Reasons for existence of slave trade in East Africa

Slavery had existed in Africa for a long time before the coming of Colonialists.

Many African chiefs possessed domestic slaves.

The Spanish and Portuguese had been using African slaves since the 16thcentury.

However, The Atlantic slave trade of the 18thcentury was a new kind of slavery and on a greater measure than ever before.

It became a normal kind of trade to sell and buy human beings for the labor

the reason for the existence of the slave trade in east Africa

  • There was a development of plantations in the Western world. The West Indian plantation owners increasingly turned to African slaves for labor. They continually flooded the slave market to buy slaves who would in turn go and provide cheap labor
  • The Industrial Revolution in Europe increased the demand for raw materials such as gold and silver. Slaves were the only ones that could provide the required labor at the mines and also at the industries to feed the machines but these could only be produced by slaves
  • African chiefs were hospitable to foreigners with the hope of getting goods such as guns from foreigners. This in turn gave the Europeans an opening to use African chiefs to acquire all the slaves they wanted
  • The Foreigners had a military advantage over the indigenous Africans. While they had guns and other sophisticated fighting weapons, the Africans had only spears, bows and arrows, and other locally made fighting weapons. Therefore, the foreigners always defeated Africans and took all the slaves they wanted
  • Slave labor was not only cheap but gainful. Therefore, the Europeans did all they could to boost the slave trade and acquire more slaves to provide them with labor
  • The profits made from the trade were immense hence attracting several other people to take part.
  • The existence of caravan trade routes eased the Arab Penetration into the interior which gave them access to slaves
  • The Primitive cultures of Africans also contributed to the rise of Slave trade. Africans got rid of worthless members of their society such as criminals, and witches, they handed them over to be taken as slaves

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