DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL AND POLITICAL SYSTEMS IN AFRICA
Development in the gradual changes from lower to higher in skills, capacity, freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and materials well-being, it is the increasing capacity of controlling the environment
During pre-colonial period there were different political systems such as;
Kinship/ Clan Organization
- Kinship/Clan Organization
- Age set system
- Kinship/State Organization
This was the system of organization were by their organization were formed from the family level. Family is a social group of people who are closely related to each other, it consist of husband, wife and children.
A clan is a collection of several families with close blood relationship.
In a clan organization there was two types of societies, matrilineal society and patrilineal society
Age set Organization
- Matrilineal society is the society in which children born in a family belong to mother’s clan, examples of matrilineal societies in East Africa include Makonde, Wamwera, wakamba and Wakikuyu
- Patrilineal society is the society in which the children born in a family belong to their father heritage, most of the remaining societies were patrilineal
This was the system in which the whole society is divided in age groups in order to ensure the division of labor in the society, the division of labor was done in the basis of age and sex.
Pastoral societies in East Africa which practiced Age set system, The Maasai and The Karamajong.
Agricultural societies practiced this type of organization were Nyakyusa and Wakikuyu
Masai society were divided into four groups
- Women and children
This was the first group which consisted of women and children of about 8 years old. Their functions in the society were cooking food, milking cattle and caring for babies and sick people
- Young boys
This was the second group which consisted of the young boys of about 9 to 18 years old and their functions were grazing livestock and assisting their mothers when they return back home
- Middle aged men (Moran)
This was the third group consisted of the middle aged men who were between youth to adulthood, between twenty and forty years
Functions of Moran group
- To defend the community, they were soldiers of the community
- To protect livestock against thieves and wild animals
- To raid neighboring communities to increase the size of their herds of cattle and wealth
- To escort the herds and families whenever they migrated
- To collect tributes from traders reaching the Maasai territory
- Elders Group
This was the last group and it was subdivided into three, junior elders, Elders and senior elders (Olaiboni). Their functions were to ensure peace and order, to advice people and make important decisions of the tribe and lastly to secure livestock and other forms of property for the community.
Ntemiship was the system in which the society was organized into small self-governing units (on the basis of kinship) without any form of the central government, societies in Tanzania which organized themselves under Ntemiship were Nyamwezi, Sukuma, Gogo, Hehe, Bena and Sangu
The associations under Ntemiship system were called Ntemi and Each Ntemi had their own senior chief
Functions of the Ntemi chief are as follows;
- To ensure proper use of land and grain supply
- He had the power to declare war on the advice of his council and to make peace
- To administer traditional and customary law
- He had religious power/; He was also a religious leader
A state is a community of people occupying its own territory and is living under its own government. It is composed of People, Government and Territory.
The Earliest Form of a state in East Africa was Village community which emerged in East Africa by about 15 century A.D
The following are the factors which influenced the development of state in pre-colonial period;
Development of Economic Activities and Their Impact See other History Discussions Other Subjects
- Development of Iron Technology
- Development of trade
- Population expansion
- Emergence of classes
- Military conquest
- Existence of minerals