Traders And Chartered Companies In E.Africa

  • The 3rd group of Europeans to penetrate into the interior of E.A was the traders.
  • They came in large numbers after the successful mission of explorers and missionaries.
  • Traders basically came for commercial reasons e.g. looking for cheap sources of raw materials, new markets and new areas for investment.
  • On arrival the traders formed companies and associations to operate in East Africa and most prominent ones were;
  • Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEACO) which operated in Uganda and Kenya.
  • German East Africa Company (GEACO) which operated in Tanganyika.

The Role Of Chartered Companies In The Colonization Of East Africa

  • They provided the initial skilled man power for the administration of their areas of influence e.g. captain Fredrick Lugard (IBEACO) and Captain Karl peters (GEACO).
  • The traders financed the colonial administration on behalf of their respective home government e.g. I.B.E.A.CO on behalf of the British government.
  • The traders fought and defeated rebellious societies e.g. IBEACO defeated Bunyoro, Nandi and Maasai while the G.E.A.CO fought /defeated the Abushiri Arabs.
  • The traders also developed transport and communication networks e.g. IBEACO constructed Murram roads and even designed the plan for the Uganda railway.
  • They under took businesses that generated funds that supported colonialism e.g. they encouraged people to grow cash crops.
  • They constructed administrative posts, forts and garrisons which were later used by the colonial government e.g. at Old Kampala, Naivasha, Machakos e.t.c.
  • They created security organs which improved on internal security e.g. IBEACO built a private army which was later used in the colonization of Uganda.
  • They helped in the effective abolition of slave trade and establishments of legitimate trade.
  • The Chartered companies protected Christian missionaries who were also colonial agents e.g. IBEACO’S private army always provided security to the Church Missionary society.
  • Chartered companies also provided their home governments which information about the economic potential of east Africa e.g. IBEACO reported about the fertile soils of Uganda and the Kenya highlands which later attracted colonialists.
  • They signed treaties with the local people that were later used by their home government to occupy E. Africa e.g. IBEACO signed treaties with the Baganda, Kikuyu and Masai.
  • The chartered companies called on their home governments as a result of failure to administer e.g. when IBEACO ran bankrupt that called on the British government to take over.
  • The traders only settled in areas where their colonial governments had economic interests so that it would be easy for the colonialists to settle with in East Africa.
  • The rivalry between IBEACO and GEACO forced them to sign the Anglo – German agreement of 1890 (Heligoland treaty) which practically eroded the independence of E.Africa.
  • Company officials strongly campaigned for the retention of their areas of influence e.g. captain Lugard Fredrick strongly supported Britain colonize Uganda because IBEACO had done all the underground work.