An Atlas of African Affairs

By Andrew Boyd; Patrick Van Rensburg | Go to book overview

25. Between the Lakes

Between and around the high lakes of East Africa live a distinctive group of Bantu peoples with Nilotic admixtures, among whom the (Banya-)Ruanda, (Ba-)Rundi and (Ba-)Ganda are the most prominent (see C for population figures). These 'interlacustrine' peoples long ago developed organized states with many common features. Nilotic pastoral nomads, generally known as (Ba-)Hima, moved in from the north perhaps a thousand years ago, and added an important element to the already established Bantu states, but only in Ruanda and Urundi (26) did they become a ruling class; the centralized despotisms that have endured so long in most interlacustrine states resemble the system of the Sidamo Cushites of southern Ethiopia (C), and thus probably date from the time of the Bantu seizure of the lakeside regions from the earlier Cushitic inhabitants, about 1,400 years ago.

Although equatorial, these are all highland regions -- Lake Kivu is 4,800 feet, Lake Victoria 3,700 feet above sea level -- and they support a fairly dense population, much of which today maintains a relatively high standard of living with the help of commercial crops such as coffee and cotton. Uganda and Ruanda-Urundi are land-locked and, before the building of the Uganda and Tanganyika railways and the coming of the air age, were difficult of access, but they are more than mere appendages of Kenya, Tanganyika and the Congo, and their distinctiveness arises largely from the tenacity of their traditional institutions. The political contest in the (Ba-)Ganda (28), Ruanda and Rundi areas in particular is now primarily not between Europeans and Africans, but between reformers and upholders of traditional privilege and authority.

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An Atlas of African Affairs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Foreword 7
  • A. Population 10
  • B. Regions and Barriers 12
  • C. Languages and Peoples 14
  • D. European and Asian Settlement 20
  • E. 'Pre-European' History 22
  • F. Europeans on the Coast 24
  • G. the European 'scramble' 26
  • H. the New Political Map 28
  • I. British and French Heritages 30
  • J. United Nations Activity 32
  • K. Pan-Africanism and Regional Unity 34
  • L. Africa Overseas 36
  • M. Education 38
  • N. Health and Pests 40
  • O. Minerals 42
  • P. Transport 44
  • Q. Power, Development And Research 46
  • 1. the Maghreb 48
  • 2. Morocco and Mauritania 50
  • 3. Algeria 52
  • 4. Tunisia and Libya 54
  • 5. Egypt and Its Neighbours 57
  • 6. Suez Canal 58
  • 7. Suez-Sinai Conflict, 1956 60
  • 8. the Nile 62
  • 9. Egypt 64
  • 10. the Sudan 66
  • 11. Ethiopia 68
  • 12. the Somalis 70
  • 13. West Africa 72
  • 14. Ex-French Africa 74
  • 15. Ex-French West Africa 76
  • 16. 'Equatorial' Africa 78
  • 17. Commonwealth West Africa 80
  • 18- Senegambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia 82
  • 19. Ghana and Its Neighbours 84
  • 20. Nigeria 86
  • 21. Cameroons 88
  • 22. Two Congos 90
  • 23. Post-Belgian Congo 92
  • 24. Lower Congo 94
  • 25. Between the Lakes 96
  • 26. Ruanda-Urundi 98
  • 27. British East and Central Africa 100
  • 28. Uganda 102
  • 29. Kenya 104
  • 30. Tanganyika and Zanzibar 106
  • 31. the Rhodesias 108
  • 32. Katanga and Copperbelt 110
  • 33. Nyasaland 112
  • 34. Angola and Mozambique 114
  • 35. Malagasy (madagascar) 116
  • 36. South Africa and Its Neighbours 118
  • 37. Protectorates and S.W. Africa 120
  • 38. Eastern South Africa 122
  • Index 125
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