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East Africa, Eastern Africa, or East of Africa is the
east
east
ern
sub-region A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south or southern, are commonly used to define a subregion. United Nations subregions The United Nations Statistics Division ...
of the
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of i ...

Africa
n
continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of th ...

continent
. In the
United Nations Statistics Division The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), formerly the United Nations Statistical Office, serves under the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) as the central mechanism within the Secretariat of the United Nations t ...
scheme of geographic regions, 19* territories make up Eastern Africa: Due to colonial territories of the British
East Africa Protectorate East Africa Protectorate (also known as British East Africa) was an area in the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East Afric ...
and
German East Africa German East Africa (german: Deutsch-Ostafrika) (GEA) was a German colonial empire, German colony in the African Great Lakes region, which included present-day Burundi, Rwanda, the Tanzania mainland, and the Kionga Triangle, a small region later ...

German East Africa
, the term ''East Africa'' is often (especially in the English language) used to specifically refer to the area now comprising the three countries of
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
,
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
, and
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic bas ...

Uganda
. However, this has never been the convention in many other languages, where the term generally had a wider, strictly geographic context and therefore typically included Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia.Somaliland is not included in the United Nations geoscheme, as it is internationally recognized as a part of Somalia. *
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
,
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
,
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic bas ...

Uganda
,
Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley, where the African Great Lakes region and East Africa converge. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, ...

Rwanda
,
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is ...

Burundi
, and
South Sudan South Sudan (), officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the la ...

South Sudan
are members of the
East African Community The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organisation composed of six countries in the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in an ...

East African Community
. The first five are also included in the
African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake Victoria, the List of lakes by area, second-largest fresh water lake in the wo ...

African Great Lakes
region. Burundi and Rwanda are at times also considered to be part of
Central Africa Central Africa is a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhab ...

Central Africa
. *
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
,
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa region of East Africa, Eastern Africa, with its capital (and largest city) at Asmara. It is bordered by Ethiopia in the south, Sudan in the west, and Djibouti ...

Eritrea
,
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea and Djibouti to the north, Somaliland to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the sout ...

Ethiopia
and
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
are collectively known as the
Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland fr ...

Horn of Africa
.Robert Stock, ''Africa South of the Sahara, Second Edition: A Geographical Interpretation'', (The Guildford Press; 2004), p. 26Michael Hodd, ''East Africa Handbook'', 7th Edition, (Passport Books: 2002), p. 21: "To the north are the countries of the Horn of Africa comprising Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia."Encyclopedia Britannica, inc, Jacob E. Safra, ''The New Encyclopedia Britannica'', (Encyclopædia Britannica: 2002), p.61: "The northern mountainous area, known as the Horn of Africa, comprises Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Somaliland."Sandra Fullerton Joireman, ''Institutional Change in the Horn of Africa'', (Universal-Publishers: 1997), p.1: "The Horn of Africa encompasses the countries of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia. These countries share similar peoples, languages, and geographical endowments." The area is the easternmost projection of the African continent. *
Comoros The Comoros,; ar, جزر القمر, ' officially the Union of the Comoros,Comorian languages, Comorian: ''Udzima wa Komori,'' french: Union des Comores, ar, الاتحاد القمري ' is an island country in the Indian Ocean, at the nor ...
,
Mauritius Mauritius ( ; french: Maurice, link=no ; mfe, label=, Moris ]), officially the Republic of Mauritius, is an in the about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the southeast coast of the African continent, east of . It includes the main isla ...

Mauritius
, and
Seychelles Seychelles (; ), officially the Republic of Seychelles (french: link=no, République des Seychelles; Creole: ''La Repiblik Sesel''), is an archipelagic island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country ...

Seychelles
– small
island nations An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some ...
in the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
. *
Réunion Réunion (french: La Réunion, ; previously ''Île Bourbon''; rcf, label=Réunion Creole, Reunionese Creole, La Rénion) is an island in the Indian Ocean that is an overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department and region of ...

Réunion
and
Mayotte Mayotte (french: Mayotte, ; Shimaore language, Shimaore: ''Maore'', ; mg, Maiôty) is an overseas department and region, overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France officially named the Department of Mayotte (French ...

Mayotte
French overseas territories Overseas France (french: France d'outre-mer, ''l'Outre-mer'', or colloquially ''les DOM-TOM'') consists of all the France, French-administered territories outside Europe, mostly remains of the French colonial empire. It includes island territo ...
also in the Indian Ocean. *
Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), is a country located in Southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-lar ...

Mozambique
and
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mala ...

Madagascar
– often considered part of
Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Pr ...
, on the eastern side of the sub-continent. Madagascar has close cultural ties to
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
and the islands of the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
. *
Malawi Malawi (; or aláwi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of ...

Malawi
,
Zambia Zambia (), officially the Republic of Zambia (Bemba language, Bemba:'' Icalo ca Zambia''; Tonga language (Zambia and Zimbabwe), Tonga: ''Cisi ca Zambia''; Lozi language, Lozi: ''Naha ya Zambia''; Chewa language, Nyanja: ''Dziko la Zambia''), ...

Zambia
, and
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (), officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individ ...

Zimbabwe
– often also included in
Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Pr ...
, and formerly constituted the
Central African Federation Central is an adjective In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign languag ...

Central African Federation
(also known historically as the '' Federation of Rhodesia and
Nyasaland Nyasaland () was a British protectorate located in Africa that was established in 1907 when the former British Central Africa Protectorate changed its name. Between 1953 and 1963, Nyasaland was part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland ...
''). *
South Sudan South Sudan (), officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the la ...

South Sudan
and
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A ...

Sudan
– collectively part of the
Nile Valley The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubi ...

Nile Valley
. Situated in the northeastern portion of the continent,
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A ...

Sudan
is also included in
Northern Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

Northern Africa
. Also members of the
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a free trade area with twenty-one member states stretching from Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in nort ...
(COMESA) free trade area.


Geography and climate

Some parts of East Africa have been renowned for their concentrations of wild animals, such as the "
big fiveBig Five may refer to: Animals * the Big five game, Big Five, large African wild animals said to be most difficult to hunt: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo * Big Five animals of the Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India: Ind ...

big five
": the
elephant Elephants are the largest existing land animals. Three living species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, ...

elephant
,
buffalo
buffalo
,
lion The lion (''Panthera leo'') is a large Felidae, cat of the genus ''Panthera'' native to Africa and India. It has a muscular, deep-chested body, short, rounded head, round ears, and a hairy tuft at the end of its tail. It is sexually dimorphic; ...
,
black rhinoceros The black rhinoceros or hook-lipped rhinoceros (''Diceros bicornis'') is a species of rhinoceros, native to eastern and southern Africa including Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Eswatini, Tanzania, Zambia, and ...
,Emslie, R. (2012). ''Diceros bicornis''. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and
leopard The leopard (''Panthera pardus'') is one of the five extant in the ', a member of the cat , . It occurs in a wide range in , in some parts of and , , and on the to and . It is listed as on the because leopard populations are threatened ...

leopard
, though populations have been declining under increased stress in recent times, particularly those of the rhino and elephant. The geography of East Africa is often stunning and scenic. Shaped by global plate tectonic forces that have created the
East African Rift File:East Africa Rift System GPS and stresses.png, Main rift faults, plates, plate boundaries, GPS plate velocities between adjacent blocks and minimum horizontal stress directions The East African Rift (EAR) or East African Rift System (EARS) is ...
, East Africa is the site of
Mount Kilimanjaro Mount Kilimanjaro () is a dormant volcano A volcano is a rupture in the of a , such as , that allows hot , , and to escape from a below the surface. On Earth, volcanoes are most often found where are or , and most are found und ...

Mount Kilimanjaro
and
Mount Kenya Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the Highest mountain peaks of Africa, second-highest in Africa, after Mount Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (), Nelion () and Point Lenana (). Mount Kenya is ...

Mount Kenya
, the two tallest peaks in Africa. It also includes the world's second largest freshwater lake,
Lake Victoria Lake Victoria ( luo, Nam Lolwe; lg, 'Nnalubaale; rw, Nyanza; also ''Ukerewe'') is one of the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around ...

Lake Victoria
, and the world's second deepest lake,
Lake Tanganyika Lake Tanganyika is an African Great Lake. It is the second-oldest freshwater lake in the world, the second-largest by volume, and the second-deepest, in all cases after Lake Baikal in Siberia. It is the world's longest freshwater lake. The la ...

Lake Tanganyika
. The climate of East Africa is rather atypical of equatorial regions. Because of a combination of the region's generally high
altitude Altitude or height (also sometimes known as depth) is a distance measurement, usually in the vertical or "up" direction, between a reference and a point or object. The exact definition and reference datum varies according to the context (e.g. ...

altitude
and the
rain shadow A rain shadow is an area of significantly reduced rain Rain is liquid water in the form of drop (liquid), droplets that have condensation, condensed from atmosphere, atmospheric water vapor and then precipitation (meteorology), become he ...

rain shadow
of the westerly
monsoon A monsoon () is traditionally a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology ...

monsoon
winds created by the
Rwenzori Mountains The Ruwenzori, also spelled Rwenzori and Rwenjura, are a range Range may refer to: Geography * Range (geographic), a chain of hills or mountains; a somewhat linear, complex mountainous or hilly area (cordillera, sierra) ** Mountain range, a ...

Rwenzori Mountains
and
Ethiopian Highlands The Ethiopian Highlands is a rugged mass of mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit are ...
, East Africa is surprisingly cool and dry for its latitude. In fact, on the coast of Somalia, many years can go by without any rain whatsoever. Elsewhere the annual rainfall generally increases towards the south and with altitude, being around at
Mogadishu Mogadishu (, also ; so, Muqdisho or Xamar ; ar, مقديشو, Muqadīshū ; it, Mogadiscio ), locally known as Xamar or Hamar, is the capital city and most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city ...

Mogadishu
and at
Mombasa Mombasa ( , also ) is a coastal city in southeastern Kenya ) , national_anthem = " Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"() , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital ...

Mombasa
on the coast, whilst inland it increases from around at
Garoowe Garowe ( so, Garoowe, ar, غاروي, it, Garoe) is the administrative capital of Puntland Puntland ( so, Buntland, ar, أرض البنط, it, Terra di Punt or ''Paese di Punt''), officially the Puntland State of Somalia ( so, Dowladda Puntl ...
to over at Moshi near Kilimanjaro. Unusually, most of the rain falls in ''two'' distinct
wet season The wet season (sometimes called the rainy season) is the time of year when most of a region's average annual rainfall Rain is liquid water in the form of droplet Raindrops in a plant. A drop or droplet is a small column of liquid ...
s, one centred on April and the other in October or November. This is usually attributed to the passage of the Intertropical Convergence Zone across the region in those months, but it may also be analogous to the autumn monsoon rains of parts of
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
,
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
, and the Brazilian
Nordeste The Northeast Region of Brazil ( pt, Região Nordeste do Brasil; ) is one of the five official and political regions of Brazil, regions of the country according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. For the socio-geographic area s ...
. West of the Rwenzoris and
Ethiopian highlands The Ethiopian Highlands is a rugged mass of mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit are ...
, the rainfall pattern is more typically tropical, with rain throughout the year near the equator and a single wet season in most of the Ethiopian Highlands from June to September – contracting to July and August around
Asmara Asmara ( ), or Asmera, (Tigrinya language, Tigrinya: ኣስመራ)is the capital and most populous city of Eritrea, in the country's Central Region (Eritrea), Central Region. It sits at an elevation of , making it the List of capital cities by a ...

Asmara
. Annual rainfall here ranges from over on the western slopes to around at
Addis Ababa Addis Ababa ( am, አዲስ አበባ ' , "new flower"), also known as Finfinne ( om, Finfinne "natural spring") and Sheger ( ', ), is the and largest city of . According to the 2007 census, the city has a population of 2,739,551 inhabitants. ...

Addis Ababa
and at Asmara. In the high mountains rainfall can be over . Rainfall in East Africa is characterised by two main rainfall seasons, the long rains from March–May and the short rains from October- December. Rainfall variability is influenced by both
El Niño es, El Niño, translation=The Boy (; ) is the warm phase of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an irregular periodic variation in winds and sea surface temperatures over the Tropics, tropical easte ...
events and a positive
Indian Ocean Dipole The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), also known as the Indian Niño, is an irregular oscillation Oscillation is the repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value (often a point of equilibrium) or between two or more d ...
. El Nino events tend to increase rainfall except in the northern and western parts of the Ethiopian and Eritrean highlands, where they produce drought and poor
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
floods A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide. Floods are an area of study of the discipline hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: ...
. Similarly, a positive Indian Ocean Dipole result in warm sea-surface temperatures off the coast of East Africa and lead to increased rainfall over East Africa. Temperatures in East Africa, except on the hot and generally humid coastal belt, are moderate, with maxima of around and minima of at an altitude of . At altitudes of above ,
frost Frost is a thin layer of ice Ice is water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main con ...

frost
s are common during the dry season and maxima typically about or less. The unique geography and apparent suitability for
farming Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors suc ...

farming
made East Africa a target for
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
an
exploration Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Discovery is the act of detecting something new, or something previously unrecognized as meaningful. With reference to scien ...

exploration
,
exploitation Exploitation may refer to: *Exploitation of natural resources *Exploitation of labour *Exploitation fiction *Exploitation film *Exploitation (film), ''Exploitation'' (film), a 2012 film *Sexual slavery and other forms of slavery *Oppression See al ...
and
colonialization
colonialization
in the nineteenth century. Today,
tourism Tourism is travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical location In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of th ...

tourism
is an important part of the economies of Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles, and Uganda. The easternmost point of the continent, that is
Ras Hafun Ras Hafun ( so, Ras Xaafuun, ar, رأس حـافـون, it, Capo Hafun), also known as Cape Hafun, is a promontory in the northeastern Bari, Somalia, Bari region of Somalia. Jutting out into the Guardafui Channel, it constitutes the East Africa, ...
in Somalia, is of
archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better underst ...
,
historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of the past. Events before the History of writing#Inventions of writing, invention of writing systems ar ...

historical
and
economical
economical
importance.


History


Prehistory

According to the theory of the
recent African origin of modern humans In , the recent African origin of modern humans, also called the "Out of Africa" theory (OOA), recent single-origin hypothesis (RSOH), replacement hypothesis, or recent African origin model (RAO), is the dominant model of the geographic origin ...
, the predominantly held belief among most archaeologists, East Africa is the area where
anatomically modern humans Early modern human (EMH) or anatomically modern human (AMH) are terms used to distinguish ''Homo sapiens Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread of , characterized by and large, complex brains. This has enabled ...
first appeared. There are differing theories on whether there was a single exodus or several; a multiple dispersal model involves the Southern Dispersal theory.Searching for traces of the Southern Dispersal
, by Dr. Marta Mirazón Lahr, et al.
Some researchers have suggested that
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
was the region of Africa from which modern humans who first trekked out of the continent. According to both genetic and fossil evidence, it has been posited that archaic Homo sapiens evolved into
anatomically modern human Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, ...
s in the Horn of Africa around 200,000 years ago and dispersed from there. The recognition of ''
Homo sapien idaltu
Homo sapien idaltu
'' and Omo Kibish as anatomically modern humans would justify the description of contemporary humans with the subspecies name ''Homo sapiens sapiens''. Because of their early dating and unique physical characteristics idaltu and kibish represent the immediate ancestors of anatomically modern humans as suggested by the Out-of-Africa theory. In 2017 finds of modern human remains, dating to ca 300,000 years ago in
Jebel Irhoud Jebel Irhoud ( ary, جبل إيغود, ǧabal īġūd also Adrar Ighud, Berber: ') is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric ...
in Morocco, suggested that modern humans arose earlier and possibly in a larger area of Africa than previously thought. East Africa is one of the earliest regions where ''
Homo sapiens Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread of , characterized by and large, complex brains. This has enabled the development of advanced , , and . Humans are highly social and tend to live in complex s composed of many ...

Homo sapiens
'' are believed to have lived. Evidence was found in 2018, dating to about 320,000 years ago, at the Kenyan site of
Olorgesailie Olorgesailie is a geological formation in East Africa containing a group of Lower Paleolithic 250px, Four views of an Acheulean handaxe The Lower Paleolithic (or Lower Palaeolithic) is the earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone ...
, of the early emergence of modern behaviors associated with ''Homo sapiens'', including: long-distance trade networks (involving goods such as obsidian), the use of pigments, and the possible making of projectile points. It is observed by the authors of three 2018 studies on the site, that the evidence of these behaviors is approximately contemporary to the earliest known ''Homo sapiens'' fossil remains from Africa (such as at
Jebel Irhoud Jebel Irhoud ( ary, جبل إيغود, ǧabal īġūd also Adrar Ighud, Berber: ') is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric ...
and Florisbad), and they suggest that complex and modern behaviors had already begun in Africa around the time of the emergence of ''Homo sapiens''. In September 2019, scientists reported the computerized determination, based on 260
CT scan A CT scan or computed tomography scan (formerly known as computed axial tomography or CAT scan) is a medical image, imaging Scientific technique, technique used in radiology to obtain detailed internal images of the body noninvasively for Diagno ...

CT scan
s, of a virtual
skull shape
skull shape
of the last common human ancestor to
modern human Early modern human (EMH) or anatomically modern human (AMH) are terms used to distinguish ''Homo sapiens'' (the only extant Hominina species) that are Human anatomy, anatomically consistent with the Human variability, range of phenotypes seen in ...
s/''H. sapiens'', representative of the earliest ''Homo sapiens'', and suggested that ''Homo sapiens'' arose between 350,000 and 260,000 years ago through a merging of populations in
South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...

South
and East Africa. The migration route of the "Out of Africa" theory probably occurred in East Africa however through Bab el Mandeb Today at the
Bab-el-Mandeb The Bab-el-Mandeb (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countr ...

Bab-el-Mandeb
straits, the Red Sea is about 12 miles (20 kilometres) wide, but 50,000 years ago it was much narrower and sea levels were 70 meters lower. Though the straits were never completely closed, there may have been islands in between which could be reached using simple rafts. The major competing hypothesis is the
multiregional origin of modern humans The multiregional hypothesis, multiregional evolution (MRE), or polycentric hypothesis is a scientific model that provides an alternative explanation to the more widely accepted "Out of Africa" model of monogenesis for the pattern of human evolu ...
, which envisions a wave of ''
Homo sapiens Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread of , characterized by and large, complex brains. This has enabled the development of advanced , , and . Humans are highly social and tend to live in complex s composed of many ...

Homo sapiens
'' migrating earlier from Africa and interbreeding with local ''
Homo erectus ''Homo erectus'' (meaning "upright Body relative directions (also known as egocentric coordinates) are geometrical orientations relative to a body such as a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread s ...

Homo erectus
'' populations in multiple regions of the globe. Most multiregionalists still view Africa as a major wellspring of human genetic diversity, but allow a much greater role for hybridization. Some of the earliest
hominin The Hominini form a Tribe (biology), taxonomic tribe of the subfamily Homininae ("hominines"). Hominini includes the extant genera ''Homo'' (humans) and ''Pan (genus), Pan'' (chimpanzees and bonobos), but excludes the genus ''Gorilla'' (gorillas). ...
skeletal remains have been found in the wider region, including fossils discovered in the
Awash Valley The Awash (sometimes spelled Hawash; Oromo: ''Awaash'', Amharic Amharic ( or ; (Amharic: ), ', ) is an Ethiopian Semitic language, which is a subgrouping within the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), a ...
of
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea and Djibouti to the north, Somaliland to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the sout ...

Ethiopia
, as well as in the
Koobi Fora Koobi Fora refers primarily to a region around Koobi Fora Ridge, located on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana Lake Turkana (), formerly known as Lake Rudolf, is a lake in the Kenyan Rift Valley, in northern Kenya, with its far northern en ...
in Kenya and
Olduvai Gorge The Olduvai Gorge or Oldupai Gorge in Tanzania is one of the most important paleoanthropology, paleoanthropological sites in the world; it has proven invaluable in furthering understanding of early human evolution. A steep-sided ravine in the Greg ...

Olduvai Gorge
in Tanzania. The southern part of East Africa was occupied until recent times by
Khoisan Khoisan , or (), according to the contemporary Khoekhoegowab The Khoekhoe language (), also known by the ethnic terms Nama (''Namagowab'') , Damara (''ǂNūkhoegowab''), or Nama/Damara and formerly as Hottentot, is the most widespread ...

Khoisan
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
s, whereas in the
Ethiopian Highlands The Ethiopian Highlands is a rugged mass of mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit are ...
the
donkey The donkey or ass is a domestic animal This page gives a list of domestic animals, also including a list of domestication of animals, animals which are or may be currently undergoing the process of domestication and animals that have an exten ...
and such crop plants as
teff ''Eragrostis tef'', also known as teff, Williams lovegrass or annual bunch grass, is an annual Annual may refer to: *Annual publication, periodical publications appearing regularly once per year **Yearbook **Literary annual *Annual plant *Annual ...
allowed the beginning of
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
around 7,000 B.C. Lowland barriers and diseases carried by the
tsetse fly Tsetse ( , or ), sometimes spelled tzetze and also known as tik-tik flies, are large biting flies that inhabit much of tropical Africa. Tsetse flies include all the species in the genus ''Glossina'', which are placed in their own family, Glo ...

tsetse fly
, however, prevented the donkey and agriculture from spreading southwards. Only in quite recent times has agriculture spread to the more humid regions south of the equator, through the spread of
cattle Cattle, taurine cattle, Eurasian cattle, or European cattle (''Bos taurus'' or ''Bos primigenius taurus'') are large domestication, domesticated Cloven hoof, cloven-hooved herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae ...

cattle
,
sheep Sheep (''Ovis aries'') are quadruped The zebra is a quadruped. Quadrupedalism is a form of terrestrial locomotion where a tetrapod Tetrapods (; from Greek 'four' and 'foot') are four-limbed animals constituting the superclass Tetrapo ...

sheep
and crops such as
millet Millets () are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Millets are important crops in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially in Indi ...

millet
. Language distributions suggest that this most likely occurred from Sudan into the African Great Lakes region, since the
Nilotic languages The Nilotic languages are a group of related languages spoken across a wide area between South Sudan South Sudan (), officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East Africa, East-Central Africa. It is bordere ...

Nilotic languages
spoken by these pre-Bantu farmers have their closest relatives in the middle Nile basin.


Ancient history

Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
,
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa region of East Africa, Eastern Africa, with its capital (and largest city) at Asmara. It is bordered by Ethiopia in the south, Sudan in the west, and Djibouti ...

Eritrea
,
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea and Djibouti to the north, Somaliland to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the sout ...

Ethiopia
,
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
, and the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northe ...

Red Sea
coast of
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A ...

Sudan
are considered the most likely location of the land known to the
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

Ancient Egypt
ians as ''
Punt Punt or punting may refer to: Boats *Punt (boat), a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow developed on the River Thames *Falmouth Quay Punt, a small sailing vessel hired by ships anchored in Falmouth harbour *Norfolk Punt, a type of racing ding ...
''. The old kingdom's first mention dates to the 25th century BC. The ancient Puntites were a nation of people that had close relations with
Pharaonic Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word t ...

Pharaonic Egypt
during the times of
Pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. ...

Pharaoh
Sahure Sahure (also Sahura, meaning "He who is close to Re") was a pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the vernacular, common title now used for the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty of Egypt, First Dynasty (c. 3150 BCE) until ...

Sahure
and
Queen Queen may refer to: Monarchy * Queen regnant, a female monarch of a Kingdom ** List of queens regnant * Queen consort, the wife of a reigning king * Queen dowager, the widow of a king * Queen mother, a queen dowager who is the mother of a reigni ...
Hatshepsut Hatshepsut (; also Hatchepsut; Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex an ...

Hatshepsut
. The
Kingdom of Aksum The Kingdom of Aksum ( gez, መንግሥተ አኵስም), also known as the Kingdom of Axum or the Aksumite Empire, was an ancient kingdom, from the 2nd to the 10th century, with its capital at the city of Axum Aksum or Axum (; ti, ኣኽሱ ...

Kingdom of Aksum
was a trading empire centered in Eritrea and northern Ethiopia. It existed from approximately 100–940 AD, growing from the proto-Aksumite
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
period c. 4th century BC to achieve prominence by the 1st century AD. The kingdom is mentioned in the ''
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea The ''Periplus of the Erythraean Sea'' ( grc, Περίπλους τῆς Ἐρυθρᾶς Θαλάσσης, ', modern Greek '), also known by its Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of ...
'' as an important market place for
ivory Ivory is a hard, white material from the tusk Tusks are elongated, continuously growing front teeth A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard, calcification, calcified structure found in the jaws (or mouths) of many vertebrates and used to Masticat ...

ivory
, which was exported throughout the ancient world. Aksum was at the time ruled by
Zoskales Zoskales ( grc, Ζωσκάλης) (c. 100 CE) was an ancient King in the Horn of Africa. His realm included the ancient city of Adulis. History The ''Periplus of the Erythraean Sea'' mentions Zoskales as the ruler of the port of Adulis in Eritrea. ...
, who also governed the port of Adulis.''Periplus of the Erythreaean Sea''
chs. 4, 5
The Aksumite rulers facilitated trade by minting their own Aksumite currency. The state also established its hegemony over the declining Kingdom of Kush and regularly entered the politics of the kingdoms on the Arabian peninsula, eventually extending its rule over the region with the conquest of the Himyarite Kingdom.


Bantu expansion

Between 2500 and 3000 years ago, Bantu languages, Bantu-speaking Bantu peoples, peoples began a millennia-long series of migrations eastward from their homeland around southern Cameroon. This Bantu expansion introduced agriculture into much of the African Great Lakes region. During the following fifteen centuries, the Bantu slowly intensified farming and grazing over all suitable regions of East Africa, in the process making contact with Austronesian languages, Austronesian- and Arabic-speaking settlers on southern coastal areas. The latter also spread Islam to the coastal belt, but most Bantu remained African Traditional Religion adherents. Over a period of many centuries, most hunting-foraging peoples were displaced and absorbed by incoming Bantu communities, as well as by later Nilotic communities. The Bantu expansion was a long series of physical migrations, a diffusion of language and knowledge out into and in from neighboring populations, and a creation of new societal groups involving inter-marriage among communities and small groups moving to communities and small groups moving to new areas. After their movements from their original homeland in West Africa, Bantus also encountered in central east Africa peoples of Cushitic languages, Cushitic origin. As cattle terminology in use amongst the few modern Bantu pastoralism, pastoralist groups suggests, the Bantu migrants would acquire
cattle Cattle, taurine cattle, Eurasian cattle, or European cattle (''Bos taurus'' or ''Bos primigenius taurus'') are large domestication, domesticated Cloven hoof, cloven-hooved herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae ...

cattle
from their new Cushitic neighbors. Linguistic evidence also indicates that Bantus most likely borrowed the custom of milking cattle directly from Cushitic peoples in the area. On the coastal section of the African Great Lakes region, another mixed Bantu community developed through contact with Muslim Arab and Persian people, Persian traders, leading to the development of the mixed Arab, Persian and African Swahili Coast, Swahili City States. The Swahili culture that emerged from these exchanges evinces many Arab and Islamic influences not seen in traditional Bantu culture, as do the many Afro-Arab members of the Bantu Swahili people. With its original speech community centered on the coastal parts of
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
(particularly Zanzibar) and
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
—a seaboard referred to as the Swahili Coast—the Bantu Swahili language contains many Arabic language, Arabic loan-words as a consequence of these interactions. The earliest Bantu inhabitants of the east coast of Kenya and Tanzania encountered by these later Arab and Persian settlers have been variously identified with the trading settlements of Rhapta, Azania and Menouthias referenced in early Greek and Chinese writings from AD 50 to AD 500, ultimately giving rise to the name for
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
. These early writings perhaps document the first wave of Bantu settlers to reach central east Africa during their migration. Between the 14th and 15th centuries, large African Great Lakes kingdoms and states emerged, such as the BugandaRoland Oliver, et al. "Africa South of the Equator," in Africa Since 1800. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 24–25. and Karagwe kingdoms of Uganda and Tanzania.


Modern history


Arab and Portuguese eras

The Portugal, Portuguese were the first Europeans to explore the region of current-day
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
,
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
, and
Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), is a country located in Southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-lar ...

Mozambique
by sea. Vasco da Gama visited
Mombasa Mombasa ( , also ) is a coastal city in southeastern Kenya ) , national_anthem = " Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"() , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital ...

Mombasa
in 1498. Da Gama's voyage was successful in reaching India, which permitted the Portuguese to trade with the Far East directly by sea. This in turn challenged the older trading networks of mixed land and sea routes, such as the spice trade routes which utilized the Persian Gulf,
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northe ...

Red Sea
, and camel train, camel caravans to reach the eastern Mediterranean. The Republic of Venice had gained control over much of the trade routes between Europe and Asia. After traditional land routes to India had been closed by the Ottoman Turks, Portugal hoped to use the sea route pioneered by da Gama to break the once Venetian trading monopoly. Portuguese rule in the African Great Lakes region focused mainly on a coastal strip centered around Mombasa. The Portuguese presence in the area officially began after 1505, when flagships under the command of Francisco de Almeida, Don Francisco de Almeida conquered Kilwa Kisiwani, Kilwa, an island located in what is now southern
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
. In March 1505, having received from Manuel I of Portugal the appointment of viceroy of the newly conquered Portuguese India, territory in India, he set sail from Lisbon in command of a large and powerful fleet, and arrived in July at Quiloa (Kilwa Kisiwani, Kilwa), which yielded to him almost without a struggle. A much more vigorous resistance was offered by the Moors of Mombasa. However, the town was taken and destroyed, and its large treasures went to strengthen the resources of Almeida. Attacks followed on Hoja (now known as Ungwana, located at the mouth of the Tana River (Kenya), Tana River), Barawa, Angoche, Pate Island, Pate and other coastal towns until the western
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
was a safe haven for Portuguese commercial interests. At other places on his way, such as the island of Angediva, near Goa, and Kannur, Cannanore, the Portuguese built forts, and adopted measures to secure the Portuguese supremacy. Portugal's main goal on the Swahili coast was to take control of the spice trade from the Arabs. At this stage, the Portuguese presence in East Africa served the purposes of controlling trade within the Indian Ocean and securing the sea routes linking Europe to Asia. Portuguese naval vessels were very disruptive to the commerce of Portugal's enemies within the western Indian Ocean and were able to demand high tariffs on items transported through the sea due to their strategic control of ports and shipping lanes. The construction of Fort Jesus in Mombasa in 1593 was meant to solidify Portuguese hegemony in the region, but their influence was clipped by the United Kingdom, British, Dutch Empire, Dutch and Omani Arab incursions into the Great Lakes region during the 17th century. The Omani Arabs posed the most direct challenge to Portuguese influence in the African Great Lakes region. They besieged Portuguese fortresses, openly attacked naval vessels and expelled the Portuguese from the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts by 1730. By this time, the Portuguese Empire had already lost its interest on the spice trade sea route due to the decreasing profitability of that business. The Arabs reclaimed much of the Indian Ocean trade, forcing the Portuguese to retreat south where they remained in Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique) as sole rulers until the 1975 independence of Mozambique. Omani Arab colonization of the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts brought the once independent city-states under closer foreign scrutiny and domination than was experienced during the Portuguese period. Like their predecessors, the Omani Arabs were primarily able only to control the coastal areas, not the interior. However, the creation of clove plantations, intensification of the slave trade and relocation of the Omani capital to Zanzibar in 1839 by Seyyid Said had the effect of consolidating the Omani power in the region. Arab governance of all the major ports along the Swahili coast continued until British interests aimed particularly at ending the slave trade and creation of a wage-labour system began to put pressure on Omani rule. By the late nineteenth century, the slave trade on the open seas had been completely outlawed by the British and the Omani Arabs had little ability to resist the British navy's ability to enforce the directive. The Omani presence continued in Zanzibar and Pemba, Tanzania, Pemba until the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964. However, the official Omani Arab presence in Kenya was checked by German and British seizure of key ports and creation of crucial trade alliances with influential local leaders in the 1880s.


Period of European imperialism

Between the 19th and 20th century, East Africa became a theatre of competition between the major imperialistic European nations of the time. The three main colors of the African country were beige, red, and blue. The red stood for the English, blue stood for the French, and the beige stood for Germany during the period of colonialism. During the period of the Scramble for Africa, almost every country in the larger region to varying degrees became part of a European Colony, colonial empire. Portugal had first established a strong presence in southern
Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), is a country located in Southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-lar ...

Mozambique
and the Indian Ocean since the 15th century, while during this period their possessions increasingly grew including parts from the present northern Mozambique country, up to
Mombasa Mombasa ( , also ) is a coastal city in southeastern Kenya ) , national_anthem = " Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"() , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital ...

Mombasa
in present-day Kenya. At Lake Malawi, they finally met the recently created British Protectorate of
Nyasaland Nyasaland () was a British protectorate located in Africa that was established in 1907 when the former British Central Africa Protectorate changed its name. Between 1953 and 1963, Nyasaland was part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland ...
(nowadays
Malawi Malawi (; or aláwi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of ...

Malawi
), which surrounded the homonymous lake on three sides, leaving the Portuguese the control of lake's eastern coast. The British Empire set foot in the region's most exploitable and promising lands acquiring what is today
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic bas ...

Uganda
, and
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
. The Protectorate of
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic bas ...

Uganda
and the Colony of
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
were located in a rich farmland area mostly appropriate for the cultivation of cash crops like coffee and tea, as well as for animal husbandry with products produced from cattle and goats, such as Domestic goat, goat meat, beef and milk. Moreover, this area had the potential for a significant residential expansion, being suitable for the relocation of a large number of British nationals to the region. Prevailing climatic conditions and the regions' geomorphology allowed the establishment of flourishing European style settlements like Nairobi, Vila Pery, Vila Junqueiro, Porto Amélia, Maputo, Lourenço Marques and Entebbe. The France, French settled the largest island of the Indian Ocean (and the fourth-largest globally),
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mala ...

Madagascar
, along with a group of smaller islands nearby, namely
Réunion Réunion (french: La Réunion, ; previously ''Île Bourbon''; rcf, label=Réunion Creole, Reunionese Creole, La Rénion) is an island in the Indian Ocean that is an overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department and region of ...

Réunion
and the
Comoros The Comoros,; ar, جزر القمر, ' officially the Union of the Comoros,Comorian languages, Comorian: ''Udzima wa Komori,'' french: Union des Comores, ar, الاتحاد القمري ' is an island country in the Indian Ocean, at the nor ...
. Madagascar French Madagascar, became part of the French colonial empires, French colonial empire following Second Madagascar expedition, two military campaigns against the Kingdom of Madagascar, which it initiated after persuading Britain to relinquish its interests in the island in exchange for control of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanganyika (territory), Tanganyika, an important island hub of the spices trade. The British also held a number of island colonies in the region, including the extended archipelago of
Seychelles Seychelles (; ), officially the Republic of Seychelles (french: link=no, République des Seychelles; Creole: ''La Repiblik Sesel''), is an archipelagic island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country ...

Seychelles
and the rich farming island of
Mauritius Mauritius ( ; french: Maurice, link=no ; mfe, label=, Moris ]), officially the Republic of Mauritius, is an in the about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the southeast coast of the African continent, east of . It includes the main isla ...

Mauritius
, previously under the French sovereignty. The German Empire gained control of a large area named
German East Africa German East Africa (german: Deutsch-Ostafrika) (GEA) was a German colonial empire, German colony in the African Great Lakes region, which included present-day Burundi, Rwanda, the Tanzania mainland, and the Kionga Triangle, a small region later ...

German East Africa
, comprising present-day
Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley, where the African Great Lakes region and East Africa converge. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, ...

Rwanda
,
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is ...

Burundi
and the mainland part of
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
named Tanganyika. In 1922, the British gained a League of Nations mandate over Tanganyika which it administered until Independence was granted to Tanganyika in 1961. Following the Zanzibar Revolution of 1965, the independent state of Tanganyika formed the United Republic of Tanzania by creating a union between the mainland, and the island chain of Zanzibar. Zanzibar is now a semi-autonomous state in a union with the mainland which is collectively and commonly referred to as
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
. German East Africa, though very extensive, was not of such strategic importance as the British monarchy, British Crown's colonies to the north: the inhabitation of these lands was difficult and thus limited, mainly due to climatic conditions and the local geomorphology. Italy gained control of various parts of
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
in the 1880s. The southern three-fourths of Somalia became an Italian protectorate (Italian Somaliland). Meanwhile, in 1884, a narrow coastal strip of Somaliland came under British control (British Somaliland). This Somaliland protectorate was just opposite the British colony of Aden on the Arabian Peninsula. With these territories secured, Britain was able to serve as gatekeeper of the sea lane leading to British Raj, British India. In 1890, beginning with the purchase of the small port town of (Asseb) from a local sultan in
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa region of East Africa, Eastern Africa, with its capital (and largest city) at Asmara. It is bordered by Ethiopia in the south, Sudan in the west, and Djibouti ...

Eritrea
, the Italians colonized all of Eritrea. In 1895, from bases in Somalia and Eritrea, the Italians launched the First Italo–Ethiopian War against the Oriental Orthodoxy, Orthodox Empire of
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea and Djibouti to the north, Somaliland to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the sout ...

Ethiopia
. By 1896, the war had become a total disaster for the Italians and Ethiopia was able to retain its independence. Ethiopia remained independent until 1936 when, after the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, it became part of Italian East Africa. The Italian occupation of Ethiopia ended in 1941 during World War II as part of the East African Campaign (World War II), East African Campaign.The French also staked out an East African outpost on the route to French Indochina. Starting in the 1850s, the small protectorate of
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
became French Somaliland in 1897.


Post-colonial period


Popular depictions

There are movies that have depicted East Africa in various forms. ''7 Days in Entebbe'', ''The Last King of Scotland'', ''Out of Africa'', ''Queen of Katwe'', ''The Constant Gardener'', ''Hotel Rwanda'', ''The Good Lie'', and ''Captain Phillips (film), Captain Phillips'' are a few of the critically acclaimed movies. In the video games Halo 2 and Halo 3, East Africa is one of the central locations for the campaigns.


Culture


Art


Architecture


Clothing


Cuisine


Music


Religion


Languages

In the
Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland fr ...

Horn of Africa
and
Nile Valley The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubi ...

Nile Valley
, Afroasiatic languages predominate, including languages of the family's Cushitic languages, Cushitic (such as Beja language, Beja, Oromo language, Oromo and Somali language, Somali), Semitic languages, Semitic (such as Amharic, Arabic and Tigrinya language, Tigrinya), and Omotic languages, Omotic (such as Wolaytta language, Wolaytta) branches. In the
African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake Victoria, the List of lakes by area, second-largest fresh water lake in the wo ...

African Great Lakes
region, Niger-Congo languages of the Bantu languages, Bantu branch are most widely spoken. Among these languages are Gikuyu language, Kikuyu, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Sukuma language, Kisukuma, Luganda and many others. Swahili language, Swahili, with at least 80 million speakers as a first or second language, is an important trade language in the Great Lakes area. It has official status in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
Nilotic languages The Nilotic languages are a group of related languages spoken across a wide area between South Sudan South Sudan (), officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East Africa, East-Central Africa. It is bordere ...

Nilotic languages
, such as Luo languages, Luo, Nandi–Markweta languages, Kalenjin, Maasai language, Maasai and Nuer language, Nuer, are spoken in lesser numbers, primarily in the African Great Lakes and Nile Valley. Indo-European languages, such as English language, English, French language, French and Portuguese language, Portuguese, remain important in higher institutions in some parts of the larger region.


Demographics

Eastern Africa had an estimated population of 260 million in 2000. This was projected to reach 890 million by 2050, with an average growth rate of 2.5% per annum. The 2000 population is expected to quintuple over the course of the 21st century, to 1.6 billion as of 2100 (UN estimates as of 2017). In Demographics of Ethiopia, Ethiopia, there is an estimated population of 102 million as of 2016.


Science and technology

''Further information in the sections of History of science and technology in Africa:'' * History of science and technology in Africa#Eastern Africa, Astronomy * History of science and technology in Africa#East_Africa, Metallurgy * History of science and technology in Africa#East_Africa 2, Medicine * History of science and technology in Africa#East_Africa 3, Agriculture * History of science and technology in Africa#East_Africa 4, Textiles * History of science and technology in Africa#East_Africa 5, Maritime technology * History of science and technology in Africa#East_Africa 6, Architecture * History of science and technology in Africa#East_Africa 7, Communication systems * History of science and technology in Africa#East_Africa 8, Commerce * History of science and technology in Africa#East_Africa 9, By country


Conflicts

Since the end of colonialism, several East African countries were riven with military coups, ethnic violence and oppressive dictators. The region has endured the following post-colonial conflicts: ;Northern East Africa (Horn of Africa) * Ethiopian Civil War 1974–1991 * Eritrean War of Independence 1961–1991 * Eritrean-Ethiopian War 1998–2000 * Ogaden War 1977–1978 *Djiboutian Civil War, Dijboutian Civil War 1991–1994 * Somali Civil War 1991–2009 ;South Sudan * Second Sudanese Civil War 1983–2005 * Ethnic violence in South Sudan (2011–present), Internal Political-ethnic Conflict 2011–ongoing * South Sudanese Civil War 2013–2015 ;Southern East Africa (Southeast Africa) * Burundi Civil War 1993–2005 and the Burundi Genocide, Genocide of Hutus in 1972 and genocide of Tutsis in 1993 * Uganda-Tanzania War 1978–1979 * Ugandan Bush War 1981–1986 * Lord's Resistance Army insurgency in
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic bas ...

Uganda
,
South Sudan South Sudan (), officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the la ...

South Sudan
and Democratic Republic of the Congo ongoing * Rwandan Civil War 1990–1993 and the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi * Zanzibar Revolution 1964 ;Outside Southeast Africa with Southeast African participation * First Congo War 1996–1997 and Second Congo War 1998–2003 * Kivu Conflict (Laurent Nkunda Rebellion)
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
has enjoyed relatively stable governance. However, politics have been turbulent at times, including the 1982 Kenyan coup d'état attempt, attempted coup d'état in 1982 and the Clashes in Kenya (2007–present), 2007 election riots.
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
has known stable government since independence although there are significant political and religious tensions resulting from the political union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964. Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous state in the United Republic of Tanzania. Tanzania and
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic bas ...

Uganda
fought the Uganda-Tanzania War in 1978–1979, which led to the removal of Uganda's despotic leader Idi Amin.
Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley, where the African Great Lakes region and East Africa converge. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, ...

Rwanda
,
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic bas ...

Uganda
and
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is ...

Burundi
have each faced instability and ethnic conflict since independence, most notably the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the 1993 Burundi Genocide and subsequent Burundi Civil War.
Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley, where the African Great Lakes region and East Africa converge. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, ...

Rwanda
and
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic bas ...

Uganda
continue to be involved in related conflicts outside the region.
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
, as well as the Puntland and Somaliland regions of Somalia, have also seen relative stability.
South Sudan South Sudan (), officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the la ...

South Sudan
peacefully seceded from
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A ...

Sudan
in 2011, six and a half years after a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, peace agreement ended the Second Sudanese Civil War. South Sudanese independence was nearly derailed by the South Kordofan conflict, particularly a dispute over the status of the Abyei Area, and both Abyei and South Kordofan's Nuba Hills remained a source of tension between Juba, South Sudan, Juba and Khartoum .


Countries, capitals and largest cities

According to the CIA, as of 2017, the countries in the eastern Africa region have a total population of around 537.9 million inhabitants.


See also

*Adal Sultanate *African historiography *Ajuran Sultanate *East African Campaign (World War I) *Sub-Saharan Africa *Sultanate of Zanzibar


References


Bibliography

* {{Authority control East Africa, Geography of Africa Geography of East Africa, Regions of Africa