Trading States of East Africa

Erin Frost, Madeline Moix & Jacob Lampe


Along with moving goods the Arabs moved much of their culture and religion around the Indian Ocean as well. If you wanted to be up and coming in the business world you learned to write and speak Arabic and you at least pretended to accept the religion of Islam. In time much of east Africa, Persia, and Indonesia did accept Islam in truth, though India and China with their already highly developed and cultured lifestyles did not for the most part.

  • Language: Bantu, Arabic, Swahili (Bantu & Arabic incorporated)

    • Swahili helped with trade

  • Religion: Islam

    • growth in trade let to rise of Islam

  • Ethnic groups: Muslims from Arabian Peninsula & Persian Gulf

    • began to settle in port cities along the coast

Economic Activity

  • little good land for farming so they traded
  • exports: gold, ivory, iron,leopard skins, rhinoceros horn
  • imports: cotton, silk, porcelain, glassware

  • Arab trade in north & west (Swahili) : ivory & slaves.


  • Coast was low-lying (flat), swampy

sand, rock, and red soil


The climate of East Africa is rather atypical of equatorial regions. Because of a combination of the region's generally high altitude and the rain shadow of the westerly monsoon winds created by the Rwenzori Mountains and Ethiopian Highlands, East Africa is surprisingly cool and dry for its latitude.

Political Boundries

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