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1.0 ESTABLISHMENT OF COLONIALISM-Form three history notes

1.0 ESTABLISHMENT OF COLONIALISM-Form three history notes



The word scramble simply means fight for something or struggle for something normally by many in order to get it before others do. 

The word partition means divide something into small portions.

Generally, the scramble of the European powers over Africa was the process of fighting for colonies in Africa, which took place in the second half of the 19th C.

The scramble for and partition of Africa were due to European economic and political changes. Largely, the European capitalist powers quarreled against themselves for fighting in Africa, which they considered very important and potential for them. The scramble for and partition of Africa led to the complete confiscation of African independence and sovereignty to the European powers.

Causes of scramble for and partition of Africa

i. Industrial Revolution in Europe. This was the primary factor, which led to the scramble for and partition of Africa and later on total colonization of Africa. The industrial revolution led to the construction of many industries in Europe something, which led to industrial competition over raw materials, and of course, markets for the European manufactured goods

ii. Strategic reasons. The colonization of Africa was also motivated by the strategic reasons, as some areas were considered more attractive than other was economically, thus, the scramble for and partition of Africa. Such areas included those which had potential minerals like gold, diamond, and copper which had accessibility to the interior, fertile soil and enough people to supply labor power in the colonies;

iii. National prestige. Some European powers especially the imperialist ones considered the scramble for and partition of Africa towards colonization as a prestigious thing. The more colonies one country had the more powerful it was considered.

iv. European balance of power. The issue of balance of power was considered to be one amongst the main reasons for the scramble for and partition of Africa. Following the European nationalism, for example German nationalism in 1870’s led to the need of balance of power for example after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 to 1871, France lost its two potential provinces Alsace and Larraine to Germany as the result, France looked for Tunisia and Morocco in Africa as a way of balancing the power, hence the scramble for and partition of Africa.

v. Humanitarian reasons and civilization reasons, some European scholars argue that the scramble for and partition of Africa was for civilizing Africans who were considered to be barbaric i.e. totally uncivilized, killing one another, undertaking slave trade and other animal like practices.

vi. Due to the role played by the colonial agents: This is because colonial agents provided the information/ feedback and reported on the economic potentiality of Africa that persuaded their home government to come and take over African countries. Thus through the information given they paved way for the colonization of Africa since Africa became globally known.

Areas that experienced intensive scramble

Nile River Basin (Egypt). This area attracted great interest from the major European nations of Britain and France. The area was important due to the fertility and Nile valley and the opening of Suez Canal in 1869 which was strategic area to the European powers in controlling the Nile River through Sudan, Ethiopia to Uganda and uses it for irrigation. The British forced to use military force to colonize Egypt and the main reason was to control Suez Canal which was short cut to her colonies in Asia. The Britain succeed to control Egypt, the situation angered France and went south ward to change the direction of river Nile. In 1898, Britain and France stationed at Fashoda, however they did not fight because France withdrew her forces. In the same year, Britain declared to control Sudan

The Congo Basin. The Congo River is largely navigable. The area was scrambled for by Portugal, France, Germany, Britain and Belgium. Each of these nations wanted to use river to get into the interior of Africa and used it as the gateway to send cargoes from Europe because by that time, there were neither roads nor railways linking the coastal and interior of Africa. Also the area had natural resources such as fertile land, ivory, rubber, minerals and timber. Each European nation wanted to control the Congo Basin because of its potentialities.

The Niger River. This area was vital for its easy accessibility to interior and agricultural potentiality and was mainly scrambled for by British, German and France. There were some reasons which made the area more intensive scramble. First the Europeans wanted to exploit palm oil which was highly needed for making oil lubricants for operating machines. Second, the river Niger was a gateway to Northern Nigeria and other parts of the West African interior. Third, they wanted to use river Niger as their military base, and finally they wanted to trade with the inland societies of West Africa.

The Zambezi River Basin. This area was scrambled for by Portuguese and British. The Zambezi River was important for its accessibility to interior of South Africa. The scramble for Zambezi was resolved through Anglo-Portuguese Agreement of 1891. The British succeed to control Zambezi River because had already signed treaties with some African chiefs in these areas. Also, they wanted to use it as a gateway to the interior of South Africa, to promote commercial activities, use it cotton production and use it for military base.

South Africa. The Dutch and the British were highly interested in the Cape coast of South Africa. The struggle to occupy the Cape was influenced by the Boer trek of 1830s. The Boers had settled at the cape since 1652. The British began to show the interest at the Cape because they wanted to make the Cape their military base for defending their interests in India.   The Cape had a good natural harbor; they wanted to use it as a gateway to the interior of the northern parts of the South Africa.

East Africa. This area was another area that the colonialists competed for because of its plentiful natural resources, commercial activities and its accessibility to the sea. Power involved were British and Germans.

Factors, which made some areas in Africa to experience more intensive scramble than others.

i. Easy accessibility to the interior/ Accessibility to the interior. Areas like Egypt and the Nile valley and of course the Congo basin have easy access to the interior since the areas have big rivers, which made navigation easier done during the colonial era. The transportation of raw materials was possible. Thus, those areas, which had easy access to both the interior and the coast, experienced more intensive scramble than others. In this case, areas, which had navigable rivers as if Congo, Niger and Nile were highly, scrambled by different European powers some of the powers who showed much interest here included Portugal, Belgium and France.

ii. Presence of fertile land/ Agricultural Potentialities: Those areas which had proven soil fertility which ensured both growth and development of agriculture and growth of cash crops such as palm oil, cotton, coffee, sisal, rubber and so on were more scrambled than other areas. Some of these areas were like shire highlands in Malawi, Kikuyu high lands in Kenya and many other places that were fertile attracted many European powers because such areas were vital particularly in provision of reliable rainfall and good fertility which eventually fueled quick development of Agricultural activities. Other areas with fertility soil were Niger basin, Congo basin, and Nile valley. In these areas, different European powers showed much interest to ensure that they take lead of it. The well- known powers whose ambition was stifle included Britain, France, Belgium, and Portugal.

iii. Presence of minerals/ mineral potentialities: Those areas, which were naturally endowed with minerals such as gold, diamond, and copper, experienced more intensive scramble than others. These areas attracted mostly the European powers because of its presence of valuable minerals like gold, silver and diamond, which were essential for the provision of raw materials to feed their hungry industries. In this case different areas in Africa assumed to be potentiality as witnessed by Angola, Nigeria, Gold coast, presently called as Ghana and Congo (DRC). In all these areas different European powers showed much interest but the most over leading powers were Belgium, Britain France and Portuguese.

iv. Dense population/areas with high population. Those areas, which had dense population, were mostly preferred because they ensured constant supply of labor as opposed to those areas, which had no dense population. The dense population did not only ensure constant supply of labor but also the source of market for the goods, which were produced in the colonies. Some areas in Africa that had high population were like Cameroon, Senegal, Gold coast, Ghana and Nigeria.

v. Geographical location. Those areas, which were geographically located in areas with conducive climatic conditions, were more scrambled than others were. For example, those in the equatorial region like the Congo and Niger basins were more scrambled by the European powers than others.

Impacts of scramble for and partition of Africa

i. It led to the influx of capitalist investors in Africa. This happened in some areas in Africa such as Niger Basin, Congo Basin and South Africa. The situation was facilitated by the agents of colonialism who provided the information about the African continent

ii. Introduction of colonialism in Africa. African societies were colonized by the Europeans in all aspects of life. This was resulted from the intensive scramble among the European powers, that eventually took control of the regions

iii. Lost of freedom to the Africans. African societies lost their political freedom, economic, cultural and dignity. All aspects of Africans life were rest under the colonial control

iv. It led to the occurrence of conflicts between Africans and Europeans. Africans did not welcome the Europeans with open hands, as a result wars were witnessed throughout the continent as Africans resisted the colonial invasion, exploitation and oppression.

v. Failure  to  consider  social  relationship  in  making  the  bolndaries.  In the course of dividing the continent, the Europeans did not consider the social relationship of the people living in certain areas. Many Africans ethnic groups that used to share common territories were divided and ruled by two or three different colonial masters. For example Makonde of Tanzania and those of Mozambique, the Maasai of Tanzania and those of Kenya.

vi. It euposed the Africa into the world euploitative economy. During this period, African continent was became targeted goals to supply industrial demands. Africans had to produce raw materials to feed the industries in Europe.


Berlin conference was the imperialist meeting called to settle territorial disputes of the European imperialist nations over African continent. The conference was held due to the intensive scramble for Africa which was witnessed among the European powers, so the main objective of this conference was to divide the African continent among the imperialist powers. The leader of the conference was Germany Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck. The conference started from November 1884 to February 1885. The conference was attended by 14 powers, namely; Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and United States of America. The USA attended as observer while the Africans were not participated in the meeting

The objectives of the Berlin conference of 1884 to 1885

i. The Berlin conference had the aim of setting the rules and guidelines which were to be followed during the partition of African continent.

ii. To prevent wars and misunderstandings among the imperialist powers due to the intensive scramble for occupying some parts of African continent

iii. To abolish unclear claims over the occupation of world territories by the European powers

iv. The Berlin conference was intended to identify economically potential areas that should be considered in the partition

v. Portugal’s request for the conference in order to check for its claims in the Congo Basin and West Africa, thus the request by Portugal was one of the agenda which necessitated the summon of the conference in 1884.

Events leading to Berlin conference

i. Due to the information spread by the agents of colonialism about African in Europe. This is because these agents of colonialism fade substantial information on richness of Africa like presence of rivers, minerals, as well as its fertility. It was through these information European powers became motivated over the continent.

ii. Due to the pressure caused by the rise of industrialization in many European powers particularly during the period of monopoly capitalism in which it created economic demand in terms of raw materials, markets as well as areas where they would invest their investment.

iii. Due to the existence of conflicts and misunderstanding among the European imperialist nations over occupation of some potential areas in Africa. For example France and Britain over Egypt, conflicts over Congo Basin, French and British conflicts over the Niger Valley. All these conflicts made Otto Von Bismarck to call the conference to resolve them

iv. Due the result of the Scramble for Africa in order to acquire areas where they would meet their desire, indeed prompted the need to have the Berlin conference because European power were almost

to fight in many parts of African continents such areas included Congo basin, Niger delta and south Africa. The way forward to get out of this was to have the Berlin conference that would eventually divide to each power peacefully.

v. Due to the role played by a Germany chancellor Otto Von Bismarck in which after discovering the possibility of the eruption of war he decided to call the Berlin Conference to avoid war among the scrambling nations.

The agreement/ resolutions of the Berlin conference 1884 – 1885

i. Congo was declared free trade area. Through Berlin conference, Congo basin was declared a free state under king Leopard of Belgium and the Niger River was free for navigation to all imperialist nations. It recognized Leopard’s so- called international association as the legitimate authority in Congo basin. In return, the Belgium king to allow European traders and missionaries free access to the area.

ii. To suppress the African resistance. They agreed that strong and sophisticated military weapons were prohibited to be brought in Africa. They allowed light weapons to be used in Africa. This aimed to maintain security in the colonies and to avoid the accessibility of such strong weapons to the colonized subjects (Africa).

iii. Principle of effective occupation. They agreed that effective occupation should be implemented by the imperialist nations this was through setting Administrators in the colonies who were to supervise tasks

iv. Abolition of slave trade. They agreed that all colonial powers should take initiative measure to abolish slave trade and slavery in their colonies and to allow free access to the colonial agents in the interior as to campaign against slave trade and spread civilization in the interior.

v. Resolving disputes in peaceful methods. They agreed that in case of any disputes among the imperialist powers they should solve it peacefully without the use of force.

vi. Principle of notification. It was agreed that any power requiring any part of Africa was supposed to inform another power in order to escape misunderstanding among the powers.

vii. The conference also agreed that areas in Africa already proclaimed protectorate by European nations before conference should remain in their hands, such areas included the Congo and those territories which Germany had annexed like Togo, South West Africa (Namibia)

Consequences of the Berlin Conference

i. The Berlin conference marked the beginning of colonialism in Africa. Berlin conference facilitated peaceful acquisition of colonies in Africa. The imperialist powers secured areas from which they could obtain markets, raw materials, cheap labour and areas for settlements and investment

ii. The Berlin conference accelerated the influx of many European trading companies into Africa. The companies came to work in the colonies on behalf of their mother countries. Examples of the chartered companies which came to Africa were Royal Niger Company (RNC), Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEACO), British South Africa Company (BSACO), German East Africa Company (GEACO)

iii. European nations introduced new systems of administration in Africa. The German and British employed direct rule and indirect rule respectively in their colonies, while the French and the Portuguese used the assimilation and later on association policy to administer their colonies in Africa.

iv. Partition of African continent among European powers. Berlin conference partitioned or sliced Africa amongst the European nations into the colonial possessions and fixed boundaries in their interests. For instance, Britain got 27 colonies, France got 12 colonies, Germany got 9 colonies and Belgium got 2 colonies.

v. Creation of African modern states. Berlin conference drew the boundaries which created new states in Africa as we see today such as Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe etc

vi. It led to the introduction of foreign European languages in Africa, to ease colonial administration in the colonies. For example, Francophone the French-speaking countries such as Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast and Benin. Anglophone (English-speaking) countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, and Nigeria. Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking countries such as Angola. Guinea Bissau and Mozambique.


The partition of East Africa aimed at ending the scramble between British and the Germans. This scramble was largely influenced by the work done by the colonial agents of signing the treaties with some African chiefs. During the scramble, Otto von Bismarck started to recognize the treaties. The British were not comfortable with Germany’s motives. Confrontation began, but later on were resolved through signing of two major treaties, namely First Anglo-German Agreements of 1886 (Delimitation treaty) and second Anglo-German Agreement of 1890 (Helgoland treaty)

i. First Anglo- German Agreements (Delimitation treaty) of 1886

This treaty involved British, Germans and Sultan of Zanzibar. This treaty was the result Carl Peters’ claim over all areas he visited and signed treaties with African chiefs. This German recognition threatened the British and Sultan hence signed the treaty to avoid interference. The terms of the treaty were;

➢They defined the islands of Pemba and Zanzibar and 10 miles along the coastal strip of East Africa

were given to Sultan of Zanzibar.

➢The area between river Tana and Ruvuma was divided by boundary from Umba river to lake Victoria. The northern half (present day Kenya) became British sphere of influence and southern half became the German sphere of influence

➢German was given Witu area in Kenya.

ii. Second Anglo- German Agreement (Helgoland treaty) of 1890

This treaty was signed between British and the German. The first treaty did solve the scramble for Uganda. German began to compete with British for Uganda. They competed for its fertile land, high population and the source of river Nile. The treaty signed by Carl Peters and Kabaka Mwanga led to the signing of Helgoland treaty. The following were the terms of the treaty;

➢Germany recognized Uganda as the British sphere of influence

➢Germany recognized Zanzibar and the rest of the Sultan’s domination as a British protectorate

➢Witu was under British. In the compensation for Witu, Germany was given island in the north sea (Helgoland) so that it could use it as a military base

➢Germany controlled Tanganyika and kingdoms of Urundi, Ruanda and acquired ten miles of the coastal strip from the Sultan of Zanzibar.

➢The western boundaries separating German East Africa, Uganda and Kenya were defined.


The concept of Colonialism

Colonialism refers to the political, social and economic system through which one strong and powerful country/ Nation dominates the weaker one in all aspects of their life such as economically socially and politically. It can also refer to the direct subordination of one country by another country, politically, socially and economically with the aim of exploiting her resources.

In Africa, colonialism involved the extension of foreign domination to African countries between 1800s and 1990s. During this time, the colonialists controlled Africa by establishing European settlements and institutions which facilitated the exploitation of African resources.

Colonialism in Africa marked the end of indigenous political freedom as African societies lost their independence, sovereignty and control over their own political, social and economic activities.

Tactics/Methods used to establish Colonial rule in Africa

i. Signing of bogus treaties. This was one of the tactics, which were used by the imperialist powers to establish their colonial rule in Africa. This was practically done through agreements of treaties, which were signed between African chiefs and the agents of colonialism. The treaties signed were bogus; hence, many African chiefs lost power and independence. Example Carl Peter signed a treaty with Chief Mangungo of Msovero in Morogoro in 1884; Johnson hurry signed a treaty in 1900 with Daud Chwa of Buganda such treaties made Africans to be encroached (under) colonial rule.

ii. Gunboat diplomacy. This is the way of making another nation accepts your demands through intimidation (force). This technique was mostly used in the areas where their chiefs seemed to be reluctant to offer their areas to the colonialists. E.g., Sultan of Zanzibar surrendered a treaty to Carl Peter of German because he used this technique; captain Lugard in Nigeria used the same approach.

iii. Military conquest. The colonial powers used military conquest in areas where diplomacy failed and when and where Africans resisted against the colonial rule; such tactics were used to suppress Chief Mkwavinyika Munyigumba Mwamvuyinga of the Hehe (1891-1898), Mkwawa died in June 1898 when he was only left with his two servants. Sergeant Merkel cut off Mkwawa’s head and dispatched it to Germany for Governor Von Liebert, offered 5,000 rupees to the person who would bring him Mkwawa’s head. The skull was finally retured to Tanganyika on 9th July 1954. Isike (Nyamwezi), Kabalenga (Bunyoro), Kaitolel Arap Samoei (Nandi).

iv. Collaboration. This was the colonial system of administration that created alliances between groups of Africans with the colonial powers against other African groups. Such a situation occurred when two (2) African groups were in conflicts. Thus, the weaker one cooperated with Europeans in order to get protection and support against its enemy. Examples of the African rulers who used collaboration method were Mangi Mandara of Moshi who cooperated with Germans against Mangi Sina of Kibosho in 1891, Chief Merere of Sangu who collaborated with the Germans against Mkwawa of the Hehe.

v. Ideological method. In this tactic, the colonialists introduced western ideologies to soften the hearts and minds of Africans to accept colonialism. For example, the Christian missionaries introduced Christianity, which went hand in hand with the provision of colonial education, which was of course offered, to the sons and daughters of African chiefs only. As a result, those who were converted to Christians became loyal to the colonialists, hence colonialism.

vi. Application of racism. This was the ideology, which internalized the belief that a certain race was superior to other races. The African black color was insulted to be the color of the devil, which was always painted in black color, and angels in white color as Europeans are, this brought inferiority complex amongst African.

vii. Through deportation of some of the tribal leaders who were exiled away to stop resistance. Good example, Jaja of Opobo was deported to West Indies in 1891. Mwanga of Buganda and Kabarega of Bunyoro were exiled in Seychele Island as they resisted colonial rule.

Chartered Companies in Africa during Colonialism

The chartered companies were the colonial rule under various trading companies which ruled on behalf of the colonial government. These organization qualified according to the principles and aims for which they were established. Basically, the chartered companies were trading companies; the European colonial powers opted to use the chartered companies in order to reduce the administrative costs. Some of these companies were,

➢Imperial British East African Company (IBEACo) formed by William Mackinnon in 1886

➢German East African Company (GEACo) formed by Carl Peters in 1884

➢Royal Niger Company (RNC) formed by George Turban Goldie in 1884

➢Living Stone central Africa company formed by James Stephen from Scotland in 1878

➢British South African Company (BSACo) formed by Cecil Rhodes in 1884

➢African International Association formed by King Leopard II

Functions of the Company Rule in Consolidating Colonialism in Africa

i.They contributed to abolish slave trade. These chartered companies became active in abolishing slave trade especially in the interior of Africa in order to ensure the Africans remained in their areas to ensure satisfactory of colonial interests.

ii.They suppressed African resistance. These companies suppressed and stop any African resistance against the imposition of the colonial rule. For example, the I.B.E.A. Co played an important role in suppressing the Nandi resistance in Kenya and so did the G.E.A. Co in Tanganyika against the Hehe under chief Mkwawa.

iii. They constructed infrastructures. These companies carried out construction of physical infrastructure in their respective areas of administration so as to ease the exploitation of African’s resources. For examples, they constructed roads, railways and harbors to ease the transportation of laborers and raw materials in the colonies.

iv. They signed bogus treaties. These companies under their leadership entered into bogus treaties with the African local chiefs in order to expand more spheres of influence on behalf of their home government.

v. They ensured availability of industrial demands. These companies opened up plantations in Africa so as to meet the very necessary capitalist demands, raw materials in particular.

The company did not rule the areas successfully; they had to be taken over by the colonial government. In other words, these companies failed in their operations.

Reasons for the fail

i. Remoteness of some areas. The company traders had difficulties in penetrating the interior of Africa because of thick forests and lack of reliable infrastructure, roads in particular.

ii. Resistance from the Africans. The company administration faced widespread resistances and hostility from the people of the interior of Africa; therefore, instead of concentrating on trading activities, the companies spent much time and money to suppress African resistances from the ethnic groups which were found in the interior of Africa. For example, the British trader Peter West and his thirty workers were attacked by the Nandi in Kenya in 1888, Abushiri bin Salim revolted against the Germans in Tanganyika.

iii. Running of the colonies was expensive due to lack of enough capital. For instance, staff wages and salaries this made the companies bankrupt hence, they could not get the expected profits something, which led to the failure.

iv. Lack of enough and experienced Personnel to administer the activities of the companies. The staff employed by the companies was mostly military officers who were not diplomatic and competent enough to fulfill the various duties that they were assigned to them.

v. Language barrier. This is rooted from the fact that upon the arrival of the colonialists, Africans had no access to formal education. The traders did not know all the vernaculars that were used by the Africans by then something which led to communication breakdown, as the result some of the roles were not effectively done, hence the failure of the company.

vi. Imperfect competition between and amongst the companies. For instance, for the case of East Africa the Imperial British East African Company under William Mackinnon had regular clashes over the region against the German East African Company under Karl Peters something, which made the companies fail to execute their functions. The clashes led to the first Anglo – German Agreement of 1886 and the second Anglo – German Agreement of 1890.

vii. The threat of tropical diseases. Such as malaria. By then malaria was known to have no cure. It thus, claimed the lives of many agents of colonialism such as explorers, missionaries and traders. As 

a result, some of the traders did not go into the interior to trade as per the charter of their companies, besides they fell short of personnel due to death hence failure.

viii. Mismanagement or maladministration. Some chartered companies failed to execute their duties as effectively as possible due to mismanagement of funds. In this case, some leaders of the companies misallocated the funds for some objectives, which were not in accordance with the charter for which the companies were established.

1.4 African reactions towards the imposition of colonial rule

Meaning of African reaction

African reactions refer to the various responses in which several African societies showed against the imposition of colonial rule. In many parts of Africa, reaction against colonial rule took place between 1880 to 1914. They began at a time when Europeans were occupying African societies until the time they had established the colonial administration. 

There were two forms of the African reactions against colonialism, namely;

i. Collaboration

ii. Resistance

i. Collaboration

Collaboration was the alliances in which some of the African chiefs welcomed the Europeans and helped them to strengthening the colonial rule in their areas. Others allied with Europeans to conquer their neighbors. They thought that, by befriending the European colonialists, they would not be colonised. Examples of the African chiefs who allied with the Europeans against their fellow Africans included the following:

(a) Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda and Omukama Kasagama of Toro collaborated with the British to remove from power Omukama Kabarega of Bunyoro. Thus, Bunyoro was placed under the control of the British;

(b) The Bena and the Sangu allied with the Germans to put Mkwawa and his people under full German colonial rule; and

(c)In northern Tanganyika, especially in Kilimanjaro Region, Mangi Rindi of Moshi allied with the Germans to put Mangi Sina of Kibosho under German colonial rule.

Reasons for the Africans’ collaboration with the colonialists

i.Wrong perception, many African chiefs had wrong perceptions about the colonialists that were just visitors who would go back soon to their homes. When they realized that they came to stay they changed the resection e.g. Kabaka of Buganda

ii. Existence of missionaries, missionaries’ brainwashed the Africans to accept colonialism through Christian indoctrination and mission the education that softened Africans’ hearts and minds e.g. “Resistance means backwardness”. Hence, such societies collaborated with the whites.

iii. Existence of enmity between two or more local African tribes, e.g. the Sangu and the Bena collaborated with Germans to fight against the Hehe.

iv. Military motives, some African societies collaborated with the Europeans with the motives of acquiring weapons to use them in future. E.g., Menelik II in Ethiopia deliberately collaborated with Italy to acquire weapons.

v. Source of commerce and trade, some African societies collaborated because they regarded Europeans as the source of commerce and trade by collaborating with them they would become rich

e.g. Buganda.

vi. They were weak militarily. Some of the societies allied with the foreigners because they were incapable to fight against the invaders and they saw that it was fruitless as they were weak militarily.

vii. Natural calamities, some African societies also made alliances with the whites because they had suffered greatly from natural calamities e.g. small pox, jiggers, drought, famine and so forth. 

Ii.Resistance. Resistance refers to the situation in which Africans showed the opposition against the colonialism. African resistance means negative reaction against colonialism that involved the use of weapons by African societies. It was the phenomenon whereby Africans became hostile to European encroachment. Before and during colonialism Africans started to resist against Europeans. This is due to the naked fact that colonialism was not accepted in Africa by both hands.

African resistance was in two phases.

First phase was called primary resistance. This was the initial phase; in which the African societies opposed the colonial imposition at the early of colonial invasion to the Africa. It started at the beginning of imposition of colonialism in Africa for the first time.

Second phase was called secondary resistance. In this phase, the African societies opposed the existence of colonial rule in Africa. In this stage the colonialists had already succeed to establish colonial rule, so that, the Africans were opposing colonial exploitation, oppression and harsh treatment done by the colonialists to the Africans.

Forms of African resistance

There were two forms of the African resistance against colonialism, Active resistance and Passive resistance.

➢ Active resistance. This was the form of resistance which involved direct military confrontation

between the European colonialists and the African societies. In this form, the Africans took necessary measures to fight actively with European colonialists. A good examples of active resistance were Hehe resistance, Nandi resistance

➢ Passive resistance. This was the form of resistance in which the Africans were reluctant to support

colonial rule. In this form the Africans refused to cooperate with Europeans such as refusing to pay taxes, other Africans secretly boiled seeds before planting them as a signs of their dissatisfaction with colonial unjust treatment.

Reasons for the Africans’ resistance against colonialists

i. To protect their political freedom. Colonial rule was undemocratic and illegitimate to the Africans since the Africans did not elect the colonial rulers, Hence Africans decided to resist against it so as to defend their political autonomy and to get democratic and legitimate government that will fulfill African’s interests.

ii. To oppose cruelty of colonialism against them. Colonial rule was too oppressive, harsh and exploitative to the Africans especially the forcing of Africans to work, pay taxes confiscate all African resources like land made Africans not to tolerate rather to fight against colonialist.

iii. To defend and preserve their social and economic interests. Colonialists interfered with African important interests such as land, trade traditional and customs i.e. women circumcision. Hence, Africans decided to react against. Example Mandinka resistance against France.

iv. African did not want to be controlled by the colonialist, as a result they wanted to regain their lost sovereignty and their independence where by that time was under the hands of colonialist.

v. African reacted against colonialist, because they were against cash crops production, which they saw that was of no benefit to Africans especially during the colonial economy. This was because Africans were forced to produce cotton, sisal and coffee, which were not easily consumed in Africa due to shortage/ absence of industries. Thus, Africans decided to react against e.g. Maji Maji war against cotton cultivation in Tanganyika.

 Factors that determined the nature of African reaction

i. The level of development. People who had achieved great developments such as weapons like guns, strong leaders and high production in agriculture and other sectors of the economy were able to stage up stiff active resistances against the colonialists. For example, chief Marere of the Sangu allied with the Germans to defend himself against the strong army of Mkwawa of the Hehe.

ii. Ignorance of some rulers in several societies. Some rulers were ignorant of the white men’s ambitions because they thought that Europeans would be friends who could provide them with security so they collaborated with them but it was too late when they became aware of imperialistic ambitions in their societies.

iii. Presence of Missionaries in many societies led to the rise of collaboration. European missionaries urged their converts to refrain (to stop) from resisting because such actions were signs of backwardness and endangered the souls of those who might fight actively, most of the rulers who had allowed the British to extend colonial rule in Eastern and Northern Uganda.

iv. Individual interests among the leaders, either made them fight actively or conduct collaboration. Those who fought were trying to protect their political positions, because they feared that the white men had planned to overthrow them from leadership posts. Some rulers who were weak could not fight back thus they chose to collaborate with the whites, for example Kahigi of Kihanja of Bukoba in Tanganyika was the weakest leader in Buhaya, so he decided to ally with the Germans.

v. Outbreak of disease. Societies which were affected with the diseases were collaborated to get aid. Example Jiggers, Render pest reduced cattle, due to that Lenana leader of the Kaputie and Matapata Maasai and Sendeyo, a leader of the Loita Maasai collaborated with the whites.

vi. Enmity among the Africans. Among the African societies, there were great hostile among themselves. The weak communities were collaborated with Europeans to seek for protection against their neighboring enemies. For example chief of Sangu collaborated with Germany against chief Mkwawa of Hehe.

Types of African resistance

The African resistance was categorized into two groups; namely

a.  Small-scale

b. Large scale

A. Small scale resistances

These types of resistances involved one tribe fighting against the colonialists and they basically covered a small area e.g. Nandi resistance, Hehe resistance, Coastal resistance, Yao resistance and many others

I. Coastal African resistance

There was a series of direct military confrontations between the European

colonialists and the coastal societies of German East Africa. 

Abushiri bin salim of pangani

Abushiri bin Salim al-Harthi. Abushiri had established himself along the Pangani valley and traded with the people of the interior. When the Germans started to establish themselves along the East African coast, Abushiri felt threatened. In 1888, Abushiri started to resist their expansion along the coast and killed several Germans. Afterwards, the Germans sent Major Hermann von Wissmann, who was assisted by Nubian, Somali and Zulu mercenary soldiers to suppress Abushiri’s resistance. The Germans defeated African societies and entered Pangani. After being defeated by the Germans, Abushiri ran to Mpwapwa and waged a war from there. During the war, he was betrayed by Jumbe Magaya of Usagara and he was thus captured by the Germans and hanged on 15th December 1889.

Bwana heri of zingua

Bwana Heri bin Juma of the Zigua successfully resisted the German invasion of Saadani in January 1889. The Germans reorganised and launched another attack in June 1889. Bwana Heri suffered a great loss and escaped inland, where he built a series of forts ready to face the Germans, but he was defeated in 1890.

Hassan Bin Omari Makunganya

Hassan bin Omary Makunganya attacked the German forts in Kilwa in 1894. However, the Germans reassembled and fought back against Makunganya, who was forced to retreat into Mavuji village in present-day Lindi Region. When he tried to re-organise his people and fight again, Makunganya was captured by the Germans and hanged in 1895 on a mango tree. The tree was named Mwembe Kunyonga, since it was used by the Germans to hang the people who disobeyed their rule.



YAO resistance was small scale resistance which fought between the YAO against the Germans in 18901899 under the leadership of Chief MWENE MACHEMBA. The Yao resistance was an active resistance since Machemba organized his people actively and was able to defeat three Germany companies sent to him. After machemba to defeat Germany companies, the German Governor forced Machemba to leave his place but he refused as a result German took up army against machemba and attacked Machemba's fort in 1899. Machemba managed to escape into Mozambique and left his fellow imprisoned as a result the Yao resistance failed hence Germany took control over the Yao's southern region of Tanganyika.

The Causes of the Yao resistance

I. Interference of Yao's territory. The Germany wanted to control the Yao's territory which made Yao under Machemba to fight activity against it.

II. The conflict between Machemba and the Germany. Machemba defeated three German companies as a result German took up army to fight.

III. Machemba's rejection to surrender. The Germany forced Machemba to surrender by leaving his place to the coast as a result Germany waged for the war.

IV. Introduction of taxes. The taxes were very hevy and those failed to pay taxes were heavily punished

V. Forced labour. The German forced Yao to work without or with low payment as a result people took up arms against Germany.

Other small resistance

The nyamwezi resistance 1891-1894

Nyamwezi resistance was a small scale resistance against the Germany rule organized by Nyamwezi under their leader known as chief Isike in 1891-1894. The Nyamwezi resistance occurred as a result of German's monopolization over Nyamwezi's trade and passed through their land such as Ujiji and Mwanza which broke their first good trade relation. The Nyamwezi started resistance under their leader chief Isike in 1891 in order to avoid the Germany control; but due to poor weapons the German attacked Isike's fort and destroyed it

Chief Isike decided to blow up [kill himself] together with his family in the gun powder magazine rather than being captured by Germany. The influence from Isike leadership. Isike was regarded as strong and powerful leader so he organized his people to fight against German rule. The land conflicts. Germany wanted to control the Nyamwezi's land as they did in other areas in Tanganyika as a result Nyamwezi resisted against the German control.

Reasons for the Failureof Nyamwezi Resistance 

i. Poor weapons.

ii. Disunity among the people.

iii. Poor fighting techniques.

iv. Poor war organizations etc.

v. Absence of strong army.

I. Nandi resistance.

Nandi resistance was the active African resistance in the interior of Kenya in which the Nandi ethnic group led by Koitalel fought against the  British invasion in 1895-1905. Nandi were lived in Rift valley and occupied the fertile land for crops production and livestock keeping

Reasons for the Nandi resistance

i. British occlpation of their land. British alienated  the  fertile  land  from Nandi tribe which it was purpose for cultivation of crops. Nandi resisted the occupation of their land by the foreigners. The British wanted the land for extending their agricultural farms and construction of railway line.  This created hostility between British and Nandi.

ii. To oppose the establishment of  settler  farms.  The Nandi  were  against the establishment of European settlers’ farms to the north and east of Nandi area. They wanted the settlers to leave their area because they interfered with their daily economic activities

iii. To oppose  laboUr  force.  The Nandi  ethnic  groups  were  forced  to  provide labour in the construction of railway line. This railways was passed to their areas and the British took them forcefully to provide labour in  the construction of this line.

iv. To protect  their  trade  interests. The British interfered in trade activities led to the raise of this resistance. The British through their commercial company interfered the Nandi’s trade interests which they used to run their economic activities

v. Believe in strong military and pride. The Nandi ethnic group believed that they had superior weapons and strong military to invade the British as they had done to their neighboring territories.

Note: after the war, Nandi were defeated by the British colonialists

Impacts of Nandi resistance

i. Death among the people. There were massive losses of life. The council of elders and many warriors were killed

ii. Destruction of properties. There was intensive destruction of properties like burning the houses, grains stock and confiscation of cattle

iii. Disintegration of Nandi military organization. The British colonialists conquered the Nandi military. The conquest weakened the unity among the Nandi warriors

iv. Increase of colonial exploitation. After the war, the British colonial masters increased exploitation to the Nandi ethnic groups. There was the increase of forced labours and land alienation

v. Decreased of food production among  the  Nandi.  There was  the reduction of food production because Nandi were pushed into the reserve areas in which the land was not enough and unfertile. 

Hehe resistance of 1891-1894

Hehe resistance was the one among of the notable active small scale resistance which was very fierce since it involved in fighting. The leader of this resistance was Chief Mkwawa who was also known as Mtwa Mkwawa Mkwavinyika Mahinya Munyigumba. Hehe resistance was direct military confrontation against the German invansion in Southern highland of Tanganyika (Iringa). The German started to uccupy some areas near the Hehe such as Ukaguru, Ugogo, Usagara and Mpwapwa. The German occupation threatened the economic position of Hehe.

Causes or Reasons of Hehe Resistance

I. Interference of Mkwawa's leadership, Germany wanted to control Mkwawa and forced him to accept Germany control due to that Mkwawa disagreed to accept Germany rule.

II. To protect political and economic interests.

III. Interference of culture; Germany interfered Hehe culture such as polygamy belief in many systems etc which made the Hehe under the Mkwawa harsh hence fight against Germany.

IV. Germany harsh rule; Germany ruled Hehe very harsh not respectful to the Hehe, they forced them to pay tax, to work and took their land as a result the Hehe fought against the Germany.

V. Killing of the Mkwawa's delegates. Germany killed Mkwawa's delegates who were sent to compromise as a result Mkwawa revenged by killing Germany commander known as EMIL VON ZELEWSKY and 300 African soldiers as a result war started. The name Mkwawa means conqueror of lands.

VI. Germany's occupation / control several areas in Tanganyika. Hehe under Mkwawa fought against the Germans because they wanted to control Ugogq Uluguru, Usagaraand Mpwapwa which had 410 economic importances to the HERE.

VII. Blocking trade routes; Hehe resistance against Germany occurred fOllowing Mkwawa blocking all Germany caravan routes passed his area which disrupted the Germany trade hence conflicts started.

Due to the above reasons or causes of the Hehe resistance the war/fighting broke out which took a long period of time. The Germany attacked Mkwawa in 1 891 following the killing of the Germany commander Emil von Zelewsky at Lugalo. In 1894 Germany attacked Mkwawals capital known as Kalenga but Mkwawa succeeded to run away [escape] and started to fight the GORRILAS WARFARE until 1898. In the same year 1898 Mkwawa while he was hiding himself he became sick. The Germans approached where he was hiding Mkwawa did not accept the shame of surrender to Germany while he was alive he shot himself in July 1898 and died.

B. Large scale resistance

The large scale resistance against colonial rule in Africa took place in various areas and covered a large part and in other cases involved the number of ethnic groups.

Large scale resistance in Africa included; Mandinka resistance, Nama and Herero resistance, Shona and Ndebele resistance, Majimaji war and Ethiopian resistance

I. Shone-Ndebele resistance (Chimurenga war) 1896-1897) Chimurenga refers to the resistance against the British occupation in Zimbabwe which took place from 1896-1897. The word Chimurenga is a word in the Shona language roughly meaning “Revolutionary Struggle”. In Matebele land, the war began in March 1896, while in Mashona land, the war began in June 1896. The leaders of Mashona were Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana and Sekuru Kaguvi and the leader of Matebele was King Lobengula

Reasons for the Shona-Ndebele resistance

i. Land alienation done by the British colonialists under their company BSACO. The Shona- Ndebele war resulted from the British attempt to occupy Matebele land because of its richness in resources. This was accelerated with British South African Company (BSACO). The Europeans confiscated the African land and the Africans were pushed into reserves where they became labourers in various British economic sectors.

ii. Forced labour done by the British against the Africans. The British wanted to force the Africans, both Mashona and Matebele to provide labour on the settler farms and in the mines. All the able-bodied men had to work regardless of their former position in the society. Those Africans who worked on the settler farms and mines worked for long time with poorly paid

iii. Loss of cattle. The British confiscated the Ndebele’s cattle they kept. Also render pest disease outbreak in 1895 killed the number of cattle. The British ordered the Africans to kill the cattle as a measure to combat the disease. This order was violently opposed by the Africans

iv. Taxation. In 1894, the British colonialists introduced the cattle and hut taxes. The colonialists used brutal methods of collecting taxes and often mistreated the people. The cattle, goats and grain were forcefully taken from those who failed to pay taxes. The tax was introduced as a method of recruiting labourers in the settlers’ farms and mines.

v. Interference of Shona trade. The desire of the company (BSACO) to control trade in Mashona land created chaos in the area. The company stopped the Shona from trading with the Portuguese and forced them to buy high- priced goods from the company instead. At first Africans believed that the Europeans had come for a short time, but when they realized that they had come to stay and rule, they greatly opposed them and fought for their freedom.

vi. Missionaries interference in tradition and customs of the Africans. The activities of missionaries interfered the traditions and customs of the Shona and Ndebele. European missionaries wanted to spread Christianity which was against African culture. Therefore, Shona and Ndebele fought for their culture.


Impacts of the Shona-Ndebele resistance

i. Christian religion was officially adopted. Many Africans, both Mashona and Matebele adopted Christian religion due to the inability of Mwaricult (traditional religion leaders) and the Chimuruku(tradition religion) to defeat the Europeans. The traditional leaders could no longer command people to adopt the traditional religion.

ii. Changes in administrative system. The company administrative received much criticism from the colonial officials for the mistreatment against the Africans. The British colonial masters were forced to change the administrative system. Cecil Rhodes guaranteed to make changes in the governing Matebele in order to reduce the resistance from the African communities. In this regard, many African chiefs were considered and employed in various administrative positions under the colonial rule.

iii. Death of the people. Many of the people, both the Europeans and Africans were killed in the war. Even though the death toll for Africans was much higher. Many of the Chimurenga warriors lost their lives due to the war

iv. Declined of productions among the Africans. Due to the defeated in the war, the Africans were redistributed to the new areas in the low land. However they lived happily but their productions declined because the land was unfertile. This led to the occurrence of famine and hunger among the Africans due to the shortage of food.

v. Increased of colonial exploitation in the colony. The British colonial government in Southern Rhodesia increased the colonial exploitation within the colony. Land alienation became common and the British acquired more fertile land. This was done in order to compensate with war cost because the British spent large amount of money to win the battle.

I. Mandinka resistance

Mandinka resistance was the active resistance which took place in western Africa against the French conquest under the leadership of Samori Toure. This resistance was occurred in two phases; from  1882-1885  and  1891-1898. Samori Toure fought because he feared that, the French would occupy his land and trade routes from which he got various commodities.

Reasons for the Mandinka resistance

i. To protect the independence  of  the  empire.  Samori  Toure  hold  the fighting against French because, the French threatened the political  autonomy of the Mandinka empire. Therefore, Samori Toure hold the fight to defeat the French because he was not ready to lose his independence to the foreigners.

ii. To protect their  trade  interests. In west Africa, French invasion threatened the development of trade route. The French wanted to control the trade (Trans- Saharan Trade) routes that passed through Samori Toure’s empire. The routes were the source of revenues for the Mandinka empire as a result conflict broke out.

iii. To defend the Islamic faith. Samori Toure wanted to  defend  his  Islamic religion against the French invaders who were non-Muslims. The French wanted to spread Christianity in many parts of west Africa including Mandinka empire, therefore Samori Toure was not ready to lose his religious autonomy and faith against French invasion.

iv. Strong  military. Samori  Toure  had a strong  army which  made him believe that he could fight actively against the French invaders. He has large number of trained soldiers who were able to hold the fighting against the enemies of Mandinka empire.

v. The French policy to expand the territories. The French wanted to expand the territories into the West Africa. Samori Toure was only major obstacle to this policy, hence the French decided to fight against him

Reasons for the Mandinka’s strengths

i. Presence of strong army. They had strong army called “SOFA” that were well drilled and disciplined, so, they developed their efforts to fight against the French encroachment from 1891- 1898.

ii. Strong unity among the people in the empire. The Mandinka were also strongly united under Samori Toure. The unity of the empire was brought by Islamic religion and memories of the great Mali empire

iii. They had strong economy. Samori Toure’s empire was economically strong because of his control of the gold trade. It had an efficient trade network of getting fire arns from the coast, even from French traders. He used such weapons to fight against the French. Samoure Toure also opened up his own workshop, which not only repaired his weapons but also manufactured effective copies of them.

iv. They used good military technique that is scorched earth policy. As the army fought the soldiers burnt all the crops on the way of the French they could not have food for their troops. This eventually weakened French soldiers since they faced with hunger and starvation.

v. Samori Touri had strong wealth. Samori Toure used some of his wealth to reward his soldiers after winning a battle. This motivated the soldiers to fight strongly and for a long time.

vi. The use of guerilla was tactics helped Samoure Toure and his people so much. The Samori Toure’s soldiers had great experience in fighting. They were former soldiers of king Ahmadu, who had fought with French between 1889-1893. His soldiers used guerrilla war tactics to harass the French troops. The French knew nothing about this tactics.


Reasons for the Mandinka’s strengths

vii. Presence of strong army. They had strong army called “SOFA” that were well drilled and disciplined, so, they developed their efforts to fight against the French encroachment from 1891- 1898.

viii. Strong unity among the people in the empire. The Mandinka were also strongly united under Samori Toure. The unity of the empire was brought by Islamic religion and memories of the great Mali empire

ix. They had strong economy. Samori Toure’s empire was economically strong because of his control of the gold trade. It had an efficient trade network of getting fire arns from the coast, even from French traders. He used such weapons to fight against the French. Samoure Toure also opened up his own workshop, which not only repaired his weapons but also manufactured effective copies of them.

x. They used good military technique that is scorched earth policy. As the army fought the soldiers burnt all the crops on the way of the French they could not have food for their troops. This eventually weakened French soldiers since they faced with hunger and starvation.

xi. Samori Touri had strong wealth. Samori Toure used some of his wealth to reward his soldiers after winning a battle. This motivated the soldiers to fight strongly and for a long time.

xii. The use of guerilla was tactics helped Samoure Toure and his people so much. The Samori Toure’s soldiers had great experience in fighting. They were former soldiers of king Ahmadu, who had fought with French between 1889-1893. His soldiers used guerrilla war tactics to harass the French troops. The French knew nothing about this tactics.

Reasons for the defeat of Mandinka resistance

i. Internal opposition. Mandinka faced with internal  opposition  from  non- Muslims people, whom he forced to convert  to Islam. This caused divisions among the Mandinka and weakened Samori Toure’s support and unity in the empire

ii. Strong military of French. The French had  strong,  well  trained  and disciplined army with superior weapons, while Samori Toure’s army was equipped with old-fashioned weapons such as muskets and rifles.

iii. Famine and  hunger.  Moreover,  famine  invaded  the  Mandinka  empire  and weakened its advancement in fighting. This is because the prolonged wars severely affected economic activities in Mandinka land. The Mandinka were in a state of warfare for many years, therefore they could not engage any economic activities such as agriculture or trade.

iv. Natlral  disasters.  Also  natural  disasters  contributed  to  the  defeated  of Samori Toure’s army. The natural disasters especially drought affected the food production. The people failed to continue with fighting because they suffered from the lack of food for their survival

v. Shortage of weapons. Samori Toure moved his empire to Diabakala, but it was very far from Sierra Leone, which was the main supplier of his weapons. This made him depended on Mandinka-made or repaired weapons. Due to the prolonged wars, these weapons could not be obtained within the empire.

vi. Lacked  slpport  from  other  African  rllers.  Samori  Toure  did  not  get assistance from other African rulers. This was because he had caused them much suffering, hence his fellow African rulers isolated them.

Impacts of Mandinka resistance

i. Death of the African soldiers. Many African soldiers were killed by the French forces. Very few French men died. The heavy and advanced French weapons killed many Africans and wounded others.

ii. Euiled of Samori Tolre. Samora Toure was captured and exiled to Gabon and the whole Mandinka Empire fell under French control.

iii. It marked the beginning of colonialism in west Africa. The fall of the Mandinka Empire signified the end of the last, long and strong resistance against French colonial rule in west Africa. This marked the beginning of colonialism in West Africa.

iv. Declined of towns and villages. The aggressive  French  military campaigns against Samori toure destroyed many Mandinka villages and towns. For example the new Mandinka capital of Diabakala was completely destroyed as houses and farms were burned by the French.

v. Occlrrence of famine. The war led to the emergence of famine because many farms were destroyed and people failed to engage in farming activities. Therefore, hunger invaded the empire.

II. Nama-Herero resistance

Nama and Herero were the tribes in South West Africa (Namibia) which fought against the German invasion from 1904-1907. The leaders of this resistance were chief Hedrick Witbooi of Nama tribe and Chief Samuel Maherero of Herero tribe

Reasons for Nama-Herero resistance

i. Outbreak of render pest disease. This was the disease that killed many cattle of Herero and the Nama 1903. Nama and Herero depended their economy in cattle keeping. The Africans interpreted this event to be a courser from God due to the coming of Europeans

ii. Debt crises. The impoverishment of Africans caused by the European traders who provided loans in the form of food and clothes was another reason for the resistance. The Africans were required to repay the loans in form of cattle. The traders confiscated the cattle once the Africans failed to pay back the loans. Africans realized that, the only way of sustaining their livelihood was to take up arms.

iii. Land alienation. The German grabbed the land owned by Nama-Herero and allocated huge pieces of land to the white settlers. The people were now forced to work on settlers’ farm as labourers. This triggered the war against the German colonialists.

iv. Recruited colonial labour policy. The 1900 colonial labour policy contributed to the outbreak of the war. For example, the policy demanded that Herero youth be sent to Johannesburg to work in the Boers’ mines and on their plantation. This was seen as an attempt to weaken and destroy their empire.

v. Taxation also caused the resistance. Poor Africans were forced to pay taxes. The German colonialists employed cruel measures in collecting taxes. Those who did not pay were tortured, imprisoned and their properties were confiscated. Therefore, they decided to fight against the German colonialists.

vi. Introduction of the colonial labour reserve policy. The introduction of colonial labour reserve policy also led to the outbreak of the war. This was because the indigenous people were removed from their productive areas so that settler production could be introduced.

Impacts of Nama-Herero resistance

i. Death among the people. Many Nama and Herero people died as s result of the brutal military operations of the German colonialists.

ii. Namibia was totally controlled by the German. The South West Africa (Namibia) was officially occupied and dominated by the Germans. Traditional forms of political organization such as chiefdom were abolished

iii. Increased of colonial economic exploitation. In South West Africa after the German occupation, colonial economic exploitation was intensified as the Nama and Herero were restricted from owning cattle and land. This made them to depend on German colonial economic system.

iv. Introduction of concentration camp. The German introduced concentration camps, where women and children were taken. Consequently, most of them died due to harsh treatments like forced labour

v. The war provided the lesson to the Europeans. The war provided the lesson to the colonialists that the African people did not accept colonial domination in their communities. This made the German changed the way of controlling their colonies, instead of using force they started to use peaceful ways of controlling their colonies

III.Majimaji war 1905-1907

 Majimaji war was the large scale resistance which took place in Southern Tanganyika against the German control. The war started between1905-1907, and it was led by Kinjeketile Bokero 

Ngwale from Ngarambe near Rufiji River. The war involved many African tribes such as Mbunga, Pogoro, Ngindo, Zaramo and Ngoni

Reasons for the Majimaji war

i. Introduction of cotton plantations in the Rufiji basin. The first cause started from the cotton growing in which the German government ordered the Africans to grow cotton for export. It took a long time to harvest cotton but earned very little. At the same time they neglected food production. Hence, famine became common.

ii. Imposition of heavy tax. The German colonialists introduced a head tax in 1898. All adult Africans were required to pay this tax which was collected using harsh and brutal methods. Those who did not pay it were severely tortured and imprisoned.

iii. Despised of the African traditional culture by the German. The German colonial administration did not respect African norms and traditions. For example the German Christian missionaries destroyed the sacred huts of traditional priest because they considered them as a symbol of witchcraft. Similarly, the Matumbi and the Ngindo reacted against the adultery (sexual harassment) and other immorality practiced by the German agents.

iv. Destruction of African political structure. The German colonialists destroyed African political structures. The traditional chiefs and kings were replaced by Arabs and African Jumbes and Akidas. The Africans in southern Tanganyika wanted to retain their traditional political system.

v. Increased of colonial exploitation. The German appointees such as Jumbes and Akidas collected taxes by using excessive force such as confiscating property. Also the Africans were forced to work on the colonial plantation long time with low payment.

vi. The influence of Kinjeketile Ngwale. Kinjekitile Ngwale was charismatic and religious leader who through his intelligence, he mobilized his fellow Tanganyika to fight against Germans rule because the German colonial system grabbed the political and socio- economic interests of the Africans

Reasons for the Africans’ defeat

i. Poor military weapons used by the Africans. During majimaji uprising, the indigenous people did not have advanced weapons. For instance, they were armed with spears, while the German were armed with superior weapons like modern guns.

ii. Africans lacked military organization. The Africans lacked proper organization in fighting with Germans. For example, the number of the African soldiers kept on decreasing with no replacement, while the German colonialists replaced both soldiers and the weapons used

iii. The brutal tactics used by the German. The German colonialists used brutal tactics which destroyed villages and burned farms and food stores. This weakened the Majimaji fighters

iv. Poor beliefs. The Africans believed in the magic water, an ideology which became ineffective as many Africans were killed when they tried to storm German posts.

v. Africans lacked fighting experience. The people in southern Tanganyika had no experience in fighting against the German colonialists; hence, they underestimated the power of the German army which largely made up of mercenaries from different places.

vi. Disunity among the Africans. The Africans were also defeated because of disunity. Although the Majimaji war involved about 20 ethnic groups, each ethnic group fought on its own. This weakened them.

Outcome of Majimaji war

i. Change of German administrative system. The German colonialists reduced the use of violence in enforcing their authority so that the people might not cause another war. The German improved services like education and health. Taxation and forced labour were relaxed and corporal punishment was abolished.

ii. Destruction of properties. The German colonialists destroyed African farms and homes and therefore, famine and hunger occurred that affected many people. This was partly because during the war the people could not engage in production activities.

iii. Loss of lives. The war led to the death of thousands of the Africans. Many people especially those who participated in the fighting were killed. This caused depopulation in many families in southern Tanganyika because large number of people lost their lives

iv. Displacement of many families. The war resulted to the displacement of many families due to the fear and insecurity among the people in the area. Many people escaped the area to different directions to look for other areas for settlement. The war also influenced the family separation among the African communities.

v. It brought unity among the people. The war brought together many African communities such as Ngindo, Zaramo, Ngoni and Matumbi

Significances of Majimaji war to the political development of Tanzania

i. It was the lesson to the freedom fighters. The Majimaji war gave lesson to later nationalists in Tanganyika that is the colonialists could be fought through diplomatic means. The sacrifices made by thousands of Africans who died during the Majimaji war were an important inspiration to the later generation of nationalist leaders who fought for independence.

ii. It strengthened unity among the people. Majimaji war successfully united the people within the area. Many separated communities were united. This helped  to reduce the sense of tribalism in Tanganyika.

iii. It remains as a symbol for the people. Majimaji war in Tanganyika brought the memory to the people in the country to remember the freedom fighters. Currently, the area remains as a tourist center in which many people visit to reconstruct the information about this uprising.

iv. It marked the beginning of peasant to demand their rights. The German colonialists made the reforms in the colonial administration, it gave the chance to the peasants in Tanganyika to demand for their rights.  This  happened soon after the German Governor allowed the Africans in Tanganyika to grow cash-crops production.

v. It brought sense of nationalism among the people in Tanganyika. The Majimaji uprising would become an inspiration for the letter 20th century freedom fighters who called for similar interethnic unity as they struggled against European colonial rule.

Ethiopian resistance/Adowa battle
Ethiopia resistance was a type of African resistance against the establishment of colonial rule in Ethiopia. Menelik II led the resistance from 1986 over the Italians. The Ethiopian leader was able to unite his people by encouraging strong unity and solidarity so as to fight against the Italian in order to preserve their culture and protect their trading interest. They aimed at promoting social political and economic development of their country. This resistance was caused by many factors including, failure of Uccial treaty (Wuchale) between Menelik II and Italians, enmity between king Menelik II with the northern chiefs and Italians action of stopping king Menelik to form the friendship with other European nations. This resistance was only resistance that managed to defeat the Italian invaders. This made the Ethiopian not colonized by any European nations.
Reasons for the successful of Ethiopian resistance
i. The geographical advantage. This factors influenced greatly to the success of Ethiopian resistance since the country consists of mountainous great valleys, semi desert which hindered penetration of Italians.
ii. Strong unity and solidarity among the people. The existence of strong unity and solidarity motivated the success of Ethiopian resistance since it enables them to have the common goal to fight against the Italians. The strong unity and solidarity was influenced by the spread of Christian religion to many Ethiopians hence, they were able to fight against the Italians.
iii. Strong leadership. The emergence of strong and outstanding leadership of Menelik II contributed the achievement. The presence of strong leadership motivated the success of Ethiopian’s resistance since he was able to encourage strong unity and solidarity also he could encourage the people to fight against the Italians. He was also able to organize his people on their way to fight the Italians.
iv. Strong army. The existence of strong standing army, which contributed to the success of Ethiopian resistance since it, managed to defeat the Italian’s army.
v. Weaknesses of Italy. Italy was still poor and weak nations, this factor motivated the success of Ethiopians resistance since they were not capable to fight against the Ethiopians because of being economically weak. This in turn made them to have poor organization to defeat the Africans.
vi. Application of modern weapons and good fighting military tactics. Menelik II adopted military weapons and fighting tactics from other European nations such as Britain, Russia and Portugal who in turn encouraged and motivated the Ethiopians to fight against the Italians.

Reasons for the Africans defeat in the resistance 
i. Europeans used modern war techniques that made them easily attack the Africans . Africans depended on their closed forts, which were the main targets of attacks from the white enemies. For instance, the Germans demolished Mkwawa’s fort at Kalenga in 1894.
ii. Due to the betrayal from among Africans. This caused the failure of African resistance against colonialists simply because; some Africans betrayed their fellow Africans by deciding to collaborate with the white men against their neighbors this eventually weakened their unity, Good example is Sangu and Bena allied with the Germans to defeated their neighboring Hehe. Though Africans were defeated by the Europeans, their reaction against colonial invasion was marked as the early nationalist reaction in Africa and made them gain self-respect and were considered to be heroes of Africa.
iii. Disunity among the Africans. This occurred, as some of the leaders were reluctant to cooperate with others. Hence, each tribe entered the war on its own. As a result, it was easy for the colonialists to defeat them.
iv. Africans were destabilized by natural calamities. These included famines and infectious diseases such as smallpox and others. Good example of Maasai society suffered from cholera in 1879 to the extent that they failed to fight violently.
v. Africans had wrong superstitious beliefs. For example, the people of Southern Tanganyika were made to believe in the idea that water from Ngarambe Pool would change the white man’s bullets into water, ‘Maji Maji’, which was not true. As a result, many people were killed by the German armed forces.
vi. Poor weapons and military techniques applied by Africans. The Africans used poor weapons such as arrows, spears and outdated guns; also they applied poor military techniques in the fighting. All these made the victory of the battle to the Europeans.

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