Document type: DU ETD
Collection: Geology Theses  
Title The Asian Community in East Africa: Its Geographical Distribution and Economic and Social Characteristics
Author(s) Zaidi, Juliet H.
School/Department Department of Geography
Institution University of Denver
Degree Type Master's
Degree Name M.A.
Type of Resource text
Degree Date 1967 December
Digital Origin reformatted digital
Rights Statement All Rights Reserved
Reason for Restrictions No restrictions
Type of Restriction No restrictions
Keyword(s) Geography
Genre Dissertations, Academic
Abstract Man has been on the move since early times. There are many and various reasons motivating people to leave their homeland and seek other opportunities in strange and foreign lands. People from the Indian sub-continent have been found to leave their native land to settle in strange lands both far and near. Indians can be found in all the former British possessions. They are distributed all over the African continent south of the Sahara with special concentration in the former British holdings of Bast and South Africa. There have been various migrations from Asia to the African continent. Asians have settled in East Africa since early times. Due to the proximity of the East African seaboard to India and the ideal maritime conditions Indians are to be found in large numbers even to this present time. A look at their present geographical distribution would show that the Asian population of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika tend to concentrate around the great capitals and port cities in each of these countries. In Kenya they are to be found around Nairobi, the capital and Mombasa,, the great port city. In Uganda the numerical strength of Asians coincides with the most economically developed districts of West Mengo and Busoga. In Tanganyika the Asians focus overwhelmingly on the capital city of Dar es Salaam. The Asians of East Africa have played the role of the middle man between the European and the African both economically and socially. In Kenya the Asians tend to dominate industrial and 2 commercial establishments while there is insignificant participation in agriculture when compared with the African or European group. In Uganda, however, the Asians have gone into commerce with more active part in agriculture with cotton ginning, coffee curing and sugar production. In Tanganyika many Asians are to be found in the import and export trade of that country. For years the Asians have formed this middle layer of the society holding jobs that the native Africans would like to acquire. Since the independence in the countries of Bast Africa the Africans have won political power but economic power still eludes them and is mainly in the hands of the Asians. The 350,000 Asians living in these three countries of East Africa control four fifths of the regional commerce from large wholesale firms to simple dukas. They hold the majority of skilled and semi-skilled jobs. Due to the rise in African nationalism caused by the independence and the dominance of the trade by Asians, the Asians have found themselves in a difficult situation and exposed to widespread criticism. To avoid this hostility the Asians have one of the two alternatives—either to depart from East Africa or make the necessary change to integrate themselves with the new society.
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