The Arabs and the African Slave Trade.
The Rev, A. M. Mackay, oP the Church Missionary Society, writing from Victoria Nyanza in January, says : —“ As long as the Arab remains in Africa he will trade in slaves, and in spite of his doing so he will be regarded by the Natives as a friend, simply because he trades in other things as well, and there is a demand for these. To rid Africa of his presence we have only to take the trade out of his hands. If Europeans succeed in supplying the Natives with calico and other goods of lawful barter, they will entirely supplant the Arabs, who will retire in vast numbers to their own country. But to do this the barbarous and inhuman method of employing porters to carry loads must be abandoned. No European merchant can employ labor of that kind, and hope at a profit to undersell the Arab merchant. If he transports his goods by animal power, on the backs of elephants or buffaloes, or preferably in waggons hailed by these, he will without question succeed in securing all the ivory trade, because he will then be able to give more cloth for a tusk. But be it remembered that millions of Natives in Central Africa demand cloth, but have no ivory
wherewith to buy. The Arab accepts agift|from a poor man for the little cloth he wants, but what can the European accept in exchange? Produce cannot pay the expense of freight to the coast, even by waggons drawn by elephants. Hides, tobacco, cotton and coffee will be offered for sale in many parts, but will be found not worth the carriage over a hundred miles. The one means which will alone succeed will be the construction of rough tramways to the great lakes and other centres of dense population. These, with branch tracks for elephant waggons as feeders, will enable traders to exchange calico for country produce, and will ellect the threefold purpose of supplanting the Arab entirely, of developing the resources of the country, and of promoting internal peace, for the Natives will then busy themselves with growing whatever they can get a fair price for instead of fighting with one another as hitherto, Then will como an end to slave-hunting by the Arab ; for if this proposal is carried out he will have no powder or guns wherewith to shoot down helpless tribes, and when other trade is also taken out of his hands he will disappear altogether. Already in Zanzibar all the trades has passed into the hands of Indians, which demonstrates the inability of the Arab to compete on fair terms with other traders. Raiding tribes, like Buganda, will also be easily controlled, for a European trading company can insist, as the first condition of their bringing supplies, that murderous raids on neighboring countries shall cease forthwith.”
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The Arabs and the African Slave Trade., Evening Star, Issue 7976, 3 August 1889, Supplement
The Arabs and the African Slave Trade. Evening Star, Issue 7976, 3 August 1889, Supplement
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