Name the countries whose citizens/nationals interacted with Africans. 

For centuries, foreigners from the following European countries interacted with Africans:

  • Portugal,
  • Britain,
  • France,
  • Belgium,
  • Germany, Ø Holland, Ø

However, actual European interest in Africa began in the 1st century AD.

 Explain the factors that led to European expansion into Africa.

(Explain the reasons for European expansion into Africa.)

  • Explorers like Vasco Da Gama, David Livingstone, John Speke, Johannes Rebmann, James Grant, Samuel Baker, HM Stanley and Mungo Park wanted to gain geographical knowledge about Africa. They revealed Africa‟s magnificent features, organized kingdoms and her vast resources to the world.
  • The Europeans wanted to have a share in Africa‟s trade in gold, iron, slaves and other items and wished to directly derive taxable revenue from commerce in Africa.
  • The Europeans wanted to Christianize the nonchristian Africans and to ally themselves with Prester John: a legendary Christian King of Africa, who, they hoped, would help them against the Muslims of North Africa. Besides, from the 16th to 19th century, Europe experienced the age of Religious revival, during which many missionary societies and groups were formed with the aim of spreading Christianity within and outside Europe. Such groups and societies included the London Missionary Society, the Universities Mission to Central Africa, the United Methodist Mission, the White Fathers and the Holy Ghost Fathers, the Church Missionary Society, Africa Inland Mission, Etc.
  • The desire to “civilize” Africa by spreading Western education and culture. They wanted to stamp out slave trade and replace it with legitimate trade.
  • Improvement in ship building, particularly by the Portuguese, who led by multiplying the number of masts in their Caravel ships.
  • Improvement in navigation by use of charts and a sophisticated compass marked with thirty points, with which navigators could locate harbours along the coastline and note the direction of winds and currents.
  • Major advances in naval warfare. With guns and Cannons of superior quality, the Europeans could conquer whoever they came across.
  • The Industrial and Scientific Revolutions in Europe in the 18th century, which placed Europe on the forefront in technological development apart from increasing her need for raw materials, most of which could be found in Africa and other overseas regions.
  • Some Europeans travelled overseas for sheer joy to be the first to find and conquer new lands as others were curious to see strange lands and their people.
  • In late 19th century, merchants and other citizens of European nations urged and pressed their governments to acquire overseas colonies for national prestige. A spirit of national pride had gripped the entire Europe.

As a result of interaction between European traders and communities along the eastern, western and southern coast of Africa, trade routes and trading centres developed, which opened up the African continent to the Greeks, Romans, Portuguese, British, French, Dutch, Spaniards and Germans. These Europeans invaded and colonized the African continent through what came to be dubbed as the Scramble For and Partition of Africa, threatening to destroy Africa‟s political and other structures.


Define the following terms:

  • Scramble for Africa.
  • Partition of Africa.

To scramble means to rush for, compete or struggle with others in order to get or do something.

To partition is to divide something among people or to apportion something among contenders or competitors.

The Scramble for Africa refers to the rush and struggle for different parts of Africa by European powers.

The Partition of Africa refers to the dividing up or the sharing of Africa among European nations.

Discuss the European scramble for Africa.

(Explain how European nations scrambled for Africa.)

  • By 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.
  • During the Scramble for and Partition of Africa, the Europeans used both persuasion and force to acquire as many colonies as possible for themselves. Africans who collaborated were offered a reward while those who resisted were punished.
  • At times, the Europeans risked fighting among themselves over colonies in Africa. The Europeans were scheming to exploit the economic resources that lay untapped in the continent.
  • Anxious for a peaceful division of Africa, Otto Von Bismarck (the German Chancellor) convened the Berlin Conference in 1884-1885. European powers discussed and divided Africa among themselves around a table overseas without involving the Africans themselves.
  • African reaction to European invasion varied. Most communities resisted while only a few collaborated with the Europeans. In spite of their resistance, most African societies except Liberia and Ethiopia had been colonized by 1914.
  • By 1915, many traditional kingdoms and chiefdoms in Africa had changed beyond recognition while others vanished almost without a trace.

Describe the methods used by the Europeans to acquire colonies in Africa.

  • Signing treaties. Europeans signed treaties among themselves and with the local leaders in the areas they occupied.
  • Military conquest. Communities that resisted European domination such as the Asante, Nandi, Ndebele and Mandinka were subdued through military expeditions, with devastating consequences.
  • A blend of diplomacy and force. Europeans would sometimes use a combination of treaties and force. For instance, the British signed the Moffat, Rudd and other treaties with the Ndebele, who they however fought in the 1893 and 1896-1897 Ndebele and Chimurenga wars.
  • Under this method, Africans were tricked and lured with gifts through explorers, missionaries and traders, who were on friendly terms with but did not disclose European intensions to the Africans. For instance, the Italians signed a treaty of friendship with Menelik ii) , but they published an Italian version stating that Menelik had put Ethiopia under Italian protection.
  • Company rule. Chartered companies were used in governing colonies on behalf of their mother countries. They helped set up administrative posts in African territories, which were later recognized as Spheres Of Influence by their parent countries.


  • The treaties signed among Europeans during the scramble for and partition of Africa.
  • The treaties signed between the Europeans and LOCAL African LEADERS during the Scramble for and partition of Africa.


  • The Anglo-German agreements of 1886 and 1897.
  • Agreements which Britain signed with Portugal and France in 1890, which allowed France to take Madagascar as Mozambique and Angola came under Portugal.
  • The Anglo-Italian agreement of 1891, which brought Eritrea and the Somali coast into Italian hands.


  • The 1904 and 1911 agreements between the Maasai and the British.
  • The 1900 agreement between Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda and the British.
  • The 1884 treaties between George Goldie of the United Africa (Royal Niger) company with African leaders, which brought the Niger delta, Yoruba land and the Gambia under British control.
  • The 1890 Lochner treaty between the British and King Lewanika of the Lozi, through which Zambia was acquired.
  • The 1884 treaties between Harry Johnston and the chiefs in the Mount Kilimanjaro and Witu areas to facilitate British trade.
  • Treaties signed between Karl Peters and the chiefs of Uzibua, Ukami, Usagara and Ungulu in the Mount Kilimanjaro region, placing them under German protection.

Identify the areas in Africa which were occupied through military force by the Europeans.

  • Egypt, Sudan, Malawi and Mashonaland and Matebele in Zimbabwe, whose communities were ruthlessly suppressed by the British.
  • Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau, where Portuguese rule was forcefully established.
  • Morrocco, Algeria and Tunisia, which came under French military attacks and control.
  • Eritrea, which was occupied by the Italians, who unsuccessfully ventured into Ethiopia.

Explain why Company rule was initially used by European powers in administering colonies in Africa.

  • The colonial powers lacked adequate manpower.
  • Insufficient funds to meet the cost of administration.
  • The companies were already working in their respective areas, making them suitable to utilize.
  • They helped set up administrative posts in African territories.

Name the chartered companies that were used by the European powers to govern colonies in Africa.

  • The Imperial British East Africa Company,
  • The German East Africa Company, v The Royal Niger company,
  • The British South Africa Company.

Explain why Company rule did not last long in Africa. (Explain the factors that undermined Company rule in Africa. Or:

Explain the limitations/weaknesses of Company rule in Africa.) v companies ran bankrupt.

  • Systems of transport were poor.
  • There were inadequate personnel.
  • The locals resisted foreign rule.

Collapse of Company rule compelled their home governments to take over the administration of the colonies. The Europeans used either single method or a combination of methods in different regions.

Explain the factors that led to scramble for colonies in Africa.

(Explain why European powers scrambled for colonies in Africa.)

European powers scrambled for and partitioned Africa among themselves for various reasons, which include the following:

  • The Industrial Revolution in Europe, which increased the need for raw materials like cotton and palm oil, which could be obtained from the colonies.
  • Colonies provided market for manufactured goods from European industries.
  • Increased/surplus capital, which the Europeans wanted to invest in the colonies.
  • Speculation that Africa was rich in minerals like gold and copper.
  • Unification of Germany after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871. Germany became powerful under Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck as France lost her two mineral-rich provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. France turned her attention to Africa for colonies to compensate for her loss. Germany, not wishing to be left behind, was also out to acquire colonies.
  • National prestige. Germany and Italy joined the race for colonies because of national glory and pride.
  • European military officers encouraged their governments to participate in colonial expansion to give them an opportunity to be recognized and promoted.
  • Public opinion in Europe favoured acquisition of colonies. For example, De Brazza signed a treaty with chief Makoko due to public opinion in France, creating a French colony: Congo.
  • The Egyptian question. Egypt was of strategic importance to the Europeans because of the Suez Canal, built by the British and French, which shortened the route to British colonies in India and the Far
  • French activities in West Africa and the Congo alarmed other powers, who joined the race for colonies.
  • King Leopold ii) of Belgium, in 1879, sent Henry Morton Stanley to explore the River Congo and, through such activities, Stanley created the Congo Free State, which had become Leopold‟s empire by 1884. Leopold‟s activities alarmed the Portuguese, who claimed River Congo and the French turned their attention to west Africa. Germany and Britain made similar claims for colonies in the region.
  • Missionaries came to spread Christianity, western education and culture and invited their mother-governments to occupy their areas to protect them.
  • Influential people in Europe such as Karl Peters, Harry Johnston, William Mackinnon and David Livingstone encouraged colonialism.
  • Europeans believed they had superior culture as compared to other races. They felt they had a duty to “civilize” the blacks on the African continent.
  • Britain and Germany encouraged their surplus population to settle in Africa.
  • European humanitarians came to abolish slave trade. William Wilberforce and Granville Sharp led in the abolition of slave trade and urged its replacement with legitimate trade.
  • Africa was rich in raw materials and had good harbours.
  • African communities were weakened by war, diseases,, drought and famine. This made the Europeans to easily conquer the Africans.

Identify the categories into which the factors that led to the scramble for and partition of Africa among European powers could be divided.

  • Economic factors.
  • Political factors.
  • Strategic considerations.
  • Social factors.
  • The Pull factors in Africa.

Discuss the factors that led to the Scramble for and Partition of Africa under the headings outlined in question .


These stem from the Industrial Revolution in  Europe as follows:

  • Need for market for manufactured goods. When other European nations such as Belgium, France and Germany joined Britain in embracing the Industrial revolution, Britain lost her monopoly of European markets and had to seek alternatives elsewhere.
  • Need for raw materials. In 1776, Britain was kicked out of America as a result of the Independence war and therefore lost the cheap sources of raw materials, causing her and other European entrepreneurs to venture into Africa in search of agricultural land for cultivation of cash crops.
  • Need for places to invest their income. With increased capital from the Industrial Revolution, European traders preferred to invest in Africa, where there was stiff competition, which according to them would fetch more profit unlike the situation in Europe.
  • Competition from African and other merchants. As other nations joined the race for colonies, European traders had to call upon their home-governments to protect them due to stiff competition from both the locals and their adversaries from Europe and elsewhere.
  • The common speculation about the availability of deep pockets of mineral wealth in Africa. The discovery of diamond at Kimberley in South Africa in the 1860s and gold in Wit Waters Rand (still in South Africa) in 1886 raised the hopes of speculators in finding vast minerals in the interior of Africa.

Therefore, the Europeans turned their attention to Africa as an alternative market for their goods and cheap source of raw materials for their industries.


  • The Unification of Germany. Following her unification under Kaiser William and Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, Germany emerged as a mighty nation, defeating France in the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian war, which caused France to turn her attention to Africa, acquiring eight colonies in west Africa to compensate for her losses.
  • Following the French venture in Africa, a spirit of national pride spread throughout Europe in the late 19th century. Urged by their citizens, the European nations felt they had to acquire overseas colonies for national prestige. For instance, Germany and Italy went for colonies in Africa to assert their newly found superiority.
  • Reduction of prolonged wars in Europe in the 19th century caused army officers to favour colonial wars and expansion to get  opportunities for glory or promotion. Such officers were mostly given honours such as knighthoods and peerages. For instance, General Woseley Kitchener, who  supported British imperial expansion into Africa became Lord Kitchener.
  • Public opinion. With democratization of European states in late 19th century, governments had to pay more attention to public opinion, which favoured and persuaded them to acquire colonies, which the governments did to appease the electorate in order to remain in power. It was in the light of  this that, for instance, the French Assembly agreed to ratify De Brazza‟s treaty with Chief Makoko to create a French colony in the Congo in 1882. Similarly, with the position of her government largely  dependent on the success of her colonial policies, Germany took over Togo, Cameroon and Present-day Namibia. Britain also chose not to remain backward in what she termed as the  Irresistible demand in claiming her share of Africa.
  • The Press. Newspapers in Britain, France and Italy influenced public opinion on and strongly favoured acquisition of colonies.


  • Missionaries‟ demand for protection. European missionaries who came to Africa, particularly Lagos, Uganda and Malawi, asked their home governments to protect them from the problems they encountered, such as Resistance from the local people.
  • The role of influential individuals in Europe. Influential people such as writers encouraged the building of empires and overseas settlements by following adventurers with government authority. Such individuals included: W.T Stead, Karl Peters, Harry Johnston, William Mackinnon and David Livingstone.
  • The rise of racism and paternalism. Paternalism is the policy of governments controlling people by providing them with what they need but giving them no responsibility or freedom of choice. European paternalism stemmed from European racism, based on Social Darwinism, enshrined in the “survival for the fittest” aspect of Charles Darwin‟s theory of Evolution. In the first half of the 19th century, the Europeans boasted of superiority over other races, arguing that their rule and civilization were in the interest of their colonial subjects (the colonized people), who would gain little or nothing if left to rule themselves. They claimed that they are the first (the best) race, therefore, the more of the world they inhabit, the better it is for the human race.
  • The growth of European population. Steady growth of the European population led to the quest for new outlets to resettle the surplus population. That was how and when Britain earlier settled some of her people in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and  South Africa. Frederick Fabri: a German nationalist, recommended that Germany makes more colonies of her own to settle poor Germans. The Portuguese and the Dutch also resettled their surplus population in Africa.
  • The Humanitarian Factor. In the 19th century, humanitarians like William Wilberforce and Granville Sharp and their followers in Europe campaigned for the abolition of slavery and slave-trade, arguing that it undermined human dignity and equality. They stressed that antislavery movements could only succeed through effective European occupation of the core areas of the trade and replacing it with legitimate trade.


  • The vast resources in Africa such as minerals, ivory, Game products, palm oil, copra, spices and kola nuts as well as good harbours for ships were very enticing to the foreigners.
  • The existence of well developed trade, with trade routes and centres as well as navigable rivers in the African interior attracted Europeans, who competed with one another to exploit these rich resources.
  • African communities at that time comprised small highly decentralized weak vulnerable political units, which were frequently at war, especially during slave raids.
  • Diseases and natural calamities such as drought, famine, Smallpox and Measles weakened African societies and rendered them easy to conquer.


These were characterised by:

  • The Egyptian question. This referred to ownership of the Suez Canal in Egypt.
  • French activities in the Congo and West Africa.
  • The activities of King Leopold of Belgium.

Explain how the Scramble and partition of Africa was influenced by the following factors:

  • The Egyptian question.
  • French activities in the Congo and West Africa.
  • The activities of King Leopold of Belgium.


  • In 1798, the French under Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt on the pretext of restoring its prosperity and saving it from the tyranny of the Mamluk Beys from Turkey, although, actually, the French wanted to get and use Egypt‟s wealth as a base to invade Britain. This triggered (led to) the construction of the Suez Canal to shorten the route to India and the Far East.
  • Khedive Ismael (the Egyptian ruler from 1863 to 1879) got loans from Britain and France for the construction and opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which left Egypt bankrupt, forcing Egypt to sell her shares in the canal to Britain. In spite of this, Egypt remained indebted to Britain.
  • Britain and France set up a commission to regulate and oversee Egypt‟s debt repayment. But Khedive Ismael clashed with and dismissed the two commissioners that Britain and France sent for the task.
  • France and Britain then pressured the Sultan of Turkey to depose Ismael. This took effect in 1879. Ismael was succeeded by his son Tawfiq, who was just but a puppet of the Europeans.
  • European control of Egypt ignited (started off) a nationalist Egyptian uprising under Colonel Urabi Pasha, which was single handedly crashed by the British at the battle of Tel-El-Kebir as France was busy suppressing a rebellion in Tunisia in 1880. In 1882, the British fully occupied Egypt. This greatly disappointed the French.
  • In return, the French planned to occupy territories to the south of Egypt in order to divert the waters of the Nile and make Egypt a desert, which worried the British since the Nile was Egypt‟s lifeline.
  • Britain occupied Uganda in 1894, Kenya in 1895 and the Sudan in 1898 to utilize and protect Nile waters from French advance and to force Egypt to pay her debt.


Having lost Egypt, the French established themselves in Porto-Novo, which they declared a protectorate in 1828 and planned to occupy more territories in west Africa, which worried British traders already stationed there.

  • Germany joined the race for colonies by occupying Togo, Cameroon, Tanganyika and present-day Namibia.
  • In 1880, Savorgnan De Brazza (an Italian adventurer in the service of France) signed treaties with King Makoko of Congo, which the French accepted in 1882, threatening earlier British and Portuguese claims in the Congo region.


  • With an ambition to establish a personal empire, King Leopold convened the Brussels Geographical conference in 1876, which led to the formation of the International African Association, whose members were drawn from many European countries, aimed at abolishing slave trade, supporting free trade and opening centres of civilization. He tried but failed to send an expedition to the interior.
  • In 1879, Leopold sent Henry Morton Stanley to explore the river Congo. Stanley reported that the River Congo was and would be the grand highway of commerce in west and central Stanley had established communication links between the coast and Stanley Falls.
  • As a result, Stanley created the Congo Free State, which had become Leopold‟s personal empire by 1884.
  • The Portuguese, who claimed to be the initial explorers of the River Congo were distressed by Leopold‟s activities. Portuguese claim over the Congo was recognized by Britain but rejected by France and Belgium. Having lost their control over Egypt, the French turned to West Africa, which explains why France sent De Brazza to sign treaties with King Makoko of the Congo.
  • Germany and Britain voiced their desire for colonies in the Congo region, over which the Portuguese, Belgians, and French wrangled too,, which threatened to spark off war among European nations in Africa.
  • To avoid war, Otto Von Bismarck (the German Chancellor) convened an international conference that became known as the Berlin Conference.



 Explain one immediate reason for the Berlin Conference (1884-1885).

The Europeans came up with a strategy (the 1884-1885 Berlin conference) to peacefully divide Africa among themselves because of the looming (threatening) crisis in the Congo region, which various countries, including Britain, France and Portugal were seeking to occupy.

Describe the Berlin conference (1884-1885).

From 15th November 1884 unto 26th February 1885, Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck of Germany convened a conference in Berlin: Germany, concerned with the Congo and the Niger basins among other issues.

Name the countries that participated in the Berlin conference (1884-1885).

  • Britain,
  • Germany,
  • France,
  • Portugal,
  • Belgium,
  • Italy,
  • The United States of America.

Africans themselves were excluded.

What were the objectives of the Berlin conference?

(Explain the purpose/aims of the Berlin Conference).

  • To set or lay down the rules of the partition.
  • To eliminate conflict among European nations over their expansion into Africa.
  • To define any area effectively occupied by each nation to avoid interference.
  • To sort out different European views on the slave trade and its
  • Establishment of authority in regions under occupation.
  • To safeguard native African interests.
  • To protect traders, scientists, explorers and Christian missionaries from local attacks.
  • To guarantee religious tolerance.
  • To guarantee free trade.
  • To draw the borders of regions under occupation on a map.

State the terms of the Berlin Act.

  • Any state laying claim to any part of Africa had to inform other interested parties.
  • The claims had to be discussed and ratified if they were justifiable.
  • All signatories had to declare their spheres of influence I.E. an area under each nation‟s occupation.
  • Effective occupation had to be established in an area once the area was declared a sphere of influence.
  • Any power acquiring territory in Africa had to undertake stamping out of slave trade and safeguard African interests.
  • The River Congo and River Niger basins were left free for any interested power to navigate.
  • If a European power claimed a certain part of the African coast, the land in the interior or behind the coastal possession became the coastal claimant‟s sphere of influence.
  • Any country that wished to declare a protectorate in Africa had to show that its authority in the region was firm enough to protect existing European rights and guarantee free trade.

Analyse the Partition of Africa among European powers. (Explain how the European powers divided up Africa among themselves.)

  • Britain got Kenya and Uganda in east Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe in central Africa, Bechuanaland, Basutoland, Swaziland and the Union of South Africa in southern Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia and Sierra Leone in west Africa, Egypt and Sudan in North Africa and British Somaliland in north-eastern Africa.
  • France got Ivory Coast, Senegal, Benin, Bokinaphaso, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and Niger in West Africa, Chad, French Central Africa and French Congo in central Africa, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco in North Africa and French Somaliland and Eritrea in North-Eastern Africa.
  • Germany got Tanganyika in east Africa, Rwanda and Burundi in Central Africa, Togo and Cameroon in west Africa and Namibia in south-west Africa.
  • Belgium got Belgium Congo (former Zaire but now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in central Africa.
  • Portugal got Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea.
  • Spain got Spanish Guinea and Spanish morocco. Ø Italy got Libya and Italian Somaliland.
  • The Niger went to Britain as King Leopold‟s claim over Congo was recognized.

Explain the impact/results of the partition of Africa. (What were the effects/consequences of the partition of Africa?)

  • The Europeans gained fame, prestige and recognition by having colonial possessions. For example, by acquiring colonies, France regained the self-esteem she had lost when she was defeated in the Franco-Prussian war. By being a colonial power, she acquired a new position in the political map of Europe.
  • European powers‟ economic growth speeded up. European industries grew as  Africa provided raw materials, labour and market, which promoted trade with huge profits. E.G. King Leopold ii) monopolized the Congo trade, favouring the Belgian economy. However, Africans suffered as their economies were disrupted by the Europeans.
  • Drawing of present-day boundaries in Africa as Europeans set up their spheres of influence.
  • Border conflicts in Africa since present-day boundaries were drawn without considering the existing boundaries and ethnic groups.
  • Introduction of European administrative systems throughout the African continent. E.g. the French applied Assimilation as the British used both Direct and Indirect rule.
  • Introduction of European languages in Africa such as English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German, Etc.
  • Some African communities were split as present-day boundaries were drawn.

E.G. the Somali are found in Kenya, Ethiopia,  Somalia and Djibouti. The Maasai are found in Kenya and Tanzania and the Ewe are found in Ghana and Togo.

  • Collapse of African kingdoms and other systems such as Asante and Dahomey as Africa fell under European occupation.
  • Introduction of the monitory economy in Africa.
  • Economic disruption and exploitation of Africans by the Europeans through land alienation, forced labour and taxation. Agriculture, trade, industry as well as transport and communication were developed for the benefit of the colonial masters.
  • Introduction of Western education, medicine and culture, thus undermining the indigenous African set-up.
  • Formation of postcolonial African states, based on the territories set up after the partition.
  • Continued diplomatic and other ties between Africa and the European countries.
  • Neo-colonialism due to unchecked overdependence of African countries on Europe for financial and technical support.

Therefore, without the high level of technology in Europe, the Scramble for and Partition of Africa would not have been possible. With military advancement as well as the discovery, invention and development of steamships, railway transport, sophisticated weapons and Quinine to cure malaria, the Europeans were an upper hand over the Africans. 21st century Africa is now the focus of a new scramble, which requires African leaders to adopt policies that will end the syndrome of dependence on foreigners and lay out strategies to save Africa from and ultimately stamp out neo-colonialism.



Into what categories could African reaction to European colonization be classified.

(Describe the types of African reaction exhibited against European colonization. Or:

In what ways did Africans react to European colonization?

African reaction to foreign invasion could be classified into:

  • Resistance, whereby African communities such as the Nandi, Ndebele, Mandinka, Pogoro and Giriama refused to cooperate with the invaders. Ø Collaboration, whereby certain African communities like the Lozi, Baganda, Creoles, Wanga and Maasai cooperated with the foreigners.
  • Mixed Reaction whereby some African communities E.G. the Luo and the Agikuyu gave a dual reaction I.E. some of them resisted as others collaborated with the foreigners.

Describe two types of African resistance against European colonization

There were two forms of resistance. These were:

  • Active resistance I.E. use of weapons by Africans to fight foreigners and to prevent them from establishing colonial rule over them. Most African groups E.G. those of southern Tanganyika, the Nandi of Kenya, the Mandinka and the Ndebele actively resisted European colonization.
  • Passive resistance I.E. deliberate adoption of a noncooperative approach with the colonizers but devoid of (without) violence. Using this method, some communities refused to work on European farms or to pay taxes as directed by the Europeans. For instance, the Pogoro of Tanganyika refused to pick cotton while the Giriama of Kenya refused to provide young men to fight in the First World War.

 Into what categories could African collaboration to European invasion and colonization be classified?

(Describe the types of Collaboration as exhibited by some African communities towards European invasion and colonization.) There were various categories of collaboration such as:

  • Diplomacy, whereby the concerned communities used delaying tactics to enable them to reorganize themselves before facing the colonizers.
  • Signing treaties, whereby some African communities went into nonaggression agreements with the colonizers.
  • Alliance I.E. cooperation with foreigners in order to acquire Western education, gifts or other goods.
  • Conspiracy, whereby, amidst many inter-ethnic hostilities during European invasion of Africa, some communities undermined the strength of or sought protection from their local enemies by siding with the Europeans.
  • African Hospitality, whereby some African communities welcomed the newcomers in good faith as friends and treated them as part of them.



         THE MAJI-MAJI REBELLION (1905-1907)

 What was the Maji-Maji rebellion? (Define the Maji-Maji uprising.)

The Maji-Maji rebellion was a mass uprising against German rule in Southern Tanganyika. The term Maji-Maji is derived from the Swahili word: Maji, which means Water. It stemmed from the magic water (millet and maize flour mixed in water drawn from river Rufiji), which Kinjekitile Ngwale of Ngaramba: a priest who established himself near river Rufiji and claimed protection by a spirit called Hongo, sprinkled the resisters with, to protect them from German bullets.

Name the communities that were involved in the Maji-Maji uprising.

  • The Zaramo,
  • The Matumbi,
  • The Bena,
  • The Ngindo,
  • The Pogoro,
  • The Bunga,
  • The Ngoni,
  • The Luguru,
  • The Wamwera, v The Ndendeule.

What were the causes of the Maji-Maji rebellion?

(Explain the factors that led to the Maji-Maji uprising. Or:

Explain the reasons for the Maji-Maji resistance. Or:

Explain the purpose of the Maji-Maji uprising).

  • Heavy taxes imposed on them by the German East Africa Company to raise revenue for the administration of the German protectorate. The Matumbi of Northwest Kilwa felt that the Germans should have instead paid them for using their land.
  • Brutality of the Arab Swahilis employed by the German east Africa company to collect Hut tax and recruit labourers.
  • Forced labour and the mistreatment that accompanied it. While at work on cotton fields, roads and even settlers‟ farms, the Africans were whipped and humiliated in their relatives‟ presence. Akidas or Jumbes who treated Africans leniently were flogged too.
  • Oppression, false accusation and torture of Africans by company officials. E.G. Drinking traditional liquor, which in the African eye was not offensive, was punishable with as many as 25 strokes of the cane by the Germans.
  • The Germans and their house-boys disregarded and broke the Ngindo taboo against rape, fornication and adultery, stirring up anger and resentment among the local people, for such crimes were punishable by death.
  • Discredit to and profaning traditional African beliefs, practices and sacred places by Christian missionaries.

Land-alienation, especially in the Usambara, Meru and Kilimanjaro areas, where German settlers snatched massive tracts of land and took up farming from Africans upon completion of the railway lines.

  • Kinjekitile‟s installation of confidence in the Africans by assuring them of immunity to bullets, thus uniting them against the Germans.
  • German introduction of communal cotton growing schemes, on which Africans were compelled to work at the expense of their own farms, due to which African food security dwindled, a situation that was worsened by the fact that the locals paid the money they earned back to the Germans as tax.
  • Subjection of locals in dry southern areas that were unsuitable for agriculture to cotton growing, which caused them heavy losses due to crop failure and more disappointment since cotton was not an edible crop.
  • The locals wanted to guard their independence.

 Explain the course/process of the Maji-Maji rebellion.

  • The resisters were mobilized and united against the Germans in 1904 through religion by their leaders: Kinjekitile Ngwale, Abdala Mpanda and Ngamea. Kinjekitile appealed to the resisters by telling them that their ancestors would be resurrected. He assured them of immunity to German bullets by sprinkling magic water (a mixture of millet and maize flour and water drawn from River Rufiji) on the forehead of each fighter, who he then committed to war. Kinjekitile‟s ideas spread rapidly and secretly through a whispering campaign called Njwiywia or Jujila by the Matumbi.
  • In July 1905, Matumbi workers boycotted cotton picking in their region. The Pogoro followed by uprooting cotton from an Akida‟s farm at Nandete. They then attacked government posts and officials.
  • Rapid spreading of news caused the people of Kichi, Uzaramo, Uluguru and Ungindo to join the war. The fighters combined Guerrilla tactics and open battles.
  • In August 1905, the town of Samanga was burnt down. European farms, offices and missions were attacked while a number of Arabs, Swahilis as well as the Germans themselves and Africans working for the Germans were killed.
  • In the very August 1905, the Germans began killing Africans, especially the leaders of the revolt.
  • In 1907, the Germans, under Governor Graf Von Gotzen, got reinforcement from Germany and from other German administered African regions. The Germans then adopted a Scorched-Earth policy, destroying all property on sight.
  • The resisting Africans either surrendered or fled to Mozambique since the magic water failed to protect them from bullets, leaving them demoralized due to the defeat they suffered.

Earlier on, the Nyamwezi, the Chagga, the Gogo and the Hehe revolted but suffered enormously in the hands of the Germans, which explains why they did not join the Maji-Maji rebellion.

 Explain the role of religion in the organization of the Maji Maji war. (In what ways did religion fuel the Maji Maji uprising)?

  • It gave hope, courage confidence and loyalty and also reason to fight white oppression
  • It gave spiritual strength to fight a superior military force
  • Through religion, suspicions among communities were wiped out
  • People were undoubtedly convinced that the magic water (Maji) would make people immune to European bullets
  • It bore the aspect of a religious cult e.g. Bokero / Kolelo promised that the white would be destroyed
  • It stood above tribal loyalty (people were out to fight, regardless of the difference of their tribes.)
  • It provided the ideology which guided the war efforts
  • It sustained the morale of the warriors
  • It provided a common plan of action and a basis for mass action
  • It provided leadership in wars e.g. prophetic leaders
  • It united displeased groups
  • Grievances were many because of the hash rules of German administrators.
  • religion was used to address this  It was amass movement against German colonial rule

Why did the Maji-Maji rebellion fail?

(Explain why the Maji-Maji resisters were defeated).

  • German weapons and skills were superior to those of the Africans following their reinforcement from Germany and German administered African colonies in addition to having well trained soldiers.
  • Lack of success of the already too weak religious background to the revolt, for many warriors were killed for lack of protection from Kinjekitile‟s magic water.
  • Disunity and poor coordination among the revolters, of which the Germans took advantage.
  • the Germans received reinforcement, with more weapons and mercenary soldiers, which made their force larger than that of the African warriors, who did not have adequate weapons.
  • The 1907 famine and the Scorched-Earth policy used by the Germans forced some groups to abandon the fight.
  • Collaboration by some communities such as the Mahenge, who joined and increased the power of the Germans against their fellow Africans.

 What were the effects of the Maji-Maji resistance? (Explain the results/consequences of the Maji-Maji uprising).

  • High death rate on the side of the Africans due to disease, starvation and the might of the German force.
  • Great destruction of property as a result of the Scorched-Earth policy applied by the Germans.
  • Severe famine due to disruption of agriculture, trade and other economic activities.
  • Loss of leadership, which disorganized and demoralized African communities due to capture, arrest and killing of their leaders by German forces.
  • Displacement as people fled in different directions in search of food and security.
  • The war undermined the German economy in Tanganyika as numerous economic activities came to a standstill.
  • Disillusionment due to failure of the war, which led to keener tribal differences, characterised by ill feelings on their varied roles during the war.

Loss of confidence in African traditional religion as Kinjekitile‟s magic water failed to protect the resisters from German bullets.

  • The resisters had to submit to colonial rule following their defeat. They realized the need for better weapons and organization to tackle the colonialists.
  • The uprising later united more communities in Tanganyika than ever before, laying the foundation for Tanganyika‟s nationalism.
  • The people of south-eastern Tanganyika resorted to constitutional protest in their struggle for independence, having learned of the folly of taking up arms against a colonial master with better, organized and superior weapons.
  • Future Tanzanian nationalists drew inspiration from lessons learnt during the revolt.
  • The Germans reformed their colonial system to avoid recurrence of such a war.

 In what ways did disunity and poor coordination among the revolters undermine the Maji-Maji rebellion?

(In what ways did the Germans take advantage of the disunity and poor coordination among the Maji-Maji revolters? Or:

Explain how disunity and poor coordination among the revolters led to failure of the Maji-Maji uprising Or:

In what ways did the Germans benefit from disunity and poor coordination among the Maji-Maji revolters?)

  • Some such as the Hehe, Nyamwezi, Chagga and Gogo did not join the revolt. v Some such as the Matumbi revolted even before others were ready.
  • There was poor coordination on the part of the African warriors, of which the Germans took advantage by subduing a group at a time.
  • Some tribes surrendered amidst increasing German military pressure as others unsuccessfully fought on.
  • African tribal leaders, including Kinjekitile and Mpanda were captured and executed, which demoralized the warriors.
  • The African warriors lacked strategy since they did not have a single leader.

Because of this, the tribal leaders did not coordinate their activities.

 Explain the reforms made by the Germans following the Maji-Maji uprising.

  • Rejection of extra taxation of Africans.
  • Ending of forced labour, which they replaced with wage labour.
  • Involvement of Africans in local administration.
  • Study of their colonial policies from time to time, fearing rise of another revolt.
  • Studied and learned to speak local African languages such as Kiswahili as they taught the people how to speak German.

Therefore, the Maji-Maji rebellion was a lesson both to the Germans and the Africans. The Germans improved their rule and stopped taking Africans for granted. The Africans resorted to constitutional rather than armed pursuit of independence.



The Mandinka Empire under Samouri Toure was one of West Africa‟s greatest states, with Toure as one of the most remarkable empire builders at the height of the European Scramble for and Partition of Africa.

Explain the background/origin of Samouri Toure and his Mandinka empire.

  • Samouri Ibn Lafiya Toure was born in 1830 to the Dyula Long-Distance traders‟ clan of the Mandinka in Sanankoro village in the south-east of Kan-Kan in present day Guinea. He founded the Mandinka empire and was one of the greatest leaders of resistance to European rule in west Africa.
  • In Samouri‟s teenage, Samouri‟s mother was captured by Sori Birama: a local chief in whose army Samouri served for seven years to win his mother‟s release.
  • Being a professional soldier, Samouri created an empire by uniting the many warring principalities of the Mandinka people.
  • In the 1860s, Toure captured Kamadugu. In 1866, he made Bisandugu his capital. He then conquered states such as Toron, Wasulonke, Konia and Kan-Kan. In 1874, he became the spiritual and political leader of the Mandinka.
  • As he embarked on extending his empire westwards towards Kenyeran next to the rich gold-fields of Bure, he clashed with the French in 1882, leading to a FrancoMandinka war in 1885, which Samouri lost.
  • Samouri unsuccessfully urged the British to support him and declare his empire a British Protectorate. The British, in respect to the Berlin Act, did not want a conflict with France.
  • Samouri then adopted Diplomacy in dealing with France. He signed the Bisandugu treaty, according to which some temporary boundaries were recognized as Samouri gave all his northern Niger territories to the French as he controlled Bure.
  • In preparation for the Tukolor conquest, the French convinced Toure to place the Mandinka under French protection by amending the Bisandugu treaty, which he did, hoping to easily sign a treaty of friendship with the British and secure trade routes from the north under Tieba of Sikaso.
  • Soon, Franco-Mandinka tension increased as the Mandinka and the French accused one another for breaking the Bisandugu treaty.

 Describe the organization of Toure’s administration over Mandinka.

(Explain how Samouri Toure organized/exercised his administration over the Mandinka empire. Or:

Analyse the structure of Toure‟s administration over the Mandinka.)

Toure created and controlled a large empire in the Upper Niger through the following structure of administration:

  • The empire comprised provinces, which were further divided into districts, each of which consisted of twenty villages, administered by chiefs, soldiers and religious leaders.
  • A large standing army was kept in charge of expansion and defence of the empire. In it were professional soldiers (Sofa) and Cadets (Bilakor), with different uniforms to distinguish their ranks.
  • Toure himself had a well trained body-Guard of 500 men, an infantry and Cavalry.
  • As overall leader of the empire, Toure was commander in chief of all the forces.
  • He divided his army into three groups, the first of which engaged the enemy and was armed with rifles. The second organized the people on their migration as the third conquered new areas for the settlement of the people.

What were the causes of the Franco-Mandinka war (1891-1898)?

(Explain the factors that led to the Franco-Mandinka war (1891-1898). Or: What were the reasons for the Franco-Mandinka war (1891-1898)?)

  • Samouri wanted total independence for his empire.
  • He could not stand (tolerate) nonmuslims on his land.
  • The French wanted to occupy Mandinka through Military force, which was too provocative to bear.
  • Samouri could not imagine losing the rich Bure mines to the French. In fact, for him, the Bisandugu treaty was only meant to buy time to consolidate his army for a major attack against the French.
  • The French threatened Samouri‟s territorial expansion by claiming ownership of the areas into which his people were migrating, which was dangerous to the military and economic supremacy enjoyed by the Mandinka at the time the French came. Ø Samouri‟s failure in his scheme to play off the British against the French.
  • French supply of arms to Toure‟s enemies such as Tieba of Sikaso.
  • He felt confident and competent to go to war with the French, having equipped his soldiers with modern weapons as well as home-made guns.
  • He wanted to preserve the Mandinka culture.

  Explain the course/process of the Franco-Mandinka war.

  • The French organized their forces against Samouri to force him to withdraw his claims over the Kita Bamako railway area in 1883. This increased FrancoMandinka hostility.
  • To calm the situation, the French approached Samouri for a boundary settlement, which led to the treaty of Bisandugu in March 1886, by which France was given the northern river Niger territory in return for her friendship, to avert further conflicts and, hopefully, to establish an Anglo-Mandinka alliance for arms procurement from Freetown to boost Samouri‟s military might.
  • Realizing the French intension of confrontation with his people and occupation of his territory, Samouri again unsuccessfully sought British protection, for the British accepted France‟s claim over the Mandinka empire in return for French concessions elsewhere in Africa.
  • In 1890, France sparked off conflict between the Tukolor and the Mandinka by attacking Segu. They also quietly urged Tieba of Sikaso to attack Samouri, who repudiated the treaty of friendship.
  • In 1891, war broke out between the French and the Mandinka, each accusing the other of breaking the Bisandugu treaty. Samouri faced the French alone after failing to get British support. Through Guerrilla warfare, he used the south-east forestlands to launch night attacks.
  • He armed his soldiers with Repeater Rifles, avoiding pitched battles and the massing of his troops in fortified camps as he slowly retreated eastwards.
  • From the new site, Samouri intensified his resistance against the French. He unsuccessfully sought alliances with the Asante of what is now Ghana as well as the British once more. But Samouri fought and defeated a French column in 1895 and a British one in
  • After putting up a strong and long resistance, Samouri surrendered in 1898 and was deported by the French to Gabon. He had run short of food, guns and horses. Ø Samouri Toure died in 1900, having failed to defend his empire against French imperialism, though he succeeded in waging a long war.

Indeed, Samouri‟s resistance was an inspiration to modern African nationalists and leaders in Guinea.


 Identify the techniques that Samouri Toure applied in his resistance against French invasion.

He applied modern techniques such as:

  • Surprise attacks,
  • Ambush,
  • The Scorched-Earth policy Ø The mass movement of the population.

 Describe three divisions of Samouri Toure’s army.

  • That which encountered the French,
  • That which organized the population on their migration to evade French confrontation.
  • That which conquered new lands to settle the people.

 Explain why Samouri Toure resisted the French for long. (Why did it take long for the French to defeat Samouri Toure? Or:

Explain the reasons for Samouri Toure‟s long resistance against the French.)

  • He had a large disciplined well-trained army, equipped with modern weapons.
  • His army successfully engaged in Guerrilla warfare apart from fighting in familiar terrain. This made the Mandinka too difficult for the French to control.
  • The eastwards Mandinka retreat and the Scorched-Earth policy they used delayed advance by and weakened the French.
  • Samouri used his great trade-based riches to buy fire-arms and horses for his large army.
  • There were local gun-smiths, on who Samouri relied when unable to buy firearms from the coast.
  • Samouri considered his war with the French a Jihad against European infidels, who he did not want to occupy his land and was ready to fight to the bitter end, being himself a devout Muslim.
  • Unity within the army and among civilians, which gave him time to resist foreign invasion instead of suppressing internal rivalry.
  • He was a skilled soldier with organizational skills. This delayed his capture.
  • Samouri‟s people (the Mandinka) were united during the war as they moved eastwards. This enabled Samouri to establish a second empire, with the capital at Dabakala.
  • Samouri had military workshops that supplied him with weapons and repaired defective weapons.

 Why was Samouri Toure finally defeated by the French?

(Explain why Samouri Toure lost/failed in his fight against the French. Or: What were the reasons for Samouri Toure‟s defeat by the French?)

  • He and his people ran short of supplies due to limited or lack of involvement in economic activities as his army and people were constantly on the move.
  • His scorched-Earth policy was resented, especially by civilians, who remained with nothing.
  • He lacked support from the nonmandinka and nonmuslim communities in the empire, who felt mistreated under his reign and even supported the French against him.
  • He lost some of the territories he had earlier occupied, especially the rich gold reserves of Bure and the link to Freetown, which left him economically unstable, unable to pay his warriors and mercenaries.
  • The arms manufactured by his gun smiths eventually proved inadequate.
  • His second empire was open to attacks from all sides, especially by the British and French, which made it difficult to defend.
  • The British denied Samouri their support due to their policy of non-interference.
  • As he expanded his empire, Samouri clashed with other African rulers such as Tieba of Sikaso and Seku Ahmadu of the Tukolor empire, who later supported the French against him.
  • His retreat to Liberia was blocked and his capital besieged. Because of this, he surrendered to the French.
  • He was old and unable to control his large army.

 What were the results/consequences of Samouri Toure’s resistance against the French?

(Explain the effects of the Franco-Mandinka war (1891-1898).) Ø Massive loss of life.

  • Destruction of property.
  • Disruption of mining and trading activities and loss of the Bure goldmines to the French.
  • Famine as farming was neglected during the war.
  • Misery, suffering and displacement of people during the war, most of who fled to Ghana and the Ivory Coast to avoid French conquest.
  • Samouri was captured and exiled to Gabon in 1896, leading to loss of leadership.
  • Creation of the second Mandinka empire.
  • The Mandinka empire lost its independence.
  • The resistance inspired nationalism in Guinea and, later on, the entire Africa.



Trace the origin of the Ndebele and their resistance to European invasion and occupation.

  • The Ndebele descended from the Nguni-speaking Bantu of South Africa. ü Under Mzilikazi, the Ndebele migrated from South Africa to Mashonaland in Zimbabwe and to central Africa during the 1820-1828 Mfecane wars.
  • By 1837, the Ndebele had subdued and captured parts of Mashonaland, which they occupied and renamed Matebele.
  • The Shona were pushed farther north but still remained under Ndebele domination politically, economically and socially.
  • By the 1870s, the Portuguese, Germans, British and Boers had visited Matebeleland for hunting and mining concessions.
  • Lobengula, who reigned in the course of the coming of the Europeans, delayed for some time in granting them concessions.
  • In 1888, Lobengula met Cecil John Rhodes: a South African Millionaire, whose aim was to colonize central Africa for Britain. Rhodes convinced the British High Commissioner at the Cape colony to obtain a treaty from Lobengula with the help of Reverent Robert Moffat, who seemingly was on good terms with the Ndebele. Robert Moffat was the leader of the London missionary Society, who in 1859 became the first  group of missionaries to settle in Matebeleland.
  • That same 1888, Lobengula was persuaded to sign the Moffat Friendship Treaty, which stated that Lobengula was not to sign any other treaty with other European groups without the permission of the British. This treaty therefore paved way for British occupation of Zimbabwe, which was not in Lobengula‟s intention.
  • To ensure British monopoly over Matebeleland, Cecil Rhodes sent Charles Rudd, Thompson and Maguire to Lobengula, which led to the signing of the 1888 Rudd Concession.
  • In 1890, Cecil Rhodes obtained a charter allowing him to do more than agreed in the Rudd concession. With this charter from the British government, Rhodes planned to occupy Mashonaland and sent a group of 200 settlers (together known as the Pioneer Column), who arrived and were sent to settle in Mashonaland in September
  • In 1891, the British recognized the occupation of Mashonaland by the British South Africa Company, which was given the duty to administer the region. An administrator and a judge were then sent by the British government to

Mashonaland, which alarmed Lobengula who sent messengers to Cape town to state the terms of the Rudd Concession.

State the conditions that Lobengula spelt out to the British during the making of the Rudd concession (1888).

  • That the Europeans protect Lobengula‟s people: the Ndebele.
  • That there be not more than ten Whites on the land at any one time. ü That other Whites be notified through the mass media to stay away from Matebeleland.

However, these conditions were not incorporated in the final text of the Rudd concession. When the terms of the Rudd Concession were interpreted to Lobengula, Lobengula learnt that he had been tricked into surrendering his kingdom to the Europeans.

 State the terms of the Rudd concession (1888).

  • Rhodes obtained a charter for the British South Africa Company from the British government in 1891.
  • The Rudd concession gave Cecil Rhodes full charge over all metals and minerals in Lobengula‟s territory.
  • Lobengula was awarded a monthly payment of 100 pounds, 1,000 rifles and ammunition on agreeing not to grant any land concessions or mineral rights without Rhodes‟ consent.
  • Lobengula was to get either a gunboat on River Zambezi or 500 pounds instead.

 State the implications of British occupation of Mashonaland.

  • The Ndebele no longer had power over the Shona.
  • Since the Shona enjoyed British protection, the Ndebele could not raid the Shona for cattle and women.
  • Trade, which was controlled by the king, was now in the hands of the British. ü The powers and influence of the Ndebele king were greatly minimized.



  1. Identify the factors that sparked off the 1893 Ndebele war against the British.
  • The British treacherously occupied Mashonaland, determined to permanently destroy Ndebele power.
  • The British incited the Shona to raid the Ndebele for cattle and other commodities in order to provoke the Ndebele to attack the Shona, in which case the British would then fight the Ndebele under the pretext of protecting their interests in Mashonaland.
  • Ndebele Indunas attempted to punish some Shona who had disobeyed Lobengula by pursuing and attacking the Shona and raiding White settlements to recapture their stolen cattle.
  1. Explain the course/process of the 1893 Ndebele war against the British.
  • The war broke out in October 1893. Given the might of the British Army and the fact that Ndebele warriors had inferior weapons and had been weakened by smallpox, Lobengula chose not to confront the British forces in an open war.
  • The Ndebele were easily and decisively defeated. Lobengula and his people fled northwards from their Bulawayo capital.
  • With Lobengula‟s death in 1894, Ndebele Indunas were so demoralised that they surrendered to the British.

 What were the results/consequences of the 1893 Ndebele war?

  • Introduction/imposition of Hut tax,
  • Establishment of a Native department,
  • British South Africa Company control of the Southern Rhodesia colony.
  • Creation of Reserve territories i.e. Gwai and Shangani for the Ndebele, who together with the Shona were forced to work in European homes, mines and farms.
  • Their cattle were snatched from them.
  • Great hostility between the Europeans and the Africans in Matebeleland and Mashonaland.
  • The Chimurenga war, which was a Shona-Ndebele revolt against the British South Africa Company and the White Settlers.

 State the powers that the British South Africa company was given by the 1894 Ndebele Order-In-Council.

  • To levy Hut tax,
  • To establish a Native department,
  • To control the Southern Rhodesia colony.

The 1894 Ndebele Order-In-Council was an immediate move by the British invaders to bring Mashonaland, Matebeleland and the entire present-day Zimbabwe under British settler control after the defeat of Lobengula and disintegration of the system of government in Mashonaland and Matebeleland. Since the settlers were still very few, the Council handed Mashonaland and Matebeleland to the British South Africa Company.



1.(What was the Chimurenga? (Define the Chimurenga uprising).

The Chimurenga was a Shona-Ndebele rebellion against the British South Africa Company and the White Settlers.

What were the causes of the 1896-1897 Chimurenga war?

(Explain the factors that led to the 1896-1897 Chimurenga war. Or: What were the reasons for the 1896-1897 Shona-Ndebele war?)

  • Loss of independence, especially for the Ndebele, whose Indunas were powerless due to destruction of their social and political institutions such as the Caste and Regimental systems.
  • Land alienation. Both Matebele and Mashonaland were occupied by the British, leaving the Ndebele and the Shona in reserves and as servants to the settlers.
  • Loss of livestock. Shona-Ndebele cattle were either confiscated by the British south Africa Company or died of Rinderpest epidemic. Instead of helping in combating the disease, British officials ordered that the cattle be shot and burnt to prevent the disease from spreading.
  • Imposition of Hut tax which was forcefully and brutally collected by the Company administration.
  • Forced labour. Africans were forced to work on farms and in mines for Europeans, during which they were cruelly treated.
  • The use of the Native police force, which largely comprised the Shona, who mistreated the Ndebele because of the way the Ndebele had treated them badly before the coming of the British.
  • Interference by Company officials in the Shona-Portuguese trade, assuming over lordship in Mashonaland while the Shona actually regarded them as trading partners.
  • Total British disregard of traditional African leaders such as the Indunas among the Ndebele and the Mwari-Mulimo spirit-leaders among the Shona.
  • Natural calamities like drought, famine and locust invasion, which, according to the Shona and the Ndebele, showed God‟s displeasure with the presence of white men in Matebele and Mashonaland.
  • Influence from traditional religious leaders like Kakubi and Nehanda in Mashonaland and Mkwati in Matebeleland, who assured people of God‟s protection and immunity from British bullets, thus encouraging many more to join in the rebellion.
  • The 1895-1896 Jameson raid, due to which company forces in Zimbabwe were greatly reduced, creating a power-vacuum and making the Shona and Ndebele sure of winning.
  • failure of the Jameson raid, which made the Shona and Ndebele realize that white people could be defeated just like any other human beings.
  • Cruelty of Europeans in dealing with Africans. For instance, they would threaten black people with punishment just before payday to make Africans run away without pay, which aggrieved the local people.
  • The 1893 Ndebele war with the British, which eroded Ndebele traditional authority by destroying their monarchy. The people resented this violation.
  • Recruitment of the Shona into the Native police force, which the Ndebele resented.

 Analyse the process of the 1896-1897 Chimurenga war.

(Explain the course of the 1896-1897 Shona-Ndebele war).

  • In January 1896, the Commissioner of Matebeleland: Doctor Leander Starr Jameson, took most of the police to Transvaal in an attempt to take it over from the Boers. But he was defeated. Ndebele and Shona warriors took advantage of the police absence and easily invaded the British.
  • In March 1896, the Ndebele High Priest, with the help of senior Indunas, planned to install Umfezala as Lobengula‟s successor. Murder of some policemen made the plan fail.
  • Using whatever weapons they could get, the rebels started killing African policemen employed by the British South Africa Company as well as Europeans on their isolated farms.
  • Urging the rebels to drive foreigners away, the African religious leaders attributed the various natural calamities affecting them to the presence of Whites and promised the people immunity and God‟s protection from British Bullets if they remained united in the fight against the British.
  • African policemen employed by Europeans deserted and joined their African colleagues. Men, women and children, all participated in the fight to send away the white man.
  • The two communities fought separately. In Matebeleland, warriors were organized by Lobengula‟s son: Nyamanda and the Ndebele chief priest: Ungulu, while the Shona were organized by Banda and Tishiwa.
  • Fighting was so fierce that the British South Africa Company was unable to quell it immediately. Major Plumer had to call for reinforcements, which were brought from Botswana and other parts of southern Africa.
  • On realizing that they could not confront the British at war, the rebels adopted Guerrilla warfare in the Matopo and other hills.
  • The Ndebele revolt ended in December 1896 when the Ndebele agreed to peace talks,, which were also favoured by Cecil Rhodes. After listening to the grievances presented by Ndebele Indunas, Rhodes agreed to disband the Shona police and give Ndebele headmen some power. The Indunas became headmen, but the African chiefs were severely punished.
  • The Shona continued, but with the Ndembele warriors out of the way, the British were able to crash the Shona uprising in October 1897. In spite of long resistance, the Shona and Ndebele were eventually defeated, making way for imposition of colonial rule on them and the entire Zimbabwe.

Why did the Chimurenga revolt fail?

(Explain why the Shona and Ndebele were defeated in their 1896-1897 uprising against the British. Or:

What were the reasons for the defeat of the Shona and Ndebele in their 1896-1897 revolt against the British?)

The Shona and Ndebele were defeated in their uprising against the British because of various factors such as:

  • disunity among the Africans, whose lack of coordination made it easy for the British to deal with one group at a time.
  • Futility of the strong religious belief in the Mwari cult, which worked against the
  • Lack of unity of purpose in Ndebele social classes as former aristocrats fought on their own.
  • Rhodes‟ determination to suppress the resistance and establish effective occupation, which called for negotiation for peace with the Ndebele Indunas. ü Ending of the war with the Ndebele in 1896, which eased the quashing of the Shona revolt in 1897.
  • Superior weapons on the British side.
  • Arrest and execution of Shona and Ndebele leaders e.g. Nehanda, Kakubi and Singinyamatshe.
  • The fact that the British army was large and comprised well trained and more organized soldiers, unlike the less-skilled African warriors.
  • The fact that the British got reinforcement from Botswana and South Africa.
  • Natural calamities such as drought, livestock diseases and locusts, which had devastating effects on Africans, making them too weak to deal with aggressors.
  • The Indunas‟ lack of military practice by the time of the uprising as the British broke African social and political institutions.

What were the results/effects of the Chimurenga uprising?

(Discuss/explain the consequences of the Shona-Ndebele war (1896-1897).)

  • Africans lost their independence to British authority. Mashonaland and Matebele were united into one to become Southern Rhodesia.
  • Many people were killed.
  • Allot of property was destroyed.
  • African land was alienated (taken away by force) and people were pushed into Reserves and were forced to work in mines and on European farms.
  • The Africans lost faith in their traditional religious beliefs, causing their leaders to lose the traditional support they previously enjoyed.
  • Recognition of Indunas as headmen while the Shona police were restationed in the Ndebele area after talks between Cecil Rhodes and the Indunas.
  • The Africans were exposed to severe famine as the war hindered farming.
  • Company rule was discredited by the colonial office due to poor administration.
  • The Africans lost a lot of livestock, some of which died of diseases while others were confiscated.
  • Many Africans were converted to Christianity and therefore lost their traditional culture and beliefs.
  • The Ndebele, who surrendered earlier, got some favours from the British, which the Shona did not enjoy.
  • Rhodesia had to order for grain from South Africa due to famine caused by the war.
  • Shona-Ndebele unity during the war, which encouraged them to intensify their struggle for independence in the 20th
  • The Shona were worst of after the revolt, because, unlike the Ndebele. Shona leaders were captured and hanged and their chiefs disregarded by the colonialists.



Various African communities, particularly the Baganda in present-day Uganda and the Lozi of Zambia, collaborated with European colonizers.


 Trace/explain the origin of the Lozi.

  • Founders of the Lozi (Luyi) society may have moved southwards from the Shaba/Katanga region in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo from mid 17th century AD.
  • They slowly subdued the societies they found in the Zambezi valley to establish a very powerful Lozi kingdom in present-day Zambia.
  • Lozi rulers (Litunga) claimed direct descent from God, due to which the royal class was highly regarded.
  • During the reign of Lewanika, Europeans began to move into and claim large areas in Africa. Lewanika signed many agreements with them hoping to preserve and retain his kingdom‟s independence and his position as king. The Lozi eventually came under the rule of the British.

Explain why King Lewanika of the Lozi collaborated with the British.

(What were the reasons for Lozi collaboration with the British?)

The following factors caused king Lewanika to lead his society into collaborating with the British:

  • He wanted to protect his position and state, for he came to power after a bitter struggle with the Kololo and was willing to welcome a stronger power for protection.
  • He was greatly influenced by missionaries, whose medicine and formal education he hoped to gain from.
  • He was urged by chief Khama of the Ngwato to accept British protection. Khama spoke highly of the missionaries and the British and enumerated the benefits of cooperating.
  • He wanted to promote trade between his people and the British and desired to protect the economic activities of his people E.G. fishing and agriculture. He wanted protection from local enemies, particularly the Sesheke chiefs.
  • He was influenced by missionaries like Francois Coillard to seek British protection.
  • He needed protection from his external enemies: the Ndebele.
  • He felt threatened by the British, the Boers and the Germans, one of who he chose to collaborate with for security.

Identify the treaties that Lewanika signed with the British.

  • The treaty with Harry Ware: a British citizen (1889).
  • The Lochner treaty (1890).
  • The Lawley treaty (1898).
  • The Coryndon treaty (1900).

Analyse the course/process of Lozi collaboration with the British.

(Explain the process/course of Lewanika‟s collaboration with the British).

Lewanika‟s collaboration came through signing treaties with the British South Africa Company, who tricked Lewanika into believing that they were representatives of the British government as follows:

  • In 1885, Lewanika met Francois Coillard of the Paris Evangelical Mission, who helped him to write a letter asking for British protection and therefore repudiate the rivalry between the Boers, British and Portuguese over central Africa. He hoped that, being the strongest, the British would protect the Lozi from other Europeans.
  • In 1889, after consultation with his councillors, Lewanika sought British protection. Shortly later, he was visited by Harry Ware (a British citizen) for a Mineral Concession, which Lewanika granted by signing what became known as the Ware treaty, allowing ware to mine in Bulozi for twenty years.
  • Ware sold his concession to two other prospectors, who in turn sold it to the British South Africa Company, which sent Frank Lochner to explain these matters to Lewanika.
  • Lochner met Lewanika in 1890. Lewanika signed the Lochner treaty.
  • In 1897, the British South Africa company sent Major Robert T. Coryndon (a former police officer) as the British Resident in Bulozi. Coryndon established his headquarters at Sesheke.
  • In 1898, Lewanika met Arthur Lawley: the Matebeleland administrator, with whom he signed the Lawley treaty, which, in addition to its terms, repeated most of the provisions of the earlier treaties.
  • In October 1900, Robert T. Coryndon arranged for and drew another agreement (the Coryndon treaty) with Lewanika.
  • With the 1900 Coryndon treaty, Bulozi kingdom was dealt a Death blow. Lewanika‟s powers were reduced, making him just an employee of the British South Africa Company. However, Lewanika signed treaties believing that the British were genuine, only to lose his kingdom and independence.

State the terms of the following treaties between Lewanika and the British:

  • The Lochner treaty (1890), The Lawley treaty (1898), § The Coryndon treaty (1900).


  • That the British South Africa Company would exercise exclusive mining rights in Bulozi except in certain farming and iron mining areas.
  • That Lewanika would be paid 2000 Sterling pounds annually and royalties for all minerals mined in the area.
  • That the British South Africa Company would undertake building schools,, promote trade and develop telegraphy.
  • That Bulozi would be protected against external aggression.
  • That Lewanika would be a constitutional rather than an absolute king.
  • That a British Resident would be posted to Bulozi to monitor Company activities and advise Lewanika on foreign affairs.


The Lawley treaty repeated most of the provisions of the earlier treaties in addition to its following terms:

  • Judicial and administrative rights over White men in Lewanika‟s territory belonged to the British South Africa Company.
  • The British South Africa Company undertook provision of education, telegraphic, postal, transport and communication links to the Lozi.
  • The size of the area governed by Lewanika was reduced.
  • Lewanika was required (and he promised) to end slavery and witchcraft in his dominion.


  • The company‟s administrator would be answerable to the High Commissioner at the Cape. Here, administration in Bulozi was put in the hands of the British government.
  • The British South Africa Company would appoint officials and pay for the administration of Bulozi.
  • The British South Africa Company would provide schools, industries, postal services, transport and telegraphic facilities.
  • Lewanika would only receive 850 Sterling pounds annually as his stipend.
  • Traditional Lozi rights over game, ironworking and tree cutting for canoe building were guaranteed.
  • The British South Africa Company was allowed to acquire land on the Batoka plateau.
  • The company still had the right to prospect for minerals in Bulozi.
  • Lewanika was required to stop slavery and witchcraft in his area.
  • Lewanika was made Chief of Barotse. However, this power was reduced as many white settlers arrived and wanted a greater share in the protectorate government.

What were the results of Lewanika’s collaboration with the British?

(Explain the effects/consequences of Lozi collaboration with the British.)

  • Other leaders in the region E.G. Kasempa of Kaonde were persuaded to accept British protection.
  • Lozi aristocracy was broken and the royal class reduced to tax collectors of the British South Africa Company.
  • Lewanika‟s power was reduced to that of a mere figurehead with the title of Paramount Chief as more white settlers arrived in Bulozi.
  • Lewanika gradually lost control over the former subordinate (vassal) chiefs, who could no longer pay tribute to him as they were all under the British.
  • Barotseland (Bulozi) was finally incorporated into northern Rhodesia (later Zambia), a British protectorate.
  • Colonial rule was established over northern Rhodesia without any bloodshed.
  • The British used their foothold in Barotseland to conquer the surrounding communities that did not collaborate with them.

Lewanika remained Paramount Chief of the Lozi, a position he was helped to safeguard up to his death in 1916.



Trace the origin of Buganda kingdom.

  • Buganda kingdom grew from a small highly centralized principality in the 14th and 15th
  • Under its powerful (Kabaka) kings, Buganda expanded by conquering neighbouring and other communities through warfare.
  • Because of its internal political and economic stability, Buganda grew steadily, trading with the Sudanese, Egyptians and Swahili Arabs.
  • By mid 19th century, Buganda was the most powerful centralized state in east Africa. This was because, among other factors, Buganda had a large army and navy. At that same time, European interest in Africa (by which Buganda was also affected) increased.


Explain how Contact between the Baganda and the Europeans occurred during Kabaka Mutesa I’s reign.

(Trace the beginning of contacts between the Baganda and the Europeans. Or: Describe contacts between the Baganda and the Europeans during Kabaka Mutesa I‟s reign.)

Contacts between the Baganda and the Europeans occurred during the reign of Kabaka Mutesa I in Baganda as follows:

  • In 1862, John Speke and James Grant became the first Europeans to appear in Baganda.
  • In 1871 and 1875, Henry Morton Stanley visited Buganda and successfully urged Kabaka to accept missionaries in his kingdom.
  • The Church Missionary society (CMS) from Britain arrived in 1872, followed by the White Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church in 1879.
  • Mutesa confined the missionaries in his capital (Rubaga), which led to conversion of his court and the entire capital to Christianity.
  • By 1884, four religious groups had emerged in Buganda.

 Name the four religions that had emerged in Buganda by 1884.

(What four religious groupings had emerged in Buganda by 1884?)

  • Traditionalists,
  • Muslims,
  • Protestants,
  • Roman Catholics)


KABAKA MWANGA (1884-1889)

When Mutesa 1 died in 1884, his eighteen-year-old son: Mwanga took over leadership in Baganda.

 Discuss the situation in Buganda during the reign of Kabaka Mwanga.

(Describe/analyse life in Buganda during the reign of Kabaka Mwanga. Or: Assess the situation in Buganda during the reign of Kabaka Mwanga.)

  • Taking advantage of Mwanga‟s lack of decision on which group to support, the Muslims convinced Mwanga that the Europeans would undermine him and take over Buganda. Mwanga therefore persecuted Christians.
  • To safeguard the independence of his people, Kabaka Mwanga played the Protestants and Catholics off against the Muslims and vise versa, i.e. he caused hostility and fighting among these three groups.
  • In 1888, the traditionalists urged Mwanga to expel all foreigners for causing chaos in Baganda.
  • Angered by this plot, the Muslims, protestants and Catholics deposed (overthrew) Mwanga, who they replaced with his brother: Kiwewa, who had to share authority with them.
  • Shortly later, the Muslims deposed Kiwewa and refused to get circumcised and installed his young brother Kalema as the ruler.
  • With the help of the Christians and the Banyoro, Mwanga recaptured his position in 1890. By that time, he was socially very weak, for even his Katikiro was a Christian.
  • Advised by the French Catholic White Fathers, Mwanga accepted the offer of a protection treaty by Karl Peters and his team in the very 1890. but he rejected a treaty offered by Frederic Jackson of the Imperial British east Africa Company.
  • Fortunately for the British, the 1890 Anglo-German agreement made Uganda a British sphere of influence. Captain Frederic Lugard of the Imperial British East Africa Company was sent to Uganda in 1890 and was the first British administrator there.

To avert the threat by the Muslims and neighbouring Bunyoro, Mwanga signed a Protection treaty with Lugard, giving the Imperial British East Africa company control over Baganda.

  Explain why the Baganda collaborated with the British (1875-1900).

(Explain the reasons for Baganda collaboration with the British (1875-1900). Or:

Why did the Baganda collaborate with the British (1875-1900)?)

Baganda collaboration with the British occurred during the reign of kings Mutesa 1 and Mwanga, aimed at:

  • Acquisition of Western education, medicine and other material benefits.
  • Establishment of a centralized religious authority over Baganda.
  • Limit of the power wielded by traditionalists, especially with regard to Kabaka Mutesa 1‟s position.
  • Reduction of the influence of Muslims and later other religions within the kingdom
  • Protection against the Roukema of Bunyoro, who was a threat, to the position of the two Kanakas.
  • Protection against Khedive Ishmael of Egypt, who wanted to extend his territory into Baganda.
  • Trade with the Europeans and to get their goods, mainly fire arms.
  • Need for technological experts to teach the Baganda new skills.
  • Protection from internal and external enemies.
  • Security or safety of the Baganda from interference.
  • Need to gain regional supremacy over the surrounding kingdoms e.g. Bunyoro, Ankole and Toro.

In spite of financial missionary support, the Imperial British East Africa Company ran bankrupt and was unable to administer Buganda, which it was at the verge of abandoning. However, Lord Romebery (the British Foreign Secretary) instructed Sir Gerald Portal to go to Uganda for a report on the situation there. Uganda was then declared a British Protectorate in 1894

  Discuss Kabaka Mwanga’s revolt Against British rule over Buganda.

Kabaka Mwanga‟s revolt against British rule over Baganda stemmed from the religious conflicts that continued to afflict the Baganda as follows:

  • In what became known as the Anglo-French (Franza-Ingleza) war between

Protestants (British) and Catholics (French) in 1892, a catholic killed a Protestant in self defence.

  • Lugard publicly supported the protestants by ordering Kabaka Mwanga to execute the Catholic, which Kabaka did not do.
  • Lugard therefore armed the Protestants, who attacked and destroyed Catholic missions. Mwanga soon realized that he was just a puppet ruler since administrative authority was vested in the hands of the British administrators.
  • Influenced by some Catholics and Traditionalists, Mwanga revolted against the British in 1897, but was defeated due to lack of full support from the Baganda.
  • The British captured Mwanga, whom they exiled to Kismayu in Somalia in 1899 and later to the Seychelles, where he died in 1903.
  • Daudi Chwa (Mwanga‟s infant son) was enthroned, assisted by three ministers.
  • British administration of Uganda was still expensive due to the many revolts the British had to suppress. To solve this problem, discussions were held between

British officials under Sir Harry Johnston and Baganda chiefs and ministers under Sir Apolo Kagwa: the Prime minister. This led to the signing of the Buganda Agreement of 1900.

 Name the three ministers that assisted Kabaka Daudi Chwa in the initial moments of his reign.

  • Apolo Kagwa, who was prime Minister,
  • Staunslaus Mugwanya, who was the Chief Justice, v Edward Kisingiri, who was the Treasurer.

 Explain the factors that influenced the Buganda agreement (1900).

(What considerations did the Buganda agreement of 1900 envisage? Or:

Explain the terms of the Buganda Agreement of 1900. Or: Explain the factors that the 1900 Buganda agreement considered.) The Buganda agreement (1900) considered the following factors:

  • The British recognized Buganda as a kingdom within the Uganda Protectorate. Its boundaries were defined and its size doubled by inclusion of areas acquired from Bunyoro. It was divided into twenty Sazas (districts).
  • Kabaka and his ruling council (mainly made up of the three chief ministers) were recognized by the British. However, Kabaka‟s government could neither make laws nor do anything against the wishes of the protectorate (British) government.
  • Half of the land became Crown land on which people were allowed to live as tenants. The other half was divided on Freehold basis among the Kabaka and his ruling council.
  • A Hut and Gun tax were imposed. All revenue collected was to go to the Protectorate Government. No further taxation was to be imposed without knowledge or consent of Kabaka and Lukiko (parliament) which comprised

Kabaka, the ministers and the chiefs, who were to be paid for their services.

All these considerations make up the terms of the Baganda Agreement of 1900.


 Explain the impact of the Buganda agreement (1900). (What were the results/effects of the Buganda agreement (1900)? Or: What were the consequences of the Buganda agreement (1900)?)

  • It legalized British claim over Baganda.
  • The powers of the Kabaka were considerably reduced to the advantage of the British.
  • Chiefs did not have to rely on Kabaka‟s patronage, for they served as British administrators.
  • Chiefs acquired land and the right to impose land-rent.
  • The number of chiefs doubled from ten to twenty.
  • Kabaka had the privilege to be consulted before any new taxes were imposed in Baganda.
  • Hostilities were created between Bunyoro and Buganda due to the annexation of ten counties from Bunyoro to Baganda.
  • The British later used Baganda Christians to extend their policy of Indirect Rule over other regions in Uganda.
  • The agreement led to the conquest of Baganda and the rest of present-day Uganda.

 What were the results/consequences of African collaboration with European rulers?

(Explain the impact/effects of African collaboration with European rulers.)

  1. Colonization and loss of independence for the collaborating communities.
  2. Recognition but reduction of the powers of some leaders E.G. Lewanika of the Lozi and the Kabakas of Buganda.
  3. Protection of leaders who collaborated from their traditional enemies.
  4. European use of collaborating leaders to exert authority over resisting ones.
  5. Benefit for collaborating Africans from British Missionary work. iii) Increased trade between the Europeans and the collaborating communities.
  6.  Subjection of African societies to land alienation, mining, taxation, forced labour and other forms of economic exploitation, regardless of their reaction.
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