Discuss how the geostrategic location of Kenya is behind the British occupation of the country.  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Kenya offered a number of key geostrategic factors that led to British colonization in East Africa. First of all, the fertile highlands of Kenya supplied ample farmland to colonial farmers. A growing population in Britain during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries meant that control of more productive farmland...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Kenya offered a number of key geostrategic factors that led to British colonization in East Africa. First of all, the fertile highlands of Kenya supplied ample farmland to colonial farmers. A growing population in Britain during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries meant that control of more productive farmland was crucial to feeding hungry citizens in the homeland.

Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, control of Kenya offered greater control of neighboring parts of Africa. Britain was concerned with maintaining its control over the Suez Canal in Egypt. To help ensure this control, it was necessary to control as much of Egypt as possible. The key to Egypt was the Nile River. Uganda and Kenya are home to the headwaters and source of the Nile. Therefore, British imperialists felt it crucial to maintain sovereignty over this region. Additionally, Kenya offered the British direct access to the Indian Ocean. This further helped them sustain control over the area and expand their naval influence.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Geostrategic location refers to the reason why a place is important because of its geography.  Kenya offered some important benefits for Great Britain.  First, it should be stated that Britain needed more resources and land because of the limitations of its own land.  Kenya's highlands were perfect for agriculture. People could move there and expect to be successful in farming.  Kenya was also located near the source of the Nile River at Lake Victoria.  England already controlled most of the Nile River and controlling the source of the river as well was important for continued control of the Suez Canal.  Acquiring Kenya also gave Britain significantly more coastline and more access to the Indian Ocean and their colonies in Asia.  Kenya also offered mineral resources to add to Great Britain's wealth.  Additionally, the acquisition of more land through colonization was seen as a sign of being more powerful than your rivals in Europe in the 19th Century.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team