- The Scramble and Partition of Africa
- African Reaction to European
In the last Quarter of the 19th century, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Portugal were in Africa, competing for colonies to boost their social, economic and political standing.
They convened the Berlin conference of 1884-1885 (convened by Otto Von Bismarck, the Germany Chancellor) where they shared Africa in Europe without regard to the inhabitants. This is what is termed the invasion of Africa.
By 1914, apart from Liberia and Ethiopia, the rest of Africa had been colonized
The Scramble and Partition of Africa
It refers to the rushing for something.In the African situation, it meant the rush for and struggle by European powers to acquire various parts of Africa during the 19th century.
It refers to the sharing of something. In the African situation, it referred to the actual division of Africa by European powers during the Berlin conference of 1884 -1885
Methods Used by Europeans to Acquire Colonies in Africa
Signing of treaties;
- Treaty signing with African leaders.
- The British signed the Maasai Agreements (1904 and 1911), Buganda Agreement of 1900 and the Lewanika-Lochner treaty with Lozi. The royal Niger Company had by 1884, signed 37 treaties through George Goldie, with African leaders in Niger delta, Yorubaland and Gambia.
- Carl peters signed treaties on behalf of Germany with the chiefs of Uzigua, Ukami, Usagara and ungulu.
These treaties facilitated the acquisition of those areas for colonization.
- Treaties signed amongst European powers. These were known as Partition Agreements. For example;
- The Anglo-Germany Agreements of 1886 and 1890 and Heligoland between the British and the Germans over the sharing of East Africa.
- The Anglo Italian treaty signed in 1891 between the Italians and the British over possession of Eritrea and the Somali coast.
- The treaty between the British and Portugal and France in 1890 on the sharing of Madagascar (France) Mozambique and Angola (Portugal).
- Treaty signing with African leaders.
Military conquest/ Use of force.
- The French war against the Mandinka of Samori Toure (1870-1899) and their conquest of western Sudan from Senegal to Chad specifically in the Tukolor Empire, Segu and Masina by 1898. Tunisia, morocco and Algeria were acquired forcefully.
- The British used military force in the Nandi resistance from 1895-1905, the Chimurenga wars involving the Shona/Ndebele against the British, forced acquisition of Egypt and Sudan
- The Germans fought the Maji Maji wars from 1905- 1907.
- The Italians were defeated during their Ethiopian campaign, by Menelik II in the battle of Adowa in 1896.
- The Portuguese forcefully established their rule over Angola, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique.
Use of missionaries as frontrunners.
- The Europeans used missionaries, carrying a bible in one hand and a gun in the other, who tried to convince the Africans to support the European goals.
- Missionaries manipulated local quarrels and took sides in a view to promote European occupation. For example, in the case of Buganda where we had religious conflicts between Protestants, Muslims, Catholics and Traditionalists.
- Sometimes the missionaries went to war against each other and against Africans. E.g the Franza-Ingeleza war of 1892 that pitted the Protestants (British) against the Catholics (French). Fredrick Lugard’s intervention on the side of Protestants set stage for the acquisition of Uganda by the British.
- In Bulozi, Father Francois Coillard convinced Lewanika of the benefits of British protection.
- In Nyasaland (Malawi) which was depicted as Livingstone’s country, missionaries (read role of Scottish missionaries) shaped public opinion in favour of imperial control.
Treachery and Divide and rule policy
- The Europeans instigated inter-tribal wars causing some Africans to support them against warring communities. E.g. use of the Wanga against the Luo and the Luhya in Kenya, the Ndebele/shona against the Lozi in Rhodesia.
- The Italians lied to Menelik II by signing a treaty of friendship but which was published in Italian version indicating that Ethiopia had agreed becoming an Italian protectorate.
- The Maasai agreement was written in a language that the Lenana never understood.
Use of company rule.
- The British and the Germans used chartered companies to acquire and rule their colonies. For example, the role played by the British South African Company of Cecil Rhodes, Imperial British East African Company of Sir William Mackinnon and the German East Africa Company of Carl Peters.
- The Europeans gave gifts like cloth, weapons tools, drinks etc to African chiefs like Lewanika of the Lozi and Mwanga of Buganda thus luring them into collaboration.
- This involved building relations with African leaders, which were later, used to acquire the areas. The British employed this method in Maasailand and Yorubaland.
A blend of diplomacy and force
- The British for example initially signed treaties with the Ndebele (Moffat and Rudd treaties), but they fought them during the Ndebele war of 1897.
Factors that Led to the Scramble for Colonies in Africa
The industrial revolution in Europe.
- The revolution led to search for markets for European manufactured goods in Africa resulting in scramble for and partition.
- The need for raw materials. The machines invented processed goods faster than use of hand. The Europeans came to Africa in search of raw materials like cotton, palm oil, copper and iron ore.
- Cheap labour was also readily available in Africa after the abolition of slave trade.
- There was desire by the entrepreneurs to invest excess capital gained from accumulation of profits from industrial investment. Africa provided an avenue for investment.
- Industrial revolution led to improved transport system, which was necessary for effective colonization.
- The military hardware manufactured during the revolution enabled Europeans to conquer African territories.
- The discovery of medicine enabled the Europeans to survive the African conditions and protect themselves from diseases such as malaria, yellow fever etc.
- Those who were rendered unemployed in Europe due to invention of machines had to move to Africa to assist in harnessing raw materials.
- Industrial revolution led to intense rivalry in trade, which was projected, into Africa.
- Speculation about the availability of deep pockets of minerals in Africa. Gold and Bronze had been items of trade in Africa for centuries. The discovery of Diamond at Kimberly in the 1860s and Gold in the 1870s precipitated their appetite for Africa more.
- Unification of Germany after under Otto Von Bismarck after the Franco-Prussianwar of 1870-71. The rise of Germany upset the balance of power in Europe and there was need to rebalance out through acquisition of colonies in Africa. France for example had to redeem her lost glory (especially after the loss of mineral rich Alsace and Lorraine provinces) by acquiring eight colonies in Africa.
- The rise of Public opinion in Europe. There was growth of public support towards the acquisition of colonies. With the rise of democracy in European states in the 19th c, it was fatal for any government to ignore public opinion. For example in 1882, due to public demand, the French assembly was compelled to ratify De Brazza’s treaty with Chief Makoko thus creating a French colony in Congo. German took over South-West Africa (Namibia), Togo and Cameroon due to what Bismarck termed as public demand. In Britain, the public demanded that Britain must maintain her position as the leading colonizing power by taking her share in Africa.
- Militarism. Army officers in Europe favoured colonial expansionist wars to give them greater opportunities for glory or promotion. For example, in Sudan, it was the military offers, in search of glory, and not the French government who directed the extent of French colonization. British soldiers like Wolseley Kitchener supported the expansion of the British Empire in Africa.
- The rise of Nationalism. In Europe, there was the rise of a general feeling of civilians that their nations should acquire overseas colonies for national prestige. The Germans began feeling they belonged to a superior race that must be shown by acquiring colonies in Africa.
- Construction of the Suez Canal. (The Egyptian question).
- The construction of the Suez Canal, opened in 1869, promoted a link between Europe and Asia/ shortened the routes to Far East. It also promoted international trade. It also made Egypt gain some strategic importance to Europeans.
- The inability of Khedive Ishmael (1863-1879) to pay for the cost of the construction of the canal (due to his extravagancy) led to British full occupation of Egypt in 1882, being a major shareholder in the Anglo-Suez Company that owned the canal.
- The dismayed French planned diversions of the Nile waters, and make Egypt a desert, after occupying territories to the south of Egypt.
- It was against the backdrop that Britain claimed Uganda (source of the Nile) in 1894, Kenya (the gateway to Uganda) in 1895 and Sudan (where the Nile passes) in 1898.
- French activities in West Africa and the Congo
- The activities of France in Congo and West Africa, after loss of Egypt, through their Italian agent Savorgnan de Brazza in connection to acquisition of colonies alarmed other powers. This encouraged powers like Germany to join in the scramble and acquire Togo, Cameroon, Namibia and Tanganyika.
- The personal activities of King Leopold II of Belgium.
- He endeavored to create a personal empire. In 1876, Leopold convened the Brussels Geographical Conference where he formed a business company, the International African Association comprising explorers and traders with a mission to civilize Africa, abolish slave trade and establish free trade.
- As a result of the activities of his agent, Henry Morton Stanley who created the Congo Free State, Leopold had established a personal empire in 1884 .
- It was the activities of king Leopold leading to intense rivalry amongst European nations over Congo that led to the convening of the Berlin Conference in 1884.
- The work of Christian missionaries
- They created an atmosphere of friendship with Africans by giving those gifts like cloths and beer, introducing economic activities like farming, carpentry, clerical work, among Africans, that were important virtues in the process of colonization.
- Where they were in danger, they pressurized their home governments to protect them.
- The missionaries had direct contact with the people of the interior of Africa and they were front-runners who paved way for the colonialists through their works.
- They preached peace, love and hard work and hence calmed down the emotions of Africans towards the Europeans.
- Some of them wrote exaggerated reports about Africa to convince Europeans to take interest in Africa.
- The growth of European population.
- The growth of European population –steadily to about 420 million in the 19th century led to the quest for new outlets to resettle the population.E.g– Britain settled some of her people in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and South Africa. German, Portugal and Dutch also had to find places in Africa to settle some of their people.
- Anti-slave trade campaigns- Humanitarian factor.
- The humanitarians in Europe like William Wilberforce and Granville Sharp, and the missionaries who led the crusade against slave trade advocated for colonization of Africa in order to stop it and introduce Legitimate Trade.When slave trade was abolished, many European nations used it as an excuse to remain in some parts of Africa, control the region, enforce the anti-slavery treaties, and promote legitimate trade.
The pull factors
- Existence of Vast natural resources in Africa. There were pockets of minerals in various parts of Africa and ivory awaiting exploitation. This attracted the Europeans.
- Well developed trade/trade routes in the interior. Imperialists used these routes as transport routes to penetrate the interior.
- Existence of Navigable Rivers. For example, rivers like Congo and Niger made transportation easy
- Existence of weak Decentralized local communities. Most African communities were decentralized with no military structures therefore offering little resistance to European invasion.
- Frequent wars / inter community wars. These wars weakened African communities and were left ill prepared for any resistance. Some readily collaborated with the Europeans.
The Process of Partition
The fore –runners to the process of partitioning Africa were the early explorers, missionaries and traders. Their activities were succeeded by the making of treaties and agreements in various parts of Africa between trading companies and the locals. . For example, the Buganda Agreement, the Heligoland Treaty and the Berlin act of 1884-1885.
In places where the Europeans employed diplomacy, they won the support of many Africans who collaborated with the intruders. The Europeans sometimes blended diplomacy with wars of conquest or use of force especially against the resisting communities.The partitioning boundaries were drawn along physical features like rivers, mountains, etc.
The Berlin conference On 15th November 1884, Britain, Germany, France, Belgium, the USA, Portugal and Italy convened in Berlin to lay down the rules for the partition and eliminate conflicts amongst European nations. Africans, whose continent was being shared, were not represented in the conference
The Berlin Conference of 1884-85, partitioned Africa into different spheres of influence without recourse to war.
Terms of the Berlin act of 1884-1885.
- That all signatories must declare their sphere of influence an area under each nation’s occupation
- That once an area is declared a sphere of influence, effective occupation must be established in the area through establishment of firm colonial infrastructures to be followed by colonial administration.
- That any state, laying claim to any part of Africa must inform other interested parties in order to avoid future rivalry.
- That any power acquiring territory in Africa must undertake to stamp out slave trade in favour of legitimate trade and safeguard African interests.
- That if a European power claims a certain part of the African coast, the land in the interior next to the coast became hers.
- That the Congo River and the Niger River basins were to be left free for any interested power to navigate.
- The European powers vowed to protect and safeguard European interests in Africa irrespective of their nationality.
Impacts of the Partition
- Introduction of European administration minimized intertribal wars and civil strife.
- It led to development of strong African leadership and beginning of state formation.
- Colonial government structures inherited by most independent African states have continued to be models of governments in African countries.
- Rise of African nationalism to fight colonialism led to the development of African political awareness.
- The Europeans gained fame, prestige and national glory by having colonial possessions.
- Negatively, it led to collapse of African traditional political systems and leadership.
- Use of divide and rule promoted ethnic disunity that continues to trouble Africa many years after independence.
- Boundary creation split apart many African communities. For example, the Somali are found both in Kenya and in Somalia, the Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania and the Ewe in Ghana and Togo.
- In some cases some communities whose cultures were incompatible found themselves bunched together.
- Through the protection offered to missionaries, it stimulated the spread of Christianity to various parts of Africa.
- It led to development of urban centres. Some towns grew as centres of administration e.g. Nairobi and Machakos. Others grew as railway terminus e.g. Kisumu.
- African welfare was boosted. Some African benefited from western education and health facilities introduced by the Europeans.
- European languages were introduced in Africa.
- Negatively, it created landlessness as European settlers appropriated African land.
- The Africans adopted some negative aspects of western culture.
- Many Africans lost their lives through resistance.
- There was construction of roads, railway and other forms of infrastructure, which helped to open up the interior.
- Imperialization helped to widen market for African produce especially with the establishment of local industries.
- Africans were exposed to European manufactured goods/ increase in essential commodities.
- Partition speeded up the economic growth of European nations.
- Negatively, forced labour and exploitation of African resources left many parts of Africa impoverished and underdeveloped.
- Africans were exposed to heavy taxation and denial to participate in economic activities like farming, trade etc.
African Reaction to European Colonization
Some communities were keen on defending their age-old and ancient political, social and economic institutions and viewed the arrival of the Whiteman with suspicion. Their leaders did not want to lose their power, wealth and sources of prestige. Others were militarily prepared for the Europeans. E.g the Mandinka, Nandi, Ndebele and Ethiopia.
Some resisters were centralized states enjoying immense unity making it easy to mobilize people for a war.
The Maji Maji Rebellion (1905- 1907).
The Maji Maji Uprising in Tanganyika was the most significant African challenge to German colonial rule in its African colonies. The Uprising lasted two years c over 10,000 square miles. Tanzania had been acquired largely by Dr. Karl Peters, who signed treaties with the Chiefs of Usagara, Ungula, Uzigua and Ukami, in 1885. The Rebellion involved the Zaramo, Matumbi, Bena, Ngindo, Pogoro, Bunga, Ngoni, Luguru, Wamwera and Ndendeule
Causes of the maji maji rebellion.
- When Germany established its control over Tanganyika by 1898, it imposed a violent regime in order to control the population. Kings who resisted German occupation were killed. Africans resented the cruel, brutal, harsh and ruthless rule of the Germans.
- Africans resented the Creation of new system of administration using Akidas and Jumbeswho terrorized the people and misused their positions.
- The African population was also subjected to high taxation by the Germany East Africa Company to raise revenue for administration. The Matumbi on their part felt that the Germans should instead have paid the Africans for using their land.
- The Africans resented a system of forced labour, whereby they were required to grow cotton and build roads for their European occupiers. The Africans were treated inhumanely while at work by the Akidas.
- The Germans had no respect for African culture in that they misbehaved with Ngindo women. Crimes like rape, fornication and adultery, committed by the Germans were punishable by death among the Ngindo.
- Christian missionaries discredited traditional belief and practices e.g. condemning sacred places as places of witchcraft. This greatly offended the Africans.
- Germans had alienated land from Africans as a way of making the railway pay for the cost of its construction. The arrival of German settlers in Usambara area in 1898, Meru in 1905 and Kilimanjaro area in 1907 led to massive loss of African land.
- Africans were forced to grow cotton in the communal cotton growing scheme, where they got very little payments. In 1902, Peters also ordered villages to grow cotton as a cash crop (for export) with each village, charged with producing a quota of cotton. This policy annoyed Africans who could no longer effectively work on their on farms to produce food.
- The Ngoni were seeking revenge for the Boma Massacre of 1897 during which their soldiers were killed in large numbers.
- The role of Kinjeketile Ngwale in instilling confidence in the Africans to unite and rise up against the Germans
- The 1905, a drought that threatened the region making Africans incur heavy losses on a crop that was not even edible, combined with opposition to the government's agricultural and labor policies, became the immediate cause of the rebellion against the Germans in July, 1905.
Course of the maji maji war.
The oppressive regime bred discontent among the Africans, and resentment reached a fever pitch in 1905 when drought hit the region.
A Ngarambe prophet, Kinjikitile Ngwale emerged, who claimed to know the secret to a sacred liquid which could repel German bullets called "Maji Maji," which means "sacred water." Ngwale claimed to be possessed by a snake spirit called Hongo.
Thus, armed with arrows, spears, and doused with Maji Maji water, the first warriors of the rebellion began what would become known as the Maji Maji Rebellion. The rebellion was led by Kinjeketile Ngwale, Abdalla Mpanda and Ngamea.
On July 31, 1905, Matumbi tribesmen marched on to Samanga and destroyed the cotton crop as well as a trading post. Kinjikitile was arrested and hanged for treason. However, Kinjekitile’s ideas were spread widely through a whispering campaign called Njwiywia or Jujila by the Matumbi.
Matumbi warriors uprooted cotton from an Akida’s farm at Nandete to provoke the chiefs to fight. On August 14, 1905, Ngindo tribesmen attacked a small party of missionaries on a safari; all five, including Bishop Spiss (the Roman Catholic Bishop of Dar es Salaam) were speared to death. The Ngindo drove their hated Akidas from their area. They boycotted cotton picking.
By August 1905, Germans were restricted to four military stations i.e. Wahenga, Kilosa, Iringa and Songea. The apex of the rebellion came at Mahenge in August 1905 where several thousand Maji Maji warriors attacked but failed to overrun a German stronghold. On October 21, 1905 the Germans retaliated with an attack on the camp of the unsuspecting Ngoni people who had joined the rebellion killing hundreds of men, women, and children.
This attack marked the beginning of a brutal counteroffensive that left an estimated 75,000 Maji Maji warriors dead by 1907. Forces from Iringa under Captain Migmann assisted in the recapture of Kabata by Major Johannes.
Reinforcement arrived from Germany and in 1907 warriors were defeated by Governor Graf Von Gotzen. The Germans employed the scorched earth policy which destroyed all property on sight. The Africans lost faith in the magic water. Some surrendered while others fled to Mozambique.
Consequences of the maji maji uprising
- There was massive loss of lives. In its wake, the Maji-Maji rebellion left 15 Europeans and 389 African soldiers and between 75,000 and 100,000 insurgents dead.
- There was massive destruction of property, as villages and crops were burnt when Germans applied the scorched earth policy.
- Southern Tanganyika experienced severe famine as farms and granaries were destroyed. This disrupted economic activities such as agriculture and trade.
- Thousands of families were displaced during the war. This was because of the fear that gripped the land, forcing people to flee in different direction.
- The war undermined the German economy in Tanganyika, as numerous economic activities came to a standstill.
- There was loss of leadership in African communities which created disorganization and demoralized the African people. Most captured leaders were hanged or imprisoned. A total of 47 Ngoni chiefs were hanged.
- Africans resigned to colonial authority. The revolt broke the spirit of the people to resist and the colony remained calm, realizing they did not have better weapons to fight with.
- The uprising undermined the Africans’ confidence in their traditional religion. The magic water failed to protect them against the German bullets.
- The uprising laid the foundation to Tanganyika’s Nationalism. The uprising would become an inspiration for later 20th Century freedom fighters who called for similar interethnic unity as they struggled against European colonial rule.
- Although the Maji Maji Uprising was ultimately unsuccessful, it forced Kaiser Wilhelm's government in Berlin to institute reforms in their Tanganyika administration as they realized the potential cost of their brutality.
Reforms introduced by the German administration after the maji maji uprising.
- Corporal punishment was abolished by the German administration. Those settlers who mistreated their workers were punished.
- Forced labour for settler farms was abolished.
- Communal cotton growing was stopped and Africans were to plant their own cotton and get profit from it.
- Better educational and medical services for the Africans were introduced.
- Africans were involved in administration of the region as Akidas and Jumbes.
- Newspapers that incited settlers against Africans were censured.
- Kiswahili became an official language.
- A colonial department of the German government was set up in 1907 to investigate and monitor the affairs of the German East Africa.
- The new governor rejected extra taxation of Africans.
- Colonial administration in Tanganyika was now tailored to suit the Africans.
Role of religion in the Maji Maji rebellion.
- It gave people courage, loyalty and confidence to fight the Germans.
- It gave spiritual strength to fight a superior force.
- Through religion, suspicions among communities were wiped out.
- Religion stood above tribal loyalty/all followed it regardless of tribe.
- Religious cults like bolero/kolelo promised people the destruction of the white man.
- It provided the ideology, which guided the war efforts.
- It sustained the morale of the warriors.
- It provided a common plan of action based on mass action
- It provided leadership during the war e.g. the prophetic leaders.
- It was used, to address the so many African grievances emanating from the harsh German rule.
The Mandinka Resistance. Samori Toure (c. 1830-1900)
One of the great kings and fighters of African freedom was the great Samori Toure. Born about 1830 in Sanankaro, SE of Kankan in present-day Guinea, Samori Toure chose the path of confrontation, using warfare and diplomacy, to deal with the French colonial incursion.
His father was a Dyula trader, leading Toure to follow his family’s occupation. In the 1850s, he enrolled in the military forces at Madina (present-day Mali) to liberate his mother, captured during a slave raid by king Sori Birama of Bisandugu. Displaying extraordinary military skill and prowess, he and his mother were subsequently released in 1858.
Coupled with his experience as a Dyula trader, he built his army. Samori employed the triple thrust of persuasion, threat and war, in the same way as Sundiata did in Mali, to organized Malinké chiefdoms and expand the Mandinka state.
Between 1852 and 1882, Samori Toure had created the Mandinka Empire with the capital at Bisandugu, in present day Gambia. Samori’s army was powerful, disciplined, professional, and trained in modern day warfare. They were equipped with European guns. The army was divided into two flanks, the infantry or sofa, with 30,000 to 35,000 men, and the cavalry or sere of 3,000 men. There was a third wing of 500 men forming specially trained bodyguards.
In 1881, Samori extended the empire to the east as far as Sikasso (in Mali) to the west, up to the Futa Djallon Empire. Meanwhile, the French were extending eastwards from Futa Djalon while the Mandinka were extending westwards towards Kenyeran trading centre, Next to the rich Bure Gold fields.In 1882, at the height of the Mandinka empire, the French accused Samori Touré of refusing to withdraw from an important market center, Kenyeran (his army had blockaded the market). They thus started war on him.
His bid to obtain assistance from the British to deal with the French failed as the later were not willing to enter into conflict with the French. From 1882 to 1885, Samori fought the French and had to sign infamous Bisandugu treaty on 28th march 1886 and then 1887.
Significance of the Bisandugu treaties (1886-1887)
- To Toure, these were acts of delay the real confrontation that with the French that would come at an opportune time.
- He hoped that by this treaty, he would reach out at the British for a friendship treaty to enable him secure trade routes from the north under Tieba of Sikasso.
- The French on their part hoped to use the treaty to enable them to arrange the conquest of the Tukolor Empire.
- The treaties put the Mandinka under brief French protection.
In 1888, he took up arms again when the French reneged on the treaty by attempting to foster rebellion within his empire.
In 1890, he reorganized the army and concluded a treaty with the British in Sierra Leone, where he obtained modern weapons. He now stressed defense and employed guerilla tactics.
The Franco- Mandinka war (1891-1898)
Causes of the Franco-Mandinka war (1891-1898)
- Samori wanted to safeguard the independence and religion of his empire. Being a staunch Muslim, he could not tolerate non-Muslims on his land.
- He was not ready willing to lose the rich Bure Mines to the French whether through diplomacy or warfare.
- His empire was at that time enjoying military and economic superiority. The French incursion was merely a threat to his territorial expansion that was to be fought at all costs.
- His participation in trade had enabled him to acquire modern arms thus enabling him to build an equipped and well trained army which did not fear the encounter French. He even had facilities for arms repair.
- His scheme to play off the British against the French, between 1882 and 1889, had failed. This upset him and therefore left him only with the fighting option.
- The activities of the French of selling arms to his enemies such as Tieba of Sikasso were viewed by Samori as an act to weaken the Mandinka dominance.
Course of the franco-mandinka war.
Samori waged a seven –year war against France whose army was led by Major Archinard. In 1891, with his improved weaponry and reorganized army, he defeated the French.
In 1892, French forces overran the major centers of the Mandinka Empire, leaving death and destruction in their wake. In 1894, the French assembled all their troops in western Sudan (Senegal, Mali, Niger, etc…) to fight Samori.
Between 1893 and 1898, Samori’s army retreated eastward, toward the Bandama and Como, resorted to the scorched earth tactic, destroying every piece of land he evacuated. He moved his capital east from Bisandugu to Dabakala, thus creating a second empire in 1893. This enabled him to delay the French. He formed a second empire, and moved his capital to Kong, in upper Cote d’Ivoire.
Disadvantages of Samori’s second empire
- He was cut off from Freetown where he used to buy firearms.
- He was at war with the communities, which he had attacked in his expansionist wars.
- His southern frontier was open to French attacks from the Ivory Coast.
- At his new empire, Samore was cut off from his gold mines at Bure thus; he had no wealth to keep his army running.
- The occupation of the Asante Empire by the British in 1896 meant that enemies from all corners surrounded Samori Toure.
In 1898, Samori, forced to fight a total war against innumerable odds like famine and desertion that weakened his forces, was captured on September 29, 1898, in his camp in Gué (lé) mou at the town of Sikasso in present-day Côte d’Ivoire and exiled to Ndjolé, Gabon, where he died of pneumonia on June 2, 1900.
Factors that aided Samori Toure in offering a protracted resistance to the Europeans
- He had established military workshops with a trained cadre of artisans whom he used to repair and manufacture his own weapons. This guaranteed regular supply of weapons during the resistance.
- He himself was a courageous fighter, a greater organizer and a military tactician and he personally commanded his army on the battlefield.
- His adoption of the Scorched Earth Policy as he mobilized the entire population to retreat left the French to starve and delay their advance.
- The success witnessed in trade enabled him to acquire guns and horses from the north, which were important in the resistance.
- Through trade and subsequent tribute collection, he obtained adequate wealth, which he used to maintain a large army.
- He had a large strong and well-organized army of 35,000 men, which was a formidable force for the French.
- He used diplomacy in dealing with the French to buy time to reorganize and strengthen his army, and to negotiate with the British in Sierra Leone to guarantee regular supply of guns.
- French soldiers were ignorant of the strange land they were fighting in and were faced with further problem of tropical disease.
- Some of his soldiers had served in the French colonial army and were thus familiar with the French tactics.
- He used Mandinka nationalism and Islam to unify the army. Many of Samori’s soldiers believed that they were fighting a Jihad (holy war) and therefore fought with determination.
Why samori was finally defeated.
- Since his army and community were constantly on the move, they could not engage in any gainful economic activity to replenish their supplies.
- The abandoning of the rich Bure Gold reserves as Samori retreated meant he had lost an important source of revenue that was initially used to sustain the army.
- When he moved to his second empire, He was cut off from Freetown where he used to buy firearms.
- Samori failed to get any support from other African societies due to lack of unity. Ahmed Seku of Tukolor and Tieba of Sikasso chose to rather assist the French than support Samori.
- His second empire was open to attack from all sides by either the British or the French, making it difficult to defend.
- The French had superior weapons and better means to re-equip their stores. They were also determined to defeat samori to set up an overseas colonial empire.
- The use of the scorched earth policy was resented by the civilians since it left them with nothing after destruction. It thus starred up local resistance.
- Even within his own empire, there was no total unity. The non-Mandinka communities and non-Muslims in the empire who had felt mistreated during his reign supported the French.
- The refusal by the British to assist Samori dented his hopes of getting a European ally against the French.
- Samori’s retreat to Liberia was blocked and his capital besieged. He had to surrender to the French.
The Ndebele Resistance
The Ndebele were descendants of Nguni conquerors from South Africa (fleeing from the mfecane wars) who occupied what is now Matabeleland. Mzilikazi (Ndebele King) opened the door for the London Missionary Society led by Robert Moffat, who settled in Matabeleland in 1859. They assisted him in repairing his guns, inoculating cattle, writing and interpreting letters and providing medical care to the sick. He however had little interest in Foreigners and even had those whose who accepted missionary influence killed.
Mzilikazi died in 1868 and his son Lobengula took over. Lobengula was the Ndebele king at the outbreak of the Anglo-Ndebele war of 1893. He went to great lengths to appease the increasingly aggressive British imperialists from the South, Portuguese invasion from Angola and Mozambique and Germans from the south west. He used his diplomatic skills to buy time before engaging in war with the British. He even tried to pit one European nation against the other (the Boers and the British).
He in 1870 had granted a mining concession to Thomas Baines of Durban Gold Mining Co. in order to diffuse white intervention. In 1888, Lobengula signed the Moffat treat which stated that he was not to sign any other treaty with other European groups without British permission. Rhodes sent his partner and agent Charles Rudd to compel Lobengula to acquiesce to the Rudd (mining) Concession- a verbal agreement between Lobengula and BSA Co granting the company a mining monopoly in Matabeleland. In return, he was to get a gunboat on River Zambezi or 500 sterling ponds, a monthly salary of 100 sterling pounds, 1000 rifles and 100,000 cartridges.
Lobengula’s conditions for concession were not incorporated in the final text. When the terms of the treaty were interpreted to him, he learned that he had been tricked into surrendering his kingdom to Europeans. In 1889, he repudiated the treaty and sent a fruitless delegation of Indunas (Motshede and Babiyance) to London to meet Queen Victoria. Despite the Ndebele king's repeal of the concession, Rhodes, supported by the British crown, enacted a charter of the newly created British South Africa Company investing it with an array of rights: the right to make treaties, to pass laws and to subject the natives to its police force, as well as to make grants of minerals and land to white settlers. Lobengula was thus pushed into reluctant resistance by white greedy rapacity.
Causes of the 1893 Ndebele war.
- The Ndebele detested the treachery used by the British in compelling Lobengula to sign the Rudd Concession
- British occupation of Matabeleland had ended Ndebele powers over the shona whom they always raided for cattle and women.
- The British acts of provocation (inciting the Shona to raid the Ndebele for cattle). When the Ndebele chose to attack the shona, the British would then fight them under the pretext of protecting their interests in Mashonaland.
- The attempt by the Ndebele indunas to punish some shona who disobeyed King Lobengula became the immediate cause.
Course of the war.
The war broke out in October 1893. The British army was led by Dr. Starr Jameson and comprised the shona police and other mercenaries from South Africa. At that time, the Ndebele had been weakened by smallpox and inferior weapons leading to little confrontation between them and the British.
Lobengula chose to evacuate his people towards Northern Rhodesia. At the two battles of Shangani River and Mbembezi. The Ndebele were defeated by superior European gun-fire. Lobengula finally fled to Bulawayo where he died in 1894. The conquerors took advantage of the natives' inner divisions, with people of the low castes remaining passive and even some traitors helping the invaders.
The aftermath of the British conquest in Zimbabwe was that cattle were seized from the natives and their land taken. Even the for the small plots that were left to them, Africans were often forcibly prevented from ploughing and sowing, since they were subjected to tax-collection and coerced labour in white owned farms. The Ndebele were pushed to the reserves of Gwaai and Shangani.
Second Matabele War (the Chimurenga war 1896-1897)
The war of liberation which was dubbed ‘Chimurenga’, or the Second Matabele War was a fulfillment of prophesy of a great Shona spirit, Mbuya Nehanda, sister of the great Shona prophet Chaminuka. Mlimo, the Ndebele spiritual leader is in fact credited with fomenting the Second Ndebele War. He convinced the Ndebele that the White settlers were responsible for the drought, locust plagues and the cattle disease rinderpest ravaging the country at the time.
Causes of the Chimurenga war
- The war broke out because the Shona and the Ndebele feared disruption of their age-old and valued trade and trade routes.
- They fought for economic and trade independence. The company had stopped shona Gold and ivory trade with the Portuguese and forced them to trade only with the company only and at low exchange rates.
- They were fighting against land alienation. The BSA Company had alienated the Ndebele land and pushed them to the Gwaai and Shangani reserves that had no water and were infested with tsetseflies.
- The war eroded the Ndebele traditional authority. When Lobengula’s sons were sent to South Africa by Rhodes for education, they were denied chance of succeeding their father.
- They detested the removal of the rights of chiefs to allocate land. The British ruined the regimental system and refused to recognize the power of the indunas and Ndebele laws.
- The British began to assume the rights to punish the subjects on behalf of the chiefs. Sometimes even the chiefs were also punished. E.g, Chief Moghabi’s village was burnt.
- They revolted against taxation which was an interference with their economic independence. The hut tax, introduced in 1894 was collected with much brutality.
- The Ndebele were not pleased with the recruitment of the shona in the police force. They felt humiliated as the shona took the chance to revenge for the many years of oppression.
- They resented the general brutality of the whites when dealing with the Africans, like threatening the black people with punishment just before pay, to cause them to run away.
- They wanted the removal of the policy of forced labour on European mines and farmswhere workers operated under deplorable conditions, often whipped with syambok (whip) and worked for long hours without chance to engage in activities of their choice.
- The company disregarded the Ndebele customs especially the class system. They treated everybody equally, including the Holi – who were traditionally slaves to the Ndebele aristocrats. The traditional leaders were sometimes flogged before their subjects.
- The confiscation, by the company, of 250,000 head of cattle in 1893 from the Ndebele. Leaving them with only 50,000 affected by cattle disease. The rights to raid the shona for cattle was also denied.
- The people were resented more by the Natural calamities that continued to afflict them and which religious mediums like Mlimo blamed on the presence of the whites.
- The influence of the Mwari cult leaders who urged people to resist with an assurance of victory against the British and immunity against the European bullets.
Course of the war
Mlimo's call to battle happened at a time when the BSA Co's Administrator General Matabeleland, Leander Starr Jameson, had sent most of his troops to fight the Transvaal Republic in the ill-fated Jameson Raid in Dec. 1995 leaving the country's defenses in disarray.
War in Matabeleland.On 29th March 1896, the Ndebele High Priest Umlugulu, with senior indunas, organized a ceremony to install Umfezela as Lobengula’s successor. On that day, The Ndebele rebels killed the whites on their farms as they found them by surprise. They also killed African policemen in the British force. The European settlers took refuge in fortified camps in Bulawayo, Gwelo, Belingwe and Mangwe.
The British immediately sent troops to suppress the Ndebele and the Shona, but it cost the lives of many settlers, Ndebele, and Shona alike. The Matabele military defiance ended only when Burnham found and assassinated Mlimo, thanks to a Zulu informant. The Ndebele finally agreed to peace talks with Rhodes during which Rhodes agreed to disband the shona police and give the Ndebele headmen some powers as indunas.
The War in Mashonaland
On 17 June 1896, the Hwata dynasty at Mazowe attacked the Alice Mine. They succeeded in driving away the British settlers from their lands on 20 June 1896. In the same month, Mashaykuma, working with the local spiritual leader Kagubi, the Zezuru Shona people in killing a British farmer Norton and his wife at Porta Farm in Norton.
With the war in Matabeleland ending in October 1897, Gen. Carrington was able to concentrate his forces on Mashonaland. Nehanda Nyakasikana and Kagubi Gumbo-reshumba were captured and executed in 1898, but Mkwati, a priest of the Mwari shrine, was never captured and died in Mutoko. Traditional leaders played a major role in the rebellion, notably Chief Mashayamombe, who led resistance in Mhondoro, Gwabayana, Makoni, Mapondera, Mangwende and Seke.
Role of religion in the organization of the Shona –Ndebele resistance
- Religion united the Shona and Ndebele who had hitherto been bitter rivals. / The two communities entered a common plan of action.
- It boosted and sustained the morale of the masses and gave them spiritual strength to fight a might force.
- Religion was used as a base of mass action. It provided the resistance with a common ideology. Much of the ideology used was derived from Umlugulu, the chief priest of the Ndebele Nyamanda, Lobengula’s eldest son and Mlimo, the medium of Mwari Cult
- Religious leaders provided leadership to the war against white aggressors who were considered immoral and brutal.
- The Mwari Cult provided an important organization link between the Ndebele and shona since it was widespread.
- The most important representatives of the Mwari Cult were Mkwati and Singinyamatse who were the backbone of the spiritual unity of the Ndebele.
Why the Ndebele and shona were defeated
- Disunity among Africans and between Shona and Ndebele. They fought on different fronts. Even some African communities supported the British against the shona and Ndebele.
- The Ndebele social class lacked unity of purpose. The former aristocrats fought on their own while the former slave classes chose to even cooperate with the British.
- British soldiers were well trained as compared to African soldiers. They also got reinforcement from Botswana and South Africa.
- The arrest and execution of African leaders like Nehanda, Kagubi and Singinyamatse demoralized the people.
- The British had superior weapons as compared to African inferior weapons.
- The magic failed to protect them against the enemy bullets. Many people were killed by the British including the leaders of the Mwari cult.
- The determination of Cecil Rhodes, who negotiated for peace with Ndebele thus ending the war. This made the suppression of the Shona by the British easy.
Results of the war
- The Africans lost their independence as the British established their authority over them.
- There was an enormous loss of life and property.
- The African land was alienated and they confined to reserves
- Africans in reserves were be subjected to forced labour.
- The war led to rapid spread of Christianity as the local people lost faith in their religion.
- The Ndebele indunas gained recognition as headmen.
- The Africans were exposed to severe famine, as the war hindered farming.
- The colonial office in London lost confidence in company rule due to its poor administration.
What is collaboration?
This was a style in which Africans responded to European intrusion through diplomacy, adaptation or allying with the Europeans for military support and for material gains
Reasons for collaboration by some African communities.
- Some African kings needed to safe guard themselves against internal and external enemies. e.g. Lewanika of Lozi who was facing threat from the Ndebele and the Ngoni.
- Others wanted to promote trade with the imperialists so that they can gain material wealth. For example, the Wanga and the Shona.
- Influence of the missionaries who convinced some African leaders to collaborate in order to get western education and civilization. E.g, François Coillard encouraged Lewanika to collaborate with the British.
- In some communities, there was need for protection against other European powers e.g. the Lozi against the Portuguese.
- Others were merely in need for assistance to gain regional supremacy. E.g the Maasai who were on downward trend as the Nandi were raising.
- To some it was a means of showing courtesy visitors assuming that they would leave soon and being ignorant of European intentions. For example, Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda.
- Other African leaders influenced some communities. For example, Chief Khama influenced Lewanika of the Lozi to resist.
- Having witnessed the European military might against the resisting neighbours some communities saw it futile to resist stronger force
The Lozi Collaboration
Factors, which influenced Lewanika of the Lozi to collaborate with the British
- Lewanika was encouraged to collaborate with the British by King Khama of Botswana who had already benefited from British protection against the Dutch in South Africa.
- The European missionaries who had visited him earlier influenced Lewanika. For example, François Coillard who convinced Lewanika to ally with the British to gain western education.
- Lewanika needed support against Portuguese and Germans who were approaching his territory.
- Lewanika wanted the British to protect his kingdom from attacks by other African communities such as the Ndebele and Shona-protection against African enemies.
- Lewanika also wanted the British to protect him against internal enemies e.g. in 1884, Lewanika faced an internal rebellion-to safeguard his position.
- Lewanika desired western education especially for his sons and civilization in his country.
- Desire for promotion of trade between Britain and his people. He was keen on acquiring European goods such as firearms for territorial defence.
- He was fearful and considered it futile to resist a strong military force like Britain.
How Lewanika collaborated with the British
Signing of treaties e.g. he first signed a treaty with Harry Ware in 1889 before signing the Lochner Treaty of 1890 and the Corydon Treaty of 1898. These treaties put Bulozi under British protectorate. Lewanika became friendly to British agents like Frank Lochner and the missionary, François Coillard, whom he allowed to establish a permanent mission station within his territory. He sent his sons to the Coillard mission school as a show of acceptance of westernization.
Lochner Treaty of 1890.
It was British missionary Francois Coillard who negotiated for the meeting between Frank Lochner, acting on behalf of Rhodes, and Lewanika in 1890. The treaty put Lewanika’s Kingdom under the protection of the British South African Company.
Terms of the treaty.
- Lewanika gave the BSA Company mining rights in Bulozi except in certain farming and iron mining areas.
- The company promised to protect the kingdom from outside attacks.
- The British company promised to pay the king 2000 sterling pounds a year and 4% royalties of all minerals mined in the area.
- A promise was made to develop trade, build schools and develop telegraphy in the kingdom.
- Lewanika would still be a king but just a constitutional monarch, not an absolute ruler as before.
- That a British resident would be posted in Lealui, the capital of the Kingdom, to monitor company activities and advise Lewanika on foreign affairs.
The treaty consequently implied that Lewanika had given up his kingdom to the British company. In 1897, Robert T. Coryndon a former police officer was sent as a British resident in Bulozi. Upon his arrival, he made arrangements for the signing of the Lawley treaty of 1898 which further reduced the size of the area governed by Lewanika.
In October 1900, he signed another treaty, the Coryndon Treaty with Lewanika.
The Coryndon Treaty (1900)
It had the following terms;
- The British government would be responsible for administration of Bulozi. The company administrator would answer to the High Commissioner at the cape.
- The company would appoint officials and pay for the administration of the area.
- The company would provide schools, industries, postal services, transport and telegraphic facilities.
- Lewanika would receive only 850 sterling pounds a year as his stipend.
- The company was allowed to acquire land on the Batoka plateau.
- The company maintained its rights to prospect for mineral in Bulozi.
- Lewanika was to stop slavery and witchcraft in his area.
- Lewanika was made paramount chief of Barotse. His powers were reduced more when more white settlers arrived in 1905 ready to participate in government.
NB; the Coryndon treaty made Lewanika a mere employee of the company, receiving only a stipend. He lost control of the former vassal states that no longer would pay tribute to him since they were now under the British.In the final run, Lewanika lost his independence just like any other collaborator or resistor.
Results of Lewanika collaboration
- Schools and health centres were put up in his kingdom.
- He got British protection from Ndebele attacks.
- It marked the beginning of the erosion of the independence and traditional authority of his empire. Lewanika lost his authority as the administration was taken over by the British South Africa Company
- The British recognized Lewanika as a paramount chief of Barotse and gave him necessary protection.
- Lewanika received payment of £ 2000 yearly
- The British South Africa Company took over the control of the minerals
- The Lozi land was alienated and given to British settlers
- The Lozi were later forced to pay taxes in order to maintain the administration.
- The Lozi were forced to work as labourers on settler’s farms
- The Lozi were employed in the civil service
- The British South Africa Company developed infrastructure in Barotseland
- The British used Barotseland as a base to conquer the neighbouring communities.
The Buganda collaboration.
By the mid 19th century, Buganda had become the most powerful state in the interior of East Africa. However despite this might, the Kabakas (Mutesa I and Mwanga) chose the path of collaboration instead of resisting the European intrusion.
Why kabaka Mutesa I (1856-1884) collaborated with the Europeans.
- His kingdom was under threat form Khedive Ishmael of Egypt. He therefore wanted British assistance against the Egyptian threat.
- There was threat from his traditional enemy, Omukama Kabalega of Bunyoro Kingdom.
- Mutesa wanted to establish a centralized religious authority over Buganda to counter there power wielded by the traditional priest of the Lubaale Cult and the Muslim power and influence.
- He wanted modernization and to gain Prestige from association with the Europeans. For example, western education, medicine and other material benefits.
- He had the desire to trade with Europeans to get their goods especially firearms.
Kabaka Mwanga (1884-1898)
Mwanga’s main problem when he took over power was religious indecision which eventually generated political instability. In January 1885, he executed three C.M.S converts. In October 1885, he had Bishop Hannington killed. In May 1886, 30 young converts were burnt to death at Namugongo for refusing to denounce their Christian faith.
In 1888, under the urge of the traditionalists, he unsuccessfully attempted to expel all foreigners whom he blamed for causing chaos in his kingdom. He instead was disposed by a combined force of Muslims, Catholics and Protestants and replaced by his brother Kiwewa, sharing authority with foreigners.
In 1890, Mwanga recaptured the throne assisted by the Christians and Kabalega of Bunyoro kingdom. He signed a protectorate treaty with Carl peters for the Germans and rejected a treaty offer by Fredrick Jackson of IBEACO. IN 1891, Mwanga signed a treaty of collaboration with Fredrick Lugard, the First British administrator sent to Uganda. This was after the Heligoland Treaty of 1890 had put Uganda a British sphere of influence.
Why Mwanga collaborated
- He wanted to acquire protection from internal and external enemies e.g religious groups and Banyoro.
- He wanted to secure his position and safeguard the Baganda from interference.
- He wanted the British to help him Gain regional supremacy over the surrounding kingdoms of Bunyoro, Ankole and Toro.
However, throughout all the religious conflicts that continued in Uganda between the Protestants and the Catholics, Kabaka Mwanga always supported the Catholics to the Chagrin of the British administrators. He was disposed by Lugard in 1894 after the capture of his palace at Mengo. Under Kabaka Mwanga II, Buganda became a protectorate in 1894.
This did not last and the Kabaka declared war on Britain in on July 6, 1897. He was defeated at the battle of Buddu on July 20 of the same year.
He fled to German East Africa where he was arrested and interned at Bukoba.
The Kabaka later escaped and led a rebel army to retake the kingdom before being defeated once again in 1898 and being exiled to the Seychelles. While in exile, Mwanga II was received into the Anglican Church, was baptized with the name of Danieri (Daniel). He spent the rest of his life in exile.
He died in 1903, aged 35 years. In 1910 his remains were repatriated and buried at Kasubi. The war against Kabaka Mwanga II had been expensive, and the new commissioner of Uganda in 1900, Sir Harry H. Johnston, had orders to establish an efficient administration and to levy taxes as quickly as possible. This he did through the Buganda Agreement of 1900
The Buganda agreement
The Buganda agreement was signed in 1900 between Sir Harry Johnstone, British Official, and Apollo Kagwa, representing the Baganda
Reasons for signing of the Buganda agreement
- The treaty was to define the position of Buganda in the country.
- To introduce law and order in the country.
- To reduce the cost of British administration since Buganda was to meet the cost of administration.
- To define the relationship between Buganda and the British government.
Terms of the Buganda agreement
- The Buganda laws were to remain in effect as much as they did not interfere with protectorate laws that were to be applicable to Buganda Kingdom as well. Bugandakingdom was to be ruled by the Kabaka with the assistance of Katikiro. The Lukiko was to be the legitimate body making laws of Buganda and it was to compose 89 members.
- Buganda people were to pay poll and hut tax. However, No tax was to be levied on Buganda unless approved by the Lukiko (parliament). Revenue from Buganda was to be merged with all the revenue from other provinces.
- The kabaka, ministers and Chiefs to be paid since they were now employees of the British government.
- Buganda boundaries were defined to include parts of Bunyoro (the ten sazas she had acquired from Bunyoro). The kingdom was therefore expanded to twenty counties. To ease administration, each county was placed under a Saza Chief.
- Land tenure system was changed to include land on freehold basis (Mailo land) and crown land. The crown land was for protectorate government while the Mailo land was particularly for the kabaka, his ministers and his chiefs.
- Though Buganda became a province within the protectorate, Ganda system of government was recognized and modified. It was to have three ministers (katikiro, treasurer and chief justice.). The Lukiko had fixed number- 20-saza chiefs, 60 notables and 6 Kabaka’sappointees.
Results of the Buganda agreement.
- British overlordship was confirmed over Buganda.
- Buganda was reduced to a status of a mere province.
- The position of the king was reduced – he lost his power to give or withhold land as well as the power to appoint or transfer chiefs.
- The 1900 Agreement led to the birth of early nationalistic movements. For example, the Bataka Opposition Movement in the 1920s by the landless class people rising up against the land-owning group.
- Modern economy and western education were introduced with Buganda taking the lead.
- Buganda formed the basis for the British administration as baganda were appointed as British administrators.
- It strengthened the special position of Buganda in relation to other communities in Uganda.
- Sazas were increased from 10 to 20 and saza chiefs got land and right to impose land rent.
- It led expansion of Christianity and decline of Islamic influence.
- Bunyoro kingdom became aggrieved as results of loss of part their territory that was transferred to Buganda by the British. This caused friction later.
Results of African collaboration
- Just like resistors, the collaborating communities also lost their independence and were eventually colonized. Bulozi and Buganda finally became British Protectorates.
- The collaborating community leaders gained some recognition, though with reduced powers. Lewanika foe example became the paramount Chief of Barotseland while Kabaka gained the title, ‘His Highness’.
- The collaborators were able to secure some amount of protection from their traditional enemies. The Lozi were protected from the Ndebele while the Baganda were protected from the Banyoro.
- The collaborators were used by the Europeans to exert their authority over other African societies. The baganda on their part were used to administer Busoga.
- The collaborating Africans gained from missionary work. Lewanika’s sons for example gained western education. Hospitals and schools were also built in the kingdoms.
- There was increased trade between the collaborating communities and the Europeans. The communities gained European goods such as glassware, clothes, guns and ammunition.
- The collaborators just like resistors were later subjected to economic exploitation such as land alienation, mining, taxation and forced labour.
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