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Explain the reason why the British colonised Kenya

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  1. The rise of Nationalism in Europe.
    • The Unification of Germany, after the Franco- Prussian war (1870-71) upset the balance of power in Europe and there was need to rebalance out through acquisition of colonies in Africa including east Africa. The Germans also felt that the only way their nation could gain recognition among other European powers was through securing colonial possession.
  2. Strategic location of East Africa in relation to Egypt.
    • Europeans were concerned with the source of the river Nile in East Africa and control of the Suez Canal. Therefore, the ownership of East Africa was crucial to the Egyptian affairs. East Africa, had, from the days of the Portuguese conquest in the 15th century, proved to be a strategic location for fresh supplies. That is why the Germans and the British competed for possessions in the region.
  3. The need to speed up economic development of the European countries.
    • The industrialized nations were rushing for colonies to tap raw materials to keep their factories running.
    • There was also a popular believe that East Africa contained pockets of precious metals awaiting exploitation.
    • They were also driven by the search for market for European produced goods.
    • The Europeans were also looking for places to invest their capital.
  4. The rise of Public opinion in Europe.
    • There was growth of public support towards the acquisition of colonies. E.g., the Daily Press in London spoke well about acquiring colonies.
  5. Social factors.
    • East Africa was to be occupied as a means of stamping out slave trade and replacing it with legitimate trade.
    • The Europeans were keen on spreading their culture to east Africa.
    • They wanted to protect their missionaries who were already operating in east Africa
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