Explorers In East Africa and Their activities

Explorers In East Africa and Their activities

  • From 1884, a growing number of Europeans picked interest in East Africa.
  • These came as explorers, missionaries, traders and later on imperialists /colonialists.
  • Most Europeans were either sent by their home government or by Organizations e.g. the R.G.S (Royal Geographical society), C.M.S (Church missionary society) and L.M.S (London missionary society).
  • Others came as individuals e.g. Sir Samuel Baker and his wife and Dr. David Livingstone.
  • Most Africans received them with open hands and offered them assistance not knowing that their activities would eventually lead to loss of African independence. 

Explorers In East Africa

  • This was the 1st group of Europeans to penetrate into the interior of E.Africa.
  • They were interested in   the geography of East Africa especially the River Nile system.
  • The explorers included; Sir Samuel Baker and his wife, Richard Burton, John Speke, Henry   Morton Stanley, Dr. David Livingstone, James Grant, Jacob Erhadt e.t.c.
  • The activities of these explorers eventually led to the colonization of East Africa.

The role played by explorers in the colonization of East Africa 

  • They exaggerated the wealth of East Africa e.g. they reported about the reliable rainfall and fertile soils e.g. in Buganda which attracted more Europeans into East Africa.
  • They provided geographical information about East Africa which attracted Europeans into East Africa e.g. John Speke discovered the source of the River Nile.
  • The explorers destroyed the wrong impression that Africa was a ‘’ white man’s grave ‘’ which led to an influx of Europeans into East Africa.
  • Some explorers signed treaties with African chiefs which were later used to colonize such areas e.g. H.M Stanley requested Muteesa 1 of Buganda to invite missionaries.
  • Explorers also drew maps which were later used by the colonialist to penetrate the interior of East Africa e.g. Erhadt drew a map of East Africa showing physical features.
  • They established good working relations with African chiefs e.g. Stanley with Muteesa 1 which confused the Africans who thought that all white men were good and welcomed colonialists.
  • They gave information about hostile and accommodative societies which helped colonialists come well prepared e.g. Banyoro were branded hostile while the Baganda were accommodative.
  • Explorers also exposed the horrors of slave trade e.g. Dr Livingstone and this aroused public sympathy among Europeans to come and abolish the trade leading to colonialism.
  • The success of their adventures led to increased missionary activities in East Africa e.g. Dr Livingstone persuaded missionaries to come and stop slave trade leading to colonialism.
  • Explorers under their umbrella organizations also provided funds to those who were willing to travel to Africa leading to an influx of Europeans e.g. The Royal Geographical Society.
  • Some Explorers served as colonial administrators and provided labour force for the colonial government e.g. Sir Samuel Baker became a governor of the Equatorial Province.
  • Some explorers built forts which were later used as administrative centers by colonialists e.g. sir Samuel Barker built Fort Patiko in Acholi and Sir Gerald Portal built Fort Portal in Toro.
  • Explorers also discovered routes and navigable waters which simplified the movement of future colonialists.