The Anglo-German Conflicts (1885-1890)

The Anglo-German Conflicts (1885-1890)

  • The Anglo-German Conflicts (1885-1890), After the 1884-85 Berlin conference, Britain and Germany started sending traders into East Africa.
  • They were to acquire necessary raw materials for their industries and also prepare the way for colonial agents.
  • Britain sent the British East Africa Association (B.E.A.A) and Germany sent the German East Africa Association (G.E.A.A).

Causes of the Anglo-German conflicts between 1885-1890

  • A conflict arose between the two groups of traders over an area of about 800 miles inland from the coast.
  • German East Africa Association took over the area yet British East Africa Association had reached an agreement with Sultan Bargash to trade in the mainland.
  • Germany was afraid that Britain might join with the British South Africa company to force her out of Tanganyika.
  • The British were also afraid that the German East Africa Association might link up with Uganda and push them out of Kenya.
  • Between 1886 – 1890, there was a race for the total control of Uganda between the British and the Germans.
  • In 1890, Karl Peters signed a friendship agreement with Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda which worried the British.
  • Fredrick Jackson tried to secure a similar treaty for the British but Kabaka Mwanga refused.
  • When it was rumoured that the German commissioner would visit Buganda, the British anxiety increased/heightened.
  • Between 1887 and 1889, the Mahdi of Sudan besieged Emin Pasha who was the Egyptian Equatorial Province Governor.
  • Karl Peters had that Fredrick Jackson was on the way to relieve the siege which would mean that the area would be taken over by Britain.
  • However, Henry Morton Stanley rescued Emin Pasha before Karl Peters or Fredrick Jackson arrived.
  • In 1888, the Imperial British East Africa Company (I.B.E.A.C.O) was given a charter/license to protect all areas of British interest.

How were the conflicts solved?

  • Negotiations between the British and Germans were used to solve the conflicts.
  • These involved the 1st Anglo-German agreement of 1886 and 2nd Anglo-German agreement of 1890.
  • By 1886, the Sultan’s area of control was limited to a ten mile coastal strip and the rest of the area was to be in the hands of the Europeans.
  • The sultan also acquired the coastal towns of Brava, Kismayo and Merca.
  • The German sphere of influence was to consist of the area beyond the ten mile coastal strip from river Ruvuma in the south and river Umba on the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
  • The British sphere of influence comprised of the area north of river Umba and north of river Kilimanjaro.
  • Modern Kenya was to be a German enclave because it was smaller than Tanganyika.
  • However, the 1886 agreement did not cater for Uganda which led to another scramble.
  • This resulted into the 2nd Anglo-German Agreement of 1890 popularly known as the Heligoland Treaty.
  • Britain got Uganda and Uganda received Heligoland in compensation.
  • The ten mile coastal strip that originally belonged to the Sultan was given to the Germans.
  • The Germans gave up with their conflicts with the British after getting the coastal strip.
  • Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia were to be under the British.
  • The area from river Umba was extended westwards across Lake Victoria.
  • In 1894, Uganda was declared a British protectorate.
  • The Uganda-Tanganyika border was extended westwards to the Congo border.
  • The 1890 agreement virtually solved the conflicts between the Germans and the British.
  • Effective occupation by the colonial governments ended the conflicts.

Effects of the Anglo-German conflicts

  • The conflicts led to the partition of East Africa i.e. Uganda and Kenya for Britain and Tanganyika for the Germans.
  • The partition of East Africa completely eroded the independence of the East African societies. 
  • The boundaries of the East African countries were clearly drawn to include some parts of Congo.
  • New forms of administration were introduced in E.Africa i.e. indirect rule by the British and direct rule by the Germans.
  • The conflicts increased tension between the Germans and the British by causing a lot of anxiety and mistrust from each group.
  • These conflicts led to diplomatic relations which led to the signing of the 1st and 2nd Anglo-German agreements.
  • The Sultan of Zanzibar completely lost control over the coastal strip of land to the Europeans.
  • There was increased European influx into East Africa.
  • Uganda developed into a protectorate colony and Kenya became a settler colony.
  • The British formed a strong army of the King’s African Rifles (K.A.R) to prepare for any confrontation from the Germans in future.
  • Colonial economic policies were introduced in East Africa e.g. forced labour and taxation.
  • Africans lost their authority to the colonial masters and became subjects.