Effects or results of colonial Indirect Rule in Africa

The following were the effects of colonial indirect rule in Africa




  • Preservation of African cultures, unlike the case in Assimilation where they had to be replaced.
  • Enrichment of African chiefs, who accumulated wealth at the expense of their subjects. They kept part of the tax they collected for their personal benefit.
  • Protection of people, particularly northern Nigerians by their leaders from any foreign ideas, regarded as too radical.
  • Suspicion and mistrust between the educated elite and the traditional chiefs appointed by British officials in southern Nigeria. The elites later reacted by forming political movements, which led to nationalism in Nigeria.




  • Modernization of the indigenous systems of administration, particularly in northern Nigeria.
  • Transformation of the role of traditional African leaders for the purpose of tax collection as well as provision of labour and soldiers to the colonial government.
  • Introduction of British systems of administration and justice, with the hope of modernizing (though it undermined) existing ones.
  • Slow development in Northern Nigeria as the Muslims in the north were conservative and did not appreciate new ideas. Education, Western civilization and Christianity gained root slowly and administrative jobs in the north were taken up by the educated (elite) from southern Nigeria.




  • Introduction of economic exploitative policies e.g. land-alienation, taxation and forced labour.
  • Some local rulers lost their independence to the British Governors