7. East Africa

The island of Zanzibar was ruled by the Arab Sultan of Muscat and Oman and it dominated trade between Africa, India and the Middle East, including ivory, gold, spices and a large slave trade. The Sultan’s influence stretched over a large area of the East African coast and far into the hinterland. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Sultan and the British East India Company had close trade ties and the British state actively protected the Sultan’s interests on land and sea. Late in the nineteenth century, German interest in establishing an African empire caused the region to be split into spheres of influence with Britain.

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