factors that led to the development of trade between the East African coast

The following are factors that led to development of trade between the east African coast and the outside world.

  • Availability of trade items, which were in high demand.
  • Uneven distribution of resources. For instance, some had ivory, others had cotton and some others had none.




  • Enterprising merchants in both the foreign lands and the east African coast. These promoted trade links.
  • Existence of local trade even before the foreign merchants came to the east African coast, which provided a base for the development of Indian Ocean trade.
  • Accessibility of the east African coast by sea.
  • The Monsoon winds, which facilitated vessel movement to and from the coast.
  • Peace and political stability at the east African coast in addition to security given by the Sultans to traders, particularly Arab traders.




  • Natural harbours along the coast, which ensured safe docking of vessels for fuelling and off-loading supplies.
  • Advancement of the shipbuilding industry in Europe.
  • Credit facilities are given by Indian Banyans, which made many more people to join the trade.
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