Now I want to share with you about history in the topic of Africa and extenal world
The Contact between Africa and the Middle East and Far East began as early as 200BC. Early foreigners to visit the African coast were people from Asia including countries like Syria, Arabia, India, Burma, Persia, Thailand, China, Spice Islands and Egypt from North Africa. Availability of goods such as ivory, gold, animal skins and slaves was one of the motives which attracted the traders to visit the East African Coast.
Historically, contacts between East Africa and Middle and Far East go as far back as 200 BC. Evidence is shown through archeological excavations. These have revealed remains of pottery, porcelain, cons, beads and tombs along the East Africa Coast which are believed to originate from Middle and Far East. Another piece of evidence from the book “Periplus of the Ertythrean Sea” or a Guide Book to the Indian Ocean, written in the 1st CAD by early Greek Trades, contain details about life at the East African Coast.
Regular trading contacts began around 8th CAD. Most of the traders came from China, Indonesia, (East Indies) and India. Later in the 10th C, traders also came from Arabia, Persia (Iran), Syria and Egypt. Their commercial activities covered the whole of the Eastern Coast of Africa between Mogadishu and Sofala.
Goods Exchanged between Africa, Middle and Far East
1. Goods taken from Africa included:
Ivory, Gold, Slaves, Tortoise shells, Rhinoceros horns, Animal skins, Copper, Iron, Ostrich feather.
2. Goods from Middle and Far East:
Arab: Arabia Beakers, iron, pans, swords, daggers, beads, ornaments and rice
China: Porcelain, bowls, Plates and Shuck clothes.
Persia: Ports, glass bowls, beakers, swords and ornaments
India: Cotton cloth, metal, ornaments, beads, spears and spices
Syria: Iron pans, bowls swords and beakers
The South west monsoon winds would blow the ships to the African coast between November and April; whereas the north East monsoon winds between May and October would take them back to their countries. These early contacts were determined by nature of African and Asian societies.
Economic and Social Motives / Aims of the Contacts between Africa, Middle and Far East
1. Trade activities. Traders wanted to trade and control commercial activities along the African coast as Africa coastal environment attracted and favored trade activities of India Ocean in 7th and 8th centuries, there were regular trading between Africa, China, Indonesia, Persia, and Arabs states.
2. Exploration of African coast. The visitors from Middle East and Far East were interested to know the accessibility of the coast and the availability of market in the coastal areas. They were also interested to assess the volume of commodities which were in great demands such as gold, slave and animal skins. The exploration done in Africa was recorded in the early records about the coast; it was recorded by one of the Greek sailor book called Periplus of Eritrean Sea and Ptolemy’s Geography.
3. The need to search new trading settlements. Early visitors come to Africa with the aim of establishing trading settlements along the East African Coast and the horn of Africa. During the 10 th and 11 th centuries several.