CAUSES OF THE SCRAMBLE FOR EAST AFRICA.
- 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.
- 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.
- The need to speed up economic development of the European countries. The industrialized nations 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.
- 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.
- 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 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;
- 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.
- b) Germany acquired the coastline of Witu the region between river Umba in the North and river Ruvuma in the south.
- c) The British got the territory north of river Umba up to river Juba in the north.
Terms of the Heligoland Treaty of 1890.
- a) Germany officially recognized Uganda as a British sphere of influence/protectorate.
- b) Germany abandoned her claim over the territory of Witu for British in exchange for Heligoland island in the North sea
- c) Germany accepted British protectorate over Zanzibar and Pemba.
- d) Germany acquired a strip of land on Lake Tanganyika from Britain and the Coastal region of Tanganyika from the Sultan of Zanzibar.
- e) The Sultan of Zanzibar retained a 16km (10 miles) Coastal strip.
- This treaty thus ended the scramble for and partition of East Africa.