the late 1880s the international arena was ruled by the European powers. Thus,
during the Berlin conference of 1884-1885, that was held in Germany, the
European powers agreed on right to ‘pursue’ legal ownership of the regions in
Africa. This conference can be considered as the official start of the Scramble
for Africa by European powers: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal,
Spain, and the United Kingdom (Britain).
Mainly, two European powers, Britain and Germany, expressed interest in
the Eastern African Countries at the Berlin Conference (1884-85). Thus, in order
to resolve the dispute peacefully the two Powers signed a treaty in 1886 by giving
a consent that Germany would lay claim to the coast of Tanzania and Britain
retained access to the area of Kenya and Uganda.
Sir Mackinnon formed a British
East Africa Association (BEAA) that later on resulted in the Imperial British
East Africa Company (IBEAC). Moreover, In 1887, the company started to administrate
on the East Africa upon being chartered in 1888 IBEAC assumed administrative control
of British East Africa. Thus, IBEAC was supposed to govern the areas of exports
and managements of goods and agriculture. Also, it was responsible of building
the railways connecting the EAC to Lake Victoria.
Britain did not take up direct administration of the region under its
Sphere of influence rather it gave the right to administer to a commercial
company, the Imperial British East African Company (IBEAC). The British
government encouraged Sir William Mackinnon who run a shipping company at the
coast to take up the responsibility. However, the company went bankrupt in 1895
due to the war crises.
to the other confrontations between the imperial powers is when the British
prime minister, Lord Salisbury proposed
a deal offers the small island of Heligoland (in British possession since 1814)
in return for German recognition of British protectorates in Zanzibar, Uganda
and Equatoria. Yet, despite not fair deal as it was seemed, Berlin, ratified
the agreement. Therefore, later on, Germany derived her own benefit from the
treaty by using Heligoland an invaluable
naval base in two world wars.
Here is the question, why Britain could maintain
its dominance over Africans territories?
Accroding Oyebade, Adebayothe fact is
that, in Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, Britain organized its colonies at the
central, provincial, and regional or district levels. Therefore, they appointed
governors in the colonial capital who governed along with an appointed
executive council and a legislative council of selected local and foreign
members. ( “Colonial Political Systems.” In Colonial Africa,
1885–1939, vol. 3 of Africa, ed. Toyin Falola. Durham: Carolina Academic
Press, 2002). Meanwhile, the governors
were admitted to the colonial secretary in London, who was proposing and
amending the laws, programs and policies in the various departmnets such as: agriculture,
international opened trade, transportion, education, security and etc.8
There were several reasons that led to the
implementation of an indirect rule by the British on their colonies: the number
of British citizens in the colonies was small compare to the colonized people ,
so , they wanted to prevent any possibilities ?f the ”mass” taking back its authorities.
Secondly it was a language barrier along with poor communication system : the
language of the British was different from the of the Africa, thus, they
appointed local rulers. Third, an indirect system was cheaper and easier to
manage compare to the direct rule that require a settlements of the governors in
the colonized area
And the last is a poor climate
.the weather of Africa was not conducive for some British citizens, so , they
refused coming down to Africa