Explain five factors which led to the decline of the coastal settlements between 1500 and 1700 AD (10 marks)
- Rivalry for the control of the Indian ocean trade weakened the coastal settlement. Each one of them wanted to dominate the trade.
- Wars of conquest by the Portuguese against the coastal settlements destroyed and weakened manyof them.
- Establishment of Portuguese rule at the coast led to disruption of the Indian Ocean trade – the main economic base of the towns. The Portuguese also diverted trade to Portuguese leaving them with little revenue.
- Invasion of the settlement by the Zimba a warrior community from the Zambezi valley – they caused widespread destruction.
- Occasional unfavorable climatic conditions which characterized the period led to inadequate rainfall and shortage of water in some coastal settlement e.g. Gedi which subsequently declined.
- Conflicts/wars between Oman Arabs and the Portuguese over the control of the settlements affected economic activities in the area.
- Some African middlemen diverted trade goods to Northern routes by passing the towns that were under Portuguese control.