Friday, 17 September 2021 09:53

Political Development and Systems - Class 7 Social Studies Revision Notes

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Traditional Forms of Government


They are said to have been the earliest inhabitants of southern africa
They consists of khoikhoi and san
They speak with click sound
They similar physical features
They are short


Economic organization

  1. They were formerly known as the hottentots
  2. They were mainly nomadic pastralist
  3. They traded with dutch who arrived in south africa.
  4. Khoikhoi exchanged cattle and sheep for beads, tobacco and iron.

Political organisation

  1. Clan was the basic political unit.
  2. The head of the senoir clan bocame the chief of the community
  3. The position of the chief was hereditary.
  4. The chief had power because decisions were reached through general consensus(government)by consensus
  5. Nomadic life never allowed them to develop a powerful political system

Social organisation

  1. They believed that God was the giver of all goo things on earth.
  2. Rites of passage were marked with special ceremonies
  3. They brewed alcoholic drinks during social occasions
  4. They celebrate festivals of the new moon.


Formerly known as bushmen

Economic organisation

  1. They were m ainly hunters and gatherers
  2. Men hunted wild animals such as buffaloes and antelopes
  3. Women gathered fruits, roots an dvegetable.
  4. They made arrows and spearhead.
  5. They also traded with khoikhoi

Political organisation

  1. They organised into units called hunting bands which consist of about 20to 40 people
  2. They did not have a central government
  3. Disagreement was reached through consensus

Social organisation

  1. They lived in caves or rock shelters
  2. Boys marry at 14 yrs of age
  3. Girls married at 12 yrs of age.
  4. Believed in the existence of God with praying mantis as God’s symbol on earth
  5. Decorated with necklaces made from ostrich eggs and sea shells
  6. Painted themselves for dances
  7. Painted pictures of the animals they hunted
  8. Their goods were stored in leather bags
  9. They also kept dogs used for hunting.

The Kingdom of Old Ghana

  1. Was the earliest of all kingdom of west africa
  2. Was situated between upper section of the niger and senegal rivers
  3. Founded by soninke peolpe
  4. The capital city was at kumbi saleh
  5. The soninke were under kaya maghan
  6. Factors that contributed to the rise of old ghana
  7. The king controlled the trans-saharan trade.(main)
  8. The kingdom had powerful, strong and respected rulers
  9. Well-equiped, strong and capable army
  10. Favourable climate conditions
  11. It was situated in a strategic position in the savannah.

Political organisation

  1. It was ruled by a king
  2. Position of kingship was hereditary(matrilineal)
  3. King was assisted by council of ministers and civil servants
  4. It was divided into;
    1. Ghana proper or metropolitan ghana
    2. Provincial ghana
  5. Kumbi saleh(capital)was divided into two
    1. Al-ghana – lived by king and african traditional
    2. Muslims section – lived by muslims

Social organisation

  1. Lived in mud and grass-thatched houses
  2. King was regarded as the chief priest
  3. They(soninike)believed life after death
  4. King was buried with all his belongings, including servants.

Economic organisation

  1. Traded with people from north
  2. They mined gold from walata
  3. People kept animals and grew crops for food and trade
  4. Trading caravans paid taxes to the kings
  5. Tax paid by the conquered states
  6. NB the main reason for the rise of old ghana kingdom was trans-saharan trade

Reasons for the decline and fall of the kingdom

  1. Kingdom was too large
  2. Lack of clearlydefined boundaries
  3. Succession disputes and political rivalry
  4. Overdependence on one income
  5. The army was weakened
  6. Attacked by almoravids(main)

The Scramble for and Partition of Africa

Scramble – struggle or compete in a disorderly manner
Partition of africa- dividing up africa into smaller parts

The european nations that took part in the scramble for africa were;

  1. Britain
  2. Belgium
  3. France
  4. Germany
  5. Portugal
  6. Italy
  7. Spain

Reasons for the Scramble for Colonies in Africa

  1. Europeans wanted raw materials
  2. Europeans wanted to establish market for their goods
  3. Europeans wanted areas to invest their surplus capital
  4. For prestige and as a show of power
  5. For strategic reasons meant to protect the source and course of the nile
  6. To end slave trade
  7. To spread christianity
  8. To settle surplus population.

The Partition of Africa

  1. During the berlin conference of 1884-1885 the european powers agreed to divide up africa peacefully
  2. They followed the guideline below
  3. They recognized leopold II king of belgium as leader of the congo free state
  4. River niger, zambezi could be used by any traders
  5. Areas not occupied could be claimed by any european power
  6. European to establish effective administration in their spheres of influence
  7. Areas where a europeanpower had laid claim were recognised as spheres of influence of that power.
  8. Any future differences between european nations would be settled through negotiations and agreements
    NB african continent was under european control by 1910 except liberia and ethiopia.
  1. France colonies
    Morocco                  Segal
    Burkina faso            Algeria
    Mauritania               Somalia
    Benin                      Cote d ivoire
    Congo                    Djibouti
    Chad                      Seychelles
    Guinea                   Mauritius
    Mali                        Gabon
    Niger                     Comoros
    Madagascar          Central african republic
  2. Britain colonies
    Egypt                        Sudan
    Somalia                   Uganda
    Kenya                       Gambia
    Sierra leone              Ghana
    Nigeria                       Malawi
    Zambia                   Zimbabwe
    Botswana                Swaziland
    Lesotho                   South africa
  3. Italy colonies
  4. Portugal colonies
    Guinea Cape
    verde Angola
  5. Spain colonies
    Western sahara
  6. Not colonised

Reasons why African were colonised easily

  1. Lack of unity
  2. Had inferior weapons(main)
  3. Not well organised in protecting their resources

African Response to the Scramble and Partition

Some african;resisted – collaborated


Samoure toure’s resistance against the french

  1. Born around 1830 in sanankaro(guinea)
  2. He was a trader
  3. Took title almainly when cnverted to islam
  4. Founded mandinka empire with capital at bissandugu.
  5. Had powerful well trained and equiped army
  6. Resisted french
  7. He signed a peace treaty in 1886 with french
  8. Later french failed to honour the treaty
  9. Samouri imroved his weaponry and reorganised his army and he defeated the french
  10. Later french came back and defeated samouri
  11. He established another empire at dabakala
  12. He was defeated and imprisoned in gabon
  13. Died in 1900

Reasons for resistance

  1. Wanted to remain independent
  2. Against french interferance with his trading activities wiyh the coast
  3. Safeguard the purity of islam against christianity

Why Samouri was able to resist the french for a long time

  1. Used scorshed earth policy tactic (main)
  2. Well-trained, disciplined and strong army
  3. Efficient administration
  4. He used islam as a unifying factor
  5. Encouraged young men to join the french army to learn their tactics and how to use guns

Reasons why samouri was defeated

  1. Lack of support from other african leaders
  2. French had better weapons(main)
  3. French cut off coastal trade and gold mines
  4. Lack of support from his own people



  1. He was leader of lozi people of northern rhodesia present day zambia
  2. Reasons for the lewanika’s collaboration
  3. Feared the german, portuguese and the dutch from interfering with his affairs of his kingdom
  4. Wanted military support against his enemiessuch as ndebele and some chiefs
  5. He was inspired by his friend chief khama of the ngwata of botswana.
  6. The above reasons made him to sign;
  7. Treaty with BSAC which allowed to mine minerals
  8. Treaty which allowed british to have administration over barotseland(malawi)
  9. Treaty which made barotseland a british protectorate. Lewanika became a paramount chief. Lost his political authority over his territory.

Colonial Systems of Administration

  1. Direct rule
    Europeans used the methods used in their own countries to rule the colonies.
  2. Indirect rule
    Europeans rule through the existence of traditional rulers and leaders
  3. Assimilation
    Making africans the same as europeans in terms of culture especially in french colonies.

Belgians in Congo

  1. They used direct rule in congo.
  2. They got involved through their king leopord II who was recognised as the owner of congo during the berling conference of 1884-1885.
  3. Due to oppresion of belgians in congo like;
    1. Severe punishment such as cutting off of people’s hands
    2. Forced labour on rubber plantations.
    3. Forced taxes
    4. It led to the babua and bushilele uprising of 1903-1904
    5. The war made leopold II to surrender it to the belgian government
    6. The belgians divided the country into;
      • Minister for colonies – in charge of all colonies
      • Governor general – in charge of the colony
      • Provincial governors – in charge of provinces
      • District officers – in charge of districts
      • Chiefs – in charge of chefferies(villages)
        1. After the 2nd world war districts were subdivided into zones
        2. Each zone had a;nativecourt, dispensary, school.
        3. Belgians believed in civilizing the africans
        4.  An african who aquired western culture, christianity, literate in french was known as an evolee and were granted certain privilages

Those who were not civilised were denied to:

  • Move from one chefferie to another
  • Own land
  • Provide labour on plantation

The French in Senegal

French grouped their colonies to form federations
Example 1: french west africa federation
Burkina faso
Ivory coast

Example 2. French central africa(equatorial)federation
Congo brazzavile
Central african republic

French regarded their colonies as overseas provinces hence governed directly from france.

Administrative structure

Minister for colonies – in charge of all colonies
Governor general – for each federation
Lieutenant – for each colony
Commandant de cercle – for each cercle(province)
Chef de sub division – for each commune(district)
Chef de canton(chief) – for each canton(location)
Chef de village(headman) – for each sub-location

French used the policy of assimilation

The requirement for assimilation

  1. Ability to read and write in french
  2. Being a christian
  3. Readiness to practise french ways of life.
  4. Accepting the french adminitration and the french economic set-up.

Rights enjoyed by a french citizen

  1. Vote and to be elected
  2. Learn in institutions in france
  3. Get employment in france
  4. Start a business in france

The four coastal towns where assimilation was used in senegal

  1. Rufisque
  2. St.louis
  3. Goree
  4. Dakar

Africans in the commune were not subjected to forced labour and taxation
The rest of senegal was subdivided into

  1. Province
  2. Districts

Provinces and districts were administred through the policy of association

Through association africans were treated as subjects and not citizens of france e.g.

  1. Denied africans the freedom of movement
  2. Provide forced labour
  3. Pay taxes
  4. Grow cash crops needed in france
  5. Punished without trial
  6. The main work of the chief was to collect taxes and recruit labour

Reasons why policy of assimilation became difficult

  1. French colonies were very many
  2. Many african(subjects)refused to become chriatians
  3. Africans strongly criticized the french policies
  4. Africans refusedto abandon their culture e.g polygamy
  5. It became expensive to provide social facilities e.g. hospitals, schools, and roads
  6. French feared competition from africans.

The Portuguese in Mozambique

They were the 1st europeans to come to africa

Like the french they considered their colonies as overseas provinces

They used direct policy to administer mozambique

Colonies – minister for overseas provinces
Colony – governor general
Province – provincial officer
District – district officer
Location – chief(rogedores)

Africans held only junior posts in administration
Land was rented to british and french companies
British set up tea, sugar and cotton plantation
Plantation was called prazeros
In troublesome areas administration was carried out by millitary commanders

Portuguese administration was harsh and brutal which made africans to flee to malawi and tanganyika as refugees

In 1961 mozambique formed anti-portuguese political groups e.g.FRELIMO

British in Northern Nigeria

Comprised of three protectorates

  1. Lagos
  2. Southern nigeria
  3. Northern nigeria

In northern nigeria british used indirect rule
They used centralised system of traditional rulers called emirs
Each emir was in charge of an emirates
Northern nigeria was divided into provinces and districts
Emirs worked under district officers

Responsibilities of emirs were

  1. Collecting taxes
  2. Listening to cases in the muslim court
  3. Maintaining law and order in the emirates
  4. Abolishing undesirable practises among the citizens

Reasons why the british used indirect rule in northern nigeria

  1. Poor transport and communication network
  2. Cost of running the colony was high
  3. British officers were often sick with malaria
  4. The protectorate was large
  5. The existence of a well established system of administration among the africans
  6. Some chiefs such as nana of itsekiri were ready to co-operate

British overseas colonial officer – in charge of colonies(london)
British high commissioner- in charge of protectorate(northern nigeria)
British resident(provincial)commissioner – in charge of province
District officers – in charge of districts
African chief(emirs) – incharge of local areas(emirates)

Effects of Colonial Rule in Africa


  1. Introduction of new crops e.g.cocoa, tea, rice, coffee, cloves, wheat
  2. Development of infrastructure
  3. Introduction of western education
  4. Provision of social services
  5. Peace among the people
  6. Abolishment of slave trade
  7. Rise and growth of nationalism
  8. Introduction of new goods e.g.manufactured goods.


  1. Loss of independence
  2. Separation of communities
  3. Over-exploitation natural resources
  4. Mistreatment of africans
  5. Neglect of craft industries
  6. Loss of land
  7. Loss of african culture
  8. Creation of political boundaries
  9. Loss of lives and property

Struggle for Independence in Africa

Struggle for Independence in Ghana

Ghana was formerly known as gold coast
It was colonised by the british
Climate and high risk of malaria discouraged mass european settlement

Complaints of Africans in Ghana were

  1. They wanted majority seats in the legco
  2. Traders denied imports and exports licenses
  3. Ex-servicemen wanted employment as reward
  4. Unemployment
  5. Low cocoa prices and the africa being forced to cut down cocoa trees infected with diseases

In 1947 the united gold coast convention (UGCC) PARTY WAS FORMED –LED by J B.Danqah –
president and kwame nkrumah – secretary general.
In 1948 – a boycott of european shops. A demonstration of ex-servicemen
Demands of the party were;

  1. An end to colonial
  2. A policy of self-determination and complete national independence.

Leaders of UGCC were arrested

In 1949 nkrumah was released and formed conventional people’s party(CPP)
Main aim of CPP was to fight for self-governance
Between 1949 and 1950 nkurumah was arrested and other leaders
In 1951 nkrumah was released due to pressure from africas and elections were held
In 1951 CPP did not get a majority to form the government
In 1956- there was election again and CPP won
In 1957 march gold coast was granted full independence with kwame nkurumah as the prime minister.
Gold coast was renamed ghana
1960 – ghana became a republic with nkurumah as the 1st president
NB ghana got independence through peaceful means by using ;

  1. Diplomacy
  2. Negotiations
  3. Strikes
  4. Boycotts
  5. Motions through the legco

The Struggle for Independence in Zimbabwe

Formerly known as southern rhodesia
Colonised by british
In 1889 british government granted BSACO the right to

  1. Mine minerals
  2. Collect taxes
  3. Maintain law and order in zimbabwe

In 1923 british declared rhodesia a self-governing colony
Under colonial rule;

  1. African were given poor education and health facilities
  2. Africans not allowed to vote
  3. Africans were overcrowded in reserves
  4. Africans were poorly paid
  5. Africans had limited movements
  6. Africans were forced to pay high taxes
  7. Africans were controlled because their leaders were arrested

In 1934 african national congress(ANC)was formed to demand the removal of pass law and forced
Settlers formed the rhodesian front party
The africans realised negotaitions would not work and they decided to use armed struggle.
In 1963 ZANU was formed. Its leaders were;

  1. Reverend ndabaningi sitole
  2. Robert mugambe
  3. Herbert chitepo

ZANU liberation army was called ZANLA
ZANLA was to wage guerilla warfare on settler rule.
In 1963 joshua nkomo formed ZAPU.
Later the two parties were banned and its leaders imrisoned
In 1965 rhodesian front party declared unilateral declaration of independence from britain led by ian smith
ZANU and ZAPU established fighting
Ian smith was forced to participate in discussions about the future of rhodesia
Elections were eventually held in 1980
ZANU won and robert mugabe became the prime minister
The name rhodesia changed to zimbabwe.

Contributions of Prominent Leaders in Africa

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

  1. Born in transkei province of south africa in 1918.
  2. Bacame a member of the african national congress in 1942
  3. Founded african national congress youth league(ANCYL)together with oliver tambo, walter sisulu, anton lembede.
  4. In 1952 elected deputy president of ANC.
  5. In 1961founded a movement called Umkhonto we sizwe(spear of the nation)
  6. In 1964 sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to roben island prison.
  7. In 1990 he was released by fredrick de klerk
  8. In 1991 he was elected president of ANC.
  9. In 1994 he became president of south africa as the 1st democratically elected
  10. Ruled for five years and retired voluntarily in 1999
  11. He died in December 2013.


  1. United all races in south africa
  2. Set example by retiring from politics
  3. Fought for the abolition of apartheid
  4. Brought peace through negotiations e.g.chairman of the burundi peace talks
  6. Provided leadership to the libration movement through the ANC

Gamal Abdel Nasser

  1. Born on 15th january 1918 at alexandria in eygpt
  2. Trained as a solder
  3. In 1952, he led a revolution which removed king falouk of egypt from 1954, he took over as president of egypt.

Contributions of Gamal Abdel Nasser

  1. Carried out land reforms
  2. Improved woeking conditions
  3. Abolished sharia courts
  4. Improved the living standards e.g.use of birth control, provision of clean water
  5. Encouraged the formation of cooperative societies
  6. Established industries
  7. He planned and completed aswan high dam
  8. Participated in the formation of OAU
  9. Built more schools and universities
  10. He maintained the suez canal
  11. Died in 1970 while still the president

Leopold Sedar Senghor

  1. Born on 9th october 1906 at joal in senegal
  2. Studied poetry and politics
  3. Joined french army and fought germans
  4. He fought in the 2nd world war
  5. He was captured and released later
  6. In 1945 he was elected in french parliament
  7. In 1960 he became president of senagal
  8. He ruler for 20years


  1. He was the greatest writer and poet of africa
  2. Used poetry to spread culture and values of africans
  3. Led senegal in their struggle for independence
  4. Represented p;eople in the french parliament
  5. First african president to retire voluntarily from active politics
  6. Died on 20th December 2001 at the age of 95yrs

Present Systems of Government in Kenya and Swaziland

The System of Government in Swaziland

  1. Swaziland is a landlocked country
  2. It is ruled by a king
  3. Kingdom was founded by king sobhuza I in 1830
  4. Became a british protectorate
  5. Attained independence in 1968 under sobhuza II
  6. King mswati succeeded sobhuza II in 1986
  7. Position of king is hereditary
  8. Title of king is ngwenyama(lion)
  9. Traditional system of government is called tinkhundla
  10. The king national council is called liqoqo
  11. The queen mother is called indlovukazi
  12. Swaziland parliament is called libandla
  13. Parliament has two houses
    1. the senate
    2. the house of assembly
  14. country has traditional courts under chiefs
  15. no political parties in swaziland
  16. there is a civil service

Similarities in the System of Government in Swaziland and Kenya

  1. both king and the president are head of state and government
  2. both king an president are commander-in-chief of the armed forces
  3. both countries have two houses
  4. both countries have civil services

Differences in the System of Government in Swaziland and Kenya

 Kenya   Swaziland 
 It is a republic headed by a president    It a kingdom headed by a king 
 It has executive parliament and judiciary   It has a king, national council and parliament 
 General elections are held after every five years    No general elections
 President rules for a maximum of two five years term  King rules until he dies.
 Many political parties   No political parties
Members of parliament are elected by people
others nominated.
 M.P.are appointed by king and elections by an
electral college


Organisation of African Unity(OAU)

Formation of OAU

Was formed on 25th may 1963
Headquarters in addis-ababa ethiopia
Members present during formation were

  1. Julius nyerere – tanzania
  2. Kwame nkurumah – ghana
  3. Ben bella – algeria
  4. Gamal abdal nasser – egypt
  5. Haile sellasie of ethiopia
  6. Siaka steven – sierra leone

First chairman was haire sellasie

Functions of OAU

  1. Promote peace
  2. Help countries to get independence
  3. Promote cooperation
  4. Protect independence states
  5. Promote friendly relations
  6. Promote, social, economic and political development.

Achievements of OAU

  1. Has assisted countries to get independence
  2. Has promoted economic development
  3. Has tried to find solutions to conflicts in africa
  4. Has encouraged cooperation in trade through trade blocs
  5. Provided forums where heads of state meet
  6. Has promoted economic development

Problems facing the OAU

  1. Lack of standing army
  2. Lack of adequate funds
  3. Lack of unity
  4. Political instability
  5. Interfered with individual government policies
  6. New emerging issues e.g.HIV/AIDS
  7. Border disputes e.g. kenya and uganda
  8. Misunderstanding among members

The African Union(A.U)

OAU was transformed to AU in 2001
AU was officially formed in 2002 in south africa

Reasons for the formation of AU

  1. Some poor policies
  2. New challenges e.g. drought
  3. Hoped that africa will one day work as one economic bloc

Objectives of AU

  1. To achieve greater unity
  2. Defend the sovereighty, borders and independence of its members
  3. Encourage international cooperation
  4. Promote peace
  5. Protect the rights of african people
  6. To work international parteners
  7. To promote democratic principles
  8. To coordinate and harmonise the policies of organizations through NEPAD
  9. To promote research in science and technology
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