River Valley, Laetoli in Tanzania, near lakes Turkana and Baringo in kenya and L Natron

Four types of Australopithecines that have been identified

  1. a) Australopithecus Afarensis
  2. b) Australopithecus Anamensis
  3. c) Australopithecus africanus.
  4. d) Australopithecus Robustus
  5. e) Australopithecus Anamensis

~ He is aged between 4.2 and 3.9 million years ago and is believed to be one of the oldest

  1. Australopithecines

~ Evidence of his existence is obtained from the Reconstruction of Material consisting of 9 fossils from Kanapoi in Kenya and 12 fossils from Allia Bay in Kenya found by Dr. Meave Leakey, Dr. Allan Walker and the four fossil hunters (Kamoya Kimeu, Wambua Mangao, Nzube Mutiwa and Samuel Ngui.)

~ The fossil remains (comprising a lower jaw) were named A. Anamensis in August 1995 in a leading British Scientific journal.

~ He had relatively large canines.

 ~ The homid was aged between 3.9 and 3.0 million years ago. Its Name is derived from Afar Depression in Ethiopia.

~ He Had Apelike face and human-like teeth. He was small in stature and Bipedal, but Walked bent over, not fully upright.

~ They had very small brains -Brain capacity from 375 to 500 cc – (Its Brain was the size of an orange.)

~ They had a bony ridge over the eyes, a low forehead, a flat nose, and also they had no chin.

~ Remains found at Laetoli in Tanzania and Tugen Hills in Baringo District.

  1. c) Australopithecus Africanus (A. Gracilis)

~ A. africanus existed between 3 and 2.5 million years ago. A. africanus was slenderly built, or Gracile (Gracile means slender) with a height of 1.5m.

~ Was significantly more like modern humans than A. Afarensis, with a larger brain and more humanoid facial features.

~ Had large teeth, jaws and skull

~ A. africanus has been found at only four sites in southern Africa — Taung (1924),

Sterkfontein (1935), Makapansgat (1948) and Gladysvale (1992).

  1. d) Australopithecus Robustus

~ He Lived between 1½ – 2mya in South Africa.

~ He is the biggest and most recent Australopithecine. – weight 68kg. He had more robust

skull, jaws, and teeth.

~  He ate fruits, nuts and raw tubers- was apparently a vegetarian.

~  His Remains were found primarily in cave deposits at Swartkrans and Kromdraai in South Africa.

~  His Average brain size was  about 530 cc

~  The East African A.Robustus was named A. Boisei

5)  Homo habilis

(“Handy Man”) – “man with ability”.

~  He is the earliest known species of the genus Homo; that is, the first human species. He lived 2.5 -1.5 million years ago

~  He was the First Homo specie to create and use stone tools for hunting and daily life. Homo habilis depicted the ability to make better tools than his predecessors. That is why he was referred to as man with ability.

~  His Brain size was -500 -800 cc;-the Brain shape is more humanlike.

~  He was capable of rudimentary speech.

~  He was about 127 cm (5’0″) tall, and about 45 kg (100 lb) in weight, although females may have been smaller

~ His fossils were found in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania in 1964 by Dr. J. Leakey.

~  His Remains were also found at Hadar and Omo River Valley in Ethiopia and kobi fora along L. Turkana by Benerd Ngeneo in 1972.

6)  Homo erectus (“Upright Man”)

~ He was BIPEDAL- standing about 4-5 feet tall with a larger brain (700-1250cc). He lived between 2 million and 200,000 years ago.

~ He was clever as illustrated by his ability to make Acheulian tools such as the hand axe which was used as an axe, knife or even as a scraper. He was the First hominid to invent and use fire.

~ Their skeletons were larger and showed that they were quite heavily muscled

~ They were omnivorous like many other early hominids.

~ Only had hair on their head and back like are men that we have today

~ Remains found in Hardar, Ethiopia where the skeleton of a female ‘Lucy’ were found.

~ Other fossils were found near Nariokotone River on the north western shores of LakeTurkana by Kamoya Kimeu in 1984.

~ Also at Olorgesaillie near Magadi, Isimila near Iringa in TZ and Tenerife in Algeria.

~ The most famous Homo Erectus fossil was found in a cave in Zhoukoudian, China and became known as Peking Man/Java man

7)  Homo sapiens (“Wise Man” thinking man)

~ Their Main difference with their hominid ancestors is their extreme intelligence–they were the smartest hominid that ever lived with a Brain capacity of 1000-1800cc

~ They lived between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago

~ They improved their way of life by making a variety of flint, bone, wood and stone tools


~ They hunted, gathered and fished. Later on, they domesticated plants and animals

~ Their Remains were found at Eliye Springs, Kanjera and Kanam in Kenya, Bodo and Omo River Valley in Ethiopia and Ngaloba in Tanzania.

Three sub-species of Homo sapiens existed;

  1. a) Rhodesian man

~  The sub-species Was discovered in Zambia , hence the name Rhodesian man

~  He had straight legs and walked with long strides.

~  Rhodesian man’s Brains and skull were very similar to those of modern man.

  1. b) Neanderthals

~  His Remains were found in Neander valley, Germany (1856). They Lived in caves and valleys

~  He was 5 feet and 5 inches tall-much stronger, heavily built and more aggressive too.

~  He Had very thick eyebrow ridges like the other hominids

~  He Made clothes from animal skins. They would scrape animal fat so they can use the skin as clothing.

~  They were probably the First humans to bury their dead. He was most likely the most intelligent hominid other than modern humans.

~  He was a nomad, gathering and hunting deer, wild pigs and wild sheep. Their weapons were used to impale animals; therefore, to kill them, they had to approach the animal and get very close. This was dangerous and probably caused injuries and even fatalities.

~ Communication was key in hunting because they had to work as a team. They had the ability to use complex speech; however, their sentences were probably basic. Instead of painting on cave walls they painted their faces.

~ Other remains were found in Asia in France, Belgium, Gibraltar, Italy and former


~ They became extinct about 30,000 years ago.

  1. c) Homo sapiens Cro-Magnon

~ He was almost identical to modern humans although quite muscular and taller. Had long, low skull and a wide face, a sharp, rising forehead, bushy eyebrows and prominent chins

~ They had a big brain capacity and had very complex thinking

~ He was hunter-gatherer, painter and lived in caves

~ He knew how to make clothes

~ His Fossil remains were found in Western Europe. Their skeletons still remain in France today

~ They became extinct around 10,000years ago

8)  Homo sapiens sapiens

~ Homo sapiens sapiens are modern day humans. They evolved about 50,000 years ago.

~ They have big brains and a more advanced faculty for curiosity and intelligence

~ They have a large brain capacity. They do not just think, they plan ahead, make accurate forecasts, and study the star and the galaxies

~ They have made inventions that have made life more comfortable.

~ They are Around 5 feet 6 inches tall and Walk fully upright

~ They have Minimal hair on our bodies (replaced by clothing)-We have clothes that are made from brands, factories, we also sew or knit our own clothing.

The growing knowledge of genetic structure and functions has enabled human beings to clone animals using genes obtained from existing animals, thereby producing offsprings that looks exactly like the original e.g. the work of Dr. Wilmut Ian at the Roslin Institute of Edinburgh, Scotland that led to the first cloned sheep named dolly. Scientists are making attempts to even clone humans.More recent discoveries of early man include the Toumai found in Chad in 2002 dating about 6 to 7 myaIn 2000, another discovery was made in Baringo, Kenya (millennium man) and is believed todate 6mya. The discovery was made by Martin Pickford and Eustace Gitonga o the National Museums of Kenya.

Appearance of races

It has been hypothesized modern humans, using superior technology and more efficient adaption, out competed other hominid species to quickly emerge as the only surviving hominid species on the planet.Though we feature much diversity in appearance, these differences are minor compared to our biological similarities/all human beings are quite closely related.Many of our physical differences (skin, color, hair color, etc.) are relatively recent adaptations to local environment conditions. Evolutionary forces such as genetic drift have also played a role in our creating such variation as well.

Biologists and anthropologists classified humans into three different groups based on physical characteristics.

  Negroids, found in Africa.

  Caucasians found in Europe

  Mongoloids found in Asia,

Modern genetics has revealed that these categories make very little sense biologically since modern races are derived from a common stock and the different races are able to interbreed. There are also no differences in intelligence among all races of mankind.

The term “race” has traditionally been used by scientists as the equivalent of the subspecies concept when classifying humans.The Cultural and economic practices of early man

What is culture?

Culture is the way of life of a people-Customs, language and social institutions

The things that early humans made and used formed their material culture. Early man’s culture can be understood through study of Stone Age or Paleolithic periods

What is Stone Age?

This refers to the early period of human history when man’s tools and weapons were mainly made of stone and to some extend – wood and bone

There are three Stone Age periods

1)  Old stone age- Paleolithic period- 4,500,000 to 50,000years

2)  Middle stone age- Mesolithic period-50,000-15,000 years.

3)  New Stone Age – Neolithic period- 15,000- 1,500 years

The Paleolithic Age

“Paleolithic” -> “Old Stone” Age- 4,500,000 – 50,000 years ago

The Paleolithic is the longest of all stone ages, covering roughly 2 million years.

The hominid species who lived side by side were Australopithecus, Homo habilis and Homoerectus.


The hominids Made tools from stone

The Tool Traditions was called Oldowan tools / pebble tools. The tools were named after Olduvai Gorge where they were found. They were made by Australopithecus and Homo erectus. They were also known as pebble tools because they were made of stones.

Among the finds at Olduvai were the chopper, fist hatchet (core tools) and several flake tools.Such tools were also found at Kobi For a near Lake Turkana, Omo River Valley in Ethiopia, and Kafu Valley in Uganda, Shaba province in Zaire and in Algeria, Tunisia and morocco.In Kenya, the tools were found at sites in kariandusi, Olorgesaillie, Kilombe, Chesowanja, Mtongwe, Isenya and Lewa DownsAustralopithecus “Southern Ape” They didn’t have the intelligence to make sophisticated tools, so they may have made tools out of bones that they foundAustralopithecus afarensis mostly used tools that they found or that nature had created, example was a stick, which they stuck into a termite mound, then the termites clung to it letting the ape pull out the stick covered in food. He is however also credited for making Oldowan tools.

Homo habilis and the Oldowan Tradition

They made stone tools for chopping, scraping, and cutting. Making of Choppers (lower left) involved knapping a few flakes off the core. Both cores and flakes were used. The Knapper could strike a spherical piece of stone until Flake falls off opposite side. The Tool would then be flipped over and procedure repeated. Several blows would create a cutting edgeRequirements reflect Intelligence, Planning, foreknowledge of design and Knowledge of breakage pattern of rock. There must also be Hand-eye coordination

The second phase of the Old Stone Age was marked by tools called Acheulian tools, named after the site of St Acheul in France. Others found in Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In Kenya, the tools were found at Kariandusi, Olorgesaillie, Kilombe, Chesowanja, Mtongwe, Isenya and Lewa DownsThey were made by Homoerectus. Homo erectus and the Acheulian tool technology. Signature tool: a well-designed hand axe and cleavers

The Hand axe had multiple uses, from cutting, skinning, scraping animal skins, digging and sharpening bone and wood.

Characteristics of Acheulian hand axe

~ It was Bifacial: both sides were knapped

~ Symmetrical in breadth

~ Shaped to a point on one end

~ The edge is thin and sharp

~ Broad end is curved, but edge is still sharp.

Process of Manufacturing Acheulian Hand axes

Dozens of flakes were removed from the core, from 25 to 75. Each flake blow must be precisely positioned. The Core must be turned over again and again to maintain symmetry and to keep edge straight. All the exterior rind (cortex) was removed. It was a demanding task-The hand axe was Symmetrical and finely shaped.


The early Stone Age people lived in small groups and were able to hunt for food using sharpened rocks and sticks. They used simple hunting methods of chasing wild animals and throwing stones at them. They also made traps by digging large pits on the paths used by animals. They ate raw meat from small animals like lizards and rodents

Women gathered edible fruits, eggs and roots- had a balanced diet.


Humans during this period found shelter in caves and tree-tops.

Their bodies were hairy enough to keep them warm- lack of clothing was therefore bearable during this period. Moreover, the savannahs were also warm enough.

They also preferred the grasslands because they provided them with the much needed water and foodThe Australopithecus had a very small brain and that limited the actions they could do. The Australopithecus were very hairy so they didn’t need any clothes. Australopithecus diet was mostly made up of fruits and vegetables they found. If Australopithecus found a dead animal it would scavenge of it but the Australopithecus afarensis couldn’t cook the meat and kill the germs.

Mesolithic age

Mesolithic“middle Stone” Age- 200,000– 10,000 years ago.

They period was characterized by superior brains and ability of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens. Great improvements were witnessed.


Signature tool; Sangoan tool made using Lavallois method

The tool was named after Sango Bay site on L. Victoria-Tz

The Lavallois technology

It involved using cores of smaller stones to hit bigger ones. The tool maker would draw outline of flake on stone module and Strike out flakes and blades of desired shape. The rock would be prepared beforehand to control how rock breaks when struck. The flakes and blades were then trimmed into a variety of knives, scrapers, spear points, choppers and daggers.Also Mousterian tools (specialized stone tools and weapons) were made.

Tang- the first tool with a handle was invented in this period- 40,000 years ago in northern Africa.Fire was also another important tool invented by Homo erectus and he used it as follows

~ For warmth at night, lighting, to cook roots and roast meat, for hunting (bushfires), tool-making to harden tips, means of communication, food preservation

~ It also enabled hominids to migrate out of savannah


Homo erectus was considered the first true hunters. Because of better tools

(Hand axe), fire and axes, they could hunt larger game such as deer, rhinos, pigs, elephants; buffaloes etc. and cook their food.People learnt to wear animal skins and make waist-belts and necklaces. They also painted themselves with red ochre and oil.


Man used identifiable shelter. An example was found at Orangia in South Africa. Man also used rock shelter (rocks scooped out to make hollows). Later man lived in caves with entrance covered with animal skins to keep wind and rain away (e.g. Matupi Cave in Zaire and Gambles cave near Nakuru.


Families lived in small groups for security reasons. There were distinct languages to enhance communications.Rock paintings-Pictures of animals were painted on walls and rocks. Examples of Cave paintings were left behind at Kondoa and singida areas in north Tanzania and at Apollo II cave in S.A.  This pictures signified man’s believe in magic (arrows piercing animals he hoped to kill)


There was efficient group organization as evidenced by the ability to carry out large-scale hunting. Language invention further strengthened the social bonds and cultures of early man

The Neolithic age

Neolithic  “New Stone” Age- 15,000 – 4,000 years ago

This period was marked with the Emergence of Homo sapiens and homo sapien sapiens.


Man became a Very skilled toolmaker-they made tools known as microliths- (small piece of sharp stone tool). For example, a crescent or a lunate which had a straight sharp cutting edge and a curved blunted back.Their weapons include stone axes, knives, spears, harpoons, wooden bows, and sharp, stone tipped arrows, hooks, needles, and bone fish hooks.NEANDERTHALS were the first to create the pointed tip on hunting spears and harpoons


Earlier sapiens used caves as their homes instead of building one. Later, they made permanent homes that looked like tents or tepees, out of tree branches, grass, mammoth bones, and animal skins. They used or made some sort of paint to use on their cave paintings.


Man domesticated plants and animals though he continued to hunt and gather.

Man changed as from Nomadic lifestyle to settled stationary lifestyle; a.k.a.sedentary

Population also increased due to balanced diet and adequate food




Due to settled life and improved settlement, rules and laws were set up as a basis of government. Some people also specialized in leadership, religious activities as well as making of crafts.


Man’s language and religious beliefs developed as a result of depending on natural forces like rain. They began to ponder over issues like life and death.Evidence is found at Hyrax Hill and Njoro river Cave where human fossil remains were found buried with items such as tools and seeds or foodThe practice of burying someone with his possessions implied a belief in life after death.Neanderthals were the first to bury their dead. They also seemed to have a conception of an afterlife as shown by the actual burial site at La Ferrassie, France, with seven tombs including a man, a woman and several children’s graves lying side by side.


Humans specialized in crafts such as basketry, pottery and later smelting

Evidenced by this horse’ head carving to the right.


Definition of agriculture

It is the cultivation of crops. The modern definition of agriculture includes animal husbandry, fish farming and bee-keeping.

The beginning of Agriculture

The domestication of plants and animals began over 10,000 years ago during the Neolithic period

Why man domesticated plants and animals

  1. The increase of human population needed regular food supply -natural environment could no longer provide sufficient food.
  2. Climatic changes-increased drought, threatened plant life and animal life making natural food scarce.
  3. Competition for existing food in the natural resulted in inadequate wild food/over hunting of animals.
  4. Hunting and gathering was increasingly becoming tiresome.
  5. Calamities such as forest fires or floods sometimes destroyed vegetation or drove wild animals away.
  6. Development of settled life. Man had to stop a life of movement in search of food and water.
  7. Development of tools (microliths) e.g. sickles wooden plough, etc.
  8. Availability of varieties of indigenous crops e.g. wheat and barley.

There are two theories that explain how agriculture started;

  1. The Independent theory. Agriculture developed independently in different parts of the world especially along river valleys.
  2. One Place Theory/Diffusion Theory-Crop growing and animal keeping developed among people of south East Asia. Then the idea spread to the rest of the world; Middle East, India, Central America, China, Southeast Asia 8,000 BC 7,000 BC 6,500 BC 6,000 BC 5,000 BC


The transformation from hunting and gathering to growing of food crops was a gradual development. The first crops were grown by man in areas where they existed naturally.

Crop growing first developed in the Fertile Crescent which is in the Middle East.

Neolithic women noticed new grain plants grew when they accidentally spilled grain seeds. They tried scattering seeds on purpose – it worked!

~ Animals often find plants in places with water / good soil – Hunters saw pattern

~ People stayed at sites, animals became tamer

~ People started weeding / irrigating so plants would grow better

~ Started saving seeds of better plants to plant

~ One season, nomads liked a site so much they stuck around

~ Stayed so long they harvested a crop and then saw it grow to harvest stage again

~ Groups learned to grow a crop from seed to harvest and then move on

~ Since men did the hunting and females were responsible for the food gathering, women learned how to plant seeds, as well as process and prepare the food.

The above facts point out that the beginning of crop farming was accidental and mainly through trial and errorEarliest crops to be domesticated were barley, wheat, sorghum, millet, rice, maize, yams, cassava, potatoes, bananas and grapes. Since they grew in different environments, there were many centres of agricultural revolution. For example;

~ Middle East.

~ Indus valley in India.

~ Nile valley

~ The yellow river valley in china

~ The Danube Valley in Europe.


Originally grown in south-west Asia

Initial type was brittle wheat-then replaced by a non-brittle type in 7500BC called emmer

Wheat then spread Mesopotamian plains by 6000 BC to Egypt by 3000BC, then to Mediterranean region, central Asia, India and southern Europe.


The first cereal to be domesticated.Initially grew wildly at Mureybat on the Euphrates in Syria between 7000 – 6000 BC Another evidence of growth found at Ali kosh (Iran) and Jericho (Jordan)Then spread to Egypt at Fayum in 4500 BC. Then spread to India and china by about 2000 BC.


Originated from Africa at Hoggat in southern Algeria as early as 6000 BC

Spread to West Africa to around Sudan area between Nile and Chad, by 1500 BC

Finger millet originated in East Africa.

Later the two spread to Asia and China.


Originated in Asia where currently is a stable food- in Thailand at about 3500 BC

Then spread to India, Europe and Japan

The African variety was grown along the upper Niger around 1500 BC


Origin- Central America at about 5000 BC at Tehuacan in Mexico.

In Africa, was introduced by the Portuguese in 15thc.


The first root and tuber crop to be domesticated- 9000 BC in south East Asia.

The African variety, the white guinea yam was grown in Ivory Coast.


The Dog was the first animal to be domesticated. The next animals were the sheep, Goats, cattle and camels. Animal domestication Began through establishment of ties between man and animals during hunting or when fetching water.


Assisted humans in hunting, driving away dangerous animals and herding livestock


The Goat was first domesticated in south west Asia in5000 BC.Evidence of this is found at Tell Abu Hureyra, Tepe Ali Kosh, and Deh Luren Khuzestan in south -west Iran. Also in Iraq, upper Tigris valley, turkey and south Jordan. Goat domestication was in Egypt in 5000 BC Sheep.Sheep was domesticated after the dog. Fossil evidence of sheep keeping has been found at Zawi Chemi Shanid in Iraq and dating to about 9000 BC. Sheep were also kept in Syria, Egypt and Saharan region then to West Africa. Sheep was also kept in Indus valley and yellow river valleys.


Cattle was first domesticated in south-west Asia as early as 5800BC in turkey and then in Iran and Iraq. It then spread to Ethiopia and North Africa from Asia.

The short-horned cattle originated in Mesopotamia then spread to Africa and Europe.


Though camels are associated with North Africa today, the original home has been traced to North America from where t spread to South America and Asia. The Asian and s. American species became the ancestors of the Alpaca and Illama.Two types of camels exist today- the one-humped (found in Middle East, northern china and Africa), and the two-humped camel (found in central Asia.) Camels were domesticated about 3000 BC to 2500 BC



Importance of the domestication of animals

  1. a) Some of them like cattle, sheep and goats provided man with regular food i.e. Milk, meat.
  2. b) Animal Hides or skin were used as clothing and beddings
  3. c) The horns were used for communication.
  4. d) Hooves and bones of animals were used as containers and as drinking vessels.
  5. e) Some of the domesticated animals like the camel, donkey and horses were used for transport.
  6. f) Domestic animals like the oxen and the donkey were used to plough land for farming.
  7. g) The dog protected man against dangerous animals.
  8. h) Some of the domesticated animals produced manure which greatly improved

agricultural produce.


Mesopotamia was the land between the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates and lay in the present day irag. It was one of the centres of early civilization as early as 3000 BC.

Food production in this region began as early as 8000 BC.

Reasons why early agriculture developed in Mesopotamia

  1. a) Availability of indigenous crops and animals in the region e.g. Wheat, barley, dates and goats, sheep and cattle.
  2. b) Existence of fertile land along river valleys of Tigris and Euphrates-consisting of deposited silt.
  3. c) Availability of water from rivers Tigris and Euphrates which was used for irrigation. Heavy rains experienced in the Zaggroes Mountains contributed to floods on the river valleys.
  4. d) Invention of farming tools e.g. Hoes, ploughs, sickles and seed drill which promoted agricultural activities.
  5. e) Existence of transport system in form of donkeys, canoes, river transport etc; which was instrumental in transportation of inputs and outputs.
  6. f) Political instability that enabled people to practice agriculture.

The Sumerians are credited as the first people to use irrigation in growing crops. When the river water overflowed the banks during flooding, the Sumerians had the skill of controlling it through canals into the dry lands. (Canal or bucket irrigation). They also used farm implements to improve crop growing. For example the use of ox-drawn ploughs and seed drills pulled by oxen to replace stone hoes.Most of the people during the summer civilization earned their livelihood as farmers, craftsmen, fishermen and cattle breeders.Most of the land was in form of large estates owned by the rulers or the wealthy classes. The peasants were given small plots along with seeds, farm implements and animals in exchange for labour.

The Crops grown included barley, wheat, vines, date, palms, grapes, olives, onions, figs, melons and cucumbers. Milk animals kept included goats and cow. Also ducks, pigs, geese and horses were kept.

Impact of early agriculture in Mesopotamia

  1. a) It led to settled life as people now needed to concentrate on farming.
  2. b) Food production increased.
  3. c) There was an increase in population along the river valleys due to plenty and regular food supply.
  4. d) There was emergence of city-states and urban centres. For example Ur, Uruk, Eridu, Nippur, Kish and Babylon.
  5. e) Surplus agricultural production led to development of trade between communities.
  6. f) There was increased specialization as all could not engage in farming. Some became craftsmen.
  7. g) Agriculture influenced writing and arithmetic. Management of estates required knowledge in accounts. The form of writing that was developed was known as cuneiform involving the use of stone tablets.
  8. h) The invention of the wheel by around 3000 BC. it was used in carts to transport farm produce, for making war chariots to transport soldiers and also in pottery (the potter’s wheel)
  9. i) The plough was also invented. The first ox-plough consisted of simply a tree trunk with one small branch protruding upwards with the other one upwards. The invention meant that only a few people were needed to cultivate land.
  10. j) There was the development of science and mathematics with the development of the first formulas for measuring time, distance and area. There was also development in the field of Astronomy.
  11. k) Religious practices also developed with the connection of most of the gods to

agriculture in one way or another. For example, Ninurta was a god of floods.

  1. l) Development of law. A code of laws was compiled as a means of minimizing conflict in society- the Hammurabi’s code.


As early as 7000 BC, people had already settled in the Nile valley. By around 5000 BC, the Egyptians had gradually adopted agriculture, departing from a hunter-gatherer society.

Reasons that enhanced development of early Agriculture in Egypt

  1. a) Availability of Water for irrigation and for domestic use from river Nile.
  2. b) Existence of fertile silt deposits and mud originating from the flooding of the Nile betweenJuly and October annually, which provided fertile soil for crop farming.
  3. c) Another advantage was that Egypt had a suitable warm climate for crop growing and ripening.
  4. d) The Use of shadoof Irrigation technology ensured production of food during drought seasons
  5. e) Presence of indigenous crops and animals from which domestication was made. Wheat and barley had already become indigenous to Egypt as were animals like sheep and goats.
  6. f) Foreign influence from South West Asia where farming was first practiced. The proximity of Egypt to Mesopotamia, the first centre of agricultural development ensured that she borrowed heavily from there.
  7. g) The Natural protection of the region from foreign attacks, since the Nile valley was protected by the Libyan Desert to the West, the Nubian Desert and Nile cataracts to the South and the Nile coast delta on the North.
  8. h) Political stability.
  9. i) High population created need for more food and provided farm labour.
  10. j) Availability of slave labour made crop farming a success.
  11. k) The invention and use of implements that included wooden sticks, knives and wooden hoes enabled the farmers to increase their yields.
  12. l) The existence of writing in Egypt helped the Egyptians to keep accurate records of seasons and volume of food.

The shadoof irrigation

This was the method of irrigation used in Egypt during the drought season when the river was not flooding. A shadoof is a wooden device for lifting water from a river into the canals. It consisted of a long pole swinging up and down between two supporting wooden posts One end has a weight hanging on the pole while the other end has a skin bucket. The bucket is pulled down and dipped into the water by a person. It is caused to rise by the weight, once water has been filled. The other person empties the water into the canal to be drained into the fields.The Egyptians used farm implements like sticks, knives, axes, sickles and hoesAmong the crops planted in Egypt included wheat, barley, fruits, flax, beans, vegetables, cucumbers, onions, lentils, dates, figs and grapes. They used the broadcasting method. Shifting cultivation was also practiced before human population increased.They kept animals like sheep, goat, pigs, donkey, cattle and poultry.

The state directed production. It controlled distribution of harvests as well as handicrafts.

Government owned huge granaries and godowns which were used to store food.

The king was regarded as the guardian who presided over food supply for all. The master of largesse was responsible for all the livestock in the country. In the year when agricultural production was poor, the head of the exchequer would take care of the distribution of seeds and livestock.

Effects of early agriculture in Egypt

  1. a) Due to improved farming, there was increased food production thus ensuring regular food supplies.
  2. b) There was Growth in population as food supply increased and became regular.
  3. c) Agriculture led to permanent settlement of people. As a result, their living standards improved dramatically as they reaped from farming.
  4. d) Agriculture promoted trade among the Egyptians. It led to production of surplus food that in turn was used to increase trading activities.
  5. e) Agriculture Led to rise of urban centres or towns in Egypt such as Memphis’s akhetan, Aswan and Thebes along the Nile valley.
  6. f) Agriculture enabled some society members to specialize in other activities since a few could now produce enough food for all. Some engaged in hand crafts, geometry etc.
  7. g) Agriculture Led to emergence of government and related governing laws.
  8. h) Like the case of Mesopotamia, it led to the discovery of arithmetic, geometry, writing and calendar. These were used by the priests to keep records and make accurate prediction of annual foods. The Egyptian calendar is believed to be the earliest calendar in the world.
  9. i) It promoted social stratification or classes in Egyptian society.

Effects of early agriculture

Summarize from the effects in Egypt and Mesopotamia.


The agrarian revolution refers to rapid changes and improvements in the field of agriculture.

Between 1750 and 1850 European countries underwent changes in agriculture.

The changes were marked by

 A new system of land ownership

 Use of machines and new farming methods.

The revolution took place first in Britain.


  1. Feudalism was practiced.

What is Feudalism?

“Loosely organized system of government in which local lords governed their own lands but owed military service and other support to a greater lord (nobility)”

The feudal kings had plenty of land; but they could not control it all. So they gave land to lords (nobility) in exchange for protection, loyalty and $.Nobility then gave Part of their land to the serfs (peasants) who would work on it and give part of their crops to the local (land) lord, for letting them farm the land.

  1. Farmers practiced open-field system.

In this system land was divided into three portions;

  1. Portion one- growing corn and wheat
  2. Portion two- for beans, barley and oats

III. Portion three- left fallow to regain fertility.

Such a system did not allow effective farming since land was not fully utilized.

It also discouraged livestock farming since it allowed easy spread of livestock diseases.

There was uncontrolled breeding in livestock instead of selective breeding since livestock grazed together.

Fallow land and existence of Cattle and footpaths that crisscrossed the farms wasted a lot of land.

  1. Stripping as a method of farming was used. The existence of strips meant that Land portions were small and discouraged the use of machines.
  2. Use of simple tools and implements that included sticks, hoes and later ploughs. Cultivation was therefore on small scale with crop rotation being used as a method of improving fertility. It was however not effective.
  3. Use of broadcasting method. Broadcasting method of planting led to wastage of seeds as it would be eaten by birds and rodents
  4. Intercropping was practiced. The growing of two or more crops on the same piece of land.
  5. Mixed farming. Livestock was allowed to graze on fallow land
  6. Mono-cropping-planting the same type of crop year after on the same piece of land. NB; this was an inefficient system leading to low yields


  1. Fallows were abolished and available lands used effectively. This was influenced by population that occasioned demand for more food. The farmers could no longer afford to leave land to regain fertility.
  2. Application of new methods of farming.

Introduction and use of fertilizers in farms  

Lord Viscount Townsend discovered that clover added nitrogen to the soil and turnips could survive in winter and be used to feed cattle.

Townsend introduced a new four- course crop rotation called the Norfolk system consisting of barley, clover, turnips and wheat on same plot for a four-year period.

In 1843, John Bennet Lawes discovered the use of fertilizers and opened a superphosphate factory in London.

  1. Use of farm machineries like the horse drawn drilling machine invented by Jethro Tull in 1701 which replaced the broadcasting method. Iron hoes were used instead of sticks, to prepare the ground. In 1925, the wooden plough was replaced with an iron plough. Patrick Bell’s invention of the mechanical reaper replaced the sickle in harvesting corn. Andrew Meikles invented a mechanical thresher in 1876 which could cut and bind corn at the same time.

The use of machines changed agriculture from a small scale to a large-scale business.

  1. Intercropping to retain land fertility. E.g. of maize and beans. This practice enabled farmers to realize more yields.
  2. Application of scientific principles to farming. For example, Selective breeding of livestock invented by Robert Bakewell (1725-1795). He was able to develop the short horn, Devon, the Hereford, Aberdeen Angus and Ayrshire. He also improved sheep breeds such as the Leicester, Shropshire, Suffolk and the oxford. Pig varieties- the Yorkshire, Berkshire and Tamworth breeds
  3. Fencing of farms/land enclosure system; the introduction of land enclosures put to an end to strip farming. This was a demand of the rich landlords that land should be enclosed by fencing. The enclosure act enabled rich people to acquire more land. As a result more land was put under production and more land could be ploughed by one farmer

Positive effects of the land enclosure system introduced in Britain

  1. a) It created large farms which allowed use of horse drill and crop -rotation.
  2. b) The farms were easily managed and Farmers could specialize in crop or animal


  1. c) Farmers could use their title deeds to borrow money from financial firms for the

improvement of their farms.

Effects of the land enclosure movement on the peasant farmers in Britain

  1. The creation of large farms led to landlessness among the peasant farmers,
  2. Peasant farmers sold off their land to the rich farmers because they could not

afford to cultivate the land.

  1. The land enclosure movement led to displacement of peasant farmers from their

land and hence they migrated to towns/ caused rural -urban migration.

  1. The rural-urban migration of peasant farmers led to overcrowding in urban centres/ congestion in urban centres.
  2. The land enclosure movement caused emigrations of the peasants to other

countries such as USA, Canada, Australia, new Zealand and south Africa

  1. The poor farmers were exploited, as they had to sell their labour to farmers and to the factories / exploitation of the poor peasant’s labour force.
  2. The royal agricultural society. It was established in 1838. Through the journals of the society, new ideas and techniques of farming were publicized all over the country. As a result, many farmers began to adopt the modern methods of farming.


  1. Land consolidation; the introduction of land enclosures which put to an end to strip farming. As a result more land was under production and more land could be ploughed by one farmer.
  2. Development of new methods of livestock breeding; more scientific methods of breeding livestock were developed. They involved selective breeding in which animals with suitable characteristics were maintained in the herds.
  3. Development of new tools for farming which helped to increase agricultural productivity .e.g. use of seed drill, Rotterdam plough, threshing machine and tractors.
  4. Development of new methods of maintaining soil fertility e.g. the new crop rotation system allowed the continued use of land without exhausting its fertility. Chemical fertilizers were also produced.
  5. Development of agricultural research in universities and research institutes assisted in improvement of soils and crop yields. Newspapers and agricultural journals helped to spread the results of this research to farmers.
  6. Impact of industrial revolution which provided the agricultural sector with inputs and market.
  7. Population increase led to high demand for food.


  1. Food security for the population of Britain due to improved farming methods.
  2. There was Growth of population in Britain due to food security lowered mortality rates and increased life expectancy.
  3. There was Growth of capital/plantation farming to replace subsistence farming. Due to the enclosure act, ownership of large farms was encouraged and subsequently mechanization/plantations were set up.
  4. Poor farmers who could not afford fencing lost their land. Capital farming therefore led to emergence of landless peasants as large tracts of land were consolidated in enclosures. The poor peasants were compelled to migrate to urban areas where they were subjected to poor living conditions.
  5. Trade expanded locally and internationally. When farming was commercialized, Britain expanded trade thus boosting her economy.
  6. Growth of a working class. The landless peasants sought wage employment on farms or in towns in the emerging new industries. Thus a class of workers began to emerge.
  7. Transport systems like roads and railways improved. They were used to transport agricultural products to the market and raw materials to industries.
  8. Industries benefited from agricultural raw materials/ develop ment of industries. A number of machines produced by industries were also used in agriculture to boost production.
  9. Emigration of British national to other parts of the world. Some of the landless peasants migrated to USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
  10. Intensification of scientific research by the royal agricultural society to carter for the expanding agricultural sector.


From Britain the revolution spread to other parts of Europe and Americas and then the rest of the world. Ideas like crop rotation, use of machines, selective breeding of livestock and use of fertilizers spread into continental Europe from Britain. The governments encouraged agricultural science and research.

The work of Louis Pasteur (1890-1960) a Frenchman discovered that disease are caused by bacteria and sterilization of food such as milk through boiling keeps it bacteria-free for long time


The Americas was the origin of many crops in the world the American Indians were subsistence farmers growing crops like yams, potatoes, maize (corn), cocoa, tomatoes, cotton, tobacco, beans and cassava.Political and religious differences in Europe in the 17th c forced many Europeans to settle in America as was also the enclosure system in Britain. Craftsmen and labouerers also moved in search of better life. The immigrant settlers came with horses, sheep, cattle, pigs, fowls, seeds and plants from Europe. Some of them participated in improving the machines that were already in use in Europe. For example:

  1. 1837- John Deere a young blacksmith from Illinois invented a steel plough
  2. 1837- Cyrus McCormick established a factory in Chicago to produce reapers
  3. 1837- Daniel Massey produced a similar machine in Canada.
  4. 1792- Elly Whitney invented the cotton gin and cotton picker

American scientists also developed the refrigerator. For example, John Perkins (1766-1849) an American inventor patented the first prototype refrigerator in England in 1834. The first American patent for a refrigerator was awarded to John Gorrie (1803-1855) in 1851.1859- Ferdinand Carre, a Frenchman invented the absorption system in a refrigerator. This was a major milestone in preservation of meat and other foods in America.Several agricultural zones emerged in America due to differences in soil fertility and climate:

  1. North-Eastern parts- Ranching and dairying
  2. The south- cotton zone.
  3. Central region-maize.
  4. North-west wheat

There was large scale mechanized agriculture especially after the abolition of slave trade. Most cash crops were grown to provide raw materials to European industries. Tobacco was grown in Virginia and Maryland. Rice and indigo were grown in Georgia and South Carolina. Cattle’s rearing was done in Texas.Transport development also enhanced agricultural development. For example, water transport using the great lakes, railway and road transport.Alexander graham bell invented the telegraph to enhance communication.

USA also invested in the field of science and research which boosted agriculture with better hybrid seeds and different strains of livestock.


  1. The enclosure system in Britain led to the Settlement of enterprising European emigrants who wished to make a living through agriculture/Determination of European immigrants to succeed as farmers as there was no other source of livelihood. European immigration into the region also led to population increase and demand for more food. The immigrants also introduced new crops and new methods of farming leading to agricultural development
  2. Scientific research made it possible to improve strains of crops to resist diseases, to develop superior animal breeds and to develop new food crops e.g. Soya beans into artificial meat, etc.
  3. Mechanization; there was extensive use of machines to improve production e.g. steel plough, use of reapers, cotton gin etc.
  4. The presence of cheap means of transport e.g. Erie Canal, roads, railway, etc speeded up the transportation of goods and raw materials.
  5. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 led to increased cotton acreage.
  6. Environmental influence on the farmers through experience leading to agricultural zoning e.g. maize in the centre, wheat in the south and beef rearing in the west/Presence of suitable soils for different types of crops such as tobacco, cotton and wheat.
  7. Government recognition of individual land ownership (the Homestead Act 1760)

encouraged settlers to farm.


Fuelled by peasants who emigrated after they were driven out of Europe by the land enclosure movement, USA became the world’s leading producer of agricultural products.

The effects of the revolution were as follows:

  1. a) It led to diversification of agriculture through the introduction of new farm animals and crops.
  2. b) The new inventions in farm machinery enabled American farmers to bring more land under cultivation. For example the steel plough invented by John Deere and reaping machine by Cyrus McCormick.
  3. c) Food production especially of wheat and maize, increased due to the use of new farming methods like use of fertilizers and hybrid seeds.
  4. d) The agrarian revolution led to expansion of agricultural related industries.
  5. e) Mechanization of agriculture replaced slaves and other labourers at the farms. Many people went to search for employment in urban areas.
  6. f) The expansion of food production led to increase in trade between USA and Western Europe thus boosting USA economy.
  7. g) The transport system was improved to enable transportation of farm inputs to farms and agricultural produce to market.
  8. h) The revolution contributed to the enhancement of research and scientific inventions especially on the field of agriculture.


“Third world” refers to the less developed countries in Africa, Asia and South America.

Many of these third world countries have food shortages and even continue to have weak economies upto date.

Causes to food shortage in Africa

  1. Rapid population growth which has put a lot of pressure on the available food resources leading to shortages
  2. Poor land use and agricultural practices. Many farmers still depend on traditional farming methods, for example, not applying fertilizers, pesticides or mechanization, thus producing low yields.
  3. Some developing countries experience adverse weather conditions such as floods and long periods of drought. Since these countries practice rain-fed agriculture, food production has been affected
  4. Overemphasis on cash crops at the expense of food crops has contributed to low food production. In Kenya for example, large farms concentrate on growth of flowers, tea and coffee with food crop farming being largely for subsistence.
  5. Rural-urban migration , especially among the young people has deprived the rural areas of the badly needed labour force for food production
  6. Lack of adequate capital for agricultural development. Low income/poverty. The farmers lack enough funds to purchase farm inputs.
  7. Political instability in some African countries undermines food production. For example in Ethiopia, Sudan, DRC, Burundi and Rwanda. This has prevented people from concentrating on food production.
  8. Decline in growing drought resistant crops. Crops like cassava and millet have been abandoned due to attitude thus causing artificial shortage of specific food.
  9. Poor and inadequate storage facilities have led to food wastage. In Kenya by 2001, the country was losing up to nine million bags of grain per year as a result of poor storage methods.
  10. Poor transport network leads to uneven distribution of food. It also discourages farmers from producing more.
  11. Over reliance on food aid and forms of aid has created a dependence attitude in many African countries. Some communities have become complacent about looking for a permanent solution to their food problems.
  12. Poor economic planning on the part of the government with many countries putting a lot of emphasis on other development projects at the expense of agricultural and food production.
  13. Poor land tenure systems resulting in low productivity. For example where a few European farmers own large tracts of land but only exploiting a small portion of the expansive farms.
  14. The HIV/AIDS pandemic contributed to food shortages since the scourge leads to death of many of the work force in their prime years.

Effects of food shortages

  1. Loss of life. Many people have lost their lives. For example the Ethiopian famine in 1984 led to the deaths of thousands of people.
  2. Increased suffering among millions of people in Africa due to deficiency diseases like kwashiorkor and marasmus.
  3. Food shortage has created social problems in societies. For example cattle raids by the karamojong and Maasai during the periods of famine. Even other anti-social problems like stealing food in rural areas can be attributed to inadequate food supply.
  4. Sometimes famine and drought has forced people to flee their home countries thus causing refugee problems in the receiving countries.
  5. Lack of food hampers efforts towards economic development. It Affects education since famine stricken children cannot concentrate on learning. There is Use of scarce foreign exchange to import food.
  6. It has created dependence on food aid from rich countries. Even some of the genetically created foods are tested in third world countries. Such foods have unknown side-effects.
  7. It has adversely affected agricultural-based industries.e.g sugar industries.-inevitably thisleads to unemployment.
  8. It has led to Political instability as people lose confidence in the governments that cannot feed them.

Solutions to food shortage in Africa

  1. Land reclamation thus increasing land under agriculture. This may increase food production.
  2. Re-formulation of agricultural policies so that there is a shift from a concentration on cash crops to paying more attention on food crops.
  3. Provision of extension services to farmers e.g. information on storage, preservation of farm produce and other forms of advice.
  4. Revision of the land tenure system- redistribution of land / land reforms as case is in china.
  5. Development of agro-based industries which will become market to agricultural raw materials like coffee, tea, etc.
  6. Creation of political stability to enable mobilization of people to self-sufficiency in food production.
  7. Relentless campaign against killer disease such as AIDS.
  8. Infrastructural development/ in transport, communication, storage and marketing.
  9. Environmental conservation measures which may help curb drought spread and ensure sufficient rains./ protection of catchments areas
  10. Family planning so that people only have children they can be able to feed, cloth and shelter.
  11. Demand for food to feed the growing population.


  1. a) Extensive research has been carried out in research institutions such as the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) producing hybrid maize such as Katumani that grows in drier areas. ICIPE and ILRI researches in pests and disease that affect both livestock and crops in the country.
  2. b) Introduction of genetically engineered crops and animal s into the agricultural sector. These crops, developed mainly at JKUAT and KARI are resistant to diseases and pests.
  3. c) Agricultural training institutions have been established to train experts such as agricultural officers, veterinary doctors and horticultural experts. Agriculture is also taught in schools- to equip learners with new and better techniques of farming that could boost production.
  4. d) People are being educated about the need for family planning so that families have only number of children whom they can feed and provide for.
  5. e) The government has formulated a food security policy to enhance production of food in the country. For example a minimum amount of cereals in the government silos has been set up with urgent measures to top up outlined.



There is immense evidence to confirm that east Africa was the cradle of humankind.

Archaeological evidence (for example, the tools found at kobi for a, Olorgesaillie, kariandusi, Mtongwe, around Lake Victoria, lukenya hills, near lake Naivasha) show that Kenya was inhabited by Stone Age people. There is also evidence of use of iron in Kenya dating back as AD270 e.g. at Urewe near Ngiya in Siaya and in Kwale.


According to oral traditions, the earliest people to occupy Kenya were of the Khoisan stock. They had similar features like the Khoi khoi and the san of South Africa, the Sandawe and Hadza of Tanzania. They all spoke a language with a clicking sound.

Cultural aspects of the Khoisan

  1. a) They Spoke a language with a clicking sound like the khoi-khoi of south Africa
  2. b) They were nomadic people
  3. c) They gathered the wild fruit in the wild and dug up tubers and roots for their foods
  4. d) They used stone tools in addition to bows and arrows.
  5. e) They fished in rivers and lakes using harpoons
  6. f) They made use of rock shelters and caves.
  7. g) They buried the dead.
  8. h) Made and used pottery.

NB- such evidence of the culture of the Khoisan has been found in Gambles and Njoro river caves near Nakuru.These pioneering inhabitants of Kenya disappeared maybe after being subdued and overcome by the powerful incoming Bantus and nilotes.However, there exist some remnants of these hunter-gatherer communities in the western highlands of rift valley. They speak the language of the group near them like kalenjin (okiek), Maasai (Dorobo), Onguye and Okuro in western Kenya.



They existed in two groups:

  1. a) The southern Cushites
  2. b) The eastern Cushites.

The southern Cushites

They might have entered present day Kenya through northern Kenya and seem to have originated from the Ethiopian highlands. Since they were pastoralists, they must have been looking for better pasture for their livestock.Around 2500 and 3000 years ago, they were already occupying the grasslands of the Kenya highlands cultivating food crops like sorghum , millet and rearing long horned humpless cattle. They even extended upto Tanzania. They included the Iraqi, Boni and Burungi of Tanzania, The Dahallo or Sanye of the lower Tana (the remaining southern Cushites in Kenya). Some were later absorbed by the incoming groups.

The Eastern Cushites

They include the Borana, Somali, Oromo, Gabra, Rendille and Burji.

They originated either from Ethiopia or Somalia moving and settling into Kenya around 2000 and 1000 years ago due to the following reasons;

  1. a) Escaping from clan or family feuds.
  2. b) There was population pressure in their area of origin.
  3. c) They were in search of better grazing lands.
  4. d) They were fleeing the outbreak of disease that affected both people and animals.
  5. e) They were escaping famine and drought.
  6. f) They fled constant attacks from their neighbours such as the Somali.
  7. g) The migrated to satisfy their spirit of adventure.


They came in the 16thcentury from Ethiopia. Initially they settled on the eastern shores of Lake Turkana. They later moved south pushing the Mijikenda and the Pokomo out of the Shungwaya to occupy Malindi and Kilifi. Today they occupy the southern part of Tana River and are neighbours to the Pokomo.

Effects of migration and settlement of the Oromo in Kenya

  1. a) They inter-married with the people they came into contact with e.g. Somali, Pokomo and Borana.
  2. b) Their settlement in Kenya led to expansion of trade.
  3. c) Their settlement led to increased conflict between communities over resources e.g. pasture and water.
  4. d) Displacement and redistribution of people in the area where they settled e.g. the Oromo pushed the Bantu from the Shungwaya region.
  5. e) Assimilation of some communities they came into contact with e.g. the Oromo vs. Somali.
  6. f) Cultural exchange e.g. neighbouring communities adopted Islam.
  7. g) Settlement in high agricultural potential areas e.g. river valleys encouraged some of them to practice crop farming.
  8. h) Expansion of agriculture due to demand of agricultural produce.


They are also Oromo speaking people whose origin is southern Ethiopia. Their migration into Kenya was due to escaping the Menelik Wars of Conquest in 1897 and who had imposed heavy taxes on them. They represent some of the most recent migrations into Kenya end as late as 1900 when more Borana groups fled into Kenya from Somali running away from the war between the Somali Nationalists and the British.

Today the Borana occupy the area north of the Tana River.


They originated from Mogadishu where they were living by 10th century A.D. They begun moving southwards into Kenya around that time maybe due to the Oromo threat or they were looking for pasture for their livestock.The Somali represent the largest single group of eastern Cushites in Kenya.

Results of Cushitic migration into Kenya

  1. a) There was massive warfare during the migrations leading to killing of many people in the process. For example, there was constant warfare between the Somali and the Oromo.
  2. i) They displaced some of the communities which they came into contact with e.g. the Oromo pushed the Mijikenda from the Shungwaya region in AD 1500 AND 1600.
  3. b) They intermarried with those people they interacted with e.g. the some of the Pokomo intermarried with the Borana.
  4. c) Their settlement led to expansion / development of trade between them and their

neighbours e.g. they traded with the Samburu and the Maasai.

  1. d) There was cultural exchange between them and the Bantu and Nilotic neighbours. E.g. the

Taboo against eating Fish among the Bantu, the age set system and circumcision has origin from the Cushites.

  1. e) The migrations led to population pressure in the region.
  2. f) Adoption of some agricultural practices from the Bantu.
  3. g) There was redistribution of population in Kenya. The Mijikenda for example were scattered at Shungwaya.



The term Bantu refers to group of people who speak the same or similar language with common word “NTU” which means a person. The Bantu-speaking groups include the Luhyia, Kisii, Kuria, Kikuyu, Akamba, Meru, Aembu, Taita, Agiryama, Digo in Kenya and Pokomo, as well as many other smaller groupsTheir original homeland was somewhere between eastern Nigeria and the Cameroon (Congo Basin).

They then moved southwards towards present day Democratic Republic of Congo (around 500 BC the Bantu were living in the Congo forest). This became a major dispersal point from where the Bantus moved in four major waves. Of these waves, the two waves that account for settle of the Bantu in Kenya are the ones moving south-eastwards through the area west of LakeVictoria (a 2nddispersal point for Bantus). From here they dispersed in two groups;

  1. some group passed through present-day Uganda , some settling there (Baganda,

Banyoro, Batoro), proceeding into kenya to form the western Bantu(Luhyia, Kisii, Kuria and abasuba)

  1. From the west Victoria dispersal point a group moved and entered east Africa at appoint south of Lake Victoria and then proceeded eastwards across northern Tanzania to a dispersal point between Taita hills and mt. Kilimanjaro. Some settled in Tanzania (Chagga, nyamwezi, sukuma, Kuria, haya, Yao, Segeju, Zaramo).the rest of the groupproceeded northwards to the coast upto Shungwaya (another dispersal point). These were the eastern Bantus.


The reasons for the migration of the Bantu are not known but they most likely included the following;

  1. a) Drought and famine: This broke out because the climate in their cradle land had become unreliable/unpredictable.
  2. b) Population increase which resulted into population pressure, e.g. they became

overpopulated in their cradle land.

  1. c) The constant attacks (external pressure) from stronger tribes in West Africa and the Nile valley; also due to the migration of the Arabs, who were believed to be more hostile, into West Africa.
  2. d) Internal conflicts from the Bantu tribes: These conflicts concerned the ownership of agriculture area, the shortage of grazing lands and watering areas.
  3. e) Epidemics and diseases/natural calamities, e.g. earthquakes, over flooding of rivers like river Niger, sickness, diseases such as Nagana caused by Tsetse flies, sleeping sickness e.t.c.
  4. f) Search for fertile land: Since they were predominantly farmers, the Bantu migrated in order to find more land which could be more fertile than the cradle land, which could no longer support them.
  5. g) Love for adventure: They moved due to their desire for adventure, i.e. they wanted to find out what was happening in other areas.
  6. h) Group influence: Some moved because they had seen their relatives and friends move.
  7. i) Need for water and pasture for their animals forced them to move.
  8. j) The Bantu migrated in order to export their iron-working culture. They had discovered the knowledge of iron working and had invented iron tools. These iron tools had transformed the agricultural sector by making the clearing of land for cultivation faster and more efficient.

The western Bantu

They include Luhyia, Kisii, Kuria and abasuba and settled in western part of kenya thus their name.


~  The Abaluhyia community is made up of eighteen sub-groups. The sub-groups which constitute the community have a common background, common customs and speak closely related dialects of the same language.

~  According to Abaluhyia tradition, communities used to hold criminal tribunals at the junctions of footpaths. The area at the junction of footpaths was known as Uluyia or a meeting point and it is claimed that the name Abaluhyia is derived from this. Another version states that in a polygamous home the courtyard outside the main father’s house is called Luhyia. All the children are referred as children of one Luhyia and hence the name Abaluhyia.

~  Most of the Luhyia sub-groups point to mt. elgon dispersal point as their origin. The settlement of the Abaluhyia into Kenya dates back to 300 AD. By 1750 AD, many groups had settled in present day Bukhayo, Marama, Tiriki, Bunyore, Wanga and Maragoli.

~  They absorbed some groups they found in the area. Also, their interaction with the Maasai led to establishment of clans like the Abashimuli among the Idakho. The Marachi, Kisa and Samia interacted with the Luo.


~  Abagusii traditions acknowledge a close relationship with the following people: the Abakuria, Abalogoli, Ababukusu, Abasuba, Agikuyu, Ameru, Aembu, Ambeere and the Akamba. Their tradition has it that on their way from the country which they call ‘Msiri’ they were accompanied by the Baganda and the Basoga besides the above groups.

~  The Abagusii and the Abalogoli migrated southwards following the River Nzoia valley and arrived near Lake Victoria between 1490 and 1520. Following an easterly course along the lake shore, they settled at the head of Goye Bay in Yimbo location of Nyanza with their homeland spreading across present day Ulowa, Sare and Unyejra at the foot of Ramogi hill. Luo migrants in 1550 AD found them settled in this general area and pushed them from alego to Kisumu where they lived upto 1600AD.

~  Their migration from Kisumu to Kano was motivated by drought in the area.. However, their eastward migration was checked by the Maasai and the Kipsigis

~  By the 18thcentury, they had settled in the Kisii highlands positively interacting with the neighboring Luo, Maasai and Kipsigis in terms of trade.

Why the Abagusii remained in the Kano plains for too long before settling in the Kisii highlands.

  1. a) They were obstructed by the Kipsigis who were migrating westwards.
  2. b) The Maasai were also quite wild/hostile.
  3. c) The plains favored their activity of livestock grazing.
  4. d) Lack of a strong warrior group to fight their expansionist wars against the warring neighbors.


~  The origin of the name ‘Kuria’ is a thorny point in the Abakuria history. The major Abakuria sub-tribes such as Abanyabasi, Abatimbaru, Abanyamongo, Abakira, Abairegi and Abagumbe have traditions to the effect that their ancestor was Mokuria (or Mukuria) that lived in “Msiri”. His descendants migrated from “Msiri” and after many years of wandering on the other side of Lake Victoria; they eventually reached and settled in the present Bukuria By 1800AD,) in south Nyanza.)

~  According to this tradition, the Abakuria have been divided from time immemorial into two families: the Abasai of the elder wife of Mokuria and the Abachuma of the younger wife.

~  The Abakuria are related to Abalogoli of Abaluhyia and Abagusii and trace same origin at mt. elgon dispersal point.

~  The Abakuria people appear to have sprung from too many directions to have a common historical origin, although a number of clans claim to have come from Msiri.

~  Among the Abakuria today are found people who were originally from Kalenjin, Maasai, Bantu and Luo speaking communities. The Abakuria adopted the practice of age set organization and circumcision from the southern Cushites


~  The name “Suba” means “the people who are always wandering”.

~  The Suba migrated into their current locations beginning in the mid-1700s. They came from the region just west of Lake Victoria and settled on the islands.

~  The Suba migrated from Uganda and settled on the two Lake Victoria islands of Rusinga and Mfangano, and are believed to be the last tribe to have settled in Kenya. Other subgroups migrated and settled on the shores of Lake Victoria in the early 18th century.

~  The Suba are descendants of one wave of the Bantu migration from Central Africa over the last 1500 to 1800 years. In the 16th century, it appears, small family groups related to the Ganda people on the western side of the lake migrated across Lake Victoria on boats to settle on Rusinga Island and other islands near what is now Kenya and Tanzania.

~  The Suba are descendants of one wave of the Bantu migration from Central Africa over the last 1500 to 1800 years. In the 16th century, it appears, small family groups related to the Ganda people on the western side of the lake migrated across Lake Victoria on boats to settle on Rusinga Island and other islands near what is now Kenya and Tanzania.

~  Linguistically, the Suba are highly influenced by the neighbouring Luo, to the point of a language shift having taken place among large portions of the mainland Suba.

~  The remaining speakers of the Suba language are mostly elderly residents on the island of Mfangano.

The eastern Bantu

They are divided into Highland or Mt. Kenya Bantu and Coastal Bantu.

Coastal Bantu

They include the Taita, Pokomo and Mijikenda.From the west Victoria dispersal point their first movement was upto Taita hills, where the Taita remained. The Mijikenda and Pokomo proceeded northwards to the coast upto Shungwaya (another dispersal point). The main reason for the Shungwaya dispersal was the Oromo attack In AD 1600.


They moved from Shungwaya following river Tana interacting with the Cushites like the Oromoand Somali.


The name means Nine Clans comprising of the Kauma, Giriama, Duruma, Chonyi, Jibana, Kambe, Ribe, Rabai and Digo.From the Shungwaya dispersal point,(forced out by the Oromo/Somali southwards expansionist attacks), they settled in fortified villages mainly due to security concerns. Each of the nine groups settled in their own separate ridge referred to as Kaya fortified with thorny trees.By the 19th, the Mijikenda were established as middlemen during the long distance trade between the Akamba and the coastal Waswahili.

The highland Bantu

Examples of highland Bantus include Agikuyu, Ameru, Aembu, Ambeere and the Akamba

They are also products of the Shungwaya dispersion.


~  The largest single group of the eastern group.

~  While the Kikuyu can be found throughout Kenya, the heaviest concentration being in Central Province, known as the traditional Kikuyu homeland.

The Kikuyu traditionally believe that a man, Gikuyu, was the founder of the tribe. He had a wife named Mumbi, who gave birth to nine (plus one) daughters. The daughters married and had their own families, retaining a domineering role in Kikuyu society.

~  It was in Mukurwe wa Gathanga division of Nyeri district where an identifiable beginning for the modern Kikuyu people is defined.

~  Ancestors of the Kikuyu arrived in Kenya during the Bantu migrations of 1200-1600 AD. The Agikuyu seem to have moved southwest from the coast at around 1400AD also running away from hostile Oromo. They followed Tana River with some groups falling off and settling in different places. For example the Tharaka settled in the east and the Ambeere settled in the southwest. The main group proceeded upto the confluence of rivers Tana and Thika (Mukurwe wa Gathanga. They spread and settled in Kiambu and Nyandarua from Murang’a.

~  The key event in their migration and settlement was military conflict with and defeat of the Gumbapeople by the Mathira and Tetu people, allied with the Athi and the Maasai in the early 1800’s.

~  They displaced or absorbed the original inhabitants-the Dorobo (Athi) and Gumba who were a hunter- gatherer community.

~  Settlement of the Nyeri plains took place after the British moved the Maasai from the area. The Kikuyu were in Kabete by around 1850, Ruiru about 1900.

~  They heavily interacted with the Maasai and Cushites in the area.

Describe the relationship between Athi and the Agikuyu

  1. a) The Athi were the original inhabitants of the land where the Agikuyu live presently.
  2. b) The Agikuyu claim they bought the land from the Athi.
  3. c) The Agikuyu also acquired some cultural practices from the Athi e.g. circumcision, clitoridectomy and age set system.
  4. d) The Athi acted as middlemen in the trade between the Agikuyu, Maasai and the coastal people.


~  They point to the area around mt Kilimanjaro as their original homeland.

~  From here they moved to Taita Hills before reaching Tsavo West. They followed the Banks of Athi River in the 15thcentury one group crossing Athi into Ulu. Another group moved south to the Galana River and settled in the region around chyulu hills north of mt. Kilimanjaro

~  By around mid 16thcentury a group of the Akamba had settled in the Mbooni hills near Machakos.

~  Due to environmental influence, the Akamba near Mbooni began to practice agriculture before migrating to iveti, kilungu and masaku. Those that moved to drier Chyulu hills became hunters. The Kitui group adopted pastoralism and hunting and participated in long distance trade.

The Ameru

~  Their original homeland is claimed to Mbwa, located somewhere at the coast on manda island. The Shungwaya dispersal might have led to the pushing of the Ameru to tigania and igembe regions at around 1400AD. They crossed the Tana River with the Tharaka sections of Agikuyu and settled to the east of tana. The Chuka section settled in the west of river tana. The mwimbi, imenti, tigania and igembe also settled west of the Tana River.

~  According to tradition, the Meru and Agikuyu were initially migrating as one group and separated at around 15thc and 16thc.

Effects of the Bantu Migration

The results of the Bantu migration were both positive and negative.



Positive results

  1. Introduction of iron working the use of iron tools in the interior of East Africa where peoplewere at first using stone tools. There was an increase in food production.
  2. Introduction of new crops e.g. yams, bananas: the Bantu introduced and increased the knowledge of food and extensive crop cultivation. Earlier on, the inhabitants of East Africa were food gatherers, but with iron smelting and its results, food production seriously started.
  3. The absorbed other tribes e.g. the gathers: This led to widespread Bantu languages of “NTU”prefix in East Africa.
  4. They introduced centralized administration: They introduced a centralized system of government whereby the king acted as the overall ruler, under who were the other chiefs, down to the lay person. This was done in western Kenya by the Wanga.
  5. Introduced a system of building permanent homes: They opened new land to settlement in families, clans and villages.
  6. The knowledge of iron smelting which the Bantu introduced led to the making of hoes and pangas for tilling and clearing land, the bows, arrows and spears for defense and protection.
  7. They introduced subsistence agriculture, whereby they grew enough food for home consumption, and the rest could be kept in case of shortages, or be exchanged in barter trade.

Negative effects

  1. The Bantu migration led to depopulation: This was caused by the frequent attacks made on the Bantu by Somali and Oromo, or by the Bantu against the people East Africa for land, through wars.
  2. There was loss of culture due to cultural absorption: This was brought about due to Bantu intermarrying with the non- Bantu peoples, whom they came across.
  3. There was transformation of languages into new ones: This led to the dying down of some of the Bantu languages, while others remained.

The Nilotic speakers

Nilotes is a term originating from the word Nile. The origin of these groups is associated with the Nile River. These are the second largest group after the Bantu.

They are divided into three groups;

  1. a) River-lake nilotes- the Luo.
  2. b) Plains nilotes- the Maasai, Tunkana and Samburu.
  3. c) Highlands nilotes- kalenjin groups of the Marakwet, Tugen, Nandi, Kipsigis, Elgeyo , Pokot and Sabaot

River-lake nilotes

They are sometimes referred to as the southern Luos to differentiate them from other riverlake nilotes in Uganda and Sudan like the Dinka, Shilluk, Bor , Anwak, Alur, Acholi, Jopaluo, Padhola, Nuer and Luo of Uganda.

They are believed to have originated from Bahr-el-Ghazal region of southern Sudan. They then migrated to Pubungu Pakwach in Uganda where they settled by 1450 AD. They later moved into Kenya. Their arrival caused the displacement of many Bantu-speaking peoples, notably the Gusii, Kuria and Luhya, who were forced into the highlands east and north of the lake.

Why did they leave Bahr-el-Ghazal region?

  1. a) They might have been Escaping from clan or family feuds.
  2. b) There was population pressure in their area of origin.
  3. c) They were nomadic pastoralists in search of better grazing lands and water for their livestock
  4. d) They were fleeing the outbreak of disease that affected both people and animals.
  5. e) They were escaping famine and drought.
  6. f) They fled constant attacks from their neighbours.
  7. g) They were also looking for better fishing grounds.
  8. h) The migrated to satisfy their spirit of adventure.

Their migration into Kenya began in the 15thc. they moved in four distinct groups;

  1. a) Joka-jok- people of jok. Was the first group to enter into kenya from Uganda. They first settled at Ramogi hills in Kadimo Siaya district displacing the earlier Gusii settlers. Two of Jok’s sons fled to south Nyanza to form the Karachuonyo and Wanjare clans. Thisgroup spread to Sakwa, Alego, Asembo and other parts of Nyanza.
  2. b) Joka-Owiny. Owiny moved from Uganda to settle in Sogoma in Alego with his group in the 17thc. he was both a great fighter and leader (Ruoth). He came to be known as

Owiny Sigoma and his people Joka Ruoth. This group settled in Kisumu, Nyakach and South Nyanza.

  1. c) Joka-Omolo. They came from northern Banyoro and settled temporarily in Ibanda and Bukoli before moving to Ugenya and Gem. They displaced the Abagusii and Abalogoli out of Yimbo. They spread to Alego and then across winam gulf into south nyanza.
  2. d) The abasuba. They are Bantu in origin but are associated with the Luo. They are a mixture of Bantu refugees from Uganda who intermarried with the Luo. They settled in the Lake Victoria islands of Mfangano and Rusinga and also in gwasi area. They adopted Luo culture.

Effects of Luo Migration

  1. a) The settlement of the Luo in Kenya led to increase in population in the area.
  2. b) Their arrival intensified conflicts between them and other communities in the area over limited resources. For example they displaced the western Bantu like the Abaluhyia,

Abakuria and Abagusii

  1. c) There were intermarriages between the Luo and the Luyia and Maasai groups in the area.
  2. d) The Luo assimilated some Luhyia communities living in the area.
  3. e) Their settlement enhanced trade with different communities; they exchanged livestock products for grains with the Luyia.
  4. f) The Luo adopted agriculture as a result of interacting with the Bantus who were farmers.

Plain Nilotes

They include the Maasai and Samburu (Maa speakers), Iteso, Turkana and Njemps.

The Plain Nilotes entered Kenya at around AD 1000 from an area north of Lake Turkana.

Why they moved into Kenya:

  1. a) Drought and famine that broke out in their cradleland.
  2. b) Population increase which resulted into population pressure in their cradle land.
  3. c) The external pressure from stronger neighbours.
  4. d) Internal conflicts from among other Nilotic groups concerning the ownership of grazing lands and watering areas.
  5. e) Epidemics and diseases like sleeping sickness affecting both humans and animals.
  6. f) They moved due to their desire for adventure, i.e. they wanted to find out what was happening in other areas.
  7. g) Need for water and pasture for their animals forced them to move.

Their first point of settlement was near Mount Moroto in eastern Uganda by AD 1000. From here, several groups like the Jie, Iteso, Turkana and karamojong emerged, with the Iteso settling in Uganda in 17thc before expanding into western Kenya by 19thc. The Turkana extended northwards to their present area.

The effects of the migration and settlement of the iteso

  1. a) The settlement of the iteso in their present region led to increase in population in the area.
  2. b) It intensified conflicts between them and other commu nities in the area over limited resources.
  3. c) There were intermarriages between the iteso and the Luyia groups in the area.
  4. d) Cultural interaction giving rise to enriched cultures.
  5. e) Some people were displaced from the area with the arrival of the iteso. E.g. the Maasai and some kalenjin communities.
  6. f) The iteso assimilated some communities living in the area.
  7. g) Their settlement enhanced trade with different communities; they exchanged livestock products for grains with the Luyia.
  8. h) The iteso adopted agriculture as a result of interacting with the Bantus who were farmers

The Maasai

~  Their movement from north of lake Turkana is closely associated with the original Kalenjin speakers. By AD 1500, the Maasai begun to move separately southwards between Mt,. Kenya and Mt. Elgon. By 19thc , they had settled in Uasin Gishu and even spread into Tanzania along the Rift Valley.

~  As they moved, they assimilated the Sirikwa peoples. They also waged war against the neighbouring Kalenjin, Akamba and Abagusii.

~  In the 1850s the Maasai experienced many natural disasters like drought, famine and cattle diseases leading to decline of their power. They also experienced civil wars between the Kwavi (iloikop) and the Purko (Ilmaasai) sections. When Oloibon Mbatian died, his two sons Sendeyo and Lenana became involved in a protracted succession dispute. They were also weakened by wars with the Agikuyu. Their power came to an end with the coming of British rule.

Effects of the migration and settlement of the plain nilotes into Kenya

  1. a) The migration and settlement of the Maasai in their present region led to increase in population in the area.
  2. b) As they migrated, into Kenya, the Maasai pushed and displaced the communities they came across. For example, they subdued the Nandi in the 18thc.
  3. c) The Maasai influenced the fighting tactics of other groups in Kenya.
  4. d) The Maasai absorbed the southern Cushites such as the Dorobo.
  5. e) There were intermarriages between the Maasai and the Akamba, Agikuyu and even the kalenjin groups in the area.
  6. f) There was Cultural interaction giving rise to enriched cultures. They adopted some cultural practices from the southern Cushites for example, the age-set systems circumcision and clitoridectomy. They also adopted some Kalenjin vocabulary.
  7. g) Their settlement enhanced trade with different communities; they exchanged livestock products for grains with the Luyia.
  8. h) A section of the Maasai adopted agriculture as a result of interacting with their agricultural neighbours in the Rift Valley. The Kwavi Maasai became mixed farmers.
  9. i) They influenced Communities like the Nandi who adopted the institution of Prophet or diviner from the institution of Laibon among the Maasai.

The Highland Nilotes

They comprise the kalenjin speakers namely the Tugen, Nandi, Kipsigis, Marakwet, Keiyo, Pokot and Sabaot. They are believed to be the earliest Nilotic speakers in Kenya. This evidenced from the narratives of their neighbours like the Luo.

Their traditions point their original homeland to be a place to the north-western part of Kenya, between Sudan and Ethiopia.

Why they migrated:

  1. a) They might have been Escaping from internal enemies causing clan or family feuds.
  2. b) There was population pressure in their area of origin forcing them to look for new land for settlement.
  3. c) They were fleeing the outbreak of diseases and epidemics that affected both people and animals.
  4. d) They were escaping famine and drought.
  5. e) They fled constant attacks from their neighbours.
  6. f) They were also looking for better lands for cultivation.
  7. g) The migrated to satisfy their spirit of adventure.

Key notes for the teacher and students- @Helot 2012-2013  49

They began migrating from their cradleland in around 600AD. By 700AD, some kalenjin groups like the Sirikwa were already occupying the rift valley.

Some were later pushed out of the Mt. elgon region by the incoming Bantu and plain nilotes. Those that remained include the Bok, Bongomek and Kony. The Terik later migrated to western Kenya and greatly borrowed from the Bantu, adopting a new name, Tiriki.

The Nandi.

They were pushed out of the Mt. Elgon region between 1700 and 1800 by the incoming Maasai.

The decline of the Maasai in the 19thc made them rise to become a formidable group that conducted raids against their neighbours like the Abaluhyia and Luo.

Their power only declined due to colonization.

The Kipsigis

They are believed to have separated together with the Nandi from other kalenjin groups at around Mt. Elgon region around AD1600. They moved south east to Teo, near Lake Baringo. Due to the Maasai attacks, they moved westwards to Tambach where they stayed for a long period. They later moved southwards to Rongai near Nakuru.

They only separated from the Nandi due to drought and the Maasai Raids on the Nandi.

The Kipsigis moved further south to Kericho while the Nandi moved to Aldai during the 2nd half of 18thc.  The Kipsigis settled at Kipsigis Hills forming a strong community that assimilated thelegendary Sirikwa and some Maasai and Abagusii groups. They were for a long time allies of the Nandi.

What factors contributed to the Nandi and Kipsigis split during the mid 18th century.

  1. a) Maasai attacks on the two communities forcing each group to find its own means of Defence.
  2. b) Drought which caused scattering in search of food and pasture.
  3. c) Constant conflicts over the limited resources in the region leading to warfare and final split.

Results of the Highland nilotes migration

  1. a) It increased intercommunity conflicts in the region.
  2. b) Some of the Kalenjin groups assimilated Bantu cultures while their culture was also assimilated by other groups. The Terik for example borrowed many Bantu vocabularies and customs.
  3. c) They intermarried with other groups in the region, such as the Abagusii and the Luo.
  4. d) Their migration increased trading activities in the region.
  5. e) They displaced the people they came across e.g. the Abagusii and the Kwavi Maasai

Explain the results of the interactions between the various Kenyan communities during the pre-colonial period.

  1. a) Through the inter-tribal wars, there was loss of lives and destruction of property hence economic decline.
  2. b) Many communities were displaced as new ones arrived. E.g when the Luos arrived, Abagusii and sections of the Abaluhyia were displaced. Etc.
  3. c) The constant raids as a means of interaction led to some communities seeking for refugee in secure places. E.g the Abagusii too refugee in the present Kisii highland due to the Kipsigis, Nandi and Maasai raids in 1800AD.
  4. d) A sense of unity developed among some communities e.g. among the Luo, as a means of Defence against attacks by the Maasai, Nandi and Abaluhyia.
  5. e) Tension between various communities was reduced as they interacted through intermarriages e.g. between the Agikuyu and the Maasai.
  6. f) Some new customs found their way into various communities. E.g the Bantu and the nilotes learned of circumcision and age set system from the southern Cushites.
  7. g) New technology infused into various communities. E.g. the Bantu and the nilotes learned the art of cattle milking and bleeding, irrigation and manuring from the southern Cushites.
  8. h) Specialization emerged mainly due to inter-community trade in the region.
  9. i) There was also increased wealth in some communities. For example through the trade

between the Agikuyu and the Akamba, some Agikuyu gained wealth.

  1. j) New economic activities sprung up in some communities. E.g. the Maasai adopted crop cultivation from the Agikuyu.
  2. k) The Bantu language was enriched through the borrowing of some vocabulary from the southern Cushites.
  3. l) The Abakuria were able to develop into a distinct ethnic group as a result of constant raids from the Maasai and the Luo.



Social organization

~  Almost all the Bantu communities were organized in clans made up of people with common descent.

~  All the Bantu communities practiced circumcision. In some communities like the Akamba, Abaluhyia, only boys circumcised. Among the Abagusii and Agikuyu, both boys and girls were circumcised. The initiates were taught the values and customs of their community

~  Circumcision marked an entry into an age set whose functions included defending the community from external attacks, building huts and advising junior age-sets on how to raid.

~  All the Bantu communities believed in the existence of a supernatural power that controlled their destiny. The Abaluhyia, for example called their God Were or Nyasaye, the AgikuyuNgai etc.

~  The Bantu communities had diviners and medicineman. Among the Agikuyu community, a medicine person was called mundu mugo.

~  The Bantu celebrated life both in song and dance. There were songs for initiations, childbirth, marriage, harvest and funeral. The mood and style of their song and dances varied depending on the occasion.

Political organization of the Bantu

~  All the Bantu communities in Kenya, except the Wanga sub-group of the Luhyia, had decentralized forms of government.

~  The clan formed the basic political unit for all the Bantu communities. Each clan was made up of related families. Leadership of the clan was in the hands of a council of elders who played a pivoted role in solving disputes, decided on inter-tribal marriages, maintaining law and order and making executive decisions affecting the community like declaring war.

~  Among the Agikuyu and Ameru, the council was known as Kiama, Kambi among Mijikenda, Njama among Ataveta and Abagata ba gesaku among the Gusii.

~  The Bantu had an age-set system that had some political significance. For example among the Agikuyu, the boys joined the age-set after initiation to provide warriors who defended the community from external attacks and raid other communities for cattle.

~  Among the centralized Wanga government, the king was known as Nabongo. His office was hereditary. He was assisted by a chief minister and other officials with a council of elders.

Economic organization of the Bantu

~  The Bantu kept Livestock like sheep, cattle and goats for milk, meat and skin. Dowry was paid inform of livestock. Some communities used livestock as a form of currency in barter trade.

~  They traded among themselves and also with their neighbours such as the Luo, kalenjin and Maasai. They sold grains in exchange for baskets and fish from the Luo.

~  They practiced iron-smelting, making implements such as knives, hoes arrow heads and spearheads. This sometimes also became trading items.

~  The Bantu practiced crop growing. They grew grains like millet, sorghum and cassava among other crops mainly for food while the excess were sold to neighbours.

~  They practiced craft making pots and weaving baskets.

~  For the Bantu communities who lived along rivers and Lake Victoria, e.g. the Luhyia, they practiced fishing.

~  Hunting and gathering was also done by some communities to supplement their food. E.g. the Akamba.

~  Raiding other communities for cattle.

The Agikuyu.

By 19thcentury, the Agikuyu had a complex social, economic and political organization some of which were products of their interrraction with other communities.

Social organization

~  The family was the smallest social unit among the Agikuyu. It was headed by a father.

Several families that shared a common ancestry comprised a clan.

~  The Agikuyu had rites of passage which included initiation of both boys and girls through circumcision/clitoridectomy.

~  The initiated boys joined the age-set (riikaor mariika) after being educated on the values and customs of the society. It was only after initiation that boys and girls were considered mature enough to get married.

~  The Agikuyu believed in the existence of one God who controlled their destiny. They called their God Ngai. He was all powerful and as believed to dwell o mt. kirinyaga where they claim he created them.

~  They also had diviners whose main work was to interpret God’s message to the people.

~  The Agikuyu had medicineman. A medicine person was called mundu mugo. Their main work was to cure diseases. They learned their skills through apparent-iceship.

~  The Agikuyu had designated sacred places for prayers, worship and offerings (an example was the mugumo tree for offering sacrifices).

~  Marriage was an important institution among the Agikuyu.

The political organization of the Agikuyu

~  The Agikuyu had a decentralized system of government. The basic political system was based on the family headed by a father.

~  Several families made up a clan (Mbari). Each clan was ruled by a council of elders. (kiama).

A senior elder (Muramati) coordinated the activities of the clan.

~  Several elders(aramati)formed a higher council of elders (kiama kia athamaki)

~  The functions of the higher council of elders included settling disputes, deliberating on day to day activities, administering justice and handled disputes, inheritance disputes and acted as a final court of appeal.

~  They had warriors drawn from the age-set system, who defended the community from external aggression.

Economic organization of the Agikuyu

The Agikuyu engaged in various economic activities;

~  The Agikuyu kept Livestock like sheep, cattle and goats for milk, meat and skin. Dowry was paid inform of livestock.

~  They traded among themselves and with their neighbours such as the Akamba and Maasai.

They sold grains and iron implements in exchange for livestock products like skins and beads (Maasai) and imported goods like clothes(Akamba).

~  They practiced iron-smelting, making implements such as knives, hoes which enhanced their farming activities and trade. They borrowed this art from the Gumba.

~  They practiced crop growing. They grew grains like millet, yams, sweet potatoes,

arrowroots, sorghum and cassava among other crops mainly for food while the excess were sold to neighbours.

~  They practiced craft making pots and weaving baskets.

~  Hunting and gathering was also done by Agikuyu to supplement their food.

The Ameru

The Ameru had a system of government which ensured high standards of morality and stability. This system evolved as they migrated and interacted with other communities.

Social organization of the Ameru

The Ameru was a system characterized by the existence of various councils from the council of children to the supreme council of Njuri Ncheke. This was meant to ensure the highest moral standards in the community.The Njuri Ncheke acted as parliament and had the following functions;

~  It presided over religious ceremonies.

~  It solved disputes in the community. It also mediated in disputes involving the Meru and their neighbors

~  It ensured the custody of the community’s history, traditions and values/heritage

~  It sanctioned wars

~  Acted as ritual leaders. They provided Guidance and counseling community members.

~  It set the moral code to be adhered to by all members of the community. If one went against the moral code, he/she would be punished. A member of the Njuri Ncheke who offended another was fined a bundle of miraa. A warrior who violated the code was fined a bull, an elder who violated the code was fined a bull or a goat, a woman who broke the code was fined a big pot of cowpeas.Marriage was regarded highly among the Ameru and a married woman would be assigned to an elderly woman (midwife) whom she must give gifts like millet, peas and black beans in exchange for midwifery. Any spouse who involved in adultery or any girl who was not a virgin at the time of marriage was stoned to death by a stoning council made up of male initiates. Marriage was exogamous (no one was allowed to marry from their clan)Before a male child was considered mature, he underwent several stages including circumcision. Before circumcision of both boys and girls, two ceremonies were performed after which they became full members of the community.

~  The time of making spots where the ear-hole perforation would be done.

~  The time of actual perforation of the ears.

The Ameru believed in the existence of a supreme being called Baaba Weetu who was a loving father and took care of all. He was omnipresent.

The Ameru also believed in the existence of spirits which either brought happiness or tears depending on how one lived on earth.

They believed in life after death with good people going where rains come from when they die.Libations were offered to ancestors to quench their thirst and relieve their hunger

Building houses in the Ameru community was the work of women while men defended the community.

Economic organization of the Ameru

~  The Ameru cultivated grain crops like millet, peas, black beans, cowpeas and miraa among other crops mainly for food while the excess were sold to neighbours.

~  The Ameru kept Livestock like sheep. Goats and cattle for dowry payment and rituals and also for milk, meat and skin.

~  They traded among themselves and with their neighbours. When the coastal traders penetrated the interior, they exchanged goods with them

~  They practiced iron-smelting, making implements such as knives, spears and hoes which enhanced their farming activities and trade.

~  They practiced craft making pots and weaving baskets.

~  Hunting and gathering was also done by Ameru to supplement their food.

Political organization of the Ameru

~  The basic political system was based on the family headed by a father.

~  The basic political unit was the clan. Several families made up a clan headed by a clan elder.

~  The Ameru had a system of councils and age groups which oversaw the administration of the community. Every Meru belonged to the relevant council. E.g. the children’s council, council of elders’ council of warriors. The supreme council was known as Njuri Ncheke.

~  The functions of the supreme council of elders included settling disputes, deliberating on day to day activities, administering justice and handled disputes, inheritance disputes and acted as a final court of appeal. It also officiated over religious ceremonies

~  The age set system provided the community with warriors who defended the community from external aggression.

~  Religions leaders like prophets influenced the political administration for the Ameru.

~  Their system of government alternated between two organizations namely, Kiruga and Ntiba every fourteen years and each had its own army regiment.

The Akamba

The Akamba are of the eastern Bantus who settled in Chyulu hills, Mbooni, Kitui and Machakos.

Social organization

~  Like other Bantus, the Akamba were organized into clans whose members claimed commondescent.

~  The Akamba practiced exogamous marriages. However their tradition allowed the adoption of an outsider into a clan

~  Wrongdoers among the Akamba were banished from the community if they refused to compensate for the wrong did.

~  There existed no institutional age sets among the Akamba though boys and girls were circumcised before reaching puberty. The initiates were then taught community secrets after two years from circumcision (at 14 years)

~  At puberty, both men and women were allowed to marry and bear children with the father of a young family automatically becoming a junior elder until his children were ready to be circumcised.

~  He then moved to the next grade only after paying a bullock and several goats.

~  The top two grades formed the administrative council of the community mainly dealing with the ritual ceremonies.

~  The Akamba believed in the existence of a creator called Ngai or Mulungu whom they prayed to through ancestral spirits.

~  The Akamba had ritual experts who included medicine people that guided them in their rituals.

~  Shrines also existed where offerings and sacrifices were made by the elders called Atumia ma ithembo. (Mostly found at a place with two large fig trees.)

~  The Akamba had many social ceremonies which were accompanied with festivity dance and music. For example, during harvest, weddings, deaths and birth.

Political organization

~  The smallest political unit among the Akamba was the homestead,  (Musyi) comprising three to four generations of extended family with a stockade round the home of each married man. Outside the entrance of the homestead, there was an open space (thome), where men would sit and discuss political and other important matters.

~  Several related families formed a wider territorial grouping or clan with its own recreational ground, elder’s council (made of all the male elders), war leader and palace for worship

~  The clan was the main political unit for the Akamba.

~  There was also a larger territorial grouping above the clan called Kivalo that constituted a fighting unit. There was however no single central authority that united the Akamba the Kivalo was always disbanded after war.

~  Age grades and age sets were common to all in the community and acted as a unifying factor.

~  The elders in the community were ranked according to seniority.

~  Junior elders defended their community. Medium elders (Nthele) assisted in the

administration of the community. The full elders (Atumia ma Kivalo) participated in delivering judgements. The senior most elders (Atumia ma Ithembo) were involved in religious activities.

~  By 19th century, due to participation and gaining from trade, a number of people had gained prestige and followers to be regarded as Akamba chiefs or leaders. For example, chief Kivoi.

Economic organization

~  Due to variation in the environment, the Akamba participated in varied economic activities.

~  Those who lived around the fertile Mbooni, ulu and Iveti hills practiced farming. They planted sorghum, millet, yams, potatoes, sugarcane and beans.

~  Those who lived in the drier areas like Kitui practiced livestock farming and mainly transhumance during the drier period.

~  The Akamba were also hunters hunting for elephants, leopards, antelopes and Rhinos. They were gatherers who Collected fruits, roots etc.

~  They practiced trading activities e.g. they sold Ivory, feathers, shells hides, arrows, spearheads, to neighbours and the Arabs, Swahili traders.

~  The Akamba were skilled Iron –workers produced spears, arrow heads, hoes, knives.

~  The Akamba Practiced woodcarving making tools and shields.

~  They engaged in pottery, making pots, mats etc.

~  They were bee-keepers for honey which they sold.

~  The Akamba acted as middlemen during the long distance trade.

The Abagusii

They originated in the Congo Forest like other Bantus and settled in the fertile highlands of Kisii, Gucha and Nyamira Districts of Nyanza Province.

Political Organization

The clan formed the basic political unit for Gusii communities. Each clan was made up of related families. Leadership of the clan was in the hands of a council of elders who played a pivoted role in solving disputes, decided on inter-tribal marriages, maintaining law and order and making executive decisions affecting the community like declaring war. The council was known Abagata ba gesaku.The Abagusii also had chiefdoms made up of several clans, which United to counter-attacks from their neighbours. Each chiefdom was headed by a chief (Omugambi), assisted by a councilof clan elders.

The elders acted as ‘middlemen’ through whom people could communicate their wishes and grievances to the chief. The position of the chief was hereditary.The Omogambi presided over religious ceremonies. He led clan members in communal sacrifices and social activities such as the planting and harvesting of crops. He also performed political functions.After circumcision, the boys joined the age-set which acted as a military wing responsible for the defence of the community.The Kisii still practice most of the political features discussed above.




Social organization

The Abagusii lived in family unit, headed by a family member, called the family head. Several related families formed a clan, headed by clan elders who formed a council. The role of the council of elders was to settle disputes between families.A number of clans formed sub-communities headed by clan elders. Circumcision of boys and girls formed part of the initiation rites for the Abagusii. The initiates were taught the values and customs of the society after which they were considered adults.The initiated boys were organized into age groups and age-grades. An age-grade was made up of people who were circumcised together. Members of the same age-grade treated one another as real brothers and helped each other in times of need.They believed in the existence of a supreme god, ‘engoro’ who was the creator of everything. They offered sacrifices to him during special occasions like initiation ceremonies and religions festivals and when there were problems like illness and draught. They worshipped him through their ancestral spirits.Diviners and seers among the Kisii were special people and were called Omoragori.

Economic organization

~  The Abagusii practiced crop farming. They grew many food crops including maize, sorghum, yams, peas, beans, millet, cassava, bananas and sweet potatoes.

~  They also kept livestock, cattle, goats and sheep were kept for meat and milk. They also kept poultry.

~  Trading was also a main economic activity among the Abagusii. They traded with their neighbours especially the Luo and the Abaluhyia. The Luo supplied them with livestock, cattle, salt, hides, fish, drums, and poison for arrows, spears and potatoes. In return, the Abagusii supplied the Luo with grain, hoes, axes, spears, arrowheads, razors, soapstone, soapstone dust, baboon skins, pipes, bowls and carvings of animals and birds.

~  The Abagusii were also involved in iron-working, which they kept secret to avoid competition from their neighbours. They made iron implements such as hoes, spears, axes and arrow heads. They also made ornaments.

~  They mined soapstone on the hilltops. They used is dust to decorate their faces during ceremonies. Some was sold to the Luos who used to decorate faces of their heroes. It was used for making pots, pipes, bowls and carvings.

~  They also depended on hunting and gathering to supplement the other economies. They hunted wild game for meat and skins. They also collected wild fruit roots and vegetables.

~  The Abagusii raided their neighbours for livestock. To date, they still raid the Maasai and Kipsigis for livestock.

The Mijikenda

The Mijikenda comprise of nine groups that had similar social, economic and political structures. They are believed to have arrived in their current settlement from Shungwaya.


Social organization of the Mijikenda

The Mijikenda were organized in clans comprising of related families.

~  The Mijikenda practiced circumcision. Only boys circumcised. Circumcision marked an entry into an age set whose functions included building huts and advising junior age -sets on how to raid.

~  They believed in the existence of a supernatural power that controlled their destiny. They called their God Mulungu.

~  The Mijikenda worshipped ancestral spirits. Prophets among the Mijikenda were called wafisi.

~  Marriage among the Mijikenda was exogamous (no one was allowed to marry from their clan). They practiced polygamy

~  There was division of labour among the Mijikenda. Children looked after livestock, young men built houses, cattle sheds, hunted and cleared bushes for cultivation..

~  The Mijikenda celebrated social ceremonies in song and dance. There were songs for initiations, childbirth, marriage, harvest and funeral..

Political organization

~  The Mijikenda had a strong clan system. Administration was based on a strong clan system. 4-6 clans lived in a fortified village known as kaya.

~  The existence of a council of elders(Kambi) at clan level to settle disputes and the general administration of the clan

~  An age set (riika) system formed by young men after circumcision and which provided the base from which warriors were obtained.

~  Social and political unity was strengthened through intermarriage between different clans.

~  Judicial matters were handled by the elders’ council which was final court of appeal.

~  The council of elders declared war on warring neighbors.

Economic organization

~  The Mijikenda kept Livestock like sheep, cattle and goats for milk, meat and skin. Hunting and gathering was also done to supplement their food

~  They traded in the coastal trade with the Arabs and with the Akamba from interior.

~   The Mijikenda practiced salt mining which the used as a trading item.

~  The Mijikenda engaged in fishing along the coast as well as on rivers.

~  They practiced crop growing. They grew grains like millet, yams, sweet potatoes,

arrowroots, sorghum, coconut and cassava among other crops mainly for food while the excess were sold to neighbours.

~  They practiced craft making pots and weaving baskets using coconut leaves.


The second largest group in Kenya.



Social organization

~  There were slight variations in the social organizations of the various Nilotic groups in Kenya. However they shared institutions such as the clan-based organization, belief in one God, veneration of ancestral spirits, age-set system, social ceremonies and existence of religious leaders.

~  The family was the basic social unit in many communities. Several related families grouped together to form clans among the Luo, Maasai and Nandi.

~  They believed in one supernatural being. The Maasai referred to him as Engai while the Luo called Him Nyasaye.

~  The communities believed in the existence of ancestral spirits, to whom sacrifices and libations were made to ensure they remained happy.

~  There was the existence of religious leaders whose work was to lead the communitiesduring religious functions and rituals. Some of the religious leaders had assumed political power by 19th c. For example the Orkoiyot among the Nandi and Oloibon among the Maasai.

~  The Maasai and other Nilotic groups had rain makers and diviners.

~  The age-set system was another common social institution. The age sets were formed by those who were initiated at the same time. The institution created a bond among the initiates that cut across the families and clans thus uniting the whole community.

~  There were social ceremonies that accompanied the rites of passage like circumcision, marriage and death.

~  The Luo as their form of initiation extracted six lower teeth. The other groups practiced circumcision. In all the groups, the initiates were taught the community values.

The economic organization

~  The nilotes were nomadic pastoralists who kept Livestock like sheep, cattle and goats for milk, meat and blood.

~  They traded among themselves and also with their neighbours. The kalenjin traded with the Maasai and with the Luo and neighbouring Bantu communities like the Abaluhyia. They sold animal products and red ochre in exchange for grains from the Bantu.

~  They practiced iron-smelting, making implements such as arrow heads and spearheads. This skilled was borrowed from the Bantu.

~  The Maasai also practiced mining e.g. mined iron, salt and red ochre which they used for decoration and as a commodity for trade.

~  There existed variation in the economic activities within a single community like the Maasai. Some sections of the Maasai e.g. the Kwavi practiced crop growing i.e. growing grains and vegetables. The Purko were purely pastoralists

~  They practiced craft e.g. made pots, weaved baskets and leather belts.

~  Raiding other communities for cattle was also a common economic practice.

~  The Luo who lived near Lake Victoria practiced fishing. The Turkana also engaged in fishing on Lake Turkana.

Political organization

~  The Nilotic communities had a decentralized system of administration with all the communities organized on clan basis.

~  There existed councils of elders that administered and ensured maintenance of law and order, settled disputes between clans and other communities.

~  The nilotes had a warlike tradition. Each community had Warriors who defended the community and raided other communities. The Luo reffered to the warriors as Thuondi. The Maasai called them Moran.

~  The age-set system determined political leadership since all those initiated together formed one age-set for life.

~  The institution of religion influenced most of the political affairs of the Nilotic speakers. For example, the Orkoiyot among the Nandi and the Oloibon among the Maasai were primarily religious leaders who wielded political authority in the19th  century.

The Nandi

By 1900 AD, the Nandi had already established their social, economic and political institutions.

Social organization

~  The family was the basic social unit. Several related families grouped together to form clans among Nandi. The family institution was very important in the community. It played an important role in the Kokwet (council of elders) and in the clan activities.

~  The age-set system was an important social institution among the Nandi. Nandi boys and girls were initiated at puberty through circumcision. Circumcision marked entry into adulthood. The initiates were taught the deepest community values during the period.

~  Age sets were formed by those who were initiated at the same time irrespective of the clans they belonged to. In total, there were eight age-sets among the Nandi namely Sawe, Maina, Chuma, Korongoro, Kipkoimet, Kaplelach, Kimnyinge and Nyongi.

~  The Nandi boys became junior warriors after circumcision. They only promoted to senior warriors after the Saket apeito ceremony (slaughter of bullock) that was done after every fifteen years.

~  Marriage within the same clan was prohibited among the Nandi. This was meant to create unity by encouraging intermarriages between different clans.

~  They believed in one supernatural being whom they referred to him as Asis, who was believed to be the protector of the community.

~  The Nandi believed in the existence of ancestral spirits, to whom sacrifices and libations were made to ensure they remained happy.

~  The community also had important religious leaders whose work was to lead the

community during religious functions and rituals, diviners and rain makers.The institution of Orkoiyot among the Nandi was borrowed from that of Oloibon among the Maasai.

Religious functions did the Orkoiyot of the Nandi.

~   He Mediated between God and the people/acting as a priest.

~  He presided over Offering of sacrifices to God on behalf of the people.

~  He advised and blessed the warriors before they went to war.

~  Blessing people before they undertook special activities like planting and


~  He foretold what was going to happen in the future. e.g. success or misfortune in

the community.

Economic organization

~  The Nandi were pastoralists who kept Livestock like sheep, cattle and goats for milk, meat, manure and blood. Cattle were a symbol of status among the Nandi and also a form of dowry settlement.

~  The Nandi cultivated crops such as Millet and sorghum due the fertile soils and favourable climate in areas like Aldai.

~  They also practiced hunting and gathering to supplement their food production.

~  The Nandi raided other communities for cattle. They acquired large herds of cattle through raiding neighbouring communities such as the Maasai. Abaluhyia and Luo.

~  They traded among themselves and also with their neighbours. The Nandi traded with the Maasai and with the Luo and neighbouring Bantu communities like the Abaluhyia.  They sold animal products and red ochre in exchange for grains from the Bantu. The Nandi however were self sufficient in food.

~  They practiced craft e.g. made pots, weaved baskets and leather belts.

Political organization

The family was the basic political unit. It was headed by a father who dealt with internal matters such as discipline, allocation of crops, land and cattle. In matters affecting the neighbourhood, he was assisted by the Kokwet (council of elders) which was made up of neighbourhood heads.Above the Kokwet was the clan organization whose council of elders tackled matters to do with grazing rights.Above the clan, there was a larger socio-political unit comprising different war groups located in the same geographical zone called a pororiet. This formed the highest political unit among the Nandi. The pororiet council of elders comprised representatives from different clansIts functions included negotiating for peace and declaring war .The Nandi boys became junior warriors after circumcision. They only promoted to senior warriors after the Saket apeito ceremony (slaughter of bullock) that was done after every fifteen years.




The Maasai

Social organization

~  The Maasai were divided into two groups; the pastoral Maasai(Purko) and the Agricultural Maasai(Kwavi or Iloikop).

~  The Maasai were organized on clan basis with each clan associated with a particular type of cattle. In total, the Maasai had five clans spread over large areas and not necessarily staying together.

~  Maasai boys and girls were initiated at puberty through circumcision. Circumcision marked entry into adulthood. The initiates were taught the deepest community values during the period.

~  After circumcision, the boys entered an age set to which they belonged the rest of their life.

~  The age set institution created a bond among the initiates that cut across the families and clans thus uniting the whole community.

~  All the boys initiated together also formed a warrior class called Morans and lived in special homesteads called Manyattas away from the rest of the community. For about ten years.

~  They were not allowed to take milk from their mother’s house and were required to adhere to ritual and dietary restrictions.

~  They believed in one supernatural being. The Maasai referred to him as Engai. Prayers and sacrifices were offered to him at the shrines.

~  There was the existence of religious leaders whose work was to lead the communities during religious functions and rituals. They called their religious leader Oloibon.

Functions of Oloibon

~  He presided over religious ceremonies. / He was consulted on all religious matters.

~  He blessed warriors before they went to war.

~  He advised the council of elders.

~  He foretold the future events.

The Maasai and other Nilotic groups had rain makers and diviners.

There were several social ceremonies that accompanied the rites of passage like circumcision, marriage and death. The Eunoto ceremony marked the graduation of the Morans into junior elders. This ceremony is still practiced upto date.

Economic organization of the Maasai

~  The Maasai were nomadic pastoralists who kept Livestock like sheep, cattle and goats formilk, meat and blood..

~  They traded among themselves and also with their neighbours such as the Agikuyu, kalenjin and Taita. They sold animal products and red ochre in exchange for grains from the Agikuyu.

~  They practiced iron-smelting, making implements such as arrow heads and spearheads..

~  They also practiced mining e.g. mined iron, salt and red ochre which

~  They also practiced mining e.g. mined iron, salt and red ochre which they used for decoration and as a commodity for trade.

~  Some sections of the Maasai e.g. the Kwavi practiced crop growing i.e. growing grains and vegetables.

~  They practiced craft e.g. made pots, weaved baskets and leather belts.

~  Raiding other communities for cattle.

Political organization of the Maasai

The largest political unit amongst Maasai was the tribal section, which was a geographically distinct entity which operated as a nation, especially during ceremonies.

Affairs involving inter-clan cooperation were dealt within ad hoc meetings comprising age set spokesmen

Before a Maasai young man became an adult, he underwent the following four stages.

Boyhood (ilaiyak)

The youths at this stage looked after family and clan livestock until they reached circumcision stage at about 15 years.

Warrior hood (Ilmuran)

The stage was joined by young men circumcised together and comprised of ages between 18 and 25 years. They defended the community and conducted raids to boost the clan and tribal flocks. They had a military leader known as Olaiguani.

The stayed in isolation in manyattas undergoing military training in order to graduate into senior warriors. After that they were permitted to marry.

Junior elders

This was the political authority that evaluated the day to day issues of the community.

It comprised heads of households,, aim responsibility was to maintain peace and instruct warriors on how to handle issues in the community. They were permitted to own livestock.

The senior elders

They comprise the senior most age-set. Membership was determined by age and experience. The group performed religious functions and also was responsible for and dealt with difficult judicial and political decisions.The Maasai adopted the institution of Oloibon or prophet that combined socio-religious functions and later own assumed political authority. There were several social ceremonies that accompanied the rites of passage like circumcision, marriage and death. The Eunoto ceremony marked the graduation of the Morans into junior elders. This ceremony is still practiced upto date.

The Luo

Social organization

The family was the basic social unit among the Luo. The Luo community valued large families and therefore practiced polygamy.Marriage among the Luo was exogamous (no one was allowed to marry from their clan).

Several related families grouped together to form clans among the Luo.

They believed in one supernatural being whom they called Nyasaye. They prayed to Nyasaye.The communities believed in the existence of ancestral spirits, to whom sacrifices and libations were made to ensure they remained happy. Sacred shrines and trees existed. He rocks, high hills and even the lake were associated with supernatural power.There was the existence of religious leaders whose work was to lead the communities during religious functions and perform rituals. These included priests, medicine people, rain makers and diviners. For one to be a medicine person, a benevolent spirit called Juogi must possess him or her.The Luo youths as their form of initiation extracted six lower teeth. After that they were allowed to marry.The Luo had several social ceremonies that accompanied the rites of passage like marriage and death.

Economic organization

~  The Luo were originally a pastoral and fishing community. They Practiced livestock keeping for prestige and cultural purposes e.g. dowry and for meat and milk.

~  The carried out Fishing along water courses due to their proximity to the lake. Both men and women conducted fishing, which was a source of food as well as a trade commodity.

~  The Luo Traded with their neighbors. They sold pots, baskets, cattle, fish and livestock for grains, spears, arrows and canoes from the Abaluhyia, Abagusii, Kipsigis and Nandi.

~  They also Cultivated plants like millet, sorghum, etc

~  Most of them practiced hunting and gathering to get additional meat and hides and to supplement the food they produced.

~  They practiced craft. Women specialized in production of pottery products, baskets and clothes

Political organization of the Luo

The Luo were a decentralized community.

The family was the basic political unit among the Luo. The head of the family was referred to as Jaduong. Several related families made up a clan headed by a council of elders called Doho whose main responsibility was to settle inter-family disputes.

Below the Doho were lineage councils called Buch Dhoot that tackled domestic issues

Above the Doho was a grouping of clans called Oganda headed by a council of elders reffered to as Buch piny and headed by a chief elder called Ruoth. The Buch piny comprised representatives from each clan. It was responsible for settling inter -clan conflicts, declaring war and punishing criminals such as murderers.Religious leaders among the Luo also influenced politics. E.g rainmakers and diviners.One of the members of the council of elders was given a responsibility of advising the council on military matters and was therefore a war leader (osumba Mrwayi). Under them was a special group of warriors reffered to as Thuondi (bulls). Their work was to raided neighbouring communities like the Maasai, Nandi and Abagusii and other perceived enemies.


The Cushites

These were the smallest linguistic group in Kenya inhabiting the northern part of Kenya. They are a nomadic Sam speaking group. They comprise the Borana, Gabra, Galla (Oromo), Rendille and Burji.The communities developed complex social, economic and political institutions that were interrupted by the coming of the Muslims and Europeans.

Social organization of the Cushites

The Cushites had a patrilineal society, which means they traced their origins through the fatherThe Cushites believed in a common ancestor which makes their kinship system strong.All the Cushitic communities practiced circumcision of boys and clitoridectomy for girls as a form of initiation. This was a rite of passage into adulthood.After circumcision, the initiates were taught about their adult roles and their rights as members of the community.Circumcision marked an entry into an age set whose functions included defending the community from external attacks, building huts and advising junior age-sets on how to raid.Each age set had a leader with specific duties. They believed in the existence of a supreme god, who was the creator of everything.  He was given different names. The Oromo referred to him as wak(waq).They also believed in spirits which inhabited natural objects like rocks and trees. The Cushites had shrines from which they prayed to their God. Later on, through interaction with their neighbours, all the Cushites became Muslims by the 16thc.The Cushitic speakers were polygamous and their marriage was exogamous in nature.Inheritance was from father to son among the Cushites. The elder son inherited the father’s property and shared it with his younger brothers. Girls had no right to inheritance.The Cushitic life was full of ceremonies. They celebrated life both in song and dance. There were songs for initiations, childbirth, marriage, harvest and funeral.

Economic organization

They had a diversified economic system that catered for their livelihood and supported their lifestyle.They basically practiced Pastoralism/livestock keeping in their semi-arid region – They kept cattle, goats, camel and donkeys. Camels and cattle provided milk and blood and were assigning of prestige. Goats and sheep provided meat. Some Cushites who lived along river valleys practiced substance agriculture where they grew grain crops, vegetables, dates, peas, pepper, tubers and bananas.They also practiced iron smelting and made iron tools e.g. swords, knives, bangles and arrow heads.They hunted wild game for food, ivory, skins (hides) for clothing, bedding and gathered fruits and roots and vegetables. They engaged in craft industry e.g. production of leather items such as handbags, belts etc.Some of them who lived near rivers and along the Indian Ocean practiced fishing.They traded with their neighbours e.g. the Pokomo and the Samburu.

Political organization of the Cushites

All the Cushitic communities like other groups in Kenya, had decentralized forms of government. The clan formed the basic political unit for all the Bantu communities. Each clan was made up of related families.

The social and political system of the Cushites was interwoven that the social divisions, age set system were also important aspects of the political system.Leadership of the clan was in the hands of a council of elders who played a pivoted role in solving disputes, acting as ritual experts, presiding over religious ceremonies, maintaining law and order and making executive decisions affecting the community like declaring war.Among the Cushites a clan was independent of others except when the wider community faced a common enemy or problem.The Cushites developed an age-set system that had some political significance. After circumcision, the boys joined the age-set after initiation to provide warriors who defended the community from external attacks and raid other communities for cattle.The age set system was based on about ten groups each with its own leader. At the end of an age cycle, a ceremony was performed and the senior age sets retired from public life and settled in different territories.

The Somali

The social organization of the Somali.Like Somali were organized into clans each comprising of families whose members claimed common descent. They also had an age set system. Circumcision marked an entry into an age set whose functions included defending the community from external attacks, building huts and advising junior agesets on how to raid. Each age set had a leader with specific duties. They believed in the existence of a supreme god, whom they referred to as wak (waq). He was the creator of everything. They had religious leaders who mediated between God and the people

Later on, through interaction with their neighbours, all the Somali became Muslims by the 16thc.The Somali valued marriage as an important institution. They were polygamous and their marriage was exogamous in nature.

Political organization of the Somali

The Somali had a decentralized political system of administration. The basic political unit was the clan made up of related families. The clan was headed by a council of elders in charge of day to day affairs of the clan e.g. making major decisions and settling disputes and presiding over religious ceremonies.The Somali had an age set system and all male members of the society belonged to an age set. Each age set performed specific roles/duties. From the age set system, there evolved a military organization for community defence. Initiates joined the age set system after circumcision. With the advent of Islamic religion political organization changed. They now had community leaders called sheikhs whose role was mainly advisory.The political system was now based on the Islamic sharia.

Economic organization

  1. a) The Somali were hunters and gathers. They hunted wild game for food and gathered fruits and roots and vegetables.
  2. b) They basically practiced nomadic Pastoralism. They kept cattle, goats, camel and sheep.Their diet was mainly milk, meat and blood.
  3. c) They traded with their neighbours to get what they could not produce e.g. the Pokomo and the Mijikenda from whom they acquired grains.
  4. d) A section of the Somali practiced iron smelting and made iron tools e.g. swords, knives, bangles and arrow heads. They also engaged in craft industry e.g. production of leather items such as handbags, belts etc.
  5. e) Such craft activities were despised among the Somali and were associated with a group whom they referred to as Sab (outcasts).

The Borana

They are a branch of the Oromo or Galla people who came from Ethiopia.

Social organization

The Borana had a complex social organization.The society was divided into clans led by elders whose responsibility was to settle disputes and maintaining law and order. Each clan was made up of related families. The borana had a strong belief in the extended family.The Borana were nomadic. But they had a residential section called the camp that consisted of a few huts of related families. .In the camps, it was the most senior married and competent man who became the head of the camp (abba olla). He would have his wife’s hut built on the extreme left.The Borana had a complex age-set structure called Gada. Each Gada was headed by the most powerful individual among the group members (Abba boku). His duty would be to preside over village meetings, proclaim laws and preside over religious ceremonies.The community had two kinship groups that practiced exogamous marriage.. A man from the Gona kinship would only marry from the Sabbo kinship. Polygamy was allowed.The family among the borana was headed by a man referred to as Abba warra with the wife as the female head of the household (Hatimana)

There was division of labour in the society. The men defended the camps, wells, herds and shrines. They dug wells and organized raiding parties. The men also elected leaders of camps, age sets and Gada class. The women performed household duties, wove baskets for carrying children, prepared leather and built houses. Boys herded sheep, goats and cattle. Elders presided over the court cases.The borana worshipped a powerful God, the creator whom they called Wak (waq). He was worshipped through religious leaders

They had a patrilineal society where inheritance was from the father to the son, and specifically the first son, angafa, who would then redistribute the inherited cattle to the younger  brothers.Their culture was full of ceremonies. For example, there were ceremonies when a Gada class entered or left a Gada grade, there was war ceremony (butta) and a muda ceremony in honor of the kinship leader, kallu.

Economic organization

  1. a) The borana were basically practiced nomadic Pastoralists who kept cattle, goats and sheep. Cattle was slaughtered as part of their religious rituals and also provided raw materials for houses and other local industries.
  2. b) They traded with their neighbours to get what they could not produce e.g. they exchanged their animals with the Mijikenda from whom they acquired grains.
  3. c) The Borana were hunters and gathers. They hunted wild game for food and gathered fruits and roots and vegetables.
  4. d) Those who settled in the fertile region along the tana valley grew crops like beans and pepper.
  5. e) The Borana women engaged in craft industry e.g. production of leather items such as handbags, belts etc. men also made wooden tools, weapons and utensils.
  6. f) The Borana also practiced fishing as they settled along river tana.

Political organization of the borana

Their political system was based on the kinship system where the society was divided into clans comprising related families. There were two moieties (kinships) that were further divided into sub-moieties. The sub-moieties were further divided into clans.

Each moiety was headed by a hereditary leader known as kallu. The kallu of the Sabbo for example came from the dyallu clan of the karrayyu sub-moiety.The kallu’s camp was the spiritual and political centre of the group. His duties included leading in ritual ceremonies, providing judgment in major conflicts between clans.He was elected together with the council of the Gada leaders of each gad class when it prepared to enter a new grade.The kallu were not authorized to bear arms or defend themselves but were to move in company of other members of the society.The borana society was divided into clans led by a council of elders whose responsibility was tosettle disputes and maintaining law and order. Each clan was made up of related families who lived in a residential section called the camp that consisted of a few huts of related families. .Powers were distributed equally between the two moieties at all levels such as in the Gada class, age-set and camp councils as well as in tribal ceremonies.The complex age set system mainly provided a military base for the society. The age sets, Hariyya, were recruited from boys of the same age. Gada class (Luba) was recruited genealogically. There were eleven grades through which the Gada classes passed from birth to death, with each grade lasting eight years. While age set members were of the same age, Gada members were of varied ages.

The age sets formed the age set council that recruited the warriors.Members of the Gada classes formed the Gada council (lallaba) which the responsibility of making decisions for their classes. They also resolved conflicts between non-relatives and mobilized economic activities such as digging wells, organizing societal rituals and ceremonies and directing relatives with their neighbours such as the Oromo and Somali.The councils contributed to the development of an effective political organization.The complexity of the borana institutions strengthened unity among them. However, the coming of the colonialists in the 20th century heavily impacted on these nomadic pastoral community.


The early contacts were initially at the coast but later spread inland. The early visitors included the Arabs, Greeks, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, British, French and the Dutch.


The East African coast

The existing documentaries and archaeological evidence about the historical information on the east African coast include;

~  The Graeco- Roman Documentary which only makes indirect references to the east African coast.

~  The Swahili chronicles written by the people of the coast. E.g the Kilwa chronicle gives account of achievements of coastal rulers before the arrival of the Portuguese.

~  The writings of Pliny, a Roman Geographer who wrote about the high cost of trade with India in his book, The Natural History.

~  Periplus of the Erythrean Sea; by a Greek merchant in 1st C AD describes the people and places along the coast and the Indian Ocean Trade. (Erythrean Sea Trade).

~  Geopgraphia by Claudius Ptolemy makes reference to east African coast and the trade along Somalia and Kenyan coasts.

~  Christian Topography of Cosmos Indico of the 6TH C describes the trading activities on the coast of East Africa.

~  Renowned travelers like Al-Mosudi, Al Idrisi and Ibn Battuta wrote firsthand accounts about the places they visited and the people they met at the coast in the 10th C AD.

~  The existing archaeological evidence in east Africa include the remains of pottery , iron tools, beads and coins which prove the presence of international trade.

Early visitors to the east African coast upto 1500.

Due to the great accessibility of the east African coast, there was widespread interaction between it and the people from the outside world. This was also aided by the monsoon winds that blew vessels / ships to the coast between November and April and took them away between may and October. The earliest visitors were the Egyptians, Phoenicians and Indonesians.Others who came later on included the Greeks, Persians, Romans, Chinese, Arabs, Syrians, Indians and the Portuguese.

The Greeks

Their coming to east Africa is accounted for by the quarrels between the Seleucid rulers in Greece and the Ptolemaic Greeks in Egypt over control of the land route to the east through the Mediterranean lands.The rising demand for ivory made the ptolemies venture into the red sea and finally into the east African coast. Evidence of Greek existence on the coast is the Ptolemic Gold Coin found near Dar es Salam.


In AD 45, Hippalus, a Roman sailor using monsoon wind knowledge reached the red sea and entered the Indian Ocean. The Romans were keen on breaking the Arab monopoly over trade.Evidence of trade between the Romans and the coast is in the writing of a Roman Historian Pliny (23-79AD) who points out the high coast of trade between India, Arabia and china.The fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th c AD affected international trading network in the Roman Empire.



They were mainly immigrants from Shirazi on the eastern shore of the Persian Gulf. Their adventure into the east African coast happened during the reign of the Sassanid Dynasty(224-636AD), which was determined to rebuild the Persian Empire that had been destroyed by the Macedonian Greeks, through wealth amassed from international trade.

By the 6th c, the Persians were trading in India and later china, controlling the red sea and parts of Egypt and Arabia.They got involved in the east African trade and even established ruling dynasties9 e.g. the (Shirazi Dynasty) at the coast. They intermarried with the locals and introduced Islamic religion.They were later overthrown by the Arabs. The succeeded in introducing Bowls of glass, swords, beakers and pots to the coast.


They visited the coast in the middle ages. This is evidenced in the work of the Chinese authors during the Sung Dynasty (960- 1279 AD) and Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), who referred to the east African coast as Tseng- Pat or Pseng- Po.There has also been evidence of Chinese coins dating to 700 AD at the coast.The last Chinese fleet must have reached Mogadishu in 1430AD. The Chinese brought in Silk cloth, porcelain bowls and plates in exchange for Gold\, leopard skin, Rhino Horns and tortoise shells. Porcelain remains have been found at the coast.


The earliest Arab settlers to arrive were the Daybui from Daybul In north western India. They arrived along the east African coast by AD 650 for trade. The earliest Arab settlement was Qanbalu (Pemba). They later settled in manda, Kilwa. Lamu and Mombasa.The Arabs reffered to the Africans as the Zenj (Blacks)

Factors that facilitated the coming of Arabs to the east African coast.

~  The Indian ocean provided the highway through which the traders traveled

~  The traders had the skills of harnessing the monsoon winds (trade winds) they knew what times of the year to come to the coast and what times to go back.

~  The traders had marine technology e.g. they had ship-building technology and knew how to use the compass for navigation of the ocean

~  They ensured the control of the red sea was in their hands to bar the enemy from attacking them

~  The ports of southern Arabia were good calling places on their journey between the east and the west.

~  The deep harbours at the coast were ideal for their ships to anchor, refuel and get supplies.

Reasons for the coming of the Arabs

~  They wanted to trade and control the commercial activities along the east African coast.

~  Some Arabs came as refugees, fleeing from religious and political persecutions in Arabia.

~  They came to spread their religion, Islam.

~  Some came as explorers to explore the east African coast.

~  Some came to establish settlements along the east African coast.

Trade between the East African coast and the outside world

There is sufficient evidence of the existence of regular trading contacts between east African coast and the countries in the Middle East and Far East.

Development and organization of the trade

~  The earliest foreign traders must have been the Romans who traded with the Indians in the Far East. They made stopovers at the east African coast for ivory whose demand had grown tremendously.

~  Muslim Arabs acted as intermediaries in the Indian Ocean trade between the Indians and the Romans. They also exported frankincense and myrrh among other things.

~  Traders from Persia, Arabia and Syria brought glass beakers and bowls, swords, pots, grains, sugar, cloth and beads in exchange for palm oil, tortoise shells, ivory and slaves.

~  The Greek, roman and Chinese traders brought porcelain bowls, daggers, swords, pottery, cowrie shells, glassware, beads and silk in exchange for ivory, rhinoceros horns, bee wax, tortoise shells , coconut oil and mangrove poles. Cowrie shells were obtained from Maldives islands while spices came from Spice Island.

~  East Africa also exported leopard skins, gold, ostrich feathers, copal, copper and iron. Ivory was used in Asia to make bangles, bracelets, piano keys and for decorations

~  The traders relied on the monsoon winds to blow their ships to and from the east African coast.

~  The Indian Ocean trade was conducted through the barter system but later coins were used as a medium of exchange. During barter, the foreigners bartered their goods with gold, ivory and slaves. Seyyid said later introduced copper and silver coins.

~  The middlemen in the trade included the Arabs and Swahili who organized caravans to the interior to acquire local goods which they sold to traders at the coast.

~  As there was no common language spoken, trading was conducted silently, hence the name ‘silent trade’

~  Capital for the trade was provided by the Arabs. Later the Indian banyans started giving credit facilities to the traders which increased the volume of trade.

~  The sultan of Zanzibar provided security to the Arab traders, enabling them to penetrate the interior to acquire goods.

~  The trade stimulated development of towns along the coastline. E.g Rhapta (probably located between pangani and Dar es Salam), Essina and Sarapion were the earliest towns to grow. Lamu Malindi Mombasa, pate and Brava also developed.

~  The merchants settled at various places on the coast and on the islands and interacted with the locals leading to development of the Swahili culture. Factors which promoted the Indian Ocean trade.

(a)  Availability of items of trade from the east African coast and foreigner countries. For example, ivory, slaves, cotton and porcelain.

(b)  The high demand for trade items from the coast by consumers from the outside world was also a promoting factor. This was caused by the uneven distribution of resources. Foreign items were also on demand at the coat.

(c)  The existence of enterprising merchants in both the foreign lands and the east African coast led to promotion of trade links. The Akamba, Mijikenda, nyamwezi and Swahili middlemen for example played a pivoted role in the trade.

(d)  The existence of local trade among Africans which acted as a base upon which the Indian Ocean trade was developed.

(e)  The accessibility of the east African coast by sea. This enabled the foreigner traders to reach the region across the Indian Ocean.

(f)  The existence of the monsoon winds facilitated the movement of the vessels which made it possible for the traders to travel to and from the coasty.

(g)  The existence of peace and political stability at the east African coast created a conducive atmosphere for business transactions. Where there was need, the traders were given security by the sultan of Zanzibar.

(h)  The existence of natural harbours along the coast ensured safe docking of the trade vessels for fueling and off-loading.

(i)  The advancement in the ship building technology in Europe gave great advantage to the traders. This made water transport reliable and regular.

(j)  The existence o the Indian Banyans (money lenders) who gave credit facilities enabled many more people to join the trade.

Impacts of the trade on the peoples of east Africa

(a)  The trade led to intermarriage between Muslim traders with the local Bantu communities giving rise to the Swahili people with a distinct culture.

(b)  There was emergence of Kiswahili as a new language of the coastal people. The language is a mixture of Bantu and Arabic languages.

(c)  The trade led to the spread of the Islamic culture along the coastal region. Stone buildings were constructed, new dressing styles arose (women began to wear buibui while men wore kanzus), new eating habits also evolved.

(d)  The Islamic law, sharia was also introduced.

(e)  Many Africans were converted to Islam. However the religion did not spread beyond the coastal region prior to the 19th c.

(f)  New crops were introduced along the coast. For example, rice, wheat, millet, cloves, vegetables and fruits such as bananas and oranges. Cloth, cowrie shells and spices were also introduced.

(g)  Profits derived from the trade were used to develop towns like Pemba, Mombasa, Lamu, Zanzibar and Kilwa.

(h)  The trade led to the rise of a class of rich merchants exhibiting a high standard of living. African merchants who rose to prominence included chief Kivoi among the Akamba, Ngonyo of the Giriama, Mwakikonga of the Digo, Nyungu ya mawe, Mirambo and Msiri of the Nyamwezi.

(i)  There was decline of the local industries like weaving and iron working which were affected by the influx of foreign goods like cloth fro India and iron tools from Asia and Europe.

(j)  There was destruction of wildlife, especially elephant and rhinoceros due to the increased demand for ivory.

(k)  The increased demand for slaves promoted warfare among the communities as many people were captured during slave raids. It also created fear while others lost their life during the warfare.

(l)  Slave trade also disrupted African economies as able bodied men were captured leaving behind the aged, weak, and children who made little contribution. Many even died of starvation since they could not participate in food production.

(m)  African population in the hinterland greatly reduced as many were sold into slavery.

(n)  Money (currency) was introduced as a means of exchange to replace the barter system of trade.

(o)  East African coast was exposed to the outside world through trade. This paved way for European imperialism later on.

(p)  Trade routes led to the establishment of trade caravan routes which later were upgraded to by the colonialists.

The coming of the Portuguese

Since the 10th century Arabian influence along the coast had been strong. Most of the port towns along the East African coast had been built by Arab Sultans, who brought the Muslim religion to the coastal people.The Portuguese explorer and soldier, Vasco da Gama, was the first European to make contact with the people of the East African Coast. He had been paid by the King of Portugal to find a sea route to India.

The Portuguese at the East African coast 1500 – 1700 A.D

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to have contacts with the people of the East African Coast. They invaded the east African coast in 1498 at a time when the Ottoman Empire occupied most of the Middle East thus blocking the overland route to India from Europe.They were adventurous and in search for the sea route to India. This led them to the East African Coast where they stayed for 200 years.

Reasons for the coming of the Portuguese at the East African coast

  1. a) The need to establish a commercial empire in order to get the products of East Africa e.g. ivory, gold, silks and spices that were mainly controlled by the Arabs merchants.
  2. b) They wanted to obtain control of the main trading towns, e.g. Kilwa, Mombasa etc.
  3. c) They wanted to defeat the Muslim traders and rulers who had monopolized the Indian Ocean trade.
  4. d) They wanted to prevent other European rivals from gaining access to the Indian Ocean Trade e.g. the French, Dutch, and British
  5. e) Desire to get revenue for the development of their country.
  6. f) The Portuguese wished to share in the profits of the Indian Ocean Trade by imposing taxes and forcing wealthy coastal towns to pay tribute to the king of Portugal.
  7. g) The coast had natural harbors where ships could anchor on their way to and from the East for fresh food and water. The Portuguese therefore wanted to establish a calling station for resting, refresh, treating the sick, repairing wrecked ships e.t.c
  8. h) The coast was strategically located and this made it easy to control sea pirates and other rival powers.
  9. i) They wanted to revenge on the Muslim Arabs who had conquered Portugal in 711 AD by converting them to Christianity and stop the spread of Islam i.e. the Arabs had ever run the Iberian Peninsula and forced the Christians to accept Islam.
  10. j) They hoped to get assistance of King Prester John thought to be in the interior of north –east Africa. They hoped the king would help them in their crusade against the Muslims.
  11. k) They had hope of stopping Egyptians and Turks from sending military aid to their fellow Moslems on the coast.
  12. l) They were interested in exploration and adventure; this was a period of Renaissance (means to be born again/change) in Europe. Hence hoped to search for the unknown, new knowledge and sailing across un mapped seas.
  13. m) Desire to acquire revenue for the development of their country.

Portuguese conquest of the coast 1500-1510 (Stages of conquest) Steps taken by the

Portuguese to occupy the East African coast.

~  In 1497 King John 11 sent Padro da Covillha on a land journey  to India to gather information about the Eastern trades and the sea routes.

~  In 1498 Bathromew Diaz sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, thus proving that there was a way round South Africa to the Indian Ocean.

~  Between 1497- 1499 Vasco da Gama at the command of King Emmanuel the fortunate of Portugal visited Mozambique, Mombasa and Malindi on his way to India.  He arrived in Malindi in March 1498 to a warm welcome by the locals.

~  He returned to Portugal in 1499 and gave a report of the flourishing Sofala trade, the Deep Harbour in Mombasa and the existing disunity of coastal people.

~  In response to Vasco da Gama’s expeditions, the king of Portugal sent fleets of ships to conquer the important trading towns of the East African coast.

~  In 1500 Pedro Alvares Cabral attempted to capture Sofala with its Gold trade but he failed.

~  In 1502 Vasco da Gama came back with 19 ships aiming at capturing Kilwa because it was the most important and prosperous. He captured the palace, imprisoned the Su ltan and only released him when he accepted to pay tribute to Portugal.

~  From Kilwa he invaded Mombasa, which tried to get assistance from Malindi but since they were great rivals Malindi refused to give assistance, this disunity made the work of conquest easy.

~  In 1503 Ruy Laurence Ravasco was sent with a number of ships and forced the islands of Mafia and Zanzibar and other towns to pay tribute to Portugal.

~  In 1504, Lopez destroyed gold trade at Kilwa. Attacks were too much on the harbour that trade came to a standstill. But again the Arabs failed to unite to fight the Portuguese.

~  In 1505 Francisco D’Almeida arrived at the coast on his way to Gao where he had been appointed the first Portuguese viceroy (governor) of the Eastern Empire.  With 1500 men and 20 ships, he attacked Sofala which surrendered without struggle because she was tired of Kilwa’s rule and therefore preferred the Portuguese to fellow Arabs.  His forces continued northwards and attacked Kilwa. The Sultan and his followers took off to the bush while the Portuguese looted and burnt down the town before he departed to India. He also conquered Mombasa.

~  In 1506 – 1507 Tristao Da Cunha took on the Northern towns of Socotra, Oja, Brava and Lamu. Towns that submitted without struggles were only asked to pay tribute to Portugal. Malindi was even excused from paying tribute due to her friendship with the Portuguese.

~  In 1509 Alba quiqui captured the remaining towns i.e. the work of conquest was completed with taking the islands of Pemba, Mafia, and Zanzibar.  Mombasa was burnt down.

~  By 1515 the Portuguese had succeeded in conquering most of the coastal towns, bring them under Portuguese rule. However towns like Gedi, Kilifi, Pate, Manda, Mombasa and Lamu continued with resistance. Mombasa was heavily attacked in 1528.

~  In 1585, a Turkish captain, Amir Ali Bey, arrived at the coast as an envoy of the sultan of turkey to free the coastal towns from the Portuguese. Rebellion then broke out between 1585 and 1588 between Ali Bey, the Portuguese, and the people of Mombasa and Zimba warriors. The towns of pate, Siyu and Pemba were attacked and forced to pay heavy fines while manda was completely destroyed.

~  Portugal finally brought all the coastal towns under her control establishing her

headquarters in Mombasa that had been subdued in 1589. in 1593, the Portuguese built fort Jesus

Why the Portuguese build Fort Jesus

  1. a) They used it as a watch tower
  2. b) To hide against attacks by the enemies
  3. c) As military base
  4. d) To offer food security and protection.
  5. e) To act as an armament.
  6. f) To act as a prison for the captives.

~  Portuguese control of the east African coast as greatly supported by the conquest of Hormuz, which made it easier for them to control sea traffic in the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Eden and Arabian Sea.

Why the Portuguese defeated the East African Coastal towns/Why the Portuguese were successful

  1. a) They had superior weapons e.g. cannon guns which made terrible noise and threw people in panic as compared to the poor musket guns of the coastal Arabs.
  2. b) They had well trained soldiers with superior skills of fighting compared to the coastal people who had no permanent organized army e.g. Vasco da Gama, Francisco D’Almeida were ruthless army commanders which helped them to defeat the coastal dwellers.
  3. c) They had better and faster ships (carracks) well equipped for naval warfare. The Portuguese soldiers wore Armour on their bodies and helmets on their heads, which protected them from the weapons of the coastal people.
  4. d) The coastal towns were disunited which gave chance to the Portuguese to fight isolated enemies e.g. Malindi refused to unite with Mombasa due to local conflicts. Some cooperated with the invaders giving them food and bases e.g. Malindi and Sofala.
  5. e) Some coastal towns like Kilwa were caught unaware. The Portuguese employed cruel methods of fighting like burning down towns and surprise attacks.
  6. f) The ships acted as stages against the hostile weapons of the coastal people.
  7. g) The coast had natural harbours and was not open to attacks.
  8. h) The constant attacks on the coastal towns by the Galla, Zimba and Turkish e.t.c had weakened their defence.
  9. i) The Portuguese were financially equipped and therefore supported their soldiers because they wanted to control the East African trade.
  10. j) The coastal states had very weak economies that could not sustain prolonged fights especially against the economically strong Portuguese.

Portuguese Administration at the coast

By 1510, the conquest of the East African coast was over and administration fell into the hands of the Portuguese. For easy administration, the coast was divided into two zones;

  1. The area North of Cape Delgado was ruled by the Captain at Malindi.
  2. The area South of Cape Delgado was ruled by Captain at Mozambique.

Both captains were answerable to the Portuguese viceroy at Goa on Indian coast at the General headquarters. Cape Delgado was made the midpoint of the East Africa possession. Sofala was made the regional headquarters but still under the charge of the captain who took his orders from the viceroy at Goa. Later, the Captain in the North was stationed at Mombasa after the construction of Fort Jesus in 1593 because they were rebellious.  Other forts and garrisons were established at Sofala and Kilwa.

The Portuguese captains were responsible for the collections of tributes from coastal rulers.

They imposed the customs dues on all imports and exports.  They were also responsible for the suppression of rebellions on the coast.  The Portuguese had problems with administration because they could not provide enough troops to all garrisons their strongholds.The Portuguese were more interested in gold trade in Sofala. Unfortunately, they failed to develop this trade because of the following;

~  There were wars in the mining areas between the Portuguese and Coastal people.

~  As a result the Portuguese were so cruel that any sign of disobedience was punished with maximum brutality to serve as a warning to others who might choose to rebel. This partly explains the unpopularity of the Portuguese on the coast. The Portuguese also applied the policy of divide and rule by setting one town against the other. For example Malindi against Mombasa.The relationship with the subjects was not good. They lived in isolation of each other by race and religion. The Portuguese established their own settlements, built their own churches and had their own priest. This could be the reason why their religion was rejected and hatred increased.In addition, the few Portuguese officials were corrupt, plundered and ordered destruction on the coastal town. All this earned them hatred and opposition from the people and it was not a surprise that they were nicknamed “AFRITI” meaning Devil.The Portuguese did not mix freely with Africans because they considered themselves to be a special race.During the Portuguese reign, the glory of the coastal states was no more. The high standards of living the coastal people had enjoyed were no more. The trade that had made them rich was declining.  Many buildings were in ruins and there was widespread poverty and misery.

Reasons that led to the decline of the Portuguese at the East African Coast

(Problems/challenges they faced)

  1. a) Portugal was a small country that could not provide enough administrators and officials for such a large coastline that extended from Sofala in the south to Mogadishu in the north.The territory was too big and long for effective control and administration.
  2. b) It had few soldiers and could not keep fortified garrison along the coast.
  3. c) Authority was left in hands of incompetent and corrupt officials who were after enriching themselves.
  4. d) The Africans hated the Portuguese due to differences in religion, that is to say, Muslims against Christians (Portuguese).
  5. e) The Portuguese were cruel, harsh and brutal, they always punished the coastal people whenever they attempted to rebel and made them to be hated.
  6. f) The Portuguese also used divide and rule policy for example, they allied with Malindi against Mombasa.
  7. g) There was decline of trade due high taxes on imports and other restrictions hence smuggling of goods, which affected the Portuguese economy. Due to decline in trade, the people became poor and dissatisfied and they continuously rebelled.
  8. h) The Portuguese failed to support their own allies at the coast, some even betrayed them.
  9. i) Portugal had been forced into a union with Spain between1580–1640 which weakened her control of the trading colonies as she was no longer interested in the overseas empire.
  10. j) Portugal was challenged by other European powers, which began competing with the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean Trade e.g. Dutch, English, French, Turks and others.
  11. k) The coastal people found useful allies against the Portuguese due to their bad rule e.g. Turks, Oman, and Arabs
  12. l) They were faced with constant rebellions along the coast. This greatly disrupted life at the coast e.g. Pate, Mombasa
  13. m) Tropical diseases which claimed their life like smallpox, malaria making it difficult for them to administer the coast effectively.
  14. n) The Portuguese were greatly weakened by a group of cannibals the Zimba, who attacked the East African coast.
  15. o) The unhealthy climate made the area unattractive for them to work for instance, some places where too humid and hot while others were too cold.
  16. p) The distance between Portugal and the East African coast was too far hence reinforcement delayed.
  17. q) There was a problem of communication barrier, the Portuguese refused to learn the African languages and these made their administration difficult.
  18. r) The income obtained from the gold trade was not enough to pay for administration i.e. soldiers and officials.
  19. s) The Capture of Fort Jesus their stronghold in 1698 by the Omani greatly contributed to their decline.

The collapse of Portuguese rule

~  In 1585, a Turkish captain, Amir Ali Bey, arrived at the coast as an envoy of the sultan of turkey to free the coastal towns from the Portuguese. Rebellion then broke out between 1585 and 1588 between Ali Bey, the Portuguese, and the people of Mombasa and Zimba warriors. The towns of pate, Siyu and Pemba were attacked and forced to pay heavy fines while manda was completely destroyed

~  As a result of their ruthlessness, the coastal people became hostile to the Portuguese.

~  Mombasa for example resisted the humiliation they got from the Portuguese appointedsultan

~  The sultan’s heir Yusuf was treated as a servant who resented the people of Mombasa

~  On 15thaugust 1631, during the Christian feast of Assumption in Mombasa, Sultan Yusuf stabbed the captain with a knife, killing him instantly. This sparked off a rebellion where many Portuguese were killed.

~  Yusuf posed a threat to the Portuguese rule until his death in 1637.

~  The people of pate also revolted in 1666. However, their ruler was arrested and exiled to Goa where he was executed

~  In 1622, the Persians drove the Portuguese from Hormuz. In 1650, the Portuguese were expelled from their bases in Muscat by the Omani Arabs under sultan Saif

~  Britain, France and Holland also began to compete the Portuguese in trade.

~  The final blow to Portuguese rule was attack by the Omani Arabs and the seizure of fort Jesus. The coastal Arab towns had appealed to their brothers in Oman for assistance against the Portuguese brutality.

~  In 1652, an Oman fleet sailed to pate and Zanzib ar, overpowered and killed the Portuguese.

~  In 1696, Imam Saif Ibn Sultan of Oman sailed to Mombasa with a large fleet and army. The Portuguese took refuge in Fort Jesus as battle raged on (about 2500 Portuguese men, women and children) the Portuguese were unfortunate as they could not get supplies to sustain the war with 3000 plus Arab soldiers with full packing of the coastal people.

~  In 1697, the Omani forces got access to the Fort and found most Portuguese afflicted with

disease. By December 1698, the Omanis penetrated the Fort only to find all except twelve Portuguese dead. This marked the end of Portuguese rule though they made a temporaryseizure of the fort in 1728 but were overpowered.

~  For the coastal people, it was however a mere change of guard from the Portuguese to the Arabs.

Results of Portuguese stay at the coast of East Africa


  1. a) The Portuguese built Fort Jesus at the coast in Mombasa in1592/3 which became a fortress and later a tourist attraction for centuries.
  2. b) They enriched the Swahili language with an addition of 60 words e.g. emeza meaning table and pesa meaning money.
  3. c) They introduced new crops from South Africa of which many have become staple diet for many East Africans e.g. cassava, pawpaws, maize, oranges, sweet potatoes, guavas, pineapples and mangoes
  4. d) They made an improvement in ship building. During their stay on the coast, many architects came in from India and Europe.
  5. e) There was establishment of closer trading links between the coast and India.
  6. f) They introduced new farming methods for example they encouraged the use of cow dung as manure.
  7. g) They led to the coming of more European and Asian traders and craftsmen especially those who helped in the building of Fort Jesus.
  8. h) They broke the Muslim- Arab monopoly of the Indian Ocean Trade.


  1. a) Trade declined due to the constant wars and rebellions and heavy taxes imposed.
  2. b) There was decline of the coastal towns because many were burnt down and left in ruins for example Kilwa and Mombasa.
  3. c) There was widespread poverty and misery among the coastal people due to decline in trade.
  4. d) There was heavy loss of lives during the attacks. There was depopulation due to the many wars in the areas
  5. e) There was destruction of property like buildings and crops, which led to famine and starvation.
  6. f) The coastal people suffered oppression and brutality under harsh rule of the Portuguese.
  7. g) Their religion, Christianity, made no impact at the coast because they lived far from their subjects and stagnation of the Islamic faith because discouraged preaching.
  8. h) Smuggling developed because the Portuguese had failed to establish proper trading links with the Interior.
  9. i) Some towns were prevented from trading with their initial partners which led to their decay e.g. Gedi
  10. j) They led to the European interest at the coast hence leading to the colonization in the 19th Century.


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.

  1. a) The Omani wanted the revenue from the taxes levied on trade.
  2. b) The towns also wished to maintain their independence as they were during the Portuguese rule.
  3. c) The towns were also encouraged by the prevailing weaknesses in Oman due to civil wars and the Persian threat.
  4. d) The harsh and ruthless rule and manner in which the Oman rulers collected taxes.
  5. 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:

  1. a) Seyyid said desired to effectively control the coastal towns through the centrally located Zanzibar.
  2. 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.

  1. c) Zanzibar was easily defensible as an island. It was easy to sea the enemy from far and launch an attack from the island.
  2. 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.

  1. 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

  1. a) New foods were introduced through trade routes like maize, pawpaws, rice, groundnuts both at the coast and in the interior.
  2. b) Plantation farming increased in some areas, especially the clove plantations were slaves worked.
  3. 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.
  4. d) The trade routes became permanent routes and inland roads which led to growth of communication networks.
  5. e) Swahili was introduced in land and is now being widely spoken in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Eastern Congo.
  6. f) Islam as a religion was introduced by Arabs and it spread, especially in Yao land and in Buganda land.
  7. g) A new race called Swahili was formed through intermarriages between Arabs and some Africans.
  8. h) There was growth of Arab towns such as Tabora and Ujiji inland.
  9. i) There was emergence of dynamic leaders such as Mirambo and Nyungu ya Mawe in the latter half of the nineteenth century.
  10. j) Slave trade strengthened the large and powerful states, which could easily get access to guns at the expense of small ones.
  11. 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.
  12. l) Slave trade encouraged large-scale trade whereby contact was established between the trade masters and indigenous/local population.
  13. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. d) Diseases broke out among the overcrowded slaves for example the Spaniards introduced Syphilis and soon it spread to other traders.
  5. e) Slave trade led to displacement of people and many became homeless and destitute many and stayed in Europe with no identity.
  6. 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.
  7. g) Progress slowed down, which resulted in famine, poverty and destitution and helplessness.
  8. h) There was a decline in production of traditional goods such as coffee, beans, bark cloth and iron which greatly hindered the cash economy.
  9. 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.
  10. j) Guns were introduced into the interior which caused a lot of insecurity and increased incidences of wars for territorial expansion.
  11. 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;

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. g) The rise of men with new ideas e.g. Prof. Adam Smith(challenged the economic

arguments 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.

  1. h) Slaves had become less profitable and yet had led to over population in Europe.
  2. i) Influential abolitionists like William Wilberforce ( a British member of parliament ) urged the British government to legislate against the slave trade in her colonies.
  3. 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

  1. 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 .
  2. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. f) Slave trade markets were also closed for example Zanzibar in 1873 following the frère treaty signed between Sultan Barghash and Bantle Frere.
  5. g) Islam became unpopular as many converted to Christianity.
  6. 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;

  1. 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.
  2. b) The route from Kilwa to Yao then branching southwards to Cewa in Zimbabwe.
  3. c) From Bagamoyo to Tabora where it branched northwards to Buganda and another branch to Ujiji then to Zaire.


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

  1. a) The trade led to Development of towns e.g. Mombasa, Lamu, Kilwa, Pemba and Zanzibar.
  2. b) It increased the volume of local and regional trade as varieties of new goods were introduced.
  3. 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.
  4. d) There was Introduction of foreign goods such as beads, cloth and plates to the peoples of East Africa.
  5. e) The trade led to Introduction of new crops to the coast e.g. bananas, rice sugarcane and mangoes.
  6. f) Arab and Waswahili traders introduced Islam to the East African Coast. They also introduced Islamic culture along the coast.
  7. g) Development of plantation agriculture in Malindi and Mombasa due increased slave trade.
  8. 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.
  9. i) Traders gave reports about the coast, its strategic and commercial stability leading to the colonization of East Africa.
  10. j) It led to the development of a money economy that replaced barter trade
  11. 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

  1. a) The existing earlier trade links between east Africa and the Far East before this period.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. f) The existence of deep natural harbours and the attractive beaches lured many foreigners to the region.
  7. g) The existence of a class of wealthy merchants facilitated the trade.
  8. h) The establishment of specific trade routes and markets such as Zanzibar, Kilwa and Mombasa facilitated the movement and exchange of goods.
  9. 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.
  10. 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

  1. a) Through the trade, the east African coast was exposed to the outside world.
  2. b) Some of the European traders later spread their faith thus leading o the spread of Christianity in east Africa.
  3. c) The international trade fostered good relations between the east African coast and European nations and USA.
  4. d) The contacts between the coast and European powers later contributed to the colonization o east Africa by Britain and Germany.
  5. e) New trade goods and crops were introduced to the coast.
  6. f) Participants in the trade grew richer and exhibited high standards of living.
  7. g) The slave trade led to sufferings, killings and increased warfare.



Christian missions were organized efforts to spread the Christian faith for the purpose of extending religious teaching at home or abroad. Their coming of Christian missionaries to East Africa and Africa in general was based on a number of motives which were humanitarian, economic, political and social in nature. The Portuguese were the first to introduce Christianity to the east African coast in the 15th c.This attempt however had little success. By the 19th century, a number of missionary groups worked in East Africa and these included;

  1. The Church Missionary Society
  2. The Holy Ghost Fathers
  3. The University Missionary Society to Central Africa
  4. The White Fathers
  5. The Methodist Fathers
  6. The Mill Hill Fathers
  7. The London Missionary Society

Reasons for the coming of Christian missionaries in East Africa

  1. a) The missionaries had the ambition to spread Christianity to the people of East Africa. This would be through preaching and teaching the holy gospel so that many would get converted to Christianity.
  2. b) They wanted to fight against slave trade in East Africa. Earlier travelers like John Speke and James Grant, H.M. Stanley, Dr. David Livingstone and others had reported about the evils of slave trade in East Africa.
  3. c) They wanted to check on the spread of Islam in East Africa from the coast with intentions of converting many to Christianity.
  4. d) Some missionaries came because they had been invited by certain African chiefs, For example, Mutesa I of Buganda wrote a letter through H.M Stanley inviting missionaries to Buganda.
  5. e) They came to establish legitimate trade in East Africa. They, for instance wanted to trade in items like glass, cloths, etc. as Dr. Livingstone told Cambridge University students, “I go back to Africa to make an open pass for commerce and Christianity…..” Similarly, his speech in 1857 emphasized the unity between Christianity and Commerce.
  6. f) The missionaries also loved to adventure and explore the interior of East Africa. For example Dr. John Ludwig Kraft of CMS is said to have been the first European to see Mt.

Kenya while Johann Redman was the first to see Mt. Kilimanjaro.

  1. g) They had a mission to clear the way for the colonization of East Africa. The missionaries were tasked by their home governments to preach ideas of love, respect, brotherhood, forgiveness, tolerance and non violence so that when the colonialists come, they would meet less resistance from the East Africans.
  2. h) It’s also argued that missionaries wanted to “civilize” East Africans. They argued that they came to stop some of the barbaric acts and customs e.g. Female Genital Mutilation among the Kikuyu in Kenya, human sacrifices and the practice of killing twins.
  3. i) The information they gave about important places like the source of the Nile, fertile soils, river falls and the climate all attracted the missionaries into East Africa. Early contacts by travelers like Stanley, Speke and Grant, among others encouraged missionaries to come.
  4. j) The expulsion of some of the missionaries from other parts of Africa led them into East Africa. For example Johann Ludwig Kraft and Johann Redman are said to have been expelled from Ethiopia around 1842 before they chose to relocate to East Africa.

Missionary Activities in East Africa

The pioneer missionaries in East Africa were the Church Missionary Society led by the Germans John Krapt and Johann Rebmann who arrived in East Africa around 1844 and 1846 respectively. Krapt arrived and established a mission station at Rabai.

When they realized they were not making any great impact at the coast, the two moved into the interior visiting the Akamba and Taita. The CMS set up stations in Taita and taveta.They were the first Europeans to see Mount Kilimanjaro in 1847. Krapt discovered the source of River Tana and was the first European to see Mount Kenya in 1849.

In 1949, Jacob Erhardt, a Germany explorer joined them and became the first European to draw a crude map of east Africa fro then stories he heard from traders.

In 1862, the united Methodist Church led by Thomas Wakefield arrived from Britain and settled at the coast. They established a station at Rabai. They also set up mission stations at Jomvu and Lamu. They were able to convert some people among the Mijikenda.

In 1863, the University Mission Society to Central Africa moved to Zanzibar where a mission was started from Re-union and later to Bagamoyo. Cardinal Lavigerie’s formation of the White Fathers Mission in Algeria (1863) extended to other parts of Africa. In 1875, Freetown Mission a centre for freed slaves was established. By 1889, about 1400 slaves had settled in Freetown. In 1877, the Church Missionary Society mission arrived in Buganda while the white fathers arrived in 1879. In 1891, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland arrived in Kenya and began their work at Kibwezi in Machakos. In 1898, the Church of Scotland Mission arrived at Kikuyu and set up a mission station at Thogoto. Members of the African Inland Church from the United States of America established their station at Nzaui in Machakos. They then spread to Kijabe, Nandi, Kabarnet and Nyakach in Nyanza. The catholic missionary societies, like the Holy Ghost Fathers and the Consolata Fathers arrived in Zanzibar but later moved to Mombasa in 1890 . They advanced interior and founded stations among the Akamba and among the Agikuyu towards the end of the Century. The Holy Ghost fathers established a station at St Austin’s near Nairobi in 1899 while the Consolata fathers from Italy opened a station in Nyeri in 1907The Mill Hill Fathers reached Kenya from Uganda.In 1902, the Friends Missions arrived at Kaimosi. By 1914 there were many missionary societies working in western Kenya. For example, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Quakers (Friends Mission) and the Church of God Mission. The roles of these missionaries varied enormously depending on the colonial context and their relations with the colonial authorities.

Missionaries in Tanganyika

The missionaries here enjoyed the support of the sultan of Zanzibar, Seyyid Said.

At Zanzibar, the Roman Catholic missionaries began to follow the lead of CMS in taking interest in East Africa. The CMS began a freed slave centre at Freetown in 1875 where the freed slaves were taught Christianity and formal education. The slave villages later became Christian outposts. The CMS finally reached Uganda in 1879 where they were later joined by the White Fathers from Tabora and Ujiji.In 1863, a group of missionaries from the Holy Ghost Fathers arrived from Reunion where they had been working among freed slaves and began their work in Zanzibar. They also began a freed slave settlement at Bagamoyo. By 1885, they had set up five villages that were to act as Christian outposts

Missionary work in Tanganyika was motivated by the reports given by Dr, David Livingstone on the horrors of slave trade.In 1863, the University Mission Society to Central Africa under Bishop Tozer moved to Zanzibar where a mission was started from Re-union and later to Bagamoyo.  Dr.Livingstone of UMCA also worked I Ujiji in 1871 where he met with Henry Morton Stanley, a journalist who had been sent to look for him.

In 1875, the London Missionary Society set up a mission post around Lake Tanganyika.

Missionaries in Uganda

The pioneer missionaries were the members of the CMS based in Tabora, Tanganyika.

The first protestant missionaries were sent from England in 1876 after a letter that was sent by Henry Morton Stanley confirming Kabaka Mutesa I’s invitation. They came in through Tabora and Usukuma and reached Rubaga, mutesa’s capital in 1877 where they set up a church. In 1879, the Roman Catholic Missionaries and White Fathers followed also from Tabora and Kibanga.The Protestants and Catholics were supported by Kabaka Mwanga though he did not want them to work outside the capital and beyond the royal family. This arrangement did not favour Missionary work in Uganda.Soon there ensued rivalry between the Catholics and protestants. The kabaka had also embraced Muslims and African traditionalists to the level of generating the infamous religious and political conflicts that rocked the kingdom eventually leading to its colonization.Missionary work expanded upto lake Nyasa. For example the Scottish Mission of the Livingstone Mission and the church of Scotland Mission set upstatations around lake Nyasa in 1876.

Activities of Christian missionaries in East Africa

The following were the activities carried out by the Christian missionaries in East Africa.

  1. a) Missionaries carried out evangelization. They tried to convert and baptize many people into Christianity from their paganism and Islam.
  2. b) Christian missionaries carried out linguistic research and came up with new developments in language. Dr Kraft for example translated the Bible into Swahili and wrote a Swahili dictionary and grammar hence making it easy for people to understand the Bible more.
  3. c) The Christian missionaries built many churches in East Africa many of which are still in existence. They for example set up a church at Zanzibar, Rubaga and Rabai missionary station near Mombasa. This enhanced evangelization into the local population.
  4. d) They carried out exploration work into the discovery of various East African physical features. For example, Kraft was the first European to see Mt. Kenya in 1849 while Rebmann was the first to European see Kilimanjaro in 1848.
  5. e) Christian missionaries set up stations for free rehabilitation services for example in 1868 the Holy Ghost Fathers set up a home for the free slaves at Zanzibar.
  6. f) Christian missionaries participated in skill development in East Africa. They for example participated in modernizing Agriculture and carpentry by setting up agricultural institutionsand carpentry workshops for training.
  7. g) Christian missionaries were also influential in establishing educational institutions and training efficient class of African clergy (catechists) who were close and more understandable to the local communities. This helped and enhanced the propagation of faith.
  8. h) Christian missionaries were at times involved in political processes that were beyond spiritual jurisdiction. They for example participated in the overthrow of Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda. They also acted as front runners in the colonization process.

Reasons for the success of missionary work in East Africa

  1. a) The missionaries faced no strong opposition from any religion. Islam was only greatly dominant at the coast.
  2. b) The evils of slave trade made East Africans welcome missionaries as liberators. Their campaign against slave trade won them much support from different tribes in East Africa.
  3. c) The support they got from some of the local chiefs and kings led to their success. For instance, the sultan of Zanzibar gave them immense support. Mutesa I of Buganda and Mirambo of Nyamwezi all gave them protection as well as rights to do their work in their territories.
  4. d) The earlier explores helped to map out potential areas of East Africa for smooth missionary work. For instance, H.M Stanley had identified Buganda as a hospitable community for the missionaries and they were later welcomed by the Kabaka of Buganda in 1877.
  5. e) The support missionaries got from their home governments led them to success. This was inform of finance and physical manpower for instance colonial governments   gave protection to the missionaries whenever they were challenged by local chiefs or other threats. For instance Captain Lugard supported the Prot estants in the religious wars in Buganda.
  6. f) Some missionary groups sought for alliances with African chiefs. Such treaties of friendship made their work easy since the chiefs would call on their subjects to take on the missionary teachings.
  7. g) The missionaries’ efforts to translate the bible into several local languages helped them succeed for example Kraft translated the New Testament of the Bible into Swahili and wrote a Swahili dictionary and a Grammar book.
  8. h) The missionaries also received the support of African converts in spreading the Gospel.

Converts could now teach in their mother tongue and therefore overcame the language barrier.

  1. i) The industrial revolution had provided such technology like the printing press which made printing of bibles and other academic work easy.
  2. j) Their efforts in life saving services like medical care (Quinine) won them great admiration among the people of East Africa that few were ready to oppose them. The discovery of quinine also facilitated their work as it cured tropical diseases.
  3. k) The missionaries’ practical skills enabled them to survive even when their supplies from home delayed. They for instance adopted agriculture as soon as they settled anywhere. This ensured steady supply of food.
  4. l) The building of the Kenya Uganda railway greatly encouraged missionary work in the interior. The missionaries could now travel between the coast and the interior.
  5. m) Political stability in East Africa favoured missionary work because missionaries could settle.
  6. n) The emergence of the African independent church movement boosted the spread of

Christianity. African initiatives to Africanize Christianity encouraged its growth in East Africa..

  1. o) The death of Dr. David Livingstone in 1873 and other earlier missionaries increased the determination by many groups to see missionary work succeed in Africa, and East Africa in particular. E.g. the London news paper wrote after his death, “the work for Africa must hence forth begin in earnest where Livingstone left it off.”
  2. p) Establishment of resettlement centers for freed slaves e.g. at Bagamoyo and Frere town

near Mombasa where skills like carpentry, and agriculture were taught. Such communities thus looked at missionary work as “a life- saving mission”

Problems faced by missionaries in East Africa

Christian missionaries in East Africa were faced with various problems which clipped their activities at times. These include:

  1. a) They faced the problem of language barrier. This was because East Africa had a multiplicity of languages hence rendering communication between the missionaries and the local people very difficult.
  2. b) There was a problem of the influence of Islam. Arabs being the first group of people to arrive at the coast and interior had deep rooted Islam into the people thus making it difficult for the people to easily adopt Christianity. For example, by the time Sir Edward

Frere arrived in East Africa (1873) Rebmann had only 6 converts.

  1. c) Existence of tropical diseases was yet another problem faced by the Christian missionaries. Tropical diseases like malaria, small pox, claimed many missionary lives thus making progress in their activities very difficult since they could be left very few in numbers.
  2. d) Another hardship was caused by geographical barriers. These included hilly areas, rivers, lakes and forests. These hindered their free movement to various places thus a threat to their activities.
  3. e) Divisions and quarrels between various missionary groups for example Catholics versus Protestants was a hindrance to their activities. This could create divisions and biases among the believers thus weakening their capacity to convert more converts.
  4. f) Poor transport was a hindrance to the missionary activities in East Africa. This was due to undeveloped roads at the time to help in the movement of missionaries from one place to another.
  5. g) Presence of hostile tribes in East Africa was also a problem that faced Christian missionaries. The Nandi and Maasai who believed that strangers were not supposed to pass via their land could attack and kill many missionaries thereby reducing their numbers compared to the increasing number of converts.
  6. h) The presence of wild animals was also a threat to the missionary activities in East Africa. Man enters in Tsavo National Park consumed and threatened many whites. This clipped their activities at times.
  7. i) The missionaries faced the problem of lack of supplies. They for example lacked enough money, accommodation and drugs. This was because they originated from very far (Europe) thus making it difficult for them to have full time and constant supplies. Such put their lives at risk and could sometimes lead to death.
  8. j) The Christian missionaries faced the problem of stiff contradiction and rivals between European missionaries and traditional Africans. Customs like polygamy, satanic worship, etc were deep rooted into African communities which proved a threat for the missionaries to successfully uproot them.
  9. k) The missionaries made their work difficult by involving in politics and judicial systems which were beyond spiritual jurisdiction. Local leaders could misinterpret them as political rivals and organize their masses for resistance against missionary activities.



Effects of missionaries in East Africa

(a)  They spread Christianity and baptized many converts. Catechists were also trained who helped in the spread of Christianity for example, in Kenya by 1911 many people had been converted and many cathedrals and churches were built like the Kikuyu churches (Charismatic Arathi or spirit churches.)

(b)  African religious beliefs, culture and traditions were despised and demoralized for example the birth and murder of twins, human sacrifice.

(c)  They established hospitals and clinics which offered modern medicine plus research in tropical diseases like malaria, small pox, yellow fever and sleeping sickness which had claimed many lives. For example, the Mission Hospitals at Rabai, Thogoto, Kaimosi e.t.c.   Dr Albert Cook built Mengo hospital.

(d)  They introduced the European system of management and styles of dress and architecture which have been adopted by many people in East Africa today.

(e)  They put to an end the inter-tribal or inter-village wars and established a stable and peaceful society under one faithful leader (centralization).

(f)  They studied African languages and translated the Bible into various languages. For example Kraft translated the New Testament of the Bible into Swahili, Bishop Edward Steere based inZanzibar learnt and studied Swahili and translated books from English to Swahili, published the New Testament and the entire Bible in 1891.

(g)  They established printing presses like Marianum press and published newspapers.

(h)  They opened up primary and secondary schools as well as training collages for teachers and trade schools for craftsmen e.g. Alliance High School, Kisubi Vocational School. In the technical schools, carpentry and brick laying skills were obtained.

(i)  A new class of elite emerged. Africans educated mainly in English and French emerged, these later served as doctors, lawyers, clerks, teachers, catechists, agriculturalists and priests who played a great role of spreading Christianity. For example, in 1890, Africans

were ordained as priests of the University Mission to Central Africa in Tanganyika.

(j)  They paved way for the improvement of agriculture through establishing experimental farms and plantations where new crops, better methods of farming and equipment   were introduced for example cotton was introduced by Kenneth Boroup in 1903 and Africans were taught how to use a plough and how to grow coffee.

(k)  Missionaries improved communication and transport which in turn led to the opening up of the hinterland of Africa. The building of strong boats and ships gave Europeans courage to travel far from home.

(l)  Missionaries destroyed local industries like craft industry e.g. blacksmiths, pottery work were all destroyed and replaced with European products e.g. manufactured items like cups, saucepans, etc.

(m)  They contributed to the rise of nationalism. This was made possible through education where the African elite emerged and started demanding for independence e.g. Tom Mboya, Obote, Nyerere, and Kenyatta.

(n)  They fought slave trade which was later abolished and equality and liberty for all was encouraged in East Africa.

(o)  Mission stations were developed in towns like Rabai missionary station near Mombasa.

Role of Christian missionaries in the colonization of East Africa

  1. a) Missionaries signed treaties which were later used by colonialists to take over colonies e.g. Tucker, a British Missionary interpreted the 1900 Buganda Agreement to the regents of Kabaka Daudi Chwa II. This led to loss of political, economic and social powers to the British protectorate government. Sir Harry John stone who signed on behalf of the British government confessed that;
  2. b) Missionaries supplied information to the colonialists which they utilized to plan how to effectively impose their colonial rule on how to crash the African resistance. In the religious wars in Buganda, the British fought behind the Protestants.
  3. c) In fact there was a reciprocal relationship between missionaries and the colonialists that is why missionaries laid the ground work before the partitioners offered missionaries protection for the success of their evangelization mission.
  4. d) The Church missionary society managed to raise enough funds for Imperial British East African Company for its staying in Uganda for at least 2 or more years. The church missionary society and Captain Lugard viewed that the company’s withdraw would live theBritish and the protestant party in a dangerous position versus Moslems.
  5. e) Missionaries enhanced the growth of tropical raw materials like coffee, cotton to satisfy the British industrialists urge but disguising everything in Christianity. Bishop K. Boroup for example introduced cotton in Uganda.
  6. f) They appealed to their home governments for protection in case of attack. It is in this light that Britain came to Uganda during the religious wars of 1884-1892 and later occupied Uganda.
  7. g) They created a collaborating class by luring it religiously and materially. This class helped colonialists to fight resistors despite the fact that they were all Africans.
  8. h) In their evangelization role, they brain washed Africans with biblical teachings as “love your neighbor as you love yourself”, “blessed are the humble for the kingdom of God is theirs”, etc. With these preaching’s they made potential resistance important.
  9. i) Religion was a mechanism of divide and rule. The converts and the non-converts hated each other which caused division to the advantage of the Europeans.
  10. j) Collaboration with chattered companies, European Christian missionaries and their converts worked hand in hand with the Imperial British East African Company to defeat Kabalega’s resistance.
  11. k) Missionary stations served as military bases from where the European colonial forces

launched attacks on the resisting Africans. African Lugard used old Kampala hill as a military base against Kabalega.

  1. l) Mission stations served as colonial government headquarters. The established mission infrastructure was used to help in the establishment and sustenance of European colonial rule.
  2. m) Colonialists lacked skilled manpower, so the missionaries by design or accident were very faithful servants of the colonial government i.e. they were Colonial government servants.
  3. n) They created a peaceful atmosphere for the germination of colonialism in areas of hostility. This is because they emphasized the centralized leadership where peace and obedience were expected.
  4. o) Missionaries also trained manpower through introduction of education which was used by colonialists. This was done through teaching those academic subjects and manual skills like use of a plough and how to grow coffee.
  5. p) They acted as interpreters e.g. Tucker in the 1900 Buganda agreement.
  6. q) Through conversion of the Buganda chiefs and pages before Buganda commoners it meant that each party i.e. the Church Missionary Society and France had gained converts. This was a political security of sympathy to the Christian missionaries as against the Kabaka in Buganda’s leadership. This indirectly undermined the Kabaka’s authority and respect i.e. his traditional power base was being eroded.


What is citizenship?

This refers to the legal right of a person to belong to a particular country. A Kenyan citizen is a person who has the legal right to belong, live and do freely all that has to do with their life in Kenya.


Ways in which Kenyan citizenship can be acquired.

  1. a) By birth.
  2. b) By registration.

Citizenship by birth

The following are the Ways through which citizenship by birth is acquired in Kenya.

  1. a) A person is a citizen by birth if on the day of the person’s birth, whether or not the person is born in Kenya, either the mother or father of the person is a citizen.
  2. b) A child found in Kenya who is, or appears to be, less than eight years of age, and whose nationality and parents are not known, is presumed to be a citizen by birth.
  3. c) A person who is a Kenyan citizen by birth and who has ceased to be a Kenyan citizen because the person acquired citizenship of another country, is entitled on application to regain Kenyan citizenship.

Citizenship by registration

Conditions for qualification to apply for Citizenship by registration are as follows:

  1. a) If a person has been married to a Kenyan citizen for a period of at least seven years.
  2. b) If A person who has been lawfully resident in Kenya for a continuous period of at least seven years applies to be registered.
  3. c) If a child who is not a citizen, is adopted by a citizen and applies to be registered.
  4. d) Citizenship may be granted to individuals who are citizens of other countries that allow Kenyans citizenship in their countries.

Revocation of citizenship

The revocation of citizenship by registration may happen under the following circumstances.

  1. a) If a person acquired citizenship by fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact.
  2. b) If the person has, during any war in which Kenya was engaged, unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy or been engaged in or associated with any business that was knowingly carried on in such a manner as to assist an enemy in that war.
  3. c) If the person has, within five years after registration, been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of three years or longer.
  4. d) If a person has, at any time after registration, been convicted of treason, or of an offence for which a penalty of at least seven years imprisonment may be imposed.

Citizenship by birth may be revoked under the following circumstance

  1. a) If the citizenship was acquired by fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact by any person.
  2. b) If the nationality or parentage of the person becomes known, and reveals that the person was a citizen of another country.
  3. c) If the age of the person becomes known, and reveals that the person was older than eight years when found in Kenya.The concept of “Dual citizenship”.

   a citizen by birth does not lose citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country.

Rights and responsibilities of a Kenyan citizen

Human rights

Human rights refers to the accepted principles of fairness and justice- or the universal moral rights that belong equally to all people in their capacity as human beings.

Components of human rights

Every human right must fulfill these three fundamental conditions;

  1. a) Condition of life, which is necessary for development of human personality
  2. b) A Social character (since it presupposes existence of other members of the society)
  3. c) It must be enjoyed equally by all members of the society.

The constitution of Kenya contains the rights of the individuals and special groups such as children, the youth and people with disabilities. It gives the state the responsibility of guaranteeing these rights. The rights are contained in chapter 4 of the current constitution under the bill of rights. This chapter is not merely an integral part of the constitution of Kenya; it is the fundamental basis for the establishment of the state.Human rights and fundamental freedoms are recognized and protected in the constitution because they preserve the dignity of individuals and communities, and promote social justice

The rights and freedoms protected in the Bill of Rights

  1. Right to life

Life begins at conception and no child should be deprived of life deliberately. Abortion is not therefore permitted unless occasioned by the need for emergency treatment or life of the mother is in danger.

People who attempt to commit suicide are also punishable on the strength of their right

Limitations of the right to life

 A court of law can sentence one to death if found guilty of an offence punishable by death

Instances when the right to life may be taken away:

 When one is defending one’s life or country as is the case during war.

 When defending one’s property against violent attack.

  When a law enforcement officer’s life is endangered, for example when apprehending armed criminals.

  1. Equality and freedom from discrimination

Every person is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law. This means that both men and women are equal before the law. Any form of discrimination is illegal and is prohibited in the constitution.

  1. Human dignity

Every person’s dignity should be respected and protected. One must not ridicule or embarrass other members of society.

  1. Freedom and security of a person

This right protects a person from being detained without a good reason and without trial. No person will be subjected to physical or psychological torture, corporal punishment or cruel and inhuman treatment. Each citizen must also protect the freedom and security of others. It is unlawful for one to subject his or her spouse to either psychological or physical abuse.

  1. Freedom from slavery, servitude and forced labour

No one should be held in servitude or slavery or perform forced labour. Every employer should treat his or her employees with dignity and not to force them to work.

  1. Right to privacy

Every person has a right NOT to have him or herself, his or her property searched, or his or her possessions seized. Not revealing a person’s family or private affairs unnecessarily or private communications interfered with.




Exceptions to this right:

The law allows police officers, tax inspectors and other government agents to search private homes or business premises for purpose of health inspection, tax collection or any other officially sanctioned reason.

  1. Right to assembly, demonstration, picketing and petition

Every citizen has a right to assemble and participate in peaceful demonstrations and even present petitions to public authorities


Those demonstrating must not interfere with peace of others for example through harassment of motorists and property destruction.

  1. Political rights

Every citizen is free to make political choices, which includes the right to form, or participate in forming, a political party and to participate in the activities of, a political party.Every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections based on universal suffrage and the free` expression of the will of the electors for any elective public body or office. Every adult citizen has the right, without unreasonable restrictions, to be registered as a voter; to vote by secret ballot in any election or referendum and to be a candidate for public office, or office within a political party and, if elected, to hold officer responsibility.It is illegal to prevent other people from participating in elections, buy votes etc.

  1. Freedom of movement and residence

Citizens have a right to free movement and ownership of property in any part of the country.


Citizens should not obstruct efforts of any citizen to move freely and reside and own property in any part of the country.

  1. Economic and social rights

Every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care.

Every person has the right to accessible and adequate housing, and to reasonable standards of sanitation.Every person has the right to be free from hunger, and to have adequate food of acceptable quality.Every person has the right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities.Every person has the right to social securityEvery person has the right to education.A person shall not be denied emergency medical treatment.The State must provide appropriate social security to persons who are unable to support themselves and their dependants.Nb-it is on the strength of this right that the government is providing free primary education.


Every citizen must pay tax.

  1. Consumer rights

Consumers have the right to goods and services of reasonable quality.

Consumers have the right to the information necessary for them to gain full benefit from goods and services.Consumers have the right to the protection of their health, safety, and economic interests.Consumers have the right to compensation for loss or injury arising from defects in goods or services.


It is one’s responsibility to question the quality of goods and services being offered, to enable one get value for money.

The traders and other service providers have a responsibility to provide quality goods and services to fellow citizens.

They should give truthful information when advertising their products.

  1. Right to fair labour practices

Every worker has a right to fair labour practices like fair remuneration, reasonable working conditions, the right to join or practice in trade union activities and the right to go on strike .Every employer has a right to join an employers’ association and participate in its programmes and activities


One must respect the right to fair labour practices of one’s employees. Employees on the other hand must conduct themselves responsibly, even during strikes, to avoid causing physical injury to innocent people, or destroying property.

  1. Right to clean and healthy environment

Every person has the right to a clean and healthy environment. It is our duty to ensure that the environment is protected for the benefit of present and future generations.

The following are the obligations set by the government in order to achieve a clean and healthy environment:

  1. a) Ensure sustainable exploitation, utilization, management and conservation of the environment
  2. b) Work to achieve and maintain a tree cover of at least ten percent of the land area of Kenya.
  3. c) Encourage public participation in management, protection and conservation of the environment.
  4. d) Establish systems of environmental impact assessment, environmental audit and monitoring of the environment.
  5. e) Eliminate processes and activities that are likely to endanger the environment.
  6. f) Utilize the environment and natural resources for the benefit of the people of Kenya.
  7. g) Protect and enhance intellectual property and indigenous knowledge of biodiversity and the genetic resources of the communities.


Every person has a responsibility to protect and conserve the environment and ensure ecologically sustainable development, and use of natural resources.



  1. Freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion

Every person, whether individually or as a group, has freedom to manifest any religion or belief through worship, practice, teaching or observance, including observance of day of worship.One cannot be denied employment or educational opportunity because of belonging to a particular religion or because of one’s belief or religion.A person cannot be forced to engage in any act that goes against his or her  belief or religion.


Every citizen must be careful not to infringe upon this freedom

  1. Freedom of expression

This guarantees all Kenyans the freedom to seek, receive or impart ideas or information. It also guarantees freedom of artistic creativity, academic freedom, and freedom to conduct scientific research


In the exercise of this freedom, everyone is called upon to respect the rights and reputation of others. He/she should not spread propaganda with the intention t provoke others to war or to violence.

It is unlawful to engage in hate speech.

  1. Freedom of media

The freedom and independence of the media is guaranteed. The state should not interfere with the media.


The media industry should report impartially and avoid inciting members of the public.

The media should provide fair opportunity for the presentation of divergent views and dissenting opinions

  1. Access to information

Every person has a right to access information held by the state, or by others, which may be required for the protection of any right or fundamental freedom. The state is expected to make public any important information affecting the nation.Every person has a right to the correction or deletion of untrue or misleading information that affects the person.


A person should not misrepresent the information accessed, or misuse it for selfish gain. It is also illegal to sell public information for monetary gain.

  1. Freedom of association

Every person has the right to form, join and participate in the activities of an association of any kind, provided that the association is not engaged in illegal activities, such as stealing or killing.



  1. Protection of the right to property

Every person is entitled to own property either individually or as a group, in any part of the country. However the property has to be legally acquired.

This right provides all Kenyans a fair opportunity to invest in property and thus, prosper.


All citizens must respect this right. It is unlawful for one to deprive a person of his or her property without good reason.The state, in acquiring privately owned property must ensure adequate compensation granted promptly and in full

The state has an obligation to respect the intellectual property rights of the people of Kenya.

  1. Right to language and cultur

Every person has the right to use a language, and embrace the culture of the person’s choice.Every person has the right to form or join cultural groups. Every person is also protected from being forced to join any such group.Each linguistic group is free to use their language, practice their culture, and form associations and other organs of the civil society.It is unacceptable to force another person to perform, observe or undergo any cultural practice or rite.


This right should not be used to undermine national unity.

Other citizens should be allowed the freedom to enjoy diverse culture, including members of one’s own family.

  1. Right to family

An adult has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, based on the free consent of the parties. Parties to such a union enjoy equal rights. Both parties have a responsibility to respect the rights of their spouses during marriage and even in the event of its dissolution.It is wrong to deny one’s spouse access to marital property after separation or divorce.The constitution also recognizes marriages conducted under traditional, religious, personal or family law. Marrying of underage persons and forced marriages are outlawed in the constitution.

  1. Fair administrative action

Every person should be subjected to an efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair administrative action. This promotes efficient administration in public offices


The officers of the state have a responsibility to accord every person fair administrative action.The right requires that a person be given written reasons for any administrative action that will adversely affect a right or freedom of the person.

  1. Access to justice

Everybody should access justice and a reasonable fee will be charged to enhance this, if required. If this is not free, many people will not access justice which will continue to be a preserve of the rich people.


Everybody has a responsibility to facilitate fair play and access to justice for all. Any action aimed at blocking justice is unlawful and invites punishment. For example, shielding criminals or attempting to bribe law enforcement officers to prevent them from arresting a criminal. Aiding a criminal to evade arrest, concealing criminal acts; and lying to help culprits evade punishment.

  1. Right of arrested persons

An arrested person has;

  1. a) The right to be informed promptly in a language that the person understands of the reason for arrest, the right to remain silent and he consequences of not remaining silent.
  2. b) The right to remain silent. – The right of a person to choose to talk or to remain silent.
  3. c) The right to communicate with an advocate and other persons whose assistance is necessary (freedom of speech with all those who will assist him or her in the case.)
  4. d) The right of not being compelled to make any confession or admission that could be used in evidence against the person.
  5. e) The right t be held separately from persons serving a sentence ( should not be held in prisons alongside those already convicted)
  6. f) To be brought to court as soon as reasonably possible, as but not later than twenty four hours after being arrested.
  7. g) To be charged or be informed of the reason for the extension of detention or release, at the first court appearance.
  8. h) To be released on bond or bail, on reasonable conditions, pending a charge or trial, unless there are compelling reasons as to why one cannot be released.
  9. Fair hearing

Every person has the right to have any dispute that can be resolved through a court hearing be resolved in such a manner that will accord him or her fair and public hearing. An accused person has the following rights;

  1. a) To be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
  2. b) To be informed of the charges.
  3. c) To have adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence.
  4. d) To a public trial before a court.
  5. e) To have the trial begin and be concluded with few delays.
  6. f) To be present when being tried.
  7. g) To be represented by an advocate and be informed of this right immediately. Depending on the circumstances, the accused may be assigned an advocate by the state and at the state’s expense.
  8. h) To remain silent and not testify during the proceedings.
  9. i) To be informed in advance, of the evidence the prosecution intends to present, and to have reasonable access to that evidence.
  10. j) To challenge the evidence.
  11. k) To refuse to give self-incriminating evidence.
  12. l) To have the assistance of an interpreter if the accused person cannot understand the language used in the trial.
  13. m) If convicted, to appeal, or apply for review by a higher court.


  1. The accused person has the responsibility of obeying instructions of the court.
  2. They must behave well in court and outside the court
  3. They should respect the rights of the accusers as well as their advocates.
  4. Accused persons should behave as the law spells out while awaiting the verdict of the court. Whatever the verdict, they should abide by the law.
  5. Rights of persons detained, held in custody or imprisoned.

A person, who is detained, held in custody or imprisoned under the law, retains all rights and fundamental freedoms in the bill of rights. Except those that are impractical and inapplicable under the circumstances.A person who is detained or held in custody is entitled for an order Habeas Corpus- This is a law that states that a person who has been arrested should not be kept in prison longer than a particular period of time unless a judge in a court has decided that it is right. It is the right of the person who is detained, held in custody or imprisoned to be treated in a humane manner.


All citizens have a responsibility to ensure that the rights of those detained, held in custody or imprisoned are respected. For example the judicial staff , prison staff and the police should respect the constitutional rights of all persons without discrimination.

Fundamental rights that might not be limited:

  1. Freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  2. Freedom from slavery or servitude.
  3. The right to a fair trial.
  4. The right to an order of habeas corpus

Rights enjoyed by Children in Kenya

  1. a) Every child has the right to a name and nationality from birth
  2. b) Every child has the right to free and compulsory basic education.
  3. c) Every child has the right to basic nutrition, shelter and health care.
  4. d) Every child has the right to be protected from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, all forms of violence, inhuman treatment and punishment, and hazardous or exploitative labour.
  5. e) Every child has the right to parental care and protection, which includes equal

responsibility of the mother and father to provide for the child, whether they are married to each other or not.

  1. f) Every child has the right not to be detained, except as a measure of last resort, and when detained, to be held for the shortest appropriate period of time.
  2. g) Every child has the right to separate from adults and in conditions that take account of the child’s sex and age.
  3. h) Every child has the right to a child’s best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child.

Rights enjoyed by Persons with disabilities in Kenya

(a)  A person with any disability is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect and to be addressed and referred to in a manner that is not demeaning. A person with any disability is entitled

(b)  A person with any disability is entitled to access educational institutions and facilities for persons with disabilities that are integrated into society to the extent compatible with the interests of the person.

(c)  A person with any disability is entitled to reasonable access to all places, public transport and information.

(d)   A person with any disability is entitled to use Sign language, Braille or other appropriate means of communication.

(e)  A person with any disability is entitled to access materials and devices to overcome constraints arising from the person’s disability.

Rights of the Youth in Kenya

(a)  Right to access relevant education and training.

(b)  Right to have opportunities to associate, be represented and participate in political, social, economic and other spheres of life.

(c)  Right to access employment.

(d)  Youths are protected from harmful cultural practices and exploitation.

Rights of Minorities and marginalized groups in Kenya

  1. a) Minorities and marginalized groups have the right to participate and are represented in governance and other spheres of life.
  2. b) Minorities and marginalized groups have the right to be provided special opportunities in educational and economic fields.
  3. c) Minorities and marginalized groups have the right to be provided special opportunities for access to employment.
  4. d) Minorities and marginalized groups have the right to develop their cultural values, languages and practices.
  5. e) Minorities and marginalized groups have the right to reasonable access to water, health services and infrastructure.

Rights of older members of society in Kenya

  1. a) Right to fully participate in the affairs of society.
  2. b) Right to pursue their personal development.
  3. c) Right to live in dignity and respect and be free from abuse.
  4. d) Right to receive reasonable care and assistance from their family and the State.

Circumstances, which may force the Kenya government to limit the freedoms and rights of an individual.

  1. a) Conviction of murder by a court of law limits the right to life
  2. b) When planning for a criminal activity one loses the freedom of movement/liberty
  3. c) When government develops a place one loses the freedom to own property
  4. d) Freedom of worship is denied if one uses it to undermine the government /create disunity
  5. e) Freedom of assembly can be limited if internal security is threatened
  6. f) Personal liberty can be denied if one has an infectious disease e.g. rift valley fever

Other responsibilities of a citizen

  1. a) Every person has a responsibility to contribute to positive development in the country by working hard and honestly, irrespective of the type of work or profession one is in.
  2. b) Every citizen is expected to participate in the democratic process. One has the moral responsibility to vote and even present him/herself to be voted for provided he/she fulfils all the requirements of the position.
  3. c) A responsible citizen should actively contribute views on matters affecting the community. This includes taking Part in national debates.
  4. d) A responsible citizen must be mindful of other peoples’ welfare. For example guiding visitors, assisting the disabled, the aged, children, as well as the less fortunate members of the society in ways in which they need the assistance.
  5. e) A good citizen should report law breakers, and even those suspected of having intentions to break the law to the relevant authorities.
  6. f) A responsible citizen should ensure proper utilization of public and private facilities including toilets, water points, post offices, public telephone Booths etc.
  7. g) A responsible citizen must maintain high moral and ethical standards. One must refrain from telling lies.

Values of good citizenship

Values and principles of governance in Kenya

  1. a) Patriotism, national unity, sharing and devolution of power, the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people.
  2. b) Human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness, equality, human rights, nondiscrimination and protection of the marginalized.
  3. c) Good governance, integrity, transparency and accountability.
  4. d) Sustainable development.

Values of good citizenship

  1. a) A good citizen has a duty to be patriotic to the country. He/she should be ready to place the interests of the country above one’s own selfish interests. One sh ould volunteer for a national cause, for example engaging in freedom from hunger walk, helping victims of disasters, volunteering to help the country in times of war and using talents such a sports and music achieve personal goals and to promote the country.
  2. b) A good citizen must take part in activities that foster national unity including economic activities such as agriculture and trade which boost the economy.
  3. c) A good citizen participates in democratic process either by volunteering themselves to be elected, or by taking part in electing of leaders at national or county levels.
  4. d) A good citizen maintains and protects human dignity. He/she has an obligation to dissuade people from engaging in acts that deprive others of their human dignity such as mob justice.
  5. e) A good citizen observes equity by respecting the interests of every citizen, regardless of race, ethnicity or age) A good citizen respects social justice. A person who protests against the grabbing of public land and destruction of the environment such as Wangari Maathai demonstrates good citizenship.
  6. g) A good citizen respects inclusiveness in society. He/she does not ignore any member of society in making of decisions on matters affecting all citizens
  7. h) A good citizen respects equality of all citizens
  8. i) A good citizen respects human rights. He/she not only respects his /her right but also the rights of others in society
  9. j) A good citizen is expected to ensure that there is no discrimination against any member or section of the population to ensure the protection of the marginalized in the society.
  10. k) Good citizenship entails support for good governance. He/she has a duty to pay taxes to the government so that it can generate the revenue required to finance activities for the benefit of all.
  11. l) A good citizen has an obligation to maintain a high level of integrity in society. H/she should desist from corrupt practices and even report such acts to relevant authorities.
  12. m) A good citizen has a duty to maintain transparency and accountability. Public servants should be accountable for their actions and maintain high level of transparency.
  13. n) A good citizen supports government by taking part in projects that ensure sustainable development in the country- through participation in environment friendly projects.

Importance of being a good citizen

  1. a) Being a good citizen promotes peace and stability hence development.
  2. b) A good citizen promotes law and order hence enjoyment of rights and freedoms.
  3. c) Good citizenship promotes cordial relationship and social peace.
  4. d) It reduces government expenditure on security organs necessary for maintaining law and order.
  5. e) It promotes the good name of a country hence encourages tourism which is important for our development.
  6. f) It curbs against social vises like corruption, nepotism or tribalism since a good citizen can not indulge in such activities.
  7. g) It promotes good relationship with neighbors.



What is National Integration?

Integration means unification into a whole. – The act of combining or bring together various parts in a way that makes them one.National integration refers to the process by which various components of a nation are brought together into a whole leading to national unity.

Importance of National Integration

Why is National Integration a priority in Kenya?

(a)  National integration Helps in social and economic development through enhanced national unity.

(b)  It develops a sense of national direction, facilitating unified goals and co-operation.

(c)  It enhances political stability and security by eliminating suspicion.

(d)  Promotes peaceful c-existence of different tribes and races hence leading to peace and harmony.

(e)  Promotes collective responsibility due to easier, more efficient and accurate communication.

(f)  It enables a country to develop a sense of direction as national goals are communicated to the people in the spirit of national integration.

(g)  It leads to achievement of easier, more accurate communication as the nation increases efforts of national integration.

Factors that promote national unity in Kenya

  1. a) The constitution. This is a set of rules agreed upon by a group of people who have chosen to live together. It provides for equality of all Kenyans before the law. It Guarantees equal opportunities to all Kenyans. It Provides protection to individuals against any form of discrimination/bill of rights. It provides for a unitary government
  2. b) The curriculum aims at ensuring that pupils and students focus on issues that unite them. The integrated education system encourages the children to accept one another as Kenyans. Teaching of history in schools encourages unity. Religious studies taught in schools promote respect for the Supreme Being and fellow human beings. Music and drama festivals in schools promote unity among students.
  3. c) One government. Our one government, with the three arms is recognized by each Kenyans a body that runs the affairs of the nation.
  4. d) The presidency. Kenya has one president despite the diversity in parties and tribes. The presidency unites Kenyans.
  5. e) National language. The use of Kiswahili as the official language enables Kenyans to interact freely. Kiswahili became a national language in 1975. It helps overcome communication barriers and gives Kenyans a sense of belonging and identity
  6. f) Economic growth. The government attempts to provide social amenities to Kenyans without bias. It has tried to achieve equitable distribution of economic resources. Urbanization promotes socialization and co-existence among Kenyans.

There also the use of a common currency giving Kenyans a sense of nationhood. The policy of offering equal employment opportunities to all Kenyans has enabled Kenyans to work in various parts of the country where they interact freely.

  1. g) National activities. National holidays remind Kenyans of their history. Agricultural shows enables different economic sectors display and advertize their goods. Games and sports promote unity as they bring together people of different communities for a common cause.
  2. h) Mass media. The mass media in Kenya is instrumental in ensuring that information is disseminated to all at the same time. It enables Kenyans from all pats to contribute to national debates.
  3. i) Symbols of National unity. National anthem promotes a sense of belonging among Kenyans and gives them an identity. Existence of the national flag symbolizes national unity.
  4. j) The government encourages social, economic interaction among Kenyans e.g. through marriages, worship etc.

Factors that undermine national unity in Kenya

  1. a) Tribalism – this is the practice of favouring people who are from one’s own ethnic group in employment, admission to schools and allocation of resources. Others end up being discriminated against thus leading to hatred and enmity.
  2. b) Nepotism –this is the practice of people favouring their relatives. This vice is similar to tribalism
  3. c) The unequal distribution of resources causes animosity between those who are favoured and those who are not.
  4. d) Political wrangles / Ethnic conflicts / clashes discourage co-operation among the citizens.
  5. e) Corruption – asking for and offering of bribes to obtain and give services violates people’s rights to equal treatment. Corruption creates suspicion and hatred among people since those who cannot afford to bribe feel cheated and frustrated.
  6. f) Discrimination on the basis of gender denies people the right to participate equally in national development.
  7. g) This is discrimination on the basis of colour/ race. This creates hatred and suspicious among people. This was a common cause of disunity during the colonial days.
  8. h) Religious conflicts. In Kenya, conflicts between the Muslims and Catholics in 2000 led to destruction of a catholic church in Nairobi. Intolerance of other people’s religions creates disunity.
  9. i) Party membership. Multipartism in Kenya has to some extend become a cause of disunity.

The country regularly becomes polarized on party lines especially when we near general elections. Sometimes members of parties such as TNA, ODM, UDF, URP etc don’t see eye to eye during campaigns. There has also been discrimination on the basis of party membership.

  1. j) When people lack basic needs such as food, education, health, shelter and clothing, anti-social behaviour arise. For example, stealing and violence. Criminal activities create fear and suspicion and therefore discourage national unity.
  2. k) Lack of knowledge creates intolerance of other people’s views and lack of appreciation of the development taking place around. This may create unnecessary division.

Steps have been taken by the Kenyan government to promote national integration since independence.

  1. a) The government has developed national symbols like the flag, anthem, and the court of arms. These symbols have helped to identify us as one nation.
  2. b) Immediately after independence the then only major opposition party, KADU was disbanded to have a single party system. However this did not work for long as

Multipartism was inevitably reintroduced.

  1. c) The government also set up a national curriculum in our educational institutions. This creates a sense of oneness despite the diversity.
  2. d) Declaring Kiswahili a national language. In 1975, Kiswahili was made a national language of communication as a step towards curbing rampant tribalism. This has greatly assisted as Kenyans of different diversity can communicate.
  3. e) Promotion and fostering Harambee spirit. This has led to Collective participation in development programmes by people from different groups which have promoted national unity.
  4. f) During the reign of president Moi the Nyayo philosophy of peace love and unity was introduced. It stressed the concept of being mindful of other people’s welfare. It is closely related to the principal of mutual social responsibility as embodied in African socialism.
  5. g) A new constitution in Kenya was promulgated in august 2010. This constitution promises a lot of hope in terms of unity as it may be an important tool of fighting all vices that have discouraged unity. It also stresses equal rights for all.
  6. h) The government has tried to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor through the creation of an equalization fund under the new constitution. Through this fund, development easily trickles down to reach the disadvantaged.
  7. i) Abolition of racial schools hence enrolling students of different backgrounds in the same schools. /Ethnic balance in public institutions.
  8. j) The teaching of history in schools has helped to create a sense of oneness as Kenyans realize that they share a common history.
  9. k) Promotion of games, sports, drama and cultural activities. National games at school and college level have been a source of interaction. This is a way of developing a common culture in the country
  10. l) The government has made use of media to propagate unity.
  11. m) Abolition of ethnic organizations and groupings.
  12. n) Promotion of national public service i.e. civil servants can serve anywhere in the country..

Conflict resolution

Conflict refers to a situation in which people or groups are involved in serious disagreements, or disputes.Conflict resolution refers to the process of settling a dispute when it occurs

Levels of conflicts found in Kenya

  1. a) Individual versus individual. This is where two people disagree for political, economic or social reasons.
  2. b) Group versus group. This type of conflict involves one group against another also due to political, social and economic reasons.
  3. c) Individual versus state. Such a conflict of an individual against the state may be political especially one feels his/her rights are being violated by the state.
  4. d) State versus state. This is a case where a state is in disagreement with another state maybe over boundary like was the case between Kenya and Uganda during the reign if Idi Amin dada
  5. e) Group versus state. This may be caused by for example a trade union demanding the improvement of the terms and conditions of service of its members. For example the standoff between KNUT and KUPPET on one hand and the government over harmonization of the salaries of teachers with those of civil servants in 2012 leading to a countrywide strike in September 2012.

The factors that cause conflict

(h)  Difference in views arising from background beliefs, social and political standing and values.

(i)  Economic differences. E.g. when consumers feel exploited by businessmen, when employees feel exploited by employers. Etc.

(j)  Political differences based on ideological orientation i.e. capitalism versus socialism.

(k)  Social differences, for example tribal clashes, religious conflicts, racial discrimination, age/sex differences.

(l)  Limited land/economic resources-unfair distribution of land, mineral resources, water resources, etc.

Peaceful methods of conflict resolution

  1. a) Diplomacy/negotiation. This is a dialogue between two warring parties in order to reach an agreement over a dispute. The following steps are followed in negotiation;
  2. Fact finding- negotiation starts with finding out all the facts about the conflict that is to be solved. At this stage, the laws or guidelines to be followed are also looked at.
  3. Discussion. During this stage, a friendly environment is cultivated to enable discussion of workable solutions. This is usually a give and take situation.
  4. Reaching an agreement. The points of agreement reached should be fair to both parties with both feeling they have benefited. Each party should be willing to comprise for negotiation to succeed.
  5. b) Arbitration –this is like an informal court where a neutral person (arbitrator) is chosen to resolve the dispute by listening to both sides and help them reach an acceptable decision.

Arbitration procedure:

  1. Both sides involved in conflict presents their case as they know it to the arbitrator.
  2. After listening to the complainant’s story, the arbitrator makes questions to clarify some aspects of the story. The other group may also seek clarification.
  3. The second group then responds to the story by the first group by a representative. The arbitrator again asks questions for clarification.
  4. On grounds of applicable rules, the arbitrator should consider the facts and then make a decision.
  5. c) Mediation – a person who is not involved in the conflict tries to help the warring parties reach an amicable agreement. The parties involved must be willing to listen and come up with good ideas that can help them solve the disagreement.

Steps followed in mediation:

~  Step 1. The mediator explains the rules as a means of helping the two parties reach an agreement and not imposing a decision on them.

~  Step 2. Giving the two parties involved in the conflict chance to explain in their own words what the problem is. The Complainant explains first and then the defendant.

~  Step 3. The mediator, after listening, summarizes the stories from each party and also identifies the facts.

~  Step 4. The Mediator suggests the solutions and invites the two parties to give their opinions of the solutions proposed.

~  Step 5. Depending on the two parties’ reaction, the solution is looked at afresh and then an acceptable solution identified.

~  Step 6. The acceptable agreement reached is then written down and each party has to be committed to it.

  1. d) This is where one party takes the other to court and the court makes judgments that are bidding on both sides.
  2. e) Legislation – where the parliament passes laws to control conflict.
  3. f) Workshops – this is where conflicting parties talk in the presence of facilitators and tries to work out a resolution to the problem.
  4. g) Arms inspection – the government in order to build confidence and prevent misunderstanding between warring parties carries it out.

Negative methods of conflict resolution

  1. Subjugation (use of war)
  2. Avoiding responsibility and refusing to accept defeat
  3. Appeasement/compromise.

Under what circumstances violent method may be used in resolving conflict?

  1. When law and order is broken and the alternative is the use of force
  2. In case of serious social unrest
  3. Striking students or workers, street mobs and bandits





Definition of trade

Trade refers to the exchange of goods and services between people or countries.

Man must have started trading soon after the evolution of the homo sapien sapiens.

Trade was occasioned by the existence of varying environmental and climatic conditions. Trade arises from the basic human needs such as satisfying food requirements

Methods of trade

There are two main methods of trade;

  1. Barter trade
  2. Currency trade.
  3. a) Barter trade

This is the exchange of gods for gods. It is one of the earliest forms of trade that was even taking place during the reign of King Solomon of the Bible.Barter trade emerged from the natural needs of the people. For example, among the Kenyan pre-colonial communities such as the Maasai who kept livestock but did not have grains which the neighbouring kikuyu possessed. Barter trade sometimes even took place within the same community where some people had some special talents that others did not possess. E.g ironsmiths.A form of barter trade known as ‘silent trade’ was practiced in some areas where the two involved communities could not speak the same language. For example, it existed between Morocco and Carthage in 400 BC.Barter trade can still be witnessed in the modern society. For example, Kenya exchanges tea and coffee with petroleum, chemicals and machinery from other countries.

Barter trade however has the following disadvantages;

  1. a) It may involve bulky goods in the transaction.
  2. b) There may lack double coincidence. It is difficult always to get the goods one wants.
  3. c) Lack of standards of deferred payment; if a good was borrowed, it would be difficult to decide whether the same value was returned later or not.
  4. d) Some goods cannot be sub-divided into smaller units. If one wanted cloth equal to a half a sheep, then he could not divide the sheep into two parts.
  5. e) Lack of store of value for some goods which cannot be stored for a long time since they are perishable. E.g. milk, vegetables.
  6. f) Lack of measures of value; a specific quantity of goods cannot be measured vis-à-vis other goods.

Advantages of barter system

  1. a) Poor countries without adequate foreign currencies benefit from it by being able to exchange goods they have for what they do not have.
  2. b) It benefits where money is non-existent.
  3. c) It avoids wastage as demand and supply tend to equate.
  4. d) It promotes interaction hence good relationship, peace and stability especially among traditional African societies.
  5. b) Currency trade

This is a type of trade that involves the use of money.

Money is an item that is mutually recognized as a medium of exchange or a measure of value. In the pre-colonial times items like Gold dust, cloth, copper rods, and iron and cowrie shells were used as a form of currency.

Advantages of the use of money in trade

  1. a) Money is a medium of exchange- it is needed to obtain goods or services.
  2. b) Money as a measure of value enables units of goods to be bought. A specific quantity of goods can be measured Visa- Vis other goods.
  3. c) Money is a standard of deferred (future) payments which allows borrowing and lending to take place.
  4. d) It is a store of value- one is able to defer satisfaction of a want to future times or make provision for one’s want at a future date.
  5. e) It is a means through which immovable property can be transferred. For example when one sells a house in one city to go and dwell in another.
  6. f) Money as a unit of account is used as a calculating medium and assigning prices of goods and services.
  7. g) Money is easily divisible into smaller units. For example, if a product is valued at a lower price, the buyer only pays the agreed cost.
  8. h) The qualities of money and its functions overcome the difficulties of barter.

Money however becomes valuable only when those using it have confidence that it will continue to retain its value during the period it is in possession.Technology today has made the use of currency easier. There is the use of Visa Card and Mobile money services like Mpesa and Airtel Money to carry out transactions.Difference between barter trade and trade in which currency is used as a medium of exchange.

  1. a) In barter trade goods are exchanged for goods/in currency trade, there is use of money as a measure of value.
  2. b) In barter trade depends on the existence of a double coincidence of needs but in currency method one meets his needs by the use of money.
  3. c) Items used for barter trade are bulky (some) and inconvenient to handle -and others perishable. Money is not bulky.

Local trade

This refers to the exchange of goods between people within the same geographical area such as a village or town.

Origin of local trade

This form of trade took place between groups of people who produced different goods mainly because of varying ecological conditions. It was motivated by the following factors;

  1. a) Existence of surplus production e.g. where some community’s harvest was excess; they could sell the excess commodity to carter for shortages elsewhere and to avoid wastage.
  2. b) Differences in climate and environmental conditions which affected the type of natural resources available in various places/ not all needs of a particular community can be satisfied by the resources available hence trade. The kikuyu of Nyeri had to go to Mathira for their foodstuff requirements during drought periods.
  3. c) Specialization and improved technology which always creates a need to exchange skills and goods with those who do not have. E.g trade between Mathira kikuyu cultivators and the Mukurwe-ini kikuyu ironmongers and weavers. Some even exchanged skills for money.
  4. d) Population increase making man to begin to supplement his needs by trading with his neighbors.Sometimes, this trade extended even beyond the local community to the neighbouring community. The Abagusii, for example, acquired hides, milk, snake poison, and pottery items from their Luo Neighbours.

Some seasonal markets emerged which enabled traders to meet and exchange goods on particular days of the week.

Factors that facilitated development of local trade

  1. a) Availability of capital for investments in trade – to generate more wealth.
  2. b) Specialization and improved technology, e.g. specialization in production, in technology and in marketing. Sometimes people even exchanged their skills for money.
  3. c) Demand and supply; the growing demand for goods and services was met by increase in supply.
  4. d) Enterprise; many people began to take greater risk and invested more in trade.
  5. e) Peace and stability. This enabled people to interact more and hence the growth and expansion of trade.

Impact of local trade

  1. a) There was development of market places which specialized in certain items like pottery, iron tools and baskets. Others specialized in livestock
  2. b) Local trade helped to strengthen bonds between people in the same locality. It even enhanced intermarriages and other social functions.
  3. c) Local trade satisfied the requirements of the communities in terms of tools, foodstuff s, medicinal herbs etc.
  4. d) Local trade enhanced acquisition of new products that a particular community did not produce.
  5. e) There was an improvement of transport routes. Some markets were strategically located along transport routes.
  6. f) In centralized governments like Buganda, Bunyoro-Kitara, Mali, Ghana and Wanga, the local markets that developed due to the trade became important sources of revenue for the kingdoms. In Bunyoro-Kitara for example, the Omukama had officers whose duty was to collect taxes from the market places.
  7. g) Many people were brought together through trade. In Bunyoro–Kitara, communities like the Alur, Acholi, Langi, Basoga, Baganda, Kumani, Iteso and Banyankole interacted through trade.

NB; the greatest danger to the local traders was that they risked being attacked by hostile communities and wild animals.

Regional trade

This refers to a type of trade between two distinct geographical regions

Characteristics of regional trade

~ It Takes place within a bigger geographical area.

~ It Involves intermediaries or middlemen between producers and the buyers.

~ The trade often covers long distances to and from the market.

~ It involves people who specialize mainly in trade as their means of livelihood.

~ Larger Varieties of goods are involved.

In regional trade there existed established markets but goods did not have to be sold on a particular market days like the case of local trade.

It also involved large volumes of trade as compared to local trade

Examples of regional trade included:

  1. a) The Trans-Saharan trade
  2. b) The long-distance trade.

The trans-Saharan trade

‘Trans’ means across. This was therefore the exchange of goods across the Sahara between the peoples of North Africa (Berbers and Tuaregs) and the people of western Sudan (the darkskinned people who occupy the region south of the Sahara)

The West African kingdoms of Mali, Ghana and Songhai were involved in this trade.Development of the trans-Saharan trade. (8th-16thc AD)

Factors that led to the development of the trans-Saharan trade

  1. a) Demand for West African good such as gold, slaves and kola nuts by the North Africans and for North African goods like horses, cotton cloth and weapons by the west Sudan people.
  2. b) Existence of rich merchants in the region, such as the Berbers and Tuaregs, who provided capital for investment in the trade/ availability of capital.
  3. c) Existence of Local trade in the western Sudan belt and among the barbers and Tuaregs provided a base for the regional trade.
  4. d) Existence of the Tuaregs, who provided security to traders, guided them through the deserts and maintained some water points like the oases where the Berber merchants watered their camels and rested before continuing with their journey to and from western Sudan.
  5. e) Availability of well established trade routes across the desert which made it easy for the traders to travel.
  6. f) Existence of Kings in western Sudan like Mansa Musa of Mali and Askia Muhamed of Songhai who provided protection to traders, ensured peace and political stability.
  7. g) Availability of pack animals like the camel and the horse which enabled easy movement through the desert. The camel could carry heavy loads and travel long distances without water.
  8. h) Existence of oases which became a source of water during the travels, for the camels and the traders.
  9. i) Invasion of North Africa by the Arabs and their eventual settlement led to increase in the volume of trade.
  10. j) There were also vast trade goods like gold, palm oil and ivory. This stimulated the development of trans-Saharan trade.

The trade goods in the trans-Saharan trade

From western Sudan;

  1. a) Gold- this was by far the most important commodity that originated from the wangara region, Bornu, Upper Senegal and upper Niger.
  2. b) Slaves- they were forcefully captured and later used as soldiers and labourers in the Arab world.
  3. c) Kola nuts and feathers. Monopoly of the Hausa traders from Kano region.
  4. d) Hides and skins- from Hausa land for making leather clothing and shoes.
  5. e) Ivory- originated from western belt mainly from cote d’ivore.
  6. f) Gum- from Mauritania and Senegal
  7. g) Dyed cloth and pepper

From the north

  1. a) Salt- from Taghaza, Taodeni, Bilma and Ghadames.
  2. b) Horses- from Tripoli were on demand among the political leaders and their soldiers.
  3. c) Glassware, beads, mirrors, perfumes, spices, dried fruits, needles, firearms, daggers and cowrie shells.

Organization of the trans-Saharan trade

Beginning of Trans-Saharan Trade was due to the fact that North Africa was rich in the salt that West Africa lacked while West Africa was rich in gold. The Trans-Saharan trade led to an exchange of salt for gold.The trade was between people of the western Sudan and Arabs from North Africa.Because of the long distance involved, the traders had to organize themselves very well. Traders travelled in large caravans of camels and traders to enhance their security.The rich traders from North Africa initiated the trade. They provided trade goods, camels and horses to middlemen who coordinated the trade.

The middlemen would contact desert guides known as takshifs who also acted as desert guards.They protected the traders and guarded the oases in the Sahara .The Tuaregs also provided the traders with security and acted as interpreters.The caravans usually departed from the north after the rainy season when sandstorms would subside for smooth travel. The traders made stops at the oases to refresh themselves and let their camels drink water.

They carried gifts for leaders of the communities along the route to appease them and as reciprocation for security while traveling through their kingdoms. Rulers of western Sudan offered service to the traders while they were in the territory.The trade was conducted in barter/ exchanging one good for another/ silent trade. Some of the caravan traders used agents who sold goods on their behalf in the interim period between their departure back to the north until the time they came back to western Sudan. The rulers of western Sudan controlled trade/regulated amount of gold to be sold . The traders paid taxes to the kings of western Sudan.The main items of trade were gold and salt i.e. from the west came gold, ivory, slaves, ostrich feathers, leather, kola nuts and pepper. From the north came salt, horses, weapons, iron implements, clothes, silk and beads. Arabs and Berbers financed the trade.The traders followed fairly defined route. The most important routes were as follows;

  1. a) A route Starting at Sijilmasa (an oasis) in Morocco through Taghaza (a desert town with a lot of salt) and ended at Andaghost in western Sudan.
  2. b) A route starting in Tunis and passing through Ghadames, Ghat, Agades and Gao. Then it passed through Hausaland, Gonja and eventually ended at Yorubaland in modern Nigeria.
  3. c) A route beginning at Sijilmasa and passing through Timbuktu before proceeding to Gao.
  4. d) A route beginning at Tripoli passing through Fezzan and eventually ending at Bornu in the Sudan Belt.

Challenges faced by the trans-Saharan traders

  1. a) There was Communication barrier due to lack of a common language for transactions. This was a challenge during the pioneer years.
  2. b) Traveling long distances for many months, usually up to three months, across the desert was tedious and stressful.
  3. c) Traveling under extreme weather conditions; too hot during the day and too cold at night.
  4. d) Scarcity of water and food during the journeys. The traders suffered serious sickness due to such extreme weather variations.
  5. e) There were constant Attacks by hostile communities who sometimes robbed them of their merchandize.
  6. f) Traders were sometimes attacked by insects like scorpions and wild animals.
  7. g) The traders sometimes suffered from Loss of direction due to the vastness of the desert.
  8. h) Exposure to frequent sandstorms which killed many traders.
  9. i) Sometimes wars between kingdoms disrupted trade.

Impact of the trans-Saharan trade

Positive impact;

  1. a) The trade stimulated the emergence of urban centres along the trade routes. Towns like Taghaza and Timbuktu developed due to the production of trade commodities like salt and gold respectively.
  2. b) Profits from the trade stimulated the growth of strong empires as the kings levied taxes on the caravan traders. Examples of such empires include Mali, Ghana and Songhai.
  3. c) Introduction of horses in the western Sudan belt led to strengthening of the state armies as horses were used by the armies to boost security in the region.
  4. d) A class of wealthy traders emerged in western Sudan. These were mainly the local merchants who interacted with the merchants from North Africa.
  5. e) The trade stimulated the emergence and growth of smithing technology and industry.
  6. f) The trade led to the introduction of iron tools in wider areas of western Sudan. This boosted agricultural production in western Sudan and ensured food security in the area.
  7. g) There was population increase in western Sudan due to increased food production as a result of better farming tools.
  8. h) It also enhanced contacts between North Africa and the Suda n belt. This facilitated the spread of European goods and ideas between the peoples of the two regions.
  9. i) The trade facilitated the spread of Islamic religion in the Sudan belt. For example, the Hausa traders were converted to Islam.
  10. j) There was introduction of the Islamic system of education in the Sudan belt. The

University of Timbuktu for example, teaching mainly Islamic syllabus, was one of the institutions that emerged as a result of the trade.

  1. k) Sharia law was introduced in the states that accepted Islam in western Sudan.
  2. l) The trade led to the introduction of the Arabic architectural designs in West Africa.
  3. m) The Islamic and Arabic culture-language, mode of dressing and eating mannerisms also spread to western Sudan.
  4. n) The mode of transport in the region was remarkably revolutionized by theintroduction of camels and horses making transport efficient.

Negative impacts:

  1. a) The trade increased warfare in the region as communities gained access to firearms and horses. Thousands of people lost their lives.
  2. b) Many people in the western Sudan belt were captured and taken into slavery to meet the demands of the trans-Saharan traders.
  3. c) The demand for ivory also led to the destruction of wildlife in western Sudan.

Decline of the trans-Saharan trade.

The trade reached its climax at around AD 8th c. by 15th c, the trade had declined due to the following reasons;

  1. a) Exhaustion of the salt and gold minefields as well as other like ivory. This discouraged traders from coming to West Africa.
  2. b) Increased political instability in the region due to so many wars of conquest created insecurity to the traders.
  3. c) The desert conditions e.g. harsh weather, dangerous insects, snakes and robbers discouraged many traders from the activity.
  4. d) Invasion of the region by the almorarids and the Tuaregs increased insecurity even more along the trade routes. Hence traders discontinued their involvement.
  5. e) Moroccan invasion of western Sudan in the 16th century undermined the trade.
  6. f) The growth of the trans-Atlantic trade attracted some of the trans-Saharan traders thus reducing the volume of commodities that were sold.
  7. g) Colonization of west and North Africa by Europeans who took over the resources hence African activities were undermined.
  8. h) Invasion of North Africa by the ottoman Turks created insecurity along the caravan routes leading to decline of the trade.
  9. i) Anti-slave trade pressure from the British and eventual abolition of slave trade reduced trade profits.
  10. j) The establishment of commercial ports on the western African coast and the use of navigable rivers by the 16th century AD rendered caravan trade unpopular as it was slow, cumbersome and risky.

International trade

This is a type of trade that involves the exchange of goods between different countries in one continent or beyond the continent.

Examples of international trade include

  1. a) The Indian Ocean trade
  2. b) The trans-Atlantic trade.

The trans-Atlantic trade

The trans-Atlantic trade involved Europe, Africa and the Americas thus earning it the name Triangular trade. It was also called the trans-Atlantic slave trade because it involved crossing the Atlantic and the main commodity was slaves.The trade was fueled by the technological innovations especially in Spain and Portugal which facilitated sea transport.The trade happened at a time when the Europeans were keen on expanding overseas (15th and 16th c AD) for the following reasons;

  1. They were searching for the sea route to India and Far East to get the spices and other commodities. The Turks had blocked the land route.
  2. The Europeans wanted to acquire gold and other precious items that believed to be in

existence in Africa.

  1. The Europeans wanted to revenge against the Muslims who had colonized the Iberian Peninsula between 8th c and 1491 AD.
  2. They were motivated by the desire to spread their civilization to the backward areas of the world.
  3. European countries such as Portugal and Spain also wanted to increase their

geographical knowledge.

Origin of the trans-Atlantic trade

The exact date when the first slave was captured and sold was 1441 AD. Young Portuguese sailor named Ahtam Goncalvez captured a man and a woman on the Western Sahara coast whom he presented to Prince Henry the Navigator, the Portuguese king, thus setting off a chain of reaction in the trade. The Portuguese built a fort on the Arguin Island on the coast of Mauritania in 1445 which was used as a base for buying slaves and Gold. The suppliers of the slaves at the fort were the Moors.The Portuguese ventured into the gold coast in search of gold in 1471. They built a fort at Elmina in 1482.The Portuguese then established trading contacts with the king of Congo who even accepted Christianity and Portuguese culture. (He baptized his son Afonso Bemba Nzinga)

By 1500AD, the Portuguese established sugar plantations in the island of Sao Tome near modern Gambia. They relied on slave labour from Gambia.

Development and organization of trans-Atlantic slaves.

The demand for labor in the western hemisphere stimulated a profitable three-legged trading pattern. European manufactured goods, namely cloth and metal wares, especially firearms, went to Africa where they were exchanged for slaves. The slaves were then shipped to the Caribbean and Americas from 1532 AD, where they were sold for cash or sometimes bartered for sugar or molasses. Then the ships returned to Europe loaded with American products.European ports of Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow in Britain, Bordeaux and Nantes in France, and Amsterdam in Holland were crucial in this trade.

The forts that developed in West Africa due to this trade were Elmina, Lagos, Whydah, Accra, Badagri, Sekondi, Winneba, Goree and Dakar. In the 16th c, the Portuguese emerged as the main suppliers of slaves to Spanish colonies, having been granted special licenses, asientos, by the Spanish monarchy.African slaves were more preferred by Europeans because;

  1. They were available in large numbers.
  2. They were found to be cheaper to use than European labouerers and American Indians.
  3. They were thought to be immune to both European and tropical diseases.
  4. They appeared stronger and therefore suitable for manual labour.

The Dutch were among the first European nations to compete the Portuguese in slave trade.

For example in 1630, they wrestled the Elmina Fort from the Portuguese and captured Luanda in 1641. They were supplying slaves to new sugar plantations in the British Colony of Barbados and the French Caribbean colonies of Martinique of Guadalupe.

The British and the French used merchant companies to conduct the slave trade having been motivated by the fortunes the Dutch were making. e.g, the Royal African Company was granted charter in 1672 and began taking colonies to the British colony in Jamaica.

The original capture of slaves was almost always violent. As European demand grew, African chieftains organized raiding parties to seize individuals from neighboring societies. Others launched wars specifically for the purpose of capturing slaves

Factors that facilitated the acquisition of slaves

  1. Existence of the institution of slavery in West Africa where the war captives, adulters, witches, the weak, debtors and murderers were enslaved
  2. Availability of firearms to precipitate warfare and capture of the conquered as slaves.
  3. Existence of well defined trade routes easily used by the slave merchants to access the

interior slave markets.

  1. The great demand for slaves in the New World (Latin America) and North America.

Ways of obtaining slaves

  1. a) Selling of domestic slaves in exchange for goods like beads, guns, glass etc
  2. b) Selling of criminals, debtors and social misfits in society by the local chiefs to the Arab slave traders.
  3. c) Prisoners of war could be sold off.
  4. d) Porters were sometimes kidnapped, transported and sold off to the Arab traders.
  5. e) Raiding villages, this would begin at night with gun shots and people would scatter consequently leading to their capture.
  6. f) Through inter tribal wars many Africans become destitutes and these would be captured by the slave traders.
  7. g) Tax offenders were sold off by the African chiefs.
  8. h) They were also captured through ambushes during hunting, travelling and gardening.
  9. i) Slaves would be acquired from the main slave trade market in Zanzibar.
  10. j) Other Africans are also said to have gone voluntarily in anticipation of great wonders and benefits from the new world.Following capture, slaves were force- marched to the coast to holding pens where they were oiled and fed ready for inspection, before being loaded on ships. Prices of slaves depended on sex, age and size.The slaves were bartered for guns, alcohol, gun-powder, cloth and different metals.

Two trading systems were used:

  1. a) Factory system where political authorities allowed Europeans to establish permanent

coastal baracoons or fortresses where slaves were kept in bulk as they awaited

shipment. This method was only used by chartered companies as t was expensive. It was also only viable in Dahomey where slaves were in large numbers.

  1. b) Private trading. Sailing with vessels down the coast, and then stopping at different points to purchase slaves until there was enough cargo.The slaves were branded before loading them into the ships ready for the trans-Atlantic journey which was called the “Middle Passage”. The ships were filthy, hot, and crowded. By 1654, some 8,000-10,000 Africans each year were undergoing the Middle Passage. The moment of sailing is described as the most traumatic. Many Africans revolted during the middle passage in a bid to escape. For some jumping overboard was more preferable than their ‘blood being turned into red wine, bones into gunpowder, skins, into black leather shoes and flesh -the Whiteman’s meat’ as they believed.

Factors which led to the development of the trans-Atlantic slave trade

  1. a) Increased demand for slave labour by European countries led them to West Africa where they were available in large numbers.

Dangers of Middle Passage



The mortality rate averaged between 13 and 33 percent of the slaves and the crew. “If the Atlantic were to dry up it would reveal a scattered pathway of human bones marking the various routes of the Middle Passage.”.

  1. b) Greater preference for African slaves by the slave traders since they were thought to be more strong and resistant to tropical disease and could cope with stress easily.
  2. c) West Africa had well defined interior routes which enabled establishment of earlier strong trade links by the Europeans. There were also vast trade goods like gold, palm oil and ivory.

This stimulated the development of trans-Atlantic trade.

  1. d) African chiefs had developed a taste for European goods like cloths, firearms and glass enabling exchange for slaves, gold ivory and palm oil. There was also existence of the institution of slavery in West African communities.
  2. e) The introduction of firearms facilitated the capture of slaves and hence their increased supply.
  3. f) The exploitation of minerals and establishment of plantations in the Americas pushed demand for slaves to higher levels hence trade with the region expanded.
  4. g) The increased demand for raw materials to feed the growing industries in Europe led to increased demand for slaves in cotton farms in the Americas.
  5. h) The rivalry between the Portuguese and the Spaniards and with the Britons over the control of slave trade pushed the trade to a higher new level.
  6. i) The fact the trade was very lucrative led to its further expansion.
  7. j) Improved technology which meant ability to construct greater capacity ships. Th is enhanced transportation of more slaves from West Africa and thus development of the trade .


Impact of trans-Atlantic trade on the people of West Africa

  1. a) It caused immense suffering to many people.
  2. b) It led to forced emigration of about 10 million people to the Americas between 1500 and 1888.
  3. c) Many slaves died between capture and arrival to their destinations.
  4. d) Depopulation occurred in areas where slaves were taken from. This led to underdevelopment since the young and productive people were taken away.
  5. e) African traditional industries were destroyed by the sale of cheap manufactured goods from Europe.
  6. f) There was increased conflict between communities especially where the gun was used. This led to destruction of property during the inter-community wars.
  7. g) Many African communities were weakened and were left unprepared for the scramble and partition of Africa which soon followed.
  8. h) It led to rise and growth of states e.g. Asante, Dahomey.
  9. i) It led to founding of Liberia and Sierra Leone as settlements for slaves who were
  10. j) It led to changes to social roles; women became the heads of their families due to the enslavement of men.
  11. k) Some African cultures spread to the Americas e.g Jazz Music and samba dancing styles of Brazil and even witchcraft.
  12. l) The trade led to the rise of the mullato population. E.g in Senegal, where they are mainly found in Goree and Dakar, as a result of the intermingling between the European traders and the African women.
  13. m) It contributed to the decline of the trans-Saharan trade and the colonization of West Africa.

Economic impacts of slave trade

  1. a) It led to introduction of new (manufactured) goods in West Africa which undermined many indigenous technologies like smithing and medicine.
  2. b) Africa was depleted of her vital manpower that was greatly needed in agriculture and defence. This led to economic retardation.
  3. c) Destruction of African property during the slave raids.
  4. d) Led to the eventual decline of the Trans Atlantic trade at its abolition.
  5. e) Stimulated development of ports in West Africa and in Europe.
  6. f) African leaders accumulated a lot of wealth e.g Dahomey, jaja, Asantehene.
  7. g) It led to development of European economies. A number of large cities grew along the coastal ports. For example Glasgow, Bordeaux Liverpool and Nantes.
  8. h) Growth of industrialization in Europe as the slave labour ensured constant flow of raw materials into the industries.
  9. i) Some of the slave dealers accumulated enormous wealth. For example, the merchants like Barclays Brothers and sailing companies like Lloyds.
  10. j) The trade led to the expansion of plantation farming in USA (cotton and sugar plantations) which relied on slave labour.

Decline of the trans-Atlantic slave trade

In 1807, the British government made a decision to abolish slave trade.

Factors that led to the abolition of slave trade;

  1. 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 Engl and aimed at stopping all kinds of cruelty including slave trade, flogging of soldiers and child labour.
  2. b) Industrialization in Britain was one of the main forces behind the abolition .E.g. Britain industrialists urged its abolition because they wanted Afri cans 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.
  3. 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.
  4. d) The attainment of independence by USA in 1776 left Britain in a dilemma since she had no colonies where she would take the slaves to work.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. g) The closure of the American slave market after the defeat of the South American states in the American civil war of 1865 left the slave dealers with no market for their slaves.
  8. h) The rise of leading London economists with new ideas e.g. Prof. Adam Smith(challenged the economic arguments which were the basis of slave trade when he argued convincingly that hired labour is cheaper and more productive than slave labour, Rousseau spread the idea of personal liberty and equality of all men.
  9. i) Influential abolitionists like William Wilberforce (a British member of parliament) urged the British government to legislate against the slave trade in her colonies. They in turn influenced public opinion against slave trade.
  10. 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.


Definition of Transport

Transport is the movement of people and from one place to another.Transportation is usually classified by the medium in which the movement occurs. For example, land, air and water transport.Transport can be categorized into traditional and modern means.

  1. a) Traditional means of transport.

The means of transport at this category were land and water evolved.

Land transport

People move on land either by walking or by using other human powered transport. People also use domestic animals as a means of transportation

Human transport

Human powered transportation included carrying goods on their backs, heads and shoulders. Africans were used as porters during the slave trade. Human porterage still goes on in the modern society.

Limitation of human porterage

 Human porterage was cumbersome, slow and tiresome.

 Humans Carry limited amount of goods at particular time.

 It is not convenient over long distances.

Animal transport

Early human beings used the domesticated animals to carry loads on their backs or pull carts. Such animals are referred to as pack animals.In 500 AD a paddled collar was devised that rested on the animals’ shoulders. In 200 AD saddles were introduced in Egypt. Horse shoes were introduced in 700 AD


The first animals to be used as pack animals; they were used in Egypt as early as 3400bc to carry weight upto 80kg. They were commonly used in the trade between Nubia and South Sudan. In Ukambani today, donkeys are used to fetch water.


Referred to as draught animals used for ploughing and pulling carts and also transportation of goods and people.


They were first rode but were later trained to pull wagons, chariots and passenger coaches. In the Roman Empire, they carried soldiers during war. (Soldiers on horseback are referred to as cavalry.

Disadvantages of horses

  1. a) It is highly susceptible to diseases.
  2. b) It cannot survive in tsetse fly infected areas.
  3. c) The weight limit of the load it can carry is 120kg
  4. d) They are not suitable in arid and semi-arid areas because they need a lot of water.

NB; – horses are mainly reared by the rich as a symbol of high social status.

Mules.A crossbreed of a horse and a donkey, they are sterile and carry loads upto 110kg.they are mostly used in mountainous areas in central and southern Europe and in Mexico.


It is referred to as the ship of the desert.

What makes a camel ideal in desert transport?

  1. a) It has a unique ability to survive for long without food and water.
  2. b) They have an incredible water storage capacity, they do not sweat lose much moisture.
  3. c) They have broad padded, two toed feet ideal for walking on desert sand.
  4. d) The nostrils have flaps which keep away sand during sandstorms.
  5. e) Its fur is thick enough to protect it from the sweltering desert heat by day and ext reme cold conditions at night.
  6. f) The hump contains a lot of fat which the camel uses when it goes without eating

Camels were commonly used during the trans-Saharan trade. They are in use in Kenya today among the Galla and Somali carrying weight upto 200kg.

Llamas and alpaca.

Members of the camel family found in central and south America. They carry load upto 40 kg.


They are used in Asia to carry people and heavy loads upto 250kg. In India, they were used to transport people and goods during war in 2500BC.

In Africa they were used in warfare in 270BC.

Water Buffalo.

A member of the cattle family and the only type of buffalo that has been domesticated. The cape buffalo of Africa and the Pygmy buffalo of Philippines have not been domesticated. It isused to pull ploughs and do other heavy work in India and south East Asia.


A long-horned deer family breed used in the cold parts of Canada, Sweden and Norway for riding and transportation. It also provides milk, meat, hides and horns.


Dog types like Bouriers were used to pull small carts and sledges, especially in the Arctic thus making transportation of gods and people easy. Dogs are also used in guiding blind people in sports and as pets at home.



Advantages of animal transport

  1. a) Pack animals can be used in largely inaccessible areas. The Llama, for example is used in the mountainous areas with narrow and meandering paths and steep cliffs. The camel is well adapted for deserts.
  2. b) Animals are cheap to maintain. They attract very little maintenance costs, since only feeding costs are incurred.
  3. c) Pack animals are safe as accidents are rare probably because they do not speed..
  4. d) Animals help to maintain the ecological balance since they do not interfere with the environment.
  5. e) Pack animals are capable of sensing danger. For example, horses and dogs can sniff out an enemy from a distance. This enhances security as dangerous confrontations with an enemy can easily be avoided.

Disadvantages of animal transport

  1. a) Animal transport is slow and tedious. The animals need to feed and drink along the way.
  2. b) Pack animals may be attacked by wild animals, disease- causing insects such as tsetse-flies and disease.
  3. Their movement is limited to the day only and cannot travel at night.
  4. They can only carry small loads as compared to vehicles.
  5. Some pack animals such as donkey are stubborn when tired and heavily loaded. The camel is only suited for the desert.
  6. Pack animals use is limited to short distances as they fatigue when they travel for long.

The wheel

The wheel was invented in sumeria at about 3000bc. By 2500BC, they had invented the spoked wheel used on horse drawn chariots. The chariot was used in Mesopotamia at around 2000BC and later spread to Egypt, Persia, Rome, china, Africa and Europe.

The cart or wagon pulled by humans or animals was the first wheeled vehicle. The wheeled wagons and carts created the need for roads

Today many types of wheels are in use. For example, the steering wheel for cars, turbines for jet engines and gyroscopes used in the automobile pilot technology.

Ways in which invention of the wheel impacted on road transport

  1. a) More roads were constructed to use wheel vehicles for transport
  2. b) Road transport became faster and efficient
  3. c) Bigger loads could be carried hence was cost effective – profitable
  4. d) It made the use of motor engine driven vehicles possible
  5. e) It enabled man to move over long distance to disseminated ideas and interact.

Water transport

Water transport has progressed from early rafts and canoes to the modern large passenger and freight ships.



A raft is a simple floating structure, usually made by tying together floating material like animal skin, papyrus stalks or logs. The earliest people to make rafts were the Australians. They made rafts called catamaran by tying logs together. Long poles were then used to drive the raft.Rafts however sank easily and required a lot of manpower upstream. A canoe was a narrow boat that was propelled by one or more paddles. The oldest canoe was made by stripping the bark from trees (bark canoes). Later a new canoe was made from a hollow on a log (dug-out canoe).In Kenya, canoes are used for transporting people and goods and for fishing in inland lakes and rivers.

Oar-driven boats

Boats are small vessels for travelling on water and are powered by oars, sails or motor. The Egyptians pioneered in the building of boats that used oars (a short wooden pole with a flat end) instead of paddles in 3000BC. The Phoenicians, Greeks and the Romans developed oardriven trading vessels and warships.

Sailing ships.

Humankind learned that the wind could move a boat more easily than human beings if the ship had a piece of cloth fixed on poles (sail). The Egyptians used the sailing ships by 3000BC on the Mediterranean and Red seas. The Greeks made sailing ships known as galleys which were used for trade and war. They used war galley known as triremes to defeat the Persians and Phoenicians.Sailing ships were depending on monsoon winds discovered by Hippalus. The Arabs and Persians relied on the monsoon winds to reach the east African coast.The Portuguese invented a three-masted ship called a caravel as the one used by Christopher Columbus and other explorers to sail to America and the Far East. The Carrack used by Vasco da Gama was five-masted to sail to east Africa. Ferdinand Magellan became the first person to sail around the world using a Sailing ship

Fast sailing ships called clippers were made in 1840s in America. It was a long and narrow ship with sharp bows and almost straight sides.However, sailing ships could not sail on windy days and seasons. Some communities however still use sailing ships upto today for sports, fishing and leisure.By the 12th c AD, the magnetic compass was being used in navigation aid

Factors that led to the development of various forms of transport

  1. a) Technological development during the scientific age which enabled man to invent machines which could be used to manufacture various parts of cars , rails, airplanes, ships and motor boats.
  2. b) Expansion of geographical knowledge encouraged the development of transport so as to enable man to search new places faster and more safely.
  3. c) Introduction of specialization as a means of production which necessitated exchange o goods and services which could only be made possible through development of transport and communication.
  4. d) Population increase hence demands for more food and goods hence the need for essential transport system.
  5. e) In order to satisfy the desires of man there was need to develop a system of transport that would enable man to get the goods and services he needed so much.

Modern means of transport

Road transport

The invention of the wheel stimulated the construction of roads. The Roman soldiers built hard and straight roads all over Europe and North Africa by around 300 BC. The roads were built by digging a trench, 1.5metres deep which then would be packed with heavy stones or rocks. Rough and fine concrete was added to the foundation, then layers of gravel, chalk and cement. The road surface was slightly convex with deep trenches on the sides. Roman roads declined with the fall of the Roman Empire.Attempts to built better roads in Europe in the 18th c were made by George Wade (1673- 1748) built 400km of roads and John Metcalfe (17171-1810) built 290km of roads.However modern road construction is attributed to John McAdam (1756-1836). McAdam laid three layers of small broken stones packed tightly together. He then placed a layer of gravel which was bound together by the weight of a vehicle. These roads were called the flexible road or macadamized road. These roads were straight and had a smooth surface. They were widelyused all over the world. They have curved surfaces and had a Good drainage system. They are cheap and durable.The roads were later improved by adding tar to produce a water proof surface called tarmac. By 1820, Britain had built 200,000km of road.

Advantages of macadamized roads

  1. a) They were durable with three layers of small broken stores
  2. b) They were cheap to construct using stones as the basic material for construction
  3. c) They had a smooth motoring surface since the gravel layer was bound together by the weight of vehicles
  4. d) They were straight hence reduced occurrence of accidents
  5. e) They were easily drained due to their smooth surface and being raised.

The bicycle

In 1790, a Frenchman, de Divrac made the first bicycle which was pushed with the feet thus called a walkalong. A german named Baron Karl Drais invented a walkalong called draisine which had a steering bar connected to the front wheel.In 1860, Ernes Michaux, a French locksmith, invented a bicycle with two wheels and pedals attached to the front wheel.In 1866, Piere Allement a Frenchman, was given the first patent on a bicycle, boneshaker. It had iron wheels fixed to wooden spokes. In 1873, a bicycle named a high-wheeler was introduced in England. The firs bicycle in England was made by Kirk Patrick Macmillan of Scotland.James Starley is referred to as the father of the cycle industry. In 1870, he invented the tension spoked wheel in which the rim and the hub were connected by wire spokes.John Dunlop invented the tyre filled with compressed air in 1888 which replaced the iron tyres and solid rubber tyres.In 1893, a bicycle with a diamond shaped frame with a roller-chain-drive and a compressed air wheel was invented.The bicycle is today used all over the world not only for transport, but also for sporting and leisure activities. The advantage of a bicycle is that it easily used on narrow paths and on a fairly level surface. It is also cheap and convenient.

Motor vehicles

These are self-propelled power-driven land transportation devices used to transport people or goods, especially on land. The device converts fuel into energy to provide the power for the vehicle to move.The first attempt to power drive devices was the suggestion by a Swiss clergyman J.H Genevoisin 1760 that wind springs be used to move wheels on roads.However the making of an engine that could drive a vehicle is attributed to a French engineer, Nicholas Joseph Cugnot (1725- 1804). He built a three wheeled steam-driven vehicle in 1769, though he abandoned his experiment prematurely.

In 1883, a German, Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) produced a high speed petrol engine which he fitted on a wooden cycle in 1885. Karl Benz (1844-1929) fitted the same engine on a w tricycle in the same year.In 1886, Daimler made the first petrol driven car with four wheels. Benz built the first four wheeled Benz car in 1893. In the same year, an American, Charles Duryea (1862-1938) built the first gasoline powered automobile. The tyres made by Dunlop were fitted on these cars to make them more comfortable.The first car in the motor industry, Panhard-Hevassor, was made by a French company which had bought the rights to use Daimler’s engine.In 1903 in USA Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in Detroit leading to mass production of cars in the world. For example the model TFord was developed in 1909.Students read more on the motor vehicle inventions.

Impact of road transport

  1. a) Roads have promoted trade within and between countries since goods are transported by road to various markets. This case is true in east Africa.
  2. b) Road transport has stimulated industrial development as raw materials to factories and manufactured goods to the market are easily transported.
  3. c) Development of towns and urban centres along roads has been as a result of improved road transport.
  4. d) Many countries earn a lot of foreign exchange from the sale of motor vehicles. For example Japan, Germany and USA.
  5. e) Employment opportunities are created as many people work in the motor vehicle industry while others are employed to construct and maintain roads.

Advantages of road transport

  1. a) Since it is the commonest mode of transport, it reduces the cost of movement of goods and people as well as promoting social interaction.
  2. b) It is cheaper compared to other forms of transport. Roads are easier to construct and maintain when compared to railway transport.
  3. c) It is faster when compared to water and railway transport unless in the case of electric trains.
  4. d) Roads are flexible and link with other forms of transport such as water, railway and air.

Disadvantages of road transport

  1. a) The high number of accidents on roads leads to loss of lives.
  2. b) Road transport is responsible for pollution which causes environmental degradation.

Key notes for the teacher and students- @Cheloti 2012-2013  20

  1. c) Due to an increased number of vehicles on roads, traffic congestion is a major concern in most urban cities and towns.
  2. d) Roads may sometimes inconvenience the users when they become impassable.
  3. e) The quantity of goods carried is limited as roads cannot carry bulky goods compared to the railway.
  4. f) The use of roads is limited to specific areas. It cannot go beyond land e.g across the sea or lake.
  5. g) Construction of all-weather roads is expensive. Developing countries find themselves constrained by limited resources that are needed to construct all-weather roads.

Rail transport

Railway lines are paths of parallel metal rails that allow a wheeled vehicle to move easily by reducing friction. Initially, they were used in 1800s to guide horse drawn wagons. Later the steam engine replaced horses as the means of transport.The development of modern railway was a gradual process that started in Britain and Germany with the use of wooden rails.A British engineer, Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) designed a steam engine that was small enough to be put on a truck. This he fitted on a railway locomotive which he had bought in 1804 to pull a cargo and passenger train in south Wales.

Fenton, Murray and Wood of Leeds built the John Blenkinsopp locomotive in 1812.

William Hedley built the puffing Billy in 1813.George Stephenson (1781-1845) a coal miner in Newcastle, England invented a locomotive engine called the Blucher which pulled eight laden wagons in 1814. He also built the world’s first public railway between Stockton and Darlington near Durham in 1825. In 1829, Stephenson and his son, Robert, built the most improved engine, the rocket, which had a speed of 48 km per hour. In 1830, he built the Northumbrian and the planet.In 1825, in the United States, Colonel John Stevens built a tiny experimental locomotive. In 1929, a major railway was built by the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company to serve a coal mine.Germany and Belgium had railroads by 1835, Russia by 1837, Spain by 1848 and Sweden by 1856.In 1892, a Germany Rudolf Diesel designed a heavy oil-driven-engine which replaced the steam engine. It was cheaper and efficient.The first diesel railcar was used in 1913 in Sweden. Later diesel engines were replaced with electric engines which was an invention of the Siemens Brothers and John Hopkinson in Britain in 1883. The electric train from Paris to Lyon covers a distance of 212 km in one hour.Railway transport has remained a major mode of passenger travel. In Europe and Japan, major cities are connected by high speed passenger trains such as the French TGV (Train a’ Grange Vitesse) and the Japanese Shinkansen trains travelling at a speed of 300km/h.

Results of railway transport.

  1. a) It has promoted the movement of people thus leading to increased social and cultural interaction. People can migrate easily in Europe thanks to the faster electric trains.
  2. b) It has promoted trade as goods, light, heavy or bulky, are transported efficiently to the markets. It also supplements the use of other forms of transport.

Key notes for the teacher and students- @Cheloti 2012-2013  21

  1. c) It has stimulated industrial development since in dustrial products and raw materials can now be transported faster and in large quantities.
  2. d) Railway transport has stimulated the growth of urban centers. In Kenya for example, urban centres like Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and voi either developed along the railway line or at the terminus.
  3. e) It has facilitated the spread of religious faiths and political This was the case in Kenya during the period of missionary work and colonization. In a way railway transport therefore facilitated European occupation of overseas colonies.
  4. f) There has been a significant improvement in agriculture since agricultural goods are transported more easily and faster using the railway.
  5. g) It has been a source of employment for many people I maintenance, engine driving etc.
  6. h) It has facilitated the exploitation of natural resources like mining, fisheries and forestry. The raw materials from these resources are transported faster using the railway.
  7. i) Railway transport has stimulated economic growth since it is a source of revenue for many governments.

Disadvantages of railway transport

  1. a) It is expensive to construct. The wagons are also expensive to buy and maintain.
  2. b) Railway transport lacks in flexibility. It can only pass through certain landscapes.
  3. c) Smoke emitted from the trains lead to environmental pollution.
  4. d) Railway accidents might be rare but when they happen, they are fatal. This was the case in Kenya in 1998 when 200 people lost their lives.
  5. e) Railway transport is not self sufficient. T has to be supplemented with road transport.

Water transport

Canal vessels

A canal is an artificial river that is used to transport people and goods. It may be built to link a ricer and a lake, sea or a sea with a sea. Apart from transportation, their water may be used in irrigation like in the case of River Nile.Canals have been used for centuries for transportation. The earliest canal was built by the Europeans nearly 4000 years ago to link the river Nile and the Red sea.The longest canal, the Grand Canal in china is bout 1900km long and it links the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers.Canal building in Europe was pioneered by the Romans who built them for transportation, irrigation and drainage. The Dutch, British and the French also constructed elaborate canals.Canal building in the US began in 1817 and ended in 1825 with the construction of the Erie Canal which is 845 km long connecting Hudson River with Lake Erie. It is now known as the New York State Barge. Up to 1840, 4,800 km of canals had been constructed in USA.Another type of canals is the ship canals, for example the Suez Canal, Panama Canal and Kiel Canal, which are deeper. The Suez Canal in Egypt is 195 km long and links the Mediterranean Sea with the red sea. It was constructed between 1859 and 1869 by a French company under. Ferdinand Lesseps. The Kiel Canal links the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The Panama Canal was built by the USA Government between 1904 and 1914 linking the pacific and Atlantic oceans. It is the most important canal as it shortened the long and dangerous trip around the southern tip of south Africa.  The St. Lawrence Seaway is the longest and most important inland waterway system in North America. It is 3,800 km long and was completed in 1855 in USA and 1895 in Canada.


Steamships were made after the invention of the steam driven engine. The first attempt to make a steamship was made by Dr. Denis Papin of France when he fitted a steam engine to a boat and sailed along river Fulda in Hanover. In 1736, Jonathan Holls of Gloucestershire patented a steam tugboat but it was nev er tried.In 1774, Comte J B d’Auxiron of France experimented with a steamboat but also failed like Papin as it broke down.In 1775, C Perier became the first person to move a small boat powered by steam engine o river Seine in Paris.The first successful steamboat was built and tried out in1783 by a Frenchman called Marquis de Jouffrey on River Saone near Lyons in France.

In America, John Fitch built a steamboat in 1787. It was used on river Delaware between Philadelphia and Trenton. In 1809, William Symington and Miller Pat succeeded in constructing a wooden steamship that was used on the Forh-Clyde Canal in southern Scotland.In 1807, in America, Robert Fulton had invented a double  –paddle-wheeled steamboat known as Clermont which began operating on the Hudson River.

In1807, the phoenix became the first steamship that made regular voyage from Philadelphia to New York.In 1819, the savannah became the first ship equipped with a steam engine to cross the Atlantic Ocean.In 1853, the peninsular and oriental Line built the iron-screw steamer, Himalaya, the biggest vessel as at that time.John Elder invented a compound engine with two cylinders which reduced fuel consumption in steamships.

In 1838, Sirius sailed from London to New York, the Great  Western, without using sails crossed the Atlantic in 15 days from Bristol.In 1839, the Archimedes and the Robert F Stockton were built using Smith’s and Ericcson’s patent.The most important ship to cross the Atlantic was the Great Britain built by the Islamabad Kingdom of Brunei in 1843.

The first USA trans-Atlantic steamers were the Herman and Washington.The first merchant ship to be all-welded without any rivets in its hull was the MS Fullagar in 1920.


Importance of the discovery and use of the steamship

  1. a) Man could no longer depend on nature –wind for power. This made travel by sea easier and more comfortable.
  2. b) It led to expansion of international trade since transportation became cheap.
  3. c) Bigger volumes and varieties of goods could be carried including those that required special handling like petrol.
  4. d) It formed the basis for colonization as colonizers could move to other continents easily.
  5. e) It increased international migrations and spread of races, cultures, diseases, intermarriages, languages and religion
  6. f) It led to greater expansion of geographical knowledge. It gave access to countries bordered by sea.
  7. g) It led to expansion of world economies, industries, trade and commerce.
  8. h) Spread of plants and animals internationally.

Motor- Driven ships

With the invention of the internal combustion engine, oil replaced coal. The Caspian Steamer Wanal was built in 1903 was the first sizeable ship with an internal combustion engine.In the 20th c, the use of atomic energy (nuclear power) was developed. The first ship to use atomic power was the Nautilus in 1956. In 1961, an American merchant ship, MV Savannah, propelled by nuclear power was launched.There are two types of ships based on the service offered;

  1. a) The Liners operate regular scheduled services on defined trade routes charging advertised rates.
  2. b) The Tramp ships carry any suitable cargo between any two points based on a negotiated contract. They have no regular route or timetable.

Modern passenger Liners

The cruise ship, the most important passenger liner, is a specially designed vessel providing luxurious surroundings and entertainment to passengers. It is about 270 m and carries 2000 passengers. New passenger Liners were developed after World War II for example the American United States of 1952 and the British Queen Elizabeth 2 of 1969.

The liners were overtaken by the development of the aeroplane and airline transport and only a few remain today.

Freight Vessels

These are Special Ocean going ships designed for carrying large amounts of cargo.

Containerships transport large metal containers that have been pre-loaded with cargo. Some container ships carry over 6,800 containers.

Military Vessels

In 1859, the French launched Gloire, the first iron-plated ship. During the American civil war (1861-1865), two iron-plated ships were used.

In world war II, battleships, Aircraft carriers (can carry 85 aircrafts) , cruisers, destroyers, destroyer escorts(frigates), minesweepers, torpedo boats, landing craft and other support vessels were developed.

Hydrofoils and hovercraft

These are specialized water vessels (a hydrofoil has small wing-like surfaces called foils attached to the bottom of its hull that lifts the hull out of water when the hydrofoil accelerates. A hovercraft is lifted entirely off the water surface by a cushion of air and are propelled by giant air propellers or by water jets)


These are vessels used to transport people, animals and vehicles over water in places where bridges would be inconvenient or impossible to build.

Motorboats and personal craft

These are small boats that are used for recreational purposes with either out boat motors or in boat motors.

Pipeline transport

This is a form of transport used to move liquids, gases or solid liquid mixtures over long distances. The most common liquid that is transported by pipeline in many countries is water. Others are oil and gas. Pipelines are also used to transport solids suspended in liquids such as coal slurry which consists of powdered coal suspended in water.

Air Transport

This is the fastest form of transport over long distances and continents. Different types of Aircraft exist.


An airplane is an aircraft heavier than air that uses wings to obtain lift in order to fly thus transporting people, mail and cargo from place to place. They are also use in warfare.

The development of an aeroplane started in 1783 when a successful manned flight was made in France by two brothers, Jacques and Joseph Montgolfier using a hot air balloon.

Sir George Cayley, an English scholar and inventor, built model Gliders that could sail in the air in the 19th c. Later, Pilcher added wheels to the gliders in order for them to be towed into the air. By 1850, power driven planes were built. An English engineer, John String built and designed power-driven planes. In December 1903, An American astronomer, Samuel Langleys almost won the honour of perfecting the power driven airplanes, by making a full size airplane called the aerodrome. The plane unfortunately crashed in Potomac River before being launched. On 17th December 1903, two weeks after Langley’s failure, the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, produced the first manned power driven aeroplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina USA. Their machine was a wooden glider fitted with a petrol engine and two propellers. In 1906, a Brazilian-born aviation pioneer made the first officially observed European flight in a powered bi-plane.In 1909, Louis Bleriot of France became the first person to fly a plane across the English Channel in 35.5 minutes.

In 1915, the Germans used the first mono-plane during the First World War.

In 1919, John N. Alcock and Arthur W Brown flew non-stop across the Atlantic from New Foundland to Ireland.Later improvements in the plane were replacement of wood and cloth with aluminum and stainless steel, invention of a retractable gear that improved streamlining in planesBy 1920, plane speed had gone up to 303 km /h. in 1940; it was 755 km/h.The best known aviator in 1920s was Charles Linburgh who accompanied a non-stop flight from New York to Paris in 1927 in his single monoplane called the spirit of Saint Louis in 33 hours.In 1920, the first scheduled passenger service was made between Amsterdam and England by KLM Dutch Airlines.In 1930, the first pressurized plane was launched. The most popular passenger plane at that time was the DC-3 built by Douglas Aircraft Company. It had a capacity of 30 people and moved at a speed of 320 km.

The jet engine

The jet engine was invented by German engineers in 1939.the first jet powered airplane was the german Heinkel HE -178. The first practical jet fighter was the Lockheed P-8 developed in 1944.During the post war period, the jet engines were put to commercial use.. For example, the Boeing 707 flight which was launched in 1958 in USA. The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet which entered the market in 1970 can carry 375 passengers, 20 tonnes of freight and move at a speed of 900 km/h.The Supersonic Loans Port (SST) is designed to fly at speeds of over 1180 km/h. the Russian TU-144 and the French – British Concorde are both SSTs and entered passenger market in 1972.


It is a type of airplane which obtains its lift from a set of rotor blades rather than fixed wings. The first successful helicopter was made in 1907 when a French helicopter left the ground for a few seconds.Germany made the first practical helicopter in 1936 while the United States Army unveiled its wartime helicopter in 1942.

Uses of helicopters

Lighter- than-air-vehicles

These include balloons relying on hot air and lighter than air gases like helium and hydrogen for lift.Airships that combine lighter than air gas bags with propellers navigation were initially   used for passenger traffic but their usage declined due to several fatal accidents. For example the disaster that befell the German airship, Hindenburg, in New Jersey in 1937.

The rocket engine

Rocket engines use fuel. They carry chemicals which enable them to burn their fuel without air supply. The first rocket engine to be used was by a German manufacturer, Fritz von Opel  in 1930. An American, R H Goddard also developed a modern rocket in Massachusetts in the USA. Factors which encouraged the development of air transport.

  1. a) The effect of the First World War- it increased demand of war planes-jet fighters and fighter planes flying over 600kph were manufactured.
  2. b) The arms race and the cold war which also made many countries to acquire many planes.-fear, jealousy and competition based on ideological differences.
  3. c) Desire for comfort among passengers and the need to transport perishables quickly.
  4. d) Expansion of international trade and desire for more wealth.
  5. e) Colonization and international migrations.
  6. f) The expansion of the tourist industry.
  7. g) Vast improvement in science and technology and growth of industries.

Results of air transport

1)  Air transport is a major global employer. The air transport industry directly generates 5.5 million jobs globally and contributes USD 408 billion to global GDP. It directly contributed USD 1,830 billion to world GDP in 2007 and generated 79 million direct jobs globally – 2.8% of total employment.

2)  Air transport is an important facilitator of international trade, thereby promoting economic growth and development. Forecasts suggest that the global economy will become even more dependent on trade over the next decade. World trade is expected to nearly double, rising at more than twice the rate of global GDP growth, with China, India and emerging markets leading the way.

3)  Air transport stimulates Tourism which makes a major contribution to the global economy.The air transport industry plays a major role in supporting tourism. Over 40% of international tourists now travel by air, up from 35% in 1990. At the same time, the WTTC estimates that foreign visitors account for just fewer than 25% of overall tourism spending around the world. This includes spending by business travelers, as well as those on leisure trips or visiting friends and relatives.

4)  Air transport is a significant tax payer. Unlike other transport modes, the air transport industry directly pays for its own infrastructure costs. The user charges collected by airport operators pay both for the day-to-day services they provide to airlines and their customers, and also for the massive investment in runways, terminals and other infrastructure required for a modern, efficient air transport service. In addition, companies in the air transport industry make significant tax payments to national treasuries.

5)  Air transport expands the range of consumer choices and opportunities to visit other countries and  to experience new cultures.

6)  Air transport delivers humanitarian aid. Air services play an essential role in humanitarian assistance to countries facing natural disasters, famine and war – through cargo deliveries, refugee transfers or the evacuation of people trapped by natural disasters. They are particularly important in situations where access is a problem – for example, ‘air drops’ are among the first response of aid agencies to stem a humanitarian crisis.

7)  Air transport also plays a vital role in the rapid delivery of Medical supplies and organs for transplantation worldwide.

8)  Air transport provides access to remote areas. Air transport provides access to remote areas where other transport modes are limited. Many essential services, such as food deliveries, hospitals, education and post, would not be available for people in such locations without air services. And residents would be isolated from family, friends and business contacts.

9)  Air transport has improved security as soldiers can be flown to troubled areas. Aeroplanes are also used in espionage

10)  Air transport has led to improvement f space exploration. Satellites are used to study objects in space such as stars and planets.

11)  Air transport has promoted international cooperation and understanding. People from different countries can exchange ideas..

12)  It has provides the fastest means of transport for passengers and goods thus increasing cultural and social exchange.

13)  Aeroplanes are used to break hail in order to cause rain.

14)  Plans and other aircraft have added to variety to sporting and entertainment. E.g the staging of fighter plane shows in public holiday celebration.

15)  Aircraft has revolutionized warfare especially during the Second World War when countries began using panes in warfare.

16)  International terrorism has been facilitated in the recent past by aeroplanes. Incidents of planes being hijacked are becoming common in the world today.

17)  Air transport contributes to environmental pollution due to waste discharged by the burning fuel. Jets cause noise pollution.

18)  Air transport has enhanced agriculture as planes are used to spray and dust insecticides on crops in the case of large scale farming. They are also used in quick delivery of perishable farm produce from horticultural farms.

19)  Planes assist in fire fighting, inspecting fence lines and power cables and border patrol.

20)  Aeroplanes are used in making aerial survey in cartography thus improving map making.

21)  Air transport enhances wildlife management and conservation. Counting of animals by wildlife officers is one used planes.

22)  In meteorology, air transport has enhanced weather survey.

23)  Air transport sometimes leads to deaths of many people when fatal accidents occur. For example, the mid-air blow-up of the trans World Airline plane over the Atlantic ocean in July 1996, the 5th may 2007 crashing of a Nairobi –bound KQ 507 moments after leaving Duala international Airport in Cameroon killing 114 passengers.

Space exploration

This is the attempt by scientists to reach the heavenly bodies namely the stars and moon to learn more about them and their importance to man as a whole.

Space age refers to the period in which the exploration of space became possible. It began with the launch of the first artificial satellite in October 1957 by the soviet union – Sputnik.The first human to go to space was a Russian Major Yuri Gagarin using Vostok I in April 1961. Inthe same year an American, John Glenn also went to space.Neil Armstrong, an American Became the first man to land on the moon in July 1969 in his space craft, Apollo II. He was accompanied by Edwin E Aldrin Jr and Michael Collins. Many other have toured the moon since then.Later on a space shuttle was built. The first space shuttle, Columbia, launched in 1981, carried two American astronauts, John W. Young and Robert L Crpens. In 1983, the space shuttle, challenger released a satellite into space. One of the crew members, Sally K Ride became the first woman astronaut to go to space.In 1984, Kathryn D Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space .By 1988, there were 300 operating satellites in space while 1200 were not functioning.

Challenges facing space exploration

  1. a) Deadly hazards like cosmetics and solar radiation and micro meteorites dangerous to spacecraft.
  2. b) Hostile natural environment which is unsuitable for human life making it very expensive.
  3. c) Extreme temperatures and light intensities. Extreme darkness and brightness.

Such difficulties have been overcome through development of new tools and techniques for space navigation.

Importance of space exploration to man

  1. a) Spacecrafts continue to provide information about conditions in space in particular about the weather.
  2. b) Reports derived from weather satellite can act as warning systems about impending storm.
  3. c) It helps us to gain more knowledge about our planet earth. e.g. a scientific satellite known as Vanguard 1 sent back pictures, which showed that the earth was slightly pear-shaped.
  4. d) Communication satellites like the Telstra and Relay have made it possible to send television programmes and telephone calls over much longer distances.
  5. e) In 1965, the US achieved another momentous feat in space communication. The mariner4 in a deep space probe sent back pictures of mars that were taken as it passed the planet.
  6. f) Some space exploration offers possibilities without limit. Planets themselves may have metals and other resources that men on earth need.
  7. g) Information about outer space may make it possible to make rain and make long-range weather forecast more accurately than before.
  8. h) Some scientists are optimistic that space research might make it possible for human beings to settle on some planets; so far, we are not very definite about this.
  9. i) Humankind can benefit from medicine prepared under ideal conditions on the planet namely dust free and germ free medicine.
  10. j) Space exploration enhances technological development.
  11. k) It facilitates own understanding of the universe.
  12. l) It leads to improved manufacture of aircrafts, telescope and related machines.
  13. m) Contributed to development of advanced air force weapons.

Advances in transportation

Africa’s first high speed train system, the Gautrain, was officially lanced in Johannesburg on 8th June 2010 to connect the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria with a 160 km/h rail service.

Effects of modern forms of transport

  1. a) It has made local and international trade more efficient. Trade in perishable goods such as flowers and vegetables have been expanded thanks to air transport.
  2. b) Population migration and settlement all over the world has been encouraged using the means of transport.
  3. c) It has facilitated the quick transfer of technology and ideas as people interact
  4. d) It has made industries more efficient. Raw materials, industrial workers, and manufacturedgoods are transported to their destinations cheaply and quickly.
  5. e) It has promoted tourist industry which is a major foreign exchange earner in many countries. Accessibility to tourist attraction sites has greatly improved.
  6. f) It has generated employment opportunities to many as road constructers, drivers, pilots and mechanics.
  7. g) It contributes additional revenue to the government. Countries charge toll fee, license fee and fuel levy.
  8. h) Air transport enhances space exploration.
  9. i) Has contributed to the growth of the service sector like banking and insurance.
  10. j) Transport has promoted humanitarian assistance particularly in disaster situations, e.g distribution of relief food, medical services and evacuations during catastrophes and wars.
  11. k) It has led to growth of schools and hospitals and social amenities. In Kenya most schools and hospitals are located along transport routes.
  12. l) It has led to agricultural development. Farmers have been able to increase food production since they can transport farm produce and inputs more efficiently and effectively.
  13. m) It has stimulated the growth of urban centres. Towns such as London, Nairobi and Harare started off due to their location along transport roués. The towns have also grown due to their transport function.
  14. n) Transport has enhanced political control in countries. National security has been enhanced due to accessibility of many areas of a nation.
  15. o) Transport facilitated colonization of Africa and Asian countries. Railway systems helped them to conquer and suppress local resistances to facilitate easy administration.

Negative effects of transport.

  1. a) Transport systems are responsible for many accidents in world leading to loss of lives. The Mtongwe ferry accident in Kenya claimed 257 lives in 1994; a plane crash in Ngong in 2012 killed the minister for internal security professor George Saitoti and six others.
  2. b) Transport is responsible for environmental pollution. Different forms of transport emit poisonous gases to the atmosphere. Oil –tankers cause oil spills in the sea s leading to marine pollution.
  3. c) Unless they complement each other, different forms of transport are unreliable. For example, water and railway transport have to be complemented by road transport.
  4. d) The growth of international terrorism has been attributed to transport network.



This is a Two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange information but also create and share ideas and messages.Communication includes writing, talking and Non-verbal communication (facial expressions, body posture, or gestures.

Traditional forms of communication.

The methods of communication that were used in the traditional society included;


These are signals or body movements intended to pass a message. The person to whom the gesture is directed must know the meaning of the gesture. It is sometimes referred to as sign language.(a combination of gestures that simulate actions or a sound)

Body language

Sometimes gestures are used to enhance and emphasize speech. They are used where silence is required yet communication is vital like in operating theatres, and in traffic control.

Verbal communication-language

This is the commonest form of communication among human beings involving the use of sound (spoken language) in combination with some gestures or alone, to express messages.There are over 6000 distinct languages world today.


The use plants on the roadsides, the shaving of hair, physical marks on one’s body or property are means through which communication is passed to others.

Fire and smoke signals

Fire and smoke signals were used to send quick and urgent messages. Fire and smoke signals were coded such that strangers could not interpret the message correctly. They were commonly used in warning people of an impending danger.The Jews used fire signals (torch light) to proclaim their feast days on mount Olives.Fire and smoke signals were always sent at night.

Advantages of using fire and smoke signals

  1. a) Fire and smoke signals Conveyed messages faster than a messenger.
  2. b) Confidentiality of messages was upheld since the messages were coded and could not be interpreted by strangers.
  3. c) It was a cheap method of passing a message.

Disadvantages of fire and smoke signals 

  1. a) Messages could not be sent over long distances.
  2. b) Ranges of messages passed were limited.
  3. c) It was restricted by weather conditions/smoke is useless in cloudy and misty days. It is difficult to set fire in wet conditions. Smoke could be blown by wind.
  4. d) It was of little use if no one was on the look out to see and interpret.


In drumbeating as a means of communication, each beat was coded for relaying different messages. For example there were different beats for ceremonies, announcing funerals, meetings, declaration of war, arrival of strangers and impending attack.Once the initial beat was heard, the other drummers could pick up the beat in different areas thus spreading the message very quickly.

Advantages of drumbeating

  1. a) Drumbeats could relay a wide range of messages-different beats could convey different messages. E.g. death, danger, festivities.
  2. b) In most cases drum beating could be used at any time both day and night whereas smoke signals could only be used during the day.
  3. c) Drum beats relayed specific messages whereas smoke relayed general messages.
  4. d) Drum beats could be used all seasons whereas smoke signals could not be used during certain seasons e.g. when it is raining.“
  5. e) Drumbeats could convey messages over wide areas.
  6. f) Messages by drumbeat were conveyed faster compared to smoke signals.

The major disadvantage of drumbeats was that at times it was difficult to differentiate the beats and therefore, the message could not be clearly interpreted thus leading to confusion.

Horn blowing

They were used to make public announcements, summon warriors or invite people to an important meeting. This was done by specialists with different tones that passed different messages thus passing a wide range of massages.

Screams and cries

Screaming was effective mostly on hill or mountain tops because of echoing. There were different ways of screaming in different situations.. Ululations signified feasting or good news like child birth.


Running messengers

Sometimes there was use of trust worthy runners for very personal and urgent messages.

However the accuracy of the message delivered depended on the memory of the messenger. An Athenian soldier, Phidippides, is remembered in history as a great messenger for covering great distance from Marathon to Athens. Unfortunately, he dropped dead shortly after arrival. The Marathon race is named in his honour.

Messengers are still used to deliver messages today although there has been tremendous improvement after invention of writing.

Disadvantages of using messengers

  1. a) Messages could not reach recipients on time since the messengers walked on foot to their destinations.
  2. b) Messengers sometimes forgot the message they were to deliver thus leading to inaccurate messages being passed.
  3. c) Information could be distorted in the process. Sometimes wrong messages were delivered.
  4. d) Messengers could be attacked on the way by wild animals.
  5. e) The distance to be covered by messengers was limited since they walked on foot. However this problem was overcome with improvements in forms of transport.

Written messages

The oldest record of writing date back to about 5000years. Different communities use different symbols and alphabets to write messages. The messages were recorded on scrolls, stone tablets parchment (dried animal skin) or paper.The earliest forms of wring were pictographic and ideographic. Examples of these were the cuneiform of Sumerians and Hieroglyphics of the Egyptians.

Cuneiform Writing

“Wedge-Shaped” Writing


Scrolls are rolls of paper which were rolled around rods of wood or ivory for writing on. They were commonly used among the Egyptians, Romans, Asians, Jews, Greek, Hebrews, Chinese and Japanese. Papyrus Reeds along the Nile were used for making writing material. Pens and brushes were also made from the reeds and the hard part of a feather.The Hebrews used scrolls for their sacred writings.

Stone Tablets.

The Sumerians wrote on clay tablets. Writing was done on wet clay which, after drying, hardened like a stone and left a permanent impression.. for example, Hammurabi the law giver wrote his laws on stone pillars for all to read and obey. The Ten Commandments were also written on stone tablets.On the left is a stela, which has all 282 of Hammurabi’s laws engraved on it. This stela is located in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.

These tablets have been discovered by archaeologists and looked at by historians.

Advantages of written messages

  1. a) They provided reliable information that was not easily forgotten.
  2. b) Information was stored in that form for future reference.
  3. c) Information could be interpreted into different languages so that it could be accessible to many.
  4. d) The message in most cases was accurate.


  1. a) They were only limited to literate people.
  2. b) At times the information could be biased depending on the writers’ orientation.
  3. c) Written messages were open to misinterpretation.

Modern means of communication

Numerous modes of communication have been evolved over time since the time primitive speech was the main means of communication. The modern means of communication include telephone, radio, television, video, cinema, telegraph, telex, electronic mail. Pager etc.The methods are categorized into telecommunications and print media.


This is a term that describes the technology of receiving and sending messages by telephone, radio, television, telegraph, telex, facsimile or e-mail. The message can be verbal, written or pictorial.There are a wide range of devices in telecommunication through which messages can be sent in a variety of ways. For example, Telephone.

This a communication device which is used to relay sound waves by converting them into electrical signals and then reconverting them into sound waves. Telephones carry sound over a distance using electric current. The history of the invention of telephones starts with the success of a Scottish-born American inventor, teaching speech to deaf children in Boston Massachusetts, Alexander Graham Bell, who built an experimental telegraph which broke down after one day. Bell constructed a transmitter and a receiver for which he received a patent on March 7, 1876. Assisted by Thomas Watson, he discovered that voice can be sent using wires.Later, Almon Brown Strowger of Kansas City, Missouri, invented the first automatic telephone exchange using electromagnetic switchboard (Strowger Switches) in 1897. By 1900, long distance service was possible through the use of repeaters (electromagnetic devices placed along the route of the call) which amplified and repeated conversations into the long distance instrument.

Radio transmission later replaced underground and submarine cables for long distance transmission.In 1877, Graham Bell opened the Bell Telephone Company. In 1900, it was sold t o the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) In Kenya, telephone communication was introduced in 1908 and has grown tremendously

Cell phones

A cellular telephony is a type of wireless communication which uses many base stations to divide a service area into multiple cells.The concept of cellular phones began in 1947 when researchers looked at the crude mobile car phones and realized that by using small cells with frequency reuse, they could increase the traffic capacity of mobile phones

Dr Martin Cooper, a former general manager of the systems division at Motorola is considered the inventor of the first modern portable handset. Which he used for the first time in April 1973.The development of mobile telephony technology was slow in the earlier periods due to the hindrance by the strict federal regulations in USA and Europe. In 1921, the USA mobile Radio began to operate.In June 1946, the first American Commercial mobile radio telephone service was introduced in Saint Louis, Missouri.By 1950s, the first telephone equipped cars took to the roads in Stockholm.In 1964, the Bell system introduced the mobile telephone service. By 1982, commercial cellular phones were being used in the USA and Tokyo in Japan. By 1987, USA had over 1million cellular telephone subscribers.Currently, there are many mobile manufacturing companies are now in operation. For example, Nokia, Motorola Inc., Sony, Alcatel, Samsung, Sagem, Siemens, AG, and Sony Ericsson.There are also a number of mobile phone service providers. In Kenya, the main ones are Safaricom, Airtel, Orange and Yu

Standard Features of cellphones

  1. a) They are used for making and receiving calls.
  2. b) All have a personal phone book.
  3. c) They all have the ability to send and receive SMS.
  4. d) They have the ability to store messages and display and record the telephone number of a caller.

The following features are not standard and vary from phone to phone.

  1. a) Calculator, clock and calendar.
  2. b) Access to the internet
  3. c) Digital camera capability
  4. d) A variety of ringtones

Limitations of cell phones

  1. a) They may be prone to poor reception especially where they are reliant on internal antennas.
  2. b) Their use is dependent on the availability of electricity. The phone must be recharged after a number of days. In areas where accessibility to electricity is a problem, mobile phones may not be so much in use.
  3. c) The continuous use of mobile phones has raised fears of possible side effects of radioactive rays on human beings.
  4. d) Handsets are easily stolen due to their small size.


The a public broadcasting medium that uses a point to multipoint technology to broadcast to any use within the range of the transmitter. In 1855, the idea of a television was perceived but only came into use in 1922 when a Scot, Loggie Baird, showed how moving images could be transmitted by electromagnetic waves.In 1931, the cathode ray tube (CRT) was invented in USA. The CRT transforms beams of electrons into visible images on the screen. This led to development of modern television.The first television broadcasting service was launched in 1936 by BBC.I 1942, Baird invented the colour transmission.In Kenya, broadcast television began after a television station was opened in 1970. This was the Voice of Kenya. Kenya was connected to worldwide television via Longonont Satellite Station in1972. In 1990, KTN, the second channel was introduced in Kenya

Cable Television

Cable television, a commercial service that links televisions to a source of many different types of video programming using Coaxial cables, was introduced in Kenya in 1994. The television users with personal satellite dishes can access satellite programming directly without a cable installation.Recently, the digital television (DTV) was invented. This is the transmission of audio and video of digital signals, in contrast to analog signals

Television is an important means of communication since it is an audio-visual device.

Its importance can be summarized as follows;

  1. a) It conveys news and information from all over the world more vividly than other means of communication such as radio.
  2. b) It is a source of entertainment as it shows music and drama programmes.
  3. c) It is a device that may be used in educational broadcasting. Some educational programmes are broadcast on television. For example, programmes that sensitize people on HIV and AIDS pandemic.
  4. d) It is used in commercial advertisement by manufacturers and companies thus enabling them to sell their products.
  5. e) It is the best means of transmitting ideas since it commands attention.
  6. f) It is a source of employment in the television stations.
  7. g) Television has enabled humankind to bridge the gap of real-time communication between different time zones in the world.


  1. a) TV can only be viewed where there is electricity. It is expensive to install solar panels in areas where there is no electricity. The car batteries that may be used require constant charging.
  2. b) Pornographic programmes have eroded cultural values, especially among the youth. Such programmes originate in the west and the youth want to imitate what they see.
  3. c) Watching violent programmes has created the culture of violence among the youth. For example, watching of wrestling and violent movies.
  4. d) Some advertisements encourage deviant behavior. For example, advertisements of alcohol and cigarettes.
  5. e) Watching television can sometimes become addictive in some homes thus limiting the time to participate in other activities.



The invention of the radio was a significant development in the electronics industry. In 1864, an English mathematical physicist, clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) suggested that there was the existence of waves.In 1888, a German, Heinrich Rudolph Hertz, (1857-94) demonstrated the existence of electromagnetic waves (vibrations) that travel through space, which were named after him. These waves could be used in wireless communications. In 1901, an Italian, Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) invented the radio and sent a radio transmission across the Atlantic from poldhu in Cornwall to Saint John, Newfoundland, Canada.The radio gained prominence during the World War I as it was used to communicate.The Marconi Company made the first radio broadcast in Britain in 1920.The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) was set up in London in 1922.Kenya’s Radio Broadcasts before independence depended on the BBC. The VOK began to air programmes after independence. In 1990, VOK changed its name o KBC. In 1995, the FM meter Band was launched thus leading to an increase in radio stations

Importance of radio

  1. a) Radio is easy to access since people can afford to buy the device.
  2. b) News and information from the radio is quickly received throughout the country
  3. c) It can also be accessed by the illiterate people who can listen and understand the radio news if broadcast in the language they can understand.
  4. d) Radio is used to enhance communication in transport systems like motor vehicles, railway, ships and airplanes.
  5. e) Radios are sometimes used to broadcast educational programmes and important government communications on issues like health, agriculture and family planning.
  6. f) The radio is a source of entertainment. E.g through Music and drama programmes.
  7. g) Radio can be used by manufacturers and companies to advertise their products thus stimulating business.
  8. h) Radio communication has enhanced space exploration. Radio signals are used to communicate with space vehicles.


This is a device or process by which messages are passed over a distance, especially using radio signals or coded electrical signals.Telegraph messages are sent by a code in which numbers, letters and punctuation marks are represented by a combination of dashes and dots.The earliest code to be used was the Morse code which evolved into the international Morsecode.A message sent by a telegraph was called a telegram.

Radio invention made it possible for wireless telegraphy.Samuel Morse (1791-1892) is credited for the invention of the electric telegraph. In 1837, Morse made the first crude telegraph and by 1844, he successfully sent a telegraph over line.By 1845, the first public telegraph was operating between Washington and Baltimore.In 1851, the first telegraph cable was laid under the English Channel between London and Paris.In 1866, the Trans-Atlantic cable was established.In 1872, most cities in the world were linked by telegraph.


~  Communication through the telegraph could be rendered unreliable where

accidents and poor weather could cut telegraph cables.


This is a computer-based global communication network system that links thousands of computers using telephone lines. Currently Mobile phones are also used in internet communication.Internet forms one of the inexpensive and fastest communication means in the world today which has gained popularity..Internet was introduced in the 1970s. Currently there are over 4000 million users of internet in the world today with its popularity being manifested in the social media networks like facebook, Twitter.

Results of internet.

  1. a) Education has been developed since research can be done on the internet.
  2. b) E-commerce can be done on the internet hence enhancing the sale of goods and services.
  3. c) The running of government operations can be done on the internet since the government may use it for internal communication, distribution of information and automated tax processing.
  4. d) Internet has led to expansion of Business as people use it to interact with other business people.
  5. e) Individuals use the internet to communicate through e-mail or other social network platforms such as facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc.Electronic Mail. (E-mail)This kind of communication is also reliant on internet. The communication is done using either computer or mobile phones with the help of a modem.

E-mails first came into widespread use in 1990s and has today become a major contributor to business development. It has taken the lead ahead of telephone, fax, radio and television in communication.

Facsimile transreceiver (fax)

This is a method of transmitting text over telephone network. A written, printed or pictorial document is scanned then sent and reproduced photographically at the destination. The message /picture is transmitted within 30 seconds. The Fax machine was developed by a german named Arthur Korn in 1902 and was commercialized in 1926.


This is system of direct dial teleprinter which uses a keyboard to transmit typed text over telephone lines to similar terminals


A Satellite is a spacecraft or an artificial device orbiting the earth, moon or another planet, transmitting back to earth scientific information. It is launched at a velocity of at least 28,960 km per hour (escape velocity) to enable it overcome gravitational pull of the earth and thus remain in space.In 1680, a British Scientist, Isaac Newton, introduced the idea of artificial satellites.The first message to be transmitted by satellite was the Christmas greeting by President Dwight D Eisenhower of the USA in 1958.In 1969, the first television pictures were relayed around the earth by satellites from Apollo II astronauts. In October 1957, USSR sent sputnik I, the first satellite into the orbit. In the same year, the first living passenger, a little dog called Laika, was carried into space by a satellite.In 1961, a Russian Yuri Gagarin went into space on board of a satellite.In 1969, an American, Neil Armstrong, in his spacecraft Apollo I, landed on the moon.In 1981, the US released the first space shuttle which is manned, airplane like craft which orbits the earth.In 1983, Challenger, the space shuttle, released a satellite into space.

In 1986, an accident occurred on the space shuttle, Challenger, killing seven  Astronauts


These are portable communication message devices. In using it, the person sending the message uses a phone and calls a pager number.

The impact of telecommunications today.

  1. a) Telecommunication has revolutionized communication through enabling faster and easier communication between individuals. This has increased interaction and therefore international understanding.
  2. b) Telecommunication has enhanced information management e.g the use of computers for information storage and processing and the internet in communication.
  3. c) Telecommunication devices are also sources of entertainment. Radios and television broadcast music and movies to entertain people.
  4. d) Telecommunication systems like television bring reality to the viewers by transmitting live pictures.
  5. e) Telecommunication devices enhance cultural exchange and understanding through showing programmes from other countries. This helps people to appreciate other people’s culture and even enrich their own.
  6. f) Telecommunication systems have promoted water and air transport. Ships at sea and airplanes use these devices to send signals to guide captains and pilots.
  7. g) Telecommunication systems have made world trade and businesses more effective and efficient. People can quickly place orders for goods and get news of world markets and commodity prices.
  8. h) Telecommunications has enabled organizations, government institutions and individuals to access information and programmes at their convenience. This has led to effective management and good governance.
  9. i) Countries have also improved their security systems by using radio and radio calls and mobile tracking systems to combat crimes.
  10. j) Modern war fare has been revolutionized. Modern weapons depend on telecommunication services that provide accurate and reliable information. For example, satellites are used to guide missiles.
  11. k) Remote areas are no longer inaccessible thanks to telecommunications. People can communicate using cell phones even from the most remote areas of a country.
  12. l) Telecommunication systems have promoted space exploration. Man has been able to send spacecraft to the moon, mars and Venus using communication satellites.
  13. m) Telecommunication is a source of employment in many countries. Many people offer services, operate systems and maintain them.
  14. n) Governments earn revenue from telecommunication systems. This revenue promotes economic development. For example taxes collected from licensing of service operators, manufacturers of telecommunication systems etc.

Negative attributes to telecommunication.

  1. a) Telecommunication has promoted international social crimes such as fraud, drug trafficking and terrorism.
  2. b) Some forms of telecommunication promote immorality among children and the youth in the world through watching of pornographic materials.
  3. c) Some telecommunication devices cannot be accessed by many people due to the expense of acquisition and installation.
  4. d) Telecommunication devices have an addictive effect for many users. This affects speed of development in developing countries AS people sit for long hours watching television instead of engaging in productive activities.
  5. e) Mobile phone users risk suffering from effects of the constant exposure to radioactive rays which may cause certain types of cancer.

Print media

This refers to all that is printed or written down and published. For example, journals, books, newspapers, magazines etc.


It is an unbound publication produced at regular intervals and devoted primarily to current events and advertisements. Before printing was invented, the oldest newspaper, The Siloam Inscription,(a stone on which news were recorded) was in circulation among the people of Mesopotamia at around 700 BC.The Chinese court journal, Tsing Pao, published in Peking in AD 500 was another early form of newspaper.The Roman Bulletin, Acta Diurna, used by Emperor Julius Ceaser from 60BC to post government daily announcements was also an early form of newspaper.Printing was invented by a german, Johannes Gutenberg, in the 15th century. The first publication, Strasbourg Relations, was published in 1609The London Daily Post also known as the Public Advertiser was published by Henry Woodfall and his son Sampson Woodfall in 18th c.

The London Times was first published as the Daily Universal Register by John Walter in 1785. It changed its name to Times in 1788.In 1900, C Arthur founded the Daily Express.

The first newspaper in Kenya was the African Standard founded by Alibhai Mullas Jeevanjee, in Mombasa in 1902. It later changed its name to the east African standard in 1905. And moved its operations from Mombasa to Nairobi in 1928, Jomo Kenyatta published a local newspaper in Kikuyu, Muigwithania aimed at spreading the views of the Kikuyu central Association and promote kikuyu culture.The Daily Nation was established by the Aga Khan in 1960In 1983, the Kenya Times was founded by Hilary Ngweno and later bought by KANU and owned jointly with a Briton Robert Maxwel

Types of Newspapers.

Daily Newspapers

These print atleast one edition every weekday. Some print morning and evening edition when necessary. Examples of daily newspapers include the Daily Nation, The standard, the Toronto Star and The Los Angeles Times.

Weekly Newspapers

These are published once a week. They contain news of interest to people in a smaller area, maybe a city or a neighborhood. For example the east African in Kenya and the weekly Telegraph in Britain.

Special interest Newspapers

They concentrate on news of special interest to a particular group for example an ethnic community, a corporation or a trade organization. They can be daily, weekly or monthly.


These are publications released at regular intervals and containing news, feature articles, poems, fictional stories etc. they also contain photographs and drawings. Periodicals aimed at general audience are called magazines.Periodicals differ from newspapers in that whereas newspapers deal with sometimes daily news and are unbound, periodicals like magazines and journals focus on more specialized material and deal with news in form of summaries or commentaries. They are printer on finer paper with smaller bound pages and issued at a longer interval than a day when compared to newspapers.


These are periodical publications with specialized information on particular issues. They are published fortnightly, weekly or monthly.The oldest magazine is Eileen’s Oxford Gazette published in 1665, later became the London Gazette.The first periodical to use the word magazine in its Title was the Gentleman Magazine published in 1731 in Britain.

The oldest magazine in Kenya is the Kenya Official Gazette (1900-1963), renamed the Kenya Gazette after independence. Other were the Leader of the British East African Company, Wathiomo Mukinyu by Consolata Catholic Missionaries in Nyeri, Tangaza by Harry Thuku, the East African Chronicles and the Colonial times by the Asian Journals

These are periodicals with a narrower target audience such as scholarly publication. They specialize in particular themes or professions. For example the Review of Political Economy, Canadian Journal of African Affairs, the East African Journal of Social Sciences and the East African Medical Journal.


Industry is defined as the skill of making other products from raw materials. It involves extraction and processing into finished products of raw materials


Early Sources of Energy.

Energy is the ability to do work. The following are the early sources of energy that can be identified.


Wood developed as a source of energy after the discovery of fire. It was used as follows;

  1. a) Making fire which provides heat to warm people during cold seasons lighting, to cook roots and roast meat, for hunting(bushfires), tool-making to harden tips, means of communication, food preservation
  2. b) Charcoal made from wood fuel provided heat that was used for steaming water to provide steam power for steam engines during the industrial revolution.

This is a form of energy still in use today since it is cheaper and easily available.


Wind was used to drive sailing ships during the trade between East African Coast and the Far East.Windmills were used in China to grind grain and process foods

They were also used to pump water from polders in Netherlands.Windmills are also used to generate electricity. Windmills are mainly used in areas with fewer trees like in Isiolo, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera.However the use of wind as a source of energy is disadvantaged by its being irregular and inconsistent in direction and strength.


Water has been harnessed to produce HEP. Water was used to turn wooden propellers (water wheels) which in turn turned grindstones to grind grains into flour.In England, it was used in the Textile and paper industry to turn spinning machines.In Italy water-powered machines were used to make copper pots, weapons of war, to spin silk and to sharpen various tools. Water also is not reliable as a source of energy since the levels may be too low during dry weather for HEP production.

Uses of metals in Africa

The age of metals in Africa is divided into the Bronze and Iron Age.

Man moved from the Stone Age to the age of metals because metals had the following advantages;

  1. a) Metallic tools were more durable. They could not break easily.
  2. b) Cutting edges of metals could be sharpened.
  3. c) Malleable Metals could be heated and reworked into deferent usable designs when need arose
  4. d) Metals are not prone to waste. Broken pieces can be smelted and reworked into useful items. For example a broken spear into an arrow.

The following are examples of metals that were used in Africa.


This was the first metal to be used by humankind. It was used in Meroe, Egypt, Wangara in Ghana and in Central Africa.

Gold is malleable and therefore it could be easily moulded into the desired shape without smelting it. Its softness however implied that tools made from gold could bend easily. It was also heavy and could not be found everywhere.

Uses of Gold

  1. a) It was used to make ornaments and decorations. In Egypt, it was used to make jewellery like rings, bangles and bracelets.
  2. b) It was used to make utensils, such as plates, vases and drinking vessels.
  3. c) It was used to make swords and flint knife handles among the rich in Egypt.
  4. d) It was used to make coins in Egypt.
  5. e) It was used as a trade item in East, central and West Africa
  6. f) It was used to make weapons such as sword and knife blades.
  7. g) Gold was also a measure of wealth in Egypt.


Though quite soft, copper as harder than Gold and could make better tools. The Egyptians were the earliest people to use copper by 3000 BC.The metal could further be hardened by mixing it with other metals to form alloys during smelting.

Uses of copper

  1. a) Making utensils and containers such as pots and pans.
  2. b) The Egyptians used copper to make axes, tools, Chisels, Pins and fish hooks.
  3. c) It was used to make ornamental bangles, rings, helmets, needles, wire chains and statues.
  4. d) It was used as a medium of exchange in the form of copper bars.
  5. e) It was used to make daggers (weapons).
  6. f) It was used as a trade commodity. Those with copper exchanged it with other goods that

they did not have.

  1. g) It was used to make alloys like Bronze and Brass.


Bronze is a mixture of copper and tin which makes it harder than copper. It was used during the Bronze Age.

In Africa Bronze was used among the Yoruba, Dahomey and Asante in Nigeria and in Benin. And also in Egypt. Benin was the centre of Bronze.

Uses of Bronze.

  1. a) Making stronger weapons such as shields, spears, arrowheads, swords and daggers.
  2. b) Making sculptures and decorations. For example, in Benin it was used to make objects for religious ceremonies, masks and decorating the king’s palace. It decorated temples, palaces and pyramids in Egypt.
  3. c) Making knives, containers, pans and vases.
  4. d) It was a store of wealth.
  5. e) It was used to make tools, shields and chariots.

Disadvantages of Bronze.

  1. a) The tools lost their sharpness and became blunt quickly since the metal was relatively soft.

They required constant sharpening.

  1. b) Bronze was not cheap. The mixture of copper and yin had to be acquired through trade thus making bronze expensive.
  2. c) It was difficult to get an appropriate proportion of each of the two metals.


Two theories that explain the origin and spread of iron working in Africa are;

1)  It was first introduced in North Africa from the Middle East by the Phoenicians and the Assyrians, and then spread to west, East Central and South Africa.

2)  The art of iron working probably developed independently in Africa as evidenced by the Archaeological evidence in Buhaya (the oldest Iron Age site that existed between 5th  and 6th  C AD ) , North –West of Tanzania. The Buhaya iron is associated with the pottery style known as Urewe-ware. The Hittites were the first people to smelt and use iron in around 1500BC. The skill then spread to the Assyrians. The idea then spread to Africa between 400 and 500 BC and became widespread in the Nile Valley.By 5th c it had spread upto Meroe (the Birmingham of Africa) then to Ethiopia. From Carthage and Tunisia, it spread to West Africa, at Taruga in Nigeria’s Jos plateau at around 580BC, then to Lake Chad by 500 AD

Ways in which the iron culture spread in Africa.

1)  Through wars of conquest e.g. Egypt versus Assyrians where the Assyrians forced the Egyptians to learn to use iron from Meroe to make strong weapons.

2)  Trade e.g. the Mesopotamians traded with Africans. The North African then traded with the West Africans, thus spreading the iron smelting technology across the Sahara.

3)  Intermarriages e.g. Arabs and Africans intermarried and hence a new iron culture and technology developed.

4)  Through learning and acquiring the technology from neighbors.

5)  Increased demand for iron tools for agriculture, weapons and iron products increased trade in iron.

6)  Migrations. E.g in east Africa where the Bantus and nilotes arrived from West African region with the iron culture which they introduced to east Africa.

7)  Travelers and messengers who gave out and received the gifts of iron

Uses of Iron

  1. a) It was used as medium of exchange. Iron bars were used as currency.
  2. b) To make agricultural tools such as hoes and pangas this increased food production.
  3. c) Weapons such as spears and arrows were made of iron, which strengthened some communities while others who lacked the same were easily defeated.
  4. d) Iron was used as a trade item where those who did not have it acquired it through barter trade.
  5. e) It was used for storing wealth. Smithers used iron bars as a measure of value.

Effects of iron working

  1. a) It promoted empire building. Many kingdoms and empires relied on strong iron, weapons to fight expansionist wars e.g. Egypt, Benin and Mwene Mutapa empires.
  2. b) It led to migrations especially of the Bantus who war able to protect themselves during the journeys using iron weapons.
  3. c) It promoted agriculture since large tracts of land could now be used to produce more food using stronger tools.
  4. d) Adequate food resulted in population increase and later migration to areas with sparse population.
  5. e) It resulted in specialization and division of labour as some people became iron smelters while others engaged in other activities like trade.
  6. f) It stimulated construction and building works using stronger metals like iron. Better houses, temples and bridges were built.
  7. g) Metal technology also had an impact on religion in that metals began to be used when performing religious rites and in royal palaces e.g. the golden stool among the Asante.
  8. h) Trading and industrial towns developed within and around the major mining centres like

Meroe Axum, in Ghana, in Zimbabwe and in Benin.

  1. i) Trade was promoted in that sometimes iron was used as currency and others became important items of long distance and regional trade.


The Industrial Revolution was a period from 1750 to 1850 where changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times. It began in the United Kingdom, and then subsequently spread throughout Western Europe, Northern America, Japan, and eventually the rest of the world.The industrial revolution in Europe occurred in two phases;The old phase was from 175-1850 and began in Britain and spread to other European countries like France (1825), Germany (1840), Belgium (1870) and Russia (1890). In USA, it began after the American civil war of 1861 to 1865. In Japan it began in 1900. In Kenya, it is hoped to be done by 2030.

Characteristics of industrial revolution in Europe

  1. a) The use of machines to replace human and animal labour.
  2. b) The use of steam power as a new source of energy to replace water, wind and animal power.
  3. c) Increased exploitation and use of coal, iron and steel.
  4. d) The rise of the factory system in owns instead of the cottage industries in homes.
  5. e) The development of better forms of transport including the use of railways, roads and water.
  6. f) Improved living standards and an increase in the human population who required more manufactured goods.
  7. g) The production of goods on large scale. Machines worked faster than human labour.
  8. h) The development of science and the application of scientific knowledge in production.
  9. i) There was development of trade as manufactured goods were sold locally and abroad.
  10. j) The rise of modern capitalism that provided enough wealth which was then invested back into industry.
  11. k) The growth of trade Union Movements to carter for the rights of industrial workers.

Uses of Various Sources of Energy


This is a compact black or dark brown, carbonaceous rock which is a fuel and source of coke, coal gas and coal tar.Abraham Darby invented the process by which coal was turned into coke in 1709 thus discovered that coal produced immense heat. Coke was used to smelt iron.

Uses of coal

  1. a) To heat water to high temperatures so as to produce steam.
  2. b) To provide lighting.
  3. c) To drive steam engines in factories. Some generators depended on coal heat to produce steam.
  4. d) To drive locomotives. This promoted transport.
  5. e) It was a raw material in the manufacturing of dye and pharmaceutical products.

Disadvantages of Coal

  1. a) It is bulky and transporting it is difficult.
  2. b) It produced too much smoke when used in locomotives. Also gases released during the burning of coal e.g sulphur dioxide polluted the air and caused acid rain.
  3. c) Coal was expensive to mine and to transport to the required destination.
  4. d) Coal mining was risky to miners who often lost their lives when mines collapsed and buried them.

Petroleum.(often referred to as oil)

Before 1850, oil was known to American farmers as a substance that affected food production in farms. It was an American Don, Bissel who carried out an analysis of oil samples at a university lab and established that oil was both a fuel and lubricant.

The use of oil became widespread with the invention of the internal combustion engine by Gotlieb Daimler.

Uses of oil.

  1. a) To power vehicles, aeroplanes and ships
  2. b) To generate electricity used in lighting and cooking.
  3. c) To run engines in industries
  4. d) Tar (Bitumen), a by-product of petroleum is used to tarmac roads.
  5. e) Greasing of metals in industries was also done by petroleum by-products such as grease.
  6. f) Certain petroleum chemicals are used in making of drugs, fertilizers, synthetic fibre and plastics.

Disadvantages of oil

  1. a) For countries importing oil, it is expensive to transport.
  2. b) Prospecting for oil is quite expensive.
  3. c) Oil may also affect the environment, since extracting large quantities of petroleum may cause land to sink.


Steam is boiling water turned into gas. It was used for first time around 100 AD in a steampowered engine developed by a Greek scientist called Hero.In the 16th century, Thomas Savery, a Briton, built a steam engine which could pump water out of a coal mine.In 1712, Thomas Newcomen improved Savery’s design, though he design was still ineffective.In 1764, James Watt improved on Newcomen’s engine to make it more effective and by 1800, 320 of Watt’s engines were in use in Britain.In 1801, Richard Trevithick installed one of Watt’s engines in a road vehicle. Three years later, he produced a steam-driven locomotive that ran on rails.In 1830, George Stephenson improved on Trevithick’s work and invented the first steam locomotive, the rocket.

In all these engines, coal was used to produce steam.

Uses of steam

  1. a) It was used to drive heavy machinery in factories and to turn turbines that generated power for industrial use, e.g driving, spinning and weaving machines.
  2. b) It was used for pumping water out of coal mines.
  3. c) It was used in steam –powered locomotives and ships.
  4. d) The massive temple doors in Egypt were only opened using steam.


Electricity was discovered by an English Scientist called Michael Faraday (1791-1861) in 1831 when he invented the electric Dynamo.His principal of electromagnetic induction was the beginning of both the dynamo and the electric Motor. The energy used energy from coal, oil, steam or water to produce electricity. The use of electricity became widespread from 1900.

Uses of electricity

  1. a)
  2. b) Heating and cooking.
  3. c) Powering machines in factories.
  4. d) Electric signals are used in communication gadgets.
  5. e) Powering transport vehicles such as electric trains and electric cars.

Disadvantages of electricity

  1. a) It can be dangerous if not properly installed or used.
  2. b) The generation and distribution of electricity is very expensive thus making its use limited to fewer people in developing countries.

Other sources of energy

Atomic energy

In 1896, A French physicist, Antoine Henri Beckquerel (1852 -1903), discovered that uranium produces radiation or energy in waves. (Radioactivity). This was the birth of the development of Atomic energy.In 1938, Hahn and Stressman discovered the process of Atomic fusion which leads to production of Atomic energy.In 1942, a group of scientists led by Enrico-Fermi at the university of Chicago, USA, built the first Nuclear research Station which resulted in the invention of the nuclear reactor and later the discovery of an Atomic Bomb like one which was used Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.In Belgium and France, 60% of the electricity is produced from atomic power. However, atomic energy when used in war can be very fatal.Radioactivity also endangers both animal and plant life.Polluted air, where radioactivity has taken place causes fever, diarrhea and death. For example the radioaction accident in 1985 at Three Mile Island in the USA and at Chernobyl near Kiev in Ukraine in 1986 had fatal consequences.

Solar Energy.

It is obtained directly from the sun and is used to dry firewood, clothes and to cook food.

In 1714, Antoine Lavoisier made a solar furnace which could melt metals.An engine using solar power was used to run a printing press in Paris in 1880.The use of solar water heaters was widespread in USA by 1900.In 1954, the first solar cell which turned sunlight into electricity was made. The energy was  then used to heat water and generate electricity.

Uses of Solar energy.

  1. a) Drying agricultural products.
  2. b) Distilling of salty water to get salt crystals.
  3. c) Heating water in homes and industry
  4. d) Heating and lighting buildings
  5. e) Cooking using solar cookers
  6. f) Irrigating using solar water pumps,
  7. g) Powering satellites in space.

Advantages of solar energy

  1. a) It is clean and is available in places where sunlight is readily available.
  2. b) It is natural and therefore free, non-pollutant and inexhaustible source of energy.

Iron and steel

Iron was not really a source of energy but the industrial revolution was dependant on the availability of iron

Uses of iron

  1. a) Production of machines for textile industry. Water pipes and ploughs were made of iron.
  2. b) Production of steam engines.
  3. c) Building of trains, railway lines ships, wheels, bridges and coach frames.In an attempt to overcome the disadvantages of iron (it was too heavy and could rust easily), in 1856, an Englishman, Henry Bessemer produced steel out of Iron and Carbon. (Steel is an alloy of iron and Carbon and is lighter, flexible, stronger and harder than iron).Stainless steel, commonly used in cutlery is an alloy of Steel and Chromium.

Uses of steel

  1. a) The construction of rail lines, bridges, cars and ships.
  2. b) The manufacturing of machinery especially in the agricultural and industrial sector.
  3. c) Reinforcement of concrete in buildings and roofing houses.
  4. d) Making of containers and utensils.


This change, which occurred between 1750 and 1830, happened because conditions were perfect in Britain for the Industrial Revolution. The transformation was facilitated by the following factors;

  1. a) Availability of coal and iron ore which served as a basis for heavy industries. Coal was a source of energy for use in the industries. Iron was used in the manufacture of machinery.
  2. b) The agrarian revolution ensured that important raw materials were available for the industries and also made food more available for the many factory centres
  3. c) Existence of a large population which provided steady internal market for the manufactured goods/domestic local markets. There was also Availability of external markets in her colonies for the industrial produce.
  4. d) Existence of cottage industries which acted as a base for industrial take-off in Britain. It was easier to turn to mass production of goods on the basis of the small scale production in cottage industries.
  5. e) Due to the enclosure act, many peasants became available to offer unskilled labour especially following their displacement from the rural areas.
  6. f) Political stability and strong leadership that existed at the time created a condusive

environment for investments when compared to other European countries.

  1. g) Well developed transport and communication network e.g railway, canals, bridges, harbours and roads which promoted industrialization.
  2. h) Existence of good banking and insurance systems which gave financial help and security to the industries.
  3. i) Britain had a strong navy that guarded her trade routes thus protecting her merchants from foreign competition.
  4. j) Policy of free trade encouraged industrialization/ existence of the merchant and middle class who formed pressure groups that forced the government to adopt measures favoring their industries.britain had no internal customs barrier to hurt her industrial growth.
  5. k) Availability of wealth/capital that stimulated industrial revolution. Britain had accumulated a lot of wealth from her trade with other countries and her colonies in America and Africa.e.g. The steam engine was made in Britain by a wealth Briton.
  6. l) Availability of industrial raw materials in her vast colonies.


The Industrial Revolution on Continental Europe came a little later than in Great Britain.

Reasons why other European countries delayed in the industrialization process.

  1. a) The political upheavals in France, Germany and Italy were responsible for the delay in the take- off of industrialization.
  2. b) The existence of a feudal economy in which the peasant farmers could not afford to buy industrial goods nor raise capital to invest in industry.
  3. c) The system of farming implied that inadequate raw materials came from the farms thus making it difficult for industrial development.
  4. d) Their system of transport was not developed.
  5. e) Unlike Britain, these countries did not have an enterprising class of people and scientists ready to take up the task of industrial investment and invention.

Factors that led to industrial development in continental Europe

  1. a) Political stability and strong leadership that followed the unification of Italy and Germany and end of Napoleonic rule in France created a contusive environment for investments when compared to other European countries. Feudalism was also abolished.
  2. b) The agrarian revolution that had taken place in continental Europe ensured that the countries had raw materials for their industries. Other strategic raw materials like coal and iron were readily available.
  3. c) There was adequate capital from the rich traders who willingly invested in industry. Britain also gave loans to the European countries to industrialize.
  4. d) Existence of good banking and insurance systems which gave financial help and security to the industries.
  5. e) Existence of a large population which provided both skilled and unskilled labour required by the industries.
  6. f) The European governments supported the industrial ventures that were aimed at enhancing economic development. French and Germany governments gave tax concessions and subsidies to encourage industrialization.
  7. g) Existence of a steady internal and external market for the manufactured goods/there was a high European population that consumed most goods locally.
  8. h) Well developed transport and communication network e.g. better roads, railway and water transport which meant that industrial workers, raw materials and finished goods could be transported easily.
  9. i) Countries in continental Europe had vast sources of energy such as coal, steam power and electricity which enhanced industrial development.
  10. j) The development of new skills in science and technology facilitated industrial growth. Some European countries like France and Germany sent their people to Britain to acquire skills and ideas in science and also invited English technicians to their countries.

Effects of the industrial revolution in Europe

  1. a) Creation of employment opportunities. Ordinary working people found increased opportunities for employment in the new mills and factories.
  2. b) Emergence of Factories and urbanization. Industrialization led to the creation of the factory system was largely responsible for the rise of the modern city, as large numbers of workers migrated into the cities in search of employment in the factories.
  3. c) Improved Standards of living. Living conditions and health care improved during the 19th The famines that troubled rural areas did not happen in industrial areas.
  4. d) Population increase. As living conditions and health care improved during the 19th century, Europe’s population doubled every 50 years. Infant mortality reduced.
  5. e) Local and international trade developed. Manufactured goods were sold locally while others were exported to America. The industries also created market for raw materials from Africa and Asia.
  6. f) European economies became diversified as a result of industrial growth. This led to specialization e.g. traders, bankers, mechanics and agriculturalists.
  7. g) Development and use of machinery in agriculture led to increased production
  8. h) Improvement in Transportation and technology. The expansion of business and factories expanded Canals, highways and railways were expanded.
  9. i) Large scale production of a wide range of goods. new methods of farming , such as the use of fertilizers and new crop breeds were developed
  10. j) The industrial revolution promoted development of science and technology. There was increased utilization of knowledge in production of goods as well as scientific inventions such as invention of electricity.
  11. k) The emergence of trade union movement. The Industrial Revolution concentrated labour into mills, factories and mines, thus facilitating the organization of combinations or trade unions to help advance the interests of working people.
  12. l) Eventually effective political organization for working people was achieved through the trades unions who began to support socialist political parties that later merged to become the British Labour Party.
  13. m) It led to Political corruption – the amount of money generated by the Industrial Revolution created a class of super rich who could buy any politician or process.
  14. n) Environmental damage – there were few if any rules regarding how resources could be removed and used. The air was horribly polluted from factories, as was the soil and rivers.
  15. o) There was increased exploitation of natural resources in Europe during the revolution. Iron, coal and steel production increased.
  16. p) Industrial revolution was accompanied with economic Exploitation of people. While jobs were created, sometimes the jobs were dangerous and people died. Harsh working conditions, Child labour, dirty living conditions, and long working hours were prevalent.
  17. q) Rise of unemployment. The rapid industrialization cost many craft workers their jobs. Many weavers found themselves suddenly unemployed since they could no longer compete with machines to produce cloth.
  18. r) The industrial revolution was responsible for the scramble and partition of Africa. The colonies produced raw materials for industries in Europe and also acted as markets for goods processed in Europe. For this reason, many European nations sought to have as many colonies as possible.

The scientific Revolution

Science is the systematic study of the nature and behaviour of the material and physical universe based on observation. The scientific revolution refers to the history of science in the early modern period, where sudden development in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry transformed views of society and nature.

Causes of scientific revolution

  1. a) Discovery of the New World. Exploration/conquest leading to discovery of new plant/animal life. Traditional link between navigation and astronomy + great advances made by Portuguese navigators fueled an interest in learning more about the stars
  2. b) Invention of the Printing Press, allowed for rapid dissemination of scientific knowledge. Numerous books and newsletters were in circulation keeping people informed of science
  3. c) Rivalry among Nation-States. Constant warfare among nation-states pushed for scientific development by placing an importance on technology, or applied science. Powerful leaders of nation-states funded scientific development.
  4. d) Renaissance / birth of knowledge. During this period, Human interest in the classical world increased. Renaissance time made people to develop interest in research/ learning.
  5. e) The need to solve their daily life problems like shortages, disease etc. necessity is the mother of all inventions.
  6. f) Financial support for governments and individuals. Governments and individuals financed scientific research.
  7. g) Religion failed to answer all questions. This sometimes betrayed man’s belief in

supernatural power thus emphasizing research.

Scientific inventions.

Scientific inventions have roots in the ancient civilization in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, China and India. Early inventions were witnessed in the field of medicine, astronomy, agriculture, medicine and mathematics as follows;

  1. a) The Egyptians discovered geometry which they used on farms. They discovered dead body preservation method (mummification). Build pyramids for their pharaohs using knowledge in mathematics.
  2. b) Greeks like Pythagoras contributed to mathematics, especially the right angled triangle as early as 200BC, Euclid did some work in geometry. Archimedes discovered how the lever works. Ptolemy is remembered for geographical work especially production of the Atlas.
  3. c) The Chinese made cloth from silk and developed acupuncture skills. They invented paper making in 70 AD. They made gunpowder and the calendar.
  4. d) The Indians invented the decimal system in mathematics.
  5. e) The Muslim Arabs developed the art of architecture as evidenced by the construction of unique mosques.

Period   Inventor and invention

1473-1543  Nicolas Copernicus a polish astronomer. He discovered that Celestial bodies possess uniform, circular motion around a central point.

1564 – 1642   Galileo Galilei. In 1609 the Italian mathematician invented the telescope and observed the universe.  He accepted Copernican astronomy and the implicit necessity of a ‘new’ physics to replace Aristotelian mechanics.

1571 – 1630   Johannes Kepler.  Used Brahe’s data to confirm that the sun was the center of the universe and the earth and other planets revolved around it.1642 – 1727   Sir Isaac Newton). He explained theories of motion and inertia with the force of gravity. Newton also described the composition of light.

1743-1794 Antoine Lavoisier, a Frenchman. He showed that air was made of hydrogen and oxygen elements.

He stated that chemical substances comprised different elements.

1766-1844 John Dalton, an English Teacher was the founder of modern chemistry and is famous for the atomic theory “all matter is made up of tiny particles called atoms.”

1706-1790 Benjamin Franklin (USA) he stated that lightning was a form of electricity. He came up with the theory of electricity and  invented the lightning rod.

1791 – 1867   Michael Faraday creates the electric motor, and develops an understanding of electromagnetic induction, which provides evidence that electricity and magnetism are related. In 1831, he invented the electric dynamo, a machine which produced electricity from a magnet.

1799 – 1878   Joseph Henry’s research on electromagnetic induction is performed at the same time as Faraday’s. He constructs the first motor; his work with electromagnets leads directly to the development of the telegraph.

Impact of scientific inventions

Impact of scientific inventions on agriculture

  1. a) Food production has been increased thanks to the use of farm machinery, fertilizers, pest

1831-1979  James Clerk Maxwell pointed out that acceleration of electric charges emitted electromagnetic radiation. The ideas underlying Maxwell’s theories of electromagnetism describe the propagation of light waves in a vacuum.

1787-1854  . In 1827, George Simon Ohm determined that the current that flows through a wire is proportional to its cross sectional area and inversely proportional to its length or Ohm’s law.

1876  Nicolaus Otto, A German traveling salesman named constructed the first practical internal combustion engine; it used a four stroke cycle of a piston to draw a fuel-air mixture into a cylinder, compress it, mechanically capture energy after ignition, and expel the exhaust before

beginning the cycle anew.

1847-1869  Alexander Graham Bell, In 1876, at the age of 29, invented his telephone.

1701  Tull, Jethro invented a horse-drawn seed drill.

1764  Water frame invented by Richard Arkwright – the first powered textile machine.

1888-1946  John Logie Baird is remembered as the inventor of mechanical television (an earlier version of television). Baird also patented inventions related to radar and fiber optics.


Robert Bakewell produces Leicester sheep through selective breeding methods. In 1769, Bakewell breeds Longhorn cattle through selective breeding

1786  Andrew Meikle, a Scottish engineer, develops threshing machine

1831  Cyrus McCormick invents the first commercially successful horse-drawn reaper for harvesting wheat

1837  John Deere develops and manufactures the first commercially successful cast -steel plough

1831 – 1860s  John Fowler pioneers the use of engines for ploughing and drainage channels

1879  Anna Baldwin patents a milking machine—a vacuum device connected to a hand pump—to replace hand milking. Invention receives a patent but not commercially successful.

1842  The first grain elevator is built by Joseph Dart in the U.S.

1850  Edward Quincy invents the corn picker

1764  Spinning jenny invented by James Hargreaves – the first machine to improve upon the spinning wheel.

1733 Flying shuttle invented by John Kay – an improvement to looms that enabled weavers to weave faster.

1779 Crompton invented the spinning mule that allowed for greater control over the weaving process.

1785  Cartwright patented the power loom. It was improved upon by William Horrocks, known for his invention of the variable speed batton in 1813.

1847 -1931  Thomas Alva Edison is Most famous for his invention of the electric incandescent light bulb.

1853 – 1937  Elihu Thomson.  His experiments eventually led to the adoption of alternating current technology.

1913  Robert Adler. He is Most famous for his invention of the wireless TV remote control.

1856 -1943  Nikola Tesla is  Recognized as one of the outstanding pioneers in the electric power field

1765-1825 Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1794. The cotton gin is a machine that separates seeds, hulls and other unwanted materials from cotton after it has been picked.

1895   Wilhelm Röntgen discovers x rays.

1898   Marie and Pierre Curie separate radioactive elements.

1898   Joseph Thompson measures the electron, and puts forth his “plum-pudding” model of the atom — that the atom is a slightly positive sphere with small, raisin -like negative electrons inside.

and control methods and scientific breeding. Hybrid seeds have been developed together with new animal breeds.

  1. b) Scientific inventions have stimulated scientific research in the field of agriculture. This is done in schools, agricultural institutes and colleges.
  2. c) Farming of perishable foods has been made possible due to invention of preservation methods for foods like canning and refrigeration.
  3. d) Increased food production has led to increase in population. There is increased food security. There is also increased trade.
  4. e) Biotechnology has contributed to diversification of agriculture leading to greater crop and animal production.
  5. f) Farming has been revolutionized from small-scale subsistence farming to large –scale economic activity due to mechanization on farms

Negative impacts of scientific inventions on agriculture.

  1. a) The consumption of chemically –treated and stored food has raised concern for food related disease such as cancer and heart diseases
  2. b) Use of pesticides and fertilizers sometimes poses the challenges of cost. Some pesticides are toxic and therefore harmful to humans and animals.
  3. c) Consistence use of fertilizers impoverishes the soil fertility. The more the fertilizer is used the more the soil becomes infertile.
  4. d) Traditional crops are being threatened by biotechnology and development of hybrids.

Impact of scientific inventions on industry.

  1. a) Large quantities of goods can be produced due to scientific inventions. This has led to enjoyment of economies of scale.
  2. b) Efficient sources of energy necessary for industrial production have been developed. New forms of energy such as nuclear, solar and electricity have been invented.
  3. c) Improvements in transport and communication have stimulated industrial development.

Movement of labour, raw materials and manufactured goods is efficient.

  1. d) There has been increased exploitation of resources like factories, fisheries, minerals etc as factories yearn for raw materials due to increased production.
  2. e) The large scale manufacture of goods has led to growth of trade. This in turn has created wealth for industrialized nations.
  3. f) Space exploration has been enhanced through science. Satellites are used in photographing of the earth’s surface and in weather research.
  4. g) Science has revolutionized military technology. Dangerous weapons have been


  1. h) There is faster dissemination and spread of ideas or knowledge and skills due to

development of printing press, and internet development.

  1. i) Industries have created job opportunities. Exploitation of mineral deposits has created employment.

Negative impact of scientific inventions on industry

  1. a) Scientific inventions in industry have led to industrial wastes and pollutants that contribute to environmental pollution. Smoke pollutes the air, machines cause noise pollution etc.
  2. b) Human life has suffered unnecessarily due to development of war weapons and accidents on roads and aeroplanes.
  3. c) Many people have been rendered unemployed due to development of machines.

Impact of scientific inventions on medicine

  1. a) Discovery of various medicines to treat both animals and human diseases has boosted both curative and preventive measures in promoting health.
  2. b) Improved nutrition has reduced the number of disease that kills man. Population has there increased as a result of reduced death rate.
  3. c) Proper diagnosis of disease is now possible with the use of x-rays and other modern scientific methods. With accurate diagnosis, proper treatment can be given.
  4. d) The manufacture of various drugs has been facilitated by scientific discoveries. Many companies produce drugs that prevent and cure diseases.

Factors undermining scientific revolution in third world countries

  1. a) Lack of enough funds for scientific research.
  2. b) High level of ignorance and illiteracy.
  3. c) The educational systems do not allow for development of inquisitive mind and development of interest in science. The system is not science oriented.
  4. d) The brain –drain; the few specialized scientists have migrated to areas with greener pastures like Europe and America.
  5. e) There is too much dependence on developed countries for nearly everything manufactured or scientifically produced.
  6. f) Lack of adequate support from the government. This is clear in the type of budgetary allocations to scientific research.

Measures that can be undertaken to promote scientific research in third world countries.

  1. a) Putting emphasis on the teaching of sciences in schools.
  2. b) Making available financial resources for scientific research.
  3. c) Emphasizing on competitions and congresses in schools and colleges.
  4. d) The government of Kenya has set up research institutions and centres of science and technology.
  5. e) Scientists have been trained locally and abroad on new knowledge in science and technology.
  6. f) International cooperation conferences in science, which bring scientists together, are organized and attended by Kenyan scientists.

Emergence of selected world industrial powers

United States of America.

This is the third largest nation in the world after Canada and China

Industrialization of the USA began in the mid 19th c and she had emerged as a major industrial power by mid 20th c. USA remains the only superpower in the world after collapse of USSR in 1990.

Factors influencing the industrialization of USA.

  1. a) Abundance of natural resources like iron ore, oil from the oilfields of Texas, copper and coal. There were also agricultural raw materials like cotton, corn, wheat and Tobacco plus forest resources which boosted industrial development.
  2. b) Good transport and communication. The USA government developed transport systems in the country. For example railway (opened in 1869), roads, and water transport. Electronic communication was also developed.
  3. c) Availability of both skilled and unskilled labour some of which came from the immigrant population. The American system of education gave room for acquisition of necessary skills.
  4. d) There were scientific and technological advances to support the industrial process especially by the Europeans who moved to USA. The education system also promoted research which further boosted industrialization.
  5. e) Foreign investments in the 19th c from countries like Britain led to industrial development.
  6. f) The high American population was a source of domestic market for her industrial products.

Her high quality products were also on high demand outside America.

  1. g) Enterprising citizens. The Americans were ready to venture into business. Some had good managerial skills. For example John Rockfeller ventured in the petroleum sector, Andrew Carnegie and James Hill in the steel and iron industry. Henry Ford in the mass production of cars.
  2. h) Long periods of political stability since her independence assured investors of security and thus paving way for industrialization.
  3. i) Availability of sources of energy like coal, petroleum, gas and HEP and later Atomic energy.
  4. j) The capitalism policy encouraged both local and external investors since it allowed private ownership of property.
  5. k) Government support. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945) and Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) provided capital to develop transport systems.
  6. l) The 1st and 2nd World wars. During the war period, European nations were unable to produce goods since they were busy fighting. This enabled USA to expand her market as she initially kept away from the war.


The unification of Germany took place in 1871 after which she began to emerge as an industrial power.

Emergence of Germany as an industrial power was aided as by the following factors.

  1. a) Establishment of the customs union, Zollverein. This linked the german states and removed trade barriers hence leading to free trade and economic growth in Germany. Transportation of goods and communication was eased by the customs union.
  2. b) Germany was rich in coal which was an important source of energy for the industries. HEP and Atomic energy was also produced o boost industrialization.
  3. c) Abundance of natural resources like water and minerals like iron ore from Alsace and Lorraine, coal, oil and copper which were vital industrial raw materials.
  4. d) The large Germany population was a source of both skilled and unskilled labour. The system of education also ensured availability of skilled labourers.
  5. e) There was also a large domestic market from the large population. Her products were also on high demand from the rest of Europe. For example, her vehicles (Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes Benz)
  6. f) Existence of good transport and communication networks of roads, railway and waterways. This ensured easy transportation of raw materials to factories and finished goods from industries to the market.
  7. g) Existence of long periods of political instability in Germany after unification in 1871 under the leadership of Otto Von Bismarck which ensured investor security.
  8. h) The availability of finance for industrial growth from the rich german citizens and from loans granted by USA in 1924. The Marshal Plan after 1945 was another source of finance.
  9. i) The existence of a hard working and enterprising people in Germany. For example, Krupp Meyer Thyssen who promoted the development of industries in steel. Egells and Harkoft Borsig made great contributions in the field of machinery.

German’s industrialization was however interrupted during the two world war periods. At the end of world war Germany was able to recover and progress in industrial development.

Factors which enabled Germany to recover after world war two.

  1. a) West Germany still had a high population which was an important resource in terms of labour. There were also a high number of immigrants from European countries like Turkey and Italy.
  2. b) The USA marshal Plan ensured that the required finance was available to assist her industries.
  3. c) Germany industries were not totally destroyed by the two wars.
  4. d) Industrial \unrests was not very common in Germany, and therefore, industrialization was not interrupted.
  5. e) Good leadership accelerated the industrialization process. Between 1949 and 1955, Germany chancellor Konrad Adenaur proved to be an able leader who encouraged industrial growth.


Japan is a nation that has achieved a great deal in industrialization. In the 18c, Japan was faced with civil wars. Later she made contacts with the west, through which her leaders realized that industrialization could strengthen Japan as a nation. Great strides towards industrialization were made during the reign of Emperor Meiji from 1896.

Factors that enabled Japan to emerge as an industrial power

  1. She had enterprising citizens who were hard working and determined. They are always ready to undertake risks in business. The national motto ‘just in time’ confirms their efficiency.
  2. The Long period of political stability especially after World War II has promoted industrialization.
  3. The role played by America in financing the industrialization process in Japan as a means of preventing her from falling under the influence of communists after world war II. This enabled Japan to build many industries in the post war period.
  4. Japan is a country whose industrial growth has never been slowed down by industrial disputes. The Japanese work for life. When one is employed in Japan, they put the interest of the employer first. This therefore reduces industrial disputes.
  5. The Japanese goods are always of high quality and affordable. For example the vehicles, thus ensuring a steady market both local and international.
  6. The Japanese education system is technically oriented ensuring production of skilled.

Unskilled manpower has been made availability thanks to the abolition of the policy of feudalism that enabled labourers to move from the farms to the industries.

  1. Japan has a well developed transport and communication network of railway, roads, water transport, large airports and electric trains. This has enabled improved transportation of raw materials to factories and manufactured goods to markets
  2. Existence of an industrial base. Before World War II, Japan had already attained a certain level of industrial development. Many industries were not completely destroyed during the war period. The industries were repaired after the war.
  3. Japan has a highly developed renewable hydro-electric power given the existence of large and fast flowing rivers.
  4. The government invited expatriates and deployed them to local industries. In 1870, a group of 100 Japanese were sent out to western European factories to learn.
  5. Geographical factors. The country’s terrain did not favour agriculture thus making industrialization the best option to improve her economy.
  6. The open investment policy encouraged the west to invest in her industrialization. The government encouraged foreign industrialists to plough back their capital and resources into the Japanese economy.

Industrialization in the third world countries.

The term ‘Third world’ refers to developing nations of Africa, Asia and South America.

Most of them are former colonies of European powers and there resources were used to develop the mother countries during the colonial period.

Reasons why many developing countries have lagged behind in industrialization.

  1. a) Long periods of colonization relegated them to the role of suppliers of raw materials and as markets for industrial goods from developed nations at the expense of their own industries.
  2. b) Poor transport and communication systems has undermined industrialization since raw materials and manufactured goods cannot be transported to their various destinations.
  3. c) Inadequate capital. Most of the third world countries have poor agricultural-based economies which cannot support meaningful industrialization.
  4. d) Poor technology. The use of appropriate technology in third world countries is lagging behind and this hampers exploitation of natural resources and manufacturing of goods.
  5. e) Many developing countries face stiff completion from the industrialized nations that produce high quality products and have an advanced marketing system for their goods.
  6. f) High levels of illiteracy among majority of the population in developing countries leads to lack of technical and scientific skills necessary for industrial take –off.
  7. g) The protectionist policies adopted by developing countries have discouraged private enterprises and foreign investment. Policies like nationalization and imposition of import duties discourage investors in many countries.
  8. h) High levels of poverty in third world countries mean low domestic market. Governments also spent most of their resources to provide for the basic needs of their citizens at the expense of industrialization.
  9. i) Many third world countries have been faced with political instability problem. This has hampered industrialization. There are numerous civil wars or cross-border conflicts in many countries.
  10. j) Third world countries often poor disaster management strategies. The devastating effects of natural disasters affect industrialization.
  11. k) Lack of skilled personnel. Many well trained people migrate to the developed nations in search of well paying jobs. Since independence however, some have made tremendous effort to industrialize. For example, South Africa, Brazil and India.


The fourth largest nation in the world after Canada, China and USA, she was colonized by Portugal and attained her independence in 1882. In the last 25 years, she has been able to expand and diversify production of manufactured goods.

Her industrialization has been in four main sectors namely;

  1. Petroleum and petrochemical industries. She has petrochemical complexes based in the states of Balica, Rio Grande, Dosul and Sao Paulo.
  2. Motor vehicle industry. The country has earned a lot of forex through the massive manufacture and sale of motor vehicles since 1997.
  3. Aircraft and aerospace industry. The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) and the National Institute of Space Research (NPE) have been involved in the Brazilian space programme which comprises the construction of satellites and launching of space craft.
  4. Electricity generation industry. The main source of Brazilian electric energy is water. In 1996, 92 % of all her electricity power generation was HEP.

Factors that have facilitated industrialization in Brazil

  1. a) Availability of Cheap and both skilled and unskilled labour from the country’s large population especially after the abolition of slave trade.
  2. b) Plentiful natural resources. For example mineral supplies like gold, coal, iron ore, uranium, and manganese etc, agricultural raw materials like coffee, sugarcane, cocoa and maize and forest resources are a great boost to industrialization
  3. c) Availability of hydro-electricity as early as 1905 to boost industrialization. Coal is also available.
  4. d) Foreign capital. There was heavy influx of foreign capital from countries such as the USA,Canada, Britain, Portugal and France which led to establishment of industries in the country.
  5. e) Improved transport and communication. Railway lines were constructed in most parts of Brazil thus opening the interior areas for the exploitation of natural resources and

transportation of manufactured goods.

  1. f) Good economic policies adopted by President Getulio Vargas (1930-1945) have contributed to industrialization in Brazil. He encouraged the development of transport and communication. He encouraged the harnessing of HEP. He Provided loans and subsidies to certain industries. Adopted protectionist policies of imposing heavy duties on imports. He encouraged exploitation of oil.
  2. g) Development of banking in major Brazilian cities such as Manaus, Salvador, Brasilia and Sao Paulo facilitated provision of loans to individuals who wanted to venture in business.
  3. h) Large Internal and external markets. Increased Trade between Brazil and other countries has led to growth of external market to supplement the available market locally.
  4. i) The World War II which made it hard for her to import goods from Europe thus compelling her to manufacture her own goods.

Obstacles to industrialization in Brazil.

  1. a) High levels of poverty (more than 40% of the population is poor) meaning low purchasing power. Governments also spent most of their resources to subsidize the basic needs of their citizens at the expense of industrialization.
  2. b) Inability to fully exploit her natural resources especially those found in low population

zones like the south where labour for exploitation is lacking.

  1. c) Huge foreign debt. A lot of money is being used to service these debts at the expense of industrialization.
  2. d) Poor technology. The use of appropriate technology for exploitation of natural resources and manufacturing of goods is still lagging behind in Brazil.
  3. e) Stiff completion from the industrialized nations like USA and Western Europe that produce high quality products and have an advanced marketing system for their goods.
  4. f) The resources of Brazil are monopolized by the multinational companies that are based there. The government therefore has no freedom to exploit them for use in industries.


She attained majority rule in 1994 after a long struggle against the apartheid regime. The country has achieved great strides in industrialization with many industries including iron and steel industries, engineering, locomotive, chemical, textile, cement, light industries and tourism

Factors influencing industrialization in South Africa

  1. a) The country is endowed with mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, Iron etc.
  2. b) Availability of Cheap and both skilled and unskilled labour from the country’s large population.
  3. c) Availability of natural resources. For example mineral supplies like gold, lead, iron ore, uranium, manganese, Zinc, Bauxite, Tin, Chromium, Tungsten, Phosphate etc. some of these resources are in plenty and are exported to earn forex.
  4. d) Development of hydro-electricity has boosted industrialization. Coal is also available from the Witwatersrand.
  5. e) Development of transport and communication. Railway lines, water and road network have been improved thus opening the resources for the exploitation and for transportation of manufactured goods. Air transport is also well developed thus enhancing business operations.
  6. f) Availability of capital from her trade in other materials.
  7. g) Government support. The government has adopted sound economic policies that promote industrialization. For example imposing heavy tariffs on the imported commodities as a means of protecting local industries, encouraging foreign entrepreneurs to invest in the country and encouraging local investors.
  8. h) South Africa is endowed with a variety of tourist attractions like wildlife which boost the tourism industry.
  9. i) Large Internal and external markets. Increased Trade between South Africa and other

countries especially after end of the apartheid rule has led to growth of external market to supplement the available market locally.

Challenges facing industrialization in South Africa.

  1. a) Long periods of apartheid rule was accompanied with sometimes violent resistance and struggle for majority rule which created an atmosphere not conducive for investment
  2. b) The country suffered long periods of economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations between 1948 and 1994 which affected her manufactured goods that could not access external markets.
  3. c) There were rampant industrial strikes in the country, during the apartheid regime which affected industrialization.
  4. d) The HIV and AIDS scourge has ravaged the country’s labour force thus seriously undermining the industrial efforts.
  5. e) There is stiff completion from the industrialized nations in Western Europe that produce high quality products and have an advanced marketing system for their goods.
  6. f) High levels of insecurity which, at times, discourages would-be foreign investors.
  7. g) High levels of poverty in South Africa mean low purchasing power. Manufactured goods perform poorly locally.


Since India’s independence from Britain in 1947, the country has continued to experience extensive industrialization

Factors that facilitated India’s industrialization.

  1. a) Existence of good industrial base from the textile and leather industries. The British governor Lord Dalhousie also laid a good foundation for industrialization by promoting road construction and cotton growing.
  2. b) Also cottage industries like smithing and textiles existed in India long before colonialism. This formed the basis for modern industries
  3. c) Availability of Cheap and both skilled and unskilled labour from the country’s large population which is almost at a billion mark
  4. d) Existence of raw materials. For example mineral supplies like iron ore, manganese and coal allowed development of heavy industries. Cotton was also available as a textile industry raw material
  5. e) Development of energy sources like coal and hydro-electricity has boosted industrialization. Other sources of energy include oil, natural gas and nuclear energy..
  6. f) Development of transport and communication. The great trunk road from Calcutta to Punjab and sea transport development has led to resource exploitation and transportation of manufactured goods. Communication services have also been greatly improved.
  7. g) Good technical and scientific education available in India has produced experts who are in great demand in industry and agriculture.
  8. h) Availability of capital from her trading contacts with European countries like Portugal, Britain, France and Holland.
  9. i) Good national development plans. In the first five-year development plan of 1951, the government adopted sound economic policies that prioritized agriculture especially modern farming. The second phase emphasized industrialization, especially decentralization if industries to high population areas where labour and market existed.
  10. j) The government has imposed protective tariffs on the imported commodities as a means of protecting local industries.
  11. k) Political stability. India has enjoyed a long period of political stability since her independence thus giving investors’ confidence.
  12. l) Development of banking in India has enabled farmers and industrialists to access credit facilities.

Challenges facing industrialization in India

  1. a) Competition from goods manufactured in the developed countries; the developed nations produce goods of high quality than those manufactured by the Indian industries.
  2. b) High population in India requires that the government spare enough capital to feed the people. The government spends a lot of revenue in developing agriculture to feed her people.
  3. c) High poverty levels i.e. majority of the Indian population is poor and do not have adequate purchasing power for her manufactured goods/ the local market is therefore limited.
  4. d) Lack of efficient communication and transportation infrastructure hence poor movement of goods and labour.
  5. e) Natural calamities e.g. drought and floods that destroy raw materials for industries.
  6. f) Political conflicts e.g. with neighboring Pakistan, and the civil unrest hinders industrial development.


This is the process by which people are attracted to live in towns or large settlements.

An urban centre is any area with a human population of 20,000 people or more.

Early Urbanization.

Some of the early urban centres in Africa included Cairo, Meroe/Merowe and Kilwa.

Factors that influenced development of urban centres in Africa.

  1. a) Existence of transport routes-Meroe/Merowe located at an intersection of transport routes.
  2. b) Availability of water for irrigation which increased food production and influenced growth of towns e.g. Cairo.
  3. c) Industrial development –areas of industries grew up as towns since they attracted laborers e.g. Cairo.
  4. d) Commercial activities like trade-location along trade routes.
  5. e) Strategic location which ensured security and thus ample growth e.g. Kilwa.
  6. f) Growth of religion –some grew rapidly because they were religious centres.
  7. g) Mining –led to development of towns’ e.g. Meroe, Johannesburg.


This is the capital city of Egypt. The city was founded in 969 AD when the conquerors from Tunisia, ‘The Fatimid Dynasty’ invaded and conquered Egypt

Factors for the growth of Cairo

  1. a) The Nile River provided water for domestic use and was also a means of transport. This enabled Cairo to grow.
  2. b) Availability of water for irrigation which increased food production and influenced growth of Cairo.
  3. c) Industrial development –various industries developed in Cairo. Food processing industries and construction works. The industries attracted migrants from rural areas.
  4. d) Fertile Nile Valley. the Valley had adequate rainfall and the river always carried silt which it deposited downstream to provide
  5. e) The Suez Canal which was opened in 1869 opened a new trade route which encouraged the arrival of thousands of Europeans. Commercial, administrative and public buildings were constructed during this time.
  6. f) Commercial activities like trade-location along trade routes. The Strategic location along the Nile attracted caravans which would pass through Cairo from North, west and Central Africa
  7. g) The opening of the Aswan High Dam in 1902 enhanced food production through irrigation thus influencing Cairo’s growth.
  8. h) The effects of the two world wars which disrupted Egypt’s trade with other countries thus compelling her to find ways of substituting imports. This boosted industrialization
  9. i) Cairo is a cultural centre being home to treasures preserved from the early Egyptian civilization and Islamic culture in their museums. ‘The city of a thousand Minarets’.
  10. j) Cairo also grew as a centre of education and medicine. Several institutions of higher learning such as the University of Cairo, American University and Azar University contributed to this.

Functions of Cairo

  1. a) It was a national capital and a political centre of the Arab world.
  2. b) It serves as the transport and commercial centre of North Africa and the Middle East.
  3. c) It is a recreational centre housing many recreational facilities like stadiums and entertainment halls
  4. d) Cairo has been a historical centre being the house to the Egyptian civilization for over 5000 years
  5. e) Cairo serves as an industrial centre. Many of these developed during the industrialization process. For example, textile, vehicle and communication equipment assembly plants.

Cairo faces the following problems today;

  1. a) High population. Cairo is the largest city in Africa and the Middle East. One fifth of Egypt’s population stays in Cairo. In 1988, her population was 11 million.
  2. b) Scarcity of food. The high population in the city has caused food shortage.
  3. c) The number of unemployed people in Cairo is increasing every year mainly due to the high rate of migration to the city and the natural population increase.
  4. d) Housing problems. Between the Nile and the main airport, between 250,000 to 900,000 poor people have put up shanties. This area is commonly reffered to as the ‘city of Death’.
  5. e) Traffic jams.
  6. f) Pollution from the industries, vehicle exhaust, desert storms and garbage burning.
  7. g) High crime rate. This is mostly due to the high unemployment level

Solutions to the problems facing Cairo.

  1. a) The food shortage problem is being tackled through reclaiming land for agriculture. The Aswan high Dam provides water for irrigation.
  2. b) The housing problem is being addressed by constructing industries in the suburbs to reduce the population in the city.
  3. c) Traffic jams have been eased through the launching of the Cairo Metro in 1987, which was Africa’s first subway system, which serves the Ramses station to the north and Helwan area to the south. It conveys 60,000 passengers per hour.


This was the second capital of the kingdom of Kush and emerged as a city in 650 BC. It rose to become an important industrial centre and specifically iron working producing weapons, hunting and farming tools.

Factors for growth of Meroe.

  1. a) Existence of transport routes-Meroe/Merowe was located at an intersection of transport routes (from east via the red sea and from north via Egypt). This promoted trade with other parts of the world.
  2. b) Abundance of wood fuel, from the heavily forested Blue Nile / white Nile intersection area, which was a key to the prosperity of the iron-working industry.
  3. c) Mining –Merowe was located in a region endowed with a lot of iron.

Social effects of the growth of Merowe

  1. a) The Merotic language developed to replace the Egyptian language previously used by the Nubian founders of Merowe.
  2. b) New architectural developments took place in the region. These were characterized by tombs where rulers were buried after death, ruins of temples, palaces and homes.
  3. c) Other industries developed besides the iron working industry. For example, weaving of cotton, cloth and pottery

Functions of Meroe during the colonial period

  1. a) Meroe was a centre of iron working hence an early industrial centre.
  2. b) A mining centre since Meroe had iron ore, which it mined.
  3. c) A religious function since it had many temples where people worshipped their gods. The priests who headed the Meroe church had their headquarters in Meroe.
  4. d) It was a centre of trade.
  5. e) It was an administrative and political centre.
  6. f) Transport centre-major trade routes converged and radiated from Meroe.

Factors that led to decline of Merowe

  1. a) The rise of Axum kingdom of Ethiopia which denied her access to the red sea.
  2. b) The increasing desertification of the region, perhaps due to the rapid deforestation.

The city began declining in 350 BC.


The town is among the city states that developed along the east African coast. Her greatness was due to the Persian influence. One of its Shirazi rulers from Banadir Coast in Persia, Ali Ibn Hassan, transformed the town into a large city.The sultan erected a stone citadel to protect the island from external enemies. He also forced other conquered city-states to pay tribute to Kilwa.Later on Sultan al-Hassan Ibn Sulaiman I built the Great mosque of Kilwa in 1270 AD and a luxurious palace referred to by historians as Husuni Kubwa.

Factors influencing the growth of Kilwa

  1. a) Exemplary leadership provided by the Shirazi Leaders who kept enemies off and forced the neighbouring city-states to pay tribute to Kilwa.
  2. b) The strategic location of Kilwa enabled her to attract merchants as it was a convenient stopping place.
  3. c) Monopoly of the sofala Gold Trade. The control of the Sofala Gold trade had fallen in the hands of Kilwa by 1300 AD
  4. d) The gleaming buildings of Kilwa such as the great Mosque and palace made her the Jewel of the Zenj Coast, minting her own coins to add to her prosperity.. the mosque became a tourist attraction later own

Functions of Kilwa.

  1. a) It was a major trading centre flourishing mainly due to the gold trade.
  2. b) It was a major defence centre since it was heavily fortified against external aggression by a stone citadel.
  3. c) It was a religious centre. Mosques for Islamic worship were located at Kilwa e.g the great mosque.
  4. d) It was an administrative centre which housed palaces for the rulers and other rich people.However 14th C AD, Kilwa’s prosperity began to decline due to the following reasons.

Factors that led to the decline of Kilwa.

  1. a) Disruption of the Gold trade/ civil wars among communities.
  2. b) Dynastic rivalries/ family feuds.
  3. c) Series of rebellions among some of the towns.
  4. d) Conquest by the Portuguese who even burnt the towns.

Factors that led to the collapse of early urban centres in pre-colonial Africa

  1. a) Collapse of state system and kingdoms for example Kush collapse and the coastal city states.
  2. b) Collapse of trade and their economic systems e.g. the trans-Saharan trade and long distance trade.
  3. c) Collapse of Arab influence I east Africa and east Africa.
  4. d) Impact of Portuguese conquest leading to destruction of towns like manda and decline of others.
  5. e) Introduction of new types of trade e.g. legitimate trade which replaced slave trade.
  6. f) European colonization brought in a new social political and economic order.
  7. g) Exhaustion of mineral resources e.g. gold as in case of sofala and Kilwa as well as Meroe. Some minerals lost value.
  8. h) Changes in transport routes as new roads by-passed some towns thus diverting trade to other centres e.g. Timbuktu
  9. i) As a result of stiff competition, some towns dwindled as others expanded.

Early urban centres in Europe


This is one of the early states in ancient Greece that flourished after the Persian wars of between 490-480 BC.Athens developed from a farming settlement situated in a defensive site. It had many beautiful buildings such as the Parthenon (a large temple built between 460 and 430 BC in honour of Athena, the goddess of Athens). The acropolis was the highest part of the town.Athens had narrow streets and some of its houses were made of unbaked bricks or mud and thatched roofs.There were frequent outbreaks of diseases due to poor sanitation.The concept of democracy first developed in Athens. At the centre of the city was a market, Agora, which was used as an assembly hall for debates.Athenians were divided into four classes.

  1. a) First class –the richest that were the most heavily taxed.
  2. b) Second class- provided the cavalry for the army.
  3. c) Third class- provided the soldiers for the infantry.
  4. d) The fourth class- the poorest and who paid no taxes.

Athens began to decline due to the Peloponnesian wars (431-404 BC). It was finally crushed in 338 BC by Phillip of Macedonia.Currently Athens is the capital of Greece with a population of 4 million.

Factors that led to growth of Athens.

  1. a) Trade and commerce. Their soils of the surrounding areas were infertile and, therefore could not support agriculture. The Athenians therefore resorted to trade to obtain foods in exchange for wine, wool and olive oil.
  2. b) Athens was located in an easily defensible place. The town was surrounded by water, valleys and highlands making it difficult for an external enemy to attack.
  3. c) Religious activities. The area was a worship centre. People coming to the Parthenon temple contributed to the growth of the town.
  4. d) Accessibility and communication network. The port of Athens was located about six kilometres from the city thus making Athens a transport centre.
  5. e) Availability of water.

Functions of Athens.

  1. a) It was a cultural centre. The Greeks loved to watch play. In Athens, there was the great theatre of Epidaurus.
  2. b) An educational centre. In Athens, every person was taught how to read and write. Athens became a centre of scholarly work producing great thinkers like Socrates, Plato, Pythagoras, Archimedes and Aristotle.
  3. c) Athens was a sports centre. There were Gymnasiums where boys were taught games which were developed into what came to be known as Olympics.
  4. d) Religious centre. The Parthenon temple was a great manifestation of this function. People coming to the Parthenon temple contributed to the growth of the town.


The capital city of England, it is situated on the estuary of the river Thames. Its name is derived from the name Llyn Dun which means ‘Celtic Lake Fort’.  The town developed during the Roman rule in Britain in A.D 43.By 314 AD London had become an early centre of Christianity.In 1381, the city was adversely affected by a serious peasant, revolt that led to massive destruction of property.By 18th c, London had emerged as an elegant city though however also with numerous urban related problems. In 1890, it hosted the world’s first electric train.

Factors influencing growth of London

  1. a) Trade-money obtained from trading was used to build the city.
  2. b) Industrialization-industry such as textile, ship building, metal works, etc led to the growth of London.
  3. c) Improved transport –London is well served by a network of railway and roads. This facilitated the movement of goods and people.
  4. d) Shipping activities-there are many harbours in London enabling expanded loading and unloading activities
  5. e) Population growth.
  6. f) London was the seat of government for a very long time.

Functions of London

  1. a) It was a transport and communication centre. The city was inter-connected with roads which served various parts of Britain. The city houses the main international airports on UK. E.g. Heathrow- the busiest airport in the world.
  2. b) It is a political and administrative capital with offices for the Prime Minister and cabinet. The Monarchical offices are also located here.
  3. c) It is a commercial centre. Many financial institutions such as banks and other commercial and trading activities attract a lot of traders.
  4. d) An industrial centre. London was an early centre of the textile industry. There are light service industries in the city.
  5. e) It is an educational centre, housing institutions like the oxford university, the University of London, founded in 1836, etc.
  6. f) London is a historical centre. The city has theatres for the performance of cultural activities and museums which display artefacts of Historical importance.

Problems of London

Like many large cities worldwide, London has its share of problems:

  1. a) Overcrowding,
  2. b) Unemployment has continued to increase with the growing population. In 1988, for example, nearly 1 in 8 people were unemployed throughout London and the situation in the inner city was worst
  3. c) Poor housing and homelessness. This has led to development of slums.
  4. d) Transportation is another problem. However, an excellent public system has helped to alleviate this.
  5. e) Air pollution continues to be a major challenge.
  6. f) Rural-urban migration by the job seekers causing overcrowding in the city.
  7. g) This was a greater problem in London in the initial stages.

Modern cities in Africa.


Nairobi developed as a depot and camp for the railway workers during the construction of the kenya-Uganda railway

Factors influencing the growth of Nairobi

  1. a) Excellent location in an area almost midway between Mombasa and Lake Victoria.
  2. b) There was adequate supply of water.
  3. c) The land was suitable for construction of workshops as it was flat.
  4. d) The climate was suitable for Europeans. Cool temperatures at an altitude of 1700m.
  5. e) It was surrounded by a fertile countryside producing adequate foods.
  6. f) Transfer of the seat of the colonial government in 1907.

Functions of Nairobi.

  1. g) It was a transport and communication centre. The city is inter-connected with roads which served various parts of the country. The city houses the main international airport- JKIA.
  2. h) It is an administrative capital with offices for the head of state, cabinet, parliament and department of defence.
  3. i) It is a regional headquarter of various international bodies like UN, ILO etc.
  4. j) It is a commercial and financial centre. Many financial institutions such as banks and other commercial and trading activities attract a lot of traders.
  5. k) An industrial centre. Nairobi’s industrial area hosts many key industries in Kenya and east Africa.
  6. l) It is an educational centre, housing institutions like the University of Nairobi, kenya polytechnic and other key institutions
  7. m) It is a tourist centre. The town boasts of various tourist attractions such as the Nairobi National Park, National Museums etc.

Problems facing Nairobi

  1. a) Rural-urban migration by the job seekers causing overcrowding in the city.
  2. b) Unemployment has continued to increase with the growing population.
  3. c) Poor housing. The population growth in Nairobi to 3 million has not corresponded to the development of housing.
  4. d) Inadequate social services including health services and educational facilities.
  5. e) Congestion on roads caused by an increase in the number of vehicles on the roads while the road network is not expanding.
  6. f) Poor town planning has led to poor drainage, especially during heavy rains when a lot of flooding occurs
  7. g) Pollution continues to be a major challenge in Nairobi. The factories located in the city are a cause of air and noise pollution.
  8. h) Water shortage caused by the high rate of expansion in the town and the depletion odf water reservoirs.
  9. i) The rate of HIV/AIDS infection is very high.

Solutions to these problems

  1. a) New housing projects are being developed. For example the Mathare slums upgrading project.
  2. b) The education and other social services are being provided through a cost-sharing scheme between the government and the town dwellers.
  3. c) The government is addressing the transport/congestion problem through the upgrading of the Thika superhighway to an eight lane highway; the Nairobi Syokimau Railway service was commissioned by president Kibaki I November 2012 to de-congest jogoo road. Etc.
  4. d) The government is encouraging the expansion of the informal sector as an alternative source of employment.
  5. e) The government is rehabilitating street families by taking them to school s to acquire relevant skills to make them useful to the nation.
  6. f) New water projects have been put in place. For example, the third Nairobi water Project from River Chania.
  7. g) The government is sensitizing, through NGOs and GOs, civilians about responsible sex as a measure to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.


The city started as a mining camp in 1886 after the discovery of gold in the Witwate-rsrand. This attracted thousands of people coming to prospect for minerals and seek for employment. By the end of 19thc, the population of Johannesburg had risen to 166,000 people.

Factors which contributed to the growth of Johannesburg

  1. a) Existence of minerals/discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand which resulted in a rush of people to the area.
  2. b) Availability of energy i.e. coal which was an important source of energy to the mines, industries and homes.
  3. c) Excellent location in the veldt/plain making construction work easy.
  4. d) Its proximity to Vaal River which supplied plenty of water to industries and domestic use.
  5. e) Area around Johannesburg is fertile and therefore agriculturally productive ensuring steady supply of food.
  6. f) The organization of the city council which has ensured that financial control and revenue collection is effectively and the city able to manage its growth problems.
  7. g) Government policy of supporting industrial development. This has favored its growth.

Functions of Johannesburg.

  1. a) It was a transport and communication centre. The city has a highly develope d network of transport lines since it served the mining industry. In June 2010, it became the first city in Africa to house an electric train service.
  2. b) An industrial centre. Its manufacturing functions include mining, metalwork, engineering, diamond cutting, jewellery manufacturing and food processing.
  3. c) It is a commercial and financial centre. Many financial institutions such as banks and other commercial and trading activities attract a lot of traders. It is also a major shopping centre in South Africa.
  4. d) It is an educational centre, housing institutions like the University of Witwatersrand, teacher training colleges and other key institutions.

Problems facing Johannesburg

  1. a) The problem of racial segregation. The black Africans who work around Johannesburg were often treated almost as slaves though they were the majority in the country.
  2. b) Poor housing. Most of the workers who work in and around Johannesburg live in shanties, mainly because of underpayment
  3. c) Unemployment has continued to increase with the growing population. Though the city is an industrial town, her industries have failed to provide sufficient employment for all people in the town.
  4. d) Rural-urban migration by the job seekers causing overcrowding in the city.
  5. e) A large gap between the affluent class, especially the Europeans and the poor people who majorly are African
  6. f) Congestion on roads caused by an increase in the number of vehicles on the roads while the road network is not expanding.
  7. g) The city has the highest crime rate in the world.
  8. h) Inadequate social services including health services and educational facilities.
  9. i) Water shortage caused by the high rate of expansion in the town and the depletion ofwater reservoirs.
  10. j) The rate of HIV/AIDS infection is very high.

Solutions to the problems

  1. a) The apartheid regime was ended in 1994 thus ending the problem of racial segregation.
  2. b) The new government of South Africa is trying to come up with better housing estates.
  3. c) Crime has been contained by creating more job opportunities.
  4. d) The government is sensitizing, through NGOs and GOs, civilians about responsible sex as a measure to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS

Impact of agrarian development on urbanization in Africa

  1. a) The practice of agriculture forced people to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. Such settlement formed the basis of the earliest urban centres.
  2. b) Early agriculture led to specialization. The areas where the potters, iron smelters weavers and fishermen did their work grew up into urban centres
  3. c) From the agrarian revolution, there was adequate food for town dwellers.

On urbanization in Europe

  1. a) The revolution in Europe led to a landless society who moved to urban centres seeking employment. This promoted urban growth.
  2. b) Increased agricultural production ensured steady supply of raw materials to the new industries hence further growth of the industries.
  3. c) Agricultural expansion meant the big farmers had to borrow loans hence the expansion of banking facilities in towns leading to further growth.
  4. d) Agricultural produce entering and leaving countries had to be handled in ports hence towns near coasts grew.

Impacts of industrial revolution on urbanization in the world.

  1. a) The establishment of many factories drew many people to towns in search of employment, the mining industry attracted many people to work in the mines. The mining camps soon grew up into towns.
  2. b) Industrial revolution stimulated innovations in transport and communication ensuring faster movement of people to further expansion of trading towns.
  3. c) The growth of industry has led to expansion of port towns to handle increased

manufactured goods for export and raw material for factories e.g. growth of London, Budapest, Marseilles, Lagos and Cairo.

  1. d) The use of machines replaced human labour and caused layoffs. Those who lost their jabs sometimes became a security risk hence an increase in crime.
  2. e) The many inefficient factories that came up after the revolution have caused massive air and water pollution.
  3. f) Rural urban migration has exerted pressure on the limited resources and services the towns can offer.

Consequences of urbanization on European communities during the 19th c.

  1. a) Rural –urban migration by Africans looking for better opportunities led to increased crime levels and insecurity for the Europeans.
  2. b) Air pollution which also affected them.
  3. c) Creation of employment for the Europeans in the developing industries.
  4. d) Creation of markets for agricultural produce due to increased urban population.
  5. e) Europeans were deprived of cheap African labour as most of them moved to urban areas.


Despite the high amount of decentralization of African communities in the 19th c , there existed a few who were centralized. For example, Buganda, Ethiopia, Buganda, Asante, Mandinka, Ndebele and shona among others.

The Baganda

These were a Bantu speaking people of the Buganda kingdom in Uganda. The Buganda Chiefdom had emerged as early as 140 AD as a subject state of Bunyoro- Kitara Kingdom

Origin of Buganda kingdom

The kingdom was crystallized around the counties of busiro, kyadondo and mawakota.

Traditions also state that the first king and creator of Buganda kingdom was Kintu who came from the east around Mount Elgon region. It is believed he entered Buganda with 13 clans. Other theories attribute Buganda’s origin to the Luo. That Kimera Kato, a brother of Isingoma Rukidi Mpunga the founder of the luo-babito dynasty in Bunyoro was the founder of Buganda.It is also probable that Buganda might have been one of the many kingdoms founded by the bachwezi- the demi-gods.Other clans of Buganda are believed to have come from the ssese islands.

Factors that led to the growth of a strong Buganda Kingdom

  1. a) Good strong and able leaders like Kkyabagu, junju and Suna etc. who propelled it to prosperity by uniting the people and restructuring the existing administration system.
  2. b) Buganda Was small and a compact kingdom and therefore easy to manage. Other kingdoms like Bunyoro-Kitara were too large with a class system.
  3. c) Its strategic location in a defensible position in the lake region was of great advantage over her rivals Toro and Bunyoro. She lay next to Lake Victoria giving her defence, communication and transport advantage. On the east were small states of Toro and Ankole who posed no threat.
  4. d) Good climate and fertile soils in the region. This enabled successful growing of Bananas, their staple crop.
  5. e) The contacts with the Waswahili enabled her to gain riches and weapons/guns.
  6. f) The kingdom had a strong loyal army to defend it from her warring neighbors. The Kabaka even possessed a royal navy that kept guard over Lake Victoria.
  7. g) Existence of a centralized government making the kingdom cohesive.
  8. h) The ganda traditions allowing the kabaka to marry from every clan as means of ensuring unity.
  9. i) System of labour organization. The tradition demanded that farming be done by women while the men were involved in other activities such as politics, carpentry, war, bark cloth making and smithing
  10. j) The wars of conquest which finally led to her expansion.

How Buganda kingdom was governed.

Buganda kingdom had a highly centralized monarchy under the kabaka who enjoyed absolute powers. His position was hereditary. The Kabaka’s Court was the nerve centre of the Baganda community. All symbols of Royal authority were kept in the court. E.g. the throne (Namulondo), royal Drums, spears and stools.  The kabaka was the political leader of the Baganda kingdom. He was the Head of the traditional religion –lubale/ he was the chief priest. He was the judicial head and the final court of appeal/he was the supreme judge. The was the commander-in- -chief of the armed forces.He appointed senior government officials and dismissed them when need arose. He controlled trade.

The capital of the kingdom was at Mengo, where the palace, Lubiri, was situated.

The kabaka appointed senior government officials and dismissed them when need arose. Forexample, he appointed the katikiro, omulamuzi and omuwanika i.e. prime minister, chief justice and treasurer respectively who assisted him in administration. He also appointed mugema (the senior most chief among the Bataka), Musenero (the chief Butler) and Mfumbiro (the chief baker).The katikiro was in charge of organizing tax collecting and public works. He planned wars in the Kabaka’s name. He had to protect the kabaka during war. He was responsible of informing the kabaka of the decisions he made on court issues. Below him were omulamuzi (chief justice) and omuwanika (treasurer) who were directly responsible to the kabaka.The Bataka were minor chiefs in charge of clans, guarded land, collected taxes, carried out conscription to the army and presented the page boys to the kabaka.Peasants served under chief and were to fight in wars. Slaves (badus) served the king chiefs in their homesteads. Pages and bagalagala (sons of chiefs and other nobles) served the kabaka too.To ensure unity the kabaka married from principal clans.There was a Lukiko which advised the kabaka and was the final court. It comprised 69 members who were nominated by the kabaka (positions were not hereditary). It made laws and debated issues concerning the kingdom. It also directed tax collection and planned expenditure, it acted as the final court of appeal, and it represented the needs of the people to the kabaka. It helped the kabaka in general administration. It checked the activities of government.

Political organization

The kingdom was divided into counties (Ssaza) and sub-counties. Each county was under Ssaza chiefs whose position was hereditary initially before the kabaka began to appoint them as a means of making them accountable. Each Ssaza was divided into a gombolola headed by a gombolola chief, who maintained law and order and collected taxes. The gombololas were further divided into smaller sub-divisions called miluka each under a miluka chief. The miluka was divided into kisoko. The smallest administrative unit among the Baganda was the village council. The Abatongole appointed by the kabaka, governed the vassal states

Social organization of the Baganda

The kingdom was divided in social classes with the royal family occupying the top of the hierarchy, then ruling class, the chiefs who ruled over the peasants or commoners known as bakopi.At the bottom of the social class were the slaves (Badu) who were acquired mainly through raids on neighbouring communities such as Busoga, Toro and Bunyoro.

The Baganda believed in the existence of many gods some of whom included;

  1. a) Katonda, God the creator whose home was in heaven. The prayers to him were done every morning and were conducted by the head of the homestead.
  2. b) Kibuuka, God of war and thunder.
  3. c) Mukasa, goddess of fertility who was worshipped in order to bless the nation with more children, livestock and a bumper harvest.
  4. d) Kiwanuka, god of lightning.
  5. e) Nawagenyi, goddess of Drought.

The community also believed in the existence of ancestral spirits whose main responsibilitywas to maintain discipline in the clans since the spirits were believed to restrict their influence to close relatives. Balubaale were the spirits of people who had supernatural powers and were consulted through prophets or mediums.

The Baganda had religious leaders, led by the kabaka, then the mediums, prophets, and medicine people.There also existed sorcerers called Balopo who were feared since they could cause harm to people.The Baganda religion however was greatly undermined by the influx of the Waswahili and ArabMuslims into the community in the 19th c.

The Baganda society was polygamous. For example, the kabaka was required to marry from all clans to maintain links in the society.There was division of labour according to sex. Women tilled the land while men engaged in warfare, built houses, and made clothes from bark-cloth.As a form of rite of passage, the Baganda went through formal education that trained them in their rites.

Economic organization.

  1. a) Buganda’s economy was based on agriculture and the production of the staple food bananas (matoke).
  2. b) The baganda also kept large herds of livestock. The bahima herded Kabaka’s herds. From the livestock, they obtained milk and meat to supplement their diet.
  3. c) The baganda conducted raids on their neighbours like the Buddu, Busoga and Kyaggwe through which they acquired slaves, livestock and ivory.
  4. d) There was division of labour, women worked in fields while men were involved in construction of roads, bark cloth making, smithing and war.
  5. e) The kingdom was deeply involved in local, regional and international trade. They exchanged bark cloth and beans for cattle from their neighbours. She exchanged slaves and hides for guns, glassware and cotton cloth from coastal traders.
  6. f) The baganda practiced iron working, producing hoes for cultivation and weapons for defence. Some of these items formed their trade items. Rich iron deposits were also acquired by waging wars against their neighbours.
  7. g) Handcraft was an important activity and included basketry and pottery.
  8. h) The textile industry consisted of bark cloth manufacture.
  9. i) Salt mining was an important activity.
  10. j) Fishing on Lake Victoria
  11. k) The baganda also engaged in some hunting activities to acquire ivory.


The Shona were a Bantu-speaking people who comprised the Rozwi, Kore kore, Zezuru and Manyika sub-groups. The first stone buildings in Zimbabwe are believed to have been the work of the Shona. Their capital was at Mapungubwe, south of the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashi rivers.About 1450 AD, the Rozwi Groups gained dominance and established a centralized political system. They established the Mwene Mutapa Empire which ruled until the time of the Ngoni invasion in the 1830s.

Political organization of the Mwene Mutapa Empire

The emperor was the head of the state and government. Succession of authority was hereditary. Important emperors included Chikura, Nyatsimba, Mutota and Matope.

Religion played a role in government and united people. The emperor was a semi-divinereligious leader, a military leader and the chief priest. He was the only one who could communicate with the spirits of the ancestors. It was believed that when Mwene Mutapa died, he became a Mudzimu and automatically qualified to be worshipped as a national ancestral spirit.The ancestral spirits (Vadzimu) communicated people’s problems to god.Religion also influenced laws.The priests were used as spies and link between the emperor and the people.

Another unifying factor in the kingdom was the royal fire. It was from the continuous fire that each vassal chief carried a flame to his chiefdom that he kept burning as a symbol of national unity.The empire was divided into provinces namely Guruhaswa, Mbire, Utere, Banua, and Manyika each headed by a lesser chief. The most important chiefs in the empire sent their sons, with tribute in form of cattle, gold, slaves and ivory, each year to pay homage to the Mwene Mutapa as goodwill ambassadors.There was a standing army of warriors which was used for defence and expansion of the kingdom. Revenue from trade was used to run the army and sustain the empire.The position of importance held by Mwene Mutapa led to the creation of a complex Style of administration around him.

The government officials included the court steward, treasurer, commander-in-chief of the army and Mbokurumme (king’s sister-in-law). Others were the queen mother, the emperor’s sister and nine principal wives, the doorkeeper and the chief cook and head drummer. At the lower level were the lesser chiefs who paid tribute to the king by providing cattle, labour and agricultural produce.

Economic organization of the Shona.

The Shona country enjoyed ample rainfall with fertile soils thus enabling them to engage in the following economic activities;

  1. a) The Shona were mixed farmers who cultivated crops and reared animals. Among the agricultural produce were corn, millet, ground nuts, beans, watermelons, tomatoes, fruits and cabbages.
  2. b) The Shona practiced trade, specifically long distance trade between them and the Arabs and Waswahili at sofala. They gave Gold and ivory for cotton cloths, glassware, copper items, guns, daggers and knives.
  3. c) They were skillful hunters. They hunted elephants for their ivory which was in great demand. They also gathered wild honey and wild fruits to supplement their diet.
  4. d) The shona were skilled craftsmen who made articles like spears, hoes and knives. Others were goldsmiths who used gold to decorate. They also practiced cloth making from wild cotton and bark fibres.

Social organization of the Shona

Among the shona, Mwene Mutapa was regarded as a divine king and was therefore venerated. When he was well, the nation was also well.The shona religion was based on the Mwari cult. They believed in the all powerful God, Mwari/Murungu. His worship was done through several priests who were mainly produced by the Rozwi clan. The priests presided over religious functions in sacred places of worship, shrines where sacrifices were offered.The shona believed in ancestral spirits. They had two kinds of spirits, Vadzimu or family spirits and Mhondoro or clan spirits. The spirits communicated though an intermediary, Svikiro, a departed family or clan spirit.The shona had a national spirit Chamiruka who settled clan disputes and also protected the people against injustice in the government.The shona had a kinship system which was patrilineal (inheritance through the father). The shona were divided into clans whose names were coined from animals like leopard, monkey, elephant etc. it was a taboo to consume meat from such animals.They were a polygamous community which was viewed as a means to enable the family to have enough members to provide labour.The shona lived in stone buildings. Their skill in masonry is associated with the ruins of Mapungubwe found in Zimbabwe.

The Asante

The Asante are one of the Akan-speaking peoples who occupy the southern part of Ghana, west Africa. By the middle 18th c, the Asante/Ashanti had established the most dominant state in modern Ghana.

Origin of the Asante Kingdom

The empire Developed in the 1670’s. It was formed as a result of competition for gold fields in the Akan forestland. In the 1500’s: Akan peoples came into contact with Portuguese traders. Wealthy owners of the Akan gold mines begin to trade gold for Benin slaves with the Portuguese. In the 1670’s, Osei Tutu was a military leader and head of the Oyoko clan of the Akan peoplesTook control over a trade center near Kumasi and established this as his capital city. This happened after his maternal uncle Obiri Yeboa, the leader of the Oyoko clan was killed during war.A company of Akwamu troops are believed to have been instrumental in facilitating Osei Tutu’s rise to power. He conquered the neighboring chiefdoms and took control of their trade. He took the title of ASANTEHENE. He Collected taxes from the chiefdoms on profits from the gold mines. He built a standing army by demanding that chiefdoms provide soldiers. He sought the support of religious leaders throughout the region. For example, a priest of the shrine of the war god (Otutu0 called Anokye in Akwapim played a role in ensuring that Osei Tutu became the Asantehene.). He established the “GOLDEN STOOL” as a symbol of his rightful rule.

The Golden Stool

Akan peoples become Asante (Ashanti)

By 1700, Osei Tutu controlled most of the gold fields of the Akan forestland.Osei Tutu was succeeded by Opoku Ware (1717-1750). During his rule, he will extend the Asante kingdom to include most of what is today present-day Ghana. The new city-states now included Kumasi, Juaben, Bekmai, Mampon, Kokofu and Nsula.Opuku Ware will participate in the slave trade with the Europeans, selling war captives and growing very wealthy. Asante were one of the last great kingdoms to fall to the Europeans in the late 19th century.

Factors that led to the rise and growth of the Asante Empire

  1. a) The Asante had a strong economy based on agriculture. Both food and cash crops like Kola nuts were cultivated. This helped to increase the population.
  2. b) The Asante had capable political leaders they included Obiri Yeboa (1670-1678), Osei Tutu (1680-1717) who unified the people through the Golden stool that he created and Opuku Ware (1720- 1750).
  3. c) The several city-states that emerged around Kumasi supported each other. Most of them were related by the fact that they originated from the same Oyoko clan.
  4. d) The growth of the Trans- Atlantic slave trade brought a lot of wealth to the Asante people.

The wealth was instrumental in the prosperity of the Kingdom.

  1. e) The centralized political system under the Asantehene provided stability.
  2. f) The Odwira festival that was held annually helped to make the state more cohesive.
  3. g) The Asante were brave and proud people, and the need to free themselves from the oppressive rule of Denkyira, their former masters, motivated them to create a strong state.

Political organization

The Asante had a centralized political system. The Nucleus of the Asante Empire was five citystates of Kumasi, Dwaben, Bekwai, Kokofu and Nsula.The empire comprised of three parts, namely Kumasi (Metropolitan Asante), Amatoo states and Provincial Asante. Each part had its own system of administration though the three cooperated in some areas. Kumasi was directly ruled by the Asantehene and was recognized as Kumasihene.

Metropolitan Asante

These were the five states that lay 35 miles around Kumasi and which recognized the Asantehene as the supreme authority. The government of the metropolitan Asante consisted the confederacy council made of the Kings (Omanhene) of the various states and presided over by the Asantehene. The Asante Union provides a good example of a federal system of government. All the states within the metropolitan Asante paid tax to the Asantehene which was used to pay for the administration and form an army.Each of the five states had its own state council that made important decisions. Each also had its own Black stool that symbolized their power over the state .The omanhenes were expected to give the right of declaring war on another Omanhene, attended the annual Odwira festival (to pay allegiance to Asantehene, settle disputes and honor the dead), grant own subjects the right to appeal to the high court set up for the union of the capital and recognize the right of Asantehene to impose national levies.Neither the Asantehene nor the Omanhene enjoyed dictatorial powers.The kingdom had an army that was divided into several wings. Though overall leadership of the army was provided by the Asantehene, each Omanhene command his own forces. The Asantehene was deputized by Mamphohene who automatically take over army leadership whenever the Asantehene was unavailable.Among the Asante, there was compulsory military service for all able-bodied men in the empire (a system borrowed from the Akwamu).The Asantehene established a national festival called the Odwira festival during which all The Omanhene assembled in Kumasi to show their loyalty to the Asantehene, to honor the deadand to solve disputes amongst themselves. It also enhanced unity amongst the Asante states.

The golden stool, an idea invented by a priest called Okomfo Anokye (he claimed it came from the sky in 1695) during the reign of Osei Tutu, made the office of the Asantehene acceptable. It was a source of unity as it bound together the Asante states since they all recognized its sacredness.

Provincial Asante

It comprised all the states conquered by the Asante in the 18th century (subject states). Such people were represented in the army and paid taxes to the Asantehene. Osei Tutu appointed two consuls who resided in each subject state to supervise their affairs. An efficient bureaucracy was established in each o the provincial Asante states with the Asantehene appointing senior officials directly himself

Social organization

The Kingdom was composed of many communities who spoke the Akan language. The clans that made up the Akan speakers included the Akyem, Kwahu, the Fante, the Wassa, the Assin and the Akwapem. All these communities shared the same social institutions like the forty-day calendar, same marriage and naming rites. The basic social unit was the clan.They had a matrilineal system of inheritance. The birthright of each family passed through the mother from one generation to the other.  The practiced polygamy marriage due to wealth and comfort in society and prohibited inter clan (paternal and maternal clans) marriages. The Odwira festival helped unite the society besides the golden stool.

The Asante was socially stratified into social classes e.g. the rulers, rich, peasant farmers and slaves.  The Asantehene and his family comprised the royal family together with the Omanhene. The saves among the Asante were majorly war captives. Some of the female slaves could be elevated to concubines and later become entitled to some rights.They believed in magic and superstition and also worshipped gods and goddesses i.e. they were polytheists. Their supreme creator was Nyame (Nyambe).They believed in their ancestors as mediators between the people and God (gods). The Odwira festival was held annually to honour ancestors and solves my disputes. They offered sacrifices to their gods/ancestors including human sacrifices.The Asante hence was considered semi-divine being and highly regarded. Creative arts like dancing music, sculpture were highly respected in society.

Economic organization of the Asante 

Being located in an area rich in terms of land fertility forest resources, mineral resources and rainfall, the Asante Empire thrived economically in the following ways.

  1. a) Being located at the point of convergence of the trans-Atlantic trade routes, the Asante people participated in the trade providing gold, slaves and ivory in exchange for cotton, cloth, guns and gunpowder. They also provided middlemen and porters during the trade.
  2. b) The Asante practiced agriculture, growing crops like yams, vegetables and fruits. They also kept livestock like cattle.
  3. c) The community practiced gathering of Kola nuts and hunting for game meat from the forestto supplement their diet.
  4. d) They practiced iron working and made crafts such as baskets and pots

The Asante community however became a victim of the same economic wars it waged against her neighbours especially the Fante and Denkyira. In 1873, the British came to the aid of the Fante thus greatly weakening the Asante power.

Reasons for the collapse of the Asante Empire.

  1. a) The type of political organization in the kingdom did not encourage cohesion. Some states in the provincial Asante had no attachment to the golden stool/were semi -independent/ condition of a state within a state.
  2. b) Leadership struggle between the Asante and dwaben; a neighboring rival of Asante’s state.
  3. c) Civil wars /Constant rebellions from the conquered states /wars with other tribes e.g. war with the afante.
  4. d) British interference in the Asante affairs through the 19th they had a burning desire to destroy the Asante empire and colonize the region.. they even supported dwaben in her war against Asantehene
  5. e) Periodic interference with trade and trade routes as a result of wars weakened the financial position of the empire i.e. Abolition of slave trade as a major source of income.
  6. f) The Anglo-Asante wars which the British won led to final destruction of the empire.


The term ‘constitution’ refers to a set of agreed principles and rules which state the structure and powers of a government.The constitution of Kenya is a supreme law that binds all people and all state organs at national and county level. It outlines the structure of government, defines the powers and prerogatives of the head of state, states the compositions, functions and powers of parliament, states the compositions of the executives and outlines the duties and rights of the citizens. Constitutions vary in various countries depending on different experiences and their form is determined by the following.

  1. a) The historical background of a country
  2. b) Geographical factors. For example the numerous islands of Japan must be catered for in their constitution
  3. c) Religious beliefs of the people. Some countries have the Islamic Sharia law in their constitution e.g Libya and Somali
  4. d) Race composition of a country. For example, in South Africa the apartheid racial policy had been included in their constitution.

Functions of a constitution

  1. a) The constitution provides the legal ground from which the laws of the country are made.
  2. b) It spells out the powers of government and its relationship to the gove rned.
  3. c) It spells out the rights and duties of all citizens. It also provides the options a citizen has, legally, if those rights and freedoms are violated.

Types of constitutions

  1. Written constitution.

This is a constitution in which the basic principles concerning the organization of government, powers of its various agencies and rights of the subjects are consciously written down in one document.The first country to adopt a written constitution was USA after she attained political independence from Britain on 4th July 1776. France adopted it in 1791following the French revolution of 1789. The primary objective of these adoptions was to include the rights of the citizens to avoid abuse by those in power.

Other countries with written constitutions include many European, African, Latin American and Asian countries. Kenya also has a written constitution.

Characteristics of a written constitution

  1. a) It acts as a standard of reference to which the acts of the government of the day may always be compared.
  2. b) It is a rigid document that cannot be altered easily.
  3. c) It is only amended through a clearly spelt out procedure which is followed to the letter.
  4. d) There must be a special body entrusted by the legislature with the work of drafting the constitution.
  5. e) Once drafted the constitution must get the approval of the legislature.

Advantages of a written constitution

  1. a) Since the procedures of amending a constitution are clearly spelled out, it is not easy for politicians or other interest groups in the society to alter it.
  2. b) In case of a crisis, the constitution provides very clear guidelines on the procedures to be followed, thus restoring stability in the country.
  3. c) Since a written constitution is rigid, it therefore recognizes that there are fundamentals in a state, e.g rights of citizens, powers and duties of the president, which should never be easily changed. Change can only be done after adequate consideration.
  4. d) It is fundamental to a newly formed nation so as to take off in an orderly and organized manner.
  5. e) A written constitution is important to ensure that the identity of the various groups are preserved and maintained in a country with diverse racial groupings, religion and ethnic composition.
  6. f) Since it is arrived at after thorough and careful consideration by all, it therefore unites the people in the nation as it would have acquired recognition and acceptance from the majority of the citizens.

Disadvantages of a written constitution.

  1. a) Due to its rigidity, it can fail to respond to changing circumstances and can therefore easily become obsolete.
  2. b) A written constitution tends to make the judiciary too powerful as it I the only body that interprets the document. Where the executive and the legislature control the judiciary, the constitution can easily be manipulated.
  3. c) Some written constitutions are too detailed and rarely understood by the ordinary citizens.
  4. d) The procedure for amending the constitution is slow and costly. This causes delays which could lead to civil disorder in a society.
  5. Unwritten constitution

This is a constitution where the fundamental principles of the organization and powers of the government are not contained in one document but rather in several scattered documents to add to the customs of a country. For example, the British constitution.

Sources of British constitution

  1. a) This refers to an Act of Parliament. Examples of statutes that comprise the British constitution are;

~  Act of Union with Scotland of 1707 that determined the territorial boundaries within which the United Kingdom’s constitution operates.

~  Parliament Act of 1911 that governs the relationship between the House of

Commons and the House of Representatives

~  The Reform Acts of 1832 and 1834 which determine succession to the throne.

  1. b) This refers to ancient or traditional practices or the common law. For example, the first born inheriting the throne.
  2. c) Laws of precedents. Past accepted principles may be applied to a new set of facts in a judgment and this may eventually become part of the law of the land.
  3. d) Customs of parliament. House procedures including standing orders and other regulations are part of the British constitution.

Key notes for the teacher and students- @Cheloti 2012-2013  82

  1. e) Historical documents. The following two Important documents form part of the British constitution;

~  The Magna Carta (1215AD) that contained the promises by the England King that he would not levy taxes outside the three legal feudal taxes without the consent of the legal counsel.

~  The Petition of Right (1628) in which King Charles I agreed not to levy taxes unless through the Act of Parliament.

  1. f) The Conventions and Practices that have become respected over the years are also part of the British constitution.

Advantages of unwritten constitution

  1. a) It is flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances in the society. This is especially valuable during periods of rapid socio-economic and political changes.
  2. b) It is indigenous and therefore suited for a state.
  3. c) It can be changed by ordinary legislative process.
  4. d) It provides continuity with the nation’s traditions and is therefore accepted and respected by the people.

Disadvantages of an unwritten constitution

  1. a) It gives the courts too much work in handling matters as they search for constitutional principles not only in judicial decisions but in different statutes and customs.
  2. b) Because of the nature of the unwritten constitution, it is not easy to protect the rights of people effectively as the fundamentals of the state are not recorded in a few or a single document.
  3. c) An unwritten constitution tends to be vague and indefinite as compared to the written constitution.
  4. d) An unwritten constitution presupposes that the people are politically conscious and alert and will ensure that their rights and liberties are respected.

Features/qualities of a good constitution.

  1. a) Definiteness; it must depict clear intelligence and one which facilitates thinking. It must define its content clearly.
  2. b) It should be comprehensive/ it must be short but inclusive of all the issues involved in government operation.
  3. c) Should be durable and elastic/ it should neither be too rigid to amend or change nor so flexible as to encourage interference of its basic principle.
  4. d) Should be able to protect fundamental rights and freedom of citizen/a bill of rights must be provided for in the constitution, showing the extent to which the government can interfere with individual rights.
  5. e) Amendment procedure must be stated clearly.
  6. f) The constitution must be representative of the diverse social and political spectrum of the people.
  7. g) It must exhibit supremacy of the people/ it must make the will of the people as the basis of government.
  8. h) It must stipulate the choice of government through free and fair elections
  9. i) Statement of national wealth. /It must have a clear statement on how resources are to be managed and how wealth created is to be distributed.Constitution making process in Kenya in pre-colonial, colonial and post colonial eras.

Pre- colonial era

The rules and regulation that formed the constitutional basis of pre-colonial communities in Kenya were mainly formulated by the councils of elders and then handed down from generation to generation.The constitution was unwritten constitution guiding only the political, economic and socio cultural activities

Colonial Era (1885- 1960)

Kenya was under the British colonial rule after the Berlin Conference upto 1963. The constitutional developments in the country were greatly influenced by the settlement of immigrant communities like the white settlers, the Asians and Christian missionaries. These communities competed with the Africans for control of economic resources and political power.The turning point in Kenya’s pre-colonial constitutional developments was the outbreak of Mau Mau war and subsequent declaration of a State Of Emergency on 20th October 1952 by Sir Evelyn Barring. When the colonial secretary Oliver Lyttelton visited Kenya in 1954, he proposed the following constitutional reforms.

~ Establishment of a multi-racial council of ministers representing the three races setting ground for two Indian and one African minister (B. A Ohanga became the first African Minister)

~  It Proposed direct representation of Africans in the LEGCO

~  Lifting the ban on African political parties/district associations.

In 1958, a new constitution was proposed by Lennox Boyd. The constitution led to increased number of elected Africans in the legislative council (from 8 to 14). It led to introduction of multi-racial representation in the legislative council. It led to the increase of the number of African ministers to two.

The African elected members demanded for a constitutional conference culminating into the independence constitution.

The independence constitution (1960-1962)

The first Lancaster House Conference (1960)

Attended by all members of Legco and two nominated members, the conference received the following demands;

  1. a) Africans demanded for true democracy, where one man would have one vote.
  2. b) The Arabs wanted to retain the ten-mile coastal strip, while Somalis wanted reunification with Somalia.
  3. c) Michael Blundell, representing a section of Europeans demanded for a multi-racial government while Captain Briggs representing the white extremists demanded for creation of provinces along racial lines.

All these proposal were moderated by the British government

The period after the first Lancaster House conference witnessed a lot of differences among Africans and among other races. Among the Africans, the differences culminated into the formation of KANU in March 1960 at Kiambu with James Gichuru as president and KADU in Ngong Town with Ronald Ngala as the president.The main difference between KADU and KANU was that while KANU was advocating gor a unitary government, KADU wanted a federal system.The second Lancaster House conference (1962).When KANU refused to form government despite winning the elections, demanding for the release of Jomo Kenyatta, KADU formed a rather minority government that was heavily dominated by the colonial officials. Such a government was rejected by most people thus creating instability that led to the British Authorities calling for the second Lancaster House Conference.

The following important issues were discussed;

  1. a) The future of the coastal strip that belonged to the sultan prior to colonialism.
  2. b) The future of North Eastern Province(North Frontier District)
  3. c) Security of the minority.

The participants in the formulation of the independence constitution were representatives of various political parties: – Paul Ngei (APP), KADU and KANU. Others were representatives of the Asian and European communities.The 1962 conference settled for a federal structure with a strong central government.A coalition government was formed briefly but when the 1962 constitution was promulgated, it was followed by a general election in May 1963.The third and final conference in 1963 resulted in the drafting and adoption of Kenya’s first independent Constitution by the British Parliament

The 1963 constitution established a parliamentary system with executive powers vested in a cabinet headed by a Prime Minister, The Queen of England remained Head of State.

Independence (1963)

Kanu won the May elections and Kenya Attained internal self-government with Jomo Kenyatta as the first Prime Minister on 1st June 1963. Kenya attained full independence on 12th December 1963 when the Queen ceased to be the head of state.Kenya has been using the Independence Constitution upto August 2010 though with so many amendments.

Main provisions of the independence constitution of Kenya

  1. a) The independence constitution provided for a regional/majimbo government with each of the seven regions having a regional assembly and president. The boundaries of the regions were given protection in the constitution.
  2. b) It also provided for a bicameral parliament consisting of the senate and the house of representatives/upper house and lower house. The lower house comprised 117 elected members and 12 special members. The senate comprised 41 members representing the 41 administrative districts and one representing Nairobi city.Though the senate was subordinate to the House of Representatives, it had powers to authorize declaration of a state of emergence, 65% of the senators were required to approve the amendment of constitution. Also all Bills required approval of both houses.
  3. c) The constitution stipulated that the Prime Minister (appointed by the governor) was to be head of Government and Queen the Head of State, represented by the Governor General.

The powers of the governor were defence of the country, foreign affairs, internal security and approval of legislation.

  1. d) The constitution recommended a multiparty system of government and the party with the majority of seats forming the government.
  2. e) It contained the Bill of Rights, which protected the individual’s rights. The Bill of rights was modeled on the European convention on Human Rights and Fundamental freedoms.
  3. f) The constitution provided for an elaborate scheme to protect the minority rights. The minorities in this case were the Europeans, Asians and some indigenous communities.
  4. g) Independent Electoral commission was set up consisting of the speakers of the two houses and a nominee of the Prime Minister. Also it comprised nominees representing the regions. This was to ensure impartiality and honesty in elections.
  5. h) The constitution provided for an independent and impartial judiciary to ensure justice and prevent corruption. Judges were accorded security of tenure which was extended to the Attorney General, the government’s principal legal advisor.
  6. i) It provided for public service commission. The aim was insulate the civil service recruitment and promotions from abuse and corruption.
  7. j) An independent land board.

Post –colonial Era (1963-2010).

From independence to Mult-party democracy period (1963-1991)

Like many former British colonies, Kenya started off with a west Minister system of government.The first Constitutional amendment in independent Kenya was in 1964. Kenya became a republic and the executive became presidential. The senate and regions were also abolished.A Constitutional review in June 1982 officially transformed Kenya into a one-party state.A parliamentary act in December 1991 repealed the one-party system provisions of the constitution and effectively established a multiparty system.

The period after 1992 was influenced by Global issues like the decline of the cold war, collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 and the intensified struggle for democracy all over the world.In 1997, the Inter Party Parliamentary Group (IPPG) was formed with membership from the Opposition and KANU mps. The aim was to come up with minimal constitutional reforms to level the ground before the 1997 general elections

The following reforms were approved;

  1. a) The KBC shall observe fairness in providing balanced all-inclusive political views in the news coverage.
  2. b) Membership of the Electoral Commission to be reviewed to accommodate the interest of the opposition.
  3. c) Registration of Parties would be done without unnecessary delay.
  4. d) The powers of the chiefs that would likely interfere with political activity at local level be contained.
  5. e) The police Act be amended to provide for politically impartial police force
  6. f) To repeal a number of laws restricting civil and political rights, ad abolition of the offence of sedition

In 1997, a constitutional review commission, called the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC), was established to provide civic education, seek public input and prepare a draft constitution. In October 2000, parliament passed a Bill entrenching the CKRC into the independence constitution. It was now headed by Professor Yash Pal Ghai and comprised 15 commissioners. In June 2001, the CKRC was expanded to include other groups like the People’s commission following the amendment of the 1997 Constitution of Kenya Review  Act.The CKRC act specified a 2 year time frame for completion of the review process.However, its activities were marred by controversy in 2002 and the ultimate dissolving of parliament in October 2002 by president Moi. He even attempted to dissolve the commission, thanks to its being entrenched in the independence constitution.When the NARC government took over power in 2003, the review exercise was reviewed. The National Constitutional Conference was convened at Bomas of Kenya and came up with what came to known as the Bomas Draft constitution. However the political elite did not support the Bomas Draft.In 2005, Parliament amended the constitution of Kenya Review Act to allow the Attorney General to come up with the Proposed New Constitution, popularly known as the Wako Draft. The draft constitution was ultimately rejected by Kenyans at the constitutional referendum in 2005 because of disagreements amongst various stakeholders.In December 2007, Kenyans participated in the general elections that were followed by Post Election Violence caused by the controversy that surrounded the results of the elections.

Steps towards realization of a new constitution in Kenya from 2008 .

  1. a) On 28 February 2008 The National Accord and Reconciliation Act (NARA) was signed by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga .Agenda No 4 of this arrangement was a new process to finalize the long awaited constitution of Kenya

The main provisions of the National Accord were:

~  Establishment of a grand coalition government with two parties; PNU and ODM

sharing power.

~  Raila Odinga was to become Kenya’s second Prime minister after the position was created in the accord arrangement

~  Two deputy Prime Minister Positions would be filled by the PNU and ODM parties respectively.

~  Provision for An expanded cabinet with the two parties being accorded slots as

per their proportion in the house.

  1. b) In 2008 the Constitution of Kenya Review Act 2008 was passed and a Committee of Experts

(CoE) was established as the main technical constitutional review organ to drive the


  1. c) The CoE was chaired by Nzamba Kitonga, the deputy chair was Ms Atsango Chesoni, other

members were Ms Njoki Ndung’u, Mr Otiende Amolo,Mr Abdirashid Hussein, Mr Bobby Mkangi, Professor Christina Murray (South Africa), Dr Chaloka Beyani (Zambia) and Dr Frederick Ssempebwav (Uganda).

  1. d) 23 February 2009 Members of the CoE were appointed by the President were later on sworn in,
  2. e) On 17 November 2009 CoE released the draft to the public and invited views and comments on the draft constitution,
  3. f) By 23rdFebruary 2010. CoE had submitted the final draft of constitution to the Parliamentary Select Committee.
  4. g) On 4thaugust 2010 Kenya held a Constitutional Referendum where the new constitution was overwhelmingly endorsed.
  5. h) On 28th august 2010, the new constitution was promulgated and became operational making Kenya the first independent African state to depart from the independence constitutions.

Stages in the constitution making process in Kenya since independence

1)  Debate over contentious issues. Issues like the entrenchment of section 2A in the independence constitution in 1981 raised concerns among various stake holders and groups. The issue of whether to include the position of Prime Minister or not has also been debated for many years.

2)  Collection of public views. The Saitoti commission (the Constitution review commission established by Moi in 1990) had the objective of collecting views of Kenyans concerning how KANU was to operate in the best way possible. In June 2001, the CKRC, chaired by Yash Pal Ghai was mandated to collect views as part of the constitution review process.

3)  Civic education. In 2001, the Ghai Commission was mandated and funded to provide civic education.

4)  Convening of constitutional conferences. For example, The 2002 National Constitution Conference at Bomas of Kenya and other similar conferences.

5)  Drafting of the constitution. This involved both local and international experts who drafted the constitution between 2000 and 2010. This was mainly the work of the Ghai led CKRC and the Committee of experts led by Nzamba Gitonga.

6)  The referendum. During the 2005 referendum, the Wako Draft constitution was rejected. In August 2010, another referendum was held and the 2010 proposed New Constitution was approved.

7)  Promulgation of the constitution. On 27th of August 2010, President Mwai Kibaki presided over the promulgation of the new constitution of Kenya.

Constitutional Changes in Kenya since independence upto 2010

1)  The 1963 independence constitution marked the end of colonial rule and transformed the colony into a dominion. It established a parliamentary system with executive powers vested in a cabinet headed by a Prime Minister, who is appointed by the Queen of England from the majority party in Parliament. The Queen of England remained Head of State as represented by the Governor General who was also the Commander-in-Chief

2)  By the 1stamendment Act 28 of 1964, published in November 1964, Kenya became a republic and the executive became presidential. The amendment outlined the criteria to be met by a presidential candidate. It made provision of a Vice President who would be appointed by the president from among the members of parliament. Jaramogi Oginga Odinga became the first occupant of that office.

3)  By The 2nd amendment Act 38 of 1964 published on 17th December 1964, the senate and regions were also abolished.

4)  3rd amendment Act 14 of 1965, published on 8th June 1965, altered parliamentary Majorityrequired for approval of a state of emergency to only a simple majority from the previous

65%. The term ‘region’ was replaced with ‘province.’ The amendment altered the title of Supreme Court.

5)  By the 4th amendment Act 16 of 1966, published on 12th April 1966, commonwealth citizens became eligible for Kenyan citizenship. Also any legislator jailed for six months or more or missed to attend eight consecutive parliamentary seatings without the speaker’s permission had to forfeit his/her parliamentary seat.

6)  On 28th April 1966, an amendment was passed, published on 30th  April, to compel MPs who defected from sponsoring party, to resign from parliament and seek re-election. This amendment targeted Kenya People’s Union (KPU) of Jaramogi Odinga that had been formed that year. The amendment was published, tabled, debated, passed and received presidential assent within 48 hours. (it was nicknamed ‘the KPU amendment’).

7)  In May 1966, the Public Security Act was passed, published on 7thJune 1966, empowering the president to detain a citizen without trial on grounds of being a threat to state security.

The president also acquired power to control freedom of the press.

8)  In 1966, a constitutional amendment abolished the Bicameral Legislature and replaced it with a Unicameral Legislature, chosen directly by the electorate.

The Act was published on 4th January 1967. The voting majority to change the Constitution was lowered to two-thirds of the MPs.

9)  In 1968, by the 9th amendment, published on 12th April 1968, the president was empowered to alter provincial and district boundaries. The act abolished the provincial councils and all representatives to the provincial and district boundaries. This marked the end of regionalism.

10)  In 1968, by the 10th amendment, Act 45 published on 12th July 1968, the procedure for presidential elections and succession in the event of his death was laid down. Also, that all candidates for a general election should be nominated by a political party. The act also gave the president power to nominate 13 MPs to replace the 12 specially elected members of the House of Representatives.

11)  In 1974, the age qualification for presidential candidates was also lowered to 35 from 40 years. The minimum voting age was altered from 21 to 18 years.

12)  In 1975, an amendment of the constitution empowered the president to pardon any election offender at his own discretion. This was done to favour Paul Ngei who been found guilty of an election offence. It was named ‘the Ngei Amendment’. The bill went through all the stages in one afternoon and received presidential assent the following day.

13)  In 1975, Kiswahili was declared the national language of the national assembly.

14)  In 1977, the Kenya court of appeal was established after the breakup of the East African Community.

15)  The 18th amendment Act passed in 1979 was the first one under president Moi. It provided that public officers had to resign six months in advance in order to qualify as candidates for parliamentary elections.

16)  In 1979, both Kiswahili and English were declared languages of the national assemb ly.

17)  By The 19th amendment Act of 1981 published in 1982, Kenya became a de jure one party

state. KANU became the only lawful party in Kenya. The infamous section 2A was

introduced in the constitution. (Kenya had been a  de facto one party state between 1969and 1982). The post of Chief Secretary was created to head the public service. The first occupant being Jeremiah Kiereini.

18)  By the 1985 20th amendment Act, the High Court began acting as a Court of Appeal.

19)  The 21st amendment Act passed in 1985 repealed Section 89 of the constitution which provided for the acquisition of Citizenship for anyone born in Kenya after December 11th 1963.

20)  In 1987, the security of tenure of the Attorney General, Chief Secretary, The Comptroller and Auditor–General was removed. The president could now dismiss them at will. Office of chief secretary was abolished.

21)  In 1988, the security of tenure of Puisine Judges and Chairman of Public Service Commission was removed. The removal of security of tenure of the above officers sparked a lot of condemnation from LSK and main stream churches.

22)  In 1988, an amendment was passé that provided the police with powers to hold a suspect in custody for upto fourteen days before taking him/ her to court if the crime constituted a capital offence. This is what led to detaining of persons suspected of opposing the government in the dingy basement of Nyayo House where some were tortured to death.

23)  1990- Security of tenure of the offices of AG and Controller and Auditor –General was reinstated.

24)  A parliamentary act in December 1991 repealed the one-party system provisions (section

2A) of the constitution and effectively established a multiparty system. Multiparty elections were held the following year in December.

25)  In 1991, an amendment that was passed limited the tenure of the president to a maximum of two-five year terms.

26)  After 1997 elections, Parliament, on the initiative of the government, passed the Constitution of Kenya Review Act that set the pace for comprehensive constitutional reforms.

27)  A constitutional review commission, called the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC), was established to provide civic education, seek public input and prepare a draft constitution.

28)  In October 2000, parliament passed a Bill entrenching the Constitution of Ken ya Review Commission (CKRC) headed by Professor Yash Pal Ghai into the independence constitution.

29)  In 2005, Parliament amended the constitution of Kenya Review Act to allow the Attorney General to come up with the Proposed New Constitution, popularly known as the Wako Draft

30)  The draft constitution was ultimately rejected by Kenyans at the constitutional referendum in 2005 because of disagreements amongst various stakeholders .

31)  The rejection of the draft constitution by Kenyans in the referendum of 2005 meant that the 1963 constitution (as amended) remained the basic law of Kenya. .

32)  28 February 2008The National Accord and Reconciliation Act (NARA) was signed by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to end violence that erupted after the December 2007 presidential elections.

Agenda No 4 of this arrangement calls for a new process to finalize the long awaited constitution of Kenya

33)  In 2008 the Constitution of Kenya Review Act 2008 was passed and a Committee of Experts (CoE) was established as the main technical constitutional review organ to drive the process. The CoE was chaired by Nzamba Kitonga; the deputy chair was Ms Atsango Chesoni, other members were Ms Njoki Ndung’u, Mr Otiende Amolo,Mr Abdirashid Hussein Mr Bobby Mkangi Professor Christina Murray (South Africa) Dr Chaloka Beyani (Zambia) and Dr Frederick Ssempebwav (Uganda.)

34)  On 28thaugust 2010, the new constitution was promulgated and became operational making Kenya the first independent African state to depart from the independence constitution.

Key changes in the New Constitution.

  1. a) Reduction of president’s executive powers.
  2. b) Devolution of power to regions (creation of county and national governments.)
  3. c) Creation of the senate and national assembly to constitute parliament.
  4. d) On Citizenship, Birth and registration are the only recognize ways of attaining Kenyan citizenship. Dual citizenship is now recognized by the constitution.
  5. e) Recognition of the Kadhi’s courts as subordinate courts in the judicial court system.
  6. f) Expansion of the citizens’ Bill of Rights to guarantee equal representation for either gender in all governance structures.


Why there was need to have a new constitution in Kenya.

  The need to meet the changing needs of the Kenyan society, e.g. due to population growth.

  The rise of gender sensitivity in Kenya/The need to address the rights of women which had not been adequately addressed in the outgoing constitution.

  The constant misuse of executive authority by the Moi and Kenyatta regime/ the need to give less or more power to the executive.

  The need to depart from the colonial policies that found their way into the outgoing constitution.

  The need to safeguard against social vices like corruption and land grabbing.

  The need to enhance unity and realize a liberal society due to political maturity.

Problems that Kenya faced in realization of a new constitutional dispensation.

  1. a) Party differences have been transferred to the constitution making process e.g. the NARC fallout, the ODM wrangles between Raila and Ruto. Etc.
  2. b) Sectarian interests based on tribe, religion, age, sex which is hard to satisfy. E.g in relation to creation of counties, Kadhis court and land laws.
  3. c) Attempts to project personality, individual or group interests rather than national interest into the process.
  4. d) Direct misinformation of the public and propaganda by politicians and other groups with selfish interests.
  5. e) Illiteracy and ignorance of the electorate and therefore easily misled.
  6. f) Tension and sometimes violence marred the whole review process.
  7. g) Limited financial resources and personnel
  8. h) Lack of unity of purpose and co-operation among existing political parties hence difficulty in hammering out compromise..
  9. i) Inadequate civic education/wrong civic education.
  10. j) Lack of consultation with all the interested stake holders.
  11. k) An attempt to tie the constitutional review process with election time-table, political programmes and interests.

Why Kenya’s new constitution is regarded as supreme.

  1. a) The Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic and binds all persons and all State organs at both levels of government.
  2. b) No person may claim or exercise State authority except as authorized under the Constitution.
  3. c) The validity or legality of the Constitution is not subject to challenge by or before any court or other State organ.
  4. d) Any law, including customary law that is inconsistent with the Constitution is void to the extent of the inconsistency, and any act or omission in contravention of the Constitution is invalid.
  5. e) The general rules of international law shall form part of the law of Kenya.
  6. f) Any treaty or convention ratified by Kenya shall form part of the law of Kenya under this Constitution.

Functions of the Kenyan constitution

  1. a) It is the fundamental law of Kenya.
  2. b) It has helped in establishing the philosophy, character and structure of the Kenyan government.
  3. c) It has laid down principles which determine government power and duties.
  4. d) It r regulates, distributes and limits the functions of different institutions of the state.
  5. e) It spells out the basis of relationship between the Ke nyans and the government and what rights should be in that relationship.

Role played by the Kenyan constitution in governing the country

  1. a) It protects the interests of the weak in the society from those who would want to dominate them.
  2. b) It checks the powers of the dictatorial rulers.
  3. c) It defines how to rise to power hence preventing unnecessary power struggles.
  4. d) It provides for the separation of powers between the three arms of government.
  5. e) It defines the powers of those in authority hence preventing misuse of
  6. f) It defines relations with other countries
  7. g) It specifies on how a government is to be formed.


What is democracy?

The is derived from the Greek word Democratia (Demos meaning people and Kratas meaning ‘rule or power’). It is a form of government where political decisions are directly in the hands of the citizens.

Key aspects of a real democracy.

  1. a) Political aspect. The consent of the governed (expressed directly or indirectly through their elected representatives) must be sought when making political decisions. Public opinion must be given priority in governance.
  2. b) Social aspect. Human dignity must be valued at all times. Every individual should be free to organize his own lifestyle, hold and express opinions, enjoy company of others and join associations.
  3. c) Economic aspect. All citizens must be provided with equal opportunities. Exploitation of humans by fellow humans should be eliminated. Means of production should be nationalized to reduce inequalities between the rich and the poor.

Types of democracy

1)  Pure or direct democracy. This is where the people are directly involved and participate in decision-making. Such a democracy has an advantage in that the laws made are easily accepted by all the people since they feel they own the laws.

This is common form of democracy in smaller organizations and was also used in ancient Greece.

2)  Indirect democracy. This is a type of democracy where citizens exercise their right in decision making not directly as individuals, but through their agreed representatives, elected by the citizens. Parliament acts as the basic institution in this type of democracy.

The elected may make Appointments of persons to fill other positions like the Cabinet or carry out Nomination (hand-picking of additional representatives to join the elected ones.

3)  Constitutional Democracy. This is where democracy is exercised but within the limits of the constitution. The minority rights are guaranteed (freedom of expression, association and worship).It is also referred to as Liberal democracy and is a form of representative democracy.

Merits of democracy

  1. a) It is founded on the concept of the people and therefore leaders cannot ignore the people from whom they get authority to rule. It is most popular form of government.
  2. b) It recognizes equality among all the people without discrimination. It advocates equality before the law and anyone can rise to power regardless of one’s background or environment.
  3. c) It promotes patriotism or national pride as it urges people to participate in their governance. This reduces chances of a revolution
  4. d) It promotes liberty and peace as it advocates for peaceful coexistence. People develop a sense of cooperation. It can also promote international cooperation when extended beyond the borders.
  5. e) Since it is based on moral and educative values, democracy helps individuals to develop their personality. It develops initiative of the people and their sense of responsibility.
  6. f) Democracy balances the liberty of the individual with the power of the state. Demerits of democracy
  7. a) Democracy promotes dictatorship by the majority. The majority government by fulfilling the election pledges to please the supporting electorate ends up neglecting the political, social and economic interests of the minority who did not vote for it.
  8. b) Democracy encourages class struggle and corruption as only those that possess money can engage in intensive campaigns and get elected due to their influence. Then once elected, they pass laws that protect their interests.
  9. c) A democratic government is usually slow and wasteful since consultations have to be made when making a decision. Time and public resources are used in the process of seeking the views of the majority.
  10. d) The ethical value of democracy is questionable. It is not easy to find an honest, sincere man of good moral character being elected.
  11. e) Democracy may perpetuate incompetence since it is numbers which matter when choosing a leader not the leadership qualities. Where a majority of the electorate is ignorant, they may make poor decision during elections thus promoting incompetence.
  12. f) Although democracy is regarded as the rule of the majority, in essence, it is the elected minority who rule. Democracy is therefore as a form of dictatorship by the informed or elected minority.


Principles of democracy.

Principle-basic truth or general law.

  1. a) Freedom of speech, debate and enquiry. The basic healthy political culture among a group of people is based on open debate among citizens where they can express their views without fear.
  2. b) People’s participation as a whole in government. Through free, fair and regular elections, the government should remain a servant of the people and not master. Democracy is based on consent which can be withdrawn if the government fails to satisfy peoples’ expectations.
  3. c) Open and accountable media. The media must be open in their agenda and be held accountable to the public. Media monopolies should not be allowed to develop.
  4. d) Economic democracy. This implies the decentralization of economic power so that individuals and communities can be economically empowered to create and control their own wealth.
  5. e) Equality before the law. Judgment should be made in accordance with a written law, rather than in an arbitrary manner. Each citizen also has an equal ability to seek and receive justice.

Human rights

Human rights refers to the accepted principles of fairness and justice- or the universal moral rights that belong equally to all people in their capacity as human beings  regardless of sex, race, and tribe, and language, place of origin, age or political beliefs.

Why human rights are important.

  1. a) Rights are necessary for human beings to achieve a dignified life, fulfill their potential and to satisfy both their physical and spiritual needs.
  2. b) Rights are inherent to human beings. One has rights purely because they are human. They are not granted by the state.
  3. c) Rights empower citizens and residents by giving them control in decision making organs of the state.
  4. d) Rights justify special treatment of minorities and other special or disadvantaged groups or communities.
  5. e) Rights provide guidance to organs of state regarding the exercise of state power.
  6. f) Rights such as the right to vote, freedom of expression and of the press ensure the public access the necessary information necessary for the protection of democracy and ensure accountability of public authorities.
  7. g) Respect for human rights limits internal and external conflicts and strengthens national unity.

Classification of Human rights

  1. a) Social economic and cultural rights. On the basis of these rights, the state is expected to pursue policies that enable individual, families or groups to earn a living and provide basic needs including education and medical care for themselves.
  2. b) Solidarity rights. These are rights that focus on the whole community. They require that the state to pursue policies which do not destroy natural resource or waste financial resources but instead create conditions for peaceful co-existence. These rights include the right to clean, healthy and sustainable environment, peace, and development.
  3. c) Civil and political rights. The rights include the right o vote, right to think and to have access to information. These rights ensure a secure space for the individual to pursue their values and interests.

Groups that monitor human rights in Kenya

  1. a) Lawyers and Judges and other professionals including teachers.
  2. b) Religious groups
  3. c) Journalists (The media-print and electronic).
  4. d) The police force
  5. e) Association and special commissions, e.g business associations, women groups, the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission (KNHREC), among others.
  6. f) pressure groups

Characteristics of human rights.

  1. a) They are universal. Human rights apply equally to everyone by virtue of being a human being.
  2. b) They are indivisible. One right cannot be applied if the other does not exist. They are inherent.
  3. c) Incase circumstance demand they can be suspended. For example during war, or during disease outbreak like Ebola or other contagious diseases, one may be denied the right to freedom of movement.
  4. d) Human rights have limitations. As people enjoy their rights, they should respect the rights of others.

United Nations Charter on human rights.

This is a document that contains the basic human rights to which every person by virtue of being a human being is entitled to. It also reaffirms the equality of the rights of all men and women. The Universal Declaration if Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10th December 1948.. Member states that signed the document are supposed to publicize the declaration in their countries

The basic human rights contained in the Charter include;

  1. All human beings are born free and equal.
  2. Everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth in the declaration without discrimination on basis of sex, race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, racial origin birth or any other status.
  3. Everyone has a right to life, liberty and security.
  4. No one should be held in servitude or slavery or perform forced labour.
  5. Everyone has a right to recognition as a person before the law.
  6. Every person is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law.
  7. Every person’s dignity should be respected and protected.
  8. Everyone has a right to nationality. One is free to change nationality.
  9. No person will be subjected to physical or psychological torture, corporal punishment or cruel and inhuman treatment.
  10. Everyone has a right to free movement and residence within the borders of each state.
  11. Everyone has a right to ownership of property alone as well as in association with others. State cannot take away ones property without proper compensation.
  12. Every citizen has a right to peaceful assembly and association.
  13. Every citizen is free to make political choices, which includes the right to form, or participate in forming, a political party and to participate in the governing process of the country.
  14. Every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care.
  15. Every person has the right to accessible and adequate housing, and to reasonable standards of sanitation.
  16. Every person has the right to be free from hunger, and to have adequate food of acceptable quality.
  17. Every person has the right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities.
  18. Every person has the right to social security
  19. Every person has the right to education. Elementary education shall be compulsory while technical and professional education should be made generally available.
  20. Every person has the right to a clean and healthy environment. It is our duty to ensure that the environment is protected for the benefit of present and future generations.
  21. Every person, whether individually or as a group, has freedom to manifest any religion or belief through worship.
  22. An adult has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, based on the free consent of the parties. Parties to such a union enjoy equal rights.
  23. Every person should be subjected to an efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair administrative action.
  24. Everyone has freedom of opinion and expression.
  25. Everyone has a right to seek and enjoy, in other countries, asylum from persecution. The right is however enjoyed only for political reasons.
  26. Everyone has a right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal in the determination of one’s rights and obligations.
  27. Everyone has a right to protection of the law against interference or attacks against one’s property, home or correspondence.
  28. Everyone has a right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and protection against unemployment.
  29. Everyone has a right to leisure, which includes reasonable working hours and periodic holidays with pay.ght to freely participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts e.g drama, music, dance etc.
  30. However every person has various duties to the community in which they live.
  31. Freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Importance of the UN Charter on human rights.

  1. a) Protection of human rights, which is the core thing in the UN Charter, is important for the Establishment and maintenance of peace and security. Where there is violation of human rights, it becomes difficult to prevent conflict and maintain peace.
  2. b) Respect for human rights is an important requirement for efficiency and effectiveness in governance. The principle of non-discrimination, principle of international human rights law, enables one to strive for more equitable societies even within the level of resources available.
  3. c) Respect for human rights promotes development. National development strategies can only

lead to tangible improvement in the lives of people if they have as their key objectives realization of economic, social and political rights.

  1. d) The UN Declaration provides a guideline for collective action towards eradication of poverty.
  2. e) The UN human rights mechanisms have given utmost attention to countering of terrorism as a way of protecting human rights.
  3. f) A SOCIETY that observes respect for human rights reduces the chance of conflict outbreak.
  4. g) The UN Charter on human rights is the foundation on which peace-making (peace-building and peace-keeping) is built. Any strategy to achieve peace anywhere is accompanied by strategies to uphold human rights like was the case in Yugoslavia.
  5. h) In recognition of human rights, the UN has played a key role in giving humanitarian assistance to the people of different countries suffering from effects of natural disasters and other emergencies.
  6. i) The UN Charter on Human rights promotes the rights of women and their empowerment by affirming the equal rights for women and fighting discrimination based on gender
  7. j) The UN Charter champions the rights of vulnerable groups like the minority migrant workers, abused children, indigenous people and persons with disabilities.

The Kenyan Bill of Rights

This is a statement of human or civil rights in the constitution of Kenya. The Bill of Rights is covered in chapter four of the constitution of Kenya (2010).


Importance of the Kenyan Bill Of Rights

  1. a) States that every individual has the right to life
  2. b) It guarantees liberty to all citizens by forbidding enslavement, detention without trial etc.
  3. c) It protects the individual from all forms of torture and inhuman treatment
  4. d) It guarantees the protection of private property and allows Kenyans to own property anywhere in the country.
  5. e) It protects individuals’ freedom of conscience and religion.
  6. f) It guarantees the protection of the freedom of speech and expression
  7. g) It gives Kenyans the right to move freely throughout the country and to reside in any part of the country.
  8. h) It guarantees individuals against any form of discrimination on the basis of colour, creed, and gender.
  9. i) It protects individual against arbitrary search, arrest and entry into one’s property without his/her consent

Rights and fundamental freedoms contained in the Kenyan Bill of Rights.

  1. Right to life.

Life begins at conception and no child should be deprived of life deliberately. Abortion is not therefore permitted unless occasioned by the need for emergency treatment or life of the mother is in danger.

People who attempt to commit suicide are also punishable on the strength of their right

  1. Equality and freedom from discrimination

Every person is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law. This means that both men and women are equal before the law. Any form of discrimination is illegal and is prohibited in the constitution.

  1. Human dignity

Every person’s dignity should be respected and protected. One must not ridicule or embarrass other members of society.

  1. Freedom and security of a person.

This right protects a person from being detained without a good reason and without trial. No person will be subjected to physical or psychological torture, corporal punishment or cruel and inhuman treatment.

  1. Freedom from slavery, servitude and forced labour.

No one should be held in servitude or slavery or perform forced labour. Every employer should treat his or her employees with dignity and not to force them to work.

  1. Right to privacy.

Every person has a right NOT to have him or herself, his or her property searched, or his or her possessions seized. Not revealing a person’s family or private affairs unnecessarily or private communications interfered with.

  1. Right to assembly, demonstration, picketing and petition.

Every citizen has a right to assemble and participate in peaceful demonstrations and even present petitions to public authorities.

  1. Political rights

Every citizen is free to make political choices, which includes the right to form, or participate in forming, a political party and to participate in the activities of, a political party.Every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections based on universal suffrage and the free` expression of the will of the electors for any elective public body or office Every adult citizen has the right, without unreasonable restrictions, to be registered as a voter; to vote by secret ballot in any election or referendum and to be a candidate for public office, or office within a political party and, if elected, to hold office.

  1. Freedom of movement and residence

Citizens have a right to free movement and ownership of property in any part of the country.

Anyone is also free to leave the country or enter and remain in the country

  1. Economic and social rights

Every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care.Every person has the right to accessible and adequate housing, and to reasonable standards of sanitation.Every person has the right to be free from hunger, and to have adequate food of acceptable quality.Every person has the right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities.Every person has the right to social security. Every person has the right to education.A person shall not be denied emergency medical treatment.The State must provide appropriate social security to persons who are unable to support themselves and their dependants.

  1. Consumer rights

Consumers have the right to goods and services of reasonable quality.Consumers have the right to the information necessary for them to gain full benefit from goods and services.Consumers have the right to the protection of their health, safety, and economic interests.Consumers have the right to compensation for loss or injury arising from defects in goods or services.

  1. Right to fair labour practices

Every worker has a right to fair labour practices like fair remuneration, reasonable working conditions, the right to join or practice in trade union activities and the right to go on strike .Every employer has a right to join an employers’ association and participate in its programmes and activities


One must respect the right to fair labour practices of one’s employees. Employees on the other hand must conduct themselves responsibly, even during strikes, to avoid causing physical injury to innocent people, or destroying property.



  1. Right to clean and healthy environment.

Every person has the right to a clean and healthy environment. It is our duty to ensure that the environment is protected for the benefit of present and future generations.

  1. Freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion.

Every person, whether individually or as a group, has freedom to manifest any religion or belief through worship, practice, teaching or observance, including observance of day of worship.One cannot be denied employment or educational opportunity because of belonging to a particular religion or because of one’s belief or religion.A person cannot be forced to engage in any act that goes against his or her belief or religion.

  1. Freedom of expression.

This guarantees all Kenyans the freedom to seek, receive or impart ideas or information. It also guarantees freedom of artistic creativity, academic freedom, and freedom to conduct scientific research.

  1. Freedom of media.

The freedom and independence of the media is guaranteed. The state should not interfere with

the media.

  1. Access to information

Every person has a right to access information held by the state, or by others, which may be required for the protection of any right or fundamental freedom. The state is expected to make public any important information affecting the nation.Every person has a right to the correction or deletion of untrue or misleading information that affects the person.

  1. Freedom of association

Every person has the right to form, join and participate in the activities of an association of any kind, provided that the association is not engaged in illegal activities, such as stealing or killing.

  1. Protection of the right to property

Every person is entitled to own property either individually or as a group, in any part of the country. However the property has to be legally acquired.This right provides all Kenyans a fair opportunity to invest in property and thus, prosper.

  1. Right to language and culture

Every person has the right to use a language, and embrace the culture of the person’s choice.Every person has the right to form or join cultural groups. Every person is also protected from being forced to join any such group.Each linguistic group is free to use their language, practice their culture, and form associations and other organs of the civil society.It is unacceptable to force another person to perform, observe or undergo any cultural practice or rite.

  1. Right to family

An adult has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, based on the free consent of the parties. Parties to such a union enjoy equal rights. Both parties have a responsibility to respect the rights of their spouses during marriage and even in the event of its dissolution.It is wrong to deny one’s spouse access to marital property after separation or divorce.  The constitution also recognizes marriages conducted under traditional, religious, personal or family law. Marrying of underage persons and forced marriages are outlawed in the constitution.

  1. Fair administrative action

Every person should be subjected to an efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair administrative action. This promotes efficient administration in public offices.

  1. Access to justice.

Everybody should access justice and a reasonable fee will be charged to enhance this, if required. If this is not free, many people will not access justice which will continue  to be a preserve of the rich people.

  1. Right of arrested persons.

An arrested person has;

  1. a) The right to be informed promptly in a language that the person understands of the reason for arrest, the right to remain silent and he consequences of not remaining si lent.
  2. b) The right to remain silent. – The right of a person to choose to talk or to remain silent.
  3. c) The right to communicate with an advocate and other persons whose assistance is necessary (freedom of speech with all those who will assist him or her in the case.)
  4. d) The right of not being compelled to make any confession or admission that could be used in evidence against the person.
  5. e) The right t be held separately from persons serving a sentence ( should not be held in

prisons alongside those already convicted)

  1. f) To be brought to court as soon as reasonably possible, as but not later than twenty four hours after being arrested.
  2. g) To be charged or be informed of the reason for the extension of detention or release, at the first court appearance.
  3. h) To be released on bond or bail, on reasonable conditions, pending a charge or trial, unless there are compelling reasons as to why one cannot be released.
  4. Fair hearing.

Every person has the right to have any dispute that can be resolved through a court hearing be resolved in such a manner that will accord him or her fair and public hearing. An accused person has the following rights;

  1. a) To be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
  2. b) To be informed of the charges.
  3. c) To have adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence.
  4. d) To a public trial before a court.
  5. e) To have the trial begin and be concluded with few delays.
  6. f) To be present when being tried.
  7. g) To be represented by an advocate and be informed of this right immediately. Depending on the circumstances, the accused may be assigned an advocate by the state and at the state’s expense.
  8. h) To remain silent and not testify during the proceedings.
  9. i) To be informed in advance, of the evidence the prosecution intends to present, and to have reasonable access to that evidence.
  10. j) To challenge the evidence.
  11. k) To refuse to give self-incriminating evidence.
  12. l) To have the assistance of an interpreter if the accused person cannot understand the language used in the trial.
  13. m) If convicted, to appeal, or apply for review by a higher court.
  14. Rights of persons detained, held in custody or imprisoned.

A person, who is detained, held in custody or imprisoned under the law, retains all rights and fundamental freedoms in the bill of rights. Except those that are impractical and inapplicable under the circumstances.A person who is detained or held in custody is entitled for an order Habeas Corpus- This is a law that states that a person who has been arrested should not be kept in prison longer than a particular period of time unless a judge in a court has decided that it is right. It is the right of the person who is detained, held in custody or imprisoned to be treated in a humane manner.

Application of the Kenyan bill of rights to specific groups of people in Kenya

Rights enjoyed by Children in Kenya

A child refers to a young person from birth to full physical development. The term also refers to a person who has not attained the age of eighteen. The rights of children are contained in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and International Agreement on the Rights of the Child put in place in 1990.

The rights include;

  1. a) Survival rights

~ Every child has the right to a name and nationality from birth.

~  Every child has the right to basic nutrition, shelter and health care.

  1. b) Development rights

~  Every child has the right to free and compulsory basic education.

~  Every child has the right to parental care and protection, which includes equal

responsibility of the mother and father to provide for the child, whether they are

married to each other or not.

  1. c) Right of protection

~  Every child has the right to be protected from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural

practices, all forms of violence, inhuman treatment and punishment, and hazardous

or exploitative labour.

~  Every child has the right not to be detained, except as a measure of last resort, and when detained, to be held for the shortest appropriate period of time.

~  Every child has the right to separate from adults and in conditions that take account of the child’s sex and age.

~  Every child has the right to a child’s best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child.

~  Children should be protected from exploitation such as child labour.

Rights enjoyed by Persons with disabilities in Kenya.

(a)  A person with any disability is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect and to beaddressed and referred to in a manner that is not demeaning. A person with any disability is entitled

(b)  A person with any disability is entitled to access educational institutions and facilities forpersons with disabilities that are integrated into society to the extent compatible with the interests of the person.

(c)  A person with any disability is entitled to reasonable access to all places, public transport and information.

(d)   A person with any disability is entitled to use Sign language, Braille or other appropriate means of communication.

(e)  A person with any disability is entitled to access materials and devices to overcome constraints arising from the person’s disability.

Rights of the Youth in Kenya.

(a)  Right to access relevant education and training.

(b)  Right to have opportunities to associate, be represented and participate in political, social, economic and other spheres of life.

(c)  Right to access employment.

(d)  Youths are protected from harmful cultural practices and exploitation.

Rights of Minorities and marginalized groups in Kenya

The constitution specifies a marginalized community as;

~  A community that because of its relatively small population has been unable to fully participate in the integrated social and economic life of Kenya as a whole.

~  A traditional community that, out of need or desire to preserve its unique culture and identity from assimilation, has remained outside the integrated social and economic life of Kenya.

~  An indigenous community that has retained maintained a traditional lifestyle and livelihood based on a hunter or gatherer economy.

~  Pastoral persons and communities, whether nomadic or settled and because of their relative geographical location, have experienced only marginal participation in the integrated social and economic life of kenya as a whole.

Rights of Minorities and marginalized groups

  1. a) Minorities and marginalized groups have the right to participate and are represented in governance and other spheres of life.
  2. b) Minorities and marginalized groups have the right to be provided special opportunities in educational and economic fields.
  3. c) Minorities and marginalized groups have the right to be provided special opportunities for access to employment.
  4. d) Minorities and marginalized groups have the right to develop their cultural values, languages and practices.
  5. e) Minorities and marginalized groups have the right to reasonable access to water, health services and infrastructure.

Rights of older members of society in Kenya

  1. a) Right to fully participate in the affairs of society.
  2. b) Right to pursue their personal development.
  3. c) Right to live in dignity and respect and be free from abuse.
  4. d) Right to receive reasonable care and assistance from their family and the State.

The Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission

This commission was entrenched in the Constitution of Kenya (2010) to replace the KNHRC. The commission constitutes atleast three but not more than nine members appointed by the president with the approval of the national assembly.


  1. a) To protect the sovereignty of the people.
  2. b) To ensure secure observance by all state organs of democratic values and principles
  3. c) To promote constitutionalism

Functions of the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission.

  1. a) It has a duty to promote respect for human rights an d develop a culture of human rights in the republic.
  2. b) A duty to promote protection and observance of human rights in public and private institutions.
  3. c) It monitors, investigates and reports on the observance of human rights in all spheres of life in the republic, including observance by the national security organs.
  4. d) It receives and investigates complaints about alleged abuses of human rights and takes steps to secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated.
  5. e) It acts as the principal organ of the state in ensuring compliance with obligations under treaties and conventions relating o human rights.
  6. f) It investigates any conduct in state affairs, or any act or omission in pu blic administration in any sphere of government, which is alleged or suspected to be prejudicial or improper, or to result in any impropriety, or prejudice.
  7. g) It investigates complaints about abuse of power, unfair treatment, manifest injustice or unlawful, oppressive, unfair or unresponsive official conduct.








In the last Quarter of the 19th century, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Portugal were in Africa, competing for colonies to boost their social, economic and political standing.They convened the Berlin conference of 1884-1885 (convened by Otto Von Bismarck, the Germany Chancellor) where they shared Africa in Europe without regard to the inhabitants. This is what is termed the invasion of Africa.By 1914, apart from Liberia and Ethiopia, the rest of Africa had been colonized

The scramble and partition of Africa


It refers to the rushing for something.In the African situation, it meant the rush for and struggle by European powers to acquire various parts of Africa during the 19th century.


It refers to the sharing of something. In the African situation, it referred to the actual division of Africa by European powers during the Berlin conference of 1884 -1885Methods used by Europeans to acquire colonies in Africa.

1)  Signing of treaties;

  1. a) Treaty signing with African leaders.

~ The British signed the Maasai Agreements (1904 and 1911), Buganda Agreement of 1900 and the Lewanika-Lochner treaty with Lozi. The royal Niger Company had by 1884, signed 37 treaties through George Goldie, with African leaders in Niger delta, Yorubaland and Gambia.

~ Carl peters signed treaties on behalf of Germany with the chiefs of Uzigua, Ukami, Usagara and ungulu.

These treaties facilitated the acquisition of those areas for colonization.

  1. b) Treaties signed amongst European powers. These were known as Partition Agreements. For example;

~  The Anglo-Germany Agreements of 1886 and 1890 and Heligoland between the British and the Germans over the sharing of East Africa.

~  The Anglo Italian treaty signed in 1891 between the Italians and the British over possession of Eritrea and the Somali coast.

~  The treaty between the British and Portugal and France in 1890 on the sharing of

Madagascar (France) Mozambique and Angola (Portugal).

2)  Military conquest/ Use of force. Europeans employed outright war against those societies that resisted their invasion. E.g

  1. a) The French war against the Mandinka of Samori Toure (1870-1899) and their conquest of western Sudan from Senegal to Chad specifically in the Tukolor Empire, Segu and Masina by 1898. Tunisia, morocco and Algeria were acquired forcefully.
  2. b) The British used military force in the Nandi resistance from 1895-1905, the Chimurenga wars involving the Shona/Ndebele against the British, forced acquisition of Egypt and Sudan
  3. c) The Germans fought the Maji Maji wars from 1905- 1907.
  4. d) The Italians were defeated during their Ethiopian campaign, by Menelik II in the battle of Adowa in 1896.
  5. e) The Portuguese forcefully established their rule over Angola, Guinea Bissau and


3)  Use of missionaries as frontrunners. The Europeans used missionaries, carrying a bible in one hand and a gun in the other, who tried to convince the Africans to support the European goals.

~  Missionaries manipulated local quarrels and took sides in a view to promote European occupation. For example, in the case of Buganda where we had religious conflicts between Protestants, Muslims, Catholics and Traditionalists.

~ Sometimes the missionaries went to war against each other and against Africans. E.g the Franza-Ingeleza war of 1892 that pitted the Protestants (British) against the Catholics (French). Fredrick Lugard’s intervention on the side of Protestants set stage for the acquisition of Uganda by the British.

~   In Bulozi, Father Francois Coillard convinced Lewanika of the benefits of British protection.

~  In Nyasaland (Malawi) which was depicted as Livingstone’s  country, missionaries (read role of Scottish missionaries) shaped public opinion in favour of imperial control.

4)  Treachery and Divide and rule policy

~  The Europeans instigated inter-tribal wars causing some Africans to support them against warring communities. E.g. use of the Wanga against the Luo and the Luhya in Kenya, the Ndebele/shona against the Lozi in Rhodesia.

~  The Italians lied to Menelik II by signing a treaty of friendship but which was published in Italian version indicating that Ethiopia had agreed becoming an Italian protectorate.

~  The Maasai agreement was written in a language that the Lenana never understood.

5)  Use of company rule. The British and the Germans used chartered companies to acquire and rule their colonies. For example, the role played by the British South African Company of Cecil Rhodes, Imperial British East African Company of Sir William Mackinnon and the German East Africa Company of Carl Peters.

6)  Luring/enticements. The Europeans gave gifts like cloth, weapons tools, drinks etc to African chiefs like Lewanika of the Lozi and Mwanga of Buganda thus luring them into collaboration.

7)  Diplomatic skills. This involved building relations with African leaders, which were later, used to acquire the areas. The British employed this method in Maasailand and Yorubaland.

8)  A blend of diplomacy and force. The British for example initially signed treaties with the Ndebele (Moffat and Rudd treaties), but they fought them during the Ndebele war of 1897.


Economic factors

  1. The industrial revolution in Europe.
  2. a) The revolution led to search for markets for European manufactured goods in Africa resulting in scramble for and partition.
  3. b) The need for raw materials. The machines invented processed goods faster than use of hand. The Europeans came to Africa in search of raw materials like cotton, palm oil, copper and iron ore.
  4. c) Cheap labour was also readily available in Africa after the abolition of slave trade.
  5. d) There was desire by the entrepreneurs to invest excess capital gained from accumulation of profits from industrial investment. Africa provided an avenue for investment.
  6. e) Industrial revolution led to improved transport system, which was necessary for effective colonization.
  7. f) The military hardware manufactured during the revolution enabled Europeans to conquer African territories.
  8. g) The discovery of medicine enabled the Europeans to survive the African conditions and protect themselves from diseases such as malaria, yellow fever etc.
  9. h) Those who were rendered unemployed in Europe due to invention of machines had to move to Africa to assist in harnessing raw materials.
  10. i) Industrial revolution led to intense rivalry in trade, which was projected, into Africa.
  11. Speculation about the availability of deep pockets of minerals in Africa. Gold and Bronze had

been items of trade in Africa for centuries. The discovery of Diamond at Kimberly in the

1860s and Gold in the 1870s precipitated their appetite for Africa more.

Political reasons.

  1. Unification of Germany after under Otto Von Bismarck after the Franco-Prussianwar of 1870-71. The rise of Germany upset the balance of power in Europe and there was need to rebalance out through acquisition of colonies in Africa. France for example had to redeem her lost glory (especially after the loss of mineral rich Alsace and Lorraine provinces) by acquiring eight colonies in Africa.
  2. The rise of Public opinion in Europe. There was growth of public support towards the acquisition of colonies. With the rise of democracy in European states in the 19th c, it was fatal for any government to ignore public opinion.
  3. a) For example in 1882, due to public demand, the French assembly was compelled to ratify De Brazza’s treaty with Chief Makoko thus creating a French colony in Congo.
  4. b) German took over South-West Africa (Namibia), Togo and Cameroon due to what Bismarck termed as public demand.
  5. c) In Britain, the public demanded that Britain must maintain her position as the leading colonizing power by taking her share in Africa.
  6. Militarism. Army officers in Europe favoured colonial expansionist wars to give them greater opportunities for glory or promotion.
  7. a) For example, in Sudan, it was the military offers, in search of glory, and not the French government who directed the extent of French colonization.
  8. b) British soldiers like Wolseley Kitchener supported the expansion of the British Empire in Africa.
  9. The rise of Nationalism. In Europe, there was the rise of a general feeling of civilians that their nations should acquire overseas colonies for national prestige. The Germans began feeling they belonged to a superior race that must be shown by acquiring colonies in Africa.

Strategic reasons

  1. Construction of the Suez Canal. (The Egyptian question).

~ The construction of the Suez Canal, opened in 1869, promoted a link between Europe and Asia/ shortened the routes to Far East. It also promoted international trade. It also made Egypt gain some strategic importance to Europeans.

~ The inability of Khedive Ishmael (1863-1879) to pay for the cost of the construction of the canal (due to his extravagancy) led to British full occupation of Egypt in 1882, being a major shareholder in the Anglo-Suez Company that owned the canal.

~  The dismayed French planned diversions of the Nile waters, and make Egypt a desert, after occupying territories to the south of Egypt.

~  It was against the backdrop that Britain claimed Uganda (source of the Nile) in 1894,  Kenya (the gateway to Uganda) in 1895 and Sudan (where the Nile passes) in 1898.

  1. French activities in West Africa and the Congo

The activities of France in Congo and West Africa, after loss of Egypt, through their Italian agent Savorgnan de Brazza in connection to acquisition of colonies alarmed other powers. This encouraged powers like Germany to join in the scramble and acquire Togo, Cameroon, Namibia and Tanganyika.

  1. The personal activities of King Leopold II of Belgium.

~  He endeavored to create a personal empire. In 1876, Leopold convened the Brussels

Geographical Conference where he formed a business company, the International

African Association comprising explorers and traders with a mission to civilize Africa, abolish slave trade and establish free trade.

~  As a result of the activities of his agent, Henry Morton Stanley who created  the Congo Free State, Leopold had established a personal empire in 1884 .

~  It was the activities of king Leopold leading to intense rivalry amongst European nations over Congo that led to the convening of the Berlin Conference in 1884.

Social reasons

  1. The work of Christian missionaries

~  They created an atmosphere of friendship with Africans by giving those gifts like cloths and beer, introducing economic activities like farming, carpentry, clerical work, among Africans, that were important virtues in the process of colonization.

~  Where they were in danger, they pressurized their home governments to protect them.

~  The missionaries had direct contact with the people of the interior of Africa and they were front-runners who paved way for the colonialists through their works.

~  They preached peace, love and hard work and hence calmed down the emotions of Africans towards the Europeans.

~  Some of them wrote exaggerated reports about Africa to convince Europeans to take interest in Africa.

  1. The growth of European population. The growth of European population –steadily to about 420 million in the 19th century led to the quest for new outlets to resettle the population.E.g– Britain settled some of her people in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and South Africa. German, Portugal and Dutch also had to find places in Africa to settle some of their people.
  2. Anti-slave trade campaigns- Humanitarian factor.

The humanitarians in Europe like William Wilberforce and Granville Sharp, and the missionaries who led the crusade against slave trade advocated for colonization of Africa in order to stop it and introduce Legitimate Trade.When slave trade was abolished, many European nations used it as an excuse to remain in some parts of Africa, control the region, enforce the anti-slavery treaties, and promote legitimate trade.

The pull factors

  1. a) Existence of Vast natural resources in Africa. There were pockets of minerals in various parts of Africa and ivory awaiting exploitation. This attracted the Europeans.
  2. b) Well developed trade/trade routes in the interior. Imperialists used these routes as transport routes to penetrate the interior.
  3. c) Existence of Navigable Rivers. For example, rivers like Congo and Niger made transportation easy
  4. d) Existence of weak Decentralized local communities. Most African communities were decentralized with no military structures therefore offering little resistance to European invasion.
  5. e) Frequent wars / inter community wars. These wars weakened African communities and were left ill prepared for any resistance. Some readily collaborated with the Europeans.




The fore –runners to the process of partitioning Africa were the early explorers, missionaries and traders. Their activities were succeeded by the making of treaties and agreements in various parts of Africa between trading companies and the locals. . For example, the Buganda Agreement, the Heligoland Treaty and the Berlin act of 1884-1885.In places where the Europeans employed diplomacy, they won the support of many Africans who collaborated with the intruders. The Europeans sometimes blended diplomacy with wars of conquest or use of force especially against the resisting communities.The partitioning boundaries were drawn along physical features like rivers, mountains, etc.The Berlin conference On 15th  November 1884, Britain, Germany, France, Belgium, the USA, Portugal and Italy convened in Berlin to lay down the rules for the partition and eliminate conflicts amongst European nations. Africans, whose continent was being shared, were not represented in the conference

The Berlin Conference of 1884-85, partitioned Africa into different spheres of influence without recourse to war.

Terms of the Berlin act of 1884-1885.

  1. a) That all signatories must declare their sphere of influence an area under each nation’s occupation
  2. b) That once an area is declared a sphere of influence, effective occupation must be

established in the area through establishment of firm colonial infrastructures to be followed by colonial administration.

  1. c) That any state, laying claim to any part of Africa must inform other interested parties in order to avoid future rivalry.
  2. d) That any power acquiring territory in Africa must undertake to stamp out slave trade in favour of legitimate trade and safeguard African interests.
  3. e) That if a European power claims a certain part of the African coast, the land in the interior next to the coast became hers.
  4. f) That the Congo River and the Niger River basins were to be left free for any interested power to navigate.
  5. g) The European powers vowed to protect and safeguard European interests in Africa irrespective of their nationality.

Impacts of the Partition

Political effects

  1. a) Introduction of European administration minimized intertribal wars and civil strife.
  2. b) It led to development of strong African leadership and beginning of state formation.
  3. c) Colonial government structures inherited by most independent African states have continued to be models of governments in African countries.
  4. d) Rise of African nationalism to fight colonialism led to the development of African political awareness.
  5. e) The Europeans gained fame, prestige and national glory by having colonial possessions.
  6. f) Negatively, it led to collapse of African traditional political systems and leadership.
  7. g) Use of divide and rule promoted ethnic disunity that continues to trouble Africa many years after independence.
  8. h) Boundary creation split apart many African communities. For example, the Somali are found both in Kenya and in Somalia, the Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania and the Ewe in Ghana and Togo.
  9. i) In some cases some communities whose cultures were incompatible found themselves bunched together.

Social impacts

  1. a) Through the protection offered to missionaries, it stimulated the spread of Christianity to various parts of Africa.
  2. b) It led to development of urban centres. Some towns grew as centres of administration e.g. Nairobi and Machakos. Others grew as railway terminus e.g. Kisumu.
  3. c) African welfare was boosted. Some African benefited from western education and health facilities introduced by the Europeans.
  4. d) European languages were introduced in Africa.
  5. e) Negatively, it created landlessness as European settlers appropriated African land.
  6. f) The Africans adopted some negative aspects of western culture.
  7. g) Many Africans lost their lives through resistance.

Economic effects

  1. a) There was construction of roads, railway and other forms of infrastructure, which helped to open up the interior.
  2. b) Imperialization helped to widen market for African produce especially with the

establishment of local industries.

  1. c) Africans were exposed to European manufactured goods/ increase in essential


  1. d) Partition speeded up the economic growth of European nations.
  2. e) Negatively, forced labour and exploitation of African resources left many parts of Africa impoverished and underdeveloped.
  3. f) Africans were exposed to heavy taxation and denial to participate in economic activities like farming, trade etc.



Some communities were keen on defending their age-old and ancient political, social and economic institutions and viewed the arrival of the Whiteman with suspicion. Their leaders did not want to lose their power, wealth and sources of prestige. Others were militarily prepared for the Europeans. E.g the Mandinka, Nandi, Ndebele and Ethiopia.

Some resisters were centralized states enjoying immense unity making it easy to mobilize people for a war.

The Maji Maji Rebellion (1905- 1907).

The Maji Maji Uprising in Tanganyika was the most significant African challenge to German colonial rule in its African colonies. The Uprising lasted two years c over 10,000 square miles. Tanzania had been acquired largely by Dr. Karl Peters, who signed treaties with the Chiefs of Usagara, Ungula, Uzigua and Ukami, in 1885. The Rebellion involved the Zaramo, Matumbi, Bena, Ngindo, Pogoro, Bunga, Ngoni, Luguru, Wamwera and Ndendeule

Causes of the maji maji rebellion.

  1. When Germany established its control over Tanganyika by 1898, it imposed a violent regime in order to control the population. Kings who resisted German occupation were killed. Africans resented the cruel, brutal, harsh and ruthless rule of the Germans.
  2. Africans resented the Creation of new system of administration using Akidas and Jumbeswho terrorized the people and misused their positions.
  3. The African population was also subjected to high taxation by the Germany East Africa Company to raise revenue for administration. The Matumbi on their part felt that the Germans should instead have paid the Africans for using their land.
  4. The Africans resented a system of forced labour, whereby they were required to grow cotton and build roads for their European occupiers. The Africans were treated inhumanely while at work by the Akidas.
  5. The Germans had no respect for African culture in that they misbehaved with Ngindo women. Crimes like rape, fornication and adultery, committed by the Germans were punishable by death among the Ngindo.
  6. Christian missionaries discredited traditional belief and practices e.g. condemning sacred places as places of witchcraft. This greatly offended the Africans.
  7. Germans had alienated land from Africans as a way of making the railway pay for the cost of its construction. The arrival of German settlers in U sambara area in 1898, Meru in 1905 and Kilimanjaro area in 1907 led to massive loss of African land.
  8. Africans were forced to grow cotton in the communal cotton growing scheme, where they got very little payments. In 1902, Peters also ordered villages to grow cotton as a cash crop (for export) with each village, charged with producing a quota of cotton. This policy annoyed Africans who could no longer effectively work on their on farms to produce food.
  9. The Ngoni were seeking revenge for the Boma Massacre of 1897 during which their soldiers were killed in large numbers.
  10. The role of Kinjeketile Ngwale in instilling confidence in the Africans to unite and rise up against the Germans
  11. The 1905, a drought that threatened the region making Africans incur heavy losses on a crop that was not even edible, combined with opposition to the government’s agricultural and labor policies, became the immediate cause of the rebellion against the Germans in July, 1905.

Course of the maji maji war.

The oppressive regime bred discontent among the Africans, and resentment reached a fever pitch in 1905 when drought hit the region. A Ngarambe prophet, Kinjikitile Ngwale emerged, who claimed to know the secret to a sacred liquid which could repel German bullets called “Maji Maji,” which means “sacred water.” Ngwale claimed to be possessed by a snake spirit called Hongo.Thus, armed with arrows, spears, and doused with Maji Maji water, the first warriors of the rebellion began what would become known as the Maji Maji Rebellion. The rebellion was led by Kinjeketile Ngwale, Abdalla Mpanda and Ngamea. On July 31, 1905, Matumbi tribesmen marched on to Samanga and destroyed the cotton crop as well as a trading post. Kinjikitile was arrested and hanged for treason. However, Kinjekitile’s ideas were spread widely through a whispering campaign called  Njwiywia or Jujila by the Matumbi. Matumbi warriors uprooted cotton from an Akida’s farm at Nandete to provoke the chiefs to fight. On August 14, 1905, Ngindo tribesmen attacked a small party of missionaries on a safari; all five, including Bishop Spiss (the Roman Catholic Bishop of Dar es Salaam) were speared to death. The Ngindo drove their hated Akidas from their area. They boycotted cotton picking.By August 1905, Germans were restricted to four military stations i.e. Wahenga, Kilosa, Iringa and Songea. The apex of the rebellion came at Mahenge in August 1905 where several thousand Maji Maji warriors attacked but failed to overrun a German stronghold. On October 21, 1905 the Germans retaliated with an attack on the camp of the unsuspecting Ngoni people who had joined the rebellion killing hundreds of men, women, and children. This attack marked the beginning of a brutal counteroffensive that left an estimated 75,000 Maji Maji warriors dead by 1907.  Forces from Iringa under Captain Migmann assisted in the recapture of Kabata by Major Johannes.Reinforcement arrived from Germany and in 1907 warriors were defeated by Governor Graf Von Gotzen. The Germans employed the scorched earth policy which destroyed all property on sight. The Africans lost faith in the magic water. Some surrendered while others fled to


Consequences of the maji maji uprising

  1. a) There was massive loss of lives. In its wake, the Maji-Maji rebellion left 15 Europeans and 389 African soldiers and between 75,000 and 100,000 insurgents dead.
  2. b) There was massive destruction of property, as villages and crops were burnt when Germans applied the scorched earth policy.
  3. c) Southern Tanganyika experienced severe famine as farms and granaries were destroyed.

This disrupted economic activities such as agriculture and trade.

  1. d) Thousands of families were displaced during the war. This was because of the fear that gripped the land, forcing people to flee in different direction.
  2. e) The war undermined the German economy in Tanganyika, as numerous economic activities came to a standstill.
  3. f) There was loss of leadership in African communities which created disorganization and demoralized the African people. Most captured leaders were hanged or imprisoned. A total of 47 Ngoni chiefs were hanged.
  4. g) Africans resigned to colonial authority. The revolt broke the spirit of the people to resist and the colony remained calm, realizing they did not have better weapons to fight with.
  5. h) The uprising undermined the Africans’ confidence in their traditional religion. The magic water failed to protect them against the German bullets.
  6. i) The uprising laid the foundation to Tanganyika’s Nationalism. The uprising would become an inspiration for later 20th Century freedom fighters who called for similar interethnic unity as they struggled against European colonial rule.
  7. j) Although the Maji Maji Uprising was ultimately unsuccessful, it forced Kaiser Wilhelm’s government in Berlin to institute reforms in their Tanganyika administration as they realized the potential cost of their brutality.

Reforms introduced by the German administration after the maji maji uprising.

  1. a) Corporal punishment was abolished by the German administration. Those settlers who mistreated their workers were punished.
  2. b) Forced labour for settler farms was abolished.
  3. c) Communal cotton growing was stopped and Africans were to plant their own cotton and get profit from it.
  4. d) Better educational and medical services for the Africans were introduced.
  5. e) Africans were involved in administration of the region as Akidas and Jumbes.
  6. f) Newspapers that incited settlers against Africans were censured.
  7. g) Kiswahili became an official language.
  8. h) A colonial department of the German government was set up in 1907 to investigate and monitor the affairs of the German East Africa.
  9. i) The new governor rejected extra taxation of Africans.
  10. j) Colonial administration in Tanganyika was now tailored to suit the Africans.

Role of religion in the Maji Maji rebellion.

  1. a) It gave people courage, loyalty and confidence to fight the Germans.
  2. b) It gave spiritual strength to fight a superior force.
  3. c) Through religion, suspicions among communities were wiped out.
  4. d) Religion stood above tribal loyalty/all followed it regardless of tribe.
  5. e) Religious cults like bolero/kolelo promised people the destruction of the white man.
  6. f) It provided the ideology, which guided the war efforts.
  7. g) It sustained the morale of the warriors.
  8. h) It provided a common plan of action based on mass action
  9. i) It provided leadership during the war e.g. the prophetic leaders.
  10. j) It was used, to address the so many African grievances emanating from the harsh German rule.

The Mandinka Resistance.

Samori Toure (c. 1830-1900)

One of the great kings and fighters of African freedom was the great Samori Toure. Born about 1830 in Sanankaro, SE of Kankan in present-day Guinea, Samori Toure chose the path of confrontation, using warfare and diplomacy, to deal with the French colonial incursion. His father was a Dyula trader, leading Toure to follow his family’s occupation. In the 1850s, he enrolled in the military forces at Madina (present-day Mali) to liberate his mother, captured during a slave raid by king Sori Birama of Bisandugu. Displaying extraordinary military skill and prowess, he and his mother were subsequently released in 1858. Coupled with his experience as a Dyula trader, he built his army. Samori employed the triple thrust of persuasion, threat and war, in the same way as Sundiata did in Mali, to organized Malinké chiefdoms and expand the Mandinka state.  Between 1852 and 1882, Samori Toure had created the Mandinka Empire with the capital at Bisandugu, in present day Gambia.Samori’s army was powerful, disciplined, professional, and trained in modern day warfare. They were equipped with European guns. The army was divided into two flanks, the infantry or sofa, with 30,000 to 35,000 men, and the cavalry or sere of 3,000 men. There was a third wing of 500 men forming specially trained bodyguards. In 1881, Samori extended the empire to the east as far as Sikasso (in Mali) to the west, up to the Futa Djallon Empire. Meanwhile, the French were extending eastwards from Futa Djalon while the Mandinka were extending westwards towards Kenyeran trading centre, Next to the rich Bure Gold fields.In 1882, at the height of the Mandinka empire, the Frenc h accused Samori Touré of refusing to withdraw from an important market center, Kenyeran (his army had blockaded the market). They thus started war on him.

His bid to obtain assistance from the British to deal with the French failed as the later were not willing to enter into conflict with the French. From 1882 to 1885, Samori fought the French and had to sign infamous Bisandugu treaty on 28th march 1886 and then 1887.

Significance of the Bisandugu treaties (1886-1887)

  1. a) To Toure, these were acts of delay the real confrontation that with the French that would come at an opportune time.
  2. b) He hoped that by this treaty, he would reach out at the British for a friendship treaty to enable him secure trade routes from the north under Tieba of Sikasso.
  3. c) The French on their part hoped to use the treaty to enable them to arrange the conquest of the Tukolor Empire.
  4. d) The treaties put the Mandinka under brief French protection.

In 1888, he took up arms again when the French reneged on the treaty by attempting to foster rebellion within his empire.

In 1890, he reorganized the army and concluded a treaty with the British in Sierra Leone, where he obtained modern weapons. He now stressed defense and employed guerilla tactics.

The Franco- Mandinka war (1891-1898)

Causes of the Franco-Mandinka war (1891-1898)

  1. a) Samori wanted to safeguard the independence and religion of his empire. Being a staunch Muslim, he could not tolerate non-Muslims on his land.
  2. b) He was not ready willing to lose the rich Bure Mines to the French whether through diplomacy or warfare.
  3. c) His empire was at that time enjoying military and economic superiority. The French incursion was merely a threat to his territorial expansion that was to be fought at all costs.
  4. d) His participation in trade had enabled him to acquire modern arms thus enabling him to build an equipped and well trained army which did not fear the encounter French. He even had facilities for arms repair.
  5. e) His scheme to play off the British against the French, between 1882 and 1889, had failed. This upset him and therefore left him only with the fighting option.
  6. f) The activities of the French of selling arms to his enemies such as Tieba of Sikasso were viewed by Samori as an act to weaken the Mandinka dominance.

Course of the franco-mandinka war.

Samori waged a seven –year war against France whose army was led by Major Archinard. In 1891, with his improved weaponry and reorganized army, he defeated the French. In 1892, French forces overran the major centers of the Mandinka Empire, leaving death and destruction in their wake.  In 1894, the French assembled all their troops in western Sudan (Senegal, Mali, Niger, etc…) to fight Samori.Between 1893 and 1898, Samori’s army retreated eastward, toward the Bandama and Como, resorted to the scorched earth tactic, destroying every piece of land he evacuated. He moved his capital east from Bisandugu to Dabakala, thus creating a second empire in 1893. This enabled him to delay the French. He formed a second empire, and moved his capital to Kong, in upper Cote d’Ivoire.

Disadvantages of Samori’s second empire

  1. a) He was cut off from Freetown where he used to buy firearms.
  2. b) He was at war with the communities, which he had attacked in his expansionist wars.
  3. c) His southern frontier was open to French attacks from the Ivory Coast.
  4. d) At his new empire, Samore was cut off from his gold mines at Bure thus; he had no wealth to keep his army running.
  5. e) The occupation of the Asante Empire by the British in 1896 meant that enemies from all corners surrounded Samori Toure.

In 1898, Samori, forced to fight a total war against innumerable odds like famine and desertion that weakened his forces, was captured on September 29, 1898, in his camp in Gué (lé) mou at the town of Sikasso in present-day Côte d’Ivoire and exiled to Ndjolé, Gabon, where he died of pneumonia on June 2, 1900.

Factors that aided Samori Toure in offering a protracted resistance to the Europeans

  1. a) He had established military workshops with a trained cadre of artisans whom he used to repair and manufacture his own weapons. This guaranteed regular supply of weapons during the resistance.
  2. b) He himself was a courageous fighter, a greater organizer and a military tactician and he personally commanded his army on the battlefield.
  3. c) His adoption of the Scorched Earth Policy as he mobilized the entire population to retreat left the French to starve and delay their advance.
  4. d) The success witnessed in trade enabled him to acquire guns and horses from the north, which were important in the resistance.
  5. e) Through trade and subsequent tribute collection, he obtained adequate wealth, which he used to maintain a large army.
  6. f) He had a large strong and well-organized army of 35,000 men, which was a formidable force for the French.
  7. g) He used diplomacy in dealing with the French to buy time to reorganize and strengthen his army, and to negotiate with the British in Sierra Leone to guarantee regular supply of guns.
  8. h) French soldiers were ignorant of the strange land they were fighting in and were faced with further problem of tropical disease.
  9. i) Some of his soldiers had served in the French colonial army and were thus familiar with the

French tactics.

  1. j) He used Mandinka nationalism and Islam to unify the army. Many of Samori’s soldiers

believed that they were fighting a Jihad (holy war) and therefore fought with determination.

Why samori was finally defeated.

  1. a) Since his army and community were constantly on the move, they could not engage in any gainful economic activity to replenish their supplies.
  2. b) The abandoning of the rich Bure Gold reserves as Samori retreated meant he had lost an important source of revenue that was initially used to sustain the army.
  3. c) When he moved to his second empire, He was cut off from Freetown where he used to buy firearms.
  4. d) Samori failed to get any support from other African societies due to lack of unity. Ahmed Seku of Tukolor and Tieba of Sikasso chose to rather assist the French than support Samori.
  5. e) His second empire was open to attack from all sides by either the British or the French, making it difficult to defend.
  6. f) The French had superior weapons and better means to re-equip their stores. They were also determined to defeat samori to set up an overseas colonial empire.
  7. g) The use of the scorched earth policy was resented by the civilians since it left them with nothing after destruction. It thus starred up local resistance.
  8. h) Even within his own empire, there was no total unity. The non-Mandinka communities and non-Muslims in the empire who had felt mistreated during his reign supported the French.
  9. i) The refusal by the British to assist Samori dented his hopes of getting a European ally against the French.
  10. j) Samori’s retreat to Liberia was blocked and his capital besieged. He had to surrender to the French.

The Ndebele Resistance


The Ndebele were descendants of Nguni conquerors from South Africa (fleeing from the mfecane wars) who occupied what is now Matabeleland. Mzilikazi (Ndebele King) opened the door for the London Missionary Society led by Robert Moffat, who settled in Matabeleland in 1859. They assisted him in repairing his guns, inoculating cattle, writing and interpreting letters and providing medical care to the sick.  Hehowever had little interest in Foreigners and even had those whose who accepted missionary influence killed. Mzilikazi died in 1868 and his son Lobengula took over.Lobengula was the Ndebele king at the outbreak of the Anglo-Ndebele war of 1893. He went to great lengths to appease the increasingly aggressive British imperialists from the South, Portuguese invasion from Angola and Mozambique and Germans from the south west. He used his diplomatic skills to buy time before engaging in war with the British. He even tried to pit one European nation against the other (the Boers and the British). He in 1870 had granted a mining concession to Thomas Baines of Durban Gold Mining Co. in order to diffuse white intervention. In 1888, Lobengula signed the Moffat treat y which stated that he was not to sign any other treaty with other European groups without British permission. Rhodes sent his partner and agent Charles Rudd to compel Lobengula to acquiesce to the Rudd (mining) Concession- a verbal agreement between Lobengula and BSA Co granting the company a mining monopoly in Matabeleland. In return, he was to get a gunboat on River Zambezi or 500 sterling ponds, a monthly salary of 100 sterling pounds, 1000 rifles and 100,000 cartridges. Lobengula’s conditions for concession were not incorporated in the final text. When the terms of the treaty were interpreted to him, he learned that he had been tricked into surrendering his kingdom to Europeans.In 1889, he repudiated the treaty and sent a fruitless delegation of Indunas (Motshede and Babiyance) to London to meet Queen Victoria.  Despite the Ndebele king’s repeal of the concession, Rhodes, supported by the British crown, enacted a charter of the newly created British South Africa Company investing it with an array of rights: the right to treaties, to pass laws and to subject the natives to its police force, as well as to make grants of minerals and land to white settlers. Lobengula was thus pushed into reluctant resistance by white greedy rapacity.

Causes of the 1893 Ndebele war.

  1. The Ndebele detested the treachery used by the British in compelling Lobengula to sign the Rudd Concession
  2. British occupation of Matabeleland had ended Ndebele powers over the shona whom they always raided for cattle and women.
  3. The British acts of provocation (inciting the Shona to raid the Ndebele for cattle). When the Ndebele chose to attack the shona, the British would then fight them under the pretext of protecting their interests in Mashonaland.
  4. The attempt by the Ndebele indunas to punish some shona who disobeyed King Lobengula became the immediate cause.

Course of the war.

The war broke out in October 1893. The British army was led by Dr.Starr Jameson and comprised the shona police and other mercenaries from South Africa. At that time, the Ndebele had been weakened by smallpox and inferior weapons leading to little confrontation between them and the British. Lobengula chose to evacuate his people towards Northern Rhodesia. Atthe two battles of Shangani River and Mbembezi. The Ndebele were defeated by superior European gun-fire. Lobengula finally fled to Bulawayo where he died in 1894. The conquerors took advantage of the natives’ inner divisions, with people of the low castes remaining passive and even some traitors helping the invaders. The aftermath of the British conquest in Zimbabwe was that cattle were seized from the natives and their land taken. Even the for the small plots that were left to them, Africans  were often forcibly prevented from ploughing and sowing, since they were subjected to tax-collection and coerced labour in whiteowned farms.  The Ndebele were pushed to the reserves of Gwaai and Shangani.

Second Matabele War (the Chimurenga war 1896-1897)

The war of liberation which was dubbed ‘Chimurenga’, or the Second Matabele War was a fulfillment of prophesy of a great Shona spirit, Mbuya Nehanda, sister of the great Shona prophet Chaminuka. Mlimo, the Ndebele spiritual leader is in fact credited with fomenting the Second Ndebele War. He convinced the Ndebele that the White settlers were responsible for the drought, locust plagues and the cattle disease rinderpest ravaging the country at the time.

Causes of the Chimurenga war

  1. a) The war broke out because the Shona and the Ndebele feared disruption of their age-old and valued trade and trade routes.
  2. b) They fought for economic and trade independence. The company had stopped shona Gold and ivory trade with the Portuguese and forced them to trade only with the company only and at low exchange rates.
  3. c) They were fighting against land alienation. The BSA Company had alienated the Ndebele land and pushed them to the Gwaai and Shangani reserves that had no water and were infested with tsetseflies.
  4. d) The war eroded the Ndebele traditional authority. When Lobengula’s sons were sent to South Africa by Rhodes for education, they were denied chance of succeeding their father.
  5. e) They detested the removal of the rights of chiefs to allocate land. The British ruined the regimental system and refused to recognize the power of the indunas and Ndebele laws.
  6. f) The British began to assume the rights to punish the subjects on behalf of the chiefs.

Sometimes even the chiefs were also punished. E.g, Chief Moghabi’s village was burnt.

  1. g) They revolted against taxation which was an interference with their economic independence. The hut tax, introduced in 1894 was collected with much brutality.
  2. h) The Ndebele were not pleased with the recruitment of the shona in the police force. They felt humiliated as the shona took the chance to revenge for the many years of oppression.
  3. i) They resented the general brutality of the whites when dealing with the Africans, like threatening the black people with punishment just before pay, to cause them to run away.
  4. j) They wanted the removal of the policy of forced labour on European mines and farmswhere workers operated under deplorable conditions, often whipped with syambok (whip) and worked for long hours without chance to engage in activities of their choice.
  5. k) The company disregarded the Ndebele customs especially the class system. They treated everybody equally, including the Holi – who were traditionally slaves to the Ndebele

aristocrats. The traditional leaders were sometimes flogged before their subjects.

  1. l) The confiscation, by the company, of 250,000 head of cattle in 1893 from the Ndebele. Leaving them with only 50,000 affected by cattle disease. The rights to raid the shona for cattle was also denied.
  2. m) The people were resented more by the Natural calamities that continued to afflict them and which religious mediums like Mlimo blamed on the presence of the whites.
  3. n) The influence of the Mwari cult leaders who urged people to resist with an assurance of victory against the British and immunity against the European bullets.

Course of the war.

Mlimo’s call to battle happened at a time when the BSA Co’s Administrator General Matabeleland, Leander Starr Jameson, had sent most of his troops to fight the Transvaal Republic in the ill-fated Jameson Raid in Dec. 1995 leaving the country’s defenses in disarray.

War in Matabeleland.On 29th March 1896, the Ndebele High Priest Umlugulu, with senior indunas, organized a ceremony to install Umfezela as Lobengula’s successor. On that day, The Ndebele rebels killed the whites on their farms as they found them by surprise. They also killed African policemen in the British force. The European settlers took refuge in fortified camps in Bulawayo, Gwelo, Belingwe and Mangwe.The British immediately sent troops to suppress the Ndebele and the Shona, but it cost the lives of many settlers, Ndebele, and Shona alike. The Matabele military defiance ended only when Burnham found and assassinated Mlimo, thanks to a Zulu informant. The Ndebele finally agreed to peace talks with Rhodes during which Rhodes agreed to disband the shona police and give the Ndebele headmen some powers as indunas.

The War in Mashonaland

On 17 June 1896, the Hwata dynasty at Mazowe attacked the Alice Mine. They succeeded in driving away the British settlers from their lands on 20 June 1896. In the same month, Mashaykuma, working with the local spiritual leader Kagubi, the Zezuru Shona people in killing a British farmer Norton and his wife at Porta Farm in Norton.

With the war in Matabeleland ending in October 1897, Gen. Carrington was able to concentrate his forces on Mashonaland. Nehanda Nyakasikana and Kagubi Gumbo-reshumba were captured and executed in 1898, but Mkwati, a priest of the Mwari shrine, was never captured and died in Mutoko. Traditional leaders played a major role in the rebellion, notably Chief Mashayamombe, who led resistance in Mhondoro, Gwabayana, Makoni, Mapondera, Mangwende and Seke.

Role of religion in the organization of the S hona –Ndebele resistance

  1. a) Religion united the Shona and Ndebele who had hitherto been bitter rivals. / The two communities entered a common plan of action.
  2. b) It boosted and sustained the morale of the masses and gave them spiritual strength to fight a might force.
  3. c) Religion was used as a base of mass action. It provided the resistance with a common ideology. Much of the ideology used was derived from Umlugulu, the chief priest of the Ndebele Nyamanda, Lobengula’s eldest son and Mlimo, the medium of Mwari Cult
  4. d) Religious leaders provided leadership to the war against white aggressors who were considered immoral and brutal.
  5. e) The Mwari Cult provided an important organization link between the Ndebele and shona since it was widespread.
  6. f) The most important representatives of the Mwari Cult were Mkwati and Singinyamatse who were the backbone of the spiritual unity of the Ndebele.

Why the Ndebele and shona were defeated

  1. a) Disunity among Africans and between Shona and Ndebele. They fought on different fronts. Even some African communities supported the British against the shona and Ndebele.
  2. b) The Ndebele social class lacked unity of purpose. The former aristocrats fought on their own

while the former slave classes chose to even cooperate with the British.

  1. c) British soldiers were well trained as compared to African soldiers. They also got

reinforcement from Botswana and South Africa.

  1. d) The arrest and execution of African leaders like Nehanda, Kagubi and Singinyamatse demoralized the people.
  2. e) The British had superior weapons as compared to African inferior weapons.
  3. f) The magic failed to protect them against the enemy bullets. Many people were killed by the British including the leaders of the Mwari cult.
  4. g) The determination of Cecil Rhodes, who negotiated for peace with Ndebele thus ending the war. This made the suppression of the Shona by the British easy.

Results of the war.

  1. a) The Africans lost their independence as the British established their authority over them.
  2. b) There was an enormous loss of life and property.
  3. c) The African land was alienated and they confined to reserves
  4. d) Africans in reserves were be subjected to forced labour.
  5. e) The war led to rapid spread of Christianity as the local people lost faith in their religion.
  6. f) The Ndebele indunas gained recognition as headmen.
  7. g) The Africans were exposed to severe famine, as the war hindered farming.
  8. h) The colonial office in London lost confidence in company rule due to its poor administration.


What is collaboration?

This was a style in which Africans responded to European intrusion through diplomacy, adaptation or allying with the Europeans for military support and for material gains

Reasons for collaboration by some African communities.

  1. a) Some African kings needed to safe guard themselves against internal and external enemies. e.g. Lewanika of Lozi who was facing threat from the Ndebele and the Ngoni.
  2. b) Others wanted to promote trade with the imperialists so that they can gain material wealth. For example, the Wanga and the Shona.
  3. c) Influence of the missionaries who convinced some African leaders to collaborate in order to get western education and civilization. E.g, François Coillard encouraged Lewanika to collaborate with the British.
  4. d) In some communities, there was need for protection against other European powers e.g. the Lozi against the Portuguese.
  5. e) Others were merely in need for assistance to gain regional supremacy. E.g the Maasai who were on downward trend as the Nandi were raising.
  6. f) To some it was a means of showing courtesy visitors assuming that they would leave soon and being ignorant of European intentions. For example, Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda.
  7. g) Other African leaders influenced some communities. For example, Chief Khama influenced Lewanika of the Lozi to resist.
  8. h) Having witnessed the European military might against the resisting neighbours some communities saw it futile to resist stronger force

The Lozi Collaboration

Factors, which influenced Lewanika of the Lozi to collaborate with the British

  1. a) Lewanika was encouraged to collaborate with the British by King Khama of Botswana who had already benefited from British protection against the Dutch in South Africa.
  2. b) The European missionaries who had visited him earlier influenced Lewanika. For example, François Coillard who convinced Lewanika to ally with the British to gain western education.
  3. c) Lewanika needed support against Portuguese and Germans who were approaching his territory.
  4. d) Lewanika wanted the British to protect his kingdom from attacks by other African communities such as the Ndebele and Shona-protection against African enemies.
  5. e) Lewanika also wanted the British to protect him against internal enemies e.g. in 1884,

Lewanika faced an internal rebellion-to safeguard his position.

  1. f) Lewanika desired western education especially for his sons and civilization in his country.
  2. g) Desire for promotion of trade between Britain and his people. He was keen on acquiring European goods such as firearms for territorial defence.
  3. h) He was fearful and considered it futile to resist a strong military force like Britain.

How Lewanika collaborated with the British.

Signing of treaties e.g. he first signed a treaty with Harry Ware in 1889 before signing the Lochner Treaty of 1890 and the Corydon Treaty of 1898. These treaties put Bulozi under British protectorate.Lewanika became friendly to British agents like Frank Lochner and the missionary, François Coillard, whom he allowed to establish a permanent mission station within his territory. He sent his sons to the Coillard mission school as a show of acceptance of westernization.

Lochner Treaty of 1890.

It was British missionary Francois Coillard who negotiated for the meeting between Frank Lochner, acting on behalf of Rhodes, and Lewanika in 1890. The treaty put Lewanika’s Kingdom under the protection of the British South African Company.

Terms of the treaty.

  1. a) Lewanika gave the BSA Company mining rights in Bulozi except in certain farming and iron mining areas.
  2. b) The company promised to protect the kingdom from outside attacks.
  3. c) The British company promised to pay the king 2000 sterling pounds a year and 4% royalties of all minerals mined in the area.
  4. d) A promise was made to develop trade, build schools and develop telegraphy in the kingdom.
  5. e) Lewanika would still be a king but just a constitutional monarch, not an absolute

ruler as before.

  1. f) That a British resident would be posted in Lealui, the capital of the Kingdom, to

monitor company activities and advise Lewanika on foreign affairs.

The treaty consequently implied that Lewanika had given up his kingdom to the British company.In 1897, Robert T. Coryndon a former police officer was sent as a British resident in Bulozi. Upon his arrival, he made arrangements for the signing of the Lawley treaty of 1898 which further reduced the size of the area governed by Lewanika.

In October 1900, he signed another treaty, the Coryndon  Treaty with Lewanika.

The Coryndon Treaty (1900)

It had the following terms;

  1. a) The British government would be responsible for administration of Bulozi. The company administrator would answer to the High Commissioner at the cape.
  2. b) The company would appoint officials and pay for the administration of the area.
  3. c) The company would provide schools, industries, postal services, transport and telegraphic facilities.
  4. d) Lewanika would receive only 850 sterling pounds a year as his stipend.
  5. e) The company was allowed to acquire land on the Batoka plateau.
  6. f) The company maintained its rights to prospect for mineral in Bulozi.
  7. g) Lewanika was to stop slavery and witchcraft in his area.
  8. h) Lewanika was made paramount chief of Barotse. His powers were reduced more when more white settlers arrived in 1905 ready to participate in government.

NB; the Coryndon treaty made Lewanika a mere employee of the company, receiving only a stipend. He lost control of the former vassal states that no longer would pay tribute to him since they were now under the British.In the final run, Lewanika lost his independence just like any other collaborator or resistor.

Results of Lewanika collaboration

  1. a) Schools and health centres were put up in his kingdom.
  2. b) He got British protection from Ndebele attacks.
  3. c) It marked the beginning of the erosion of the independence and traditional authority of his empire. Lewanika lost his authority as the administration was taken over by the British South Africa Company
  4. d) The British recognized Lewanika as a paramount chief of Barotse and gave him necessary protection.
  5. e) Lewanika received payment of £ 2000 yearly
  6. f) The British South Africa Company took over the control of the minerals
  7. g) The Lozi land was alienated and given to British settlers
  8. h) The Lozi were later forced to pay taxes in order to maintain the administration.
  9. i) The Lozi were forced to work as labourers on settler’s farms
  10. j) The Lozi were employed in the civil service
  11. k) The British South Africa Company developed infrastructure in Barotseland
  12. l) The British used Barotseland as a base to conquer the neighbouring communities.

The Buganda collaboration.

By the mid 19th century, Buganda had become the most powerful state in the interior of East Africa. However despite this might, the Kabakas (Mutesa I and Mwanga) chose the path of collaboration instead of resisting the European intrusion.

Why kabaka Mutesa I (1856-1884) collaborated with the Europeans.

  1. a) His kingdom was under threat form Khedive Ishmael of Egypt. He therefore wanted British assistance against the Egyptian threat.
  2. b) There was threat from his traditional enemy, Omukama Kabalega of Bunyoro Kingdom.
  3. c) Mutesa wanted to establish a centralized religious authority over Buganda to counter there power wielded by the traditional priest of the Lubaale Cult and the Muslim power and influence.
  4. d) He wanted modernization and to gain Prestige from association with the Europeans. For example, western education, medicine and other material benefits.
  5. e) He had the desire to trade with Europeans to get their goods especially firearms.

Kabaka Mwanga (1884-1898)

Mwanga’s main problem when he took over power was religious indecision which eventually generated political instability. In January 1885, he executed three C.M.S converts. In October 1885, he had Bishop Hannington killed. In May 1886, 30 young converts were burnt to death at Namugongo for refusing to denounce their Christian faith.

In 1888, under the urge of the traditionalists, he unsuccessfully attempted to expel all foreigners whom he blamed for causing chaos in his kingdom. He instead was disposed by a combined force of Muslims, Catholics and Protestants and replaced by his brother Kiwewa, sharing authority with foreigners.In 1890, Mwanga recaptured the throne assisted by the Christians and Kabalega of Bunyoro kingdom. He signed a protectorate treaty with Carl peters for the Germans and rejected a treaty offer by Fredrick Jackson of IBEACO. IN 1891, Mwanga signed a treaty of collaboration with  Fredrick Lugard, the First British administrator sent to Uganda. This was after the Heligoland Treaty of 1890 had put Uganda a British sphere of influence.

Why Mwanga collaborated

  1. a) He wanted to acquire protection from internal and external enemies e.g religious groups and Banyoro.
  2. b) He wanted to secure his position and safeguard the Baganda from interference.
  3. c) He wanted the British to help him Gain regional supremacy over the surrounding kingdoms of Bunyoro, Ankole and Toro.However, throughout all the religious conflicts that continued in Uganda between the Protestants and the Catholics, Kabaka Mwanga always supported the Catholics to the Chagrin of the British administrators. He was disposed by Lugard in 1894 after the capture of his palace at Mengo.Under Kabaka Mwanga II, Buganda became a protectorate in 1894. This did not last and the Kabaka declared war on Britain in on July 6, 1897. He was defeated at the battle of Buddu on July 20 of the same year. He fled to German East Africa where he was arrested and interned at Bukoba. The Kabaka later escaped and led a rebel army to retake the kingdom before being defeated once again in 1898 and being exiled to the Seychelles.While in exile, Mwanga II was received into the Anglican Church, was baptized with the name of Danieri (Daniel). He spent the rest of his life in exile. He died in 1903, aged 35 years. In 1910 his remains were repatriated and buried at Kasubi.The war against Kabaka Mwanga II had been expensive, and the new commissioner of Uganda in 1900, Sir Harry H. Johnston, had orders to establish an efficient administration and to levy taxes as quickly as possible. This he did through the Buganda Agreement of 1900

The Buganda agreement

The Buganda agreement was signed in 1900 between Sir Harry Johnstone, British Official, and Apollo Kagwa, representing the Baganda

Reasons for signing of the Buganda agreement

  1. a) The treaty was to define the position of Buganda in the country.
  2. b) To introduce law and order in the country.
  3. c) To reduce the cost of British administration since Buganda was to meet the cost of administration.
  4. d) To define the relationship between Buganda and the British government.

Terms of the Buganda agreement

  1. a) The Buganda laws were to remain in effect as much as they did not interfere with protectorate laws that were to be applicable to Buganda Kingdom as well. Bugandakingdom was to be ruled by the Kabaka with the assistance of Katikiro. The Lukiko was to be the legitimate body making laws of Buganda and it was to compose 89 members.
  2. b) Buganda people were to pay poll and hut tax. However, No tax was to be levied on Buganda unless approved by the Lukiko (parliament). Revenue from Buganda was to be merged with all the revenue from other provinces.
  3. c) The kabaka, ministers and Chiefs to be paid since they were now employees of the British government.
  4. d) Buganda boundaries were defined to include parts of Bunyoro (the ten sazas she had acquired from Bunyoro). The kingdom was therefore expanded to twenty counties. To ease administration, each county was placed under a Saza Chief.
  5. e) Land tenure system was changed to include land on freehold basis (Mailo land) and crown land. The crown land was for protectorate government while the Mailo land was particularly for the kabaka, his ministers and his chiefs.
  6. f) Though Buganda became a province within the protectorate, Ganda system of government was recognized and modified. It was to have three ministers (katikiro, treasurer and chief justice.). The Lukiko had fixed number- 20-saza chiefs, 60 notables and 6 Kabaka’sappointees.

Results of the Buganda agreement.

  1. a) British overlord ship was confirmed over Buganda.
  2. b) Buganda was reduced to a status of a mere province.
  3. c) The position of the king was reduced – he lost his power to give or withhold land as well as the power to appoint or transfer chiefs.
  4. d) The 1900 Agreement led to the birth of early nationalistic movements. For example, the Bataka Opposition Movement in the 1920s by the landless class people rising up against the land-owning group.
  5. e) Modern economy and western education were introduced with Buganda taking the lead.
  6. f) Buganda formed the basis for the British administration as baganda were appointed as British administrators.
  7. g) It strengthened the special position of Buganda in relation to other communities in Uganda.
  8. h) Sazas were increased from 10 to 20 and saza chiefs got land and right to impose land rent.
  9. i) It led expansion of Christianity and decline of Islamic influence.
  10. j) Bunyoro kingdom became aggrieved as results of loss of part their territory that was transferred to Buganda by the British. This caused friction later.

Results of African collaboration

  1. a) Just like resistors, the collaborating communities also lost their independence and were eventually colonized. Bulozi and Buganda finally became British Protectorates.
  2. b) The collaborating community leaders gained some recognition, though with reduced powers. Lewanika foe example became the paramount Chief of Barotseland while Kabaka gained the title, ‘His Highness’.
  3. c) The collaborators were able to secure some amount of protection from their traditional enemies. The Lozi were protected from the Ndebele while the Baganda were protected from the Banyoro.
  4. d) The collaborators were used by the Europeans to exert their authority over other African societies. The baganda on their part were used to administer Busoga.
  5. e) The collaborating Africans gained from missionary work. Lewanika’s sons for example gained western education. Hospitals and schools were also built in the kingdoms.
  6. f) There was increased trade between the collaborating communities and the Europeans. The communities gained European goods such as glassware, clothes, guns and ammunition.
  7. g) The collaborators just like resistors were later subjected to economic exploitation such as land alienation, mining, taxation and forced labour.



Factors that contributed to the scramble and partition of East Africa

  1. The rise of Nationalism in Europe. The Unification of Germany, after the Franco- Prussian war (1870-71) upset the balance of power in Europe and there was need to rebalance out through acquisition of colonies in Africa including east Africa. The Germans also felt that the only way their nation could gain recognition among other European powers was through securing colonial possession.
  2. Strategic location of East Africa in relation to Egypt. Europeans were concerned with the source of the river Nile in East Africa and control of the Suez Canal. Therefore, the ownership of East Africa was crucial to the Egyptian affairs. East Africa, had, from the days of the Portuguese conquest in the 15th century, proved to be a strategic location for fresh supplies. That is why the Germans and the British competed for possessions in the region.
  3. The need to speed up economic development of the European countries. The industrializednations were rushing for colonies to tap raw materials to keep their factories running. There was also a popular believe that East Africa contained pockets of precious metals awaiting exploitation. They were also driven by the search for market for European produced goods.

The Europeans were also looking for places to invest their capital.

  1. The rise of Public opinion in Europe. There was growth of public support towards the acquisition of colonies. E.g., the Daily Press in London spoke well about acquiring colonies.
  2. Social factors.

~  East Africa was to be occupied as a means of stamping out slave trade and replacing

it with legitimate trade.

~  The Europeans were keen on spreading their culture to east Africa.

~  They wanted to protect their missionaries who were already operating in east Africa

The process of Partition

The Berlin conference failed to fully resolve the rivalry between the Germans and the British in East Africa. The activities of Karl Peters and Harry Johnstone for the Germans and the British respectively in the Mount Kilimanjaro region depicted intense rivalry which almost led to war.The two signed treaties with local chiefs as a way of legalizing their arbitrary declaration of their spheres of influence. Karl peters even declared german protectorate over Ungulu, Uzigua, Usagara and Ukami.These activities together with those of Sir William Mackinnon of the Imperial British East Africa Company became the immediate cause of the partition of east Africa.The partition of East Africa was sealed through the following two treaties.

The Anglo-German Agreement of 1886

The agreement facilitated peaceful settlement of the german and British claims on east Africa as follows;

  1. a) The Sultan was given the 16 KM (10mile) coastal strip from Vanga to Lamu. He also acquired islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, mafia, Lamu, pate and Towns like Lamu, Kisimayu, Mogadishu, Merca, and Brava.
  2. b) Germany acquired the coastline of Witu the region between river Umba in the North and river Ruvuma in the south.
  3. c) The British got the territory north of river Umba up to river Juba in the north.

However, the treaty failed to determine the western boundary, thus leaving Uganda up for grab to any power that got there first. Uganda therefore became a theatre of intense rivalry between Karl Peters who even secured a treaty with Kabaka Mwanga in 1890 and Fredrick Lugard who tried in vain to sign a treaty with Kabaka Mwanga.

This tension is what led to the Heligoland Treaty of 1890.

Terms of the Heligoland Treaty of 1890

  1. a) Germany officially recognized Uganda as a British sphere of influence/protectorate.
  2. b) Germany abandoned her claim over the territory of Witu for British in exchange for Heligoland island in the North sea
  3. c) Germany accepted British protectorate over Zanzibar and Pemba.
  4. d) Germany acquired a strip of land on Lake Tanganyika from Britain and the Coastal region of Tanganyika from the Sultan of Zanzibar.
  5. e) The Sultan of Zanzibar retained a 16km (10 miles) Coastal strip.

This treaty thus ended the scramble for and partition of East Africa.


Methods used by the British to occupy Kenya.

  1. a) Signing of treaties. The following treaties were signed either by the British or on behalf of the British to facilitate their occupation of Kenya;

~  A treaty by Sir William Mackinnon and the Sultan of Zanzibar Barghash in 1887

which effectively put Zanzibar under the British for 50 years.

~  The Maasai Agreements of 1904 and 1911 between Oloibon Lenana and the British

~  The Anglo-Germany Treaties of 1886 and 1890.

  1. b) The British collaborated with communities like the Wanga and Maasai who were later used as bases to extend British Authority over other areas.
  2. c) Establishing operational bases. The British built Forts like Fort Smith (Kabete) and Fort Hall (Murang’a) to enhance their political control.
  3. d) Use of company Rule. In the initial stages, due to the fear of the enormous costs of effective occupation and administration, the British mandated the IBEA. Company to administer the Kenyan protectorate.The Imperial British East Africa Company of Sir William Mackinnon was given the royal charter in 1888 and thus had the following new powers;
  4. a) Levying and collecting taxes and institute custom duties in the area.
  5. b) Establishing political authority and Maintain of law and order in the British East Africa.
  6. c) Promoting legitimate trade and Eradicate slave trade
  7. d) Developing and civilizing the indigenous peoples with the assistance of the imperial consul based in Zanzibar.

Achievements of the IBEAC.

  1. a) The company succeeded in quelling local aggression in the British spheres of influence from

communities such as the Nandi, Maasai and Akamba.

  1. b) The company established a series of Forts at Kibwezi, Machakos, Smith and Dagoretti, which laid the basis for colonial administration in Kenya.
  2. c) The company improved transport and communication in the protectorate by pioneering road construction in Kenya. For example the Sclater’s Road between Kibwezi and Busia in 1894 which assisted in transportation of railway building materials.
  3. d) The company succeeded in eradicating slavery to some extend and securing freedom for many slaves.
  4. e) The company also developed a rubber industry along the coast and the interior.

Reasons why Britain used the IBEA Company to administer her possession

  1. a) Absence of a clear policy on the administration of colonial possessions. This gave room to the use of the company to administer the colony.
  2. b) The company could provide cheap administrative capital that Britain had failed to raise for colonial governance. The colonies were not yet economically viable
  3. c) There was a problem of inadequate personnel to be used in the administration of the colonies.
  4. d) B.E.A.Co’s long experience in the region. The company had invested heavily in east Africa, hence making its participation in the administration of the colony inevitable.

Why company rule had failed by 1895.

  1. a) The region lacked strategic natural resources for export thus making the IBEACO, a trading company, to operate at a loss and narrow its revenue base. Minerals like Gold, copper and Diamond were not existent.
  2. b) The company lacked sufficient capital to carry out the day- to- day administrative operations. The company had spent the little funds available in the construction of fortified trading stations, with little reward.
  3. c) Transportation of goods in the region proved expensive and slow as the region did not have any navigable rivers
  4. d) The company faced the problem of poor coordination of its activities caused by lack of proper channels of communication between the head office in Europe and the offices in the colony.
  5. e) Some of the company officials were corrupt and therefore misappropriated funds.
  6. f) The company faced numerous resistances especially in the Nandi country thus disrupting their operation. At one time, Fort Smith was set on fire by African resisters.
  7. g) Some of the company officials lacked experience in administrative matters since most of them came merely as traders.
  8. h) The company officials also were affected by the harsh tropical climate and diseases like malaria and sleeping sickness that killed many.

The company thus surrendered the Charter in 1895 to the British government for a

compensation of 250,000 dollars

Factors facilitated the establishment of the British control over Kenya during the 19th century?

  1. a) The Christian missionary factor. They created an atmosphere of friendship with Africans, which was important for colonization. They also occasionally called home for protection against hostile communities.
  2. b) Presence of trading company (IBEACO. The companies through their agents signed treaties with African rulers and among themselves as a means of initiating effective occupation of Kenya.
  3. c) Superior military power/good army. The European armies were more efficient than he African ones. This was witnessed in the ability to quell the numerous wars of resistance like the Nandi resistance.
  4. d) Disunity among African communities. By the time the British came to East Africa, the Wanga were up against the neighboring communities in western Kenya, the Nandi and the Maasaiwere at war and the Mijikenda against the coastal Arabs over land. This was of advantage to the British.
  5. e) Signing of treaties. There was Collaboration of some communities with the British. The Maasai signed the Maasai Agreement of 1900. The Wanga also signed various treaties with the British.
  6. f) The British policy of indirect rule was readily acceptable, thus reducing the chances of resistance.
  7. g) Financial support from the home government.


Africans in Kenya offered varied responses to the British intrusion into their country. Some resisted while other collaborated.The communities that resisted actively included the Nandi, Agiryama, Bukusu, Somali and sections of the Agikuyu




The Nandi Resistance (1895-1906)

Reasons why the Nandi resisted British occupation of their land

  1. a) The Nandi had gained a lot of pride, having subdued their neighbours E.g the Luo, Maasai, Abagusii and Abaluhyia. At that time, they were enjoying a sense of superiority that gave them confidence to take the British Intruders head-on.
  2. b) The Nandi military superiority made them feel equal if not superior to the whites. Their warriors were well- trained and equipped and had gained a lot of experience through the numerous cattle raids the conducted against their neighbours.
  3. c) The Nandi detested the physical appearance of the white people which they considered as evil and must be expelled from their community.
  4. d) The Nandi were opposed to Land alienation by the British. They disliked the grabbing of their land for railway construction/white settlement.
  5. e) Kimnyole’s prophecy that foreigners would dominate the Nandi motivated them to fight against the Europeans.
  6. f) The Nandi had a long history of resisting and fighting intruders. They had successfully warded off the Arab and Swahili traders in the 1850s.
  7. g) The Nandi resisted as a means of safeguarding their independence which they had enjoyed for a long time.
  8. h) The Nandi also enjoyed unity under the leadership of Koitalel Arap Samoei between 1895 and 1905. This had helped them to register numerous victories against neighbouring communities. They therefore felt strong enough to resist the British.

Course of the Nandi rebellion

The Nandi wars of resistance began in 1895. The Nandi mainly employed guerilla warfare ambushing the caravan traders and mail carriers who passed in their territory.

When two Nandi warriors strayed into the Guasa Mesa administrative camp headed by Andrew Dick in 1895, he murdered them as a response to the attacks by the Nandi on foreigners passing in their territory.The Nandi retaliated through the murder of a British trader, Peter West and thirty of his workers. This sparked off British punitive expeditions against the Nandi with the first in 1897 which however failed to stop the Nandi raids.

When the railway reached the Nandi territory, they refused to cooperate with the railway builders and even kept stealing building materials to make weapons and ornaments. They even ambushed and murdered railway builders.In 1900, the British sent three punitive expeditions under Colonel Evatt, the commander of the Uganda Rifles reinforced by the Maasai, Baganda, Swahili and Indian mercenaries.The Nandi were supported by the Kipsigis enabling them to resist for so long causing high death toll on the British and the Nandi as well.The year 1901 witnessed a temporary truce worked out by the British administrator, Walter Mayes (1901-1905), after realizing the heavy causalities both sides were experiencing.

The war was re-ignited when the Nandi realized that the British had started settling and farming on their land. They destroyed the railway in protest. The British reacted by destroying crops and villages and stealing cattle for the next three years.

The Nandi war of resistance only ended when the British officer in Nandi, Captain

Meinertzhagen, hatched a plan to have Koitalel, the chief coordinator of the résistance, killed. He and his advisers were killed in October 1905, during a “peace” meeting convened by Meinertzhagen.

The Nandi finally sought for peace in December 1905 ending the ten year long resistance.

Why the Nandi offered the longest and strongest ever resistance to the British intrusion in Kenya.

  1. a) The British intrusion into their territory happened when the Nandi were at the best of their power and superiority.
  2. b) Existence of a superior military organization based on the age set system. The Nandi army was strong and could match any foreign force. The regimental age-set system supplied the Nandi with young men who were experienced in battle, disciplined, organized and were effective.
  3. c) The Nandi also possessed knowledge of weapon manufacture and repair through their local ironsmiths and using stolen railway material.
  4. d) The Nandi enjoyed regular supply of food and war equipment which sustained the fighters for a long period. This was mainly aided by the Nandi mixed economy enabling them to turn livestock for food when the British destroyed crops.
  5. e) The Nandi had good knowledge of the terrain in which they were fighting the intruders thus having an advantage over the British who were not familiar with the terrain. The difficulties faced by the British as posed by the terrain disadvantaged them durin g the resistance
  6. f) The Nandi knowledge of Guerilla tactics. This enabled them to organize many surprise attacks while vandalizing key British installations like the telegraph lines.
  7. g) The existence of strong leadership. The Nandi leadership was religiously inspired and therefore very strong. The Orkoiyot was their symbol of unity and strength and was believed to possess some supernatural powers that gave courage to the fighters.
  8. h) Their enemies, the British troops, were slowed down in their advance by problems like respiratory disease due to the wet and cold climate. The Nandi were accustomed to these conditions
  9. i) The Nandi received assistance from the Kipsigis fighters – the Elgeyo, Lembus and Nyangori which enabled them to hold off the British for Six weeks in 1900.

Why the Nandi were defeated in the hands of the British

  1. a) The British obtained support, against the Nandi, from the collaborating communities like the Somali and the Maasai.
  2. b) The British military strength remained superior to that of the Nandi especially in terms of the weapons. Their guns were superior to the Nandi spears.
  3. c) There was an outbreak of smallpox in the Nandi country 1890. This weakened them by killing many and rendering others unable to fight on.
  4. d) They Nandi failed to get support from the neighboring Kenyan communities like the Luo and the Abaluhyia who were not friendly to them.
  5. e) The treachery employed by Captain Meinertzhagen, the British commander who lured Nandi Orkoiyot Koitalel Arap Samoei to a meeting where he was killed.
  6. f) The death of Koitalel Arap Samoei demoralized the Nandi into even signing for peace.
  7. g) The British used Scorched Earth Policy, which seemed more punitive to the Nandi since their houses were burnt and livestock confiscated.

Results of the Nandi resistance.

  1. a) The Nandi country was colonized by the British after 1906. The Nandi lost their


  1. b) There was massive loss of life. Koitalel Arap Samoei, his entire council of elders and over 1000 warriors were killed. The British also experienced casualties on the part of their forces.
  2. c) There was destruction of property through burning and looting. E.g the British confiscated at least 5000 herds of cattle and burnt more than 5000 huts and grain stores.
  3. d) There was massive land alienation. The Nandi were pushed into reserves where they experienced impoverishment due to drought and cattle diseases. The Nandi lot their territory and traditional salt licks at Kapchekendi and Kamelilo that were now inhabited by the whites.
  4. e) The Nandi military organization disintegrated thus making them lose their dignity and authority in the region.
  5. f) The Nandi were separated from their close cousins and allies the Kipsigis through the creation of the Nandi Reserves where they were confined. Their economic lifestyle of grazing animals freely was also disrupted.
  6. g) Many Nandi warriors were recruited into the colonial police.

Agiriama resistance.

A Bantu speaking group inhabiting the coastal region, their reaction to the British invasion was motivated by the reaction of the Mazrui Arabs and the Swahili who rose up against the British in 1895.The Agiriama reaction began as an offer of support to the Mazrui Arabs, with whom they had long trading links, during their conflict with the British over succession to the TakaunguSheikhdom. The Agiriama was also hitting back against the Busaidi Arabs who were encroaching on their territory. The British had supported the Al Busaidi collaborators throughout succession conflict.The British reacted by bombarding Rashid’s Headquarters at Mweli forcing the Agiriama and the Mazrui to resort to guerilla warfare. While the Mazrui Arabs later surrendered, the Agiriama now resorted to full scale résistance against the British encroachment in 1914.



Causes of the Agiriama resistance

  1. a) They did not want to pay taxes, especially hut tax that was hurting to traditionally polygamous group, to the British. The British also were forcing them to pay it in terms of labour instead of allowing them to sell their grains and livestock to pay.
  2. b) They had lost their independence/the British replaced the Agiriama traditional rulers with their own appointees
  3. c) They were opposed to forced labour on British plantations for little or no pay especially on land that had been snatched from them.
  4. d) The British did not respect their culture. The British policemen at Kitengani insulted the Agiriama culture by raping their women.
  5. e) The Agiriama were reacting against forced conscription into the King’s African Rifles. They were forced to produce 1000 able-bodied men within a month, join the British army
  6. f) They lost their land to the British due to the massive land alienation for settler farming. They were forced to offer paid labour on their own former land to the chagrin of the elders.
  7. g) The British, who were seeking to take over the Agiriama role as middlemen, disrupted their trade in ivory and food stuffs
  8. h) They disliked the British-appointed headmen whose duties included collection of taxes and recruitment of labour.

Course of the resistance

The Agiriama resistance was inspired by a Giriama prophetess, Mekatilili WA Menza. She was joined by an Elder, Wanje wa Madorika in mobilizing people to a mass resistance against the British rule.The immediate course of their reaction was the forced military recruitment into the KAR. To provoke the British to war, they barred their young men from moving outside their villages to work.Mekatilili and Wanje called on the people to return to their ancestral shrine at Kaya Fungo and offer sacrifices and denounced all appointed puppet rulers in favour of the traditional council of elders.

The two administered traditional oaths to unite and inspire the people to war. I.e. the Mukushekushe oath for women and the Fisi oat for men.When a state of emergency was declared by the British over the Agiriama, they resorted to Hitand-run warfare. They attacked the homes of loyalists, Europeans and collaborators forcing the missionaries to seeker refuge at Rabai. The British countered the hit-and-run warfare with burning villages and crops and driving away livestockThe resistance only subsided when Mekatilili and Wanje were arrested and deported to Kisii.The Arabs, under Fadhili bin Omari, mediated between the Agiriama and the British, marking the end of the war under the following terms;

  1. a) The Agiriama to offer a specific number of labourers for European settlers and

public works.

  1. b) They would also offer a certain number of able-bodied men to serve in the King’s African Rifles.
  2. c) The British would occupy all the land to the north of River Sabaki.

Role of Mekatilili in the Agiriama resistance.

  1. a) She encouraged the Agiriama to face the British by administering the Mukushekushe and Fisi oaths to unite the people to war.
  2. b) She presented the grievances of the Agiriama, some of which the British later addressed.
  3. c) She rallied the people together against a common enemy thus laying the basis for

nationalistic struggles for independence.

Results of the Agiriama resistance to the British

  1. a) Many people lost their lives some as fighters while others were caught in the crossfire.
  2. b) The Agiriama lost their independence to the British
  3. c) There was Rampant destruction of property i.e. food stores at home, food crops in the fields and cattle. Some property was lost through confiscation.
  4. d) The community’s economic activities were disrupted, especially the lucrative trade at Takaungu, where they had been acting as middlemen.
  5. e) The Agiriama were prohibited from brewing traditional liquor.
  6. f) The British withdrew their order demanding Agiriama to move out of their homes.
  7. g) For the first time women took up the leadership of the rebellion e.g. Mekatilili

Bukusu resistance

Reasons why the Bukusu resisted the British rule

  1. a) They wanted to safeguard their independence and culture i.e. circumcision.
  2. b) They were being compelled to recognize Nabongo Mumia as the overall leader of Abaluhyia.
  3. c) The Bukusu did not like the idea of paying taxes to the British through force.
  4. d) They resented the British demand in 1894, that the Bukusu warriors surrender guns they possessed.
  5. e) The British invasion had happened when the Bukusu were enjoying immense military power.

Course of the resistance

The Bukusu resistance began with the ambush of a trade caravan heading to Ravine through bukusuland. The Bukusu stole all the rifles. When they were commanded to surrender all the guns in 1894 and declined, the British sent a punitive expedition which however was defeated. The British administrator at Elureko, Charles Hobley sought for reinforcement from Major William Grant of the Ugandan protectorate.

In 1895, at the battles of Lumboka and Chetambe, the Bukusu were summarily defeated.

Methods used by the Bukusu to resist the British.

  1. a) Use of Warfare. They directly fought the British troops led by Major William Grant, at Lumboka and Chetambe hills.
  2. b) The Bukusu ambushed a caravan of traders, sent by the commanding officer at Kavirondo to the Ravine Station.
  3. c) Revolting against rule by Wanga agents. The Bukusu Murdered a Wanga agent, Hamisi, who had been sent, to administer the area. `

Effects of the Bukusu resistance

  1. a) The Bukusu lost most of their land through massive land alienation
  2. b) They lost their independence as bukusuland was declared part of the British East Africa


  1. c) There was massive loss of life within the Bukusu and the British forces.
  2. d) There was loss f property and disruption of Bukusu economy. The Bukusu lost their cattle

and sheep.

  1. e) Bukusu women and children were taken prisoners by the British.

The Somali resistance.

The Somali resistance was a reaction to the British declaration that Jubaland was a British protectorate. They were led by their leader Ahmad bin Murgan.

causes of Somali resistance.

  1. a) The Somali were opposed to the division of Somaliland into the British and Italian spheres of influence, which separated the clans.
  2. b) They were opposed to punitive expedition sent against them by the British.
  3. c) The Somali people being Muslims were opposed to being controlled by the British who were Christians.
  4. d) The British attempted to stop the Somali raiding activities against their neighbors.
  5. e) The Somali were against British control of their pastureland and watering points.
  6. f) The British wanted the Somali to drop their nomadic way of life.

Course of the resistance.

The British initially reacted minimally to the Somali aggression on their Kisimayu

neighbourhood in 1898 due to the following reasons;

  1. a) They viewed such an undertaking as to expensive in terms of the arms and military personnel that would have been involved.
  2. b) The Somali were a nomadic group therefore it was very hard and time consuming to suppress them.
  3. c) There was no economic justification for waging such a war on a highly unproductive territory. However, when the Somali murdered the British sub-commissioner for Jubaland, Mr Jenner, in 1900, the British dispatched a punitive expedition of Indian regiments against them.The Somali rose up again in 1905 against the British after they had procured Firearms. The Somali skirmishes continued into 1914 with the change of boundaries and finally ended in 1925 when Jubaland was put under the Italian Somaliland.

Results of the Somali resistance

  1. a) There was massive loss of life, as many Somalis were killed. Sub-commissioner Jenner was also killed.
  2. b) The British divide the Darod and Hawiye clans through the boundary changes of 1914.
  3. c) The Somali cattle were confiscated.
  4. d) Somali lost their independence through the declaration of the protectorate status.
  5. e) The process of colonization by Europeans was delayed considerably.
  6. f) There was favorable boundary change that saw Ogaden being placed under Italian Somaliland.


In Kenya, the Maasai, Wanga and a section of the Agikuyu, Akamba, and Luo collabo rated.

The Maasai collaboration

In the 19th century, the Maasai community changed from a once feared community to one marred by succession disputes and natural calamities. The Disputes between Lenana and Sendeyo over succession of Mbatian after he died weakened the Maasai community to the level of merely collaborating with the British intruders. Sendeyo moved with his followers to northern Tanzania leaving behind Lenana’s group who chose the path of collaboration.

Reasons for the Maasai collaboration with the British

  1. a) Losses of the Maasai military supremacy. At the time the British came to Kenya, the Nandi had overtaken the Maasai in terms of military superiority. They therefore sought for foreignsupport against their aggressors.
  2. b) Internal feuds. There were a series of succession disputes in the period between 1850 and 1890 caused by differences in economic activities. In one of the disputes, when Lenana seemed to be losing to Sendeyo, he appealed to the British for support.
  3. c) Natural calamities/disasters. The Maasai country witnessed severe hunger, livestock and human diseases in the 1850s. These weakened them more making them unable to resist.
  4. d) Threat and wars from the Agikuyu. When the Maasai went to reclaim their women and children at the end of the hunger period, they were met with outright threat of attacks from the Agikuyu. They therefore sought British support.
  5. e) Prophecy of Mbatian. He prophesized the coming of a white man who was more powerful and that the Maasai should not bother to resist him.
  6. f) Lenana personally chose the path of collaboration because he wanted to consolidate his position and that of his kingdom. He was looking for the much needed military support to overcome his sibling, Sendeyo of the Loita Maasai.



The process of Maasai collaboration.

The attempt by Lenana to secure assistance against Sendeyo was the beginning of his collaboration with the British.The Kedong massacre incident (Maasai warriors attacked a caravan of Swahili and Agikuyu traders travelling from Ravine) and the resultant death of 100 Maasai at the hands of three white men (Andrew Dick and two French companions) made the Maasai the immediately seek for collaboration with the British.They cooperated with the British in establishment of colonial administration. The provided mercenaries in the British punitive expedition against the Nandi, Kipsigis and Kikuyu. Maasai were rewarded with cattle acquired from uncooperative peoples e.g. The Nandi and Agikuyu

They exchanged gifts and used British manufactured goods. Lenana was made a paramount chief. Between 1904 and 1923, a fair proportion of the Maasai agreed to be moved from one grazing land to another to pave way for British settlement.They signed the first Maasai agreement in 1904 by which they moved into two reserves, one to the south of Ngong and the railway and the other up on the Laikipia plateau. A corridor of five kilometres was set aside in Kinangop for the Eunoto ceremony that accompanied circumcision. The second Maasai agreement of 1911 implied the Maasai abandon the Laikipia plateau to rejoin others in the enlarged southern reserve.

Results of the Maasai collaboration

  1. a) Lenana was made a paramount chief of the Maasai in 1901.
  2. b) The collaboration led to the separation of the Maasai related clans. The Purko Maasai were divided into the Loita and Ngong Maasai.
  3. c) There was massive land alienation with the Maasai being moved to the Ngong and Laikipia reserves and later the southern reserve.
  4. d) Maasai freedom in conducting rituals was curtailed with their confinement to a five –square-mile reserve for initiation rites.
  5. e) The Maasai lost their independence. Just like any other part of kenya, Maasailand became part of the British protectorate.
  6. f) There was total disruption of their territorial integrity. Even their cattle economy was disrupted as the number of livestock was reduced. There was an attempt to cause them to abandon their nomadic habit.
  7. g) The Maasai gained material reward in form of cattle and grains looted from resisting communities like the Nandi and Luo of Ugenya.
  8. h) Their age old custom of livestock cross- breeding with their Samburu neighbours was disrupted with the curtailing of their migratory behaviour. Their stock was therefore weakened.
  9. i) Some Maasai were hired as mercenaries against the resisting communities such as the Nandi and Agikuyu.




Wanga Collaboration

Nabongo Mumia, the Wanga leader from 1880, was an ambitious and shrewd leader who had the desire to expand his Kingdom through collaboration with  British intruders and soliciting their military assistance.

Reasons for Wanga Collaboration

  1. a) Nabongo Mumia hoped that by collaborating, he would be made a paramount Chief of the entire western region.
  2. b) There was family rivalry over leadership. This compelled Mumia to seek help against his brother Sakwa. He wanted to safeguard his position at home.

Key notes for the teacher and students- @Cheloti 2013  Page 33

  1. c) He wanted British protection against the Nandi, who were by then enjoying military superiority, the Bukusu and the Luo of Ugenya
  2. d) He wanted to revive a disintegrating kingdom.
  3. e) He wanted to take advantage of the British western civilization particularly education and religion. He also wanted material gains from the British.
  4. f) He aimed at achieving territorial expansion. Mumia aimed at ruling up to Kabras, Kimilili, Marama, Butsotso, Ugenya and Samia.
  5. g) He realized that his community was very small and it was futile to resist the militarily superior Europeans.
  6. h) Having realized that the British declaration of western Kenya as their sphere of influence was inevitable, he chose to become their ally at the earliest opportunity ever.

Process of Wanga Collaboration.

Mumia’s contact with the outside world began when he befriended the Swahili and Arabcaravan traders and later the IBEA Company merchants when they visited wangaland.They built a fort and a trading station at Elureko, his capital, which was to remain the headquarters of the British administration in western Kenya until 1920.

Ways in which Nabongo of Wanga collaborate with the British.

  1. a) He offered his seat-elureko to become an operational base of the British expeditions.
  2. b) He offered his men to fight alongside the British in their expeditions against other communities.
  3. c) He provided Wanga agents to aid the British in administering the conquered areas.
  4. d) The Wanga provided food, water and shelter to the British invading forces.
  5. e) They gave the British free passage through their territory and offered them hiding places during the battles.
  6. f) Mumia signed treaties of friendship with the British.

Results of the Wanga collaboration with the British.

  1. a) Wanga kingdom was strengthened using military support from the British. Wanga kingdom was expanded. Nabongo gained more territories e.g. Samia, Bunyala and Busoko
  2. b) Their king Mumia was declared a paramount Chief thus raising his prestige. He ruled as a British paramount chief ruling as far as Bunyala, Gem , Ugenya and Alego, upto 1926, when he officially retired
  3. c) Mumia warriors became agents of the British colonialism. The warriors were used to subdue the Luo, Bukusu and Nandi.
  4. d) The Wanga Princes became agents of British rule over western Kenya. For example, Mumia’s half-brother Murunga was appointed chief of the Isukha and Idakho.
  5. e) Mumias headquarters at Elureko became the seat of British administration in western Kenya upto 1920 when it was moved to Kakamega.
  6. f) Mumia and his people gained material benefits from the British through trade, western education and religion.
  7. g) Nabongo Mumia became an important ally of the British administration in western ken\ya, providing them with vital information over the appointment of chiefs and Headmen in western Kenya.
  8. h) Due to the Wanga Collaboration, there was intensified enmity and hostility between the Wanga people and other Abaluhyia subsections who viewed the Wanga as traitors.
  9. i) However, The Wanga, just like any other collaborator or resister lost their independence when Kenya was declared a British Colony in 1920.

Mixed reactions

The communities that exhibited mixed reaction were the Akamba, Agikuyu and Luo.

The Akamba Reaction

The arrival of the British traders threatened to destabilize the prominence enjoyed by the Akamba as middlemen during the long distance trade. The British even tried to stop the Akamba from organizing raids on their Oromo, Agikuyu and Maasai neighbours.

Why did the Akamba decide to resist British administration?

  1. a) The British failed to respect Akamba traditions and customs. For example, the cutting down of the ithembo (shrine) tree for a flag post at Mutituni in 1891.
  2. b) When the Akamba attacked the Agikuyu, The British intervened against them. This was not taken kindly.
  3. c) The Akamba were protesting the misconduct of Company officials based at Machakos who stole from the local people and raped Akamba women.
  4. d) The establishment of colonial administration disrupted the long distance trade, which was the Akamba lifeline.
  5. e) The establishment of British rule meant loss of independence for the Akamba.
  6. f) The establishment of military posts in Ukambani without their consent. The British built a fort at Masaku in 1890.
  7. g) The British kept on disrupting their peace by sending military expeditions that resulted in death and massive destruction of property.
  8. h) The Akamba were also resisting forced labour.


Course of the Akamba resistance.

In 1890, Nzibu Mweu led he Akamba in boycotting to sell goods to the company agents.

Prophetess Syonguu also ordered the Iveti Warriors to attack the Masaku fort in the same year as a reaction to the cutting down of the ithembo tree for a flagpole.The British agents were defeated during this surprise attack.When the British tried to stop the Akamba raids on their neighbours in 1894, a Warrior, Mwatu wa Ngoma ordered the Akamba warriors, who had been inspired by medicinemen, to attack the British.

The British responded with devastating consequences on the side of the Akamba forcing them into collaboration with the British District Commissioner, John Ainsworth. Mwatu wa Ngoma became a collaborator.Later, another gallant fighter, Mwanamuka, led the Kangundo people to attack the colonial police at Mukuyuni and Mwala, killing six. With the assistance of Maasai mercenaries, the British sent a punitive expedition against the Akamba and even confiscated their livestock.When Mwanamuka tried to blockade the Lukenya area to cut off communication between Fort Smith and Masaku, he was met with devastating consequences that forced him to also petition for peace.

Why a section of the Akamba collaborated with the British.

  1. a) They had lost heavily during the Akamba-British war of 1894 causing them to fear the British.
  2. b) The ruthlessness with which the British attacked the Akamba scared many warriors into collaborating. For example, the Machakos station superintendent, Leith dispatched troops to deal with Syonguu’s forces in 1891, causing merciless killings and looting of property.
  3. c) Some especially the trades collaborated expecting material gains.
  4. d) Collaborators wanted to gain prestige.
  5. e) They wanted to get guns to be used in robbing for wealth.
  6. f) The Akamba had been weakened by the 1899 famine and were therefore unable to effectively tackle the British.

Reasons for the Akamba defeat

  1. a) Some of the Akamba were not patriotic to the resistance course. Some self-serving opportunists allied with the colonial agents with the aim of enriching themselves thereby resulting in the Akamba defeat.
  2. b) Internally, the Akamba lacked territorial cohesion. It was therefore very difficult to coordinate a strong resistance to British rule among a highly segmented society lacking in a centralized system of government.
  3. c) Sections of The Akamba community experienced severe famine in 1899. They were weakened to the level of being unable to stage a gainful resistance to the British.
  4. d) The role of missionaries who pacified some sections to the level of collaborating with the intruders. The missionaries actively undermined their religious practices and traditional beliefs.
  5. e) When the Akamba caravan trade and raiding activities were disrupted, they had lost a significant source of livelihood and thus became weakened more.

Consequences of the Akamba reaction

  1. a) The Akamba lost their independence as their territory was declared a British protectorate.
  2. b) There was massive alienation of Kamba land to pave way for white settlement.
  3. c) Many people, especially the Akamba warriors lost their lives during the confrontations with the British soldiers.
  4. d) The British interfered with the Akamba culture by cutting down the Ithembo tree and raping their women.
  5. e) The Akamba were subjected to heavy taxation in order to raise revenue for the colonial administration.
  6. f) Many of the Akamba men were forcefully conscripted into the King’s African Rifles to fight in World War I.

The Agikuyu reaction

The Agikuyu was also a highly segmented nature lacking in territorial unity. This explains why they had mixed reaction against the British.

Explain the causes of Agikuyu resistance.

  1. a) The British failed to respect Agikuyu traditions and customs. The missionaries campaignedagainst female circumcision and Kikuyu forms of worship.
  2. b) Misconduct of company officials. They stole from the local people, killing some of them, and raped Agikuyu women.
  3. c) The Agikuyu were revolting against the forced supply of grains and water, by their women, to the British soldiers.
  4. d) There was massive land alienation, which had left many landless or pushed to unproductive land.
  5. e) Harassment of the Agikuyu, by British punitive expeditions. To enforce their policies, the British usually applied excessive force.
  6. f) The British had begun meddling in the Agikuyu internal affairs making them suspicious of their intentions.
  7. g) Fear of Loss of independence by some leaders like Waiyaki wa Hinga.
  8. h) The Agikuyu were reacting against the punishment meted on them by the British for raiding Fort Smith in 1892.

Reasons why some Agikuyu collaborated.

  1. a) Agikuyu leaders like Kinyanjui wa Gathirimu and Karuri wa Gakure wanted to derive personal wealth and prestige through collaboration.
  2. b) Kinyanjui wa Gathirimu and Karuri wa Gakure hoped that by collaborating, they would be made paramount Chiefs among the Agikuyu.
  3. c) The collaborators wanted British protection against their enemies amongst the Agikuyu and other neighbouring communities.
  4. d) They wanted to take advantage of the British western civilization particularly education and religion.
  5. e) They also wanted material gains from the British through trading with them.
  6. f) The Agikuyu of Nyeri realized that it was futile to resist the militarily superior Europeans.They therefore chose to collaborate.

Organization of the Agikuyu reaction

When captain Lugard established a fort at Dagoretti in 1890, he began relating with Waiyaki WA Hinga who was in charge of the area. Wayaki’s people supplied Lugard’s men with food.However, when Wilson took over from Lugard who had left for Uganda, his soldiers began looting food and livestock from the Agikuyu. The Agikuyu reacted by setting the Dagoretti fort on fire. Waiyaki was arrested by the forces sent by Sub-commissioner Ainsworth, and died enroute to Mombasa. It is alleged that he was buried alive at Kibwezi after provoking his captors.Kinyanjui WA Gathirimu, a collaborator, succeeded Waiyaki at Dagoretti. In 1899, Fort Dagoretti was closed down due to a series of raids. Francis Hall opened another Fort at Murang’a (renamed Fort Hall after his death in 1901) after the locals were subdued and forced to accept the British Colonial rule.

British trader John Boyes forged an alliance with Karuri WA Gakure, the Agikuyu leader at Fort Hall, which enabled him to subdue the resisting Agikuyu groups. He also made contacts with Wang’ombe of Gaki (Nyeri) who together with Gakure supplied the British with mercenaries in exchange for confiscated loots from resisting groups.Meinertzhagen, who succeeded Francis Hall in 1902, subdued the Muruku and Tetu section (led by Chief Gakere) of the Agikuyu. Chief Gakere was murdered and his associates deported to the coast after they wiped out the entire Asian caravan on the slopes of the Aberdares.The Agikuyu of Iriani (Nyeri) were defeated in 1904 and their Aembu and Ameru allies sought for peace in 1906, having seen the effects of resisting.By 1910, British rule had been established in the entire Mount Kenya region. With the Agikuyu settling peacefully in the reserves upto 1920s when they began to agitate again.

Results of the Agikuyu mixed reaction.

  1. a) The reactions fuelled mistrust, hatred and animosity in most of Kikuyuland. Such feelings of mistrust continue among the Agikuyu of Murang’a, Kiambu and Nyeri up-to-date.
  2. b) There was massive alienation of Agikuyu land by the British with the help of the collaborators like Wang’ombe WA Ihura and Gathirimu who gave land to the British for construction.
  3. c) Some Agikuyu leaders amassed a lot of wealth and rose to prominence. For example, Karuri wa Gakure and Wang’ombe of Nyeri,
  4. d) The collaborators like Kinyanjui wa Gathirimu and his people received western education and were converted to Christianity.
  5. e) There was massive loss of lives for the resisters. For example Waiyaki wa Hinga and many Agikuyu fighters were killed.
  6. f) The Agikuyu, both collaborators and Resisters lost their independence when their territory was declared a British protectorate.
  7. g) The Agikuyu wars of resistance forced the British to shift their administrative base from Fort Dagoretti to Fort Hall.
  8. h) There was massive destruction of property. The Agikuyu razed down Fort Dagoretti. The Agikuyu villages were burnt by the British.

The Luo reaction.

The resisters were the Luo of Sakwa, seme, Uyoma, Ugenya and Kisumu. The collaborators were the Luo of Gem and Asembo, led by Chief (Ruoth) Odera Akang’o.

Reasons for the resistance against the British by the Luo of Ugenya.

  1. a) To protect their land and national heritage.
  2. b) To protect their freedom and independence
  3. c) Protect their livestock, grains and fish from being taken by the British soldiers who were undisciplined
  4. d) The Luo had become a formidable nation in the area and did not entertain any intruder.
  5. e) They were also provoked by the punitive expedition sent against them by Mumia and the British.

Why the Gem and Asembo Luos collaborated.

  1. a) Their chief, Odera Akang’o had been influenced by the Wanga Neighbours who had gained materially from their collaboration.
  2. b) Odera also needed British assistance to subdue the Luo of Seme, Uyoma, Sakwa and Ugenya, and the Nandi, who were a threat to his people.
  3. c) He realized the futility of resisting the British through the experience of his neighbours.

Course of the Luo resistance.

The Luo of Ugenya set off the resistance by attacking the Wanga in an attempt to expand. They vandalized British key installations like the telegraph wires and administrative stations.In 1896, the British sent an expedition against them and 200 people were killed.

When the British attacked the Seme Luo for cattle and Grains, they were provoked into revolting. They attacked the Asembo Luo who had collaborated with the British. The British invaded them in 1898 with devastating effects in terms of property and life loss.

The Luo of Kisumu rose up in 1898 attacking a British Canoe party on Winam Gulf for taking their fish without paying. They were however overcome.The Gem and Asembo Luos led by Ruoth Odera Akang’o supported the British throughout all these confrontations.

Results of the Luo reaction

  1. a) Both collaborators and resisters lost their independence to the British.
  2. b) The Luo lost their property through burning and looting.
  3. c) There was massive loss of lives, especially among the Ugenya Luo.
  4. d) It Bred hatred between the collaborators and resisters
  5. e) The collaborating communities were able to gain western education and religion as the British established schools and missions in their areas.
  6. f) The African leadership was replaced with the British administration, thereby undermining traditional political systems.
  7. g) The Luo were alienated from their land to pave way for the British occupation and settlement.

Colonial system of administration in Kenya

In their administration of Kenya, the British employed both central government and local government as the basic administrative framework.

Central Government

The protectorate was divided into provinces headed by Provincial commissioners, who acted as representatives of the Governor. The governor was answerable to the colonial s ecretary in Britain.

Hierarchy of colonial administration in Kenya

  1. Colonial secretary. Based in London, he was the political head of the British colonial administration and overall coordinator of the colonial policies as passed by the British parliament.
  2. Governor. Reporting to the colonial secretary, he was the representative of the British government in the Kenyan colony. He headed the executive council which effected colonial policies and programmee he gave assent to laws from the LEGCO before they were implemented.
  3. Provincial Commissioners. They represented the governor at provincial level and

implemented the policies and laws that were enacted by the legislative council that was established in 1907. They supervised the work of DCs, Dos and the entire provincial administration on behalf of the governor.

  1. District commissioners. They implemented policies and maintained law and order and security in their districts. They headed the District Advisory Committees. They coordinated the work of Dos and Chiefs.
  2. District Officers. They implemented orders from the DCs and coordinated the work of the chiefs. They maintained law and order in their divisions.
  3. Chiefs. They acted as a link between the people and the Governor at local levels. They maintained law and order at the locations and coordinated the work of headmen.
  4. Headmen. They were a link between the government and the people at the grassroots level. They mobilized people for development within their villages.
  5. The principal function of Chiefs and Headmen under the Headman’s Ordinance and Chiefs Authority Act was tax Collection and labour recruitment for public works and European settlers. Their duties were confined in the African reserves.

The advisory and Executive Councils guide the governor and effected the colonial policies.

Local Government.

The British introduced the Local Government in colonial Kenya because;

  1. a) They wanted to involve the local communities in administration of the region. This would reduce the costs of administration.
  2. b) They wanted to mobilize local people in resources exploitation in order to stir up


  1. c) Local Government was a means of providing a legal forum for the local people to make decisions about their day to day affairs
  2. d) The Local Government would provide an important link between the Central government and the locals.
  3. e) The Local Government would provide a means through which the government would understand Africans better.
  4. f) It also originated from the desire by European settlers to safeguard a number of privileges for themselves by getting directly involved in local administrative units

Local Native Councils

They were established in 1922 after the passing of the Native Authority Ordinance.

In 1924, the District Advisory Councils (DACs) were renamed Local Native Councils (LNCs)

Objectives of the LNCs

  1. a) To encourage and develop a sense of responsibility and duty among the Africans.
  2. b) To provide a mechanism through which educated Africans could articulate their grievances at District level.
  3. c) To ensure proper restriction of the Africans in their reserves.
  4. d) To provide a means through which the government would understand the Africans better so that to contain them.

Achievements of the Local Native councils

  1. a) The councils succeeded in restriction African political Agitations and other activities to their reserves.
  2. b) The LNCs provided basic social needs like water, cattle Dips, Public Health, Education and Markets.
  3. c) They succeeded in maintaining basic infrastructure in their areas of jurisdiction.
  4. d) They succeeded in collecting taxes to finance their operations.

NB; in 1948, the LNCs were renamed African Native Councils. Pascal Nabwane became the first African chairmen of the ADCs in 1958. The ADCs operated as local authorities for Africans until 1963.

Impact of Local government

  1. a) It exploited local resources and initiated development.
  2. b) It created a link between the central government and the local people.
  3. c) It helped maintain law and order using the small police force set up in 1896.
  4. d) It promoted infrastructural development and general welfare of Africans. It used the levied taxes to improve social services such as schools and hospitals.
  5. e) It helped in the arbitration of African disputes through the District African Courts. E.g, Land disputes were settled by the LNCs.

Factors that undermined the local Government

  1. a) Shortage of trained personnel to work in the LNCs and ADCs.
  2. b) Poor transport and communication leading to poor coordination of their activities.
  3. c) Lack of adequate revenue to finance their operations as the colony lacked strategic mineral resources.
  4. d) There was a lot of rivalry between the settlers and the locals, later becoming the freedom struggles. This hampered the operations of the councils.
  5. e) Racial discrimination was so pronounced that basic services were absent in African areas. Many Africans survived through self-help schemes.


The methods mainly used by the British to administer their colonies were

  1. Direct rule.
  2. Indirect rile.

Difference between direct rule and indirect rule.

Indirect rule was a system under which the British recognized the existing African political system and used it to rule over the colonies.Direct rule was a system where the Europeans/the British entrenched themselves in the direct administration of their colonies. Indigenous political and administrative institutions and leaders are replaced with European systems.

Indirect rule

This was a policy advanced by Fredrick Lugard, the British High Commissioner in the protectorate of Northern Nigeria from 1900 to 1906.To Lugard, as summed up in his book, The Dual Mandate in the Tropical Africa (1922),”the resident acts as a sympathetic adviser to the native chief, on matters of general policy. But the native ruler issues his instructions to the subordinate chiefs and district heads, not as orders of the resident but as his own”.Such a system was applied in Kenya and in West Africa.

Why Britain used indirect rule in Kenya and Nigeria

  1. a) Britain lacked enough manpower to handle all the administrative responsibilities in the colonies. For example, in the Nigerian protectorate, there were only 42 British officials by 1900.
  2. b) Lack of adequate funds for colonial administration from the parent government made her use the existing traditional political system as a means of cutting down the administrative costs.
  3. c) The use of indirect rule was a means of diffusing the expected stiff resistance from the Africans. The traditional rulers were to be made to feel that they had lost no power.
  4. d) The policy of administration had succeeded in India and Uganda, thus motivating them to apply it in Kenya and Nigeria.

British rule in Kenya

In Kenya, the British lacked both funds and experienced personnel to facilitate their administration. Kenya also did not have a reference model of an administrative system –like that in Buganda Kingdom. It was only among the Wanga section of the Abaluhyia and the Maasai where traditional chiefs that were recognized by the British existed.

Where the institution of chieftainship did not exist as the case of the Agikuyu, the British appointed chiefs (men with ability to communicate in Kiswahili and organize porters) like Kinyanjui WA Gathirimu in Kiambu, Karuri wa Gakure in Murang’a and Wang’ombe wa Ihura in Nyeri. The passing of the Village Headman Act in 1902 gave the chiefs the responsibilities of maintaining public order, hearing of petty cases and clearing of roads and footpaths.The 1912 0rdinance increased the powers of the chiefs and their assistants (headmen); they were now allowed to employ other persons to assist them, such as messengers and retainers. They were to assist the District officers in Tax collection and control brewing of illegal liquor and cultivation of poisonous plants like Cannabis sativa. They were to control carrying of weapons and mobilize African labour for public works.

The selected colonial chiefs however faced two problems;

  1. a) Most of them lacked legitimacy and were therefore rejected not only by the African elders who regarded them as nonentities, but also by the young generation who saw them as tools of colonial oppression and exploitation.
  2. b) Many of the colonial chiefs were young and inexperienced.
  3. c) Many of the chiefs also became unpopular since they used their positions to amass riches in terms of large tracts of land, livestock and wives. E.g Chief Musau wa Mwanza and Nthiwa wa Tama acquired 8000 herds of cattle and 15 wives respectively in kambaland.The structure of administration was as discussed earlier with governor being answerable to the colonial secretary in London. Below him were provincial commissioners, district commissioners, district Officers and Chiefs.All the administrative positions above that of the chief were occupied by European personnel.

The British in Nigeria.

Nigeria comprised the Lagos colony and protectorate, the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and the Northern Nigeria Protectorate. These regions were later amalgamated into the Nigerian protectorate in 1914.In Northern Nigeria, Fredrick Lugard employed indirect rule.

Reasons for the use of indirect rule by the British in northern Nigeria.

  1. a) The system was cost-effective. There was need to reduce the administrative cost by using

the local chiefs in administration while employing very few British officials.

  1. b) Northern Nigeria had communities with a well-organized centralized system of government complete with Islamic sharia whose use provided a base to govern the protectorate. i.e. The Sokoto Caliphate
  2. c) The vastness of the region coupled with the inadequate British administrative work force and Poor transport and communication network made it difficult for the British officials to effectively administer some parts of the region.
  3. d) The system would help dilute African resistances since governance was by local rulers. TheBritish were keen on guarding against the local resistance to their administration.
  4. e) The method ensured smooth transition from African to British dominion. It was a way of deliberately preparing Africans for self-government.
  5. f) Indirect rule had been tried successfully in Uganda and India.

Indirect administration as applied in northern Nigeria

In Northern Nigeria, the existing emirates with centralized system of administration formed thebasis of local governance. The Emirs were retained and were to rule under supervision of the British resident officials.The British administration was based on the local customs and laws. Chiefs chosen by the British were to be acceptable by the local people. Local chiefs collected taxes and a portion of it was given to the Central Government.Local Native Courts operated as per the laws of the land. The Emirs were allowed to try cases in their own Muslim courts.The Emirs were mandated to maintain law and order. They possessed firearms.In 1914, Northern and Southern Nigeria were Brought under one syatem of administration.

However Lugard found it hard to apply indirect rule in Southern Nigeria.

Why indirect rule was not successful applied in southern Nigeria

  1. a) Southern Nigeria lacked a centralized indigenous system of administration, which would have been vital in the application of indirect rule.
  2. b) The south had many ethnic groups, many languages and many disparities in customs, whichdenied it the homogeneity necessary for the application of indirect rule.
  3. c) The southern people were infuriated by the British introduction of new concepts like forced labour and direct taxes.
  4. d) The British did not give themselves time to understand the operation of the social, political and economic systems of the people of southern Nigeria.
  5. e) The educated elites in the south felt left out of the administration of their own country in favour of the illiterate appointees of the British.
  6. f) There existed communication barrier between the British supervisors, the warrant chiefs and the people, which sometimes led to misinterpretation and misunderstanding.
  7. g) The warrant chiefs sometimes misused their powers in tax collection and molesting women sexually.
  8. h) The brutish had used excessive force in dealing with any form of resistance and this made them unpopular

Problems associated with indirect rule as a system of government.

  1. a) Indirect rule could only e applied where centralized government was present. Its application in stateless societies often faced difficulties.
  2. b) Where chiefs were imposed, especially in the stateless societies, their authority lacked legitimacy and only resulted in suspicion and lack of confidence. This would lead to constant riots when they tried to exert their authority.
  3. c) Local people even in the highly centralized states looked at indirect rule as curtailing the authority of their local rulers and hence resented it. E.g the Yoruba state in Nigeria.
  4. d) Some inexperienced British officials tended to interfere too much with the vital African customs and practices e.g. among the Asante thus bringing further problems.
  5. e) Different administrations had different views on the degree of indirect rule to be applied hence confusion was created. It was difficult to draw a boundary between the advisory and supervisory roles of colonial powers.
  6. f) Language was a problem and there was need for interpreters. Communication was poor and made adaptation difficult.
  7. g) Education of chiefs was necessary but even this took a long time and needed patience and skillful knowledge which the British did not have.

Effects of indirect rule.

  1. a) The system led to transformation of the role of traditional African chiefs. they now began to recruit fellow Africans to provide labour to the colonial government and even fight in world war I. the chiefs thus became unpopular.
  2. b) The indigenous system of administration was modernized by the British especially in northern Nigeria.
  3. c) Many African chiefs used their positions to accumulate a lot of wealth at the expense of their people. Chiefs like Wang’ombe and Gakure in central Kenya acquired large tracts of land.
  4. d) Indirect rule created suspicion and mistrust between the educated elites and the traditional chiefs who were given power ib southern Nigeria. The elite reacted by forming political movements thus leading to growth of nationalism in Nigeria.
  5. e) Indirect rule helped preserve African cultures, unlike assimilation which sought to replace them.


This system was mainly used in regions with large white settler population such as Algeria, south Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Direct rule in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe was colonized by the British South African Company under John Cecil Rhodes. Rhodes used his resources to sponsor a group of South African Europeans who set out to establish in Southern Rhodesia, a satellite of South African System.

They began off by engaging the Ndebele in a series of wars from 1893 before finally occupying the fertile land in Mashonaland and Matabeleland.

Characteristics of direct rule in Zimbabwe

  1. a) Zimbabwe had a large number of European settlers with their population rising to 50,000 by 1931. The whites therefore maintained an advantaged position throughout their administration of Zimbabwe.
  2. b) Many of the British settlers developed the attitude and consequently the belief that the territory was pre-ordained to be a white settler colony.
  3. c) The territory was administered by a commercial company (B.S.A.C) for a long period (1890-1923)
  4. d) An administrator below who was a long chain of European civil servants performing simple administrative duties headed BSAC.
  5. e) Direct method of administration was applied to the Africans who had initially resisted the intrusion. New chiefs were appointed to dethrone the traditional leaders.
  6. f) The Legislative Council that was begun in 1898 gave the European settlers political Rights to the extent that by 1923, they had attained some self-governance.
  7. g) The system was characterized by massive alienation of African Land compelling Africans to provide labour to the new European settlers.
  8. h) There was racial segregation which was effected through the Legislative Council. African communities suffered greatly in the hands of the settler regime.

Reasons for use of direct rule by the British in Zimbabwe

  1. a) The British desired to fully control the economy of Zimbabwe and maximize on profit generation through direct involvement in administration.
  2. b) The Shona and Ndebele resistance against British intrusion made the them not to trust the Matabele chiefs nor use them as British agents
  3. c) There was lack of reliable political system to be used in indirect administration of the region. The local political institutions based on the Induna system had been destroyed when the British conquered and occupied Zimbabwe.
  4. d) Existence of enough B.S.A Co personnel on the spot who were familiar with the area as well as the British system of government.
  5. e) Favourable climatic conditions and the expected rich mineral deposits attracted many settlers who later provided the necessary personnel.
  6. f) There was a strong desire by the Europeans to be able to direct their own affairs and destiny without interference from within or without/The spirit nationalism

The BSAC administrative structure in Southern Rhodesia (1905-1923)

The government was headed by a resident Commissioner who was appointed by the Company stationed at Salisbury. Below him were various commissioners in charge of the Districts (all Europeans). Below them were African Chiefs whose duty included collecting tax, recruiting labour and maintaining law and order.In 1898, a LEGCO was established –heavily dominated by the European settlers. An Executive Council, consisting of the Resident Commissioner and 4 nominees of BSA.Co was also established. In 1902, a Native Affairs Department, headed by a European Native Commissioner was created thus entrenching the dominance of Europeans in Zimbabwe. The duty of the commissioner was to allocate land to Africans, collect taxes and recruit labour.For lack of enough valuable minerals in Zimbabwe as expected, the Europeans compensated by acquiring large tracts of land from African communities with some having grants of upto 3000 acre pieces of land.( Europeans occupied 21 million acres while Africans despite their majority were confined to 24 million acre reserves.)

The Company relinquished control in 1923 to for Zimbabwe to become a crown colony.

Crown colony Rule (1923-1953)

Why the settlers favoured crown colony over merger with South Africa.

  1. a) The merger would have led to domination by Afrikaners in their political matters.
  2. b) Their economic interests would have been neglected in favour of those of Afrikaners.

As a crown colony, a Governor was appointed in 1923 to represent the Queen of England. British government was empowered by the constitution to veto any legislation that would discriminate against Africans. This however never happened practically.

For example, the government formulated the Two-Pyramids Policy or parallel development policy characterized by discrimination against Africans. At the base of the pyramid was the majority Africans relegated to offering cheap labour for the white settlers. At the apex were the minority whites who took the highest positions in the economic and political system.To legitimize the two pyramids policy were two Acts that were passed in 1930 and 1934.

  1. a) Land Apportionment Act of 1930

The Act introduced rigid territorial segregation with land being divided into white’s and Africans’ portions. No African was allowed to acquire land outside their segregated portion.The minority whites acquired over half of the best arable land. Africans were given the semi arid areas infested by mosquitoes.

Land was categorized into four;

1)  Native Reserve Area- for Africans population. The Land was characterized with congestion since it was inadequate.

2)  Native Purchase Area- for Africans to buy. Such areas had harsh climatic conditions.

3)  European Area- For Whites only.

4)  Unassigned Area- For government expansion of buildings and other uses.

Effects of the Land Apportionment Act on Africans

  1. a) Many Africans became migrant labourers, moving to mines, towns and European farms to provide cheap labour since their land was unproductive.
  2. b) Large tracts of African land were alienated and they were confined to only 29 million acres while only 50,000 whites occupied 49 million acres of land.
  3. c) This exposed Africans to problems like overgrazing that further deteriorated their land.
  4. d) There was widespread poverty among Africans. For those on the reserves, they

faced starvation, those in towns faced slum life.

  1. e) Africans suffered racial segregation in provision of social services in urban areas.
  2. f) There was disruption of social roles as African men moved to towns and settler

farms. Women took over men’s jobs in the reserves.

  1. g) Land apportionment became the seedbed for the rise of African nationalism in


  1. h) Africans were exposed to over taxation to compel them to provide labour to the


  1. b) The Industrial Conciliation Act of 1934.

The prime objective of the Act was to protect white workers from African competition. The government through the act prohibited Africans from setting up a trade union. Africans from beyond southern Rhodesia were imported to provide labour to the whites at low wages.The act resulted in relegation of Africans to the lowest level while skilled jobs were set aside for the Europeans. The two acts resulted in the humiliating conditions for the Africans which resulted in the rise of African Nationalism that continued more after the Second World War.As an answer to African agitation, the government invited more white settlers giving them more large tracts of land. The settlers also began to agitate for the formation of a federation of the three central African territories (southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland).In 1953, the British government gave approval for the formation of the federation of central African countries.

The Central African Federation.

The federation was organized as follows;

1)  Each territory had its own government responsible for local administration.

2)  Each territorial government was responsible for all aspects of native affairs within its boundaries.

3)  The British government was directly involved in the administration of the two northern protectorates.

4)  An African Board was established to ensure that no racist legislation against the Africans was passed in the federation parliament.

5)  The Federal Parliament was given powers to deal with all matters involving more than one territory and foreign affairs.The first Prime Minister of the Federation, Garfield Todd, being sympathetic to African protests over formation of the federation, legalized the formation of trade Unions and funded African education and Agriculture. Unfortunately when Todd was replaced in 1958, all his programmees were abandoned.

In 1963, the federation was dissolved and shortly afterwards Malawi and Zambia became independent as southern Rhodesia remained a self -governing colony.

The reign of Ian Smith

Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front Party, controlled by the white extremists with no regards for Africans, won the 1962 elections.On 15th October 1965, Smith led the settlers to announce a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI), from Britain implying that political leadership was now fully in the hands of the white rebel settlers.

This declaration provoked instant protest not only within Africa but also from the international community. UN declared sanctions against South Rhodesia though countries like South Africa and Portugal unfortunately continued to trade with her making the sanctions ineffective.In 1970, UDI declared itself a republic under a new constitution that entrenched whites’ position in Zimbabwe by spelling the following;

  1. a) Voting qualifications for Africans were revised and were now based on income. This automatically disenfranchised the majority of Africans.
  2. b) The land tenure system was revised to enable the Europeans to purchase land from the government.Meanwhile the war of independence had began in 1966, provoked by the 1965 UDI declaration, with a patriotic front formed by Zimbabwe African National Union(ZANU) of Mugabe Robert and Zimbabwe African People’s Union(ZAPU) of Joshua Nkomo waging a guerilla warfare.Zimbabwe became independent in 1980, with Robert Mugabe as the fits Prime Minister.

Effects of British rule in Zimbabwe.

  1. a) It led to African land alienation by white settlers/ Africans were displaced from their ancestral lands.
  2. b) The establishment of white settlement subjected Africans to abject poverty and suffering.Africans were subjected to intense economic exploitation through taxation and forced labour.
  3. c) African traditional economy was undermined as many of the Africans were forced to work for the Europeans.
  4. d) African interests were ignored in the day-to-day running of the colony.
  5. e) African traditional rulers lost their autonomy and became mere puppets of British administration.
  6. f) African cultures were undermined, for example through the separation of families as people sought alternative livelihood.
  7. g) The white settlers were to enhance the production of cash crops as transport, trade and industry were developed.
  8. h) Africans were denied freedom of movement and confined I reserves.
  9. i) Positively, it led to development of transport network the region.
  10. j) It led to introduction of new crops in the region
  11. k) It led to rise of nationalism as many Africans could no longer bear the burden of suffering in the hands of the whites.



This was a system of administration in which French colonies were given a culture and civilization similar to that of France. This system was influenced by the French revolution of 1789, which emphasized the equality of all men.In Africa, it was perfected by Lewis Faidherbe in Senegal when he was governor from 1854 to 1865.To many historians Assimilation was a deliberate French policy to help them destroy African Chieftaincies and Kingdoms that were thriving at the time of their arrival. Under the system, Africans had to;

~  Learn the French language.

~  Practice the French legal system.

~  Apply the French civil and political system.

~  Convert to Christianity and learn French mannerism including eating and dressing habits.Later on assimilation evolved into association which had been first applied in Africa in central Africa by Savorgnan de Brazza.Association involved letting the subjects develop independently due to the belief that nonwesterners were racially inferior and would therefore never be accepted as equal to Europeans even when assimilated.

French administration in West Africa

The French system of administration was highly centralized.The eight French colonies were grouped into the confederation of French West Africa. They were governed from one capital, Dakar, Senegal.The federation was headed by a Governor-General answerable to the French Minister for colonies in Paris. Each colony was headed by a lieutenant- Governor answerable to the Governor-General in Dakar.Each colony was divided into cercles (provinces), each headed by a commandant de cercle. Each cercle was further divided into small districts each headed by a chef de sub-division below whom were African chiefs (chefs de cantons in charge of locations). At the base were chefs de village in charge of the sub-locations.All the French overseas colonies were seen as overseas provinces and each elected a deputy to the French Chamber of Deputies in Paris (lower House). However the French administrators appointed lacked high standards of education and some were military officers simply rewarded with senior administrative positions. This led to inefficiency.

French administration in Senegal

In Senegal, the policy of assimilation was only applied in the four communes of St.Louis, Goree, Rufisque and Dakar. In the rest of the country, African chiefs who ruled were put I three grades namely;

  1. a) Chefs de province: – equivalent of the paramount chiefs, they were usually successors of the pre-colonial chiefs.
  2. b) Chefs de Canton: – these were ordinary people appointed by the French officials due to their ability, to be charge of locations. They kept register of taxpayers the location, helped the government in conscription of Africans into the army and assisted in mobilizing forced labour for road construction and other public works.
  3. c) Chefs de village:- these were usually traditional heads of the community(village) who were given the responsibility of collecting taxes, maintenance of law and order, organizing relief during floods and locust invasion and maintaining roads I their areas.

The privileges which were enjoyed by assimilated Africans in the four communes of Senegal included;


Economic privileges

~  They were exempted from forced labour.

~  They were allowed to work in France.

~  They were exempted from paying taxes.

~  They were allowed trading rights like the French people.

Political privileges

~  They were allowed to send representatives to the French Chamber of Deputies.

~  They were enfranchised like the French people in France (right to vote)

~  They enjoyed the rights of the French Judicial System like the French.

~  They were allowed to operate Local Authority’ structures which were similar to those in France.

~  They were allowed to retain Muslim law.

~  They were exempted from arbitrary arrest/through the Indigenization policy.

Characteristics of assimilation.

  1. a) Administrative assimilation. There was an administrative relationship between the French colonies and their mother country. Colonies were regarded as overseas provinces.
  2. b) Political assimilation. The colonies were represented in the French chamber of deputies thus maintaining a close political identity.
  3. c) Economic assimilation. The French currency was used in the colonies to enhance the economic relationship.
  4. d) Personal assimilation. Africans in the Quatre communes were given French citizenship and other privileges enjoyed by French citizens.

Reasons why assimilation was successful in the four communes

  1. a) There was a high percentage of Mullato population within the communes, who readily accepted the French culture making it easy for the French to apply assimilation.
  2. b) Africans were familiar with Europeans and their culture due to long interaction with them through trade.
  3. c) Many people had converted to Christianity and this made it possible for the French to apply their policy.

Factors that undermined the application of the French policy of assimilation in West Africa

  1. a) There was opposition by local people who did not want the French to interfere with their culture.
  2. b) The Traditional African rulers resisted the policy since they did not want to lose their authority and influence over the assimilated people.
  3. c) The French traders in West Africa also opposed the system they viewed assimilated Africans as a potential threat to their commercial monopoly in the region.
  4. d) The policy of assimilation ran the risk of undermining the very foundation of French colonialism, as it was not possible to exploit Africans who had attained the assimile status.
  5. e) Missionary school system of education undermined the French policy of assimilation since there was segregation in provision of mission education.
  6. f) Nationalism conflicted with the policy of assimilation.
  7. g) Assimilation was becoming too expensive to the French government especially because West African colonies were not self-supporting yet.
  8. h) The vastness of the French colonies made it difficult to supervise the implementation of the policy.
  9. i) Muslims resisted fiercely the French attempt to convert them to Christianity.
  10. j) Racial discrimination against the indigenous people also contributed to the failure of the system. This is because many Frenchmen never accepted assimilated Africans as their equals.
  11. k) The French citizens in the motherland opposed the policy as they feared being outnumbered in the chamber of deputies.

Ways in which Nationalism undermined the policy of Assimilation in French West Africa.

  1. a) It emphasized loyalty or devotion to one’s country and national independence or

separatism, which were against the policy of assimilation.

  1. b) Nationalists agitated for boycott of anything of French origin.
  2. c) The nationalists created awareness on the value of African culture and systems; this encouraged Africans to condemn assimilation.
  3. d) The nationalists created awareness on the importance of African unity which exposed the hypocrisy of assimilation

Consequences of assimilation in Senegal.

  1. a) The policy of assimilation undermined African cultures, as many Africans embraced the French culture. For instance, the French language became the official language in the colony.
  2. b) The authority of traditional African leaders was eroded and even many were replaced by the assimilated Africans.
  3. c) The colony was incorporated into the French republic and regarded as an overseas province of France.
  4. d) Africans from Senegal were allowed to participate in the political matters of France. Some Senegalese like Blaise Diagne were elected as deputies in the French parliament.
  5. e) The spread of Islam was greatly frustrated, especially in the four communes where Africanswere converted to Christianity.
  6. f) A great rift emerged between the assimilated Africans , who were regarded as French citizens and the rest of African communities , who were subjected to taxation and forced labour




The policy of association.

Under this system, the French colonial government was to respect the cultures of her colonial peoples and allow them to develop independently rather than force them to adopt French civilization and culture.Unlike the assimilated Africans, subjects retained their cultural practices e.g polygamy and Islam. The subject came under a system of law known as  indigenat where the subject could suffer arbitrary arrest or be forced to serve a longer period in the army than assimilated citizens

Why the French government replaced the policy of assimilation with that of association in 1945

  1. a) The French had realized that assimilation would lead to equality between them and the colonized people.
  2. b) Assimilation was too expensive especially because West African colonies were not selfsupporting yet.
  3. c) The method clashed with the commercial interests. The French businesspersons and their friends in the colonial administration saw Africans as source of cheap labour. They therefore disapproved the idea of uplifting them.
  4. d) The French had realized that not all the colonial people could be assimilated. Only the elite ones among them could. Association aimed at transforming the Native elites into Frenchmen while allowing the other masses to learn enough French for communication purposes.
  5. e) They had realized that there was need to allow the colonies to enjoy the freedom of developing according to existing traditional political and social structure. / respect for the culture of her colonies.

The similarities between the French and the British colonial administrations

  1. a) Both methods emphasized the superiority of the colonial master and his overlord ship in Africa. The Europeans were in charge and took all senior positions.
  2. b) The administrative systems applied in both were meant to assist the colonial masters in controlling their territories in Africa.
  3. c) Both systems led to massive economic exploitation of resources in Africa. E.g. minerals, labour, and market land etc.
  4. d) In both Africans reacted to the systems in a hostile manner.
  5. e) Both methods led to loss of independence and freedom for the African.
  6. f) In both, every power trained a local army to maintain law and order.
  7. g) In both, Africans were oppressed through taxation and forced labour.
  8. h) In both, the position of chief was created where there was none. I.e. in Kenya, Southern Nigeria, and Somali.

Main differences

  1. a) The British were keen to appoint traditional rulers as chiefs. The French on the other hand were not keen to appoint traditional rulers but simply handpicked individuals who met their qualifications (those who embraced French culture and civilization).
  2. b) The British gave the traditional rulers a lot of power, unlike the French – who undermined African chieftaincies.
  3. c) The British colonies were administered separately by a governor accountable to Britain, unlike the French colonies which were governed as federations equated to provinces of France.
  4. d) Most of the French administrators were military officers. The British used a mixture of amateurs and professionals.
  5. e) Whereas the British applied mainly the policy of indirect rule, the French applied the policy of assimilation and later, association.
  6. f) The French colonies elected their representatives to the Chamber of Deputies in France, while British colonies had legislative councils where policies were debated in the colonies.
  7. g) Laws applied in the French colonies were legislated in France while in British colonies laws were enacted by the respective legislative assemblies.
  8. h) In French colonies, assimilated Africans became French citizens with full rights, while the elite in the British colonies remained colonial subjects.
  9. i) Indirect rule preserved African cultures while assimilation undermined them.


The Uganda Railway

The railway was built between 1896 and 1901 with George Whitehouse as the Engineer. Work was mainly done by 32,000 Indian coolies and 5,000 clerks and craftsmen. The locals could not provide skilled labour. It costed the British taxpayers about 6 million sterling pounds.

Reasons for the construction of the Uganda railway line.

  1. a) To promote trade with the outside world by encouraging the exploitation of available resources and enable the colony sustain itself
  2. b) To link Uganda with the Coast so that the British can achieve their strategic interests.
  3. c) To enable missionaries to go the interior to spread Christianity.
  4. d) To help stop slave trade since slaves would no longer be needed to ferry goods to and from the coast.
  5. e) To provide quick, safe and convenient means of transport for government administrators/troops
  6. f) Open up Kenya for economic development/to stop slave trade/promote legitimate trade
  7. g) To maintain law and order so that economic development could be achieved.
  8. h) To make Africans more productive and able to generate revenue in form of tax to the colonial government.
  9. i) To activate interior trade to enable transportation of imported goods to the interior of the colony.

The construction

The railway construction works commenced in Mombasa in 1896. By 1901, the railway had reached Kisumu (then Port Florence) passing through Nairobi in 1899.

Numerous feeder lines were later laid down as follows;

The Nairobi –Thika Branch(1914), Konza – Magadi (1915), Voi- Moshi(1918), Rongai- Solai (1925), Eldoret-Kitale(1926), Eldoret- Jinja (1927), Gilgil-Nyahururu(1929), Thika- Nanyuki(1930)and Kisumu – Butere(1930)

In 1948, the Kenya Uganda Railway had been linked with the Tanganyika network to become the East African Railways.

Problems experienced during the construction of the Uganda railway.

  1. a) There was insufficient labour since African labour force was not forthcoming. In the case of the Akamba and the Maasai, they were forcefully recruited.
  2. b) The climate of the interior was not suitable for the European labour force. The Europeans constantly fell ill, thus interfering with construction progress.
  3. c) The Arab rebellion under Mbaruk Rashid between 1895 –96 at the coast delayed the railway construction.
  4. d) There was an additional expense of constructing special jetties since Mombasa port was not large enough.
  5. e) The Man-eaters of Tsavo created danger and havoc to the construction works.
  6. f) The rift valley terrain was difficult. It was rugged with many hills and escarpments thus causing difficulties in construction.
  7. g) Hostility of some Kenyan communities to intruders e.g. the Nandi who vandalized the railway and telegraph lines.
  8. h) Insufficient building material since most of them came from Europe and their delivery often delayed,

The effects of railway construction.

  1. a) It led to development of European settler farming in order to make the railway pay for its construction.
  2. b) There was rampant land alienation. The colonial government alienated African land for railway construction forcing communities like the Maasai and Nandi to move into reserves.
  3. c) There was rise of wage labour for the railway and later for the settler farmers.
  4. d) It led to growth of urban centres along the railway line e.g. Nairobi.
  5. e) Railway construction promoted economic growth of the East African region. This is because farm produce and other commercial products could easily reach market.
  6. f) It led to rise of large Asian settlement since many Indians were employed as railway workers. This Asians boosted trade in east Africa.
  7. g) It led to development of other forms of infrastructure like the roads and telecommunication lines. This stimulated trade development.
  8. h) It led to transfer of the administrative capital from Mombasa in 1905 to Nairobi.
  9. i) When the railway reached Kisumu in 1902, it led to major changes to the ad ministrative boundaries within East African region. Initially, the western region up to Naivasha was part of Uganda.
  10. j) The railway became a major revenue source for the colonial authorities.
  11. k) It facilitated the establishment of colonial rule in Kenya since it was possible for rapid movement of troops.
  12. l) It facilitated the cultural and social interaction among the different races.
  13. m) The railway made rural-urban migration and the resultant enterprises such as hawking and charcoal –selling possible.
  14. n) Other forms of transport and communication developed and expanded along the ralwayline. For example: roads and telecommunications.
  15. o) Christian missionaries were able to move into the interior, where they established missionschools.


As a means of raising revenue to meet the cost of administering the Kenya colony and maintain the Uganda railway, the colonial government encouraged the influx of white settlers to the ‘white Highlands’.

The administration did this by;

  1. a) Providing efficient railway transport connecting the coast and the interior
  2. b) Alienating of the white highlands for European settlement.
  3. c) Advertising the availability of free land in foreign newspapers
  4. d) Giving loan incentives
  5. e) Providing security

The settlers however faced the initial challenges of crop and animal diseases, labour shortage, lack of inputs and African aggression.

Why the colonial government encouraged white settlement in Kenya.

The reasons why the colonial administration led by Sir Charles Eliot (1900- 1904) and later Sir Edward Northey encouraged settler farming in the white highlands were;

  1. a) They hoped that settler farming would meet the cost of administration and railway maintenance.
  2. b) The British industries were also in need of cheaper raw Materials in an increasingly competitive European Market. These raw materials would be cheaply produced by the settlers.
  3. c) The settlers would also help control the prevailing Asian immigration and influence in Kenya.
  4. d) The colonial government wanted to make Kenya a white man’s country by encouraging white settlers to form the backbone of the economy.
  5. e) Kenya Highlands had cool wet climate and fertile volcanic soils suitable for Europeansettlement and agriculture.
  6. f) There was need to get rid of social misfits in Europe and the landless who would be offered avenues in the Kenya colony.
  7. g) Existence of already willing entrepreneurs lake Lord Delamere and Captain Grogan who were ready to come to Kenya and engage in profitable agriculture.

Factors which promoted settler farming

  1. a) The land policies availed cheap African labour to settler farmers. The alienation of African land and Creation of African reserves forced Africans to work in the settler farms.
  2. b) Africans in Kenya were not allowed to grow some cash crops in order to enable Europeans continue getting cheap African labour for their farms.
  3. c) The government built and maintained various forms of transport. For example the railway, Bridges and roads which facilitated faster movement of produce and inputs.
  4. d) The government Reduced freight charges in the importation and exportation of agricultural inputs and products.
  5. e) The government encouraged formation of cooperatives to help in the processing and marketing of produce.
  6. f) The establishment of financial institutions such as Agricultural Finance Corporation and Banks provided the settlers with credit facilities.
  7. g) The government availed extension services for crops and animal farming through the establishment of the Department of Agriculture and research stations to improve the quality of crops and animals.
  8. h) Trade tariffs were also removed and settlers were granted concessions.

Problems experienced by settlers.

  1. a) Inadequate labour as Africans refused to work. Bush clearance and preparation of land for cultivation was therefore a problem.
  2. b) Constant raids by the local inhabitants such as the Nandi, Maasai and Agikuyu threatened their peace and security. Some communities even raided their dairy farms for cattle.
  3. c) Some of the settlers lacked faring experience. Some of the settlers had not engaged in farming before and therefore lacked basic agricultural knowledge.
  4. d) Inadequate capital often hindered procurement of farm inputs. Machinery, labour. Some settlers became bankrupt and could not meet the day to day operational costs on the farms.
  5. e) Lack of proper knowledge on farming seasons hence crop failure. The climate and soils in the colony were alien to the settlers.
  6. f) There was the problem of poor transport and communication as it had become difficult for the government to network all areas occupied by settlers with roads and communication lines.
  7. g) Inadequate and unreliable market for their produce. They mainly relied on foreign market which could not serve in the case of perishable commodities.
  8. h) Pests and diseases were prevalent in the white highlands. The settlers were assailed by various human, animal and crop disease.

Settler Crop cultivation

The main crops cultivated were coffee, wheat, tea and sisal.

1)  Coffee.

Coffee was first introduced by the Roman Catholic Fathers of St. Austin’s Mission near Nairobi in 1889. It required plenty of farm inputs in terms of chemicals and labour. Therefore was a preserve of wealthy European settlers.Coffee Planters Corporation was founded in 1908 by Lord Delamere’s Efforts, and led to the spread in the growing of coffee. By 1913, coffee had become the leading cash crop in Kenya grown mainly in Murang’a, Thika and Kiambu.Africans were unfortunately not allowed to grow coffee until 1937

Reasons why Africans in Kenya were not allowed to grow coffee before 1937

  1. a) Europeans wanted to continue getting cheap African labour for their farms. This could not be available if Africans were allowed to earn some money through growing of coffee.
  2. b) European settlers did not want to compete with Africans in coffee growing. They feared that it would limit market for their produce.
  3. c) The settlers claimed that Africans did not have knowledge of growing coffee. They claimed that African participation in cash crop growing would lead to low quality products.
  4. d) They feared that diseases would spread from African farms to settler plantations.
  5. e) European settlers claimed that African farmers would produce low quality coffee due to inadequate resources.

2)  Wheat.

It was introduced in Kenya in 1903 by Lord Delamere who experimented on his Njoro farm. It was however until 1912, when a more resistant variety was developed, that wheat growing took root in Kenya.In 1908, Lord Delamere set up Unga Ltd which boosted wheat farming in Kenya.  It was grown in the Nakuru and Uasin Gishu areas. Like coffee, wheat farming was the preserve of wealthy European settlers from Australia,

Canada, Britain and South Africa. Africans began to grow wheat only after independence.

3)  Sisal.

It was introduced in Kenya from Tanganyika in 1893 by Richard Hindorf, a german Doctor. Initially, it was cultivated around Thika in 1904. By 1920, it had become the second  –largest income-earning crop after coffee.The main sisal growing areas included Baringo, Koibatek, Ol Donyo Sabuk, Ruiru, Thika, Voi, Taita and Taveta.Africans began growing coffee in 1964 though its growth declined due to the completion it faced from synthetic fibre.

4)  Tea.

Tea was introduced in Kenya in 1903 around Limuru by Messrs Caine Brothers. It was until 1925 when tea began being grown successful with large tea estates being established by tea companies like Brooke Bond and Africa Highland from India.The main tea growing areas were Nandi, Kericho, Sotik, Nakuru, Murang’a and Kiambu.

Stock rearing.

Lord Delamere carried out many experiments in sheep and cattle rearing at his Equator Ranch in Njoro though the Maasai raids in his farm and cattle diseases frustrated his efforts.After cross-breeding exotic types with local stock, he came up with more resistant variety. The government also set up an experimental livestock farm in Naivasha.

In 1925, the Kenya Cooperative Creameries was established due to Delamere’s efforts. Later, the Uplands Bacon Factory was established near Limuru to promote pig rearing.

In 1930, the Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) was established Colonial land policies in Kenya.To empower the settlers to take up more arable land in Kenya, the Legislative council passed the following Land Acts or Ordinances;

1)  The Indian Acquisition Act (1896). it empowered the authorities to take over land for the railway, government construction and public utilities.

2)  The Land Regulations Act (1897). It allowed the government to offer a certificate of occupation and a lease of 99 years. This Act encouraged settlers to take up land left vacant by the Agikuyu due to drought and famine.

3)  The East African Land Order in Council (1901). It defined crown land as all public land which was not private. The government could take up any land at will, sell it or lease it for use by settlers.

4)  The Crown Land Ordinance (1902). It allowed the government to sell or lease crown land to Europeans at 2 rupees per 100 acres or rent at 15 rupees per 100 acres annually.

5)  The Maasai Agreement (1904). It led to creation of the Ngong and Laikipia reserves while the settlers took up Maasai land for livestock farming. For example Lord Delamere in Nakuru.

6)  The Elgin Pledge of 1906. The government through the British Secretary of State, Lord Elgin confirmed that the Highlands were reserved for settlers. This barred the Asian attempts to buy land in the highlands.

7)  The second Maasai Agreement of 1911. The Maasai were pushed out of the fertile Laikipia reserve to pave way for more European settlement and large scale farming.

8)  The Crown Land Ordinance (1915). This provided for land –registration scheme for settlers. It defined crown land as land occupied by and reserved for Africans who could be evicted any time. Farm sizes wee increased from 5,000 to 7,500 acres.

9)  The Kenya Annexation Order in Council (1920). It announced that Africans were tenants of the crown even in the reserves.

10)  The Land Commission (1924). It fixed boundaries of the reserves, which were later legalized in 1926.

11)  The Native Trust Ordinance (1930). It stated that African reserves belonged t the Africans permanently.

12)  The Carter Commission (1932). It fixed the boundaries of the white highlands, leading to population pressure in the African reserves. All Africans were removed from the highlands into the reserves.

13)  The Kenya Highlands Order in Council (1939). It fixed boundaries of the white highlands and reserved them permanently and exclusively for Europeans.

Effects of the colonial land policies

  1. a) The displaced Africans were confined to native reserves thus leading to congestion/overuse of land. By 1914, settlers like Lord Delamere and Captain Crogan owned 100,000 and 220,000 acres of land, respectively, at the expense of African congestion in the reserves.
  2. b) Africans who lost their land became poor. Many Africans became squatters and lived in misery and hopelessness.
  3. c) The situation in the reserves and the landlessness forced to supply labour in settler farms for wages in order to pay taxes.
  4. d) The displaced Africans moved to towns looking for employment. Their movement to towns led to growth of urban centres.
  5. e) The traditional socio-economic set-up of the Africans was disrupted. Communities could no longer migrate in search of better lands and pasture. Family roles changed as women increasingly took over headship of families while men sought for paid employment.
  6. f) The large European farms suffered acute shortage of labour as many Africans were unwilling to work on them.
  7. g) It led to the introduction of the Kipande System enforced by the Native Registration Ordinances of 1915 and 1920, to prevent the African labourers from deserting their duties on European farms.
  8. h) Taxes were imposed on Africans and were to be paid only in monetary form. This was meant to compel Africans seek for wage employment.
  9. i) The reserving of the highlands for the whites only denied Indians access to agricultural land, compelling them to resort to businesses and residences in urban areas.
  10. j) Loss of land led to bitterness and made Africans later to form political organizations to demand for their land/spread of nation


The Mandate of the League of Nations compelled Britain, just like any other colonial authority to institute reforms that would involve addressing African grievances. Governor Edward Northey who had given many concessions to the settlers was recalled to Britain in 1922.

Other reforms that were instituted were;

  1. a) Abandonment of Racial segregation policy in Kenya except in the highlands.
  2. b) Allowing Asians to elect four members to the Legco, which was initially settlerdominated. This however was not done until 1933.In March 1923, settlers in a form of protest to these reforms sent a delegation to London to try to settle scores with the Secretary for Colonies, the Duke of Devonshire. The fundamental set of principles that were issued in this meeting are what came to be known as the Devonshire White Paper.

Factors that led to the issuing of the Devonshire white paper.

  1. a) The influence of “The Dual Mandate”. This was a book of the League of Nations that had regulations concerning colonial mandates. Britain was committed to the principle of trusteeship whereby she was interested on its African population than European settlement
  2. b) The rise of race conflicts i.e. Africans versus European dominion and European versus Asian conflicts. The Indians were opposed to the privileged position of European settlers.
  3. c) The banning of racial segregation .The decision by the colonial government to ban racial segregation apart from the white highlands only, disappointed the settlers who wanted the ban lifted hence they sent a delegation to London to see the colonial secretary.
  4. d) The African general resentment. Their resentment was on land alienation, forced labour, taxation system, kipande system, low wages and no political representation.

Terms of the Devonshire White Paper

  1. a) White highlands were reserved for European settlement only
  2. b) Indians would be allowed to elect five members to LEGCO not on a common roll, but on a communal roll.
  3. c) Racial segregation was abolished in all residential areas.
  4. d) Restriction on Indian immigration was lifted
  5. e) A nominated missionary was to represent African interests in the LEGCO.
  6. f) The European Settlers’ demand for self government in Kenya was rejected.
  7. g) African interests were declared paramount before those of immigrant races if there was a conflict.
  8. h) The settlers were to maintain their representation in the LEGCO.
  9. i) The Colonial Secretary was given mandate to exercise strict control over the affairs of the colony.

Implications of the Devonshire white paper.

The issuance of the paper left the Settlers, Asians and Africans more dissatisfied than ever before as follows;

On the part of the settlers;

  1. a) The Indian call for equality, to them, was unrealistic since they could not stomach the mixing of Oriental and Western cultures in Kenya.
  2. b) Since European culture was superior, they felt that racial segregation was justified in all spheres.
  3. c) To the settlers, instead of giving in the Indians’ grievances, they would rather give in to African demands since they had moral rights to protect African interests.
  4. d) To them, the white highlands were primarily theirs and they had a legal claim over them.

On the Asian part;

  1. a) They wanted equality of all races instead of settler dominance in Kenya especially pertaining to settlement in the white highlands.
  2. b) They opposed policies on residential segregation and restriction on their immigration.

The government was inviting more settlers to check Indian immigration into Kenya by this time.

  1. c) They wanted direct and adequate representation in the Legco based on a common roll free election (not communal roll).
  2. d) They objected separate taxation for Europeans and Indians and segregated education.

The Devonshire White paper was therefore viewed as the product of the struggle between the Asians and the Europeans. The paper made the Asians join their African comrades in the struggle for freedom, especially in the trade Union Movement.Settler dominance In Kenyan affairs continued upto 1963 despite recommendations done in the white paper.

Results of the Devonshire white paper

  1. a) The Devonshire white paper saved Kenya from becoming another Rhodesia or South Africa.The European demand for self-government was rejected.
  2. b) In theory, settler’s dominance was weakened but in practice, the white paper upheld the dominance of the settlers more than that of the Africans e.g. segregation in residential areas in towns continued, they dominated the economy because they retained the white highlands.
  3. c) The paper did not satisfy the Asians since they did not gain access to the white highlands.
  4. d) Although many Asians came to Kenya, the Asians did not achieve equality with Europeans through a Common Roll. The Indian congress refused to cooperate with the government; they declined to hold elections for the Legislative Council seats offered to them. No Asian seats, five in all were occupied until 1933.
  5. e) Africans were to be represented by a nominated missionary, John Arthur, instead of representation by an African. For the first time, Africans were represented in the Legco.
  6. f) The Devonshire White Paper Benefited the Africans by declaring/recognizing Kenya as an African country where African interests should be paramount
  7. g) It failed to resolve African land and labour grievances.
  8. h) It sensitized the Africans on their plight leading to formation of politi cal parties.


Towns that were already in existence before the advent of colonialism include Mombasa, Lamu and Malindi. Many other towns in the interior grew during the colonial period.

Factors which led to the establishment of urban centres in Kenya during the colonial period

  1. a) Development of transport network. Construction of roads and the Uganda railway led to growth of some towns as transport terminus or along the transport lines e.g. Nairobi, Voi, Nakuru and Kisumu.
  2. b) Growth of trade in the interior of Kenya. Most towns began as trading centres for Indian commercial entrepreneurs. E.g Machakos, Nakuru, Kisumu, Nairobi and Voi.
  3. c) Development of administrative posts. The colonial government established administrative posts in various parts of the country. These posts later grew into urban centres. E.g Fort Hall, Embu, Kapsabet, Meru and Garissa.
  4. d) Rural-urban migration. The movement to urban areas by African labourers from various parts of the country led to further growth of urban centres.
  5. e) Development of agriculture. Settler farming led to growth of towns like Eldoret which began as agricultural collection centres
  6. f) Development of Agro-based industries like flour mills, meat-processing plants and sawmills which attracted labourers from all parts of the country to be transformed into urban centres.
  7. g) Development of mining activities. This stimulated development of industries in the mining areas leading to urban growth. E.g. Kakamega, Athi River and Magadi.

Why Africans moved to urban areas in colonial Kenya.

  1. a) The Urban centres had recreational facilities and social amenities which attracted the Africans, fed up with hardship conditions in the reserves.
  2. b) The Africans expected Job opportunities with better wages in the towns where there were industries as compared to the rural areas.
  3. c) Some Africans were escaping from forced labour and taxation.
  4. d) The African entrepreneurs wanted to take advantage of the wider markets in the towns to escape poverty in the crowded reserves.

Ways through which the colonial government controlled Africans migration to urban centers.

  1. a) Taking headcount of those who were supposed to live in urban centres
  2. b) Enacting strict rules about migration into urban centre
  3. c) Creation of African reserves
  4. d) Ensuring that only those who had specific activities to undertake in the urban centres lived there
  5. e) Introduction of kipande system.

Positive effects of urbanization during the colonial period.

  1. a) It promoted interaction between people of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, who exchanged ideas and experiences. The centres became seedbeds of political activities that eventually culminated into the struggle for independence.
  2. b) Urbanization promoted national integration and instilled a sense of nationhood among Kenyans as it watered down the differences and prejudices between communities.
  3. c) The welfare associations formed by Africans in urban areas, like the Bara Association in Mombasa for all hinterland people, united them for a common cause by lessening ethnic hostilities.
  4. d) Through sporting and cultural activities that took place in towns, relationships between different ethnic groups and races were cemented.
  5. e) Many Africans benefitted from the numerous employment opportunities as shoe shiners and repairers, charcoal sellers, hawking in industries and in European homes.
  6. f) Due to the Abundance of labour and raw materials, industries in urban areas expanded further.

Negative effects of urbanization during the colonial period in Kenya

  1. a) There were inadequate housing facilities to meet the demands of the people. This led to overcrowding especially in slums/shanties led to the outbreak of diseases. Lack of planning of housing led to poor drainage and sanitation facilities.
  2. b) Africans in urban areas were subjected to racial discrimination. The social services provided to the Africans were inadequate and of poor quality. Even houses in towns were occupied according to the various racial groups, with Europeans enjoying the best facilities.
  3. c) Increased population in urban centres led to serious water shortages.
  4. d) Establishment of industries in urban centres led to pollution of the environment, whichaffected the health of the inhabitants.
  5. e) There was rampant unemployment as urban centres could not cope with the large influx of labourers and increased competition for the available jobs
  6. f) Many unemployed people in urban areas got involved in social vices / crimes such as drug abuse, alcoholism and promiscuity, due to desperation and poverty.
  7. g) Africans working in urban centres received low wages with employers taking advantage of the high supply of labour, which affected their standards of living.
  8. h) The mass rural-urban migration brought about intensification of migration regulations to control the numbers of African migrants. The Kipande system became stricter.
  9. i) Economic activities in the rural areas were disrupted by the absence of men who had moved to urban areas. Women took up men’s roles.



Formal education in colonial Kenya was provided by four groups;

~  The Christian Missionaries.

~  The Colonial government through local councils.

~  The Africans themselves.

~  Community organizations(Asians)

Major milestones in the development of education in Kenya during the colonial period.

Initially, the provision of education was the preserve of the missionaries. For example, the Church Missionary Society (CMS) pioneered by setting up a school at Rabai in 1844 and another in Mombasa in 1873.

Features of Missionary education

  1. a) It was elementary. The subjects taught included religion, writing, reading, reading, hygiene and arithmetic.
  2. b) It was industrial and technical in approach, aiming at training Africans to be carpenters, masons, agricultural assistants and shoe repairers.
  3. c) It was denominational and aimed at inculcating doctrines of a particular church in the learners.

Objectives of Missionary education.

  1. a) To impart in the Africans Agricultural Skills in order to promote settler farming.
  2. b) To give the Africans basic technical skills to improve their industrial knowledge.
  3. c) To train some Africans as Catechists to enhance the spread of Christianity.
  4. d) To offer Africans basic literacy and numeracy to read the bible and do simple arithmetic.Education development in Kenya in the period between 1904 and 1963 was facilitated by the following factors;

1)  The WWI ex-soldiers experiences which convinced them of the advantage of higher education.

2)  Increase in African nationalism that demanded for better education for Africans.

3)  The need to produce better and more skilled manpower for the future independent Kenya.

4)  Primary education had produced qualified children who needed higher education.

In 1911, the colonial government agreed to share the burden of providing education to Africans with the missionaries. In 1913, the first Government African School was started at Machakos. It became a centre for Technical and Teacher training.

In 1918, the education commission made the following far-reaching recommendations to the government in line with the Fraser Commission report of 1908 which had recommended a racially –segregated system of education;

  1. a) Provision of technical education to Africans.
  2. b) Maintenance of racially segregated Schools.
  3. c) More cooperation between the colonial government and the missionaries.
  4. d) Appeals for grants-in-aid for mission schools.

In 1924, a commission came to Kenya (the Phelps –Stokes Commission) to look into the education situation. It recommended that Africans should receive Practical AgriculturalOriented Education suitable for rural areas. Other recommendations included;

  1. a) That there should be a uniform system of education in all government and missionary schools.
  2. b) That sufficient training for teachers and related personnel should be enhanced by establishing colleges.
  3. c) That schools should be built in the rural areas. This was done through the education ordinance of 1924.

Due to its recommendations, the Native Industrial Training Centre was built at Kabete in 1924 and Jeanes School, Kabete (1925) for offering technical and industrial education. Other schools were started later at Kapsabet, Kajiado, Tambach, Kitui, Kwale, Kabianga and Kapenguria.The 1924 Education Ordinance created an advisory committee on African education. The representation to the committee was missionaries, colonial officials and settlers. The same year, more schools were built with the assistance of the newly formed Local Native Councils. In 1931, another Education Ordinance helped in the establishment of Kakamega GAS In 1932, Kisii GAS in 1934, and Kabianga. Finance for African education was to come from the colonial government.From 1925, the missionaries began providing advanced level education to Africans. Initially secondary education was the preserve of the Europeans. In 1926, the Alliance of protestant missionaries set up Alliance High School. Catholics established Kabaa in 1927 and Mang’u School in Thika in 1930 for Africans. In 1938 and 1939, Maseno and St. Mary’s Yala were started as secondary schools.

Achievements of missionaries in provision of education.

  1. a) They designed a curriculum with emphasis on agriculture, tailoring, masonry and carpentry.
  2. b) They established the first secondary schools for Africans such as Alliance (1926), Kabaa (1927), Maseno (1938 and Yala (1939).
  3. c) They trained African teachers to man the ‘Bush Schools’ (schools found in remote areas consisting of mud huts with grass-thatched roofs) and teach in independent schools.
  4. d) They offered the necessary financial and material support to make these schools


Secondary schools for whites included Prince of Wales (Nairobi School), and Duke of York

(Lenana School) for European boys, Kenya Girls High School (Kenya High) and Limuru Girls for European Girls.Schools for Indians include the Asian Railway School (1904) and other schools developed by the government in Mombasa and Nairobi. Also community-based schools like Allidina Visram and the Arya Samaj Foundation.Hospital School became the first multi-racial school in 1953.In 1934, a District Education Board was created to plan education in districts, establish primaryschools and manage the schools.In 1949, the Beecher Committee was instituted to look into African education

From 1961, Asian and African pupils begun to join European schools.Provision of elementary education by Africans was pioneered by John Owalo of the Nomiya Luo Mission in 1910.


University Education.

Africans in Kenya got opportunity for university education at Makerere which was established in 1922 initially as a technical college and became an affiliate of the University of London on 1949. In 1954, the Royal Technical College, Nairobi began to offer higher education and became an affiliate of the university of London in 1959 to offer the first degree courses in 1961 when it became known as the royal college.

Community based education

This was done mainly by Asian families of Ismaili and Arya Samaj for the Indian traders in urban areas. Allidina Visram, A wealthy man, also established centres of higher education.

African Role in educational provision

Africans began their own schools for the following reasons;

  1. a) They wanted to protect certain cultural practices like feral circumcision and polygamy.
  2. b) They wanted to access higher education, since the government and missionaries were only offering them technical and industrial education, so that to be able to compete for the white-collar jobs with other races.
  3. c) They would also use the schools as a forum to air their grievances and to create political awareness in their community.

The Nomiya Luo Mission built several schools in Nyanza between 1908 and 1910. Other schools were built in Gem-Luanda region between 1913 and 1918 and in central Kenya in 1923 in Kiambu. In 1934, the Kikuyu Independent Schools Association (KISA) and the Kikuyu Karinga Education Association founded more schools. In 1938, Githunguri Teacher Training College had been established under Mbiyu Koinange.


Developments in provision of health services in colonial Kenya

Initially, just like in the case of education, the Christian missionaries were concerned with provision of health services in colonial Kenya.  The colonial government was majorly concerned with eradication of plague, malaria and sleeping disease which the Pioneer European settlers suffered from. Preventive medicine was later introduced to help stop various infections of killer diseases.The Church of Scotland Mission and the Church Missionary Society soon opened medical facilities in Kikuyu (1902), Kaimosi (1903), Kaloleni (1904) and Maseno (1905). Dr, Arthur, a missionary and pioneer doctor, put up the Thogoto Mission Hospital in 1907 and the facility exists prominently upto today as the Kikuyu Eye Unit Hospital and Kikuyu Rehabilitation Centre.

Objectives of the Health centres.

  1. a) To eradicate diseases such as smallpox, malaria and sleeping sickness.
  2. b) To train medical personnel to handle western medicine.
  3. c) To improve health and hygiene for Africans and Asians in towns where they lived in

overcrowded areas lacking in sanitary facilities.

Africans began being trained in the provision of emergence health services during the first war. (The East African Medical Corps was formed). Between 1919 –1922, missionaries began to train Africans as Medical Dressers and Dispensers.

After the opening of the Alliance medical college in 1920 and the establishment of a Medical training centre under the Nurses and Midwives Ordinance many African school leavers trained as laboratory and pharmacy assistants.A Public Health Ordinance was passed in 1921 giving the Medical Department powers to institute measures for the control of malaria and prevent communicable diseases. As a follow up to the 1921 Ordinance, new health units were established in the four different African reserves.

The Rural Dispensary System was established to supplement the missionary efforts in provision of health care. Health centres were built in rural areas as part of the colonial government efforts to improve health facilities.After 1945, the Development and Research Authority (DARA) gave 47,000 sterling pounds for health care and improvement of health services. In 1949, the Bureau of Medical Research was set up as an agency of the East African High Commission.In 1950 King George IV hospital (today the Kenyatta National Hospital) was started as a hospital for Africans and in 1951, it started training female nurses.By 1962, there were over 100 rural health centres in the country.

Role of Africans in Health Provision

Africans were more pre-occupied with superstitions and over-reliance on traditional medicine which negated their participation in provision healthcare..The traditional medicinemen were dismissed by missionaries despite their wealthy knowledge on herbal Medicine. Today, many people rely on traditional herbalists to compliment healthcare provision.


Early Political Organizations In Kenya Upto 1939

African participation in the First World War contributed to rapid political developments in Kenya in the following ways;

  1. a) When many African from different communities and countries met, they realized that they shared numerous interests and problems which necessitated political unity.
  2. b) The Africans’ disapproval of the Whiteman’s immortality during the war, as he could also get wounded, die and suffer like them. This motivated them to strive for equal rights when they came back.
  3. c) The introduction of many unfair measures after the war made their lives difficult. For example, governor Northey introduced the Soldier settlement scheme in 1919 to settle British ex-soldiers while African ex-soldiers got a raw deal.

Other factors for the rise of early political organizations included;

  1. a) The introduction of the Kipande system in 1920 which was used to force Africans to provide labour for the European settlers.
  2. b) The replacement of the Indian Rupee with the shilling in 1921 meant that those in possession of the rupee had valueless money at a short notice.
  3. c) The reduction of African wages and the increase in hut tax and poll tax in 1920 from 10 to 16 shillings.
  4. d) The change of status of Kenya from a protectorate to a colony in 1920 which d awned on the Africans that the Whiteman was here to stay unless this move was fought.

Kikuyu Association

This was the first political organization in Kenya. It was founded in 1920 by Loyalist Kikuyu chiefs, concerned about the continued grabbing of African land for European settlement.They also complained about the planned reduction of African wages after the replacement of the rupee with the shilling, the kipande system which they equated to slavery.The patron was Paramount Chief Kinyanjui wa Gathirimu and Chief Koinange wa Mbiyu was the president. The secretary was I.M.Ishmael. Other members were Josiah Njonjo, Philip Karanja, Mathew Njoroge and Waweru wa Mahui. The Association, being made of loyalist chiefs, was never aggressive in its demands. The members therefore failed to get any meaningful concessions from the government.Later, Harry Thuku and Abdalla Tairara joined the association together with other Christian converts who were labourers, colonial house servants and clerks in Nairobi and central Kenya.When Thuku tried to introduce radicalism in the Association, he was forced to decamp on 7th June 1921 and founded the Young Kikuyu Association.

The East African Association.

It began off as Young Kikuyu Association (YKA) in 1921 having been inspired by the Young Buganda Association in Uganda. Its founders included Harry Thuku, Abdalla Tairara,  Mwalimu Hamisi and Muhamed Sheikh.Harry Thuku, the leading founder of this association was a mission educated elite who was working as a telephone operator in Nairobi. He became dissatisfied with the nonaggressiveness of the Kikuyu Association which was dominated by loyalist chiefs, in pressing the colonial government for Africans’ demands.YKA being very aggressive demanded;

~  The return of African land.

~  Better working conditions for Africans.

~  Reduction of taxes.

~  Withdrawal of Kipande system which had been introduced in 1920.

~  Increase in wages.

YKA incorporated other ethnic community members thus necessitating it to change the name to the East African Association in July 1921. The officials included Harry Thuku (Chairman) George Samuel Okoth, Abdalla Tairara, Kibwana Kambo, Jesse Kang’ethe, Z. K. Sentongo from Uganda, Maitei ole Mootian, Molanket ole Sempele from Tanzania, James Mwanthi and Muhamed Sheikh. EAA became a very popular association in the 1920s attracting huge crowd in its meetings.


Grievances of the East African Association

~ They were demanding for the removal of the status of Kenya as a colonial territory.

~ They were demanding for a common roll for all in the legislative council elections.

~  They wanted the return of the alienated land, back to African owners.

~  They were opposed to forced labour.

~  They wanted more educational facilities and opportunities for Africans.

~  They were demanding that all labour in urban areas be paid fair wages.

~  They wanted the compulsory selling of cattle be stopped.

~  Removal of Kipande System.

~  Protested European domination of government.

~  Wanted hut tax that was exclusively paid by Africans abolished.

Due to the radical approach that was adopted by Harry Thuku, the colonial Governor had him arrested on 15th March 1922 and detained at the Kingsway Police Station (now Nairobi Central Police Station). On 16th March 1922, a Kikuyu Woman, Muthoni Nyanjiru, challenged the African men to violence demanding the release of Thuku. More than 21 people including Muthoni Nyanjiru, were killed when the police opened fire on the over 1000 people who were surging forward.Harry Thuku was deported to Kisimayu. His colleagues Waiganjo and Mugekenji were banished to Lamu as EAA was banned.

Consequences of Harry Thuku’s arrest

  1. a) The political parties that succeeded the EAA continued using even more radical approach when they realized that the colonial government was determined to continue using ‘Iron Rule’ in Kenya.
  2. b) Governor Edward Northey was recalled to London by the then Colonial Secretary, Sir Winston Churchill due to the way he mishandled the Thuku affair.
  3. c) The colonial government did not allow formation of any other countrywide political Associations among Africans until 1945.
  4. d) Thuku became the undisputed flag-bearer of Kenyan Nationalism prior to formation of later political parties.

The kikuyu central association.

When EAA was banned, its former officials Joseph Kang’ethe and Jesse Kariuki founded the Kikuyu central Association. It was formed in 1924 at Kahuhia, Fort Hall with Kang’ethe becoming the president and Henry Gichuru, secretary. Job Muchuchu (Treasurer), James Beauttah (secretary-general) and Jesse Kariuki (vice-president). All these were extremist politicians whose activities were closely monitored by the government.

Grievances of the Kikuyu Central Association.

~  They were demanding for the removal of the 1915 Crown Land Ordinance that made

Africans mere tenants and not real owners of their land.

~  They were demanding for African representation in the Legislative Council.

~  They were opposed to forced labour.

~  They wanted free primary education as opposed to the colonial education system.

~  Establishment of a secondary school, training facility for hospital workers and a school for girls.

~  Removal of kipande system.

~  They demanded that all colonial laws be translated into Gikuyu Language so that all members of the community could understand them.

~  They demanded for the appointment of a well-educated Paramount Chief elected by the majority of the Agikuyu.

~  Wanted hut tax abolished and other taxes reduced

~  They advocated for the growing of coffee and other cash crops by Africans.

~  To work towards the restoration of alienated African land.

~  To pressurize the colonial government to abolish racial segregation.

~  Respect of African culture & customs e.g. Circumcision/polygamy

~  Agitating release of political prisoners e.g. Harry Thuku.

By 1925, KCA had attracted membership from all large urban centres in Kenya and the Kikuyu squatters in the Rift Valley. They presented their demands to Governor Grigg when he visited Fort Hall in 1925.In 1927, KCA relocated its headquarters from Murang’a to Nairobi in order to link up with other Kenyan elites. In 1928, Jomo Kenyatta became its Secretary- General, taking over from James Beauttah who had been transferred from Nairobi in an act of sabotage by the government. Kenyatta started the Association newspaper, Muigwithania which was instrumental in reviving the cultural values of the Agikuyu.When the Hilton Young Commission was formed in 1927 to look into the question of the federation of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika, KCA through Jomo Kenyatta presented the following demands to it;

~  Introduction of free primary education for Africans.

~  Provision of secondary and higher education for Africans.

~  Abolition of kipande system

~  Appointment of Africans to LEGCO

~  Release of Harry Thuku

~  Giving of Title Deeds to Africans as a guarantee against any further land alienation.

~  Rejection of the proposed East Africa Federation

KCA championed female circumcision arguing that it was a beautiful cultural practice which eradicated prostitution in the community. When the Church of Scotland Mission, African inland Mission and CMS expelled all sympathizers with the practice from their missions, KCA responded by leading the pack in the beginning of independent schools and churches.KCA sent Jomo Kenyatta, accompanied by Parmenas Mukiri, to present Agikuyu grievances in 1929 to the colonial office in London. It also helped kikuyu elders in preparing evidence to the Kenya Land Commission in 1931.Rivalry for power within the KCA between 1931 and 1938 nearly rocked the association.The Association was banned in 1940 alongside others.

Kavirondo Tax Payers and Welfare Association

It started as Young Kavirondo Association (YKA) in December 1921 at a Baraza held in Ludha, central Nyanza, by mission educated Luo and Luhyia men. The meeting was meant to discuss issues affecting African communities.The official of the Association were Jonathan Okwiri (chairman), Simon Nyende (Treasurer), Benjamin Owuor (secretary), Rueben Omulo, Ezekiel Apindi, George Samuel Okoth, Mathayo Otieno, Joel Omino and Jolmeo Okaka. The demands of the YKA included;

~  They were demanding for addressing of the problem of change of the status of Kenya from a protectorate to colonial territory.

~  Demanded for a government school to be built in central Nyanza.

~  Demanded for a self- government for nyanza province with a separate legislative council and an elected African president.

~  They were opposed to forced labour and labour camps.

~  An end to land alienation.

~  Creation of the position of paramount chief for central and southern Nyanza, just like Mumias was for northern Nyanza.

~  Removal of Kipande System.

~  Demanded to be given title deeds for their land.

~  Wanted hut tax removed.

~  The advocated for better wages.

The members presented their demands to the Nyanza PC in May 1922 and met governor Northey in Kisumu in July 1922 at Nyahera in Kisumu. The governor agreed to authorize the closing down of labour camps and reduce taxation. However, the revocation of the Crown Colony Status was out of question.In 1923, however, government, alarmed by the mobilization level of YKA in Nyanza, compromised its leadership and Jonathan Okwiri handed over chairmanship to Archdeacon Owen fearing the banning of the association the way EAA had been.Under Owen YKA changed its name to KTWA with its emphasis shifting from political grievances to social grievances focusing on killing rats, digging latrines and keeping compounds clean. It also adopted the use of written memoranda in expressing their grievances. All Nyanza chiefs became Vice-presidents of the association under its new constitution.In 1931, the association split up into Luo and Luyia Factions due to disagreements. The Abaluhyia faction formed the North Kavirondo Central Association that had close links with the KCA. It was formed with the objective of stopping any further land alienation for European use without compensation, especially after the 1930s Kakamega Gold rush.By 1944, many of the top leaders of the KTWA had been co-opted into the colonial administration with Okwiri becoming a chief. Benjamin Owuor, Nyende and Okwiri were made members of the LNC in central Nyanza. KWTA was therefore weakened and became extinct in 1944.



Ukamba Members Association

UMA was formed in 1938 by Samuel Muindi Mbingu (Chairman), Elijah Kavula (Vice-chairman), Isaac Mwalozi (secretary) and Simon Kioko (treasurer) as an association of the Akamba of the eastern part of Kenya.The leaders who founded this association were closely associated with East African Association of Harry Thuku. For example, James Mwanthi, Ali Kilonzi and Muhamed Sheikh.

Reasons for the formation of Ukamba Members Association

  1. a) The Akamba wanted to fight against land alienation for European ranchers causing shortage of land for grazing.
  2. b) To oppose the colonial policy of de-stocking who argued that overstocking was responsible for soil erosion in Kitui and Machakos regions. In 1936, the Liebigs Group established a meat processing plant to effect the de-stocking policy.
  3. c) To oppose heavy taxation.
  4. d) To represent the Akamba people’s interests.
  5. e) To fight for the Akamba rights and freedoms

They wrote memorandum to the colonial government with the assistance of Asian lawyers. It mobilized people to fight for their rights through meetings and signing of petitions. They got support from KCA and the Asian representative to the Legco, Isher Das.The association used Muigwithania journal of KCA to advance their cause.

On 28th July 1938, UMA members including women and children demonstrated and marched to Nairobi with their cattle to seek audience with the governor over destocking and grazing policies. They staged a sit in Nairobi for 6 weeks led by Muindi Mbingu until the governor conceded to their demands at a meeting in Machakos. However, their leader, Muindi Mbingu was arrested in September 1938 and deported to Lamu until 1946.

The Association was banned at the beginning of World War II.

Problems that faced UMA in its operations

  1. a) The colonial government had a negative attitude towards the activities of the association. This discouraged open participation.
  2. b) Arrest of their leader Muindi Mbingu and his deportation to Lamu demoralized the movement.
  3. c) The Association alongside others was banned, with the World War II looming.

Coast Africa Association

The Association was formed in 1943 with Noah Mwana Sele as president, Muhamed bin Mwichande as vice president, E.W. Timothy as secretary General and H.G.Banks as honorary treasurer. Other officials were Muhamed bin Omar, Enoch Benjamin and H. Harrison.


Demands of Coast Africa Association.

  1. a) The demanded for improved education and the general welfare of Africans in the coastal region
  2. b) The elevation of Shimo la Tewa to a high school.
  3. c) The establishment of evening classes in the region so as to give African adults a chance to pursue basic western education.
  4. d) to protest inadequate healthcare services for the Africans.
  5. e) They were demanding for appointment of Africans as administrators.
  6. f) They demanded that tax collected from African drinks be used to develop African rural areas.
  7. g) They demanded for the revocation of allocation of Mijikenda land to Asians and Arabs.
  8. h) They demanded for African representation of Coast region in the LEGCO in 1947.

Unlike other Associations CAA did not present their grievances in political meetings bur instead used written memoranda and also their newspaper, the Coast African Express whose editor wads Elkana Young. This explains why the association existed while others had been banned.

In 1955 however, the association began to disintegrate due to the following reasons;

  1. a) The departure of their leaders Francis Khamisi and Ronald Ngala who joined the Mombasa African democratic union and the LEGCO.
  2. b) Leadership wrangles based on ethnic consideration.
  3. c) Shortage of funds to run the activities of the association.

It succeeded in achieving elevation of Shimo la Tewa school into a high school and a Legco position for the Mijikenda.

Taita hills Association

It was formed on 22nd June 1939, being modeled on the KCA and UMA styles.

Its objectives were;

~  To achieve equal political status with whites and Asians.

~  To help the Taita community to advance.

~  To protest the destocking policy. Most of the fertile land of the community had been occupied by European settlers who were growing coffee on it.

~  Oppose the plan to relocate the Wada Wida people from Taita hills to Samburu to create room for settlers.

~  They were opposed to the kipande system and forced labour. The Europeans forced the Wataita to work on coffee plantations and ferry the coffee over long distances for low wages.The pioneer founder of the Association was Daniel Mapinga, a young catechist, who began mobilizing the Wataita against oppressive measures used by the colonial government. Unfortunately he died in 1837.In 1939, Woresho Kolandi Mengo, Jimmy Mwambichi and Paul Chumbo took over his course and established THA with the help of KCA leadership.


  1. a) The association succeeded in stopping the government’s plan to relocate the Wada Wida people from Taita hills to Samburu to create room for settlers.
  2. b) The colonial government stopped the de-stocking plan among the Wataita.
  3. c) The government revised the Taita reserve boundaries and reduced the land initially carved for European settlers.

Problems experienced

  1. a) It failed to attract prominent personalities I Tata.
  2. b) It lacked support of all the African groups in the region. For example the Wataveta and Wagisiga were reluctant to join THA.
  3. c) The association was banned alongside others in May 1940.
  4. d) Their leader Mwambichi was deported after being arrested.

Problems faced by early political organizations.

  1. a) Their members were subjected to harassment by the colonial government, especially arresting and dispersing demonstrators.
  2. b) The organizations were demoralized through the deportation of the leaders like Thuku (EAA). Muindi Mbingu (UMA) and Mwambichi (THA).
  3. c) The associations experienced political wrangles between members as witnessed in KCA between 1931 1nd 1839 and CAA upon departure of its tow key leaders.
  4. d) Many of the leaders of the organizations had little experience in running political parties and therefore mismanaged their offices.
  5. e) The organizations were faced with financial inadequacy. Many Africans were

experiencing financial problems due to land alienation, taxation and poor working

conditions and therefore could not adequately contribute to the associations.

  1. f) There was a lot of disunity since most organizations were ethnic-based

Features of the political associations formed in Kenya before 1939

  1. a) They lacked a national outlook since they were ethnic (tribal based/oriented/urban based).

Most of them were confined to one or two ethnic communities except EAA.

  1. b) Most of them received material and moral support from the Asians
  2. c) Mission-Educated African young men led them. For example, Harry Thuku, Okwiri and Mwambichi.
  3. d) They were formed in response to socio-economic and land problems of various ethnic groups.
  4. e) They all agitated for an end to European exploitation and oppression rather than demand for political independence.
  5. f) Most of them did not attract large membership due to their ethnic tendency.
  6. g) They were non-militant and tended to be moderate and their demanded.
  7. h) They were characterized by squabbles over leadership.

Achievements of early political parties.

  1. a) They provided political education to the African communities through their political rallies.
  2. b) They communicated the communities’ feelings to the colonial government through publications, memoranda or speeches.
  3. c) They defended the African cultures against further erosion by the European missionaries. For example KCA defended female circumcision among agikuyu.
  4. d) They re-awakened the masses by making them conscious of the political situation in the country.
  5. d) Some succeeded in to stop further land alienation by restraining the Europeans from displacing the Africans to the reserves. For example THA succeeded in stopping the government’s plan to relocate the Wada Wida people from Taita hills to Samburu to create room for settlers.
  6. e) The played the role of trade Unionism by fighting for the welfare of the workers in the absence of formal trade unions.
  7. f) They publicized Africans’ grievances to the international community. For Example, the role played by Jomo Kenyatta on behalf of KCA.
  8. g) They pioneered in the growth of nationalism by forging inter-community relations in the struggle for independence.


This was an expression of African protest against European interference with traditional African economic and political organization.

Reasons why independent churches and schools emerged in Kenya

  1. a) The desire by majority of Africans to retain their cultural values while at the same time converting to Christianity. Many were unhappy with the western influence of Christian missionaries who taught against traditional customs.
  2. b) Africans were unhappy with the 3Rs style of education in mission schools which only prepared them for low positions in government or employment on European farms and homes. They desired to be equal to Europeans and Asians.
  3. c) Independent schools emerged as a reaction against colonial domination and exploitation in terms of taxation, kipande, forced labour and racial discrimination.
  4. d) Africans desired leadership in their own churches instead of being led by European missionaries whom they viewed as agents of colonialism.
  5. e) The role played by Africans like John Owalo and Elijah Masinde who claimed to have received divine calls to begin independent churches.
  6. f) Some Africans felt dissatisfied with the interpretation of the scriptures. The Holy Spirit Church, for example, broke away on this account.
  7. g) Some churches were formed to allow Africans to express their Christianity freely through dancing, singing and drum beating which many mission churches did not accommodate.
  8. h) Characteristics of independent churches and schools.

Characteristics of independent churches and schools.

  1. a) All of them accommodated African cultural values.
  2. b) Both churches and schools valued Christianity and western education but were against the westernizing influence by missionaries.
  3. c) Africans held positions of leadership in the churches and schools.
  4. d) Most Churches and schools worked closely with the African political association.

The independent churches movement in Nyanza.

John Owalo is credited for leading in the establishment of independent churches in nyanza. He stared as a Roman Catholic, then joined the Church of Scotland mission (CSM) at Kikuyu before moving to the CMS first in Nairobi, then defected to Maseno.

The reason why Owalo suffered from denominational defection is because he was seeking for a mission church that accommodated African cultural values and where Africans could be given a say I terms of leadership and worship. In 1907, Owalo claimed to have received a direct call from God with instructions to begin his own church. Though CMS at Maseno dismissed him as a ‘lunatic’, the colonial authority (Nyanza

PC John Ainsworth) granted Owalo permission to start his own mission. In 1910, he founded the Nomiya Luo Church, which became the first independent church in Kenya. Owalo proclaimed himself as a prophet equating similar to Jesus.

Other independent churches in Nyanza included;

1)  Dini ya Roho (Holy Spirit Church) founded among the Luhyia in 1927 as a breakaway from the Friends African Mission. The members claimed to speak in tongues and believed in baptism by the ‘holy spirit’,

2)  Joroho church founded by Alfayo Odongo Mango in 1932 among the Luo. It was similar to Dini ya Roho.

3)  The Christian Universal Evangelical Union founded in 1938 In Siaya by Ismael Noo, a school teacher linked to the Anglican Church at Maseno. He began off as one of the leaders of the revival movement at Maseno, which emphasized salvation by the blood of Jesus and public confession of sin. His movement insisted that men and women should have sexual intercourse since they were saved. His church attracted many women and soon he was accused of infidelity with peoples’ wives.He officially broke away from the Anglican Church at a convention at Nyabondo in Nyakach to establish the Christian Evangelical Union. The church is currently known as the Christian Evangelical Church, having changed its name in 1965.

The independent churches and schools movement in central Kenya

Due to its proximity to Nairobi, the seat of colonial administration, central Kenya experienced the presence of white settlers more than any other region in Kenya. The schools established by the so many missionary groups in the region only aimed at imparting basic literacy and numeracy skills to African converts. As the evangelized, the \missionary groups condemned many traditional African practices and values like polygamy, consumption of traditional brews and female circumcision. It is behind this backdrop that independent churches and schools emerged in central Kenya.

Kikuyu Independent schools

Kikuyu elders out of the desire for western education for their children, without necessarily being Europeanized, set up independent schools. In 1913, a Kikuyu elder, Mukunga wa Njehu, donated land at Gaithieko, Kiambu where the first independent school In central kenya was built.In 1925, another school had been built and registered at Githunguri.The independent Schools Movement emerged in the 1920s as a result of the expulsion from mission schools of the children of the supporters of female circumcision. The two bodies that emerged as a consequence were Kikuyu Independent Schools Association (KISA) and the Kikuyu Karinga Educational Association (KKEA)

The Kikuyu Independent Schools Association

The Body was closely associated with the Independent Pentecostal Church and was predominantly in Murang’a, Nyeri and Embu.

Following a showdown over female circumcision, the kikuyu elders got permission from the DC to build a prayer House around Gituamba on land donated by two elders, Kagere Gatundu and Gathai Gachohi of Thiru sub-location. Between 1929 and 1932, a school was set up at the church. This success inspired the emergence of similar churches and schools in Mariira, Kahiti and Gakarara in Kandara, Murang’a.In 1934, KISA was established to coordinate the efficient running of these schools with its leaders including Daudi Maina Kiragu, Musa Muriithi, Hezekiah Gachui, Peter Gathecha and Johana Njoroge.The Association had the responsibility of establishing more schools and maintaining them as well as mobilizing funds for teacher training programmes. Their activities got the support of the colonial authorities which even permitted establishment of more schools that must be registered at the DO’s office.By 1935, KISA had established 34 independent schools with an enrolment of 2,518 pupils.

Similar schools emerged in the Rift Valley among the kikuyu squatters.

Challenges encountered by KISA.

  1. a) There were inadequate funds to support the large number of pupils and schools.
  2. b) Many teachers were untrained.
  3. c) Many of the KISA leaders lacked proper management skills.
  4. d) Mission schools fought the efforts of KISA leaders.
  5. e) There were disagreements among KISA leaders where some demanded for money for the land they had donated for the schools.The independent churches also suffered from lack of ordained ministers. This problem was solved when KCA invited the Most Reverend William Alexander, the Archbishop of the African Orthodox Church in South Africa in 1935, who established a seminary at Gituamba and ordained Daudi Maina Kiragu, Philip Kiande and Harrison Gachukia Kimanga as Ministers.In 1937 after Archbishop Alexander had left, Daudi Maina Kiragu and Harrison Gachukia Kimanga broke away and formed the African Independent Pentecostal Church which they claimed was independent from external influence.In 1938, KISA named their church the Independent Pentecostal Church.

By 1952, at the time of its banning, KISA had 168 schools with an enrolment of 60,000 pupils in central Kenya and rift valley.

Kikuyu Karinga Educational Association

The association emerged out of a split at the Gituamba between the Murang’a group and the -Kiambu members who were radical and were more closely associated with KCA.

The term ‘Karinga’ means ‘pure’ implying unpolluted kikuyu customs and values. KKEA was opposed to all forms of cooperation with either the missionaries or the colonial authority.By 1940, it had established 12 schools in Kiambu and 11 in the rift valley. By 1952, it had established schools at Moshi and Arusha in Tanganyika. It established its own church in 1952(the African Orthodox Church of Kenya), relying on church ministers trained at Gituamba seminary. It was led by Arthur Gathuna and Philip KiandeThe Association was banned in 1952 after declaration of a State of Emergency.In 1939, the Kenya Teachers Training College was established at Githunguri, Kiambu, to train teachers for the independent schools. Mbiyu Koinange was the first principal. It was closed in 1952 alongside other independent schools.

Problems faced by independent churches and schools

  1. a) Poor leadership as many churches and schools were led by people without any management experience. Many of them lacked trained personnel who could run them efficiently.
  2. b) They faced a lot of hostility from the colonial government and missionaries who constantly harassed them.
  3. c) Ideological differences among their leaders on which name to adopt. There were also many leadership squabbles as all founders wanted to be recognized.
  4. d) The schools were forced to follow the official syllabus and become members of the District Education Board.
  5. e) The independent churches and schools competed with mission churches and schools for followers with the later declaring war on certain African practices


Factors that hastened political development in Kenya after 1945.

  1. a) The Acquisition of western education by many Africans by 1945 which enabled them to articulate their grievances more forcefully and to understand political developments outside Kenya.
  2. b) The return of the ex-servicemen after the second world war which exposed the myth of the white supremacy making Africans ready to fight them. Moreover, the colonial government failed to reward African ex-soldiers to embitter them more.
  3. c) The change of government from Conservative to Labour Party in Britain in 1946 stimulated a new attitude in Britain towards decolonization. Africans in Kenya took advantage of this attitude.
  4. d) The granting of independence to India and Pakistan in 1947 aroused great confidence among Africans in Kenya to also clamour for their own independence.
  5. e) The rise of Pan-Africanism in Africa after the 1945 Manchester conference contributed to the new demands for political independence in Kenya.
  6. f) The formation of the UNO and the pressure it exerted on the European powers to

decolonize helped the Kenyans in their course.

  1. g) The emergence of United States and the Soviet Union as super powers in the world contributed to the decolonization process. USA was keen to see Britain and France grant independence to their subjects in the world in order to secure new markets.
  2. h) The signing of the Atlantic Charter in 1941 by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt which demanded that when the WWII ended, all subject peoples should enjoy the right to self-determination.
  3. i) The costs incurred by the European nations during WW2 made their taxpayers become reluctant to raise any more funds for colonial expenditures.

Characteristics of political parties formed after 1945.

  1. a) They had a national outlook as members were drawn from different ethnic groups
  2. b) Their main objectives was to fight for independence
  3. c) Educated elites led them
  4. d) They had a large membership.
  5. e) They demanded for fair taxation for Africans.
  6. f) They all demanded for improved conditions for African workers.
  7. g) They all demanded for the return of alienated land.

Kenya African Study Union 

When Eliud Mathu was nominated to the Legco on 10th October 1944, a number of well educated Africans led by Francis Khamisi agreed to form Kenya African Union (KAU) with the following objectives;.

  1. a) To assist Mathu in his new task as the first African nominated to the LEGCO.
  2. b) To create a Multi-ethnic political grouping representing the interests and constitutional rights of all Africans effectively.
  3. c) To advocate for more constitutional reforms for Africans.
  4. d) To demand for better living and working conditions.

The interim officials were Harry Thuku (chairman), Francis Khamisi (Secretary) and Albert Owino (treasurer). Other officials were James Gichuru, John Kebaso, Simeon Mulandi, Harry ole Nangurai, S.0. Josiah, F.M. Ng’anga, Jimmy Jeremiah, J.D. Otiende and S.D. Jakay.Two weeks after its formation, the governor ordered its officials to change its name to the Kenya African Study Union as it was meant to help Mathu in studying African problems.In January 1945, James Gichuru became the president of KASU after Harry Thuku resigned, being unable to cope with radicalism in the union.

Under Gichuru, KASU published a newspaper – Sauti ya Mwafrika that concentrated on African grievances and the proposed East African Federation which they opposed.

The organization rejected proposals to give more powers to European members in the Executive council. They refused to accept a European dominated government of the East African Federation. Later in 1946 on KASU changed its name to KAU feeling that the former name was inappropriate.

Kenya African Union

Formed in February 1946, the main demands of KAU were;

~ They protested against inadequate African representation in the LEGCO.

~ They protested against the lack of Participation of Africans in the governance of

Kenya. They even demanded for Self-government for Africans.

~  They were against the continued existence of the Kipande System and forced labour.

~  They demanded improvement of the African working conditions with better wages equal to what was paid to other races.

~  They demanded an end to Land alienation and racial discrimination.

~  They demanded an end to Imposition of taxes.

~  They demanded compensation of ex-servicemen.

~  They were protesting against Lack of education opportunities for Africans.

The return to Kenya by Kenyatta in 1946 marked the beginning of mass nationalism. On 1st June 1947, Kenyatta became president of KAU after Gichuru stepped down for him. W.W.W. Awori was elected vice-president and Ambrose Ofafa and Muchohi Gikonyo were elected treasurer and secretary respectively.Kenyatta travelled widely in Kenya where he urged people to join KAU. After 1947 KAU began to face the problem of a standoff between Radicals like Fred Kubai and Paul Ngei who wanted to use force to acquire independence, and moderates like Kenyatta himself. Radicals who included Bildad Kaggia took over the Nairobi branch of KAU.When the national delegates’ conference was held in 1951, Jomo Kenyatta retained presidency, J.D. Otiende became secretary General, PAUL Ngei –assistant SG and Ole Nangurai –Treasurer. Between 1948 and 1950, KAU faced serious financial problems even failing to pay rent for its offices at the IBEA building.

Other problems that faced KAU

  1. a) Kenyatta also appeared too busy to run the affairs of the party as he doubled up as the Principal of Githunguri TTC.
  2. b) The party also faced a lot of hostility from the colonial government and the white settlers.
  3. c) There were rampant ethnic divisions within the membership of KAU being complicated by the fact that the party appeared to be dominated by one ethnic group, the kikuyu.
  4. d) Majority of the African population, who were illiterate, lacked political awareness under could not understand the political efforts required of them.

When the Mau Mau movement began, the Nairobi office of Kubai, J.M.Mungai and Kaggia worked closely with it.

KAU continued to expand its membership in Kenya with Ramogi Achieng’ Oneko opening a branch in Kisumu in 1951, Johana Adala and Boaz Muha opened a branch in Maragoli and Muinga Chokwe opened one in Mombasa.In 1952, KAU rallies were banned outside Nairobi after a political meeting in Nyeri, attended by the leader of Mau Mau, Dedan Kimathi, which attracted over 25,000 people thus startling the government.

When a state of emergency was declared in 1952, KAU leaders were arrested for being behind Mau Mau. Walter Odede became the acting president, Joseph Murumbi acting secretary and W.W.W.Awori-acting treasurer.The acting official presented a 24-point memoranda to Oliver Lyttelton , secretary of state for colonies when he came to kenya during the emergency period, demanding the release of the Kapenguria six (Jomo Kenyatta, Paul Ngei, Kung’u Karumba, Bildad Kaggia, Achieng’ Oneko and Fred Kubai)

Walter Odede, the acting president was late arrested on 9th march 1953 while Murumbi escaped to Bombay, India as KAU was banned on 8th June 1953.

Achievements if KAU

  1. a) Party members especially from the Nairobi branch gave moral and material support to the Mau Mau freedom fighters.
  2. b) The party provided guidance and political support to Eliud Mathu, the first African representative to the Legco.
  3. c) The party laid the foundation for the growth of the Kenya African National Union that ushered in independence in Kenya.
  4. d) Some of the members of the party were active members of Mau Mau. For example, Fred Kubai and Bildad Kaggia.


Mau-Mau is an abbreviation which stands for “Mzungu Arudi Ulaya, Mwafrika Apate Uhuru” (meaning let the white man go back to Europe and the Africans regain Independence).Sometimes the movement was referred to as the ‘Land and Freedom Army’ and the Anake-aForty.Sometime in the late 1940s the General Council of the banned Kikuyu Central Association (KCA) began to make preparations for a campaign of civil disobedience involving all of the Kikuyu in order to protest the land issue. The members of this initiative were bound together through oath. The rituals obliged the oath taker to fight and defend themselves from Europeans.In These oath rituals, There were rumors about cannibalism, ritual zoophilia with goats, sexual orgies, ritual places decorated with intestines and goat eyes, and that oaths included promises to kill, dismember and burn settlers. The oaths were a cultural symbol of the solidarity that bound Kikuyu men, women and children in loyalty together in their opposition to the colonial government. It also instilled courage and unity among people,Nonetheless, the British were scared by the oath, made taking the Mau Mau oath a capital offence. The British also screened Mau Mau suspects and forced them to take a ‘cleansing oath’, a strange instance of colonialism ‘gone native’.


  1. a) The unemployment of the ex-soldiers who had been promised jobs after the World War II, but instead were made porters on European-estates. Similarly, people were retrenched, traders pushed out to business by Asian retail trade monopoly and European settlers.
  2. b) Africans, especially the Kikuyu, wanted their land returned. By 1948, 1.25 million Kikuyu were restricted to 2000 square miles (5,200 km²), while 30,000 settlers occupied 12,000 square miles (31,000 km²) fertile land. In the reserves Africans suffered from congestion, starvation and diseases like typhoid, cholera.
  3. c) It was a reaction against the Kipande system. This was a method of identity cards imposed on Africans to restrict them from unnecessary movements.
  4. d) The introduction of racial discrimination in Kenya. The Europeans equated the black colour with low intelligence, uncivilized, barbaric and a backward race. All the best hotels, restaurants, schools, recreational centres and most fertile soils in Kenya were reserved for the whites only.
  5. e) Africans were fed up of heavy and harsh taxation by the Europeans. Failure to pay tax was punishable by taking away the land or even imprisonment. So the Africans were forced to go and work under harsh condition and for long hours, yet poorly paid.
  6. f) The dominance of the economy by the Asian and white settlers. The Africans were not allowed to take part in meaningful business, were not given positive consideration in awarding jobs.
  7. g) They also wanted to be exposed to the social services e.g. education. The white settlers frustrated the African efforts to set up schools even the few educated Africans were not employed in the civil service.
  8. h) Africans feared a gradual destruction of their culture by the whites e.g. the missionaries were totally against the circumcision of women among the Kikuyu and the traditional view of twins.
  9. i) Africans wanted a fair share in the administration of their country (Parliament). For a long time many Kenyans were excluded from decision making and political participation the whites and Asians in the Legislative Council did not represent their interests.
  10. j) The return of Jomo Kenyatta in the 1950s’ after his studies in Europe, he came back with a wider vision to convince the Kenyans about their rights and they therefore united and rebelled.
  11. k) The role of educated Kenyans who aware of their rights as citizens and in turn educated the rest about their place in society. This prompted them to rebel against the whites.
  12. l) The colonial policy discouraged Africans from growing cash crops like coffee, tea, cotton, pyrethrum for fear of competition with the Africans who would grow rich and challenge the colonial administration.
  13. m) Forced labour. Africans were obliged by colonial law to offer labour on the plantation this was to be done forcefully without offering any payments. This kind of new slavery inspired the occurrence of the Mau Mau rebellion.
  14. n) Influence of the Second World War. Many Kenyans who participated in this war discovered the weakness of the white man and the loopholes in their systems of administration. These included General China, Dedan Kimathi among others  who also acquired good military skills.
  15. o) The move was a quest for constitutional reforms in Kenya. African political parties had been banned with impunity and their leaders like Harry Thuku, Muindi Mbingu and Mwambichi detained
  16. p) They were protesting colonial brutality especially the mistreatment of Africans on the white farms. Many Africans were killed at the slightest excuse like in the case of the upland Bacon

Factory Massacre in September 1947.

The course of the uprising.

On May 1, 1949, six trade unions formed the East African Trades Union Congress (EATUC). The union leaders joined with the “Forty Group,” which was a roughly cohesive group mostly composed of African ex-servicemen conscripted in 1940 when attempts for a union members strike failed on May 16th 1950. In June 1951, the urban KAU radicals (Mutonyi, Isaac Gathanga, Bildad Kaggia, Paul Ngei and Fred Kubai) created a secret Central Committee (Muhimu) to coordinate the oath campaign throughout Nairobi and outside Nairobi. It also formed armed squads to enforce its policies, protect members from the police, and kill informers and

collaborators. Different leaders led the Land and Freedom Armies. Three of the dominant Active Wing leaders were Stanley Mathenge; Waruhiu Itote (known as General China), leader of Mount Kenya wing; and Dedan Kimathi, leader of Aberdare forest wing. Others were General Ndung’u Gicheru, General Mwariama and General Matenjagwo (one who never shaves). Other armies were in Nairobi, Kiambu, Fort Hall and Rift Valley. They were mostly equipped with spears, simis (short swords), kibokos (rhino hide whips) and pangas (machete). Some made their own gunswhile others employed armed robberies on police stations and isolated settler homes.  African and Asian merchants funded the movement by paying protection fees.On 1st of October 1952, Mau Mau assassinated a Nairobi councillor, Tom Mbotela, who was a government loyalist. On 3 October, Mau Mau claimed their first European victim when they stabbed a woman to death near her home in Thika. A week later, on 9 October, Senior Chief Waruhiu, a strong supporter of the British presence in Kenya, had been shot to death in broad daylight in his car. His assassination gave Governor Baring the final impetus to declare a State of Emergency on 20 October 1952. Early the next morning, the British carried out a mass-arrest of 180 alleged Mau Mau leaders and subjected six of them to a trial (the Kapenguria Six); the real militants, such as Dedan Kimathi and Stanley Mathenge, fled to the forests.

While much of the senior leadership of the Nairobi Central Committee was arrested, Local rebel committees took uncoordinated decisions to strike attack settlers and there was an abrupt rise in the destruction of European property and attacks on African loyalists. On January 24, 1953, Mau Mau, possibly former servants, killed settlers Mr. and Mrs. Ruck, as well as their six-year-old son, on their farm with pangas. White settlers reacted by dismissing all of their Kikuyu servants because of the fear that they could be Mau Mau sympathizers. Naivasha Police Station was raided in March 1953.Over 1800 loyalist Kikuyu were killed. Operating from the safety of the forests, the Mau Mau mainly attacked isolated farms at night, but occasionally also households in suburbs of Nairobi.In May 1953, the Kikuyu Home Guard became an official part of the security forces. It became the significant part of the anti-Mau Mau effort. On March25–March 26, 1953, nearly 1000 rebels attacked the loyalist village of Lari, where about 170 non-combatants were hacked or burnt to death. Most of them were the wives and children of Kikuyu Home Guards serving elsewhere. In the weeks that followed, some suspected rebels were summarily executed by police and loyalist Home Guards.In June 1953 General Sir George Erskine arrived and took up the p ost of Director of Operations. A military draft brought in 20,000 troops who were used aggressively. The Kikuyu reserves were designated “Special Areas,” where anyone failing to halt when challenged could be shot. The colonial government created so-called pseudo-gangs composed of de-oathed and turned ex-Mau Mau and allied Africans, sometimes headed by white officers. They infiltrated Mau Mau ranks and made search and destroy missions. By September 1953, the British knew the leading personalities in Mau Mau, the capture of General China in January the following year provided a massive intelligence boost on the forest fighters.

On April 24, 1954, the Army launched “Operation Anvil” in Nairobi, the forest fighters’ source of supplies, money and recruits, and the city was put under military control. By the end of 1954 there were 77,000 Kikuyu in concentration camps mainly deported from Nairobi.  In June 1954, a policy of compulsory villagization was started in the reserves to allow more effective control and surveillance of civilians and to better protect pro-government collaborators. When the program reached completion in October 1955, 1,077,500 Kikuyu had been concentrated into 854 “villages.”The last Mau Mau leader, Dedan Kimathi, was captured by Kikuyu Tribal Police on 21 October 1956 in Nyeri with 13 remaining guerrillas, and was subsequently hanged in early 1957. His capture marked the effective end of the Uprising, though some Mau Mau remained in the forests until 1963 and the Emergency remained in effect until January 1960.

Mau war by other communities

~  In April 1953, a Kamba Central Committee was formed by Kamba rebels who were all railway men and effectively controlled the railway workforce. They organized acts of sabotage against the railway lines during the emergency.

~  Rebel Maasai bands became active in Narok district before being crushed by soldiers and police who were tasked with preventing a further spread of the rebellion.

~  In Maragoli, Chief Mukudi of Bunyore was associated with the movement.

~  Other communities involved were the Kipsigis section of kalenjin, Luo etc.


Factors, which facilitated the MAU MAU uprising.

  1. a) Oathing, which united the people and gave them the courage, determination and

momentum for the rebellion course.

  1. b) The use of guerilla tactics ensured less loss of life and prolonged war. It made it difficult for the British to suppress the rebellion.
  2. c) The support to the fighters from the civilians who supplied food, water, spying etc.
  3. d) Strong leadership for the movement by people like Dedan Kimathi, Waruhiu Itote (General China), Stanley Mathenge and General Matenjagwo.
  4. e) The deep resentment of the people against the Europeans gave them the reason to continue fighting.
  5. f) The natural forests of Mount Kenya and Aberdere ranges provided good hideouts for the fighters.
  6. g) The fighters had enough weapons. They accessed weapons like the homemade guns, swords and Machette to add to what they were able to seize from the settlers.

Problems that faced Mau Mau Rebellion

  1. a) The fighters lacked transport and communication facilities.
  2. b) They were faced with adverse weather conditions, operating in the Aberdere and MountKenya Forests that were extremely cold.
  3. c) In the Wild environment, they were frequently attacked by wild animals.
  4. d) They lacked proper fighting equipment when compared to the weaponry of the Europeans.
  5. e) They faced brutality from the British forces when they were retaliating.
  6. f) There were constant divisions and disagreements among the fighters.
  7. g) The movement suffered from the infiltration of spies in form of pseudo-gangs who exposed their military strategies.
  8. h) The movement suffered from lack of proper coordination due to the use of forest hideouts and mountain terrain by the guerrillas which prevented them from developing a wellcoordinated strategy.
  9. i) The arrest of the movement’s key leaders General China and Dedan Kimathi dealt in a devastating blow.
  10. j) The movement suffered from a disjointed recruitment process with some fighters being coerced into membership which put their loyalty to doubt.

Results of the Mau Mau uprising

  1. a) Many people died as a result of the war. The official number of Kenyans killed was estimated at 11,503 by British sources. More than 1,800 Kenyan civilians and 32 British civilians were killed by Mau Mau militants.
  2. b) The war attracted the attention of British citizens and international community to the crimes committed by the colonial administration. British forces committed widespread human rights abuses, including rape, torture and castration.
  3. c) Many Africans were arrested and detained while thousands were seriously injured during the interrogations. For example, 11 of the 88 detainees at Hola Camp lost their lives as the rest were seriously injured in brutality incident.
  4. d) The war speeded up the march to independence especially when the realty of the inability of the colonial administration to govern kenya dawned on the British government
  5. e) The uprising led to destruction of property. Villages, houses and crops were burned down.
  6. f) The war led to the relocation of the Agikuyu, Ameru and Aembu communities from Nairobi region as their jobs were taken by people from western and rift valley who did not participate in the rebellion.
  7. g) The uprising led to the reduction of the influence of the settlers in Kenya as it was realized that it was the enormous settler influence that was responsible for the insurgence.
  8. h) The war forced the colonial authority to apply tough measures to restrict the activities of African political parties such as KAU that was banned in 1952.
  9. i) The war led to the beginning of a program of villagization and land reform consolidated the land holdings of the Kikuyu, thereby creating emergency kikuyu villages in various parts of the country.
  10. j) It led to the declaration of a state of emergence in Kenya on 20th October 1952.
  11. k) The war bred bitterness among members of Agikuyu Aembu and Ameru where some were government loyalists while others were Mau Mau supporters.
  12. l) The war resulted into the land reform measures that came to be known as the SwynnertonPlan of 1954 that sparked off the resettlement of Africans in the countryside.

Swynnerton Plan

Refusing to give more land to the Kikuyu in the reserves, which could have been seen as a concession to Mau Mau, Baring turned instead in 1953 to Roger Swynnerton, Kenya’s assistant director of agriculture. The primary goal of the Swynnerton Plan was the creation of family holdings large enough to keep families self-sufficient in food and to enable them to practice alternate husbandry, which would generate a cash income.

Recommendations of the Swynnerton Plan of 1954

  1. a) The survey and enclosure of African land in high potential areas.
  2. b) The processing of title deeds and giving out title deeds to the owners. Only progressive African farmers would get title deeds and benefit from the land reforms.
  3. c) A few Africans were allowed to practice new agricultural methods and obtain credit as well as title deeds.
  4. d) A few African s were allowed to practice individual land ownership.
  5. e) A few progressive African farmers were allowed to grow cash crops.

Kenya African National Union

During the emergency period, (From October 1952 to December 1959) African participation in the political process increased rapidly. The Kenya African National Union (KANU) was formed after the First Lancaster House Conference of January 1960 resolved that nationwide political parties be formed in Kenya as a step towards decolonization.On 27th march 1960, at a meeting at Kirigiti, Kiambu convened by ex-KAU strongmen, James Gichuru and Oginga Odinga, KAU merged with Kenya Independent Movement and the People’s Congress Party to form KANU. The colonial government declined to register KANU with Kenyatta as president since he was still in detention.In May 1960 James Gichuru took the presidency with Odinga as his deputy. Tom Mboya became the secretary General and Arthur Ochwada his assistant. Ronald Ngala and Daniel Moi were elected treasurer and assistant treasurer respectively in absentia as they were attending a commonwealth parliamentary Association meeting in London.In the party’s constitution, drafted by Mwai Kibaki and Tom Mboya, the following were the objectives;

  1. a) To attain political independence for Africans inn Kenya.
  2. b) To achieve national unity through a unitary national constitution under one central government.
  3. c) To create a society based on African socialism.
  4. d) To eradicate poverty, ignorance and disease.
  5. e) To get back African land.
  6. f) To have all political detainees released.
  7. g) To unite with liberation movements in other countries in a Africa in order to end

imperialism and colonialism in the continent.

  1. h) To encourage good neighbourliness in the East African Region.

When Kenyata was released, he took over leadership of the party. During the independence elections in may 1963, KANU won 73 seats against KADU’s 31 and African Peoples’ Party’s 8 . Jomo Kenyatta became the Prime Minister on 1st June 1963.

Achievements of KANU in the struggle for independence.

  1. a) KANU mobilized Africans in Kenya and united them in the struggle for independence.
  2. b) Through its numerous nationwide meetings, it provided political education to the Africans in Kenya.
  3. c) It participated in the independence constitution making process by being part of the Lancaster House conference of 1962.

Challenges faced by KANU in the struggle for independence.

  1. a) There was disunity among its members with some suspicious of the big communities who had taken up key leadership positions
  2. b) The party faced the problem of lacking adequate funds to carry out its countrywide campaigns for Independence.
  3. c) The KANU leaders suffered from ideological differences with some opposing the unitary system of government as advocated by the party’s constitution.
  4. d) Some members were dissatisfied with the way party affairs were being run especially the elections which they felt were not fair.

Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU)

KADU was formed in 1960 as an alliance of minority ethnic political groups to protect the rights /interests of the minority groups against possible domination of KANU /majority groups.Its senior leaders included Ronald Ngala (president), Masinde Muliro (Vice president), Daniel Arap Moi (chairman), Martin Shikuku (secretary General) and Justus ole Tipis (treasurer).KADU leaders advocated for a federal system while KANU group were advocating for a unitary system of government.When KANU refused to form government while Kenyatta was still in detention, KADU formed the first coalition government with the Europeans and Asians who belonged to Michael Blundell’s New Kenya Party after garnering 11 seats in the May 1961 elections.In 1962, KADU and KANU formed a coalition government while awaiting the 1963 elections.Following the defeat by KANU in the May 1963 elections, it became the major opposition party until 1964 when it was disbanded after persuasions from Jomo Kenyatta.

Roles played by the Kenya African Democratic Union in the struggle for independence.

  1. a) It united the smaller communities in Kenya. E.g the Kalenjin, Luhyia, Maasai and coastal communities.
  2. b) It educated/ mobilized Africans against the colonial domination.
  3. c) It pressed for the release of Jomo Kenyatta while hopping that he would eventually join on their side.
  4. d) It participated in drawing up the independence constitution in the second Lancaster House conference.
  5. e) As an opposition party though for a short time, it helped to provide checks on the KANU government.

Challenges faced by KADU

  1. a) There were suspicions of dominance of the party by some communities.
  2. b) The party faced the problem of lacking adequate funds to carry out its countrywide campaigns for Independence.
  3. c) Wrangles between senior officials of the party often undermined the party’s operations.
  4. d) Illiteracy among the majority of the members left the top leaders with too much responsibility over party affairs.
  5. e) The party was prone to manipulations by the colonial authority in its operations.
  6. f) The party members were faced with a lot of pressure from KANU to decamp. African People’s Party

The party also emerged after the 1962 Lancaster House conference, founded by Paul Ngei, one of the radical members of KAU’s Nairobi branch.

Paul Ngei had similar fears just like the founders of KADU that the Akamba interests would not be catered for in the proposed government arrangement that favoured KANU as well as KADU.The party was formed in February 1962. After Kenya became a republic in 1964, APP decamped from the opposition to join KANU.

The trade-union movement.

The early trade Unions in Kenya were formed along racial lines though all form them aimed at addressing labour problems that faced workers. The first trade union in Kenya was the Indian Trade Union formed in 1914 in mombasa. Upto 1914, there existed no African trade union in Kenya because of the following reasons;

  1. a) Artisans and farm labourers were not allowed to join or form associations since it was feared they would organize sudden and unofficial strikes.
  2. b) Majority of the Kenyans were illiterate and lacked the knowledge to run workers’ unions.
  3. c) The migrant labour system militated against the establishment of such unions.
  4. d) The colonial government fought attempts by Africans to form workers’ organizations.

For this reason, in the 1920s, African political organizations doubled up as also defenders of workers welfare.In 1922, Asian workers in the railway department formed the Railway Artisans Union but its officials were sacked by the government causing it to wind up in 1930s, a Trade Union Committee was formed in Mombasa by Masons and labourers with R.M. S hah as its president.In 1934, the Indian Trade Union became the Kenya Indian Labour Trade Union (KLTU ) whose membership was from other towns in Kenya.By 1935, the union began admitting members from other races necessitating it to change its name to Labour Trade Union of Kenya (LTUK). When it expanded its membership to the rest of East Africa in 1939, it became known as the Labour Trade Union of East Africa (LTUEA) on 14thJanuary 1947, over 15,000 striking African workers of Mombasa formed the African Workers Union (AWU). Muhamed Kibwana was elected president, Mwangi Macharia-secretary, Mbaruk Kenze-treasurer and Chege Kibachia –executive officer.

The Union’s demands included;

  1. a) A salary increase due to the high cost of living.
  2. b) Implementation of the policy of equal pay for equal work regardless of race.
  3. c) Respect for African workers wherever they were employed.
  4. d) Payment of sufficient allowances to cater for African wives and children.
  5. e) Elimination of the deliberate strategies applied by employers to keep Africans in their places of work all the time.The Union changed its name to African Workers’ Federation on 24th January 1947 at the advice of Eliud Mathu who also convinced them to end the strike. Meanwhile a trade dispute tribunal led by Mr. Justice Thacker was set up to look into the workers’ grievances.The AWF became very popular to all workers in Kenya due to the success of the strike. However its leaders were either repatriated from Mombasa to their reserve areas or as was the case of Kibachia, arrested and detained in Baringo district.Achievements of AWF.
  6. a) It mobilized workers from different communities to come together and fight for better wages.
  7. b) It provided education to the workers about their rights.
  8. c) It introduced the concept of collective bargaining among workers in Kenya.
  9. d) It fought for better living and working conditions for workers.
  10. e) It advocated for better allowances for African workers’ wives and children, a factor which resulted in better wages and salaries for workers.
  11. f) Its activities made the colonial government change its attitude towards labour unions and start to give attention to workers’ grievances.
  12. g) It succeeded in exposing the Kenyan workers’ grievances to the international community as its strike was internationally publicized.

Kenya Federation of Labour

Following the enactment of the Trade Unions Ordinance in 1952, various small African trade unions (Kenya Local Government Workers’’ Union, Domestic and Hotel Workers’ Union and East AFRICAN Federation of Building and Construction) united to form the Kenya Federation of Registered Trade Unions (KFRTU). Its officials included Mwichigi Karanja (president), Aggrey Mwinya(secretary general), S. Ondiege, Elikana Okusimba, Silas Okeya, David Jomo, S. Osore, James Wainaina and Dishon Sambili.

Among the demands of KFRTU were the following;

~  Increase in African wages.

~  Improvement of the living conditions and poor housing for its workers

~  Protest against the arrest and detention of union officials.

~  Protest against forceful evacuation of the Aembu, Ameru and Agikuyu from Nairobi In 1953.

~  Protest against increase in the price of tea and bread in 1955

~  Protest against the continuity of the state of emergency.

In 1953, Tom Mboya’s Kenya Local Government workers’ Union (KLGWU) joined KFRTU. The following were elected officials in the 1953 elections. David Njomo-prrsident, Stephen Obwaka- vice president, Tom Mboya- general secretary, G.W.Owuor-assistant SG, Daniel Ng’ethetreasurer and John Opiyo- ass treasurer.

In 1955, it changed its name to the Kenya Federation of  Labour (KFL) representing 35,000 members.

Due to Tom Mboya’s efforts KFL was affiliated to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).

Achievements of KFL.

  1. a) It kept the spirit of African nationalism alive during the emergency period when political associations had been banned.
  2. b) It secured international support through its affiliation to ICFTU for the cause of African nationalism.
  3. c) It educated Africans on their rights as workers.
  4. d) It helped to improve the living conditions of African workers securing for them a major salary increment in 1956
  5. e) It prepared some African nationalists for leadership roles in the struggle for independence. For example, martin Shikuku and Tom Mboya.

Role of trade union movement in the struggle for independence in Kenya

  1. a) Trade Unions mobilized workers to strike against colonial government.
  2. b) They Motivated workers to sustain the struggle for their political rights/self governance
  3. c) They provided national political parties with funds required for their operation.
  4. d) Trade union leaders became prominent leaders of political associations that fought for independence.
  5. e) They introduced the concept of collective bargaining for workers in Kenya.
  6. f) The unions promoted regional cooperation in east Africa.
  7. g) They improved working conditions of the Africans through their welfare duties.
  8. h) They intensified the spirit of nationalism after ban on political parties.
  9. i) They provided a training ground for nationalist leaders e.g. Thomas Mboya
  10. j) Educated Africans on their rights

Problems faced by trade unions during the colonial period

  1. a) There was fear of victimization and harassment from the colonial authorities especially in the pioneer years.
  2. b) The migrant nature of African workforce paused a challenge to their membership.
  3. c) Ignorance of the African people about trade unionism and its role.
  4. d) Poor leadership which affected the running of pioneer trade unions.
  5. e) Shortage of funds since they relied on meager contributions from the poorly paid workers.
  6. f) Mismanagement of funds by the officials due to inexperience or corruption.
  7. g) Ethnicity, which had a hand in the choice of leaders for the unions.
  8. h) Constant wrangles among the leaders of the unions.


Key women contributors in the struggle for independence..

  1. Mekatilili WA Menza of Giriama who mobilized and administered oaths to the kaya elders to cause the Agiriama resistance
  2. Moraa, a Kitutu, prophetess of Gusii who was instrumental in the Gusii resistance.
  3. Mary Muthoni Nyanjiru, famously remembered for inciting men to riot when Harry Thuku had been arrested in Nairobi in March 1922
  4. Syotune wa Kithuke, a Kamba prophetess who used the kilumi dance in 1911 to mobilize the Akamba to protest against British colonialism.

role played by women in the struggle for independence.

  1. a) The women acted as spies to the Mau Mau fighters in Nairobi and other urban centres. They supplied arms to fighters.
  2. b) They contributed to the establishment of independent churches and schools. For example, Legio Maria was co-founded by a Woman, Aoko, in western Kenya.
  3. c) They provided food to the fighters in the bushes.
  4. d) In central Kenya, they composed songs and dances, which ridiculed colonial chiefs and other agents of the colonial system. E.g Muthirigu.
  5. e) They, looked after families, as the men were busy fighting in bushes.
  6. f) In the 1930s, some section of the agikuyu women formed the Mumbi Central Association, feeling that KCA was not recognizing their contribution.
  7. g) The hid the fighters in houses.
  8. h) They participated in the oathing ceremonies, some acting as chief oathing administrators.
  9. i) Some participated actively in the freedom wars and were even killed e.g. Marshal Muthoni, Elizabeth Gachika etc.
  10. j) They participated in demonstrations and meetings to fight colonialists.
  11. k) They joined the MAU MAU fighters in the forest, with the main role of organizing and coordinating the rural network. They Supplied information to their husbands in the bush.
  12. l) They smuggled arms from the whites to the fighters.
  13. m) They led and inspired the resistance through their prophecy and encouragement e.g. Moraa and Mekatilili.
  14. n) In 1960, a woman, Priscilla Abwao, took part in the Lancaster House Conference. London, to prepare the independence constitution.

Role of women in the Mau Mau movement.

  1. a) Some women were fully-fledged warriors fighting alongside men. ‘Field Marshall’ Muthoni went to fight alongside famous warriors of the forest like Dedan Kimathi Waciuri.
  2. b) The women in the camps made sure that the family continued intact through all of the while their men were out fighting. They would weed and grow food for family use.
  3. c) While men were in the forests, Mau Mau women continued to educate their children to be the future leaders of their government. Women would collect money and smuggle the brightest children out of Kenya to study overseas through Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt.
  4. d) Many women sought support for Mau Mau internationally. E.g, Mama Sarah Sarai, an ally of Kenyatta’s, when out of the country would get people to write in support of Mau Mau.
  5. e) Some women offered their property for use by mau mau. In Nairobi, Mama Josephine Muthoni offered her cars to be used for Mau Mau activities. Mama Elizabeth Waruiru’s house in Pangani which became a Mau Mau meeting place.
  6. f) Women were first class spies and informers. They supplied information to the forest forces.
  7. g) Women supplied guns, would do anything to get them. Sometimes they killed for them.
  8. h) Women had primary responsibility for the organization and maintenance of the supply lines. Operating from villages, thousands of women acted as go -betweens and carriers of food and firearms, and generally provided a system of intelligence.
  9. i) Women composed songs like the Kanyegenuri, to commemorate their deeds, like the bravery of Mary Nyanjiru. Years later the song became the Mau Mau anthem of resistance
  10. j) They also recruited for Mau Mau fighters.
  11. k) They officiated at and participated in oathing ceremonies. Some like Waithera allowed themselves to be subjected to unnatural sexual acts for the sake of the movement.
  12. l) In forest camps, women would serve male leaders as Kabatuni (a small platoon to be commanded by the man), doing minor military duties like cleaning guns as well as seeing to the other needs like meeting his sexual needs.
  13. m) Some women were co-opted in the political Arena in the mau mau duo-sex councils. For example Muthoni Ngatha – even rose to the senior position of Field Marshal. In June 1953 Wagiri Njoroge was crowned as the Queen of Mau Mau and ruled for 7 months.
  14. n) Women also contributed the services of their children who served as errand boys and girls and informers.
  15. o) Women were allowed to flirt with “enemies” to gather vital information, weapons and other resources. For example, in Gakenia’s village in Nanyuki, four girls lured four loyalist African soldiers to Kaarage Forest where the soldiers were killed and their rifles taken.
  16. p) Some women like Wanjiru were appointed judges in Nakuru’s Mau Mau Courts which passed sentences on anti-Mau Mau crimes. These illustrated by the emergence of a small number of women who acted as executioners.

Problems caused by presence of women in forests during mau mau wars

  1. a) Some women could not withstand the harsh forest conditions of torrential rains and bitter cold and constantly fell sick
  2. b) Many women could not defend themselves against enemies and were therefore a burden to men.
  3. c) Women would be extra mouths to feed, but would do very little useful things in return.
  4. d) Occasionally, women could cause tension and conflict among male guerillas as the men competed for sexual favours from the small number of women.


African representation to the Legco.

In 1944, Eliud Mathu, a former teacher at Alliance School, the first African was appointed to the LegCo. KAU’s demand for more representation in 1946 caused the appointment of Benaiah Ohanga as the second African to the LegCo.

By 1948, there were four Africans in the LegCo compared to 11 Europeans, 5 Asians and 2 Arabs.

Various commission reports made significant pointers to the fact that the British government had realized the need to involve Africans in the administration and need to reduce settler influence. For example;

1)  The Report of the East African Royal Commission of 1955 proposed;

~  An end of racial segregation.

~  Increased involvement of Africans in the colonial administration

~  Opening of the Kenya Highlands to all races.

2)  The Swynnerton Plan of 1954 proposed the consolidation and registration of African land with a view to having better land management.

3)  The report on African wages and the Lidbury Commission on Civil Service recommended better pay for African workers.

The Lyttelton Constitution

In 1954, the British secretary for colonies visited Kenya in the wake of the Mau Mau Uprising and made the following constitutional proposals;

  1. a) A multi- racial Council of Ministers to replace the executive council, which would include one African (B.A. Ohanga, minister for community development and African affairs), two Asians and three Europeans. For the first time, Africans were represented with members with executive powers.
  2. b) Lifting the ban on African political Associations. This was done in 1955 though only Africans were allowed to form local (district –based) political organizations. Tom Mboya formed the Nairobi People’s convention Party while D. Mwanyumba formed the Taita African Democratic Union. John Kebaso formed the Abagusii Association, Argwings Kodhek formed the Kenya National Congress and John Keen the Maasai Front.
  3. c) Africans were able to take part in elections of 1957. /it proposed multi-racial elections.

However, other than race-pegged rules for participation in the 1956/57 elections, voting qualification for Africans were based on income, property and education

  1. d) Proposed direct representation of Africans in the LEGCO. In march 1957, the African elections to the Legco were held and Tom Mboya(Nairobi), Masinde Muliro( Northern Nyanza), Oginga Odinga(Central Nyanza), Lawrence Ogunda(south Nyanza), Ronald Ngala( Coast ), Daniel Arap Moi( Rift Valley), James Miumi(Ukambani) and Bernard Mate (central)were elected.

The elected Africans formed the African Elected Members Organization (AEMO) with Odinga as chairman and Mboya as secretary.



Demands of AEMO after formation

  1. a) They contested the fewer African positions in the LegCo by condemning the Lyttelton constitution. While elected members were 29, nominated members were 30, majority of who were Europeans.
  2. b) They protested the rigid voter qualification requirements imposed on Africans and demanded that every African of 21 years and above be allowed to vote, regardless of education or income.
  3. c) They demanded that registration of voters be done on a common roll.
  4. d) They called for the end of a State of Emergency.

Role played by AEMO in the struggle for independence up to 1963.

  1. a) They formed pressure groups to demand for greater political rights for Africans. e.g., formation of AEMO.
  2. b) They formed the core team, which pressurized for independence.
  3. c) They made known the grievances of Africans in International Fora.
  4. d) They networked with other African nationalists elsewhere e.g. in Ghana and Nigeria to hasten achievement of independence in Kenya.
  5. e) They fought for the release of detained nationalists e.g. Kenyatta.
  6. f) They formed he national political parties e.g. KANU and KADU, which led the country to independence.
  7. g) They educated and created awareness among the masses about the nationalists struggle.
  8. h) They took part in the formulation of the independence constitution.

The Lennox-Boyd Constitution.

In 1958, Sir Allan Lennox- Boyd, who had succeeded Oliver Lyttelton as secretary State for Colonies visited Kenya and made the following constitutional proposals;

  1. a) An increase by six LegCo Seats for Africans to bring their total representation to 14 seats.
  2. b) A special membership in the LegCo, with four members from each race, who were to elected by other members of the LegCo.
  3. c) An increase of the number of African ministers to two.

AEMO members rejected the Lennox-Boyd proposals saying they still favoured white monopoly in the colony especially the specially elected membership to LegCo. AEMO also called for the unconditional release of Jomo Kenyatta. They even boycotted the Legco from 1958 to 1959 when a new constitutional conference was promised.

Acted of Betrayal became evident among Africans when Musa Amalemba and Wanyutu Waweru accepted the special seats appointment and even Amalemba went ahead to appointed the second African Minister for Housing in 1958.Other developments in 1959 included;

~  The White moderates led by Michael Blundell (who resigned as minister of agriculture) formed the New Party of Kenya (NPK). He was backed by 46 non -African members of the LegCo for his ideas of multi-racialism.

~  The white extremists led by Captain Briggs formed the United Party (UP) demanding for the abolishing of the LegCo and replacing it with regional assemblies. This was aimed at preserving the white highlands as one regional assembly for European benefits.

~  Increased divisions on AEMO between radicals and moderates .Ngala, Moi, Mate, Towett and Nyagah resigned from AEMO to form the Kenya National Party (KNP) advocating multi-racialism. This party was interestingly joined by all Arab and Asian members.

~  The radicals led by Mboya, Odinga and Gikonyo Kiano formed the Kenya Independent Movement (KIM) that was exclusively for African membership. They demanded convening of a full constitutional conference to discuss Kenya’s future and release of Jomo Kenyatta.

The Lancaster House Conferences

The Conferences were called to iron out the differences that arose out of the fact that both radical Europeans and AEMO members opposed multi-racialism.

The First Lancaster House Conference (1960)

The conference was convened by Ian MacLeod, the secretary of state for colonies. it was attended by all members of the LegCo.. The African team was led by Ronald Ngala and Tom Mboya was the secretary.

The conference came up with the following compromise decisions;

  1. a) The 12 elective seats In the LegCo would remain intact.
  2. b) There were to 33 open seats in the LegCo, which were to be vied for on a common roll.
  3. c) Another 20 seats would be reserved – 10 of these for Europeans, 8 for Asians and 2 for Arabs.
  4. d) The composition of the Council of Ministers was to be altered to incorporate 4 Africans, 3 Europeans and 1 Asian.
  5. e) The conference authorized the formation of countrywide political parties for Africans.

KANU and KANU were formed.The Lancaster conference however failed to entirely please both Africans and the settlers. Some settlers, finding the new turn events so tough began to sell their property and leave Kenya. Africans though feeling that they had not been given a responsive government, accepted ministerial positions as follows;

  1. a) Ronald Ngala- Minister for Labour, Social Security and Adult Education.
  2. b) Julius Gikonyo Kiano- Minister for Commerce and Industry.
  3. c) Musa Amalemba- Minister for Housing, Common Services, Probation and Approved Schools.
  4. d) James Nzaui Miumi- Minister for Health and Welfare.

Out of fear of political domination by the big tribes the following new alliances were formed;

  1. a) The Kalenjin Political Alliance of Taita Towett.
  2. b) The Coast African Political Union of Ronald Ngala.
  3. c) The Kenya African People’s Party of Masinde Muliro.

In the 1961 elections KANU won but refused to form government demanding release of Kenyatta.  KADU was invited by the governor, Patrick Renson to form a coalition government with Europeans and Asians.

When Kenyatta came on 21st August 1961, Kariuki Njiiri offered his Murang’a seat to Kenyatta to enable him join LegCo.

The second Lancaster conference (1962)

The main aim of this conference, called by the then secretary for colonies, Reginald Maulding was to draft the independence constitution acceptable to the two main parties KADU and KANU. It also aimed at reconciling the differences between the two parties.

KANU delegation was led by Jomo Kenyatta while Ngala led the KADU group.

KANU conceded many KADU grounds to enable success of the negotiations.

Main provisions of the independence constitution of Kenya

  1. a) The independence constitution provided for a regional/majimbo government with each region having a regional assembly and p resident.
  2. b) It also provided for a bicameral parliament consisting of the senate and the house of representatives/upper house and lower house.
  3. c) The constitution stipulated that the Prime Minister was to be head of Government and Queen the Head of State, represented by the Governor General.
  4. d) The constitution recommended a multiparty system of government and the party with the majority of seats forming the government.
  5. e) It contained the Bill of Rights, which protected the individual’s rights.

In the elections of 1963, KANU won with 73 seats against KADU’s 31, APP’s 8. Jomo Kenyatta became the first Prime Minister on 1st June 1963.On 12 December, Kenya attained full independence. On 12th December 1964, Kenya became a republic with Kenyatta becoming an executive president.


Factors for the rise of nationalism in Africa

  1. a) The exposure of Africans to severe economic exploitation during the colonial period. For example land alienation in the Kenya Highlands, in southern Rhodesian, Algeria and South Africa which was accompanied with forced labour where the labourers faced mistreatment.
  2. b) Africans were fed up of heavy and harsh taxation by the Europeans. They were exposed to heavy taxation, ranging from hut tax to breast tax in Belgian Congo.
  3. c) Africans were fed up with the gradual destruction of their culture by the whites.

Missionaries totally dismissed the age-old African traditions as being barbaric. This explains why independent schools and churches sprung up in central Kenya.

  1. d) The introduction of racial discrimination to go hand in hand with colonialism. All the best social amenities in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya were reserved for the whites. The Europeans equated the black colour with low intelligence, uncivilized and a backward race.
  2. e) Africans resented colonialism because it interfered with their political institutions. The colonial rulers disregarded traditional rulers, appointing their own puppets in their place.
  3. f) The Acquisition of western education by many Africans by 1945 enabled them to articulate their grievances more forcefully and to understand political developments outside Africa.
  4. g) The return of the ex-servicemen after the second world war which exposed the myth of the white supremacy making Africans ready to fight them. Moreover, the colonial government failed to reward African ex-soldiers to embitter them more.
  5. h) The change of government from Conservative to Labour Party in Britain in 1946 stimulated a new attitude in Britain towards decolonization. This motivated African nationalists.
  6. i) The rise of nationalism in Asia, culminating into the granting of independence to India and Pakistan in 1947 aroused great confidence among Africans who worked closely with Asian nationalists like Jawaharlal Nehru, the India Prime Minister.
  7. j) The rise of Pan-Africanism in Africa after the 1945 Manchester conference contributed to the new demands for political independence in Africa Many African élites attended the conference which served as a source of awakening.
  8. k) The formation of the UNO and the pressure it exerted on the European powers to decolonize helped the Africans in their course.
  9. l) The emergence of United States and the Soviet Union as super powers in the world contributed to the decolonization process. USA was keen to see Britain and France grant independence to their subjects in the world in order to secure new markets.
  10. m) The signing of the Atlantic Charter in 1941 by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt which demanded that when the WWII ended, all subject peoples should enjoy the right to self-determination.


The British annexed Gold Coast in 1874 after quelling a stiff resistance by the Asante. In response to the British imperialism, the Fonte Confederation was initiated in 1868, marking the birth of African Nationalism in Ghana. In 1897, the Aborigines Rights Protection Society was formed to guard against the alienation of African land.In the 1930s, African elites like J.B. Danquah launched the Gold Coast Youth Conference in order to awaken the youth to the economic and social needs of the country.Their efforts bore fruits because in 1946, governor Burns embarked on constitutional reforms leading to increased African representation in the LegCo. (Of the 18 slots given to Africans in the LegCo, 13 were to drawn from among the chiefs while 5 were to be popularly elected).

The elites formed the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) and invited Kwame Nkrumah, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, to come and lead it since most of them were professionals lacking time for political commitment. Nkrumah appeared to have more political experience having participated in the 1945 Manchester conference.

Factors for the growth of nationalism in Ghana

  1. a) The early Introduction of cocoa growing led to adoption of money economy in Ghana ahead of other countries. This enabled faster social and economic transformation of the people.
  2. b) The colonial government’s attempt to tamper with cocoa growing by ordering cutting of coca trees hurt people to the level of developing nationalistic feelings against the British.
  3. c) Ghana was one of the first countries in Africa to receive western education from the missionaries. There was a large class of elites with western university education accompanied with leadership skills to spearhead nationalism their country.
  4. d) The existence of ex-servicemen in Ghana also played an important role in the campaign for independence.
  5. e) The granting of trading licences by the government selectively to European traders while deliberately denying then Africans.
  6. f) Ghana had comparatively better developed transport and communication system. Also being a small country, movement of information, ideas and people was easy, quick and efficient. This facilitated nationalist activities.
  7. g) The charismatic and strong leadership provided by Kwame Nkrumah brought cohesiveness among people of Ghana. He formed the CPP party, which became the symbol of struggle for the oppressed people of Ghana.
  8. h) The participation of Kwame Nkrumah in the Pan-African Manchester conference in 1945, which championed the right of countries to self-determination, made the country take the lead in Africa in championing this right.
  9. i) The people of Ghana were more exposed to international affairs than other countries in Africa due to its location in a region, which had the earliest contacts with European traders and colonizers.

The peak of nationalism in Ghana.On 28th February 1948, the ex-soldiers led the Accra riots, protesting to Governor Gerald Creasy the failed fulfillment of the government pledges while in service during the World WarII. Two rioters were killed. The shooting incident sparked of chaos in the town leading to another 29 Africans being killed. Nkrumah was arrested together with his colleagues popularly

known as the ‘Big Six’. (Nkrumah, Danquah, William Ofori, Addo, Adjei and Obetsebi Lamptey).

This arrest popularized Nkrumah among the Africans. The 1948 Alken Watson commission blamed the social-economic oppression for the riots. The governor ordered for constitutional reforms led by J.H Coussey.On 12th June 1949, Nkrumah broke ranks with the conservative UGCC senior members and formed the Convention People’s Party (CPP). His party gained support mainly from among the primary school leavers, store-keepers, artisans, peasants and cocoa farmers. Nkrumah advocated positive action through legitimate political action, newspaper and political campaigns and constitutional application of boycotts, strikes and non-cooperation based on the policy of absolute non-violence on the basis of Mahatma Gandhi teachings. He started a newspaper, The Accra Evening News to expound CPP views. He was arrested, but secured landslide victory in the February 1951 elections while in jail. He was released to become the leader of government business in the new cabinet. CPP also won in the 1954 elections in which a new party, the National Liberation Movement (NLM) had emerged to compete CPP. NLM membership mainly from the Ashanti, were uncomfortable with Nkrumah because;

~  He came from a small ethnic group little known in southern Ghana.

~  His radicalism did not please the conservative Ashanti leaders.

Again elections were called in July 1956 and CPP trounced NLM. This time, the British accepted the results and on 6th March 1957, the country attained political independence under Kwame Nkrumah

Achievements of CPP under Kwame Nkrumah

  1. a) CPP under Nkrumah united Africans of all ranks in Ghana in the struggle for national liberation.
  2. b) The party introduced the concept of positive action to pressurize the government to liberate Africans.
  3. c) CPP formed the first African government in Africa in 1951 after winning the elections. Under Nkrumah’s leadership, Ghana began attaining economic development.
  4. d) CPP, under Nkrumah, advocated for unity of all Africans in the country us other parties like NLM advocated for regionalism, a factor that enhanced progress towards political libration.How Kwame Nkrumah contributed to the liberation struggle in Africa.
  5. a) He funded nationalists in other countries e.g. Guinea and Algeria.
  6. b) He supported other African leaders who faced political threats from their former colonial masters.
  7. c) When some countries were faced with threats from their former colonial masters after independence like in the case of Patrice Lumumba in DRC, Nkrumah provided them with his support.
  8. d) He championed trade unionism in Africa.
  9. e) He attended pan-African congress in 1945 which was key to defining the liberation struggles in Africa.
  10. f) He initiated the formation of the Ghana- Guinea Union in 1958 as a practical step towards building African unity.
  11. g) He convened two pan-African conferences in April 1958 and the all African Peoples conference in December 1958 that led to the formation of O.A.U in 1963.


Mozambique was among the last countries in Africa to attain independence from the Portuguese. Even before the Berlin conference, Mozambique and Angola were considered Portuguese colonies owing to the later’s interests in the region dating back to the pioneer years.

Reasons for slow process in decolonization process of Mozambique.

  1. a) Mozambique was colonized by a colonial power that was very poor and backward and which needed to keep its hold on her to enable her economy grow. She was an important source of revenue for the Lisbon government.
  2. b) Mozambique housed many settlers who had invested heavily in farming, mining, building, construction and in other sectors. They were therefore reluctant to leave.
  3. c) Mozambique was an important market for Portuguese products. Portugal was not willing to let go easily.
  4. d) The support, which the colonial government got from South Africa, enabled them to get uranium, which they used, for making bombs used to suppress African independence riots. They also got electricity and assistance to built caborra bassa dam on Zambezi.
  5. e) Mozambique was big geographically with very poor infrastructure i.e. roads and

communication facilities. This hampered fast movement of people and ideas.

  1. f) Unlike other colonized countries, Mozambique suffered the worst kind of exploitation and repression/ rigorous censorship and surveillance by security forces, which discouraged emergence of nationalism.
  2. g) The Portuguese practiced racism out of fear that if they educated Africans and gave them equal status, the Africans would outnumber them and throw them out.

Factors for the growth of nationalism in Mozambique.

  1. a) The arbitrary replacement of the traditional rulers by the Portuguese administrators whenever they felt they were not performing.
  2. b) The massive alienation of African land by the Portuguese who pushed Africans to regions of unfavourable conditions.
  3. c) The exposure of Africans to severe economic exploitation like forced labour where the labourers faced mistreatment.
  4. d) The rampant racial discrimination through which Africans continued to lose agricultural land to the Europeans. Being from a poor country, the Europeans competed with Africans for simple jobs like taxi driving and often gaining advantage on racial lines.
  5. e) The Portuguese imposed many restrictions on Africans, limiting their freedom of expression and intellectual advancement. For example, General Salazar, who rose to power in the 1920s, ensured strict censorship of the press.
  6. f) The security police treated Africans with great cruelty. Any political unrest was crushed ruthlessly.

The peak of nationalism in Mozambique.

In early 1960, the Makonde people of Cabo Delgado province formed the MozambicanMakonde Union (MANU).In June 1960 MANU organized a peaceful protest but in which over 600 Africans perished in police firepower. The government outlawed all African organizations with membership of over thirty people. African political activities went underground. Mwalimu Julius Nyerere inviting some of the liberation groups to relocate to Tanzania in 1962. The political groups united to form the Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO) with Eduardo Mondlane Chirambo, formerly a lecturer at Syracuse University in USA, as its first president.From 1962 to 1964, FRELIMO undertook guerilla training in Bagamoyo and at the Mozambique institute in Dar es Salam in preparation for war. From September 1964, they began a full-scale war against the Portuguese along river Ruvuma and extending their attacks on the Cabo Delgado province. By 1967, the Portuguese forces numbered 65,000 soldiers.Mondlane Eduardo was assassinated in 1969. Samora Machel was elected to become the FRELIMO army commander in 1970.The coup d’etat in Lisbon in 1974 was a blessing to FRELIMO movement since soldiers who did not favour colonial wars by Marcello Caetano carried it out. The new military junta finally signed an agreement with FRELIMO the enabled the setting up of a transitional gover nment in September 1974. He handed over power to the Africans in 1975 with Samora Machel becoming the first president.

Machel died in 1986 in a plane crash blamed on the South African Apartheid regime, unhappy with his support for African nationalists in South Africa.Samora Machel’s widow, Graca Machel, married South African President Nelson Mandela in 1994.

Reasons why the struggle for independence in Mozambique was violent

  1. a) The depth of suffering by ordinary people in Mozambique was unbearable.
  2. b) The harshness of the Portuguese administration could only be matched with similar violence.
  3. c) The unwillingness of Portugal to ease her colonial hold and begin the process of

decolonization. (they were deeply entrenched in Mozambique)

  1. d) Extreme exploitation of Mozambique resources e.g. land, labour, minerals.
  2. e) Widespread land alienation left many landless.
  3. f) To uproot the Portuguese from Mozambique, they had to use full-scale military operation by the liberators because the masters did not see any sense of granting Mozambique independence peacefully.

Factors that facilitated the defeat of the Portuguese colonial armies by FRELIMO in Mozambique.

  1. a) A few Africans were privileged to acquire university education in Portugal and came to form the bulk of FRELIMO leadership.
  2. b) The overwhelming support Mozambique fighters received from other African states e.g. Tanzania, Zimbabwe and DRC. From these countries, they gained moral and military support.
  3. c) FRELIMO was a formidable, well-organized force, which witnessed rapid expansion from a mere 250 in 1964 to 35000 in 1967.
  4. d) The forested environment favoured guerilla warfare. Moreover, the soldiers knew the topography of the country.
  5. e) The local population gave their logistic support to the fighters, having become tired of the extreme suppression by the Portuguese administration.
  6. f) The movement fighters had their own supply of food.
  7. g) African countries through OAU were united against the Portuguese in Mozambique.
  8. h) The communist countries notably USSR and china gave FRELIMO military aid.
  9. i) FRELIMO adopted the right strategy; liberating the country bit by bit and systematically. This approach won