Home HISTORY Examine the factors behind the decline of Chartered Company rule in Africa.

Examine the factors behind the decline of Chartered Company rule in Africa.

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Examine the factors behind the decline of Chartered Company rule in Africa.

Qn. Why Chartered Company administration in Africa did not live longer.

Company rule did not meet their responsibilities, they achieved very few objectives contrary to what was expected by their mother countries. In 1900’s many Companies did not  continue  with  their  administration  and  therefore  they  transferred  all  their  political  administrative  rights  to  the  governments  in their  mother  countries.


There  were  several  reasons  which  led  to  the  failure  of  the  Chartered Companies  in  Africa as follows:

Financial problems.

Many of the Chartered Companies later on ran bankrupt. The bankrupt was  due  to  the  fact  that home  government  did not  support  much  the  /company  Also  the  Companies  had  many  responsibilities  to  fulfill, for  example  Suppressing  resistances  and  construction  of  infrastructures. Generally, this led to failure of these Companies.

African resistances.

The Companies also faced many resistances from the natives. This was  due  to  the fact  that, Africans  were  not  happy  with  the  presence  of  the  For  example  G.E.A.CO  faced  a Stiff resistance  from  the  Coastal  people  led  by  Abushiri  and  Bwana Heri  in  1888 – 1889. Also  I.B.E.A.CO  faced  stiff resistance  from  the  Nandi  in  Kenya. This contributed to the failure of the companies.

Lack of Experienced and skilled administrators.

The companies recruited most of the staff outside East  Africa  without  much  regard  of  their  experience  and  Also,  much of  the  Company  officials  and  traders  were  less  competent  in  their  responsibilities  hence  failure  of  Company  rule.

Chartered Company

Presence of tropical diseases.

This limited the penetration of the company officials to reach the interior. For example Malaria killed  many  E.A.CO  and  I.B.E.CO  officials  something  which  resulted  into shortage  of  officials  hence failure  of  the  companies.

factors behind the decline of Chartered Company rule in Africa.

Language problem (barrier).

There was language barrier between Africans and the Company Officials. It was difficult  to  communicate  between  the  two  groups( Africans  and  Europeans) as  each  group  found  the  language  of  other  being  Hence, decline of Company rule.

Lack of transport and communication facilities.

This was  another  problem  that  faced  Chartered  Company  administration  to  the  interior  was  not  easy  as  some  area  lacked  good  and  variable  transport  This made  the exploitation  of  resources  and  administration  in  general  to  become  difficult. Hence, decline of Company rule.

Harsh Climatic Condition (Bad climatic condition).

The climatic  condition  of  various  parts  of  Africa  was  not conductive  to  Europeans. For example in  East  Africa  the  climate  was  not  friendly and favarable to  Company Officials  hence  failure  of  Company’s

Insufficient knowledge about Africa.

Most of  the  Company  Officials  lacked  sufficient  knowledge  about  the  areas  where  the  companies  were  For instance, the  I.B.E.A.CO  Officials  were  not  sure  on  the  navigability  of  some  rivers  such  as  River  Tana  and  Juba

Maltreatment of the natives.

In some areas, the company rule over exploited and harassed badly the indigenous. The maltreatment of  the  companies  created  hostility  with  Africans, something  which  led  to  stiff  For  example Karl Peters (G.E.A.CO)  was  nicknamed  as “Mikono ya Damu” by  the  natives  in  East  Africa  due  to  his  brutality. He  therefore  faced  a lot  of  resistances  and  dislike  until  his  dismissal.


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