Tippu Tip

Dies 1905

Name ID 880

See also

Map and Guide to Tanzania
Page Number: 12


Slavery always existed in Africa as part of a social system but trade started with Arab raiders arriving around the 9th century to take Africans to markets in Mesopotamia, India, Persia and Arabia. In the 19th century slave trading was a flourishing commercial practice with regular and massive deportations organised by Arab slavers helped by local tribes such as the Nyamwezi who became their redoubtable partners. The most renowned Arab trader was Tippu Tip (Hemedi bin Muhammad el Marjebi), born in Zanzibar, who at 18 began slave and ivory trading between the interior and coastal towns, and by 1880 he had built a large commercial empire between the Upper Congo, Lake Tanganyika and Bagamoyo on the coast, where the slaves were shipped-off to Zanzibar for sale to foreign merchants. In East Africa all the main routes, such as the above, lay in Tanganyika: a route in the North passed through Karagwe and North of Lake Victoria and divided to head north to Bunyoro and north-east towards Buganda. A less frequented route in the south exploited by the Yao, led from Lake Nyasa to Kilwa.

The movement to abolish the slave trade started in England after publication of John Wesley's Thought upon Slavery in 1774 followed by Scottish economist Adam Smith's work The Wealth of Nations published in 1776. The latter laid to rest once and for all the 200 year-old economic belief that slave labour was cheaper than free men's work.

It still took more than a century for Slavery to be totally abolished. The Moresby Treaty in 1822, the Hamerton Treaty in 1845 and finally on 5th June 1873 the treaty signed between the British Consul in Zanzibar, Sir John Kirk, and Sultan Barghash made slave trading illegal. By 1889 all former slaves were declared free men and the status of slave was abolished in 1907 in British East Africa. Compensation claims, the last step to offset the intricate human-economic impact brought about by the abolition, were not considered after 31 December 1911.

In Tanganyika the status lasted another 15 years until the end of German rule when the country became a British Protectorate in 1922.

Extract ID: 216

See also

Brode, Dr Heinrich Tippu Tip: The story of his career in Zanzibar & Central Africa

Biography of Tippu Tip

Extract ID: 4963