The Consequences of Early Colonial Policies on East African Economic and Political Integration
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CitationBattani, Matthew. 2020. The Consequences of Early Colonial Policies on East African Economic and Political Integration. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
Abstract20th century economic integration in East Africa dates back to European initiates in the 1880s. Those policies culminated in the formation of the first East African Community (EAC I) in 1967 between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The EAC was built on a foundation of integrative polices started by Britain and Germany, who began formal colonization in 1885 as a result of the General Act of the Berlin Conference during the Scramble for Africa. While early colonial polices did foster greater integration, they were limited in important ways. Early colonial integration was bi-lateral in nature and facilitated European monopolies. Early colonial policies did not foster broad economic integration between East Africa’s neighbors or the wider world economy. Those policies only allowed East African nations to integrate vertically and exclusively with their colonial masters. Furthermore, distrust, conflicts and war between Africans and Europeans greatly hampered bi-lateral integration efforts. Rivalries between European and Arab powers and geographic challenges further slowed integration in East Africa. This thesis concludes that the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 laid the foundation for greater regional integration in East Africa, but only within the boundaries set by Great Britain who continued exclusionary and monopolistic policies intended to benefit their empire.
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